Synology DS411j review
Synology’s range of NAS devices reach right into the business-class stratosphere, but the DiskStation DS411j is altogether more modest. With four disk bays, Synology’s excellent DiskStation Manager 3.0 front-end and a host of features, the DS411j has its sights set on your home network.
The installation process is as straightforward as ever. Undo the four thumbscrews at the rear and the rear panel folds down to give access to four plastic caddies inside. After fastening a drive to a caddy with the supplied screws, and slotting it in, the device is ready to go.
LEDs on the front fascia make it easy to check the device’s status at a glance, and, importantly, indicate whether a particular drive has failed. Look to the device’s rear, and two USB ports – for sharing hard drives or printers – sit alongside one Gigabit Ethernet port.
We installed a single 1TB drive for our testing, but up to four 3TB drives are supported, and thanks to Synology’s Hybrid RAID, adding extra drives is simple. The DS411j automatically switches to the most suitable RAID mode as extra drives are added. Synology’s software guides users through the steps required to upload the operating system, and the whole process takes around ten minutes.
Once installed, DiskStation Manager 3.0 is impressively slick. The web-based user interface looks more akin to a swish Linux desktop, and thanks to multi-tasking support, allows you to peruse menus and adjust settings as other changes complete in the background. The search function, meanwhile, makes it gloriously easy to find the menu option you need.
The sheer wealth of features is staggering. The DS411j is capable of hosting websites, blogs and photo galleries; serving up media via the DLNA and UPnP-compliant media server; streaming audio and photos to iOS and Android-powered smartphones; the list goes on and on. Synology’s Data Replicator 3 software makes light work of backup too.
The final feather in the DS411j cap is its performance. Even with a single 1TB drive, the DS411j read and wrote large files at 66.8MB/sec and 38.1MB/sec respectively. Small files proved more of a challenge, but read and write speeds of 5.6MB/sec and 10MB/sec are very good.
The DS411j doesn’t come cheap, but there’s no question that it’s worth every penny. Its combination of simplicity, expandability, useful features and great performance see it take pride of place on our A List.
|Cost per gigabyte||N/A|
|Wired adapter speed||1,000Mbits/sec|
|Default filing system||EXT4|
|UPnP media server?||yes|
|Other media servers||DLNA, iTunes|
|HIbernate on idle?||yes|
|Idle power consumption||16W|
|Peak power consumption||43W|
|Dimensions||184 x 230 x 168mm (WDH)|
Security and administration
|Kensington lock slot?||yes|
|Admin support for users||yes|
|Admin support for groups||yes|
|Admin support for disk quotas||yes|
|Software supplied||Synology Assistant, Data Replicator 3|