Synology DS212+ review
This is a brilliant NAS enclosure with an outstanding interface and loads of features, but it’s not the fastest in its price range
Review Date: 30 Apr 2012
Price when reviewed: £265
Reviewed By: Kat Orphanides
The two-bay DS212+ has a plastic exterior but feels solidly made nonetheless. Two drive trays pull out of the front of the NAS on rails. The trays have sound-dampening washers to help minimise vibration and the extra-long screws requires to go through them are provided. Finally a front panel with rubber stoppers helps to further reduce vibration.
Setting up your NAS is simple enough, but you'll need to read and follow the quick start guide provided on the accompanying CD, which shows you how to install hard disks in the DS212+ and where to find DiskStation Manager (DSM). DSM is operating system that you need to install before you can use the DS212+, and there are Windows, Mac and Linux programs on the supplied CD.
Once the Synology Assistant has finished setting up your NAS, you can access it via your web browser, where you can also set up a shared folder that you can map as a Windows share. The guest account is disabled by default, so you must enable it if you want any device on your network to be able to access your folder without providing a password. Like all NAS devices, you can create different folders, and provide users with different levels of access.
Synology's NAS devices really stand out because of the sheer quality of their interfaces. When you open the web interface of the DS212+, you get a fully windowed GUI, plenty of helpful prompts that make it easy to find shortcuts to the functions you need and virtually every networking feature you can think of. You can also connect and share additional storage via two USB3 ports, a USB2 port, an eSATA port and an SDXC card slot. The USB ports can also be used to connect a printer.
A brilliantly designed package manager makes it easy to install additional features, such as an IP camera monitoring suite or LDAP server, while the backup manager makes it easy to back up the NAS device's contents to a variety of locations, either locally or online. As well as Synology's official packages, a community development project means that you can install different applications, from transparent proxies to alternative file managers.
As expected, the DS212+ performed well in our transfer speed tests. Configured as RAID 1, it achieved an average large file transfer speed of 42.5MB/s and a small file average of 12.6MB/s. It costs a reasonable £271, is very solidly built and has a great interface, earning it five stars. However, we slightly prefer the QNap TurboNAS TS-219P II, which is similarly easy to use but proved to be faster in our tests.
Synology DS212 is faster than the QNAP TurboNAS TS-219P II...
The review states that the QNap TurboNAS TS-219P II is faster than the Synology DS212+, but the benchmarks in this Lab say differently!
In the Raid 0 tests, the Synology beats the QNAP in 6 out of 6 tests.
In the Raid 1 tests, the Synology beats the QNAP 4 times out of 6, tying in 1 test and losing in 1 test.
How on earth can the review then say that the QNAP is faster?
By deane_goodman on 23 May 2012
RAID 1 performance is critical
First off, I'd like to be clear that both NAS devices are outstanding, which is why both received 5 star ratings.
However as we reviewed them alongside one another and wished to pick a comparative winner, we based much of our decision on their performance in our RAID1 large file test, as we regard this to be the most representative of typical consumer use.
Unfortunately, this isn't an ideal medium in which to publish charts, but here's a matrix of devices' performance in our RAID1 large and small files test. (w = write; r = read; a = average)
Large w 46.24 46.2
Large r 38.76 31.66
Large a 42.5 38.93
Small w 12.41 13.74
Small r 12.7 11.15
Small a 12.555 12.445
The only one of these tests in which the QNAP is faster is the small files write test. That said, the margins are very fine and they're both excellent NAS devices - in fact, I use a closely related Synology model at home.
I hope this helps to clarify things. We're looking into ways of adding more graphs to the site in order to make the results of tests that chuck out a lot of numbers easier to assess.
By kat_orphanides on 24 May 2012
Hmm. That didn't quite come out as I intended. The first number in each of those sequences is the Synology's score, the second is the QNAP's.
By kat_orphanides on 24 May 2012
What drives did you insert....that would surely have an impact on the speed wouldn't it?
By Donski on 17 Jul 2012
Find a review
- Best Buy
- QNap TS-412 Turbo NAS
- Best Budget Buy
- Iomega StorCenter ix4-300d
- Best Business Buy
- Thecus N5550
- Thecus N4800