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, and a whole lot more.

Although the unit itself is attractive, the Synology DiskStation 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.

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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 Synology DiskStation DS211+ drive. And it's just plain cool.

I tested the Synology DiskStation 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.

See also: Synology DiskStation DS411slim review

Synology DiskStation DS211: Specs

  • NAS server
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • Max Supported Capacity: 6TB
  • 108x233x165mm
  • 1.25kg
  • 1.6GHz
  • RAM Installed: 512MB
  • RAID - integrated
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • Serial ATA-300
  • Data Transfer Rate: 300MBps
  • Max Storage Devices Qty: 3
  • RAID 0, RAID 1, JBOD
  • Hot-swap - 2.5"/3.5" shared
  • 2 x 3TB, Serial ATA-300
  • Network adapter - integrated
  • Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet
  • PPPoE, FTP, DDNS
  • SNMP, Telnet, HTTP, HTTPS
  • Microsoft CIFS, Network File System (NFS), FTP, Apple File Protocol (AFP), Web-based Distributed Authoring and Versioning (WebDAV)
  • Firewall protection, E-mail alert, print server, IPv6 support, IP address filtering, MySQL server, web server, backup server, download client, file sharing, Access Control List (ACL) support, Advanced Data Streaming (ADS), iTunes server, Samba support, FTP server, SMS alert, UPnP Media Server, surveillance station
  • UPnP
  • NAS server
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • Max Supported Capacity: 6TB
  • 108x233x165mm
  • 1.25kg
  • 1.6GHz
  • RAM Installed: 512MB
  • RAID - integrated
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • Serial ATA-300
  • Data Transfer Rate: 300MBps
  • Max Storage Devices Qty: 3
  • RAID 0, RAID 1, JBOD
  • Hot-swap - 2.5"/3.5" shared
  • 2 x 3TB, Serial ATA-300
  • Network adapter - integrated
  • Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet
  • PPPoE, FTP, DDNS
  • SNMP, Telnet, HTTP, HTTPS
  • Microsoft CIFS, Network File System (NFS), FTP, Apple File Protocol (AFP), Web-based Distributed Authoring and Versioning (WebDAV)
  • Firewall protection, E-mail alert, print server, IPv6 support, IP address filtering, MySQL server, web server, backup server, download client, file sharing, Access Control List (ACL) support, Advanced Data Streaming (ADS), iTunes server, Samba support, FTP server, SMS alert, UPnP Media Server, surveillance station
  • UPnP

OUR VERDICT

The Synology DiskStation DS211+ is a fast NAS box with a vast array of features, but it's pricey, retailing for around £300 for 500GB, up to around £550 for 6TB. 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.

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