Advertisement

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Advertisement

Synology DiskStation DS411slim review

Alan Lu
4 Apr 2011
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
228
inc VAT

If you want a small but feature-packed NAS, the DS411slim is a great choice. However, the use of laptop hard disks means it’s expensive to equip with disks.

Advertisement

Specifications

4 disk bays, N/A storage supplied, 1x 10/100/1000Mbit/s Ethernet ports

The DS411slim is different to the majority of NAS enclosures. Instead of taking 3.5in desktop hard disks, it uses smaller 2.5in laptop hard disks. This allows it to be noticeably smaller than other NAS enclosures, but laptop disks tend to cost more per gigabyte and come in smaller capacities. For example, four 500GB 2.5in disks come to around £160, whereas a single 2TB disk 3.5in costs just £65.

Synology DiskStation DS411slim

We tested the DS411slim with two 5,400rpm hard disks and configured them as RAID 0, then as RAID 1. With a third or fourth disk fitted, RAID 5 can also be used. The disks are screwed into plastic carriers which slide into place at the rear of the NAS. It's quick and easy to do.

Synology DiskStation DS411slim back

You'd be forgiven for thinking that the DS411slim would be slower than other NAS devices since we used disks with a 5,400rpm spindle speed rather than the desktop standard of 7,200rpm. However, disk spindle speeds are rarely the bottleneck for network storage – NAS circuitry and the network itself are more likely culprits. That’s why we weren’t surprised to discover that the DS411slim excelled in nearly all of our file transfer benchmarks. It fell behind the leaders when reading small files, but not by much.

The DS411slim uses the same sophisticated web configuration interface as other DiskStations. The slick interface resembles a computer's desktop with icons and menus. You can even keep shortcut icons for your most frequently used controls on the desktop, or search for the controls you want by keyword.

Creating user accounts is quick and easy, with sophisticated options such as setting quotas and emailing the user their account details, all available from a single, easy-to-understand tabbed window. It's one of the best NAS interfaces we've seen.

The advanced features are just as impressive, such as the ability to act as a web server, Dynamic DNS support so you don't need a static IP address and an iPhone app for accessing files remotely. There's even the ability to use the DS411slim as the recording and control centre for IP surveillance cameras.

Synology DiskStation DS411slim side

More common features such as the iTunes and UPnP media servers worked well. We also had no trouble sharing a USB printer and the contents of USB disks with other users on our network. Files can be downloaded from websites, newsgroups or BitTorrent independently of a computer. Thankfully, the download interface is separate from the main admin interface, so you can give other users access to it without the risk of them altering settings they shouldn't. Indeed, each user can be given differing levels of access to these extra features as you see fit.

As with other Synology NAS enclosures we've seen, we were impressed by the DS411slim's performance, easy administration and treasure trove of well-implemented extra features. However, unless you have spare 2.5in disks already to hand, it will cost more to kit out than other NAS enclosures.

Basic Specifications

Price£228
Rating****

Storage

CapacityN/A
Formatted capacityN/A
Default file systemext4
Price per gigabyteN/A
InterfaceSATA II
3.5in drive bays4
Free 3.5in drive bays4
RAID modesRAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 6, RAID 10

Interface

Ethernet ports1
USB direct access ports (front/rear)0/0
Other USB ports (front/rear)1/1
eSATA ports (front/rear)0/1
Other portsnone

Networking

Ethernet connection speed10/100/1000Mbit/s
Universal Plug and Play supportyes
UPnP media serveryes
iTunesyes
Print serveryes
USB disk serveryes
Web serveryes
FTP serveryes
Protocols supportedTCP/IP, SMB/CIFS, AFP, FTP, HTTP, NFS, SSH, Telnet, WebDAV, iSCSI

Miscellaneous

Size118x107x142mm
Weight670g
Vertical positioningyes
Ethernet cable includedyes
Additional featuresdownload manager, IP camera support, photo and music server
Power consumption idle15W
Power consumption active19W

Buying Information

Price£228
Warrantyone year RTB
Supplierhttp://www.scan.co.uk
Detailswww.synology.com

Read more

Reviews