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on 14 April 2017
Only 2 drives, but what a funky, hardworking piece of kit.
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on 19 May 2017
Very slow device. Died after 2yrs 3 months. No power no lights. Synology support not particularly helpful. Think it needs a new power adaptor??
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on 29 January 2015
First Impressions.
I read all the reviews and having had my second Buffalo (single drive) NAD fail, I decided to go for Synology as they seemed to have excellent reviews. So, firstly I like the build quality of this unit and the fact that I could have two RAID drives to whatever size I needed. I opted for 2 x 2TB Western Digital 'Red' drives.
Setting-up.
Getting the unit on the network was easy and I soon had access to it from mine and my wife's laptop. But then it all started to go wrong. As an attached drive, I created some folders from my laptop and then tried to sync my laptop 'Documents' to the 'Document' on the Synology. Bad move! It seems that you must created folders via the Synology software. However, a plead for help to Synology resulted in a telephone call form thier helpdesk and a patient guy who talked me through the process. Once I also discovered that you need a 'dedicated' folder on the Synology Drive for a folder on your own computer. So, you cannot select a second computer folder from your computer and sync it with a Synology folder that already has been used. E.g. I had a 'My Documents' on the Synology drive synced with 'Documents' on my laptop. I then wanted to add My pictures to the 'My Documents' folder on the Synology NAS and was getting more and more stressed that I could not achieve it. However, as mentioned, helpdesk was excellent and talked me through the process.

I would have given it five stars, but I think the instructions (on line) let it down are not easy to understand. As a matter of interest both my wife and I were programmers - back in the days of Cobol and Assembler when you had to specify the disk and cylinder you wanted to access, so we are both computer literate. Perhaps that was the problem? She too read the instructions and was left baffled. So, easier, more user-friendly instructions would help and, paper-based too, rather than having to keep swapping windows on the computer between the instructions and.the Synology disk software and the Synology computer software.

I have yet to set-it-up so I can access it over the internet, so it is simply backing-up or actually syncing both our computers over our network. When I get around to it, I will try to set-it-up so we can access it remotely.

Smart TV Access
This should work, but at the moment, although I can 'see' the folders for videos, music and pictures, I am unable to access and display the contents on my Samsung TV. I'm sure there will be another setting somewhere which will allow me access, but I need to concentrate on the instructions once again to see if I can find what settings need changing to facilitate this.

Summary.
I think the Synology will exceed my expectations in what it can do - once I get my head around all its capabilities. As mentioned, I have had two Buffalo NAD drives previously and knew how these worked. Perhaps the transition is part of my problem.
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on 5 June 2014
WOW, the DSM 5 software is excellent. I really had fun setting it up. All very intuitive and am still exploring the many extra features and apps. Worked right away with Virgin Super Hub. Quieter than expected in operation....it's in my bedroom...so no problems with sleeping while it's on and doing its thing! Perhaps it's the disks I chose?... WD Red series 3yrs warranty...they're a few quid more than others. Too early to review reliability/longevity. However, more than pleased so far. It's got me interested in trying out a mail server and I'll try out its download/torrent possibilities soon.
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on 16 February 2014
I use a ds213j as part of my HTPC setup (Openelec + rasppi) and I love it. I had an external hdd setup previously and when it died on me just after warranty I decided to give NAS setup a go. It really does complete the HTPC experience. I bought this as my cousin, who is a computing novice, wanted a similar system.

First thing first though. This device is pretty slow and was only able to write at 30MB/s (I only had one WD red HDD installed on it, which may have affected the performance). Apart from that, both devices are identical. As someone who uses NAS alot, and as a multi-purpose device, I can justify spending £40 more to buy DS213j (you get a faster processor and twice the ram). If you're a computing novice and will only use this for saving and retrieving data, buy this device.

If you need any more help do feel free to drop a comment below. I use DS213j on a daily basis and will use DS214se fairly often to troubleshoot problems / configure it in the next coming days.
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on 17 May 2014
As a first time NAS buyer, I was tempted to look at the cheaper options, but given the mixed reviews decided to choose a more premium product, and I am incredibly happy, from opening the box to streaming the first movie to my TV took about 1 hour (including transfer of movie from PC). (I'd say I am of average computer literacy).

The GUI is easy to use, and best of all intuitive, the only instructions I needed to read were how to set up the QuickConnectID (you do this on the NAS itself in case you are wondering).

The Cloud Station app (you can download apps from the web interface) allows syncing with iCloud, Dropbox etc, or, you can log in remotely using the QuickConnect feature from any web browser. Once the MediaStation app is installed (takes 3-4 mins) you can stream to any UPNP or ELNA device, this was my deciding factor on choosing this box.

I coupled this with two WD Green 2TB drives, all for around £230 (May 2014).

Whilst I have only had the product for a few hours, first impressions are fantastic.
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on 22 April 2014
I just needed a NAS as a storage for my movies. Nothing more and nothing less. If not silent, really quiet as I have it in my living room and was terrified of my girlfriend's reaction to my new toy.
- Is it too noisy?, I asked when she came back.
- What?
and I knew I had bought the right device.

You can find more basic (and cheaper) devices from Dlink, Buffalo or Netgear, but if you read the reviews you'll see many people complain about the noise. I cannot make a direct comparison, obviously. What I can say: the Sinology is completely silent when the drives are hibernated. Hardly audible when working. Audible when the drives spin up from hibernation, which takes maybe 2-3 seconds. That's it. So, in this respect, I am very pleased.

****
Performance: I didn't need anything special. Anyway, in my configuration, I achieve 80 MB/s for a 1xGB file:
SSD > 1 Gbit/s Ethernet > Synology equipped with 2xSeagate 2TB HDs paired in Synology Hybrid RAID.
I wasn't looking for performance, but I am quite pleased too.

****
Installation: easy to install, great web-based interface, almost idiot-proof (depending obviously on the level of idiocy...)

****
Hard-disks: the enclosure is called enclosure because it comes without disks. Even if I am sure it would work with whatever HDs, I bought a model listed on the Sinology compatibility list: it costs you just a bit more time in searching, but it's not necessarily more expensive.

****
The device is primarily a NAS, but there are plenty of applications to install. From a VPN to a webserver, to an e-commerce platform to... a software that transforms your Synology in an espresso machine! I kept my Synology clean as I don't need anything. And if, I would probably go for a dedicated, more powerful and flexible device. That being said, take a look at the packages you can install as you might find something interesting for you.

****
Depending on your goals, I'd recommend it.
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I am not new to Synology having previously owned a DS-411J which unfortunately failed after three years. Despite this disappointment, I went for the same brand again as the software (DSM) they use is by far the most intuitive and flexible I have come across for a NAS.

The DS214se is the new entry level 2-bay model sitting just below the DS-213j. My requirements have changed and no longer needing a 4 bay model, I debated whether to get this version or the better specified DS-213j for about £40 more.

The DS-214se has less memory (256mb instead of 512mb) and a slower processor (800mhz instead of 1.2mhz) but is otherwise pretty much the same. For simple home usage such as streaming music, movies and file storage, I have found it to be more than adequate. I suspect this would suit 90% of home users requirements and it's a good move by Synology to release this budget version.

Setting up couldn't be more simple. Once the hard drives are installed in the bays (I'm using 2 x 2TB drives), you simply log on to [...] and follow the on screen instructions to set up the hard drive as per your requirements. It took me about 15 minutes before the drives were available on Windows are ready to be used. The whole process couldn't be simpler. The on-screen software is superb heavy on graphics and easy to get to know.

One difference to note is that the hard drives are screwed into the bays and do not sit in removable trays for easy swapping. Worth noting if you plan to swap drives often.

Coming from the old Synology drive was also simple. The new drive was able to migrate all my files, data and settings which is great if you are upgrading or simply replacing a faulty unit.

I've had the drive for couple of weeks now and must say I'm very impressed and would definitely recommend to both beginners in this area and more seasoned users.
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on 1 June 2015
To be honest I wanted to buy a NAS from the moment I broke my external HDD... three years ago. Long time eh? Last year we bought at the office the Synology with the 4 bays, so I saw how good it was to have a NAS, not only external HDD.

I bought my Synology DS214se a month ago and I can say I just love it. I am a programmer but I like when I buy some new tech to be almost idiot proof, I get my fare share of tech/coding at work enough. An this Synology is pretty much that, idiot proof, plug and play. It just works.

When you plug it in you have a web based software that finds it and installs the OS only by clicking next->next->next. After that you have recommended software to install and you're done. I would recommend that you put 2 identical HDDs inside, because after all you are buying the device to store your data and you won't be "happy" if you get a HDD failure and everything get lost, would you? Always have 2 HDDs in RAID, that is a law.

The device has a web based os where you can do pretty much everything. It has a good interface, a little bit like Windows/Linux. You can install packages by third party developers from email server to MySQL server and Dropbox/Box/Google Drive sync. You can even sync data between more than one Synology device.

A great plus is that it has mobile apps, so you can access your data everywhere you go. I would recommend their DS photo app for iPhone, because for people like me that have the 16GB version photos take A LOT of space on the device and with that app I can automatically backup my photos/videos to my NAS back at home and delete my albums on the go, knowing that they are safe on my cloud.

Another thing I use it for is on my Macbook Air 128GB. If you have one you know that free space is filled very fast, especially if your team members use Dropbox to store data. So what I did is make my Synology sync my Dropbox account to it and access it as a remote device. That way I have local access to all my team members data without taking space on my Macbook.

Those are just a few things that you can do. I would totally recommend buying a Synology DS214se if you want a home NAS.
But don't forget the golden rule - 2 identical HDDs in RAID!
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on 1 December 2014
I bought this device so that I could backup my data, it’s a good system, but in my opinion is let down by a huge flaw, which is the speed. When directly connected to my laptop over a Cat7 cable I get max transfer speeds of 40MBs writing and not much better reading. Although the specs say that you can get speeds up to 90+ I can’t see this as possible. Backup over wifi is even worse with speeds between 2 to 6 MBs, less than USB2 speeds. I have a 6TBred in this and I needed to backup 3TB onto it over directly connected cable, it took a couple of days. If you don’t believe me about the speeds then do a search on it.
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