January 19, 2013

Gadget ON: Synology DS213air A 2-bay NAS Server Review

Last year I received a NAS server with 2 disk bay the Synology DS213air, it's designed for Home and Small Office Users. You can read more about the unboxing here: Synology DS213air
This Synology DS213air is more than just a NAS server, it also have a Built-in Wireless Support, Backup Solutions, File Server, and Mobile Application. The best solution for your personal Cloud storage that supports up to 8TB of Storage. 

The design of the DS213air is simple and have that compact but good build quality, the case can be opened by removing 2 screws at the back. Revealing the bay where you can put the 2 HDD with 3.5" or 2.5" SATA(II)

At the back of DS213air you will find 2 USB port in which it supports external HDD and printers, there’s a 92mm fan which is really quiet with only Noise Level : 19.0 dB(A), beside it is the Gigabit LAN port and below that is the power port. The switch for Wi-Fi which is the red small button and the small hole is for the reset button.

Up front, well there's the usual LEDs to show status, WiFi activity, Disk activity for each drive, and a power light which also house the power button. 

Western Digital provided the 2 sets of 3TB NASWare HDD that I used for this review, the drives can easily be installed by simply sliding it to the caddy and connecting it to the SATA connector.

The package Contents
  • 1x DS213air Unit
  • 1x Installation Disk
  • 1x Welcome Note
  • 1x Assembling Kit
  • 1x AC Power Adapter
  • 1x AC Power Cord
  • 1x RJ-45 LAN Cable
Technical Specifications
  • CPU Frequency : 1.6 GHz
  • Hardware Encryption Engine
  • Memory : DDR3 256 MB 
  • Built-in Wireless Support
  • Size (HxWxD) : 165 x 100 x 225.5 mm
  • AC Input Power Voltage : 100V to 240V AC

The software
Synology very own DSM 4.1 OS, It’s one of the best platforms for network devices, supporting both  worlds of Windows and OS X. There is also the Mobile Application for multiple platform, form iOS, Android and even Windows Phone.

The installation Disk that was included have all the necessary files to get the DSA213air up and running, it's web based installation and easy to follow just make sure that you have an active internet connection before doing the installation.

As you can see form the images above the installation I used is via Wi-Fi I did get some error during the installation, well this is because I forgot so hook-up the internet connection but once I did that it went well and took me more that 30min. I guess because my internet connection that time was too slow.

Once the installation is done you can login and access the admin page from your browser, this is where all the configurations, disk management, services will happen.

The DSM 4.1 have features and services like FTP, WebDAV, Backup, VPN, File Sharing via File Station and Print Server. If you you are looking for other services, you can always download additional packages at the market place. There are also packages for remotely sharing data, and for iTunes, web, and media server capabilities. 
For third-party packages, one of things I setup was CMS (content managent system) such Joomla and  Wordpress.

Antivirus Essential is a free application to protect your Synology DiskStation from any potential virus threat. It's a full-fledged shield with features like live update, quarantine zone, schedule scan and event log. Its ability to find viruses hidden in multiple layers of zipped files gives business a peace-of-mind.

With Media Server, you can easily connect those devices such as TV sets and stereo systems to your home network, and stream multimedia files stored on DiskStation to the devices to enjoy music, photos, and videos.

I was impress by the NAS good performance write speed of around 45mbps and 53mbps read speed, this is when I upload a 10GB file from a laptop connected to wired network where NAS is. 
Doing the same procedure via Wi-Fi have also good transfer rate with write speed of around 8.6mbps and around 9.2mbps of read speed.

Mobile Application
Another advantage of the DSA213air is the availability of mobile apps that you can use on iOS devices, Android and even Windows Phone.

DS Video features video streaming from the DSA213air via Wi-Fi, but it only supports limited number of codec, so you might want to use other player like VLC. For the DS File, its ability to transfer files like pictures and videos to free-up some space from your mobile device.

The DSA213air is a full-featured NAS personal Cloud Server, with it's features like the large storage capacity, wireless functions, software packages, mobile application, time backup, VPN server are just the few of what this device can do.

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