Synology NAS DS211 & DS411j Review



Having considered all crucial aspects of these NAS devices it is now time for a final verdict. 

Today the DS211 and DS411j can be found for around £220 and £270 respectively. At these price points, these devices are most certainly pitched against higher end Home/Small Office NAS products. Needless to say we have found a plethora of features that makes the pricing justifiable, but would we purchase either of the two?

Both products feature the latest DSM 3.0 operating system. Based on a proprietary Linux OS, you will find just about all software applications that you would hope to see in a basic home media server, from LAN/WAN Maintenence, Security and Power Saving to Media Streaming/Downloading. All that is required of you as the user is to install your Hard Disk Drives, run the installation CD and that's it; centralised storage in less than 15 minutes. What more could you want?

Well, there are a few snags. While the DS211's write speeds were arguably average when compared to the capacity of gigabit ethernet, the DS411j was particularly poor. It was surprising to see that the more expensive device, which is capable of holding up to four HDDs in a multitude of RAID configurations would perform as much as 15MB/sec worse than its smaller sibling. We are aware that "j" based Synology drives are not orientated towards "performance" but unless you seriously see the need for >4TB storage then this device does not represent great value at all.

As a matter of fact, a £250-300 budget could potentially allow someone to build a dedicated desktop server for centralised data/media storage. Such a setup is likely to achieve higher network utilisation and write speeds closer to the 100MB/sec mark. However you will spend a significant amount of time building and configuring the system; inevitably the vast majority of end users are not interested in such a proposition.

As an all in one piece of kit, it is difficult to be particularly harsh on the new DSx11 NAS servers. They are simple to install and use, are considerably more compact and consume less power than a fully fledged desktop server. While writing huge files to these devices will prove tiresome over time, the DS211 and 411j could comfortably form the basis of a media server for music/video streaming as well as the storage of documents, photos etc. Without doubt however, our preference lies with the faster, cheaper and more compact DS211 device.

All in all, a respectable effort from Synology. Keep your eyes peeled for these on retail shelves over the next few weeks.

The Good
- Easy & Quick Installation
- Comprehensive Feature Set
- Quiet
- Low Power Consumption

The Mediocre
- Transfer Rates (DS211)
- Pricing is relatively dear

The Bad
- Transfer Rates (DS411j)

DS211                                                   DS411j


Thanks to Synology for the products on test today, you can discuss your thoughts in our forums.

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Most Recent Comments

22-11-2010, 16:51:10

Please provide us with a detailed images of PCB of DS411j and description of what's inside.Quote

22-11-2010, 17:50:32

Originally Posted by disik View Post

Please provide us with a detailed images of PCB of DS411j and description of what's inside.
Thats what the main review is for dude.Quote

22-11-2010, 19:22:16

I mean pictures and description of the PCB components, like RAM module - soldered on the board or inserted into a socket, ROM flash memory removable or not, etc., just like you did at review.


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