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Showing 1-10 of 144 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 165 reviews
on December 5, 2013
The Synology DS214 is the latest updated version of its mid-range home/soho 2-bay NAS.

The unit itself is pretty barebones and doesn't have that solid quality feel that I prefer in most products given it's thin metal case and plastic build, but it's functional and gets the job done as a NAS case that's not going to be moved around once setup.

The plastic drive trays are a tool less design, just pop the sides off, drop your hard drive in, and pop the sides back on to secure the drive in place.

As with all the home or small office NAS units this only features a single Gigabit ethernet port, however in those installations you wouldn't have the higher end networking switches capable of supporting dual Gigabit nics anyway.

The USB ports are handy for when attaching a UPS backup in order to have the NAS shutdown in the event of a power outage, but I would never recommend using them for USB Drive backup of the NAS - that entirely missing the point of purchasing a NAS unless you intend to transfer the USB drive to another safe location for disaster recovery.

The CPU is a modest dual core, and ram is somewhat limited at 512mb, making this a serviceable NAS for very limited applications running on it and light file server duty. If you're intending to run a significant number of apps and services on the NAS you should consider upgrading the ram or purchasing a larger Synology NAS with a better CPU and Ram support (1-3Gb is often enough for most uses).

Management of the NAS is stellar, the Synology DSM is a great example of what all consumer hardware like this should have, a simple straightforward GUI that cuts out all the complexity of a complicated device allowing home and office users the ability to manage it without ongoing tech support.

The free applications available for the Synology DSM are really what makes their product line shine. Simply clicking on install on one of their apps turns your NAS into anything from the typical file server to a music server, media server (Movies, Pictures), home security camera video storage, VPN server, tons of other business related apps, and many 3rd party community ports from popular Linux apps. You really need to just check out their full App listing to see how easily you can turn these units into an efficient always on server for your home or small business.

Being a 2-bay NAS, if you're not familiar with RAID 1, please keep in mind that you will only have slightly less than half the storage total of the 2 drives you install if you want the ability to not lose data in the event of a single drive failure. If you're not concerned about redundancy with the disks, then your entire capacity will be available to you for storage but is not recommended given the risk of disk failure in the first year of ownership.

If you're serious about capacity, redundancy, performance, and the most bang for your buck I highly recommend considering Synology's larger 4-8 drive NAS units. By going with a larger NAS using multiple hard drives you can purchase multiple less expensive hard drives that will increase your overall performance and redundancy in case of a disk failure. A 2-bay NAS such as this in Raid 1 means you're wasting half your space for redundancy, where a larger NAS would typically only use 20-25% of your capacity for redundancy.

With that said if you feel the DS214 will fit your needs and budget it's definitely a great little unit for the money.
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on December 31, 2013
I have a lot of NAS's. I have a Synology 1513+, QNAP 2 Bay, DROBO 5N and have had a number of HP Windows Home Servers and I have some of the single drive Seagate and Western Digital boxes as well.

The DS214 is in a different class than the Seagate/WD boxes. No comparison. If you are new to NAS, you probably are not aware that the CPU/Memory of the NAS box has a lot to do with its performance. How fast does it copy files? How fast does it serve them up? How fast does your DLNA server index and serve up music, etc. Faster better CPU's mean snappier performance. This box is fast - almost as fast as my Synology 1511+. In transferring some test photo files (average size 28M) files, I got 80-90 MB/second across a wired 1TB network. That's very good. Some consumer class devices (other 1 and 2 bay devices) get about 20-30 MB/second so the DS214 is definitely in a different class.

I have stored about 2TB of music and I am using it as a music server. Did I mention that it is fast? It was extremely simple to configure as a DNLA server and as an iTunes server.

One of the big advantages of Synology is their DSM software which you use to configure that NAS. It has a very nice graphical interface that makes it friendly to use. And, there is an application download platform that allows you to download additional software. Management software differs by manufacturer. I like Synology's.

The DS214 is expensive but I feel it is worthwhile. When you move lots of files into a NAS, you want to retain the snappy performance you might have from a local hard disk. So, faster is better. Most people that buy a NAS have a lot of data and store music, videos and photos. If you ever need to transfer over a lot of data (1TB or more) you know that it can take 4-12 hours across the network. I have owned several Synology NAS's and I think they are high performance, easy to use, but you pay a little premium. Over the long term, the premium is more than made up for by better performance and ease of use.

I will buy another Synology again next time.
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon February 23, 2015
I'm fairly new to having a NAS but this device was fairly easy to setup. You pop out the disk space savers that are in the case and pop in your disk drives you bought.

The drives I bought for mine are these: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008JJLW4M/ref=cm_cr_ryp_prd_ttl_sol_14 => WD Red 3TB NAS Hard Drive: 1 to 8-bay RAID Hard Drive: 3.5-inch SATA 6 Gb/s, IntelliPower, 64MB Cache WD30EFRX - based on other recommendations I found on Amazon.

I like the software included that allows you to control and manage the NAS device.

I originally had issues where it was very slow. I bought a switch ==> http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0000BVYT3/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1
NETGEAR GS105 ProSafe 5-Port Gigabit Ethernet Desktop Switch - 10/100/1000 Mbps

Which has helped tremendously with how fast I can access the data on my NAS.
I also bought a new wifi access point for the house - http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005H4CDF4/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1 Ubiquiti UniFi Long Range Access Point, (2.4 GHz, UAP-LR-US, US Version)

What I love most about this is with the right setup through the setup software you can access your data from anywhere. It's easy to connect my devices to the NAS from within the house. I'm able to backup my photos to the NAS and know they are being saved immediately to another drive and I can access them from anywhere. I'm very happy with my purchase.

Update 5/5/13 - One of my new drives became corrupted a few weeks ago and my NAS started beeping to let me know there was an issue. This is exactly what I'm looking for. I was able to format the recovery drive, and reuse the second drive as a second backup with no issues since. It's possible I have a faulty second drive but I'm thankful the NAS alerted me through audible beeping and I was able to access data about it online through their tool and remedy the issue.
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on February 26, 2015
Great feature set. A little bit of a learning curve, but VERY flexible config and almost everything worked on the first try. I am using it as a network backup location for a small business. 2x3TB in RAID0 for 6TB total. I have 1.5TB in iSCSI target for Windows Server Backup, 3.5TB in standard shared storage for PC backups, 1TB utility volume for manual backups/etc.

It linked to Active Directory and imported users without issue. Home folders (private user folders) created automatically. Quota assigned and shows properly on user end (mapped drive only shows quota as available space). Performance has been great so far, although with RAID1 and Gigabit LAN, I did expect it to be fast.

One complaint - I didn't see a way to change settings for multiple users at once. Would have loved to select all the users and set the quota with one operation. Not the worst thing to do one at a time, but could have saved some time.

I am impressed with feature set, ease of administration, ease of firmware/software updates, and price. I like the various models Synology offers so performance, capacity, power consumption, etc can be tweaked to fit any location's demands. I haven't tried other brands, but I'm satisfied with Synology from my experience with this model. I plan to install one at home for all-purpose network storage and backup. Excited to try out the iTunes media server, will have to add to my review after seeing that in operation.
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on May 13, 2015
Other reviews have reported problems getting this set up. I have no idea why. Installed 2 WD Red 3TB drives, no tools required. Plugged it in. It even came with the network cable. Going to http://diskstation from my desktop machine worked the first try. 10 minutes later, the array was built, the DSM system was installed and I had a user created with a quick connect id. Set my music and pictures to copy to the relevant directories (located on two different machines in the house). Excellent throughput from both machines. Left to go do other things. Successfully checked on status from my phone without any router configuration. Looks like it took a couple of hours to get those items copied across. This morning I set my personal file directory to copy across and setup up SMART testing on the drives and made sure it could email me alarms. This isn't a huge NAS station so I expect to use it for simple file storage. I'll probably run a couple of apps, cloudstorage, maybe the itunes server. If you need surveillance systems, anti-virus scanners, etc, go with one of the bigger units. The processor could probably do these tasks but you might be disappointed with the performance.
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on December 30, 2016
Love Synology! (No, I am not a Synology employee…LOL!) I am a 30+ yr IT professional and had done the "server in the basement" dance for years...until I discovered Synology. This is my second Synology unit (needed a little more horsepower) over the last 10 years and I highly recommend them to ANYONE I speak to about home or SMB server needs.

I was always in the need of lots of storage (photos, music, movies, etc...), secure remote access, and email / web services for home. The BEST part of the Synology product is that with the super simple user interface and long list of services and applications, it is MUCH easier and simpler to run that your standard server (Microsoft, Linux, etc..) products. Nowhere near the OS overhead as MS servers, and easy enough for a 10-year-old to run. I am supporting multiple devices on my home network and the Synology DS allows me to provide highly reliable storage / email / web services with very little overhead and admin support. My windows servers and workstation sharing devices required a lot more hand holding. Yes, for the most part they ran fine but when updates loaded or if one happened to reboot (you know there is always the odd MS reboot that occurs), I would get a call from home "...XYZ is not working anymore..how do I reset it". One time my wife had to call me while I was in New Orleans on business because should could not access some files she needed for school. No more calls since I migrated to Synology.

For the home, small/mid-sized business the DS is a money saving highly reliable device that provides everything they might need to support network devices. No more sharing files or printers from one person's computer, only to have that system bog down or not be available if the person is OOO. It connects to your home of office network easily and you don’t need to call your IT consultant each time you need to do some administration (add users, backups, etc…) because the admin interface is web based and easy to drive. Trust me, I have done “side work” for many SMBs and would rack up many hours on “operational tasks” to keep the servers updated, backed up, and healthy. Many of those tasks can be setup to automatically run (backups, OS upgrades, app/package upgrades, etc..) without user intervention. The system will send you and email when things start and when they complete.

This is also better than adding USB storage to your system. The internal boards on most of the consumer grade USB storage devices are not very good and fail, leaving you to believe that the drive went bad. On more than one occasion I removed the drive from a failed USB drive (Yes, even the ones that begin with “W” and “S”… figure out the rest for yourself) and connected it to my computer or an external drive caddy and found the drive to be in perfect working order. Also, these types of drives require it be connected to another computer which is fine but it’s not an antonymous device.

If you are thinking about adding a server or storage to your home or SMB network, I would highly recommend looking at a Synology device as a price competitive, less operational overhead alternative.
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on March 18, 2014
I am happy to find a product like this. It works great. Received it last Friday and set it up Saturday morning.
I used to have a NAS built by netgear that required additional drivers and was, in general, a total disaster.
Now I have the DS connected to my router in a closet, with Wake On LAN enabled, and two 3 TB disks raided together, and it works flawlessly. The user interface is way beyond my expectations, and the additional features provided with the device are exceptional. If I wanted, I could set up a web server running Tomcat, a WordPress site, and/or a MySQL server.
So far, I have set up Video streaming, iTunes, file server, backup, and mac time machine services. It just works. It does take dedicated effort to set up, and you need to have a reasonable plan, but if you keep things simple, they just work. I am toying with the idea of setting up the LDAP server but have not researched how to do it, and it might be overkill. Just the fact that it supports deploying an LDAP server blows my mind. I know this is one of the lower end versions of the family of devices, so it does have limited RAM (512MB), but so far, the performance monitor shows the device as active but not overloaded, even when sharing folders to three windows machines, a mac, and doing mac time machine backups, all at the same time.
A couple of suggestions
1. Get the largest disks you can afford (I got two 3TB Western Digital disks), and take advantage of the raid. It will give you peace of mind.
2. When you set it up, immediately do a software upgrade to the most recent server software. It was not obvious (to me) that it was needed. I did two upgrades in a row to get to the most recent version.
3. Turn on the Wake On LAN feature. It works exactly how you'd want it to - the server powers down when not in use, and starts right back up when needed. It comes back up quick, only a few seconds, enough to notice a pause, but not enough to make it a big issue.
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on August 10, 2015
What a bad experience!!

I am an IT consultant, I bought so many of the Synology products, few months ago we found the response to open any “TIFF” files is very very slow, we changed the network switch to all Gig ports, and it did not help!, we opened a case, and regardless we could not speak to anyone we sent email, they emailed back, asked us if we can test with SSD HD!, and we did, on my expense I boght another similar Synology and SSD but it was the same bad performance, and finally after few months Synology admits it is “bug” on the code with the TIFF files and they will try to fix it, but no fix date, and I almost lost my client forever.

Even after few months they have no ETA on the fix date, Synology do not care about you as customer, I will try another brand.

Keep away from Synology…

I can provide full trail of the email case, with case # etc…
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on June 29, 2015
I've owned this Synology NAS for a while now and it is worth every penny. I put (2) 3 TB HDD's in it at RAID 1. I feel that my data is protected and I have a constant backup. It's also fast. I have a gigabit router and I mount a iSCSI drive to my lab machine and install all of my VM's onto it reducing the HDD load on my desktop making my VM's super fast (running 3 Windows Server 2012 at a time). The software Synology provides is also very easy to use, provides easy updating, and can integrate with a lot of peripherals. I bought a TV antenna to plug into it and it worked great, but I got bored with it (just used my TV). My favorite thing is I plugged it into my power backup unit (UPS) and it can shut itself off gracefully if the unit gets to 15% capacity. It also gives you a list of power events so you can see how often you get brown outs / blips.
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on June 19, 2015
As a NAS devices it works just fine it sits there, very quiet and it does its job. The surveillance station software for running surveillance cameras drags this down to 3 Stars. It says it supports up to 64 cameras, what it doesn't tell you that it would cost $3100 dollars for the licensee.

There is a $50 licensing fee for each camera above the 2 that you get for free. For me that kills it for that use. You can buy a nice camera for around $$130 but then another $50 on top of it? They need to come up with a better licensing structure.
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