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on October 19, 2013
I purchased this product following careful consideration of many similar options in the NAS category. I have been a user of Windows Home Server (WHS) since it was released. My server has reached its reasonable limit in terms of disk upgrades and backup. I've really liked Windows Home Server, but was distressed when the newest version (2011) removed the option for disk flexibility known as "drive extender."

As a home user, I was not excited to migrate from one server to another. Though I consider myself to be technically savvy, I am not formally trained in networking or server administration. However, I was running out of space on WHS and was beginning to experience access issues with the WHS software. So, I spent a great deal of time looking at options for replacement. As I looked at "home server" replacements, it became very clear that the NAS category has taken over this realm in recent years. Synology and several others have floated to the top of this category and many reviews are available discussing this company's products.

I spent time reading about specific Synology products on review sites and on the support sections of Synology's websites prior to this purchase. I also spent time reviewing drives that are appropriate for use in a RAID setup, as I'd not personally owned or setup a RAID before. I made the choice to purchase the Synology 1813+ as it looked like a good balance hardware and software options and has lots of room for expansion. I decided to outfit my server with four (4) Western Digital 4TB SE drives as the home-use "Red" version did not have a 4TB drive (at the time of my purchase).

Setup was rather simple, but was enhanced only by my prior reading on this device. There are essentially no instructions that come in the box at the time of delivery. I placed the drives in the tool-less enclosures, upgraded the RAM to 4GB with a Kingston memory module, connected the unit to my gigabit network and powered up. A few minutes later I was able to access the unit and download the latest software, which also installed without a hitch. The DSM software is outstanding and generally friendlier than the WHS software I've been using. There are many ways to establish a multi-disk volume including all forms of RAID; I chose to setup a single volume on a Synology Hybrid Raid (SHR-2) setup...basically a 2-drive fault tolerance setup. Volume creation and optimization took some time - several days in fact; but I was able to use the volume during the optimization to create users and shared folders.

Using the DSM software, I configured the unit for Windows and Apple networking, setup the free antivirus software, and created shared folders and users. The online Synology Wiki and documentation was a tremendous help here. I also downloaded the .pdf manual to assist with setup.

Network setup for link aggregation (LAG) was difficult, possibly due to my inexperience with complex networking - though I have experience with basic network configuration and wiring. I eventually discovered that my old Dell 24-port gigabit switch was not up to the task due to its lack of LACP support. I did wish to take advantage of a LAG setup using the four gigabit ports on the 1813+, so I chose to purchase a Cisco SG200-26 switch from Amazon. Though it was not listed in the compatibility table at Synology, other reviews suggested it would work well. After moving to the new switch I was able to setup a 4-port LAG with LACP with a bit of fiddling with both the Synology NAS and the Cisco Switch. Though this is not meant to be a Cisco review, the SG200-26 switch impresses me with its ability to be setup in a multitude of ways and eclipses the flexibility of my prior switch.

Internet setup is another adventure that seems to be based upon the router you have, its support of universal Plug-and-Play, and the ability of the Synology software to automatically configure port-forwarding. Personally, I've had some challenges with port-forwarding, which I ended-up configuring manually on my Netgear Router. Once I had manually completed the port forwarding and accomplished the free Synology dynamic DNS setup (a nice bonus), I had no further problems.

I setup share folders similar to those on my still running WHS and began to copy files from one share to another. This was no small task and there are many headaches that can arise (not as the result of equipment). I chose to use GoodSync software as I was able to see errors along the way and files that may have been excluded. This took a number of days for me to complete my file migration as some supervision is involved over time. Once I had moved the files, file sharing on this device is very easy and works seamlessly provided that you've enabled the appropriate services on the DSM. It was also necessary to make sure that the Windows workgroup was appropriately named on the Synology Device in order to see the server on all of my windows machines.

The Synology NAS functions well as a backup target for multiple OSs. Apple Time Machine has worked very well in particular. My setup of this function was guided by the online Synology resources describing this setup; this allowed me to create a Time Machine specific user with a limit on total size utilization of my RAID single storage volume. I calculated the Time Machine user's storage limit based upon size of the drives in each of my Macs with a multiplier. I have three Macs that I've been backing up with Time Machine and this has generally worked well over the network. The only issue I've encountered is that on occasion the backup must be redone if you are not careful shutting down the Mac machine during attempts at a backup. In order to fix the situation you may have to kill an existing connection in the DSM and restart the backup from the Mac.

Windows machines are a bit more challenging, actually. WHS clearly spoiled me with its nearly intervention free background backup processes. I've found that the Synology Data Replicator 3 software is excellent for the purpose of backup of documents and important files; however, it doesn't serve as a "bare metal," bit-for-bit backup of an entire system. Windows 7 backup is well suited to backup the entire system, but is not at all considerate of the amount of space it takes on a large RAID volume. There are ways to get around this with user limitations, but they are not well documented and have involved a lot of experiments in backup setup and folder management. WHS did things well here as it retained only one copy of any given file and was savvy with space considerations during backup. I've considered dedicated backup software such as Acronis, but am still in the process of evaluating use of software that is either included with Synology or Windows 7.

Finally, I recently added a WD 4TB external drive (USB 3.0) as a backup drive to the native share folders using the Syology "Time Backup" app in the Synology package management tool. Many have noted that a NAS with RAID is not the same as backup. Basically, if a RAID fails and you're unable to recover it, life is bad. For those considering this as a backup target, it's OK to use it in that fashion. However, if a share is the primary location of a file then RAID is not an acceptable form of "backup." Synology has abundant backup options including backup to several commercial cloud solutions, backup to other local or remote Synology servers, backup to other network drives, and backup to internal or USB 2.0/3.0 attached drives. The external USB 3.0 option has worked well for me and the Time Backup software is similar in appearance and function to Apple's Time Machine software - therefore it's familiar and intuitive as a current Mac user.

To date I've setup the server with an antivirus scanner, the PLEX media server, the Cloud software, Time Backup, and the VPN server. So far, I've been most impressed with the cloud server, "Cloud Station." This Synology-developed app has moved me completely away from Dropbox, my old "go to" solution. It is surprisingly mature software with setup solutions for mobile devices, Windows, Apple, and Linux. Setup is simple and intuitive. It has a generous maximum single file size of 10GB (for the purposes of sync) that will work well for my needs.

One consideration with respect to software is the processing power of the CPU. With the 2-core processor and abundant network connectivity, the 1813+ is easily able to stream HD video content (without transcoding) to most platforms. Transcoding is also supported on available software platforms; however, transcoding has the potential to be problematic if HD material must be heavily processed prior to viewing on the destination hardware. There are several articles discussing this issue in the Plex forums, and alternatives include an intermediate workstation with the Synology unit as a file server only. I'm still looking at these options, but did not buy this unit for its transcoding prowess.

I've not spent time with hosting e-mail, a blog, a website, CRM software, or other types of options; however, many of these options are available for installation using the software package management tool. Upgrades of installed software are easily accomplished with notification and the click of a button.

About a week into my use I decided to add two additional WD SE 4TB drives to my SHR-2 array. This was incredibly simple - just insert the two new drives into empty bays (no need to turn off the server) and add them to the volume using options in DSM software. Once again, it took several days to add the space into the array, but there were no issues and I was able to continue to use the NAS during the upgrade.

Unintentional loss of power can be a serious issue for any computer, server, or NAS. I purchased a Cyber Power UPS at a local big box store, powered down the NAS, plugged it in to the USB, and restarted the NAS. The Synology immediately recognized the UPS (even though it was not on the supported list) and reported it in the hardware section. I was then able to setup a power-based shutdown plan should power be lost for longer than supported by the UPS. This was the only downtime the NAS has required since I the purchased the Synology unit.

I'm very impressed with the Synology 1813+ NAS. It should last me for a period of time that is at least equal to my former WHS setup. With its expansion options, I hope it lasts much longer. I've had to learn a bit more about networking, but for someone who has been through a prior build and setup of a home server this has been mostly pain free. Clearly when you by a NAS you will have to incur additional expenses for drives and other options that you may choose. Complete setup will take time, especially if you're migrating from another server platform. Some might argue that an 8-bay Synology NAS is overkill for any home user. They may be right. I would suggest that those who have a strong interest in a conservatively setup RAID volume, on a NAS, with multiple expansion options, and multiple backup options will be hard-pressed to find something better than a Synology 1813+.

NAS: Synology 1813+
RAID DRIVES: 6X Western Digital 4 TB 3.5-Inch WD SE (WD4000F9YZ)
RAM UPGRADE: 1X Kingston ValueRAM 2GB 1066MHz DDR3
ROUTER: Netgear R4500
EXTERNAL DRIVE: 1X Western Digital My Book 4 TB USB 3.0 (WDBFJK0040HBK-NESN)
UPS POWER: Cyber Power CP 1350C

1) Several questions have been answered regarding drive choice and energy/noise specs under the comments section of my WD SE 4TB drive review:Western Digital 4 TB 3.5-Inch WD Se SATA III 7200 RPM 64 MB Cache Bulk/OEM Enterprise Hard Drive WD4000F9YZ[Amazon Frustration-Free Packaging]
2) Reviews of the Cisco switch:Cisco SG200-26 Gigabit Ethernet Smart Switch with 24 10/100/1000 Ports and 2 Combo Mini-GBIC Ports (SLM2024T)
3) Reviews of the external My Book Drive:WD My Book 4TB USB 3.0 Hard Drive with Security, Local and Cloud Backup (WDBFJK0040HBK-NESN)
4) Kingston ValueRAM module:Kingston ValueRAM 2GB 1066MHz DDR3 Non-ECC CL7 SODIMM Single Rank x8 Notebook Memory
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on June 18, 2013
Several long months following the announcement of the DS1813+, this unit is finally available. I have previously purchased and implemented Synology Diskstation DS412+, DS212+, and DS112J units (as well as a variety of Windows file servers (NT 4.0 through 2012) and Linux servers), so network attached storage (NAS) devices are not entirely new to me. The Synology DS412+, DS212+, and DS112J units are used primarily for their FTP server capability, although the units also provide one or more Windows shares to network computers using either Active Directory integration or Synology Diskstation internal user accounts.

Starting in 2004, I introduced into the network a couple of Linux servers running Samba with Winbind to integrate into a Windows NT 4 domain, and later an Active Directory domain. Those Linux servers worked great for a month or two at a time, until the servers would either lock up solid, or the Samba/Winbind daemon would simply crash - in the process taking down all Windows connectivity to the Linux server. I have been reminded of this Samba/Winbind issue a couple of times in the last year as the Synology DiskStation DS412+ occasionally stopped permitting connections from Windows clients (usually just before a BackupExec disk to disk backup was sent to the Diskstation), while FTP connections continued to work without issue. A reboot of the DiskStation DS412+ was required to recover from the apparent Samba/Winbind issue; 90% of the time, a requested reboot through the Synology interface would result in a hung DiskStation (blue flashing light on the front console) that could only be fixed by pulling the electrical power cord.

The Synology DiskStation DS412+ seems to share a lot in common with the Synology DiskStation DS1812+ (both have Intel Atom D2700 CPUs with 1GB of memory, and likely run the same binary version of the DSM operating system). The apparent Samba/Winbind issue and normal inability to successfully warm boot are the reasons why I did not purchase another DS412+ or a DS1812+, and instead waited for the availability of the DS1813+. The Synology (DSM) graphical user interface (GUI) that layers on top of a Linux kernel is a big selling point for the Synology devices, and is one of the reasons why I decided to purchase another Synology device rather than seeking a different brand.

With four gigabit network ports, six USB ports (two of which are USB 3), and two eSATA , the Synology DiskStation DS1813+ offers significant storage expansion options (supports up to two DX513 five hard drive bay expansion units). The DS1813+ internally supports up to eight hard drives in one of several software RAID levels (SHR, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 6, and RAID 10). Drive installs are performed without using a screwdriver, with the drive carriages held in place by a flimsy lock and key mechanism.

The DS1813+ ships without an installed operating system, so the first task after powering on the DS1813+ with the hard drives installed involves installing the latest DSM operating system. The 112MB operating system file must be downloaded from the Synology website in addition to the 49MB installer for the Synology Assistant program, which uploads the operating system to the DS1813+. Once downloaded, the operating system installation should complete in a couple of minutes without a lot of issues. While upgrading the DSM operating system through the GUI is a simple task, downgrading to an earlier release of the DSM operating system is not possible through the DSM GUI - a remote telnet session is required to manipulate certain files in order to facilitate the installation of an earlier DSM version.

The Synology DSM operating system offers a fantastic graphical user interface which implements HTML5 and CSS, displaying the interface in a web browser. Much like Windows Explorer, the File Station utility that is built into the DSM operating system supports context sensitive drag and drop, and well as right mouse button popup menus. The File Station utility that is included in the latest DSM version supports displaying more than 300 files in a paged view - that 300 file limit was an irritation when attempting to copy, move, or delete several thousand security camera videos on a daily basis through the GUI. Like the other DSM models, the DS1813+ supports telnet sessions, which allow access to the Linux command line and the configuration of scheduled script execution through the modification of the /etc/crontab file (side note: I have had issues with only the DS112J automatically resetting the contents of the /etc/crontab file when the DiskStation was power cycled - I believe that problem was caused by the use of spaces rather than tabs as field delimiters in the file).

A plain vanilla install of the DSM 4.2-3214 offers support for network shares (Windows, MAC, and NFS), iSCSI, Active Directory Integration, FTP (standard FTP, anonymous FTP, FTPS, SFTP, TFTP), website hosting, WebDAV, SNMP, remote command line with telnet or SSH, integrated firewall, VPN client, USB printer sharing, and a handful of other capabilities. The DSM operating system's native functionality is easily expanded through the download of free software packages from the Synology website. The packages extend the DS1813+'s capabilities to include antivirus, Asterisk IP phone server, Internet radio rebroadcasting to networked computers, DHCP and DNS server functionality, iTunes Server, VPN server, RADIUS server, email server, CRM and ERP packages, IP camera monitoring (includes a license for one IP camera, additional licenses are roughly $50 per camera), and a variety of other features. Additionally, ipkg support permits the installation of roughly 900 additional applications, including C++ compilers - which in theory suggests that the source for the Nagios network monitoring utility can be downloaded and compiled on the DS1813+.

For testing purposes, I installed four of five new Western Digital Red 3TB drives, configured in a software RAID 10 array (DSM attempts to automatically configure the drives in a SHR array, so configuring the drives for RAID 10, to reduce recovery time in the event of a drive failure, requires a couple of additional mouse clicks). Peak single network link data transfer speeds so far have been impressive, at close to the maximum possible transfer rate for a gigabit network (achieving roughly 115MB/s ~ 920Mb/s), even with the DiskStation concurrently performing "Parity Consistency Check"/"Data Scrubbing" on the newly created RAID 10 array (roughly 19 hours were required for the "Parity Consistency Check"/"Data Scrubbing" operation to complete, during which the DS1813+ was fully usable). Pushing approximately 2.1TB of large files from a fast Windows Server 2012 machine across a gigabit network to the DS1813+ required roughly 6 hours, yielding an effective transfer speed of roughly 102MB/s. Pushing a single 7.53GB file from the same server to the DS1813+ resulted in a 113MB/s effective transfer speed, while consuming an average 20% of the DS1813+'s CPU capacity and drawing 46 watts of power (the DS1813+ with four Western Digital Red drives idles at approximately 39 watts, uses roughly 46 watts during file transfers, and peaks at roughly 60 watts during power up).

With two of the DiskStation's network ports (configured for IEEE 802.3ad dynamic link aggregation) attached to an HP 4208vl switch (switch ports configured in a LACP 802.3ad group), push copying a single 7.53GB file from a server (two gigabit network ports, with the switch configured for Trunk aggregation), or concurrently from a server and a fast client computer (with SSD drive) did not exceed the throughput of a single gigabit connection (the server averaged roughly 62MB/s, while the client computer's throughput was a little slower). During the simultaneous push copy attempt from the server and fast client computer, the DS1813+'s CPU spiked to 25% utilization. More testing is required to determine why the IEEE 802.3ad dynamic link aggregation test did not exceed a transfer rate of 1Gb/s (the LEDs on the front of the DS1813+ show that both LAN ports are connected, however, the second LAN port LED rarely flashes).

I attached a Western Digital 3TB My Book external hard drive (WDBACW0030KBK-NESN) to a USB 3 port on the Windows Server 2012 machine and recorded throughput speed of roughly 150MB/s, which is impressive considering that a Western Digital Green drive is likely enclosed in the My Book. I attached a second Western Digital 3TB My Book external hard drive to a USB3 port on the DS1813+ and formatted the drive using the ext4 file system (Synology's recommended file system). I then connected to the DS1813+ through a telnet session (to avoid GUI update associated delays) and issued a command to copy a 446.3GB file to the My Book - the average transfer rate was 98.9MB/s (roughly 66% of the Windows Server 2012 machine's speed when copy a large file to a similar My Book) with 20% average CPU utilization, as displayed by the DS1813+'s GUI.

While the throughput and CPU of the DS1813+ with software based RAID are no match for the performance and capacity of a high end Windows or Linux server, the power sipping Synology NAS is competitively priced, should yield a lower total cost of ownership (TCO), and is likely easier to configure for its intended purpose than either a Windows or Linux server. The DS1813+ reportedly supports up to 512 concurrent remote connections from other devices (a computer with five mapped drives pointing to the DS1813+ consumes five of those 512 concurrent connections), although I have encountered some problems with the DS112J blocking connection attempts long before its 64 concurrent limit is reached - I do not yet know if this issue affects any of the other Synology devices. The lack of an available redundant power supply is a shortcoming of the DS1813+, so it might be wise to purchase a spare power supply to keep on the shelf, should the need arise.

Synology offers a group of customer support forums. However, those forums are apparently not actively monitored by Synology support staff. Thus far, one person on the forums reported that the power supply in their DS1813+ failed within the first 24 hours of use, while a second person reported a buzzing sound being emitted from their DS1813+ power supply. The power supply in my DS1813+ is absolutely quiet, and both large fans are spinning at a very quiet, casual speed.

Considering all of its potential capability to be an email, CRM, ERP, or web server, the DS1813+ is expected to serve perfectly in its role as a simple Active Directory integrated disk to disk backup destination, connected by a single gigabit fiber optic link. This review (and the attached rating) will be updated should the DS1813+ experience apparent Samba/Winbind issues, as were experienced with the DS412+, or any other problems. The Synology DiskStation DS1813+ currently meets or exceeds expectations for its planned intended use.
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on June 25, 2013
Must admit, I purchased first a drobo in hopes it was going to work for my situation because of the speed it claimed. Unfortunately, I couldn't share it with a multi-platform network so this is what I ended up getting instead. I'm so glad I did. This has the flexibility of using different size drives (using the syn-hybrid raid method), still offers industry raid methods, runs cool, has 4 NIC's and a plethora of connectors.

I originally thought I was going to be able to connect the usb 3 to my pc, you can't. It's for externally connecting devices (other external hard drives, tv tuners, etc).

I tested the failed drive scenario and it went perfectly, turned it off, pulled one of the drives, put in a new drive. It instantly recognized a degraded status and told me it needed to rebuild. Interface for managing it is 100x better than drobo, so much easier, and don't have to install anything on my machine.

Performance has been really good for it being a NAS. I'm consistently seeing 100mbs connections. I also just purchased a cisco switch to take advantage of the link aggregation. For those who are like me and a little new to networking stuff. Link Aggregation isn't going to give you insane speeds from one machine, what it will let you do though is have much better speeds with multiple machines. In my network I have 4 pc's and 2 macs connecting to the NAS. I use it as a crashplan endpoint (you can install a headless crashplan client on it - though unsupported by the folks at crashplan) and it works great.

I also am using it as a storage device for my larger media files, etc and haven't had any issues. I have 2 machines that are SSD raids so storage quantity is limited and needed somewhere to put the big files.

All in all, I must admit, it works awesome and I have been so pleased. I'm grateful that the drobo 5d I originally purchased went south on me as I wouldn't have found this by looking for other alternatives. This was well worth the additional cost.
On a side note - Link Aggregation (because I struggled to figure this out):
1) Set it up on the Synology first, it will tell you there is an error, that's ok. Next, set it up on the switch:
2) The Cisco 300 series does work with this - I can confirm it did for me. In order to set it up on the cisco (web ui) go to Port Management > Link Aggregation > LAG Management. Create a LAG and add the ports. the key though is BEFORE you hit apply with the ports and everything, make sure to check the LACP checkbox. If you don't, you have to delete and recreate. This is the only way the link aggregation works.

After you set it up on the switch, you can go back into the synology management page and the error should be gone now.

*** UPDATE *** - 2014-02-22
I've been using this for a while now and I have to admit, best purchase I've made in a long time. This NAS is one of those things where the gift keeps on giving...
Cloud Station: I discovered this week 'Cloud Station' as one of the applications they offer. I've been looking for something that could augment my current dropbox account as I need more space. I have a lot of files that I like to keep synced with my devices, but don't feel like spending more and more on Dropbox storage, as well as paying the extra money for "Rat Pack" which lets me keep infinite versions of my files, not just the standard 30 days.
Cloud Station does this and more... So far from my two day of testing it, I've successfully implemented this on 2 PC's and 2 Mac's. Syncing is great, super fast since it's local. I'm yet to test it outside of my house, but feel pretty good about it since I use my router's Dynamic DNS address and not my internal network IP (using Asus's dynamic DNS with their router - works awesome btw). I've paused syncing on two machines to simulate offline mode and then changed the same file on both machines in hopes it doesn't overwrite - it worked perfectly. Just like dropbox, it showed a conflicted copy which is what I would want if I have the same file updated from two sources at the same time. Like Dropbox, you can select which folders are synced on each device as well, so my laptop with a SSD doesn't have to get the archived stuff, just the relevant for what I use on the go with my laptop. I'll also note that it appears they are working on a new Cloud Station (in beta now) that somehow integrates with existing cloud storage services (i.e. dropbox, box, etc). I'll update again after I've used that.

Hardware: I haven't had any issues (and coming from a guy that has terrible luck with hardware that says a lot). I have lost power at my house a couple times and the NAS recovered perfectly (home based business with a rack mount UPS). I'm likely going to buy one of the add-on enclosures to add 5 more bays to the drive to expand a bit more.

Tech Support: I did use their Tech Support recently and must say I was extremely impressed with the responsiveness. I had screwed up a setting and woke up one morning realizing I'm out of space on my NAS (ate through 3tb in 8 hours) and kinda freaked out something happened. I contacted support by submitting a ticket, within just an hour or so I received a response to my ticket. He confirmed with me what I thought I did in the ticket and said are you sure you didn't do xyz (as it sounded like I did). He was dead on, but instead of doing the typical Tech Support wait and see method (ask a question, wait for a reply, try this, wait for a reply, etc) in the same email he said if you did do this, here's the solution. If that doesn't work try abc, and if that doesn't work, contact us again and we'll figure it out. Tech support was awesome - everything got worked out and I fixed it (I was creating multiple copies of my media files which were being updated numerous times as I had a process updating the metadata that night). For tech support - these guys are probably the best I've dealt with in many years which is refreshing. (Matt W. for the kudos on their tech support if Synology happens to read this)

Summary: I know this thing is expensive, but honestly - it's still something I would classify as a worthy expense for my business. I'm so happy that Drobo broke on me or I would never have given this a try.
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on October 21, 2013
In my career I have used a lot of NAS Devices from companies like Thecus, Qnap, Cisco, Dell, Promise and Drobo, just to name few, and they are all great. I have built my own NAS using Nexenta, Open Solaris, FreeNAS (FreeBSD), Vanilla Linux, Windows Server and a number of other operating system. Building your own NAS is a great option that can save money, but increase setup and maintenance time exponentially. Having experience with all this I didn't think I would be saying that I prefer Synology over anything else I've used, but I do prefer it.

Recommended for:
I recommend any Synology product to the novice all the way to up the advanced user. The features available to enhance your experience just keep getting better with each new DSM release. Synology is always adding to their OS and enhancing security, improving usability, and increasing versatility. If you need block level storage or just want to store your media in a central location on your network then I'd recommend a Synology DiskStation. If you are thinking of buying a Synology for one specific reason I would recommend making sure something else on the market doesn't do that one thing you need done better. For those that need something rack mountable there are a number of RackStations they offer that will work well in a server room. The rack mountable units offer the same features, but the higher end models support 10Gb ethernet, have dual power supply support, have quad core cpus, support SAS drives, and support ECC ram up to 32GB.


- Easy Setup and Maintenance.
- Great hardware components backed by 3 year warranty.
- Support for virtually any protocol out there: FTP, SFTP, FTPS, TFTP, PXE, Webdav, CIFS (SMB), AFP, NFS, SSH, Telnet, SNMP, Rsync, DLNA-UPnP, more.
- Synology Hybrid RAID for those that have different size had drives, but want to use them in RAID.
- Expand up to 10 more drives with 2 expansion units (DX510/DX513/DX213), for a total of 72TB of space
- Huge potential for multipurpose uses with Apps and features that are easily accessible for for free.
- Mobile Apps that pair with many of the multimedia features and work fairly well.
- Easy to use operating system that is Web-enabled and allows multitasking, while also enabling advanced users to SSH and configure things.
- Most built in Synology services/apps use ports 5000-5006 so you don't need to worry about configuring your firewall or router for an excessive amount of ports.
- Speed limits for basically everything. You can limit bandwidth on backup jobs, FTP and other applications with ease.
- The DSM Operating system is spanned across all disks for resiliency.

- Price is higher than some other options on the Market.
- Relatively weak CPU, but won't impact normal usage scenarios.
- No hardware encryption for volumes or entire drives, only share level encryption. This is cpu extensive and slower.
- No central management console/application for controlling and managing more than few DiskStations or RackStations.
- No support for more than 4GB RAM on lower end units. Even though it isn't an option sat all, it would be nice to be able to setup RAM disks.
- Cannot write to HFS+ external drives yet.
- No builtin bare metal client backup software. Unlike Windows Server 2012 Essentials.
- No dual power supply option on lower end units.

We run about 30 Synology NAS devices ranging from their 2 bay Disk Stations all the way up to their 10 bay, dual power supply Rack Stations that we run with 10Gb ethernet. When we started using them about 4 years ago, we did so hesitantly. We bought one of their smaller non rack mount units and then proceed to torture test it. After a number of successful tests where we simulated brownouts, blackouts, and UPS failures. We then moved onto booting the system with a drive missing and then took a drive out with the system running and waited for each rebuild process to complete. All tests passed with flying colors and every rebuild completed successfully. We decide to buy more units and use them in our production environment. I find it very surprising that over these last 4 years we have had not one issue with any of the units we use, which are all in a production environments. Software has always installed fine, firmware upgrades have been flawless, RAID rebuilds have gone smoothly and integration with our enterprise environment has been great.

As for the rest of this review I will focus mainly on what I use the DS1813+ for in a home environment because that is where I use this. I'll also talk about the hardware and software that make it my preferred NAS. The list of packages/software you can install with a few clicks is rather staggering. Like previously stated, most NAS options on the market have very similar features, but I have come to prefer what Synology offers over the rest. Generally, Synology has been providing 4 years of OS updates on current units, so you should have their newest DSM version for 4 years after the model was released. The model year is designated at the end of the model number. This is a 2013 model, thus it is named DS1813+. Although this model comes with support for up to 18 drives users can start off with only one drive if they want and then gradually add drives as they need. They also have 2 bay and 5 bay units that would be more than sufficient for most users. The following is not an ALL inclusive source of what you'll get from Synology, but hopefully you find it helpful:

***The Hardware***

*RAM: The DS1813+ comes with 2GB of RAM, but you can upgrade it to 4GB. You can purchase RAM from here: B007SDHAJ6, which is actually Synology Branded RAM. It takes about 5 minutes to add another RAM module. The second RAM slot is easily accessible and takes about 5 minutes to add

*CPU: The CPU is an Intel Atom D2700 (2C/4T, 2.13 GHz). Although not a powerhouse the CPU is capable of handling pretty much anything you can run on a Synology DiskStation. This is however one of my biggest complaints with most NAS devices on the market, is their poor choice of CPUs. There are low power, and yet more powerful processors that they could use, especially at the price point you are paying for with Synology. Most users won't notice any performance issues with the D2700.

*Enclosure: The enclosures they use are well built and more than sufficient for what these units are doing. The drive trays are lockable and now tool-less for 3.5" Drive, although you'll still need screws for 2.5" Drives. The fans are now easily removable and replaceable. As stated before, access to the expansion RAM slot is is quick and easy. You can also attach two expansion units that will add 5 more drives each.

*Internals: They use quality components on the inside and that show because they offer a 3 year warranty to back it. You will however find that the only user serviceable parts are the RAM and Fans. If you tinker with anything else you risk voiding your warranty.

*Network Ports: There are 4 network ports available. You can set these up a few different ways. You can use them independently of one another and control what apps use which ports, where each port will have it's own IP Address. This is nice for those that don't have a Layer 2 or 3 switch. For those that want more bandwidth or fault tolerance you can aggregate ports for fault tolerance or NIC teaming, but keep in mind you need a switch that supports this.

*Expansion: If 8 x 4TB drives isn't enough for you then you can add up to a max of 10 more drives. You're options for expansion are the DX510 / DX513 or the DX213. The DX510 and DX513 both offer 5 more slots for drives via eSata, while the DX213. You can mix and match which expansion units you want, but you can only use two at the same time. The DS1813+ allows you to dynamically expand your existing RAID volumes using their expansion bays; however you can decide to use them for standalone volumes and then run backups to them as well. These expansion units come with eSata cables that screw into the back of both the expansion unit and the main unit for a tight and reliable connection.

*RAID Made Easy: You can always use the vanilla style RAID, of which this unit supports RAID 0/1/5/6/10. You'll also be able to use your drives in a JBOD setup as well. Most users will be happy with using Synology Hybrid RAID, which allows for creating RAID volumes using different size disks while utilizing all the space on each disk for parity. Synology Hybrid RAID allows for 1 or 2 disk fault tolerance and easy volume expansion. Normal RAID will limit each drive to the smallest drive size in your RAID volume. Expanding RAID volumes is simple and relatively fast. In most cases you don't even have to wait for a volume to finish being created to use your system while the OS manages everything in the background for you and you'll be notified when things complete. If you are worried about not being around if a drive fails then you can just configure a global hot spare to auto rebuild if a drive is flagged offline in your RAID setup.

***The Software***

*Setup and Management: Setting up one of these is quick and easy. Each unit requires the OS to be installed before it can be used, which is done with their Synology Setup Assistant software, although if you can find the IP address you can do so with the Webpage as well, completely bypassing the setup assistant. Be aware that the Synology Setup Assistant only works if the unit you are trying to setup is on the same subnet you are on. User and Groups management is made easy for those that have difficulty understanding UNIX permissions. You can just create and manage permissions in the GUI. Managing permission for applications, files and folders is done with just a few clicks. My biggest complaint is that there is no dedicated central management application to manage multiple devices easily. It would be ideal to be able to update firmware, restart, shutdown, wake and do other tasks straight from an application.

*Packages/Apps: There are literally dozens of apps/packages that you can install with their built in Packages manager. It's basically a one click install affair. Most things are easily configure in no longer than a few minutes after installation. You can find 3rd party apps or "community" managed repositories where a good amount of non official apps are hosted. You can also install non-supported applications using terminal access via ssh, but unless you know exactly what you are doing it is not recommended.

*Built in Functionality: The stock functionality is fantastic. Out of the box with no need to install any apps you can run backups via rsync (on a schedule), setup email/sms/push notifications for various purposes, setup your preferred DDNS service or use Synology's DDNS service for free, schedule cron jobs with the GUI, setup a syslog server, configure NIC link aggregation or fault tolerance, setup logging for virtually everything, enable a web server with virtual hosts, manage application privileges, and then setup access via the following protocols: FTP / SFTP / FTPS / TFTP / PXE / Webdav / CIFS (SMB) / AFP / NFS / SSH / Telnet / SNMP. The list goes on...

*Mobile Apps: I don't' use most of the mobile apps much, but they have a a selection of apps that handles multimedia and one that can be used for basic management purposes. Overall they work well and are nice to have if you use the services that require them.

*Enterprise/Business Features: There are a number of great features that home users probably won't take advantage of, but are here if you need them. Integration as an LDAP Client is available. You can easily join your DiskStaiton to an ActiveDirectory environment with a few clicks. iSCSI LUNs or Targets are also very easy to setup and accessible from any platform that supports using LUNs or Targets. If you have two SSDs you can setup an SSD cache to accelerate your I/O, although you won't likely need one in a home environment. Yet more click to install apps will let you run your own Radius server, VPN server, syslog server, DNS server, directory server, or a DHCP server. You can even setup your own email server if you want.

*Resiliency and Data Protection - Backup/High Availability: You can backup your data with the built in backup protocols which use Rsync. Or you can use any number of third party cloud storage apps that integrate into paid services for offsite backup. You can use their built in backup features to maintain a backup of your data onto a volume located on an expansion unit or a secondary internal volume. If you have a second DiskStation you can just use High Availability and your entire unit will be mirrored to another disk station, this includes settings and services, software, data and even LUNs; according to what you configure it to sync.

*Log - Audits: You can have logs for virtually anything. This is extremely nice for a System Admin to be able to audit certain things because you can have a trail of what was done by who and when. You are presented with current active connections as well which you can see for CloudStation, Network Shares and HTTP/s connections that are active. You can even kill said connections with the click of a button. You are also given a great log of who has been blocked and what IP they used when they were block, but I'll touch more on this later.

***What I use the most***

*Cloud Station: My preferred replacement for any paid cloud storage company out there. You can have your own personal cloud server with very few limitations. Sync your files and folders to Windows, Mac and Linux. Allow multiple users to share and collaborate on files with different logins and access permissions (3rd party app called OwnCloud is worth a mention as well).

*Photo Station: I use this to organize all my picture. Each user can have their own instance of Photo Station or you can setup on and then setup access level permission for all your folders.picture.

*iTunes Server: I have about 65,000 songs that are hosted on my DS1813+ via the iTunes server. It hosts my entire music library and it is accessible via iTunes on any computer on my network.

*DLNA/UPnP Server: If you have any devices that support streaming music or video like an Xbox 360/One or Playstation 3/4 you'll be able to stream to them. I use a bunch of Sonos players that I have setup in my home. You can configure it to transcode audio so that devices that don't support native playback of certain file types can play transcoded copies.

*Auto Block: If you've enabled SSH or any other service that makes your disk station available over the internet then you'll want to be wary of malicious attempts to gain access to your server. Just turn on auto block and now you can auto block their IP addresses from attempting to access your server if they have N number of login attempts of N Minutes, where N is configurable by you. You are presented with a log/list of all IPs that have been blocked and you can keep them there permanently or set an interval for the block to expire. If you don't want certain IP addresses to get ever get blocked then you can add them to a Whitelist or even import a list of safe IPs.

*Antivirus: Being based on linux Synology's OS isn't very susceptible to viruses, but the computers you conned to it are. There are two options for antivirus currently. The free one based os ClamAV. Or a paid one from McAfee. I use the free one, which is listed in the Package Center as Antivirus Essentials.

*Backup and Restore: I run backups of my data, excluding media, using Rsync to another server that is my running rsync. This happens on a daily schedule. My media is replicated, using rsync, onto a server that is hosting Plex Media Server. All my files and media are automatically backed up and replicated where I need it. You can run your backups to any rsync compatible server or you can replicate entire shares or even LUNs between Synology DiskStations with ease. Backup to external drives are also easily setup and scheduled. Client backups are a different story. TimeMachine works well for Macs and is easily configured, but bare metal backup for other operating systems don't exist.

*Surveillance - Security: We have a few IP cameras that are used to monitor our home and property. The Surveillance Station software is fantastic and works great with a large list of officially supported cameras and some that are user reported supported as well. We login and can view a live feed from any of our cameras. You can have the software track targets and trigger recording when a suspicious event occurs. Depending on your camera the software can be setup to have your cameras run on a patrol that automates panning tilting and zooming according to presets enabled by you.

***Power Management***

There are plenty of ways to manage power, and even some 3rd party apps for this. You can setup a "Power Schedule" that allows you to shutdown and startup on pretty much any schedule you'd like (especially with a 3rd party app). You can set the HDD Hibernation time for both internal or external drives, with logging as an option as well. Most mainstream UPS units are also supported for auto shutoff when your unit starts running on UPS power

I'll do my best to respond to questions if you have any.
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on November 25, 2013
I was getting really tired of hanging 'another' HD onto my machine since my NAS died. It was time to get serious.

Of everything I looked at, a few which I tested hands on, It's a quick box (I get about 130MB/sec in my environment) with a lot of features and flexibility. Since I'm I demand performance, I wanted it as fast as I could get for both CIFS (windows) and NFS (linux). It's a great network file server with the ability to load other (3rd party) software on because it's linux based. If you are comfortable with the linux command line, you'll like what's 'under the hood' too.

*IF* there is a down side to this model (the 1813+) it's the processor. It's an Intel Atom at 2.13 Ghz. A lot of people run their media servers directly on the NAS, which is perfectly fine, UNTIL you have to transcode (change resolution/bit rate) for the device you're streaming to. An Intel Atom simply isn't cut out for that. If you don't mind running the actual media server on another host, letting it do the transcoding, with the media files on the NAS everything will be fine OR having devices which can handle the higher resolution media source you are feeding it..

I bought this unit to replace the NAS (WD) which failed over a year ago because it was a 'consumer grade only' box. It wasn't cut out to do what a developer or current 'media server' does. This NAS was to be both my file server for all computers (laptop & desktop) as well as be my media server for the whole house. This does both plus some.

I originally was going to buy the 5-bay (1513+) but decided to go with the 8-bay (1813+) and am really glad I did.

It's solid, silent, fast, easy as heck to administer via the web interface. I have secure (https) access from anywhere using their tablet & phone apps or my desktop browser.

Now if you want to know more, read below.

I spent a lot of time reviewing NAS solutions to replace the comsumer-grade NAS (green drives, poor cooling, cheap power supply, etc) I had which died over a year ago, taking my entire software development and media libraries with it (yes, I did have it backed up). After tons of opinions/reports from folks and a whole bunch of internet reviews, I opted to go with this one (the 1813+ w/ 4GB ram) for a bunch of reasons: a) It has 8 bays and supports two expansion boxes. Enough to give me RAID-5 plus about a 50% spare in the box for growth over what I have now if I use 4TB drives. This excludes the additional space available by using the expansion units. b) it has 4 gigabit ethernet ports which I can provision as two bonded ports to yield 200 MB/sec for software development and the other 200 MB/sec for multimedia. c) It has two eSATA ports (expansion boxes or temporary single drives) and 4 USB ports. d) Integrated power supply e) TWIN 120mm fans f) No-screws required disk installation.

I submitted my planned configuration (network and drives I planned to install) and UPS info to Synology pre-sales support prior to placing my actual order. They made two suggestions which have helped in the long run. If you have any questions. Ask them. If it's really important or tough to write down, call.

First thing I noticed as I unpacked it and installed the additional ram (it comes with 2GB) in the 2nd slot was the attention to mechanical design and layout. It's clearly well thought out. Other NAS makers didn't impress me as much. Th

Setup was very straight forward once I got my laptop (which normally is on a different segment than the house's DHCP segment) back to where it would find the 1813+. DSM (the linux kernel/environment) loaded up nicely from windows. I simply followed the guided setup for creating the raid set (Volume 1) as RAID-5. It took 11 hours to run the parity checks on all 5 drives in volume1. DSM (the executive) requires a full surface scan of every new drive once. When completed, I had over 15TB of the 20TB (Raw) I had installed. For those of you who are interested, the raw 'df' value reported is: 15486085920 1K blocks. This is excellent given 1 entire drive is parity and the drives are formatted as ext4.

The raidset itself is a standard 'md0' raid volume. Yes, it means some performance overhead but also means that if the hardware ever goes out, you simply remove the drives, put them in enclosures (esata or usb) or into your linux desktop and your raidset will be back up. Linux finds it with no problems.

I'm using WD40EFRX, 4TB 5400 rpm red drives, as recommended by Synology. Their website has a list of what's been tested and supported for each of their units.

There was one surprise with the unit and it was a pleasant one. When I received my new UPS (APC BE750G) I was all set to hook it up and suddenly realized I hadn't bothered to see if it was supported. I checked the website and it wasn't but it works! DSM sees the unit on the USB port as an APC supply and is happy with that.

The only thing I have left to do for this unit is upgrade the WD2002FAEX drives (volume2), which are a 3-drive RAID5, to WD4000F9YZ (4TB 'Se') drives, or whatever is current, when the time comes.

If anything changes I will update this.
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on May 9, 2014
I ordered three of these units. They are fully populated with enterprise class 4TB drives and 4Gb memory.

The business need: My client wanted "master" data storage. A "slave" unit and a "remote" off site unit. Local user count is 75.. While Synology's software can do many things (it's swiss army knife-ish), some of which are targeted at the home market (in my opinion), the following features are in use at this client:

- File Sharing (of course!) to Mac and Windows clients, no NFS
- Folder Match of all shares, one to the slave unit, another to a remote location
- Backup to another Synology
- Backup to a NetGear NAS (Netgear's are running a Linux flavor also)
- Backup that occurs over an encrypted connection without other hardware/software
- AntiVirus
- Time Backup (i.e. revisions storage) on the master unit to DX513s (nice its expandable, ain't it?)
- UPS support
- Networked UPS Support
- Central management of the Synologies, at least those on the local network
- An easy interface to walk a non-technical person through administration
- Command line access with familiar tools if needed (e.g. "rsync")
- Ethernet bonding (LACP) to a HP ProCurve switch (multiple Ethernet ports of course)
- And while I could add all kinds of third party packages via ipkg, I chose to remain "stock".
- A recycle bin "hidden" to users for those "oops, I deleted the file or directory", and timed clean up of bin
- Enough network ports (4) to support Crossover cables from master to slave unit for Folder Replication and UPS notification
- Notifications on all sorts of events (both affirmative like "backup good" and errors) by email and sms.
- SSH access (I had unique rsync situation from three different old servers)

A few notes:

As a FreeBSD/Linux fan sysadmin for many years, you could most certainly build server(s) that substantially duplicates most if not all the functionality of a Synology box - the Synology software is a Linux derivative with a well done (IMO) graphical user interface (GUI). Possible "pretty GUI" distributions that you might use - "FreeNAS", "ClearOS", "Zentyal", or just about any other distribution with Webmin installed. In fact, at this client I had done exactly that 8 years ago with FreeBSD, a SuperMicro chassis, hot swap RAID, etc. and you needed ear protection in the server room when that thing was running. That box sort of died due to heat in the server room (not my fault!).

A Bill Gates quote: "I choose a lazy person to do a hard job. Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it.". And that quote about sums it up for my experience with the Synology, it's painless for the business need of low cost storage. And except for one item, I kept finding that "Yep, it can do that, and it has a GUI to configure that function (more on that below)". What's that one item missing? For me acting as a Windows Domain Controller. While it can host LDAP and join Active Directory Services or a NT 4.0 domain, it can't act as a controller (out of the box). I would assume that is coming at some point from the Synology team.

More on the GUI - it's well done and entirely browser/AJAX/html based. While having a Unix background is helpful should you need to do one off things - by no means at all would that be even remotely required, the average computer user (whatever that means today) should be able to configure this thing.

If there were hardware components I would change - the drives are a little to easy to eject. I have locked them all with the provided key to prevent that. And of course redundant power supplies would be nice. As many other reviewers have noted, it's not going to compare with other servers/solutions based on hardware RAID or other high end server components, but it's a solid unit. And do read the supported drives documentation on their website.

Would I recommend this? Absolutely yes. Any reservations? Not yet.

2014-10-20 Still running with no problems. All firmware updates installed without issues. Another reviewer posted a "Do Not Buy" because his device was compromised. I don't know that I would blame Synology for that, but I would strongly urge buyers to protect their data behind firewalls and VPN.
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on January 24, 2014
We purchased the DS1813+ to supplement our storage on our SAN, which uses proprietary storage that extremely expensive. We also wanted to have some backup outside of our SAN for redundancy's sake. We paired this with 6 WD RE 3 3TB HDDs and created to RAID 5 arrays, one dedicated to backup (AppAssure) and the other for general purpose storage.

As far as we can tell, this product has performed excellently. It was incredibly easy to set up and provides an extremely handy web-based GUI that makes administrative tasks simple. The product performs almost continuous backups without error and has never crashed. In terms of raw performance capability, we've never come close to utilizing all of the resources available on the NAS, and we have it running continuous backup on 15 virtual servers and serving files to close to 100 users.

Another huge benefit of this product, an arguably what makes it better than any other NAS on the market is Synology's DSM software. This NAS comes packed with software features that, individually, would each cost more than the NAS as a whole. I can't even begin to comment on all of the features this software has that make it such a versatile product because there is just too many. Most notable in my eyes is Cloud Station, which provides DropBox like file syncing and accessibility, plus revision level backups, to an unlimited number of users (limited by the hardware's capabilities) on all of their devices. It doesn't always work perfectly but it works well enough to use in a business. There is also a whole suite of Synology Apps avaliable for iOS and Android that allow you to access files, media, and manage your DiskStation with ease.

DSM is not an entirely perfect product, though. It presented some significant issues when we integrated it in to our current business environment.This criticism may not even be entirely fair but businesses running a Windows domain should take it in to account. Our network runs entirely on Microsoft products - Windows Server, HyperV, System Center, etc... - While the DiskStation was helpful in that it integrated fully with our domain and AD, it presented issues in how it names user's individual shares. It puts domain users in a special folder (fair enough) but then it suffixes their folder name with the last few digits of the users SID number in AD (I found this out myself, Synology claims it is a random number) . Synology says this is to avoid 2 users with the same name (perhaps deleted and readded) from having the same folder. While this makes sense, it makes it very difficult to integrate Synology's home folder feature with our current file structure in any meaningful way. Additionally, this makes managing permissions more of a chore across the network. I also would have liked to see redundant power supplies - a feature reserved for the company's higher end products.

Overall, the DiskStation is an excellent product, bursting at the seams with so many features it more than justifies the price. For small business with little or disparate IT infrastructure, the DiskStation is a great all in one device that can provide virtually all of the features necessary to set up and secure a domain that's highly accessible and easy to use. For medium businesses, the DS1813+ offers a wealth of features that make it a valuable addition to the IT infrastructure, though not without its own integration and manageability issues.

If you have any question about using DSM in a business environment, let me know and I'll be glad to answer if I can.
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on March 5, 2014
I loaded this unit with four WD Red NAS drives and dropped it in my LAN. In no time I had it fully set up and running. The sheer number of installable applications makes this far more than just a bunch of drives on a LAN, the Synology can easily take the place of traditional servers in many installations. Everything from surveillance camera control and recording to scripting, backup, VOIP, media serving, mail, DNS, and much more, it's ready to fill just about any role. The browser-based interface is presented as a desktop, with everything available on one screen. The windowed interface is just about perfect. I set up the four drives as a hybrid RAID, Synology's implementation of RAID 5. With every drive installed you have multiple choices as to how to integrate it into the system and what tasks you want to associate with it. Different RAID levels, simple volumes, mirroring or backups of other volumes in the system as many of the choices. It is important to use NAS or server-rated drives with this (or any other similar) NAS. Desktop drives will work, but can create intermittent issues with synchronization or dropping out of RAID clusters. The WD Red drives I found are acceptable, but Western Digital has not fully implemented some of the NAS-specific parameters of those drives such as vibration detection and drive idle head parking. The drives are working perfectly so far, but I think I will use different models as I fill out the NAS bays over time if the issues aren't resolved by WD.

The 1813+ has a total of four gigabit LAN connections. For my needs I aggregated all four as a trunk for maximum available throughput. This was an easy task using the DSM interface as well as setting up the LAG on my switch. There is throughput to spare, and even with multiple client computers accessing the NAS at once, there are absolutely no slowdowns or glitches. The unit seamlessly integrates with just about any device or operating system. Remote access over the internet is easily established as well. In fact, it's almost too easy.

If eight (drives) isn't enough, a total of two Synology DX513 drive expansion units for a total of 18 drive bays via E-SATA connections, plus there are USB 3.0 as well as 2.0 jacks to which even more external storage can be attached. The E=SATA jacks can be used for simple external drives as well. There is so much room to grow with the 1813+ it is pretty much future-proof.

Note that Synology has recently patched the DSM software to fix some security vulnerabilities, make sure to install the latest versions of all applications as well as the core manager on any units you might already have or are considering. Synology makes updating and configuring this box a breeze, and will notify you of upgrades via the interface.

I bought the 1813+ to work alongside a pair of Windows servers as well as doing backup duties and multimedia serving. It hits all these needs seamlessly and spot-on. I can't recommend it enough.
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on February 19, 2014
I've had this unit for about six months and have been raving about it to anyone who will listen.

I've used ReadyNAS units over the last 8 years, and switched to Synology after hearing about the DS1813+ on a podcast. I never though I'd buy an 8-bay RAID, but this has been the best addition to my setup in a long time. If you’re using an older NAS like I was, you’ll be blown away.

- very easy to setup
- fast transfer speeds (115 MB/s wired, 55 MB/s on 802.11 a/c)
- UI is great
- scheduled tasks, such as checking all drives for S.M.A.R.T errors on an interval basis
- quality parts and hardware
- smart power management, power efficient (drives running it's 50W, 22W hibernating)
- free mobile apps to access remotely are excellent
- drive sleds require no tools, great design
- great security features (dual authentication, auto-IP blocking, Firewall, more)
- support forums are up-to-date and excellent
- direct support from Synology is fast (but email based)
- bundled apps are good
- fans are quiet, even in 'cool' (loud) mode

- Surveillance station requires Internet Explorer to fully setup and I never got it to work well. Dropped connections frequently, and doesn't fully work in Safari, Chrome, or Firefox. I'm hoping this will be updated for DSM 5.0 (the newer OS).

How I Use it:

Backup: RAIDs are not backup, that's why everything goes to Crashplan. I use a Mac Mini to target the Synology and back it up, then two nightly clones to two attached 4TB drives (USB 3). IMO, dual redundancy RAID + two local backups + one off-site backup = acceptable use of RAID for backups. I also have a Time Machine sparse bundle located on the Synology, it works flawlessly.

Lightroom: My Lightroom catalog is on my local SSD and my photos are stored on the Synology. The convenience of what is essentially an unlimited supply of space offsets the slightly slower speeds over the network. This setup works best with a 802.11 a/c connection, better yet, directly plugged via RJ-45. Best workflow is import photos/videos locally, photo edit, then after a few months export the catalog to your Synology catalog. As this is all getting backed up to Crashplan, I'm not worried about a file system failure.

Surveillance recordings: You can record HD, 30 fps 1280x800 motion clips forever without deleting, or records years of continuous recordings without having to worry about deleting. I don’t recommend this, but it’s possible. Six cameras are recording to this at all times, and the congestion is my ISP, not the Synology.

Movies: All my DVDs are backed up and ripped to the Synology, and with the DS Video app, I can view these from anywhere in the world. Smart video player remembers where you left off.

Overall, extremely satisfied, best purchase in a long time.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon February 8, 2014
Rating: 4.5

What we have liked about Synology NAS products, in general, is that phone and email support is very good. With people who know their products inside out, as opposed to a tech support staffer going through a crib sheet to diagnose the problem. As other reviewers have commented Synology products are not cheap and sorry to sound sarcastic here - but they work. We have had to learn the hard way that not all NAS boxes, are plainly speaking not the same. The learning curve, for us, on NAS storage has been steep and wasteful in costs as other brands have been poor and unreliable - hence we only go for Synology devices now.
This particular unit was a pretty easy device to a setup & use out of box. The features such as the user interface and the plethora of bundled packages software unities that are supplied are some of the best that we have seen and are updated on semi-regular basis. You do not need to pay extra for these services, except for the IP camera licenses.
We have setup and used a number of different branded NAS units, but find this one to be this easiest by far. You can use a wide range of compatible Hard Drives; there is list on the Synology website. In our case we have used the WD Se 4TB hard drives and they run well, and at the time of writing this review they were very keenly priced, obviously what type of drives you use are up to you, although drives designed for NAS in mind would be the better consideration.

With this Synology 1813+ you can attach two DX513 expansion units to give either a seamless expansion of one large volume or any other permutations you wish by opting for several smaller volumes. If you wish to upgrade the RAM on your Synology 1813+ then I would strongly advice using the RAM mentioned below.

‘Kingston 2GB 1066MHz DDR3 Non-ECC CL7 SODIMM Single Rank x8 Notebook Memory’

This is the RAM to upgrade the memory in the Synology 1813+ NAS storage device. Compared to the options out there at the time this was the cheapest way to upgrade, other memory options being a lot more expensive. Synology have their own branded RAM - but this Kingston 2GB 1066MHz DDR3 Non-ECC CL7 SODIMM Single Rank is cheaper and does the same job. Just a note of caution, after you have installed the RAM be careful before reattaching the outer casing of the 1813+ back, as it can deform slightly and the screws will not screw back well into the housing. Lastly only upgrade the RAM to the specification that Synology recommend. If you have any difficulty doing the said upgrade then just look up the installation - help videos) on YouTube.
My colleagues have remarked on how quietly the NAS runs, and we have not even utilized the option in settings for the device to run in what amounts to ‘quiet mode’. This is great piece of kit and it delivers on all fronts as far as we are concerned. If you're looking for a good quality NAS with ability to expand from 8 bays to 18 bays, with a host features then this is the NAS device for you.
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