Review Price free/subscription
Synology DiskStation DS209+ - Synology Disk Station DS-209+
Large collections of smaller files proved to be more of a challenge. We used the bundled Synology Replicator 3 to secure 16.9GB of data comprising over 12,000 files which took a shade over 12 minutes for an average write speed of 23.9MB/sec. Even so, the software looks particularly useful for workstation backup as it locates the appliance for you, displays shares that are available as targets and once a full backup has completed it keeps track of new files and modifications and secures them in real time.
Along with top performance, the DS-209+ also looks a winner for features as well. It supports Windows, Linux and Mac clients and access can be secured using a local user and group database or AD authentication. Quotas applied to each user also restrict the amount of space they are allowed to use. FTP services are on the menu, transmissions can be encrypted and you can set bandwidth usage limits on uploads and downloads.
More backup features are up for grabs as the appliance can manage jobs that secure data from one local folder to another or to an external USB storage device. Data can also be secured to another Synology appliance over the network. You can run your own website from the appliance as it comes with an Apache web server along with PHP and the latest MySQL.
Synology's Surveillance Station adds an extra dimension as this enables the appliance to take feeds from IP cameras such as those from Axis, Panasonic and Vivotek. We tested this with a Panasonic BB-HCM531 and it worked fine. Along with a live view you can also record the feed to the default Surveillance directory on the appliance and it includes motion detection as well. Note that although the appliance supports up to ten IP cameras you'll have to buy more licenses if you want to use more than one.
Multimedia options are excellent as the iTunes server can password protect your music folder and allow you to create smart playlists on the appliance. Add in Synology's optional Remote receptor plus a pair of certified USB speakers and the Audio Station can be used to play music directly from the appliance. Photo Station 3 allows you to store your pictures on the appliance and publish them on the web. The web interface has been spruced up making it even easier to use and it now includes a blog facility which can be accessed securely over HTTPS.
It may be small but the Disk Station DS-209+ is undeniably fast. For a diskless appliance it's a little pricey but the sleek new Disk Station Manager Web interface and the remarkable number of features on offer more than make up for this.