by Greg King on August 16, 2007 in Network-Attached Storage
While there are many NAS products available, there are none that we’ve crossed that have matched the feature-set of Synology’s DS207. There are too many features to mention in a small intro, so read on to learn more about the product we had a difficult time finding a fault in.
To test out the Synology, we ran our standard test of transferring a 600 MB file across to and from the NAS. We timed each transfer and after running the same test three times, we averaged the times. Each test, write and read, was ran in a RAID 1 configuration. My general consensus is that users are going to purchase a dual drive NAS to be used as a reliable backup solution. Regardless, our results are what we imagined they would be.
The Synology DS207 has effectively taken our idea of what a perfect NAS would be and raised the bar considerably higher. From a hardware point of view, there isn’t very much, outside of external appearance that really separates this NAS from any other. Like all other BYOD NAS, you open the device; install your hard drive(s) and you’re done.
However, unlike the D-Link DNS-323 that we looked at a few weeks ago, you actually have to mount the drives inside the DS207 whereas with the 323, you simply slid them into the enclosure itself. While the entire process is a bit more involved than that of the D-Link, with the Synology, I personally got a feeling of security knowing that the drives were securely mounted inside the NAS.
I will say, while we are commenting on the external appearance, that the white “Mac” look of the DS207 is attractive but I personally would have enjoyed it in a black case. However, that’s irrelevant simply because most consumer products could be “better” if they were colored to suite individual users but we all know, that’s not financially feasible for the manufacturers.
Hardware aside, the Synology truly shines through its features. While it won’t impact many home users, the ability to use a network’s existing active directory tree is great when using the DS207 to share files with many different users across a network. With the latest software updates, Synology has also added quite a few features to distance itself even more from the NAS pack.
Its ability to play music without being connected to a host PC is neat but not really that exciting. With this option, you basically have a $300+ music player. Although I must say that it is quite convenient to connect an iPod to the DS207 and play though it but ultimately, it’s not going to be a selling feature for most. Of all the features however, the most important to many, and what will set it apart from the rest, is the Apache web serving capabilities.
Coming with PHP+MySQL installed, you can run your own personal website on the DS207 itself. This is a huge bonus for anyone who might use this option. In our review, we didn’t get to deep into this function but the fact that it’s offered is a huge feather in the Synology hat of features.
As with many other NAS boxes, you have the default FTP, iTunes server and back up utilities. Of these, the Data Replicator II is easily the most interesting feature. The program is a small and easy to understand and navigate app. It gives the user the ability to easily schedule backups of individual files as well as multiple files and folders. Couple this ability with a RAID 1 array and you can be pretty confident that your most important data isn’t going anywhere. For those like me who have a lot of multimedia that has been building up over the years, this definitely gives you peace of mind.
With everything in mind, the only drawback of the DS207 is the price. Found online between the mid and lower $300s, the DS207 isn’t cheap but if you can use the features it ships with, it’s money well spent. With that said, we have caught wind that the price might be dropping below $300 soon. If this is the case, the DS207 is that much more appealing.
If your looking for a cheap NAS that can do basic NAS functions, the D-Link DNS-323 is one that should get your consideration. However, if you’re in the market for a full blown, big boy NAS, and can take advantage of some of the unique features, this should be at the top of your list. While a bit expensive, the features easily outweigh the price, earning it a perfect 10 out of 10.
We haven’t given out many 10 here at Techgage, mainly because there hasn’t been a lot of hardware that has deserved a perfect score. This is usually because of performance, price, functionality or a combination of the three. In the case of the DS207 however, every single aspect of the NAS is solid, allowing us to easily look past the higher price of entry.
After all, this is aimed at small businesses that more often than not, are more willing to make the investment into a device like this. Along with the perfect score, the Synology DS207 earns an editor’s choice award.
Stay tuned as we look at the DS107e in an upcoming review and see if it can live up to precedent that it’s bigger brother has set.
- Can use active directory
- Great looks
- Audio and File stations are a nice touch
- Easy Setup
- Gigabit Ethernet and support for Jumbo Frames
- BitTorrent, HTTP and FTP functionality
- Might be a bit expensive for some
- Ability to change existing volumes without rebuilding the drives is unavailable
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