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July 30, 2012

Synology Diskstation DS212j NAS Review

Synology is dedicated to taking full advantage of the latest technologies to bring businesses and home users reliable and affordable ways to centralize data storage, simplify data backup, share and sync files across different platforms, and access data on-the-go. Synology aims to deliver products with forward-thinking features and the best in class customer services.

Today we will be reviewing Synology Diskstation DS212j NAS which is basically for home and small business use , So without wasting any time lets jump right into the review,

Synology Diskstation DS212j

 

Synology DiskStation DS212j is a 2bay NAS designed to provide a solution of file storage and sharing with data protection for your home environment with low power consumption, quiet operation and reliability. Running on DiskStation Manager (DSM) operating system, it delivers ease of use and a variety of features.

 

Features and Specifications 

 

  • 24/7 Power-Saving Download Server
  • DLNA® Certified Media Server
  • Effortless Backup
  • Anywhere Access
  • Power-saving with only 17.6 Watts in Operation
  • Running on Synology DiskStation Manager (DSM)

 

Hardware Specifications

 

  • PU Frequency : 1.2GHz
  • Hardware Encrypted Engine
  • Memory : DDR2 256MB
  • Internal HDD/SSD : 3.5″ or 2.5″ SATA(II) X 2 (With optional 2.5″ Disk Holder) (Hard drive not included)
  • Max Internal Capacity : 8TB (2X 4TB HDD) (Capacity may vary by RAID types) (See All Supported HDD)
  • External HDD Interface : USB 2.0 Port X 2
  • Size (HxWxD) : 165 X 100 X 225.5 mm
  • Weight : 0.94Kg
  • LAN : Gigabit X1
  • System Fan : 92x92mm x1
  • Wireless Support
  • Noise Level : 18.3 dB(A)
  • Power Recovery
  • AC Input Power Voltage : 100V to 240V AC
  • Power Frequency : 50 / 60Hz, Single Phase
  • Power Consumption : 17.6W (Access) ; 5.5W (HDD Hibernation)
  • Operating Temperature : 5°C ~ 35°C (40°F ~ 95°F)
  • Storage Temperature : 15 to 155°F (-10 to 70°C)
  • Relative Humidity : 5% to 95% RH
  • Maximum Operating Altitude : 10,000 feet
  • Certification : FCC Class B, CE Class B, BSMI Class B
  • Warranty : 2 Years

Applications 

 

  • File Station
  • Virtual Drive
  • Remote Folder
  • Backup Solutions
  • Network Backup
  • Local Backup
  • Desktop Backup (Window: Synology Data Replicator 3, Mac: Apple Time Machine backup application)
  • Shared Folder Sync – Max task number : 2
  • LUN Backup – Max Concurrent Task Number : 1
  • Configuraiton Backup
  • Mail Server
  • Supported Protocols : POP3, SMTP, IMAP
  • FTP Server
  • Bandwidth Control, Custom FTP Passive Port Range, Anonymous FTP, Transfer Log
  • Web Station
  • Virtual Host (up to 30 websites)
  • PHP/MySQL
  • 3rd-Party Applications Support
  • Print Server
  • Max Printer # : 2
  • Printing Protocols : LPR, CIFS, IPP, Apple AirPrint, Google Cloud Print, Multi Functional Print Server (for Windows PC only)
  • iOS/Android Applications
  • DS photo+
  • DS audio
  • DS cam
  • DS file
  • DS finder
  • Windows Phone Applications
  • DS finder

 

Unboxing and Packaging 

 

Synology Diskstation DS212j comes in white medium sized box . The box itself is very sturdy which is very good to protect the hardware packed inside . Also the packaging of the Synology Diskstation DS212j is very amazing , the way the company has mentioned the specifications and the features on the box is good . In this way one can actually see all the main features before buying this NAS.

 

 

 After unboxing , the Synology Diskstation DS212j the following hardware was found which came with it ,

Ethernet Cable

Power Brick

Power Chord

Screws for Mounting HDD

Manual

Installation CD

 Also included in the box is the Synology Diskstation DS212j itself , As you can clearly see that the NAS is white in colour and the synology is crafted on the side of the body of the NAS .

 

Closer Look at the Synology Diskstation DS212j

 

At the front side of the NAS there are four LED lights which indicate the status of Power , LAN connection and Installed HDD which are 2 in this case as it is 2 bay NAS .

 

On the back side of the NAS , there is a small fan included in it just to keep things inside NAS running cool and efficient for longer time .Also you can see the I/O ports included at the back there are two USB 2.0 ports , one ethernet port for connection and also there is connection for the power brick to power up the NAS.

To Install the HDD , we have to slide its one half of the cover and the HDD bays are revealed , Note that the No of the HDD bay are 2 . You can fit a  3.5″ or 2.5″ disk in it .Also note that the interface of the HDD is SATAII 3.0GB/s not the SATA III.

Look at the DSM ( Diskstation Manager )

 

Well before looking at the DSM , We would like to let you know that this version of DSM is 4.0 which do not come with the NAS itself , So we have updates this manually just to let you know how it looks with the new update .
At first when you enter your NAS ip along with port , You will see the login screen . Enter your username and password and you will be granted access to NAS .

After logging in you will the DSM desktop , which is very user friendly . Its just like you are using Windows or MAC . Everyone who is even not aware of the DSM or NAS environment can use DSM without any problem . There are couple of gadgets at the desktop with which you can play a bit . There is control panel icon on the desktop to do various settings according to your need.

 

 

By clicking at the top left , A drop down menu comes out . Here all the installed applications and software are listed which you can use to control your NAS or to do various things . You can install more stuff by just going to package center .

We will be focusing on some major features like File station  , The file station allows you to access your files and folders available on the NAS drive . One thing we liked about the File station is that on the bottom left pane you can see your computer hard drives also . So you dont have to use FTP programs to upload the whole folder or multiple files to the NAS . You can just select the file and click upload and there you go ….

The another program which is included in the NAS and mentioned clearly in bold and big letters on the box is the download station , which allows you to download torrent while your computer is turned off . You can search the torrent of your taste by just writing the name in the search bar located at the top right of the download station .

Synology Cloud Station 

Another Great Feature Synology  has introduced is the Cloud Station , Cloud station enables you to drag and drop file on your computer and it automatically syncs with the NAS or vice versa . In order to setup the cloud station you have to install the cloud station in the NAS from Package Center and also on your PC or MAC .

It provides you a folder  named as Cloud Station which will serve as a common folder for all the computer connected to a network and using cloud station at their computers

 

Mobile Applications 

The other great feature we liked about the Synology is the Mobile Applications for controlling and accessing the NAS even if you are away from computer . You want to access any file lets say a word document or a excel sheet . You can do it by DS File Application .

 Similarly , If you want to view your albums or photos stored in your Synology NAS  you can also check them out with your mobile by just installing DS Photo+ from Android App Market or from Synology Official Website .

 Moreover , There is another application named as DS Audio which allows the user to stream music directly from the NAS . It is great for those who listen to the music in their home but dont want to create  a large playlist in their mobile phone.

DSM 4.1 Update  

 

The Synology Diskstation DS212j came with the older version of the DSM we updates the DSM to DSM 4.0 . Below is the preview of their New Update DSM 4.1 which is very good against the older version of the DSM .

There are a lot of improvement graphically and technically . The User Friendly environment gets better and better with the new update . You can personalize your login screen or change out the desktop as you need . Although the DSM 4.1 is still in its beta state but you can report bug if you found by just clicking at the icon located at the desktop . Also the Synology has announced a prize of DS213air for those who will contribute more and more to Synology for making this Beta less buggy  and helping them to add more features and good stuff .

 

Benchmark (Testing) and Performance 

 

The rig we will using to access the NAS is below ,

 

  • Intel Core i7 2600k @ 4.5 Ghz
  • Patriot Memory 8GB 1866 MHz Memory
  • Kingston HyperX 3k 90 GB SSD ( OS )
  • WD Black Caviar 1 TB
  • WD 1TB External Drive

We installed just one Seagate Barracuda 500GB in the NAS ,But you can install two HDD or SSD up to mentioned capacity at the beginning of the review .

 

The programs we will be using for testing are below ,

 

  • ATTO Disk Benchmark
  • Intel NAS Suite

 

The results for  speeds are below . Note that the speed may vary with the use of different HDD used in NAS or in your System ( PC )

 

 

The power consumption for the NAS is below ,

 

 

The noise level of the Synology Diskstation DS212j  is 31 dbA at normal usage and at heavy load it was 35dbA .

 

In the End ( Conclusion )

 

Synology Diskstation DS212j NAS is a great deal who want to use it in their home or at their small business place . Usually we like to use this as file storage and download station . The CPU installed is not as much powerful which can perform heavy works . Moreover there some cons like , there is not support for USB 3.0 , eSata port is not there , Hot Swappable feature for the HDD is not available in this model .

But hey , for the price of the Synology Diskstation DS212j NAS  the features and hardware is well packed. If you want all other good hardware and stuff you have to spend a lot more then it . But the speeds are very good for the purpose it should be used . If you are looking for high end NAS you should try their rack series or other 4 bay NAS .

 

In the end , it is our great pleasure to announce that Synology Diskstation DS212j NAS is checked by TechTipsnReview and has been awarded for their Quality built NAS , their user friendly DSM which helps a lot to a new comer and in the last price to performance ratio . 

 

 

 

 

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