Synology DiskStation Review - What a wonderful piece of hardware

McGuywer

Executive Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2006
Messages
7,040
What a wonderful piece of hardware.

It never even crossed my mind to consider getting a NAS. I just didn't think I would have any use for it.
Below is my experience of the excellent Synology DS220+

Unboxing and adding a drive:
This was a breeze. Everything that is needed is included in the box, even two LAN cables for the link aggregation. All components needly wrapped in plastic and are of high quality.
Unboxing Synology.jpg

To add a drive, you pull forward on the front cover, pull up a plastic pin and you can slide out the drive bay.
IMG_5581.jpg

I opted to add a Seagate Barracuda Green 2TB (ST2000DL003) which isn't on the compatibility list of Synology.
This prompted this message:
Screenshot 2021-05-16 at 14.08.29.png

The drive is most likely too old to be tested by Synology but I was really glad to see that the drive did work nonetheless.

Connecting to the NAS:

Using Chrome, I browsed to http://find.synology.com and upon searching my network, the web service found my NAS and I could connect to it. I was a bit concerned about how it would search my local network from the web and why neither Chrome or my heavily managed work computer did not display any warnings/errors/information regarding a webservice scanning my network. I have a Mikrotik router in place and I block everything and only allow explicit ports. The NAS must be creating a connection to the Synology servers upon startup and would most likely send information to the servers which is then picked up on the web service when opening http://find.synology.com.

Once I was over my paranoia. I proceeded with installing the latest DiskStation Manager (DSM) and formatting my drive. The whole installation was really fast and took around 6 minutes to install.

When choosing a user, you cannot use admin and you need a password of minimal 8 characters with upper and lower case. I liked that you could skip the "Create a Synology account" part since I would handle my own port forwarding. The last step also confirmed and mitigated my concerns regarding http://find.synology.com, you have an option to enable or disable this feature. Again, I opted to disable this.

A nice feature was that DSM checks if there is any new updates and if those updates affect any issues you might have had:
Screenshot 2021-05-16 at 13.43.32.png



Thinking that this is only a NAS, I was pleasantly surprised when I opened the Package Centre to find a lot of additional features and applications. These include a DNS server, mail server, SQL server and even Node.js server. Tomcat and Docker is also there. The latter is the one that I got really excited about. I wanted to replace my Pi-hole instance and move it from the cloud to a local machine. Running a 400watt desktop computer 24/7 for DNS queries seemed a bit excessive so that is why I decided to move it to the Synology NAS. The basic setup procedures are:
- Install Docker from the Package Centre
- In Synology File Station, create the following:
docker/pihole/pihole
docker/pihole/dnsmasq.d
- Open Docker application -> Registry -> Search "pi-hole"
- Double click on pihole/pihole and it will download the official docker image.
- Image -> Double click on pihole/pihole:latest
- Click on "Advanced Settings" -> Click "Enable auto-restart".
- Under "Volume" tab, add the two folders that was created earlier and map like the below:
nas review 2.jpg
- Under "Network" tab, select "Use the same network as Docker Host."
- Under "Environment" tab, add the following variables:
Screenshot 2021-05-16 at 14.23.55.png
Note that "ServerIP" should be your LAN IP address of your NAS.
- You can now browse to http://<nas-ip>:<pi-hole-port>/admin. My address is http://192.168.4.214:8080/admin.
- Last change that needs to happen, change your router to use your NAS as the DNS server. More information here: https://discourse.pi-hole.net/t/how-do-i-configure-my-devices-to-use-pi-hole-as-their-dns-server/245

More on the pi-hole Docker image:
https://registry.hub.docker.com/r/pihole/pihole/



Pros:
- High Quality/Durable build
- Extremely quite
- Low power consumption
- Easy to use interface
- Contents in box includes everything that is needed except drives
- Link Aggregation
- Third Party Applications

Cons:
- Celeron processor
- Only two drive bays
- Closed Operating System
- Price
- Need to format drives upon adding



Thank you to MyBroadband and Synology for allowing me the pleasure of reviewing this wonderful piece of hardware.
 

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grok

Honorary Master
Joined
Dec 20, 2007
Messages
24,176
Always thought NAS's to be too expensive, especially for home use.
What in the world could justify R8k? For basically a 2 drive housing?

1623236573150.png

When you can use this? Been running mine for years as a media centre/server, network storage, torrent & news downloader etc. with zero issues.

1623236806104.png

Ok, disclaimer my 1st gen HP MS was fried by lightning, but that could happen to any device..
 

Genisys

Honorary Master
Joined
Jan 12, 2016
Messages
10,982
Always thought NAS's to be too expensive, especially for home use.
What in the world could justify R8k? For basically a 2 drive housing?

View attachment 1085839

When you can use this? Been running mine for years as a media centre/server, network storage, torrent & news downloader etc. with zero issues.

View attachment 1085841

Ok, disclaimer my 1st gen HP MS was fried by lightning, but that could happen to any device..
Takealot doesn't have Gen8 Micro servers any more...
 
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