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on March 15, 2013
**Updated 20Feb2015**

*******UPDATED 20FEB2015*******
I have been using this NAS/Server for a while now at home and it has been great. I checked yesterday evening and I'm only using about 66% of the 3.6TB storage on it. Not too bad. I have configured this to automatically update now (it checks in the middle of the night) so I don't really have to touch it much. I love the multiple layers of backups I have on this. I've been thinking about configuring a new Synology for my wife and I, move all of the data over to the new one, and reconfigure this one for my parents house. I could set up a portion of it for them to use there and another portion for my very own "Off-Site Backup" solution. I'm curious how long this will be able to run Synology's OS, though I have yet to run into any performance issues.
*******END UPDATE********

***** UPDATED 8JUN2013 BELOW *****

I just received my Synology DS213+ earlier this week. 2 days ago, I received (2) Seagate 4TB 5900RPM drives to put into it. I have some pics sitting on my camera that I'll upload later. I actually received the NAS a couple days before the drives came in. It's really hard to put an accurate Star Rating on this because of my background... I have been doing server and networking IT for the past 7 years and really love my job. This is my first home NAS/Server/etc... so I'm like a kid in a candy shop right now. The problem is that there were a lot of things that most people wouldn't understand or maybe care about, but I will try to hit as many of them as I can. I will say though, the more you understand about IT, the easier and more enjoyable this NAS (or any NAS at that) will be. Just be safe and please try to secure your personal information. If you just do a basic setup on this and put all of your personal documents and photos on there, they are accessible to everyone who knows your "Internet IP" or "Website Name". I'm not saying that everyone out there is a certified hacker, but why take a chance on your personal information? Don't be that guy who sets up a home wireless router and leaves it "Unsecured".

Like I tell everyone that a little research goes a long way.

**Initial Instructions Before You Start On The NAS**

I had read a review that you can't really do anything with the NAS until you install at least 1 internal drive so I tested it and sure enough, all you can pretty much do is access the main setup webpage of the NAS but can't go further. That's fine though because you really shouldn't be doing anything until you have some drives anyway. What I did though while I was waiting for the drives to come in was to log into my Router and put a DHCP Reservation for the MAC Address of the NAS. This so the IP address never changes and it gives me a "static" IP to forward certain ports to the NAS depending on what Synology Apps I want to use. When the NAS is connected to the Router via the supplied Ethernet (CAT5e) cable, the NAS will pull an IP automatically from DHCP running on the Router. If you pull up the DHCP client table, you'll see the NAS. I just used the MAC Address and created a DHCP Reservation with it to the IP I wanted (for example, I rebooted the NAS and it pulled the new IP. So now, it will never change. I opened up my web browser and typed in the IP (EXAMPLE) and the NAS webpage came up. Now, I just had to wait for the drives to come in.

**Getting the NAS Ready**

So the drives came in and I installed them in the trays. Once the trays "clicked" into position, I turned on the NAS. I went back in to the browser and visited the IP I just used Synology's proprietary RAID which is expandable. I don't really care right now because I just wanted RAID 1 which it automatically does with 2 drives. Even though I have (2) 4TB drives, they mirror each other so I still get only 4TB's of drive space. Most would be like WTF, I don't get 8TB??? but with this solution, if 1 of the drives fails (WHICH I'VE SEEN MANY TIMES), I still have another drive and hopefully enough time to buy a new one and swap out the bad drive. There are Youtube videos out there showing the process to replace a failed drive. The Synology makes it easy and automatically populates the failed drive for you. I'm guessing that it would take about 2 days to populate a 4TB drive. But I am only using about 1.5TB of drive space right now so it would be faster.

**Formatting Storage**

With every 1TB that is advertised, you only get a little over 910GB of space before formatting. Then subtract a little more for formatting. So after 4TB of space the hard drive advertised, I get about 3.64TB of disc space. Then after formatting, I end up with right at 3.58TB of useable space. That should be enough for now. Whats cool about Synology's NAS is that later on when for example, 8TB hard drives come out, I can buy 2 of them. Then I remove 1 of the 4TB drives and replace it with one of the 8TB drives. After the NAS copies over all the data from the 4TB that's still installed, I can replace the other 4TB with the second 8TB and then the data from the first 8TB will copy to the second 8TB. Then I'll have increased my space from 4TB's total to 8TB's total ( that's (2) 8TB hard drives mirrored in RAID 1) of redundant space. I could then buy enclosures for the old 4TB drives and use them for backups or something.

**Getting Back On Topic and Configuring NAS**

Ok, I know... I'm getting off topic... So I was talking about... oh yea, So I now have the NAS initially setup. Now, I can access the NAS with my "" IP and login. I just guessed the account was "admin" with no password and got it on the first try. First thing I did was slap a 16 character password on the admin account and created an account for my wife and I. I also created 2 "service" accounts for the Time Machine backups I'll be doing with both of our Mac laptops. I have a 1TB external hard drive full of data and stuff so I plugged it into the front USB 2.0 port on the NAS and a folder in the NAS popped up showing the new drive. I started the copy since I knew it would take a while being a USB 2.0 drive. I was copying over at about 25MB/sec which is not good at all but it was my old external hard drive that was at fault. While it was copying over, I wanted to set up "internet" access. I went over to DynDNS and got one of their domain accounts. You can get the free one, but I got the $20/yr one so I don't have to worry about it getting cancelled or something.

I set up the DDNS service on the NAS and entered my credentials (my username, password, and domain) for DynDNS and BAM, it updated DynDNS with my modem's IP address!!! Most people don't have a static internet IP address so you have to do this if you want to be able to type in a website NAME instead of an IP address all the time. I went a little further since I already had my own personal domain name through Godaddy. I logged in, created a subdomain off my main one and forwarded with masking to the DynDNS domain name. I also forwarded to "HTTPS" instead of "HTTP" so it would automatically redirect as HTTPS every time. This way, no Star Bucks hackers can see my traffic lol. This requires you to go into the DSM settings in the control panel of the NAS and enable HTTPS.

**Forwarding Ports on Router for Remote Access**

Ok, before I go any further, I want to talk about port forwarding. I went into the router and forwarded the following ports to my NAS (

Single Port Forwarding:
5000 TCP - this is only so I don't have to type "HTTPS" every time I want to access my NAS remotely. I'm using a setting in the DSM settings that converts HTTP to HTTPS, but you need port 5000 if you want to do this, otherwise, it won't work.
5001 TCP - this is for HTTPS access
5006 TCP - this is for WebDAV
6690 TCP - the synology cloud service
80 TCP - same reason as forwarding port 5000. The Photo Station uses the traditional HTTP port (80). In order for the NAS to convert to HTTPS, you have to enable port 80 for the initial contact to reach the NAS. Then it changes to HTTPS via the DSM setting in the control panel.
443 TCP - this is the traditional HTTPS port. It's only used for the photo station at the moment. Will also be used for a future website.

Port Range Forwarding:
9025-9040 TCP - the Video station
50001-50002 Both TCP/UDP - Media server
9900-9901 TCP - surveillance

Without enabling these ports and forwarding them to the NAS, you won't be able to access the different parts of the NAS from outside of your home network.

**Talking about Remote Accessing your NAS**
*Like I said in the paragraph below, I cannot type entire links. They get blocked by Amazon. This is the only way I could post a link without it getting blocked. Hopefully you can understand them.

***** Sorry about the links below getting blocked. Amazon sure is smart. They must have someone sitting behind a computer just to block links. I put spaces and spelled out "dot"... *****

After this is done, you should be able to access your NAS by typing in the domain name instead of typing in Remember, the "" IP only works from your own home network. You have to use the Internet IP that your modem gets to be able to reach the NAS from outside your home. The fact that the Internet IP you get from your Internet Service Provider is dynamic and always changes, it would be hard to keep track of it every time it changes. That's where DynDNS comes in and gives you a "website name" to use that will update it's records every time your Internet IP address changes. They give you a (***YOU WILL HAVE TO PUT THE LINKS TOGETHER YOURSELF***) ([...] ) which is easier to remember than (EXAMPLE). Like I said earlier, I have my own personal domain name ( [...]) that I forwarded (with masking) to the ([...] ) domian name. While I could still use the domain name that DynDNS gave me, my personal one piggy-backs off theirs and mine looks a lot better and is shorter lol.

I type ([...]) and that gets turned into ( [...] ) which forwards to my NAS to access the desktop on the NAS. This gets turned into HTTPS from the NAS via the setting called "Automatically redirect HTTP connections to HTTPS (Web Station and Photo Station Excluded)". This is located in the Control Panel under DSM Settings and in the "HTTP Service" tab.

I type ( [...] ) and that sends me to my Photo Station. By enabling the conversion to HTTPS at the NAS level, it's automatically converted to ( [...]) and because I have port 443 (HTTPS) forwarded to the NAS, it hits the Photo Station 5 application on the NAS. Remember, HTTPS(443) is secure and HTTP(80) is not, but I need port 80 open for the initial communication with the NAS before it forces communication over port 443.

**Building Folder Structure**

*****I have since ditched the following folder structure. The "Homes" folders are actually not bad and required for the Cloud Station to work properly*****

I like my folders to work for me. I have a wife who just likes things to work so when I first saw the initial folder structure, I was a bit confused. A folder gets created in the "Homes" folder for each new account. Then there is a "Home" folder that is linked only to the account that is accessing it. So I only see my own "Home" folder. I didn't like this for a few reasons and prefer static folders with permissions. In the Control Panel, I clicked on "User" and clicked the "User Home" button and unchecked the box for "Enable user home service". If you plan on using the Cloud Station, you will have to enable this service. Being that only my wife and I are using this NAS, I deleted the "Homes" shared folder and created a shared folder for each of us giving only permissions to our own folder. This will keep what we "see" clean and not over populate the screen with all the folders. I also created a shared folder called "Shared" and gave us both read/write permissions on it. The last shared folder I created is my "Root" folder. This will serve as the root for all other files. For instance, I created a sub folder called "Torrents" and directed the "Download Station" application to drop all completed downloads in there. Basically, I can put other folders and files in the root that just don't belong in our own "personal" folders or the "shared" folder.

When I log in to the NAS, I only see Root, my personal folder, Shared, photo, video, and surveillance. For my wife, she only sees her personal folder, Shared, photo, video, and surveillance(Note that you cannot change permissions on the Surveillance folder. You can only gain read-only permissions on there which if you sit back and think about it, that is smart on Synology's part. Give's you no reason to accidentally delete the video out of there).

*I have enable the Cloud Station. I know, I'm a hypocrite. I could tell the wife was getting confused as to where her files were. See below for how I set up the Cloud Station.

**Configuring Backups**

I have no use for my 1TB external USB hard drive anymore so I reformatted it and it now just stays plugged into the NAS via USB. I setup the "Time Backup" (not to be confused with Time Machine for Mac) and pointed the destination for the backup location to the external drive. I chose to backup both of our personal folders, our shared folder, the photo folder(created by the NAS), and the surveillance folder(also created by the NAS). For those of you familiar with Mac's Time Machine software, it works almost the same. It does a full backup to start with and then only backs up files and folders that change after that making it seem like you get a full backup every hour. No sense in backing up everything ever 60 minutes. It allows you to pull previous versions of folders and files at your own discretion.

**Cloud Station**

The wife didn't like the way she had to dig around to find her files so I just got done messing with the Cloud Station. I had to enable the "User Home Service" that I had turned off earlier in the "Building Folder Structure" part. Then I enabled the Cloud Station. The way it works is it places a folder called "Cloudstation" in my "Home" folder (the Home folder is linked to the respected account folder in the "homes" folder). Then I downloaded the client software to place on my laptop from Synology's website (I googled "synology download"). Once installed, I entered in my credentials and the client software made a folder on my laptop that will sync to the folder on my NAS. I also downloaded the iPhone app and it created a folder on my phone as well that will sync with the other 2.

The way it works is I have my account cloudstation folder on the NAS. I also have a folder on my laptop and iPhone that mirror each other. So if I place a file in my cloudstation folder on my laptop, within about 3 seconds (tested and true), it shows up in both my iPhone and NAS. Pretty cool I must say. Now, what about that "Shared" folder I created so the wife and I could have a place that we could both share?

In the Cloud Station app on the NAS, I clicked on the "Sharing" tab on the left side. It shows all the shared folders that either the NAS's applications created or I created in the "Shared Folder" in the control panel in the NAS. Since I've already created a shared folder and named it "Shared", I was good to go and selected the checkbox next to the folder and then clicked "Save". After that, I noticed a window pop up on my laptop and it was wanting to add the shared folder on my laptop to sync with the one on the NAS. I also noticed our "Shared" folder changed it's icon from a folder to a cloud. Cool beans.

After configuring my wife's laptop as well, it was time to test. I placed a file in my cloudstation folder on the NAS and it replicated to my phone and laptop almost instantly. Then I moved (cut & paste) it from my cloudstation folder on my laptop to the shared cloudstation folder on my laptop. It deleted it from my cloudstation folder on the NAS and my iPhone and placed it in the "Shared" cloudstation folder on the NAS and my iPhone. I checked the wife's laptop and it was sitting in her "Shared" cloudstation folder as well. Then I moved it from the shared cloudstation folder on her laptop to her own cloudstation folder and i saw it disappear from all the shared cloudstation folders on all devices. So it works really well.

All this and it's SSL encrypted as well. On the computer side of this, there is an icon that you can click on to open the cloud folders. You are opening a folder on your own computer that syncs to all the other folders. You are NOT opening the folder on the NAS unless you open it on the NAS itself. If you lose internet on the road or something, you still have the files on your computer. If you end up modifying the files then, once you get internet back on the computer, the modified files will push out and sync to the other folders. Ok, enough on Cloud Station.

**Configuring Time Machine backups for MAC**

I feel a lot more comfortable knowing that my laptop has "hourly" backups out there. What I did first was create a shared folder on the NAS called "Time Machine Data" or something like that. Then I set the permissions to read only for my wife's and my account. Reason being is that I don't want write permissions for that account for either of us in case we delete the folder by accident or something but still at least need read permissions for Time Machine to "find" the folder. But the laptops still need a way to "write" the backups to the NAS. How? I created 2 extra accounts on the NAS and gave them read/write permissions to the "Time Machine Data" shared folder ONLY. I called them TM1(for mine) and TM2(for hers). Then I set a quota to 500GB each. This will keep the accounts from writing Time Machine backups to the NAS and filling it all the way up. I don't need that many backups lol. I also granted "Network Backup" and WebDAV" permissions in the "Applications" tab on the user account window. Since this account is only going to be used for backups, there no sense to allow it to do anything more.

Then in the Mac, I configured Time Machine. I selected the file share "Time Machine Data" (Time Machine found it from the network). I instead used one of the extra TM accounts for the credentials in Time Machine. After that, it started backing up and has done so since.

I haven't hit the 500GB limit yet but when I do, I'll post what behavior takes place. I hoping it will start writing over the oldest but it might just lockup (the backup should be "unlocked" oldest file deletion should take place). I'm not sure yet. Maybe a hole will rip through the entire space-time continuum??


--That's it for now. I will update further. (BUSY RIGHT NOW). I have been testing the iPhone apps that Synology has and they all work great. I also tested the download station and activated a 3.3GB torrent to start from here at work and the torrent gets saved directly to the NAS. --

***** UPDATE 8JUN2013 *****

I Have been running this NAS for a few months now and have nothing but great things to say of it. The remote access has been going strong with no hiccups. We are crazy workaholics with full time jobs and full time (online) school. I haven't had much time to dedicate toward the NAS which is awesome because there haven't been many issues other than the initial learning curve.

We both use the NAS all the time for our school. I created a folder in my own Cloud Station folder (Remember that this is located in my personal "Homes" folder) called "School". Inside that I create folders for each semester (like "2013 Spring" or "2013 Summer"). Inside those, I have folders for each respected class. Then I can drop all my files in the classes folders. The other weekend we went on a vacation from work but couldn't escape our school work. We were able to use my parents internet (It's super slow as they don't believe in paying for internet) and maintain a positive connection with our NAS over 800 miles away.

Now to the minor issues I had so far:

**Time Backup**

First, the Time Backup (REMEMBER THAT THIS IS NOT MAC'S TIME MACHINE BACKUP. THIS IS SYNOLOGY'S TIME BACKUP FOR LOCAL NAS BACKUPS) service is going strong. I use my old 1TB external USB 2.0 hard drive for it currently (Eventually I will be buying a 4TB external USB 3.0 hard drive to plug in the back of the unit for dedicated Time Backups) so I have to plug it into the front USB port on the NAS. The 2.0 USB hard drive just won't work when plugged in the back (It's my external hard drive's fault as I've researched online and it has had many problems. It's actually a USB 3.0 hard drive but doesn't work as one.). At one point, I needed an external hard drive at home to transfer around some files and decided that since the Time Machine backup hard drive wasn't even barely full, I used that. I unplugged it from the NAS and went on my way in transferring files from an old desktop to the NAS. When I was all done, I plugged the hard drive back into the front port and went to start the Time Backup and it wouldn't work. After a ticket opened up with Synology, I still couldn't get it working. I let it go as I was about to order the 4TB external hard drive that I initially wanted and then it dawned on me. Maybe I should restart it... One of the last ditch troubleshooting steps in IT is to reboot. I did and everything is working again. I'm guessing the Time Backup service or the NAS itself does something on boot-up with the hard drive in order to see it properly even though I was browsing through the drive while it was hooked up to the NAS. Weird. I haven't had any other problems.


I plan on getting an UPS (uninterrupted power supply. Basically a battery with a battery charger that plugs in between the NAS and the wall). I have had about 3 power blips in the middle of the night over the past few months and every time I wake up and look at my phone, I see a message from the NAS saying it has restarted based on power issues. I don't think the power is going out for more than a few seconds so an UPS would alleviate this issue by allowing the NAS to run for a while if the power goes out. This depends on how big of an UPS I get though. I will probably just get a 1500VA UPS and be done with it as that should run the NAS, Router, and Modem for 30-60 minutes without power.


I love how this has made our lives easier and more organized. It is something that has bothered me over the years with all kinds of data (both personal and miscellaneous) being scattered over multiple computers and external hard drives. Now it's all in 1 redundant place. My next step is to get some type of off site storage albeit payed for or I set up something at one of the parents houses to copy to over the internet. I will probably go the latter route and set the parents up a Synology NAS. Then because I payed for it, I will be sure I use it for the wife's and my personal files. Then in the event of our home getting burglarized or burnt down, we would have some type of backup somewhere else. Remember that it's all about the layers. You could spend $10,000 on a full server setup at home with backups going to an external hard drive but if your home burns down, you lose everything. When we go on vacation, I bring an encrypted hard drive with all of our most important files. That way, I'll have them on my person in the event of a tragedy at home. Also, if the hard drive I take with me gets stolen, the thief can have fun decrypting 256 AES encryption. But most likely they'll just wipe it and reformat it if they are even that smart.
2525 comments| 231 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on January 27, 2013
UPDATE 4/7/2013: Per the responses listed below, I have been able to solve my hibernation issue. As a result, I'm updating my rating from 2 to 4 stars. Still not 5 due to the lack of documentation/ease of finding a solution. Let me stress I never got a response on their forum and the Synology reply to the ticket I submitted was very minimal at best. It was the discussion below that did the trick. Thanks!!

I hate to write a review like this but wanted to put something out there for people to be aware of while shopping. I bought my 213+ in Oct 2012 after seeing online that it is top of the line when compared to other products. Features, design, website and setup. I really had no complaints - until I started using it. I am not a Linux or networking guy so I wanted plug & play as much as possible.

The unit goes into hibernation after a bit (~ 10 minutes) - as it should. The problem is coming back from its slumber. I have both Windows 7 machines and Apple devices connected to the network either hard-wired to the router or via WiFi. In all cases, the Diskstation will not 'wake up' if un-accessed for an extended period of time (~24 hours). When I use any device either on the network or an iPhone connecting to it via the web, the unit never responds. Can't even ping it. It's as if it's not even turned on. The only solution is to unplug it and do a hard reboot. It is then recognized immediately and works like a champ. All good until I leave it for a day again. This is installed in my home so I may not be accessing my files for many days during the week. As a result, I usually have this issue each weekend.

I have found plenty of people on the web with the same issue but no definitive answer. And this brings me to another sore spot. There is very little on Synology's website in regards to support and nothing on this issue. There is no support number that I can see and they basically leave the troubleshooting to the user base in its forum. So that is where I'm at now, posting a 'help request' on the board.

I will update this review once I have a solution, but I just can't recommend this if I have to keep running to the basement to reboot. In the meantime, I have to keep my files on local computers which defeats the whole purpose of having a NAS.

I'm not saying don't buy the product per se, but definitely research this. Maybe you'll find something I haven't seen.
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on October 31, 2012
Rather a lot more work than I expected. I switched from a readyNas duo to this NAS because the duo was showing signs of dying. Anyway I set this up and went through the installation instructions and it failed each time. Th error was cryptic and only after a bit of googling around did I find another way to perform the initial setup. This time it was able to give me an error code that it couldn't recognize the disks. (I had just moved the disks from the duo into this new NAS). Anyway after another long session of googling I discovered that I needed to remove the partition on the disks before installing in the nas. This involved me opening up a windows desktop and turning off, plugging in one of the nas drives and removing the partition (times 2 for 2 disks). If I didn't happen to have a windows machine with spare sata cable in my house I would have been completely stalled. I don't understand why this device cannot do a simple partition removal.
Anyway I installed the first unpartitioned disk and it took about 6 hours for it to initialize. I then installed the second disk. I assumed the nas would automatically use the second disk as a backup because the everything I read about the Hybrid raid SHR sounded so natural/default. I set up time machine and did a time machine backup. Took another 4 hours. Then after staring at the screen for a bit I realized that the second volume wasn't backing up the first volume (I expected it to mirror). I spent more time googling and realized I had to delete the 2 volumes and could only set up raid when 2 disks were initialized. More hours later I finally got the mirroring working. This is not for the faint of heart, if you do not know exactly what you are doing the chances of making a mistake on setup are high.
After all this hassle I started thinking about my backup strategy. Basically most of my machines are Macs (it's nice that this NAS can support time machine from multiple macs). I considered moving all my photo/music/documents to the NAS and using it as a file server, but then I began to realize that if the NAS device failed I could only restore my data if I got an exact replacement NAS. In general it's not possible to take the drives from one nas (even from same manufacturer) and insert them in a new NAS box and expect to be able to read my data. So now I'm a little more educated, and I now realize that while a NAS RAID may help with uptime if the NAS is working as a file server, it is basically overkill as a backup device. I have 2 disks mirroring data on my mac. For a cost of about $600, NAS + 2 disks, I could basically provide the same functionality with a $100+ external hard drive. Note: this isn't a fault of the synology nas, more a realization of the inherent inoperability of nas drives that I hadn't considered before.
In short NAS drives are NOT backups (when used as file servers), the single point of failure is the NAS hardware itself. You need an external backup to the NAS to be safe in file server mode. NAS drives hep uptime by always providing data in the case of a disk failure. In the case of a NAS box failure you are likely to experience a lot of down time.

Nice design
Very quiet
Fairly common device so plenty of online helps if you are a good googler
Slow to initialize disks (don't really have anything to compare against but 6hrs was long)
Supports multiple macs for time machine
Config web interface is fairly decent.

Easy to mess up setup
Setup errors are cryptic (all I got was ftp opened please call customer service)
Disks data can only be recovered in another unit of the exact same model and firmware (this may be a con for all nas drives, I don't know for sure)
Needs to be able to handle already partitioned disks better.

At this point I can only give 3 stars, I'll keep an eye on this unit and may increase the rating for reliability resons later.
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on June 10, 2013
Honestly this was one of the most frustrating purchases I've EVER made. I struggled with the thing for almost a month and then finally sent it back in frustration. (It was either that or throw it through the wall which it was driving me to do.)

First let me say...I'm pretty good with technical things. I've been using computers for over 20 years, I've built my last 3 systems, I can get networking setup, I can code a bit, etc. Not saying I'm a computer genius, but I know my way around them pretty well. And even still, this was machine had me pulling my hair out with how horribly it worked and it's utter lack of instructions and support.

First it's not obvious how to even get it working. It says to insert the hard drive and there's a piece of paper there that says you don't need to use the installation disk because it will all be done online. Fine I think, let's roll. But then once you start waiting about 12+ hours for it to format your hard drive, you realize that this is going to be a REALLY long and slow process.

Then once your HD is ready to go, what now? I had no idea! I poked around the interface and found no help at all. Finally after searching their forum for a long time (and reading posts from other frustrated users) I figured out that you need to set up a "user" first, and do several other things before you can even begin to back up. Why was this not in any instructions anywhere? Why do I have to search the forum to find out how to even get the thing operable?

Which leads me to the horrible "instruction" manual. Since the paper in the NAS said I didn't need to use the installation disk, I never looked at it and even realized that there was a manual on it. But once I did find the manual I was in for even more stress-inducing and hair-pulling frustrations. The manual is a lot of geek-speak about what things are but NOT HOW to do anything. And again, I've been working with computers for over 20 years and so it's not usually a problem to understand geek-speak, but I'm talking you need a computer science degree to even know what this thing was talking about.

The main problem is that the manual is 182 pages of a lot of words describing things, but not actually telling you why you might want to do any of the dozens of options available, or even how to do them. What it needs is a 1, 2, 3, process for difference use cases. For example, simply how to set up the NAS to store files from your computer. But it doesn't even do anything close to that.

The supplied backup software (data replicator 3)
Horrible. Just bad in so many ways I finally gave up and used an open source backup program that worked so much better and faster. But the NAS is so underpowered that it was still and unusable situation. (See below)

he DDNS so you can access your NAS from the internet was really buggy and kept disconnecting and losing connection. And since you can only access the device through the internet/LAN, once it disconnects you can't connect at all until you get the network connection reestablished. That was another thing I found lacking...there was not a cable connection so that you could move files directly from computer to the NAS which would have been much faster. Instead, everything has to go through the network/internet. (Yes I realize the "N" stands for "network" but if my external drives and my router have a cable connection why can't my NAS too so it transfers faster?)

The the performance...
Again, maddeningly slow. I was trying to store about 100gb of files on this NAS and even after 3 weeks it didn't have all of my files on the NAS. Part of this is because of the software. It seems to want to keep 3 copies of everything. (Today, yesterday, and an archive.) So it would never complete the first day's file storage before the next day started and it would try to apparently physically move the files from the folder for today's date, to a new folder for yesterday's date, and then also keep an archive. Seems like it would be much more effecient to just relable the date of the folders instead of always trying to physically move the files every day, which is never ever was able to complete, even running 24 hours a day for 3 weeks until I sent it back.

As a comparison of the speed and performance...since the supplied backup software is so horrible I eventually started using an open source backup software for the NAS. To do incremental back ups of the same data set to my 4 year old external hard drive (no speed demon itself) took about 10-15 minutes. With this synology NAS it would take 8 hours! That is one seriously underpowered NAS!

Photo thumbnails.
I had about 60gb of photos and even running 24 hours a day for 3 weeks it never got all of the thumbnails completed. I think this was at least partially related to the constantly moving files issue I mentioned above.

See above...even running 24 hours a day for 3 weeks until I sent it back it was never able to get 100gb of files stored on the NAS (running a 2TB WD RED drive.)

I could go on and on about how bad my experience was but I can't waste anymore time on this.

Eventually I sent the NAS back and just plugged in an external hard drive to my router so I get all the same features of a NAS (except redundant drives which I handled another way) but so much faster and cheaper.

If you're new to computers. STAY AWAY. If you're pretty good with computers STAY AWAY. Even if you've been using and building computers for 20 years like I have STAY AWAY. If you're a trained network engineer who likes a seriously underpowered NAS and expensive machine, and don't mind spotty DDNS and connections, and really slow transfers, then may be this perfect NAS is for you. Good luck!
44 comments| 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on May 12, 2013
All the great features that come with Synology NAS and this model has the performance I need for sharing pictures and videos with a large number of family members.
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on April 30, 2013
All I can say is wow!! This DiskStation is by far the best device I have ever owned. It does so much more than just a backup. From webserver, DHCP, DNS, and windows active directory intergration. It better than having multiple servers cause with this you get them all in one tiny package. USB and esata are great for file transfers but network transfers are fast as well.
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on November 27, 2012
Wow! I have to say that I am very pleased and impressed with this NAS Server. I know it's on the expensive side, but once I saved enough money, I took a chance and went with it and, boy, was it worth every penny.

I have been researching for a couple of years on how I can set up a server to host all of my HD quality movies. At first, I wanted to create one from a computer, but thought it would be too time-consuming. Then I found this neat little box. Don't be fooled by the size of this compact NAS. It's as powerful as you will ever need for the time being. So now, I have it set up with 2x3 TB of the WD Red NAS Drives running on Synology Hybrid RAID. Loaded all my movies and photos on there. Bought the Zyxel 500Mbps powerline to go with it and hooked up to my WD Live TV. It streams my HD movies flawlessly. NOTE TO OTHERS: you will need to get the powerline adapter if your NAS is not hard wired to the router because HD movies WILL NOT stream smoothly over wireless. If you decide you do not want to invest in a powerline, then you will have to run a CAT5e/CAT6 cable directly to your media player (WIRELESS WILL NOT WORK, I've tried it.)

Besides that, I also have all my pictures collections set up so I can share it with friends and family. They have the built-in Photostation that works kind of like Picasa if you're familiar with that.

Also, I have set it up so I can log in remotely from work so I can manage all my downloads with the built-in BitTorrent client it has. The DSM firmware that comes with this product is phenomenal and I have yet to use all the functions that it provides.

I am a tech guy so it was pretty easy to set up, albeit, I ran into some issues with manually setting up port forwarding on my router since it isn't completely compatible with this NAS, but once I figured it out, everything else was easy breezy.

I would definitely recommend this to anyone who wants to have a centralized location to put their important files and to be ale to access them anywhere, any time. For me, it was my movies and I finally found a way to stream all my movies without having to lug a bunch of external HD's around my house.
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on November 14, 2013
Read a lot of reviews (on Amazon and CNET) and talked with numerous individuals before I purchased this NAS. This device has exceeded my expectations. As a lot of the reviews on Amazon indicated, it helps to have a little IT experience while configuring the NAS but with the information available on-line through Synology's website I think any adventurous person could have the NAS up and running fairly quick. The main reason I went with this model was due to the fact that it is expandable, so a couple years down the road when capacity becomes an issue I will be able to buy one of Synology's expansion units and not have to buy a whole new NAS.
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on December 31, 2013
This has worked out really well. I probably bought a more beefy unity than I needed, but I've been quite happy overall. For its role as a NAS, it has been flawless. I'm able to connect via multiple protocols from both inside my house and from the Internet (Synology hosts a Dynamic DNS service that is well integrated and works great). It also hosts my Time Machine backups very well. I've setup some backups to AWS's Glacier which works ok, the software could use a little more polish here (it is almost impossible to SEE that it is actually working, and the only option is to restore everything, you can't browse and restore individual files). I love that I was able to sell my Latronix xPrintServer because this device will serve up my Ethernet connected printer via AirPrint to my iOS devices (I didn't know this ahead of time, pleasant surprise). I had some issues attaching HFS+ devices. I thought it was working great until my significant other pointed out that several files simply weren't appearing when the drive was plugged in to the DiskStation, but were quite accessible when plugged directly into the MacBook. I had high hopes for being able to plug a fast USB thumb drive (SanDisk Extreme 32 GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive SDCZ80-032G-AFFP) into the USB 3.0 port. While it works, I couldn't detect any speed improvement over the HDD. I've come to really appreciate the SD card slot and the copy button. I thought it was a little gimmicky at first, but it is actually really useful. After using our camera, I can pop the card in, hit the button, wait for the push notification on my phone, and eject it. Then when I'm ready, I can import the photos to my library.

The most surprising feature is the UI. Trying to create a desktop-like UI inside of a web browser is a stretch, but they managed it. I found that everything is very well integrated, setting up the networking, NAT port opening, firewall settings, SSL certificates, DDNS--everything was very easy (IPv6 is the exception, I had it turned on for a while, but then turned it off when I realized there didn't seem to be any firewall).

Anyway, I highly recommend Synology. But they have a lot of products, go figure out there numbering scheme (DS213+ means [DiskStation] [2 drive bays] [released in 2013] [with '+' functionality]), and figure out which one is right for you.
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on March 3, 2014
We got this to provide network storage and act as a media server between our Mac, PC, Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod, and Kindle Fire household. Our Macs are backed up with Time Machines, but we needed some place to store all the pictures and videos we've amassed, and be easily accessible across the PCs and many other devices. This does the trick, it takes no time to set up, and has a easy to use and full-featured management console. So you can geek out, while get stuff set-up and configured quickly.

There are cheaper options and if you go for device attached much cheaper. But we've transformed our home network, pictures that where hidden away on disk or one machine are now available to everyone as home. PC back-ups are now finally automated rather than waiting for a drive to be connected to the laptop, and our Sonos system has a store that is always on for playing music.

There's much more this platform can do, so as a geeks toy there is lots to play with. But if you have a heterogeneous device household and want a powerful yet quick to set up platform, this is hard to beat.
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