In late 2012 I picked up a Synology Diskstation DS109 off ebay for $85. It was not a lot to pay in order to get my feet wet in the world of network attached storage (NAS). I have experience with freeNAS from prior posts here, here, and here from my days with First United Methodist Church. I won’t go into the benefits of freeNAS in this article. Suffice to say it is do-it-yourself solutions to having networked attached storage. In other words, it is cheap.
The reason I wanted to evaluate Synology is because while freeNAS is cheap, it is time consuming to setup and not very user friendly. I don’t have time to fiddle around with things like this anymore even if it is fun. Of all the products on the market Synology continued to rise to the top with customer satisfaction and features.
So, backed up Amy’s data and pulled the 1TB SATA drive from a Western Digital myBook. I then threw it in the DS109, plugged it into the network and took off. Setup was pretty easy using the Synology Assistant tool. It grabs a an IP address through DHCP initially. Then you can use the tool to find it and sign into the web port on port 5000
I won’t go over all the features of Synology’s software but some big wins for Amy and I are:
- The web portal allows for uploading files to the storage. This is handy when Amy uses her Chromebook.
- The USB port on the front of the DS109 allows for one-touch transfers from the USB device to a pre-determined folder on the DiskStation
- SSH access
- Tons of packages can be installed. I am most interested in the Plex Server, SysLog Server, and Media Server.
- Built in sleep mode for power saving
- It is EASY to use.
There are many more features that are way over my head. But for the little amount of money invested, this has outperformed anything else in the category with way more features. Don’t take my word for it though, check out these reviews on NewEgg