Synology DS209 Advance NAS Enclosures

Posted by on Monday, November 2, 2009 - 6:18pm

Synology DS209This is the age of digital media and mass storage. Digital downloading is present in many homes via sites like iTunes and Rhapsody. Many people have digital cameras and high definition video cameras. We need massive storage capacities in order to save the large formats raw or in jpeg. Let's not forget about the large amounts of space these video camera video files can take up. You're going to need a place to keep all that data. That device is the Synology DS209 which we will be reviewing next.

 

Introduction to the Synology DS209

This is the age of digital media and mass storage. Digital downloading is present in many homes via sites like iTunes and Rhapsody. Many people have digital cameras and high definition video cameras. We need massive storage capacities in order to save the large formats raw or in jpeg. Let's not forget about the large amounts of space these video camera video files can take up. You're going to need a place to keep all that data. That device is the Synology DS209 which we will be reviewing next.

Synology take on the DS209

Synology Disk Station DS209 is designed to provide users with a flexible solution to share files and increase productivity. Packed with the Synology Disk Station Manager 2.2, it delivers ease of use and variety of features. Furthermore, the optional Synology 2.5" Disk Holder provides an easy way for users to deploy 2.5" hard drives on the DS209, bringing the library quietness, power saving, and higher reliability for the DS209.


Specifications

Hardware

  • CPU: 1.2GHz, 16bit@DDR800
  • Memory: 256MB
  • Internal HDD1: 3.5" SATA(II) X2 or 2.5" SATA/SSD X2 (with the Disk Holder)
  • Max Internal Capacity: 4TB (2x 2TB hard drives)8 (See All Supported HDD)
  • External HDD Interface: USB 2.0 port X3
  • Size: 160mm X 218mm X 88mm
  • Weight: 0.98kg
  • LAN: Gigabit X1
  • Fan: X1(70mmX70mm)
  • Noise Level:2 24dB(A)
  • Power Recovery
  • AC Input Power Voltage: 100V to 240V
  • Power Frequency: 50Hz to 60Hz, Single Phase
  • Max Supported IP Camera: 87 (See All Supported IP Cameras)
  • 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

Power Consumption3

  • 25W(Access);
    10W(Hibernation)

Certification

  • FCC Class B, CE Class B, BSMI Class B

Networking Protocols

  • CIFS
  • AFP (3.1)
  • FTP
  • NFS
  • Telnet/SSH

Windows ADS Domain Integration

  • ADS Support
  • Domain users login via Samba/AFP/FTP
  • Synology Data Replicator 3 for Domain Users

Security

  • Firewall
  • Auto-Block
  • "FTP over SSL (explicit)" or "FTP over TLS (explicit)"
  • Encrypted Network Backup
  • Encrypted rsync
  • HTTPS Connection

File System

  • EXT3
  • FAT (External Disk Only)
  • NTFS (External Disk Only)

File Sharing

  • Max User Accounts: 1,024
  • Max Groups: 128
  • Max Shared Folder: 256
  • Max Concurrent Connections(SAMBA, FTP, AFP): 64

Utilities

  • Synology Assistant
  • Synology Data Replicator 3
  • Synology Download Redirector
  • Add printer wizard

Applications

  • Surveillance Station 3
  • Photo Station 3
  • File Station 2
  • Audio Station
  • Web Station
  • PHP/MySQL
  • Download Station 2
  • iTunes Server

iPhone Applications

  • DS photo
  • DS audio

Packages

  • Mail Station
  • phpMyAdmin
  • SqueezeCenter
  • Webalizer

DLNA/UPnP Media Server Support

  • DLNA Certified
  • Sony PS3, Microsoft Xbox360 (See All Supported DMA)
  • Audio Format: AAC, FLAC, M4A, MP3, Ogg Vorbis, PCM, WAV, WMA, WMA VBR, WMA PRO, WMA Lossless
  • Video Format: 3GP, 3G2, ASF, AVI, DAT, DivX, DVR-MS, ISO, M2T, M2TS, M4V, MKV, MP4, MPEG1, MPEG2, MPEG4, MTS, MOV, QT, SWF, TP, TRP, TS, VOB, WMV, XviD
  • Image Format: BMP, JPG (jpe, jpeg), GIF, ICO, PNG, PSD, TIF (tiff), UFO
  • Playlist Format: WPL, M3U

iTunes Server Support

  • Audio Format: MP3, M4A, M4P, WAV4, AIF4
  • Video Format: M4V, MOV, MP4
  • Playlist Format: M3U, WPL

Audio Station Support

  • USB Mode: (Audio) AAC, FLAC, M4A, MP3, Ogg Vorbis, WMA, WMA VBR (Playlist) M3U, WPL (Internet Radio) SHOUTcast, Radioio
  • Streaming Mode: (Audio) MP3 (Playlist) M3U, WPL

Photo Station 3 Support

  • Video Format9: 3G2, 3GP, ASF, AVI, DAT, DivX, FLV, M4V, MOV, MP4, MPEG, MPG, QT, WMV, XviD, RM5, RMVB5, VOB5
  • Image Format: BMP, JPG (jpe, jpeg), GIF

Management

  • AJAX-based Management UI
  • Sub-folder Privileges Setting
  • User Home
  • Applications privileges Setting
  • BitTorrent Port Range Setup
  • BitTorrent DHT Support
  • Changing Management UI Ports
  • CIFS Recycle Bin
  • Download Station Bandwidth control
  • Download Station Port Range Setup
  • Editable HTTP Error Page
  • Email Alert Message
  • Email Notification for New User
  • Package Management
  • External HDD Hibernation (USB)
  • Scheduled Power On/Off
  • Firmware Upgrade
  • FTP passive port range
  • Hide-able Shared Folder
  • Internal HDD Hibernation
  • Movable Shared Folder
  • Removable Default Shared Folder
  • System Temperature
  • DDNS
  • PPPoE
  • Resource Monitor
  • SMS Notification
  • SNMP
  • UPS Management (Over USB 2.0)
  • User Quota
  • Web-based Download Station 2

RAID/Storage Management

  • Volume Type: Basic, JBOD, RAID 0, RAID 1
  • Upgrade from Basic to RAID 1
  • Expand RAID 1 with Larger Hard Drives
  • iSCSI

Backup Solutions

  • Network Backup
  • Local Backup
  • Desktop Backup (using Synology Data Replicator 3)
  • Time Machine Backup (Mac)
  • 3rd-Party Backup Support

Supported Clients

  • Windows 2000 onward
  • Mac OS X 10.3 onward
  • Linux

Supported Browsers

  • Internet Explorer 6, 7
  • Internet Explorer 8
  • Firefox 3
  • Firefox 3.5
  • Safari 3 (Mac)
  • Safari 4 (Mac)

Supported Mobile Devices (Photo Station, File Station)

  • iPhone OS 2.2.1 and onward
  • Windows Mobile (IE Mobile or Opera 9.0 onward)
  • Symbian OS 9.1, S60 3rd Edition onward

Printer Support6

  • Max Printer #: 2
  • Supported Protocols: LPR, CIFS, AppleTalk

Languages

  • English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Dutch, Russian, Japanese, Korean, Czech, Polish, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Portuguese (Brazil), Portuguese (European), Turkish, and Hungarian

Environment

  • RoHS Compliant

Package Content

  • DS209 Main Unit
  • Installation CD
  • Welcome Note
  • Assembling Kit
  • AC Power Adapter
  • AC Power Cord
  • 2M RJ-45 LAN Cable
  • SATA Hard Drive Power Cable X2
  • SATA Hard Drive Data Cable X2

Features

RAID Management

In addition to the volume types without data protection (Basic, JBOD, and RAID 0), DSM 2.2 also supports RAID-protected volume types: RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 5+Spare, and RAID 6.

DX5/RX4

DX5/RX4 provides an easy solution for storage expansion.

Desktop Backup

Windows PC users can use the Synology Data Replicator 3, and Mac users can use Time Machine to back up desktop data to their Disk Stations.

iSCSI Target

On DSM 2.2, designate a portion of the Disk Station volume space to be an iSCSI target and be managed by the iSCSI initiator.

Server Backup

Server backup includes two alternatives: Network Backup and Local Backup. Both allow you to back up data in the shared folders and databases.

USBCopy

USBCopy allows to quickly back up data from an USB storage device such as an USB flash or USB card reader to Disk Station with just one single touch.

Windows + Mac + Linux

Windows users can access Disk Station via SMB/CIFS (Windows My Network Places) and FTP, Mac users via SMB, FTP, and AFP, while Linux users via SMB, FTP, and NFS.

Encrypted FTP Server

Synology's user-friendly wizard guides you through the FTP setup process, and with just a few clicks, the service will be established.

Privilege Management

DSM 2.2 allows you to assign privileges to users individually and determine which applications they can access.

File Station 2

File Station 2 is a simple web-based file management interface for users to remotely access and manage files.

Windows ADS Integration

Disk Station supports Windows ADS for efficient access with domain accounts.

Web Station

PHP+MySQL is built-in for quickly hosting up to 30 websites.

Photo Station 3

Photo Station 3 is a convenient solution to share photos, videos, and blogs over the Internet.

Audio Station

Audio Station allows multiple users to stream music with a web browser. An optional Synology Remote allows users to freely control their music.

iPhone/Mobile Access

Two iPhone applications, DS audio and DS photo are now available on Apple App Store.

Surveillance Station 3

Surveillance Station 3 provides an easy and economical network video surveillance solution.

iTunes Server

DSM 2.2 can work as an iTunes server to share music and videos within the local network.

Printer Server

All Disk Station can serve as a printer server within the local network.

Download Station 2

A 24-hour BitTorrent, FTP, HTTP, NZB, and eMule download center with flexible settings.

DLNA Media Server

You can stream multimedia digital contents from Disk Station to DLNA/UPnP home devices such as stereo system or TV set.

Mail Station

After installing the add-on Mail Station package, Disk Station can act as a mail server that supports various mail protocols.

HDD S.M.A.R.T.

Users can inspect the disk information, disk S.M.A.R.T. information, and perform S.M.A.R.T. test on the disks installed.

Link Aggregation

The Link Aggregation function on Disk Station uses two Ethernet ports in parallel to provide trunking and network fault tolerance features under the condition that both LAN cables reside on the same switch.

3rd-Party Application Integration

Follow the steps illustrated in "Synology Disk Station 3rd-Party Apps Integration Guide" to Install your favorite applications.

DDNS

The DDNS support allows you to create a hostname that points to the home or office IP address, providing an easy-to-remember URL for quick access.

Resource Monitor

Resource monitor allows you to easily monitor the Disk Station's CPU usage, memory usage, network flow and volume usage.

Firewall

The built-in firewall allows you to decide which services or IP addresses are allowed to access the Disk Station to prevent unwanted connections

HDD Hibernation

HDD hibernation can be enabled by setting the HDD to enter hibernation after being inactive for the specified time period.

Schedule Power On/Off

Schedule a timetable and set the system to power on or off automatically at a designated time point.

Fan Control

The smart fan control of DSM 2.2 automatically adjusts fan speed according to the system temperature.

UPS

Connect an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) to Disk Station to prevent data loss from unexpected power failure.


Closer look

The front of the DS209 is a nice smooth white with all the buttons and lights positioned on a smaller black panel. Synology designed the unit to look more like an appliance than another piece of computer equipment.

The lighting that aligns the right side of the unit gives device status, LAN status and the status of each of the drives inside. Just below them is a USBCopy button and connection. This is great for individuals that transport data between two locations via USB drives or flash drives. When activated all the data that reside on the connected device will be uploaded to the DS209 to the user specified folder. The last button on the device is the power button.

The rear of the drive has a small 70mm cooling fan to prolong the life of the hard drives. The unit also has two USB ports located on the rear as well. They can serve various functions such as a connection to a USB printer. Many times when you are in need of a device like the DS209, you are probably connected to a number of other computers as well. Chances are you would like for these computers to be able to print to a central printer. The DS209 can do just that. You can also use these extra USB ports to add more storage at a later time. This is easily accomplished by adding another USB drive to the DS209. A factory reset button and a lock port is also provided. You will be happy to know the LAN port supports speeds up to a gigabit. That's fast enough to help move data at a very reasonable speed.


Opening the DS209

Opening the DS209 is as simple as removing three screws on the rear of the case, so we've decided that we will not get into much detail about it. After opening the case, you can see the unit has two spaces for two hard drives. It is compatible with SATA I and II standards. In this case, we will be using two 750GB Samsung drives.

There are three connections made to the PCB of the DS209 from the back of the drives. Two of the connections are standard for power and data transfer and the third connection is served as a mean for the DS209 to put the drives in hibernate and monitor them as well. Not shown but laying underneath the PCB is a 1.2GHz Marvel processor and 256MB of ram.

Like we stated earlier, the fan in the rear measures only 70mm and is just large enough to blow air across both drives. You will be happy to know that this fan is not loud at all as it is just under 24 dBA.


Setting up the DS209

Synology made the setup of the DS209 about as simple as possible. The intro screen consists of a quick install guide, server setup, synology assistant, Data Replicator 3, Download Redirector and user guide.

One of the first things you must do, if your DS209 does come with hard drives pre installed is to setup what form of raid ,if any, you want. As this is a form of backing up important data, we elected for a raid 1 for the security features. The setup of a raid may take a few minutes depending on the size of drives you decide to use.

We decided to start with the Synology Assistant option. Running this application you are given the IP address of the DS209 as it sits on your network. You are also given the option to map the unit onto your desktop.

Once you set up the administrative section of the DS209 you are greeted by a great list of options.


iTunes and other Media applications

The DS209 comes with a ton of applications and many of them can be used at the same time. We will touch on a few of them in this article. If you need more details on each apps we suggest you travel over to Synology's homepage to see just what more the unit has to offer.

Synology offers a lot of applications for the digital media buff. One that we think would get a lot of usage would be the iTunes server app. You simply install iTunes on your PC and have it browse the network looking for the DS209.

If you have a DLNA compatible device either TV set of stereo system, the DS209 can stream audio and video directly to it. Even your PS3 and XBox360 can receive data straight from the DS209.

The last of the media apps we will talk about is the Audio Station. Now how you listen to your music is covered by the DS209. If you listen to a lot of internet music like I did through the server, a small web player will allow you to play audio files directly from the DS209.


Web Applications

A very nice feature of the DS209 is its ability to be used as a web server. Honestly, any PC or server can be used as one, but Synology takes it one step further. From one the included has the options to install many of the popular CMS like Joomla. And for the more advanced site builders PHP and MySQL are also pre-installed.


Security Application

Everyday, I talk to people that want to set up a security system at a remote location, one they can monitor from wherever they are via the web. To eliminate the need for a DVR with IP addressing feature, you can simply use the DS209 as the complete system is built right in. All you need is network cameras.


Backup Applications

If you want to backup just one PC or the entire network, the DS209 has options for both. The back up features support Windows, MAC and Linux. You get the option to back up via drag and drop or an automated schedule. Backup can be performed from another USB device directly to the DS209 via the USB Copy feature.


Conclusion

The Synology DS209 is a complete home server alternative. It offers all the applications that you would find in a Microsoft's WHS. During my time with the unit, I found myself playing with the various applications and each time I found myself amazed at what the unit can do. Mated with two large drives, you can store a world of audio and video on the unit and access if from anywhere in the house, whether its to a PC or to a TV set. This is definitely a must have if you a collector of digital media like DVD and Blu-Ray discs. You can rip your own media to the unit and never have to worry about searching through shelves of DVD holders looking for the next movie to play.

If you run a small office and need a medium to serve as a file, print or mail server look on farther than the DS209. The unit comes with all the applications to handle the mentioned tasks. And what makes this unit more attractive than others is its ease to setup. Even the greenest novice can setup the unit using its simple to read guides. Are you a web developer? You are also in luck as the DS209 can be assigned the task of being a web host as well. And if you have never set up a web site before than you can use one of the many CMS application accessible to the DS209.

We can go on and on about all the features of the DS209, but it would probably take multiple reviews. If you are in the market for such an item, this is a good place to start. We have seen hard drives in the 1TB range go for less than $60 lately. Two of these with the purchase of a $300 DS209 will add to a very good NAS system for $420. Yes, this is more expensive than some of the other NAS devices on the market. But you can not compare the DS209 to cheap NAS enclosures that you on store shelves. The DS209 comes with a built-in CPU and system ram that helps with network latency and helps to control data access and speeds.

And I am sure the cheap NAS enclosures you see will not have all the features of the DS209 including print server, USB Copy, web hosting, media server, security DVR, back up and the many other features it offers. This is an Editor's Choice item without a doubt.

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