Synology DiskStation DS411j Review - Features Review


Inside the DS411j is a 1.2GHz GHz CPU coupled to 128MB of RAM, which coupled with dedicated encryption hardware means that the system blazes along nicely. With a drive-free setup, at least, the first stage of set-up is installing the DS411j’s operating system. We should note that although the bundled software makes putting an OS on the DS411j a breeze, the system isn’t actually fully configured in this process; you still have to create a storage volume using the web interface.

That small grievance aside though, we cannot fault the DS411j’s administration control panel. Large, well labelled icons make it simple to navigate through the various options, and the descriptions of all the possible actions are always helpful. Whether configuring RAID settings, adding and removing users, or running downloads directly from the DS411j (more on which later) you’re unlikely to find the process confusing. What’s more, thanks to some fancy JavaScript, you can have multiple ‘windows’ open within this interface at once.

The responsiveness of the DS411j’s interface is impressive. During what we would expect to be common multitasking scenarios, such as checking out the system’s monitoring windows while formatting a hard drive, we noticed no slowdown. It’s the ease of use that’s key, however, and which sets the DS411j apart from its rivals – power users will want to disable the quick start panel and use the ‘standard’ control panels, though.

A feature of the DS411j we particularly like is the option to use Synology Hybrid RAID system. By default with two disks this uses one for data and the other for redundancy, just like a standard RAID-1 array. But with Synology’s system, you can add additional disks without rebuilding the RAID array, and replace existing drives with higher capacity ones up. If you want to manage your own drive configurations – RAID-1, RAID-0, RAID-5, RAID-6 and JBOD are supported – you can, but there’s little reason to given the flexibility that Synolony’s option affords long-term, unless you install four 2TB drives from the off, in which case you’ll have maxed out the storage capacity of the DS411j.

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