Software for the Synology is another strong point. The device includes software to back up Windows computers, and drivers to support the Mac Time Machine backup utility. There’s a web interface to download BitTorrent media (yarr), a Mail Station to act as your e-mail server, and an Audio Station app to stream your music. You can even download additional apps from Synology’s website.
Synology and QNAP are the best-known companies offering NAS devices, so for a while we were split between the DS212 and a comparable system, the QNAP TS-219P+. QNAP’s machine costs the same and includes more RAM (512MB) than Synology’s NAS (256MB). But there have been complaints about QNAP’s support, with customers saying it can be difficult to get technical assistance on the phone when something goes wrong. Synology users, on the other hand, seem pretty happy on that score.Also, some critics have observed that setting up a QNAP device requires the expertise of an IT pro, whereas Synology’s NAS interface is more user friendly. Finally, a benchmark test by BitTech showed that the Synology’s NAS performs faster than QNAP’s NAS in terms of read-and-write speeds. So in short, Synology wins.
If you don’t care that much about speed, you can save 100 bucks and get Synology’s lower-end DS212J model NAS, which has a slightly slower processor but still earns rave reviews from critics and customers. Doug from Synology sums up the differences as so:The DS212j (for ‘junior’) is our most economical, but consequently lacks a few hardware features of the DS212. Those features being: SD card slot, front-loading hot-swappable drives, hardware encryption, faster CPU and more RAM, and USB 3.0. These will be, respectively, so you see why I prefer the DS212 for additional investment.We recommend, however, throwing down extra cash on the better model, because a NAS is going to serve your digital media needs for many years to come.
Synology DiskStation 2-Bay (Diskless) Network Attached Storage DS212 (Black)
Synology DiskStation DS212 offers an affordable and full-featured network attached storage solution, specifically designed for small business workgroup users who need to share and protect data cost-effectively, while increasing productivity with comprehensive business-oriented applications. Running on DiskStation Manager (DSM) operating system, it delivers ease of use and variety of features. Compatible with: Mac, PC