At a Glance
- No second ethernet jack
- Supports 3TB drives
- Great software features
- Poorly designed drive trays
A fast but pricey 2-bay NAS box loaded with feature-packed software.
The two-bay Synology DiskStation DS211+ is as feature-packed as two-bay NAS enclosures come. Not only is the box fast, but its easy-to-use DiskStation Manager 3.1 software provides tons of Secure FTP and HTTP, a variety of media-serving features, rsync backup to other NAS boxes, iSCSI, video surveillance (free for one camera), and a whole lot more.
Although the unit itself is attractive, the DS211+’s drive bays have a slightly cheap feel. The pop-off faceplate that facilitates access to the drives is clever as well as handy, but the plastic trays and locking mechanisms seem a bit penny-pinching for a box this pricey. So does the lack of a second ethernet port for failover and increasing available bandwidth.
The company’s DiskStation Manager 3.1 software offers an interface that is like running Linux within a Window. You can open, close, drag, and stack windows–all within your Web browser. The multiple views and windows make it much easier to get a handle on file operations and the contents of the drive. And it’s just plain cool.
I tested the DS211+ with both a 3TB and 2TB drive installed. The unit averaged approximately 44 MBps writing data to its drives, and about 62 MBps reading on my gigabit network. That’s a good performance, but a tad slower writing than the Synology DS411slim, though 4MBps faster reading.
The DS211+ is a fast NAS box with a vast array of features, but it’s pricey, retailing for over $400 (as of 8/29/2011). Cheaper, slower versions such as the plain 211 or 211j will be a better deal for the average user on an average network who doesn’t need top performance.