Today I want to talk to you about the Synology DiskStation 214+. This is a NAS device also referred to as network attached storage. The reason you might invest in something like this is so that you can store all of your data and files in one central location, which can then be accessed via multiple computers. For example you may have a desktop and laptop, or members of your family may each have a laptop and access the files stored on your NAS.
This Synology range differ from others with regard to the specifications and features offered up by their excellent suite of software. Looking at the hardware first, the DS214+ has a Dual Core CPU and is capable of transferring your data at superb speeds (up to 208 MB/s Reading, 153 MB/s Writing). It also has dual LAN (ethernet) connections and USB 3.0 for adding external devices. Two hard drive bays accommodate 3.5 inch SATA hard drives and these can be set up in various configurations either for enhanced performance or data redundancy. Data redundancy means that if one hard drive fails you have a mirror image of all your files on the second hard drive and you don't lose precious information. Synology update their hardware on a regular basis, adding new features to keep up with the latest technologies.
They also update their DiskStation Manager software regularly and this adds a whole host of new features to your device. So apart from simple file sharing, you can also set up automated backups, share various media files and access your data via mobile devices. You can also connect a printer to one of the USB ports and share this printer over your network, this is a great feature for family and small business use. With all these features you may already be thinking that this offers great value, but there is more. You can add antivirus, a DHCP server, or even audio station which enables you to share music tracks over your network via a user friendly interface. One of the features I like, being a small business owner, is Surveillance Station. This allows you to connect compatible IP cameras and have them record video footage direct to your NAS. So your DiskStation does not stand still, as the company regularly add new cut new packages to the mix, which extends its value and certainly future proofs your device to a certain extent.
I create and store a lot of video footage for the Geekanoids Channel and over the years I have used many storage devices, but none really come near to the overall package that is available by investing in a Synology product. The performance of the DS214+ has certainly exceeded my expectations, with the build quality being very robust and well finished. Noise levels are always kept to a minimum, but if you are working in a controlled environment (perhaps a recording studio), then you may want to locate your DS214+ in a different room. That said, I can certainly recommend this for storing a whole host of different files or indeed if you are looking at setting up something a bit more complicated like a server.