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Synology DiskStation DS216j Review

The bottom line

The Synology DiskStation DS216j dual-drive consumer NAS is fast and simple to use. It offers remote access and a wide range of optional downloadable services. There are also bells and whistles that tinkerers will love.

MSRP $169.99$199.95 Amazon

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Pros

  • It is affordable.
  • Web-based operating system.
  • QuickConnect is available via the Internet.
  • A good selection of apps for mobile devices and local apps.
  • Storage capacity up to 16TB
  • Compatible with RAID Level 0 or 1 configurations

Cons

  • Access to the drive requires a screwdriver.
  • Each service will need to be downloaded, installed, and then set up individually.

The Synology DiskStation DS216j (£169.99) is a dual drive consumer network attached storage (NAS), device. It’s easy to set up and manage. Once you have set it up with some internal drives, the device is ready to transfer files across your home network as well as the Internet. You can download additional functionality such as personal cloud syncing and multimedia services. However, each service will need to be installed separately. The DS216j comes with a central file repository. It can store your files and backups in a central location that is accessible from any device.

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Design and Features
The white plastic DS216jAmazon: $199.95It is approximately the same size as a large external hard drive. It measures 6.5×3.9×8.9 inches. It has a Power button and status LEDs on its front panel that show power, LAN activity and activity of the internal drives. On the back panel, you will find a Gigabit Ethernet port and a Kensington lock port. There are also two USB 3.0 ports that can be used to transfer data to external drives.

To install the 2.5-inch or 3.5-inch SATA drives yourself, you will need a Phillips screwdriver. You can purchase the NAS diskless to save money and have more control over how much storage you want. Two 6TB Hitachi Deskstar NAS drives were purchased for approximately $250 each. The DS216j formatted them in a RAID 1 (mirroring), array by default. The NAS can store up to 5.4TB formatted, but your files will be protected against single-drive failure. You can format the drives to RAID Level 0 (striping), and you will have around 11TB storage. However, you risk losing all your files if one of your drives fails. With two 8TB NAS drives (the largest available), the maximum storage capacity is 16TB. After you close the DS216j case, the drives are sealed. The Netgear ReadyNAS202 ($401.06 at Amazon), and QNAP TSC-251 (@ Amazon) have externally accessible drive sleds, which make it easy to swap out a bad drive.

Synology DiskStation DS216j

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Once the DS216j has been set up, it can share files with Linux, Mac and Windows PCs as well as Android and iOS mobile devices that you have Synology’s DS File app. You can also download add-on packages through Synology’s Package Center. You can add a DLNA compatible media server, download management tool (including BitTorrent and FTP), photo and music library, cloud sync functionality and note server. The Western Digital My Cloud Mirror Gen 2 (at Amazon) and QNAP TVS168 (at Amazon) come with some or all these services preloaded and ready for use. However, this a la carte approach keeps it simple.

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