One slightly strange feature is Audio Station 2. With this, you can attach a pair of USB speakers to the DS210+ and play music stored on it using them. It’s a quirky feature but could prove useful. It’s hardly a replacement for a decent Squeezebox or Sonos install, though.
More likely to be used on the DS210+ is its Download Station 2. As well as letting you use the DS210+ to download files over HTTP and FTP, this also works with BitTorrent and eMule. This is particularly useful when combined with the Synology Download Redirector which, when installed on your computer, intercepts downloads and has the DS210+ handle them instead.
Surveillance Station 4 lets the DS210+ act as a repository for recording or still taken from a camera connected to one of its USB ports. Also rather neat is a trio of iPhone applications, DS photo, DS audio and DS cam, giving access to photo, audio and control of attached cameras respectively. Obviously it would be good if other platforms were catered to than just Apple’s, but the apps themselves can’t be faulted.
The DS210+ can even be used to host a website, as it has a built in Apache server, as well as support for PHP and an internal MySQL database. Obviously it’s not a replacement for a real web server, but for hosting a personal site or a small company’s internal intranet it will probably suffice.
Synology provides a number of plug-in packages that add extra functionality to that provided by default. These include SqueezeCentre and Mail Station, the former letting the DS210+ work as a Squeezebox server, and the latter setting up the NAS device as a basic mail server. Because the DS210+ runs Linux, it’s also possible to craft custom packages to install, assuming your IT dept has the skill.
There are cheaper NAS options out there, but that doesn’t make the DS210+ a bad buy. It’s compact, fast and feature rich – everything you want from a NAS device.
Score in detail