NAS External Data Storage: Synology Diskstation DS413j review

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Synology DSM413jIntroduction:

Setting up your own home server doesn't necessairly need to be difficult as there are a number of options for doing so, of varying levels of complexity. Obviously you could build or buy a dedicated PC for the job, but more simply you could get your hands on one of the new generation of NAS enclosures by Synology which run their own bespoke graphical operating system, which has recently been updated to version 4.1, called DSM. All you have to do with these is stick in a hard drive (or multiple drives if you want to take advantage of a RAID array), install the DSM software and then you are up and running. The latest Synology Disk Station to be released is the four bay DS413j, a home NAS solution designed to take up to four hard drives and sports a number of improvements over previous models. Read on to find out more...

Specifications:

Hardware:

CPU Frequency : 1.6 GHz
Hardware Encryption Engine
Memory : DDR3 512 MB
Internal HDD/SSD : 3.5" or 2.5" SATA(II) X4 (Hard drive not included)
Max Internal Capacity : 16 TB (4 X 4 TB HDD) (Capacity may vary by RAID types) (See All Supported HDD)
External HDD Interface : USB 2.0 Port X 2
Size (HxWxD) : 184 x 168 x 230 mm
Weight : 2.23 kg
LAN : Gigabit X1
Wake on LAN/WAN
System Fan : 80 x 80 mm x 2
Wireless Support
Noise Level : 18.9 dB(A)
Power Recovery
AC Input Power Voltage : 100V to 240V AC
Power Frequency : 50/60 Hz, Single Phase
Power Consumption : 31.56W (Access); 7.68W (HDD Hibernation)
Operating Temperature : 5°C to 35°C (40°F to 95°F)
Storage Temperature : -10°C to 70°C (15°F to 155°F)
Relative Humidity : 5% to 95% RH
Maximum Operating Altitude : 10,000 feet
Certification : FCC Class B, CE Class B, BSMI Class B
Warranty : 2 Years

For a more detailed specification take a look at Synology's specification page here.

Review:

The DS413j is a more budget conscious offering by Synology to suit the average home user or family who wants to take advantage of the benefits of a NAS attached storage and associated applications, where there are unlikely to be huge numbers of concurrent connections to the device. As such though, with the improvements made to the hardware, the DS413j is a massive improvement over it's predecessors, including the last one we reviewed the DS410j (three iterations prior to this one). Both the CPU and memory have been upgraded which are reflected in the faster transfer speeds (In our tests we measured average upload and download speeds across our gigabit LAN of ~40 MB/sec and 70 MB/sec respectively with a mixture of large and small file transfers).

The overall design of the DS413j hasn't changed massively over the last couple of years with the familiar glossy white casing and grey fascia with an array of green status LEDs that indicate the functionality of each of the installed hard drives, the network connection and the power status. At  the rear of the unit is the power connector, network port and two USB connections for connecting external hard drives (for transferring data more quickly onto installed drives ) or printers (if you want to use the disk station as a printer server).

Synology DSM413j rearHardware installation is still just as simple, requiring quickly removing the cover,  plugging in drives via their SATA connection and securing them in place with screws. Following this you just need to connect it to a network and plug it in. Software installation is also still quick and easy, simply requiring the supplied Synology Assistant software to recognise and install the DSM software on to your drives. Once installed the NAS can be managed directly through the DSM web interface simply by typing it's IP address into your web browser.

The brilliance of the Synology range really lies within the DSM software which is very easy to navigate and gives access to the full functionality of any Synology device (although the hardware is excellent). A full range of applications can be run from the NAS, including media servers, websites(including CMS), backup services (including cloud based). Every app has an easy to follow wizard associated and/or installation is fully documented on the Synology website itself through their Support database, or the very active community pages and wiki.

As with other Synology NAS platforms we have reviewed the Synology DS413j performed flawlessly throughout our testing, with media and file servers rock steady throughout.

Price:

£327.15 from Amazon: Synology DS413j

Verdict:

4.5/5 - The Synology DS413j provides an excellent solution for home users wanting a home NAS server with huge storage potential (up to 16TB). Even as a budget model transfer speeds are more than adequate to allow using the storage and any desired DSM apps to their full potential.