on 2 August 2012
This isn't a review as such, but like other users I am very impressed with the DiskStation. I haven't owned it for long enough to really get my teeth into it and the unit has a bewildering number of features for me to get my head round.
The real reason I am adding a review is to address a frustration I had researching the unit: it is impossible to find out what drives are supplied with the 2TB, 4TB and 8TB packages. In the case of the 8TB version you're blowing £500 on HD storage so it would be nice to know what you are spending it on.
In my case (for the 8TB package) the unit came with 4 x Seagate Barracuda 2TB 7200rpm HD drives already installed in the DiskStation's caddies.
I say in my case as it might be that there is some suppliers discretion involved here. The price of HD storage is still quite high as a result of the problems following the floods in Thailand, though this may be creeping down again.
It may be that the identity of the HDs is kept deliberately vague to allow the supplier to select which ever brand gives them the best profit margin at any given time.
Even so I think it would be good if Amazon could tell you exactly what it is that you are buying, particularly for a product like this where the quality of the hard drives is important. I think there have been question marks about the reliability of some brands in the past so it is only right that customers are told what it is they are buying.
So, for this buyer anyway, I got Seagate Barracudas. YMMV
on 14 November 2013
Purchased the Synology DS412+ for work to replace our old Buffalo Terastation II, as it was reaching its max storage limits and we outgrew its features.
The main features we wanted from a NAS drive for our small office was; Bigger storage, faster performance, easy admin console, ability to connect remotely (FTP, WebDav, HTTP) and the ability to share files for guests to view/download. It has ticked all the boxes and I will explain in detail how we work with the DS412+ at our office.
The NAS is connected to a giganet router, and there are 6 people connecting to the router via Ethernet. Each of us has the NAS drive mounted over the WebDav (Mac OSX) so it behaves like a local folder. We have 2 graphic designers working directly from the NAS drive with files that go up to 1GB, and remaining 4 staff made up of web designer, developer and copy editor accessing the drive all day for photos, images, video etc. In addition we generate links for external guests can view or download files straight from the NAS drive, and we can set the link validity for a week, month or year.
Apart from the 6 main staff, we have 2 other people (marketing) setup only with READ only permission to access the drive so they can download files such as images, menu, brochure and logos. The Desk Station Manager web admin portal is very is to configure and you can add various groups / users with different access privileges.
We have also setup a remote access WebDav and FTP with a unique port range and url to access the drive while we're away from our office desk, and because it is setup in WebDav it works just like a normal folder on your desktop, although working straight off the drive is not recommended for big files because the lag between saving files, however depending on your internet connection you can easily work with files lower then 50MB with a 4-8mpb internet connection and you won't notice the remote connection lag.
Overall this drive is simply amazing and we are just scratching the surface.
on 6 May 2012
I bought this to replace a reliable, but aging Netgear ReadyNAS NV+. I was primarily looking for something faster and easy to expand, which the DS412+ is.
The models in this range (412+, 1512+ and higher) all have more powerful processors and more RAM than the cheaper NAS boxes which is where the performance comes from and also allow the NAS more flexibility in running additional applications such as media servers, if that's what you want to do.
First time setup is a little odd since before you can do anything you first have to upload the OS (DSM) to the NAS using the provided Windows software. You also need disks in the unit before you do this so I presume it allocates a small portion of the drive(s) for installing the OS into, not that 200MB is going to matter when you're putting 2TB drives into it.
Once that's done setup is easy and automatic. Allocate an IP and away it goes. The default is to create what Synology call a "Hybrid RAID" volume for easy expansion which the setup does automatically once it's uploaded the OS and formatted the drives.
In use the Synology is _really_ quiet; for all practical purposes it's silent even during drive access. The drive trays have rubber grommets to keep vibration noise from the drives down and the fans are of the large-and-slow-spinning type to keep airflow up without fan noise. There is also plenty of space between the drive bays to help airflow and keep the drives cool.
Performance wise I don't quite get the numbers claimed by the marketing, but it's not far off. On a gigabit LAN with 3 2TB drives in SHR configuration and large (5GB+) files I get a sustained 60-70MB/sec write. Copying folders full of small files (<1mb) sees performance drop to 20-30MB/sec which is not surprising and still more than acceptable.
Email alerts, permissions etc are all catered for as you'd expect on something aimed at the small business end of the market and all in all I'm impressed. My last NAS worked solidly 24/7 for about 5 years. Hopefully this one will do the same!
on 7 June 2014
I bought an unpopulated DS412+ (almost 12 months ago) as I had some older SATA hard drives lying around that would work in it plus I had ordered separately 2 3TB WD Red HDD's.
Setting up the unit was quick, I populated one of the drive slots with one of the existing SATA drives (a WD 640GB HDD) I had and connected via a network cable to my router. Then loaded the Synology Assistant tool on my laptop and after 30secs of searching it picked up the NAS and proceeded with the firmware installation. 5 mins later the NAS rebooted and it was available on the network via the Web based admin interface.
At this point I shut the NAS down again and populate the rest of the drive slots with the hard drives and then restarted it. Logging into the Web based admin interface, the new disks were available and I created a Synology RAID 1 volume with the remaining drives. Now I have a mirrored Synology RAID 1 drive with 2.7TB's of storage and a separate 1TB volume (using a Samsung 1TB HDD).
Over the course of the 12 months that I've had the NAS it's had several new versions of Firmware and the latest DSM 5.0 is brilliant. Some people have complained bitterly that it's dumbed down the previous V4 UI (and to an extent I can see their point) however you get used to it.
One of the major advantages of a NAS Like this (and especially the Synology range) is that they are not just storage devices, they also provide the capability to run applications or Apps (called packages in Synology parlance). These packages provide additional capabilities like Media Servers (Logitech, Plex, iTunes Server, Audio/Video Station), DHCP, DNS, Centralised Logging, VPN, Subversion, Git, PHP, MySQL, MariaDB etc. Plus there's a wide range of 3rd party packages available to install and a vibrant developer community who maintain these 3rd party packages.
The NAS supports both Windows machines as well as Mac OS X, Linux and mobile devices (Synology provide iOS apps for iDevices) so the services it provides can be consumed by a wide variety of clients. In our household we have 1 Windows laptop and multiple Macs + iPhone and iPad and the NAS has been one constant with all of these devices.
Our home network is a based on Gigabit networking (served by a Cisco SG200-26 switch) with a couple of wireless access points (Apple Airport Extremes) for mobile devices. On a Gigabit connection the transfer speeds to/from the NAS are approximately 87MB's/91MB's on average. On wireless the transfer speed is much less obviously but still faster then your average broadband connection. The DS412+ contains a dual Gigabit Network interface which supports bonding (provided you have a switch that supports link aggregation). Configuring the DS412+ to use link aggregation effectively doubles the total bandwidth on Gigabit networks, however this doesn't mean that the transfer speed to a single device will double. What it does mean is that with multiple devices accessing the NAS (think streaming video files), if the DS412+ is configured to use link aggregation, it will support a higher number of simultaneous streams to different clients over the network. With things like SmartTV, Apple TV, Roku Streaming devices, tablets etc this could be important for some.
With advances in HDD technology, I can see the DS412+ having a long life ahead of it as increasing the total storage in the NAS is as simple is pulling one drive and replacing it with another larger capacity drive and waiting for the NAS to reconfigure itself (ok, it's a little more complex than that but in essence that's what it boils down to). With 4TB drives this means I have a potential 16TB of storage available if I configured it as just a bunch of disks or 12TB's of storage with RAID 5 (which uses one disk for parity), 8TB's of storage with RAID 5 (with includes one disk for parity and one disk as a hot spare) or any other combination of RAID as support by DSM.
In summary then, the DS412+ has very quickly become a key plank of our IT infrastructure in the home and I feel a lot happier that our data (iTunes Library, Video Library, personal data, Time Machine backups etc) is protected to some extent by being hosted on a mirrored RAID 1 volume instead of on a single HDD on one machine in the house. I also have peace of mind knowing that I can replace smaller HDD's with larger HDD's when I need additional capacity and that I'm not restricted to propriatery hardware with commensurate high prices.
I highly recommend Synology NAS devices, they're quiet, unobtrusive, well supported and just get on with the job without getting in the way. Can't ask for more than that!
on 31 January 2014
I've owned a DS111 for a few years now and have moved to the DS412+ as I wanted more space as well as some disk redundancy through a RAID array.
The DS111 I found to be a great NAS, only noticing limitations when copying large amounts of data to it or running resource intensive third party apps.
Writing would peak around 600Mbps but vary anywhere from 200Mbps, limited by the processor. A very respectable speed for a home NAS but not the 1Gbps that my network will run at.
Now using the DS412+ with 4 disks in a raid 5 (SHR) configuration I hit the full 1Gbps with the processor running around 10 to 20%.
The dual core Atom processor is in a different league to the Marvell processor in the DS111.
The interface is much more responsive. Apps such as photo station load more quickly and are much nicer to use.
I also have Crashplan installed as my backup solution (3rd party app) which is running very well with a cloud backup set around 140GB.
The advantage being that you can instantly and automatically cloud backup shared network folders from all the household PC's.
(Don't consider RAID to be a backup for your valuable files/photos. Always keep a separate copy, preferably off site that will survive lightning, fire, burglars etc!!)
In terms of the design and build it is very quiet (Quieter than an Asustor I briefly had)
Initially it feels a bit lightweight but once you get the disks in it is nice and sturdy. Plastics seem to be of a high quality.
Drives are mounted on rubber grommets to help isolate noise. A nice detail touch.
The Synology operating system I find to be extremely stable and polished with loads of functionality.
3rd party packages can be obtained from synocommunity.com to extend the functionality even further. Installation of these apps is a breeze.
If you want to use it to download files I've tested with Sabnzbd which will download at 75Mbit while only using around 20% CPU (Encryption on).
I was waiting for the next release of the 4xx+ series but having bought the 412+ I'm really pleased and don't regret it at all.
Definitely one of my better purchases.
on 20 November 2015
I bought two of this a while back, never did the review, after all it works. This positive review is for me to share with you what has changed my view. Early this year I spend a week in upgrading 3TB to 6TB RED HDDs individually (SHR with data protection of 1 disk fault-tolerance) with actual downtime time to hot swapping out the OLD drive with a NEW drive. The upgrading my HDDs also showed how robust and reliable the OS (DSM 5.0) is. I also think the software provided by Synology is so easy to use even for people who consider themselves as Dummies in this area will have it a interesting postive experince to install and use. Short learning curve even with my high expectations of what i wanted to achieve, I have found ways of achieving what I needed, just a matter of time and patience. They do have good customer support service but you have to be patient waiting for their response for solutions to your ideas. I have never resort to relying on their support in terms of DS failure, their hardware and software has always been reliable and they have regularly have operating system updates. DSM version 4, was what i started with, when I bought the device i started with 4, effortless moved to 5 and now 6 is now being Beta tested and I expect the offical release 6 is schedule for 2016 horizon.
Well I like two small miracle from Synology, (1) I like their DS apps they have for IOS and Android to be available for the PC. There are so many ways of accessing the DS systems on a PC their Apps are great tools. (2) same DS apps available on LG and Panasonic smart TVs.
on 19 August 2012
I have experience of Drobo and Buffalo and this Synology box is the best.
What stands out is the DSM interface, support for Apps and speed. What more do you want? I had problems with configuring my router as it wasn't one on the setup list but once I understood how to open ports and redirect the 412+ has just been there and done what it is meant to. I've got remote access, a web page and a remote camera all up and running with an iTunes server and my LG TV plays divx and mp4 films straight off with no issues. Used 3TB seagate drives as I figured it's best to sort out and leave alone and I'm glad I did as now the NAS is safely tucked away in the attic it is secure and not taking up any phyiscal space and 8TB after all the overheads should last awhe. The unit is a bit noisy for those sensitive to low frequency hum but a few extra rubber pads and careful siting solved this. I found unusually that the front core causes most the noise as the unit is much quieter with out it on. You can also schedule the off/on periods to save power and )I use it to enfocre bedtime ,including my own!) No support for Dropbox but from the research it's more to do with how Dropbox works and various basic compatibility issues and I suspect someone will solve it. In the mean time you have synologies cloud station and I've been successful using goodreader (iPad) to sync folders.
I still use my older Drobo and buffalo NAS but The Drobo as a DAS on it's FireWire 800 and the Buffalo as a spare but both are irritating to use after getting used to the speed and ease of the synology :-). Perhaps it is just upgrading to newer stuff but I have along memory of software not working as advertised and unexplained hangs with the older NAS boxes and as they might say in the US. The 412 kicks ass.
Note. Cost is a factbut for me but not near the top of the list as might be for some so in terms of value for money I'm not sure how the 412 stacks up. However is your time is money then this system was perfect as I haven't wasted any. Try the 212 as I'm sure that if the DSM software does the same for the smaller box it will equally rock. sic.
on 31 October 2013
Easy to set up, (even for a complete novice like me), quiet, very clear and intuitive user interface, some compatability issues with my sky fibre broadband router for remote internet access, but for a home multi-media network, (my main criteria), it does everything I could ever want and much more than I could ever need.
My only complaint is with Amazon.
Why was I not told it would be supplied with a continental style 2 pin, earthed plug, which is completely incompatible with UK sockets, requiring me to purchase the correct UK style power lead?
I bought it from Amazon.co.uk, paying a UK price, the least I can expect is that it comes supplied with a standard UK plug.
Because of this and a similar problem with a previous purchase, I would look for an alternative supplier, before buying from Amazon in the future.
A NAS drive is often the feature rich and economical solution to backup and distribute your digital life within your home!
Synology's DS412+ enclosure is a 4 Bay feature rich enclosure aimed squarely at small and medium sized businesses that require a high performing, easy to manage and fully featured NAS.
However Synology NAS enclosures are so much more than just storage as they provide numerous additional features. The Synology DiskStation DS412+is designed to be an energy efficient server to centralise data backups, protect critical assets and share files that can also 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 a downloaded app.
The DiskStation DS412+ includes an Ethernet cable(x2), 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.
The DS412+ is billed as a high performance NAS for business users. The device advertises a 205.68 MB/sec Reading and 182.66 MB/sec writing speed. It has dual lan connections which support failover for redundancy and link aggregation to keep speeds fast in the environment it is intended for. The unit is also VMware/Citrix/Microsoft Hyper-V ready. Supporting all the major virtualization solutions allows greater flexibility in the deployment of IT infrastructure.
It features a Dual Core 2.13ghz processor with 1gb ddr3 ram and supports up to 4x4tb HDD with a max capacity of 16gb. 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.
Opening the Synology DiskStation DS412+ is a simple case of removing a panel to the front of the unit and unclipping the HDD bays. This is much better than the lower end models which require the whole unit opening. It allows quick and simple installation and access to the hard drives. They are also hot swappable meaning if one should fail, depending on raid type you can simply replace it and let the unit rebuild the volume, all with no down time! Connectivity wise you also get a usb port to the front and a pair of USB 3.0 ports to the rear and also an esata port and the necessary Ethernet ports.
The Synology DiskStation DS412+ is operating system agnostic so it can be used on networks running either Windows, Mac or Linux systems. You can use File Station, remote folder, virtual drive and FTP to share resources across network and the internet. You can use storage manager to create multiple volumes on a RAID and iSCSI LUN, expand storage space, setup raid redundancy. Or raise storage utilization with effective deployment!
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. Though intended for the office environment, enthusiasts opting for a four bay model for the home have gone for this model. On eof the benefits being that the recently released PLEX app for Synology makes use of the dual core processor to transcode media on the fly. An extremely neat feature which allows you to stream any media you have to a relevant device running a PLEX app such as an iPad or Android tablet.
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 from the control panel as there are often performance gains to be had in the latest software.
As mentioned Synology also provide mobile apps that interface with the DS412+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 (supported images: BMP, JPG (jpe, jpeg), GIF, RAW (arw, srf, sr2, dcr, k25, kdc, cr2, crw, nef, mrw, ptx, pef, raf, 3fr, erf, mef, mos, orf, rw2, dng, x3f).
I found the apps very good in practice, and the recently released PLEX app is a solid step in the right direction (Though DS Photo has been updated to allow video playback and supports: 3G2, 3GP, ASF, AVI, DAT, DivX, FLV, M4V, MOV, MP4, MPEG, MPG, QT, WMV, XviD, RM, RMVB, VOB, RV30, RV40, AC3, AMR, WMA3)!
On this note one of the major features of the new DSM 4.0 is their cloud service, keeping all you digital devices in sync with your DS412+. All the benefits of cloud storage with local security. Best way to think of this is your own personal Dropbox without limits. Hard drive space permitting.
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.
There are a range of available applications to launch websites and host mail servers. The DS412+ can become your offices dedicated mail and LDAP directory server.
DiskStation is equipped with a variety of management tools for your IT administrator. Monitor and manage connections with Connection Manager. Setup notifications so you always know what's up and down. Examine system status with built-in S.M.A.R.T, resource monitor, DSM auto update, logs and much more. Secure your DiskStation with Antivirus Essential, firewall, HTTPS and IP auto block.
And a great feature is the ability to hook up a USB printer making it available across the network for everyone in the home/office to make use of. 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 recently upgraded DSM 4.0 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. Packages now take the form of apps or modules that can be downloaded and installed as required giving greater flexibility.
If you are looking for a capable and solid workhorse the DS412+ is a terrific choice for both the office and enthusiast home setup. When choosing hard 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 Surveillance Station 5 is yet another very useful feature as you can setup the DS412+ for use with up to 20 IP cameras. This is ideal for not only security within the office but depending on the location of your office the outside as well. It is worth noting that out of the box however you get only 1 licence to run 1 camera. If you want to run more than that then you ahve to purchase the relevant licence. Given the cost of this unit, and the fact that home units also have 1 licence, I feel there should be a few more included with this one.
on 13 November 2013
Always been a fan of Synology and bought this to replace my Netgear NAS which I was never very impressed with. Read/write speed is good especially when using link aggregation. Note you will require a switch that supports LAG/trunking in order to use this feature. Glacier backup support is also really useful for me. Only criticism I have and the reason for not giving 5 stars is the lack of home sharing support within the iTunes server. Synology say that this is due to authentication restrictions but it essentially means that you cannot share your video / music with an Apple TV device if this is required. You could play it via airplay from the Synology IOS apps. However, I also use XBMC which will use the the standard UPNP/DLNA media server package for music, video and photos. Other criticism is that the unit is supplied with a 2 pin power plug and no UK adapter is supplied so you will require a UK kettle lead - I didn't think that was legal apart from bathroom electronics etc.
Overall, brilliant product, really easy to use, very happy.