Synology http://www.stuff.tv/synology/reviews en-GB Synology DS213j http://www.stuff.tv/synology/synology-ds213j/review <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Synology makes incremental upgrades to its winning NAS formula with the DS213J – but is it enough? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-enable-hero"> <div class="field-label">Enable hero:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Enable full width image </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1200" height="900" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/DSCF9233.JPG?1383220516" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/users/henrywinchester" title="View user profile.">henrywinchester</a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A network-attached storage drive is something you don't realise you need until you have one. It's the missing link between your home computer and your entertainment centre, and features such as web servers and cloud file sharing make it ideal for small businesses and dedicated gadget geeks. Synology is a modest expert of all things NAS, and we plugged its latest model into our home network to see how it shapes up.</p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-pricing"><legend>Pricing</legend><div class="field field-type-number-float field-field-test-price"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> £165.00 </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-price-from"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 0 </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-price-notes"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Price without hard drives </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-ratings"><legend>Ratings</legend><div class="field field-type-hcmreviewrating-rating field-field-overall-rating"> <div class="field-label">Overall rating:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="hcmrating-default">8 stars</div> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-pros"> <div class="field-label">Pros:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> More useful than you can imagine </div> <div class="field-item even"> Massive array of apps and accessories </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-cons"> <div class="field-label">Cons:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Not a huge upgrade over the previous model </div> <div class="field-item even"> Could be better looking </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><legend>Review Section</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> NAS setup </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Getting the Synology DS213J physically connected is nice and simple. Remove a couple of screws, chuck in one or two hard drives of your choice (up to 8TB is supported in total), and connect it to your LAN. From here it gets a little more complicated - there's no quickstart guide for the software, and the browser-based interface is an entire new operating system to get your head around. For the uninitiated it's all a bit daunting.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/DSCF9237_0.JPG?1383220516" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Use scenarios </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>After a bit of poking about in the interface you should end up with a freshly-formatted drive setup on your network, so you can copy and backup files via WiFi or LAN. Transfer speeds are good with a single drive, but arrange two drives in a RAID array and they become blistering – we transferred a 1.7GB 1080p video file in less than five minutes. You'll never need to look at that fetid 4GB flash drive again.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/DSCF9230.JPG?1383220516" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-title"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Synology DS213j tech specs </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-body-text"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Body Text:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Processor - single-core 2GHz</p> <p>Memory - 512MG DDR3</p> <p>Drive bays - 2 (compatible with 3.5in and 2.5in HDDs and SSDs)</p> <p>Maximum capacity - 8TB</p> <p>Connectivity - 2 x USB 3.0, Ethernet</p> <p>Dimensions/weight - 165 x 108 x 233mm/1.25kg</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> App-tastic </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>A huge range of apps are available for the DS213J's operating system, and it's a little like Android in that Synology actively encourages owners to hack their NASs and come up with new and exciting uses for them - just take a look at <a href="http://forum.synology.com/wiki/" target="_blank">http://forum.synology.com/wiki/</a>. There are also lots of cool <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=Synology+Inc.&amp;hl=en_GB" target="_blank">Android</a> and <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/gb/artist/synology-inc./id321493109" target="_blank">iOS</a> apps, so you can do things such as remotely set torrents to download and then transcode them so you can watch them on your device. In an age when mobile device storage comes with a hefty premium, being able to store and stream stuff in the cloud - your very own cloud no less - is not to be overlooked.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-3"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Geekology </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>It doesn't end there. We connected our incredibly cheap Epson inkjet to the Diskstation and found we could print from Android devices via Google Cloud Print - a feature that you'll only find built into printers that cost a lot more. The USB ports are put to good use, too - you can connect an IP camera and use it to set up a home security system, and USB speakers are compatible so it can become the hub of a home media centre. Alas, Spotify is not supported, but Synology's legions of geeks are undoubtedly working on changing that at this very second.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/DSCF9231.JPG?1383220516" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-4"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> The rivals </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>NAS drives from other manufacturers tend to lack the massive array of features of Synology drives, even if they are often cheaper and easier-to-use. Apple's Airport Time Capsule, a NAS drive in everything but name, is rather cool in the way that it integrates an AC wireless router into its sleek form, but as with most Apple products it foregoes complexity in the name of simplicity. While the Time Capsule suits clinically slick homes, we'd rather get our hands dirty with the Diskstation as it's capable of doing a great deal more once you unlock its secrets.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-5"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Worth the upgrade </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Last year we looked at <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/synology-ds212j/review" target="_blank">Synology's DS212J</a>, the DS213J's predecessor. They're pretty much identical – they feature the same plasticky housing that means you'll probably want to tuck the NAS out of sight, and the interface is unchanged. The new model doubles the RAM to 512MB and includes a slightly speedier system-on-a-chip processor, but in real-world terms the updates are barely noticeable. It's not worth splashing out on the upgrade unless you've got too much cash and a fetish for opening cardboard boxes.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/DSCF9238.JPG?1383220516" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-6"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Verdict </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>We still love Synology's nuts-and-bolts attitude to NAS drives, and its DS213J quickly found itself at the heart of our home network. The biggest problems are the interface and device, both of which could do with more user-friendly and aesthetically-pleasing updates. We'll be quite cross if Synology releases an identical DS214j next year. But as it stands this is still one of the most useful bits of kit we've ever come across, and its potential is massive - as long as you're prepared to put a little effort in yourself.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/DSCF9234.JPG?1383220516" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-review-rating"><legend>Review Rating</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> design </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 7 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> features </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 9 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-verdict"> <div class="field-label">Verdict:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Synology sticks to what it knows, and while it's still an excellent little unit it could do with a bit of a refresh</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-preview"> <div class="field-label">Preview:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Disabled </div> </div> </div> Connected home Geek accessories Synology Fri, 30 Aug 2013 17:48:46 +0000 Tom Parsons 1426023 at http://www.stuff.tv Synology DS212j http://www.stuff.tv/synology-ds212j/review <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> The days of lugging data around on USB sticks are over, this home hardware will keep your media safe and always available </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-enable-hero"> <div class="field-label">Enable hero:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Enable full width image </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Synology DS212J" alt="Synology DS212J" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/Synology-DS212j-NAS-Server-review-2_3_0.jpg?1372225307" /> </div> </div> </div> <p>Synology has been quietly churning out some of the best cloud-enabled NAS (network-attached storage) devices for ages now.</p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-pricing"><legend>Pricing</legend><div class="field field-type-number-float field-field-test-price"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> £160.00 </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-price-from"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 0 </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-price-notes"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> (without HDD) </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-ratings"><legend>Ratings</legend><div class="field field-type-hcmreviewrating-rating field-field-overall-rating"> <div class="field-label">Overall rating:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="hcmrating-default">10 stars</div> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-pros"> <div class="field-label">Pros:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Does away with USB sticks </div> <div class="field-item even"> Streams data throughout your home </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-cons"> <div class="field-label">Cons:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Not what you would call stylish </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><legend>Review Section</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> design, set-up and power consumption  </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>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.&nbsp;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.&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> cloud skills  </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>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.&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> DLNA, apps and storage  </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>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.&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-verdict"> <div class="field-label">Verdict:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>A brilliant NAS and a brilliant cloud server – brilliant all round, really&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-preview"> <div class="field-label">Preview:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Disabled </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-legacy-url"> <div class="field-label">Legacy URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> /review/synology-ds212j </div> </div> </div> http://www.stuff.tv/synology-ds212j/review#comments DS212j Geek accessories Home Synology Wed, 10 Oct 2012 13:19:10 +0000 Sophie Charara 423034 at http://www.stuff.tv