Synology DS410j NAS Station
As someone who constantly desires ever more storage space as HD content spreads and bloat seems to affect every piece of software on the market, I've often looked at external storage as a way to solve the problem and specifically NAS. Unfortunately they seemed to be split into two distinct categories. Those that were no more than a glorified external hard-drive with a connector, and those that would be more at home within Mi5.
The Synology DS410j actually does pretty much everything anyone could ask, and at a price point that makes it very very attractive. After all, why have a burger if you can have steak?
The unit is attractive and sturdy. It wont dominate any environment you choose to place it in and, naturally because it's NAS, you can hide it away almost anywhere of your choosing.
Installation is a breeze. If you can use a screwdriver you can install your hard-drives, and the Synology software itself is amazingly easy to use to configure your array.Anyone who finds the whole "insert your RAID diskette now" procedure to be daunting might just have got the hardware of their dreams.
Once installed and up and running and looking at the Synology Assistant I have to say it's one of the most user-friendly pieces of software it has ever been my pleasure to play with. Outstandingly easy considering the complex nature of what it does.
Want to setup a few folders? A cinch. Change permissions so only you can access the drive? Not a problem. How about blocking access to IP ranges that don't authenticate despite repeated attempts? Water off a ducks back. I could go on waxing lyrically about the staggering wonder that is the software but I think you've all got the idea by now. If you can think of it you can do it. Easier and faster than you thought possible.
So what is there to dislike? Very little. It could be argued that as it's solely a NAS and doesn't come with any drives that once you include the price of some HDDs into the mix it could get steep, but if all you want is pure storage for a home PC, you wouldn't consider one of these. If you want the ability to share files between your PC and your wife's, or the one upstairs, then get a big thumb-drive. This is aimed at a very specific market sector and even with some beastly HDDs populating it's still a lot cheaper than the alternatives. Plus nothing under this price and very little above it provides such a wealth of features for protecting and organising your data.
Other than the price the looks are subtle, but with so many home PCs going black rather than beige it's possibly a little out of place. But this is really nit-picking. The short of it is that the Synology DS410j is well built, easy to use, good value and the only speed restriction is your ability to fill it with fast drives. Even four SSDs wont make it blink.
- Takes user-friendliness to a new level.
- 8TB capacity comes at a cost, but wont fill up in a hurry.
- Built like a tank.
- Solid professional packaging.
- More features than most people will ever need, but without overwhelming you.
- Possibly its beige-ness might put people off.
- It's great value but don't forget to budget for drives.
- It's only as good or average as the drives you put in it.