The included quick installation guide walks you through installing the hard drives and connecting the unit to power and network. Installing the hard drives is straightforward, with the four screws removed from the back panel the outer shell removes easily. then its a simple matter of screwing the hard drives into place.
Typically once the drives are installed and the unit is powered on you have to initialize the raid. Synology supports multiple raid types depending on the quantity of disks you have. the default recommendation is to leverage the Synology Hybrid raid which will give you the recommended best practices based on the number of disks. Synology provided this unit populated with disks already so we did didn’t have to choose. Utilizing 4 4TB Seagate NAS HDD with the Synology hybrid raid we can tolerate 2 disk failures in before data loss will occur.
Discovering the unit on your network is as simple as browsing to a webpage. Once discovered the intuitive wizard will walk you through the initial configuration.
Once the wizard is complete you have access to the disk station manager and the core set of available apps. I’ve mentioned it before but the value and power behind the Synology platform is the DSM operating system and all of the available apps and packages. In the Synology market alone there are 62 apps available to install, these apps range from tools to host websites all the way to running your own phone system. There are also community developed packages that can be added for even more functionality.
Synology’s recommended packages we installed during the wizard cover some of the core reasons to have a powerful NAS in your house.
- Audio Station: Web based music library management, allows you to leverage audio playback devices on your network
- Cloud Station: Allows you to sync files from your computer and mobile devices
- Download station: Allows you to download files over popular protocols and supports RSS downloads as well
- Media Server: Serve up content to DLNA and UPnP devices
- Photo Station: Manage photo libraries and share with blogs and websites
- Video Station: Organize video content such as tv, movies and home videos.
All of the above functionality is in addition to standard file serving. The Synology will seamlessly share files between almost any platform. The Synology will even allow you to access your files and content remotely leveraging either quick connect Synology account, or for the more technically inclined, you can leverage port forwarding and dynamic DNS from within the control panel as well. DSM will even try to automatically configure your router for you.
Once external access is enabled you can leverage official Synology apps to access your data securely from practically any mobile device.
Going through the UI I noticed that in the power settings now include the option to disable the lights on the front panel. Previously this could only be achieved through some fancy configuration (and was “reset” after every reboot). This may seem trivial to some, but anyone who has ever had their office equipment in their bedroom knows this is a significant feature.
The sheer number of capabilities these NAS units offer will boggle your mind.