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Synology DiskStation DS411 review

The Synology DS411 can't shake off its small business background for the home market

Our Verdict

For

  • Four drive bays
  • External eSata port
  • Open-source software add-ons
  • A lot of setup options for experts

Against

  • Complicated setup for novice users
  • Slow transfer speeds

The DiskStation DS411 feels like it's stuck between being a consumerfriendly NAS drive and a rack-mounted server. It's supplied without any hard drives, and looks like a small PC, complete with thumbscrews at the back and an array of lights at the front.

Synology recommends certain drives for the product, which are formatted on insertion. This isn't an easy process, especially compared to the more user-friendly drives we've looked at.

Hard drives must be mounted and formatted with Synology's software, and then the NAS drive itself has to be configured via a small patch located on the CD. Then any folders you want on the drive need to be added manually. These all seem like features that would be automated on other NAS drives.

Synology's more open approach comes with a host of benefits, though. User-created mods, which you'll find on Synology's forums, can be added to enhance functionality, like downloading torrents and streaming media.

Synology itself also offers dedicated iPhone and Android applications for accessing the NAS drive, which is something we haven't seen from other manufacturers.

Despite its great stakes in the open source hardware world, Synology's drive proved to be one of the slowest in our test. Although this could have been down to our choice of hard drive, it's unlikely. The option to add an external eSata drive is a nice touch, though.

It's obvious that Synology wants to break into the consumer market, but it simply hasn't done enough to provide a decent graphical user interface that explains exactly what you have to do. Those who love tinkering with networks and setting up home IP systems will find a lot to love here – but for everyone else it's just a tad too complicated, and hugely expensive too.

At this price, home users would probably be better off investing in a cheap PC and using it as a Linux-based dedicated NAS.

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Tech Specs

Product TypeNetwork Storage Server
Total Hard Drive Capacity2 TB
Product FamilyDiskStation
Brand NameSynology
Processor Speed1.67 GHz
Processor TypeAtom
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityRoHS
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Number of Processors Installed1
RAID SupportedYes
Number of Total Expansion Bays4
eSATAYes
Hard Drive Configuration4 x 500 GB
Total Number of USB Ports2
Processor ModelD510
Height184 mm
Width168 mm
Depth230 mm
ManufacturerSynology, Inc
Product ModelDS411+
Product NameDiskStation DS411+ Network Storage Server
Product LineDiskStation
Manufacturer Part NumberDS411+/2TB
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.synology.com
Marketing Information

Synology DiskStation DS411+ is specifically designed for small and medium-sized businesses who need a high-performance, easy to manage, and full-featured network attached storage solution to centralize data backups, protect critical assets and share files across different platforms. Synology protects your investment in the DS411+ with a 2-year limited warranty.

Limited Warranty2 Year
Standard Memory1 GB
Weight (Approximate)2.23 kg