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This review is from: Synology DS213 Diskless System DiskStation - Simple Set-Up, Easy Efficiency
Pros: I got this to replace my Drobo, and it is just MILES and MILES ahead of it. I can't even compare the two, it's in such a different class.
Set up was pretty simple. Took a little googling to make sure I was making the right choices for what I wanted each step of the way. It's highly customizable and just jam packed with features. Has a built in downloader so if you're going to download a large file that you intend to be placed on the drive you can have it download it for you so you don't need to transfer it over later. Has media player streaming capabilities. Quite a few small business applications like CRM, Joomla, Wordpress, HRM, database management, LDAP, and so much more. Check out the "Packages" section of their site to see a full listing.
Best interface I've seen for letting others connect to your device from their homes to download or upload files. The GUI is like a combo of Linux and Windows 7.
I'm used to 20KB/s transfers on the Drobo (which is why I'm never going back to them, that and their horrendous customer support. Awful company, awful products). My internal network is 100Mbs (12.5MBs). I'm consistently getting 7.5-9MBs out of the 12.5 theoretical max I could. Which is just fine by me. It's rare that I'll need anything transferred any faster than that.
TLDR: Blows Drobo out of the water. Easy setup but may require some minor googling of things like "SHR". Tons of applications with great features. Great UI/UX. Decent speeds on my network for my needs.
Cons: It doesn't let you pick your filesystem. You're stuck with the universally acceptable linux EXT4 file format rather than the Windows exclusive NTFS, or Mac Exclusive HFS+J. This is understandable though as it is running a Linux OS.
Something people may not like is that the OS takes up about 300MB of your disk space with the default install. This makes sense though as well since there are a ton of additional add-on features that can run on the OS and depending on the user's usage they may need a lot of space. but 300MB isn't that bad really, especially with all the features that it comes with.
I wanted to map a network drive to it in My Computer so I could just go to T: and there would be all my folders on the drive. Unfortunately you can only map to the folders in the root and any subfolders, you can't map to the root itself. There is apparently some linux terminal command workarounds that I don't care enough to mess with if you are so inclined to try it. Linux and I get along well enough that I trust it to brick the device if I even try to find out how to open terminal in it.
Took about a day to do a full parity check for any bad sectors on the 3TB drives. Only took like 10-20 minutes to format them as RAID1 though. Not a big deal as it's a one time thing that I'd rather it do than skip, even if the drives are brand new (which they were).
Uploading via web interface is slower than copying over the network to a mapped drive. 2-4MB/s compared to 7.5-9MB/s.
TLDR: Can't specify filesystem (always EXT4). OS is stored on your drives taking up space. Can't Map Network Drive to the root, only one of your shared folders. Checking the drives for errors takes about 12-30 hours depending on drive size (for me two 3TB drives took about 19 hours)
Other Thoughts: Phenomenal product that I can't believe is under $500 for the feature set it offers.READ FULL REVIEW