FTP services are impressive as you can decide what port number should be used, only allow secure connections over SSL/TLS and implement upload and download bandwidth restrictions. Anonymous FTP is also available, access can be permitted only to specific folders and you can even block the IP addresses of hosts that have failed to provide correct login credentials.
Naturally, you get an iTunes server but Synology goes that little bit further as along with password protection you can create internal smart playlists using a basic set of criteria such as the artist, album, genre or year. The Download Service allows you to run file copies independent of your PC from remote locations using BitTorrent, HTTP and FTP. These can be run from either the web interface or the bundled Download Redirector but note that only single files and not folders can be selected for each job.
General performance is reasonably good as copying a 690MB video file from a Boston Supermicro 3.2GHz Pentium D workstation over Gigabit Ethernet returned read and write speeds of 18.2MB/sec and 10.1MB/sec. FTP speeds were better with the FileZilla utility reporting average read and write speeds of 33MB/sec and 17.7MB/sec for the same file. Be careful with the SSL/TLS setting as the same tests returned barely 2MB/sec in either direction with encrypted transmissions.
Synology has aimed the DS-207+ at business use and bundles a reasonable backup solution, which includes the Data Replicator II software for scheduled PC backup. Select your local files and a shared location on the appliance and after the first run it will synchronise local folders with those on the appliance. Add an external USB or eSATA drive and you can schedule copies of selected data from the appliance to them whilst the network backup option allows backups to be run to another Synology appliance.
We tested the latter using a Cube Station CS-407 and after we had enabled its Network backup service it popped up in the backup interface for the DS-207+ ready for selection. Once you’ve completed a backup the Network Restore feature comes into play where you can select a folder on the remote appliance and reinstate the data on your primary appliance.
The Disk Station DS-207+ undoubtedly offers one of the best mixes of storage and multimedia features for the price. Performance is nothing to sniff at either and it also provides a useful range of backup tools as well.