Synology is a brand that is well known for their Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices. Having a NAS device allows one to store data on a relatively smaller device as compared to a server. Advantages of NAS devices are that they are relatively cheaper and easier to setup. Synology recently launched a two bay NAS device, the DS212. Synology, uses DS as an abbreviated form for Disk Station and the device is based on the model, which the brand launched last year, the DS211. This product is designed for homes or those have small business.
Memory card reader and USB port on the front
Design and Build Quality
The DS212 has an all black design and is made with a combination of plastic and metal. There is a cover that conceals the two bays on the front that has a glossy finish. The rest of the NAS device has a matte finish. The chassis on the inside, which houses the drives is made of metal and the trays slide in easily. Even though they get slotted in place without any difficulty, the drives are locked in with screws, ensuring that the drives do not slide out.
On the front are two buttons which are a reset and a power button. Other than this on the face of the DS212 are LED indicators for status, LAN, drives, a memory card slot and a USB port. The rear features a 92mm fan that occupies most of the area. Below the fan are two USB 3.0 ports, an Ethernet port, Kensington lock and a power connector. Branding is located on either sides of the device and the overall build quality of it appears to be quite sturdy.
Hardware and Software
The Synology DS212 features a 1.6GHz processor, along with a DDR3 256MB RAM. The device can support hard disk drives that are of the 3.5-inch or even the 2.5-inch type. One can use up to 6TB of storage, which can be up to a maximum of 3TB per hard disk drive. Hot swappable hard drives are supported. The DS212, like most other NAS devices, is based on the Linux operating system. All major file systems are supported - FAT, NTFS, EXT3 and EXT4. There’s no native support for HFS though. NAS devices from Synology come with a bundle of apps and services. The software CD that was bundled up with the DS212 is the Synology DSM 3.2 that is loaded with a bunch of applications. Here is a look at some of the key features.
The setup process
The installation process was very simple. All instructions are onscreen making the setup process easy to understand. The setup of Synology DSM 3.2 took approximately 10 minutes to complete the five steps. After the installation procedure, one can set user accounts or user groups. Permissions as well as privileges can be set for users. These permissions include the ability to read, write or the ability to do both on the drive. Setting up users need not necessarily be done at the start and can be done at later times as well.