Overall: 91% | Hardware: 7 | Software: 9 | Value: 8
Today I review one of my favorite tech gadgets of all time; a NAS (Network Attached Storage) – though, for these devices NAS is an understatement as some can do so much more and even some server tasks. Maybe we should call them SNAS! (Hope the Nintendo fans see what I did there).
On unboxing we can see there is a standard “Power Supply” unit, along with a UK plug, 1 ethernet(RJ45) cable, screws and a manual.
Even-though this came with a manual – I decided not to use it because of my computer building background. So how easy is it?
You simply unscrew the base, slot in the HDD(s), screw it in place and put the case back on. its really easy – shame you cannot hot swap drives though.
Booting Up and first impression
I logged into the web GUI and started to play around with the control panel and looking at the options at hand – and boy, there are many options which made me get very excited. The GUI looks excellent too!
The homescreen is modifiable – you can change the theme/colour and decide which “apps” you would like on display too. This makes this device much more personal and welcoming.
The DS212J has two USB ports on the back which you can plug in a printer/USB speakers/External HDD or camera. This is okay for most home users but I personally feel that 3 is the minimum amount of ports any NAS should have.
This has a measly 256mb RAM and an 800MHZ ARM cpu. The performance is okay but definitely lacking for some people.
The DS212J carries out all tasks with no issues and is extremely reliable. You can access all your music, videos, photos from any device. Want to watch a few films on an ipad? No problem. Want to watch your house with connected security camera on your friends PC abroad? No problem.
The handy thing for tablet users is that you can turn of “Tablet Mode” instantly and use your tablet as if it was a desktop PC which is extremely handy.
One of the best things about Synology is that they clearly care about their customers and do everything they can to keep the community happy and you can clearly see that with the amount of effort they have put into their tablet/phone apps.
There are separate apps for Music, Films, Photos, Files, Check on your NAS, surveillance Station and Download Station.
The community is great – the forum has great moderators and anti-spam tools in use. Looks professional and everyone appears to be happy. Bit of a shame you cannot use tapatalk though.
I have not had any problems at all to need to contact Synology but I have read up about some people who needed to contact them and when they did they always dealt with everything in a professional manner and helped.
The good: The Synology DS212j offers amazing software and applications and also knows how to do great apps for tablets and mobiles. They listen to the community.
The Bad: The hardware is lack luster.
Overall: Synology is easily the king of NAS devices when it comes to software and listening to it’s customers, the hardware is lacking for some uses though.
You may also want to read my review on QNAP’s TS-269L.