Two weeks ago we looked at the DS212+ that Synology offers, a superb NAS that really brings value to the users. Today we are looking at the DS712 from Synology. A NAS that offers Twin drive support, copious multimedia streaming options and the promise of super-fast data rates: there’s a lot to like about the DS712+ just by looking at specificaiton sheet. How does it stack up? Let us take a look.
It is a 157x 103.5 mm x 232 mm box clad in matte and glossy black plastic. Under the hood we have a 1.8 Ghz CPU and 1GB DDR3 Memory. The two 3.5 inch drive bays are accessible from the front and you can use them with 2.5 inch drives also. Each of these two bays comes with a LED indicator to show activity and a lock too. Though I think the lock is more there to prevent accidental removal then to be a security feature
Other things that we can see on the DS712+ is two LAN LEDs, a pair of gigabit ethernet prots and a status indicator. There is also a power button/light and a button o nthe device you can press so that you can move content from a USB 2.0 drive to a preset folder on the DS712+. On the back panel there is a 92 mm fan, two USB 2.0 ports, one eSATA port, power input and a pair of dual Gigabit ethernet ports.
You can slot in or two drives, each up to 3TB in capacity and after that plug it into your network. You can use the two ethernet ports to offer link aggregation or network failover: you can use it to double up with two connections to one network, for faster throughput, or you can have the DS712+ connected to two different work so that it is accessible even when one network goes down.
The DS712+ is temperature controlled and runs slowly when the DS712+ is not under load. I noticed that when the moving files to the drive to it I noticed a solid hum. Though it was still quieter then a regular desktop. Compared to the other gear that I have running here it is barely noticeable.
If there is something that I can complain about it is the fact that it only comes with one ethernet cable. Considering that one of it’s prominent features is the dual ethernet pors it wuld be awesome if there was two cables included in the package.
The DS212+ like other Synologys products uses their excellent DiskStation Manager. An interface that resembles Windows and OS X interface and is custom built from the ground up. Via this interface you can access various tools and applications. This can be customized via various packages that Synology offers which you can can install and add extra functionality to it.
If you install these drives you have two different options. You can install them as two separate drives or in a RAID setup. The different options for a RAID setup is RAID 0, 1 and Synology’s Hybrid RAID. With the later one you perhaps have the setup, if you install 2 2TB drives you move data onto one drive and have the second drive as a redundancy so that you do not risk loosing data. This also works if you are using 2TB and a 3TB drive. It automatically figures out what type of data security that can be offered if you are using mismatched drives.
User accounts with optional capacity limits are support and both Windows and MAC support are also supported. Time Machine and PC Backup are supported. If you want remote access it is also supported via limited or local network or over the internet. You can also use it as a standalone FTP, mail and web server and also BiTorrent downloader. You can plug in a USB printer in the back and share it across your network.
The DS712+ also functions as an iTunes server, a photo/video/audio streaming station, Squeezebox Server to access Logitech’s distributed audio system, and also as a way of pulling in internet radio. It also has its own music playback application so that you can do it straight in the browser. There is also DLNA/UPnP support so that you can stream content to your PS3, Xbox 360 or cother devices. If you want to do this while you are on the go you can download Synologys Android and iPhone applications so that you can access your media while you are on the go. This way you can access your content and documents without having to fill up the memory on your smartphone. What sets it a part of other devices is that it transcodes files you are on the fly. If you want to you say play a MKV file on your PS3 you can with the DS712+ play it straight there on your device.
With a bonded network setup with two gigabit ethernet ports transferring 90 GB of files took around 25 minutes, with a 107 MB/sec write rate. When I copied files back from the NAS I managed to hit 187 MB/sec. If I instead switched one ethernet port, I saw 93 MB/sec and 105 read speeds.
You can not argue against hte DS712+ performance and flexibility. The interface on the Synology NAS is the best that I have seen so far – combining great features with an easy to use interface. One thing is certain if you decide to get this one you will not go wrong with it. So far I have two 3 TB drives inserted in it and it has been an awesome experience. When you hook it up with two 3TB drives you have a setup that is really excellent. Available for as low as 4155 SEK when you check different pricegrabbers sites here in Sweden.