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Synology DS212 2TB DiskStation 2 Bay Desktop NAS Solution
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|Shipping||—||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping|
|Sold By||—||Amazon.co.uk||Choice Stationery Supplies Limited||Amazon.co.uk|
|Connectivity Technology||ISCSI; eSATA||WiFi; ISCSI||ISCSI; Serial ATA||ISCSI|
|Data Transfer Rate||625 MB per second||6,000 Mb per second||1,000 Mb per second||1,000 Mb per second|
|Hard Disk Size||2 TB||108,000 GB||0 TB||16,000 GB|
|Item Dimensions||10.8 x 23.32 x 16.5 cm||10.16 x 22.86 x 17.78 cm||7.62 x 22.86 x 17.78 cm||10.16 x 22.86 x 17.78 cm|
|Network Interface||—||—||Ethernet 1000 Mb-s||—|
|Special Feature||Hot Swap Function||Hot Swap Function; Backup Function||Tout;NAS||Hot Swap Function|
Synology DS212 2TB NAS Solution NAS Solutions DS212/2TB
DS212+ Main Unit
AC Power Adapter
AC Power Cord
2M RJ-45 LAN Cable
Camera License Pack
Top customer reviews
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A NAS drive is the economical solution to backup and distribute your digital life within your home! As our lives and more importantly content go digital it is becoming increasingly important for homes to have a sound digital structure. Somewhere not just to keep backups, but also serve up our content in a way we want. With that in mind we are looking at yet another excellent product from Synology, one which for my mind strikes the perfect balance between performance/price and most importantly is tremendously easy to use.
Synology NAS enclosures are so much more than just storage as they provide numerous additional features. The Synology DiskStation DS212 is an energy efficient server that can manage media, print, downloads, surveillance and mail. If you are a proud Android or iPhone/iPod Touch owner you can remotely interact with the DiskStation as well via one of their downloadable apps.
The DiskStation DS212 includes an Ethernet cable, software CD, several HDD mounting screws, welcome paper, warranty information paper and the AC power adapter and is packaged in an aesthetically pleasing box which is no bigger than it needs to be. And speaking of packaging I notice Synology have started paying a lot more attention to their packaging across their products. An ethos perhaps pioneered by Apple but seemingly being adopted by most companies.
Synology have squeezed a powerful 1.6GHz processor in the slim DS212 chassis. The system uses 256MB of DDR3 memory and has a whole host of connectivity options including dual USB 3.0 (rear), a single USB 2.0 port and a SD memory reader slot to the front for easy file transfers from your cameras etc. Network connectivity is via the gigabit Ethernet or a wireless dongle sold separately.
This offers USB3/SD drive compatibility and a slightly beefier cpu over a DS212j but lacks the esata, faster cpu and half the ram of it's more powerful brother the DS212+.
The rear of the Synology DS212 features a 90mm exhaust fan, to extract heat from the unit whilst in use. Underneath the fan, you'll see the two USB 3.0 ports as well as an Ethernet port (RJ45) and an AC connector.
With its slim size and small footprint the DS212 holds two hard drives and you can purchase the system with or without hard drives. Though in practice, if you are confident enough to do so buying hard drives separately is probably the most cost effective solution. Being a consumer unit the DS212 was designed for quiet operation; you can put this NAS right next to your computer and not hear it over your rooms' ambient noise.
The DS212 is billed as a high performance NAS for home/small business users. I found it perfect for streaming HD content and it offers an average speed of 109 MB/sec reading and 56 MB/sec writing speeds under RAID 1.
The enclosure itself is extremely well built and sturdy. The front panel comes away to allow drive access and this feels very sturdy with rubber grommets to reduce vibration. The unit has the Synology logo cut out of the sides which is a very hand way to increase ventilation. More air equals lower temps which in turn reduce the fan, minimising noise.
The Jewel in the crown - DSM
The Synology DiskStation DS212 is operating system agnostic so it can be used on home/work networks running Windows, Mac or Linux systems. The built in Media Server is DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) capable allowing the NAS to stream seamlessly to DNLA ready devices such as the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 or other media streamers around the house. I use mine to stream movies to my TV by mapping the shares to my htpc and then using xbmc.
Synology recently upgraded their DSM (DiskStation Manager) software to version 4, which is designed to feel more like an OS than typical NAS software and this is where the Synology drive really excels above and beyond the competition in my opinion. Make sure you update to the latest firmware form the control panel. The latest DSM 4 boosts performance by up to 20%.
As mentioned Synology also provide mobile apps that interface with the DS212 for both the iPhone/iPod Touch and Android devices. The DS Audio iPhone app, allows music to be streamed from the NAS to your iPhone both within and outside of your home network. DS Photo offers browsing and uploading photos and videos stored on DiskStation from your mobile devices. I found the apps very good in practice, but would like to see the inclusion of a dedicated video streaming app next (Though DS Photo has been updated to allow video playback)! Best way to think of this is your own personal dropbox without limits, though the nas drive needs to be online for you to do it.
As well as being able to operate with Linux, OS X and Windows it functions as an entertainment server through its DNLA enabled media backend and built in iTunes server. The Download station allows Bit Torrents to run on the DiskStation DS212 without any other computer being on within the network.
There are a range of available applications to launch websites and host mail servers. And a great feature is the ability to hook up a USB printer making it available across the network for everyone. Ideal in the home if you have a couple of users and saves having to hard connect to the printer and it could be tucked away somewhere out of sight! You get a complete print server that supports multifunction printers, Apple Air Print, and Google Cloud Print for sharing your printer around the home or office.
The Surveillance Station 5 is yet another very useful feature as you can setup the DS212 for use with up to 12 IP cameras.
The recently upgraded DSM 4 interface makes managing settings and applications on the machine much smoother and simpler and less intimidating for those with limited knowledge of networks and all the various settings. If you can navigate around Windows then the DSM 4 interface should seem quite familiar.
One of the major features of the new DSM 4 is their cloud service, keeping all you digital devices in sync with your DS212. All the benefits of cloud storage with the peace of mind that local security/storage brings.
Backup and Encryption
The DS212 offers a centralised storage to backup and consolidate freagmentedd files across a network and Synology's own Data Replicator handles the job with ease. Also compatable with Apple's Time Machine users can use their own solutions to keep their files backed up. I use Microsoft Sync Toy for regular backups. It also offers 256 Bit AES Encyption via its own encryption engine which offloads the task away from the main cpu keeping it working harder on the network.
You also have the ability in DSM 4 to make your DiskStation an iSCSI target. And in doing so, you can create as many LUNs (Logical Unit Number) as you want. Using this, users can map those iSCSI LUNs to workstations on their network and in doing so, create a truly centralized storage location. Another use of the iSCSI feature of the DiskStations is using the DS212 as a datastore for VMware. Downloading the trial version of ESXi 5.0 (free to use), I mapped a LUN in vSphere Client. With this, you can create your virtual machine using the networked storage on your DiskStation.
My Final Thoughts
If you are looking for a powerful and very capable NAS then the Synology DS212 is a terrific choice for both the savvy computer user and even the technologically challenged. I am using two 2tb WD Green drives. Make sure you check Synology's compatibility list first if buying new drives to make sure they are known to work, as they test drives regards compatibility. The two drives in raid provide a level of data redundancy so should one drive fail you can fall back on the other drive mirroring it.
On my previous DS210J the fan started rattling but Synology sent me a replacement from Taiwan which only took a few days and was very easy to install. Their customer service is top notch and they have some very helpful people on their forums.
This is the ultimate dual bay NAS device due to its impressive design, excellent feature set, and the highly refined DSM 4 software. A fantastic enclosure that strikes the perfect balance between the performance of the DS212+ and value of the DS211j and builds on previous excellent efforts by Synology and places it head and shoulders above the nearest competition.
If it sounds like I am very pro Synology, it's because I am. The devices are well built, the software is the best I have used on a NAS to date, and I just love this unit.
The DS212 is my TOP CHOICE for home use and SOHO applications
It's slow...very slow compared to the advertised 59mbps +
Other than that it's a great product, easy to set up and use.
The Cloud software is a bonus! Well done Synology.
My only gripe that holds it back from 5 stars is the speed, also when writing 2 streams(time machine and data transfer) it slows down to a crawl.
I would recommend keeping a cross over cable handy for transferring large data sets.
much more silent and faster, not to mention it offers much better add-ons.
very happy indeed
It was a breeze to install everything and I love the user interface - very clean and effective.
The feature that I like the most is "Photo Station" - it allows to share your photos and videos over LAN and internet.
After uploading the library NAS will create a great looking website, automatically generating all thumbnails for images. For videos it creates flash versions so those can be easily streamed over network without a need of downloading the file first (the same as youtube). To view this photo library you can also use an android or iOS apps that are free to download. I use app on android tablet (Asus EEE pad transformer) and it's joy to use.
Regarding storage - it gives everything I need: easy RAID configuration, easy backup over network and USB 3.0 interface.
Synology website is also full of well written documentation, tutorials and videos (what a difference from my previous cheap Chinese NAS, with no documentation at all!).
As a NAS solution (with 2 x WD Caviar Green 2TB Drives) it has great performance. With large files I'm getting read speeds of 90-100 MB/s and write speeds of 40-50 MB/s - more than acceptable at home. It's well built, easy-to-install and practically inaudible. But what really makes it stand apart is the amazing DSM web management. This has got to be a benchmark for any web based IT management system and looks and feels more like a well-polished O/S. This makes setting up shares, users and permissions easy. I have also set up power management so that it turns itself off during the night and wakes up in the morning. The DSM is available over the Internet and, as it has an integrated file manager, is an easy way to get access remote files.
Most NAS solutions require a bit of computing knowledge and this is no different. This one seems reasonably easy to setup using a quick start wizard - I chose RAID 1 rather than Synolgy Hybrid RAID (although there's little explanation of the pros and cons). It works happily providing network shares across a gigabit network and also serving music without fuss to our Sonos system. Although it's not the cheapest, a good NAS solution is probably the most critical component in any home or office so in my view it's worth spending a little bit extra.
Overall this product exemplifies outstanding design and usability and easily warrants 5 stars.
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