Synology's DS110j is an excellent value network storage enclosure with lots of handy features.
1 disk bays, N/A storage supplied, 1x 10/100/1000Mbit/s Ethernet ports
Previous Synology NAS devices have been quite expensive, but the company’s latest model, the DS110j, costs just over £100. We’re used to seeing sluggish file copying performance from cheap NAS devices, so we were surprised by the DS110j’s pace. Large files were written at 23.8MB/s and read at 34MB/s. Small files were written at 14.5MB/s and read at 12.4MB/s. Although it’s not the fastest NAS we’ve ever seen, it’s certainly quick for this price.
The DS110j takes one SATA hard disk. Sliding the case open and screwing in the disk is straightforward. Although the design is similar to previous single-bay Synology NAS devices, the SATA data and power connectors, which previously required fiddly adapter cables, are now built directly into the motherboard which helps make assembly straightforward.
The DS110j has the same web configuration interface as its more expensive counterparts, which is a good thing since it not only looks slick but feels responsive too. Although the multitude of options can be overwhelming, they’re all logically organised and you can search the various options by keyword. A customisable home screen lets you put frequently used options in one place. Creating user accounts and assigning them different access permissions to different folders is quick and easy thanks to the logically laid out controls which are all grouped together.
We had no trouble using the DS110j to share the contents of a USB disk across our network. Usefully, a front-mounted button automatically backs up the contents of USB disks plugged into the front USB port. The Disk Station also worked flawlessly as a UPnP media server and as an iTunes music server. We couldn’t get it to share our Samsung USB laser printer over our network, but it worked well with an Epson inkjet.
Like many NAS devices, the DS110j can download files from a website or via BitTorrent without the aid of a computer. Impressively, there’s a separate interface for adding and managing downloads so you don’t need to give other users access to all the other, more sensitive settings.
There are plenty of other useful features too, including support for IP cameras and DynamicDNS support so you can access the built-in FTP server (see page xxx). The DS110j can even be used to host your own website, with support for PHP scripts and SQL databases. The photo server doesn’t offer many advantages over a photo sharing service such as Flickr though, unless you’re paranoid about privacy. The power management timer allows you set when the DS110j will turn on and off each day, with different times for each day of the week.
At this price, the Disk Station is packed with a surprising number of features and is quick at transferring files. It’s excellent value and leaves other, similarly priced NAS devices and enclosures in the dust. You have to spend significantly more to get a substantially better NAS enclosure.
|Default file system
|Price per gigabyte
|3.5in drive bays
|Free 3.5in drive bays
|USB direct access ports (front/rear)
|Other USB ports (front/rear)
|eSATA ports (front/rear)
|Ethernet connection speed
|Universal Plug and Play support
|UPnP media server
|USB disk server
|TCP/IP, SMB/CIFS, AFP, FTP, HTTP, NFS
|Ethernet cable included
|UPS support, DynamicDNS support, download manager, surveillance camera support, photo server, power management
|Power consumption idle
|Power consumption active
|two years RTB