Customer Review

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Complete home server, 2 July 2014
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This review is from: Synology DS414 DiskStation 4 Bay Desktop NAS (Personal Computers)
I've been using this for a month now and am extremely impressed.

Previously I owned a Qnap for many years, which was ok, but got frustrated with various issues, such as reliability (where the Qnap would just lock up) and the failure of Apple Time Machine losing my backups. Qnap are still on Linux 2.6 (which is ancient) and there are a huge number of kernel bugs appearing in the log files (which explains the reliability issues). Qnap technical support was fairly bad, just saying "network problem" and I should replace my hardware. Hardware or software (as a consumer I don't care which), the Qnap was no good for me. (Synology uses a 3.2 Linux kernel which is much more up to date and has fixed lots more bugs.)

So I decided to make the switch to Synology and I am very glad that I did. The user interface is quite similar to Qnap, and it's great to see that the two companies are pushing each other to improve the user experience, and releasing updates. Personally I prefer the Synology interface. It's difficult to compare the two NASes because the products are being updated continually.

Installation was fairly straightforward. Installing the disks was quite easy and screwdriverless, once you figure out which bits to press. There is no physical security on this model. Physically, it looks very smart and solid, and the two fans in the back are large and of good quality. The unit is fairly quiet but you would notice it in a quiet room due to the hard disks.

There is a great deal of flexibility in setting up users, volumes and shares, but I would imagine that setup would be very challenging for someone who was not computer literate.

There are some goodies here which I was not expecting. You can access your NAS remotely via the Synology website (using uPnP), and Synology even offer dynamic DNS, xyz.synology.me, which you can use for any other servers on your home network as well. Bye bye DynDNS and No-IP :-) [Hint: If you own a domain, you can add a CNAME entry to xyz.synology.me, and from there you can host your own web server and email server on the Synology, avoiding the need for a hosting provider.]

Time Machine backups work fine so far. The email server is a little complicated to set up, but works well for me now, [Hint: Use the SMTP relay for outgoing emails] The backup solution isn't really that good. I found the Windows client software a bit lacking, and replication is limited to rsync [Hint: Ensure that the rsync folder is initially empty.] I've not tried the encryption yet, but I think it's much better than the Qnap (which only offers encryption on external USB disks last time I checked).

Overall I'm pleased as punch with this. It's a bit more expensive but in return you get a quality product.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 4 Jan 2015 21:22:34 GMT
Calum Grant says:
I'm still using this product half a year later, and over Gigabit Ethernet, I just noticed a sustained write speed of 978Mbps according to Windows Task Manager, and a sustained file transfer speed of 112 MB/s according to Windows Explorer. So basically the unit is able to max out the Gigabit network connection, which is all you can really ask for. I've not tried link aggregation, which is unrealistic for home use.
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