Synology has been quietly churning out some of the best cloud-enabled NAS (network-attached storage) devices for ages now.
design, set-up and power consumption
Its most home-friendly unit is typical of the company's output: it looks a bit utilitarian, but allows easy access to the twin-drive bay for adding SATA hard disks, is a doddle to set up, and serves up your content fuss-free. And best of all, it only needs a fraction of the energy a PC would, taking up just 17.6W of energy at full whack.
This machine isn't just a dab hand with everyday NAS functions. It's also a master at extending its reach through the ether(net) to your PCs and mobile devices. The DiskStation manager interface is stuffed with apps that can set up the DS212j as an FTP, email, photo server and much more.
DLNA, apps and storage
Full DLNA certification makes streaming to TVs effortless, while excellent iOS and Android apps make it child's play to upload and share files on the go – as well as download them. And while services like Dropbox will stretch to a (very expensive) maximum of 500GB of storage, the DS212j can handle up to 8TB of data, mirrored for backup and available anywhere – all you need to do is add the drives.
A brilliant NAS and a brilliant cloud server – brilliant all round, really