2020 Review On Synology DS216 NAS

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What’s the Synology DiskStation DS216?


In Synology’s huge selection of network-attached storage (NAS) devices, the two-disk DS216 is billed as a budget option for a tiny office. It’s more costly than Synology’s home-orientated DS216j, but it’s quicker and has useful extra features such as for example hot-swappable devices and one-touch copy from flash drives to the NAS.

Synology DS216 – Specifications and Design


That is a two-bay NAS, which means that your data is protected if one disk fails, and it supports 3.5in devices together with 2.5in devices and SSDs. Since it’s an office model, it includes a quick processor to greatly help with fast file transfers: a dual-core 1.3GHz model, when compared to 1GHz chip in the DS216j.

You’ll also find one USB on leading and two USB 3 ports on the trunk, to plug in devices, TV tuners or wireless dongles, along with Gigabit Ethernet. The DS216 runs the most recent DSM 6 operating-system, which provides an agreeable, mouse-driven interface you could access through a browser.


It’s a plain-looking NAS, with a no-nonsense matte black case; that is as opposed to the shiny white plastic of the home-orientated models. It can feel just like it won’t grab scratches too easily, and the shiny faceplate adds some style.

Synology DS216 – Setup


The provided quick-start guide is pretty minimal, however the NAS does make life possible for you during setup. To begin with, there’s no screwdriver needed here: just pop off leading panel, slide out a drive tray and clip your 3.5in devices into place. Everything is labelled, too, such as for example “up” printed on the drive tray which means you get it the proper way around. Screws is only going to be needed if you’re fitting 2.5in devices or SSDs in to the trays.


After the disks are fitted, simply plug the NAS into your router with the supplied 1.5m network cable, power it on and head to find.synology.com from a browser. This will seek out and hook up to your NAS, and afterward you just click on the big disk icon to download and install the most recent version of the DSM operating-system right to your NAS.


A wizard will take you through establishing an administrator account, and asks you to pick a QuickConnect ID. That is particularly useful for accessing the NAS from mobile apps, because you don’t have to remember its Ip on your network. In addition, it enables you to access the NAS interface on the internet, far from home network. There’s was no fiddling with the router necessary to understand this to work, either – despite having UPnP disabled.

Synology DS216 – OPERATING-SYSTEM and Apps


By default, the NAS sets its two disks as a Synology Hybrid Raid (SHR) array, that may tolerate the failure of 1 disk without data loss. In addition, it creates shares for music, photos, videos and a generic “home” folder. You can access these with the NAS’s Ip, but it’s easier in Windows to just press Windows-R to talk about the Run box and type the NAS’s name as a network share, such as for example \ds216. It’s also possible to map the shares as network drives in Explorer.

The NAS interface helps it be simple to tweak this setup. Even those that aren’t acquainted with NAS drives will feel relatively aware of the windowed interface. Everything is manufactured simpler with some wizards that create new shares and users, assigning them appropriate read and write access – and, if you want, disk space quotas. There’s no dependence on any knowledge on Linux file permission flags, that is a blessing.

The DSM operating-system is immensely powerful, with a bewildering selection of applications you could install from the Package Center. These cover anything from running your own mail server or Drupal CMS, to your own personal wiki.

Synology does have an array of its own software that it recommends you install through the initial setup process. These programs cover the standard office or home NAS tasks of burning your files and sharing photos, video or audio tracks around your network.
I installed Cloud Station (for backup), along with Audio Station, Photo Station and Video Station. Cloud Station works together with an application on your own Windows or Linux PC or Mac. It had been simple to setup and synced new and changed files right to the NAS.

Audio Station offers a simple web interface to play your audio tracks files from the NAS, but is very designed to be utilized with the Android or iOS apps. I came across the Android iphone app to be fast and it worked well with large music collections, but I missed the opportunity to sort albums by artist name.

Photo Station is effective through a browser, providing a slick interface to see your photography collection, and I didn’t have any complaints about the Android app, either.

Video Station is a different matter. Unlike Photo and Audio Station, you can’t just view content in your Video folder right away. You first need to put in a shared folder to a library, such as for example Movies. Every time I added a fresh file to the Video folder, it took around ten minutes showing up in Video Station, and a 1.2GB rip of a DVD wouldn’t play back smoothly through the Android app, even though I was next to the router.
I didn’t can get on with Video Station, however the NAS includes a UPnP media server enabled by default. This implies you can use an alternative solution mobile app, including the excellent BubbleUPnP, to stream music and video from your own NAS. With BubbleUPnP, I exxperienced smooth video playback on my phone and a far more fully featured very good music player than DS Audio.

Synology DS216 – External Storage


If you plug a USB hard disk drive or flash drive in to the DS216, this will be shared over the network. Also you can utilize the DS216’s File Station iphone app to copy files to and from the disk making use of your web browser. I came across this a super-quick way to load a huge selection of gigabytes of data onto the NAS after initial setup.
The DS216 also offers a button marked “c” on leading, that will automatically copy the contents of any drive connected to leading USB port to the NAS’s internal storage. I came across this worked fine, however that if you wish the NAS to learn exFAT disks (a favorite format for high-capacity flash drives) then you’ll have to buy a $4 Synology app.

Annoyingly, leading USB port doesn’t use USB 3.0 and instead transfers only at USB 2 speeds. That is a faff when you wish to transfer a wide array of files quickly.

Synology DS216 – Performance


The DS216’s interface ran a lot more smoothly than that of my home DS212j from 2012, which gave me high hopes that the fast processor would bring about some impressive file transfer speeds.

This became the case. My speed tests used the Windows command line Robocopy tool to copy three sets of test files between your NAS and a RAM disk on my test PC over a Gigabit Ethernet network. The test files were 500MB of mainly sub-100KB documents, 500MB of JPEG photographs between 2MB and 5MB, and an individual 570MB video file.

Small files were written at 18.3MB/sec and read at 23.4MB/sec. Next, the photographs were written at 56.1MB/sec and read at 62.3MB/sec. The large video file was written to the NAS at an enormous 111MB/sec and read at 96.8MB/sec. That is an extremely quick NAS indeed, even though writing tiny files.

TrustedReviews‘ testing methodology has changed since we reviewed the DS216Play, so these results aren’t completely comparable. However, the Play model seems to manage small files slightly faster compared to the DS216, but large files slightly slower.

Should I choose the Synology DS216?


The DS216 is simple to create and use, includes a polished operating-system and sky-high file-transfer rates. You’ll have to be cautious about whether you’d be better off with a different NAS from Synology’s own range, however.

The home-orientated DS216j gets the same dual-core processor as the DS216 but it’s clocked at less 1GHz speed. Due to this fact, file transfers won’t be as quick, and you’ll lose the direct USB copy function and hot-swappable disks.

Otherwise, the NAS devices are highly similar, and the DS216j is £80 cheaper. There’s also the DS216play, which costs a supplementary fiver and has only 1 USB 3 port – nonetheless it includes a storming 1.5GHz processor, 1GB of RAM and support for hardware video transcoding.

Verdict


The DS216 is a fantastic NAS. If you’ll mainly utilize the drive to store and share files at high speed across your network, it is the model to get. If outright speed is less important, you should save a packet and choose the DS216j instead.

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