Well before starting the review let me tell you some things that are happening with me, which are maybe happening to you too. So apparently, Google has come up with its new storage policy, which is pretty annoying to me. Now, I have very limited storage and have to compromise even for the quality of my media. And not only that, my Gmail, Drive also count to this storage.
Are you too someone who is rankled by facing such problems and is scared of sharing data to other random cloud services?
Well, let me introduce you to the solution for all these problems... The Synology NAS.
Now before I go any further, let me tell you in brief about What is a NAS?
So, have you ever wondered about what happens when you upload a file to a cloud service say Google Photos, where does it actually go, get saved? Probably somewhere on the other side of earth in a data center. What If I told you, you can do the same with your own private cloud at the back of your desk? To consolidate these files into one safe place, you need a secure and centralized storage solution.
Well that’s what a NAS is basically. NAS or Network-Attached Storage is a device that gets connected to your network and allows you to store and retrieve your data from your anywhere. You can attach your own hard drives, connect it to your network and voila.
Synology happens to be one of the Top brands out there you can trust to buy a NAS. They offer various options varying for different scenarios.
In here, I will be telling you about the Synology Disk Station 120j.
From the J series, the DS120j is a small, compact & a versatile entry-level single-bay NAS for home and personal cloud storage.
First things first, the Synology DS120j comes packed neatly with the below contents :
- The Main Unit
- AC power adapter
- Quick Installation Guide
- Bunch of screws for the hard drive as well as the main unit
- 1 X RJ-45 LAN Cable
- Quick Installation Guide
The DS120j is a pretty sturdy build with a sleek look, you can put in a 3.5”/2.5” SATA Drive. It comes with two USB 2.0 ports, a 1GbE (RJ-45) LAN Port. It is also only 700 grams, so pretty lightweight and fits almost anywhere. You get to see a flashing power button at the upfront with Illuminated status lights for LAN connectivity, Disk, and the Status.
Also here are some Specs you might want to have a look at :
CPU CPU Model Marvell Armada 3700 88F3720 CPU Quantity 1 CPU Architecture 64-bit CPU Frequency 2-core 800 MHz Hardware Encryption Engine Memory System Memory 512 MB DDR3L non-ECC Storage Drive Bays 1 Compatible Drive Type* (See all supported drives) 3.5" SATA HDD
2.5" SATA HDD (with optional 2.5" Disk Holder)
Maximum Single Volume Size* 108 TB External Ports RJ-45 1GbE LAN Port 1 USB 2.0 Port 2 File System Internal Drives EXT4 External Drives EXT4
Others System Fan 60 mm x 60 mm x 1 pcs Fan Speed Mode Full-Speed Mode
Power Recovery Noise Level* 16.9 dB(A) AC Input Power Voltage 100 V to 240 V AC Power Frequency 50/60 Hz, Single Phase Power Consumption* 9.81 W (Access)
4.68 W (HDD Hibernation)
Temperature Operating Temperature 0°C to 40°C (32°F to 104°F) Storage Temperature -20°C to 60°C (-5°F to 140°F) Relative Humidity 5% to 95% RH Warranty 2 Years
Well, the setup is really easy. You just have to plug in your NAS(I used Ethernet) and then go to find.synology.com on the subnet
There, it will easily detect your NAS, Wipe the inserted drive, Installs the OS, and then re-start the device.
You get to set up your administrator account and other stuff over there.
The DS120j works with its own Linux-based software Operating System made by Synology known as the ‘DSM’ or DiskStation Manager. It is pretty much like using a windows OS. It is really user-friendly. You get to see and also add a bunch of Widgets onto the screen. They are really helpful in displaying various info. Like disk status and other device analysis. You also have an app drawer that shows you all the available apps you can use; A notification button as well as a download queue button.
The DSM 6.2 is installed after the setup, though you can update it to the latest DSM but it isn’t really endorsed to go for it considering the 512MB RAM..
In this review, I’ll be mostly highlighting the use cases and apps that you can use with NAS.
A really good way to access and manage your files on the NAS is via mapping it to your Windows/MAC and using the File Explorer/Finder.
All you have to do is, bring your device(s) to the subnet via any means and enable the SMB service on your NAS which you can find under File Services in Control Panel. Then you can easily find the device on your network, log in, and voila. I would prefer this means of sharing than any other due to the speed difference that can be observed.
#1 File Station
It’s pretty much like file explorer. You get to create folders on the hard disk. You can create user-specific folders as well as ‘Shared Folders’ that can be accessed by all the users. It’s is good for collaborative purposes.
But here’s the upsetting part, even on the Ethernet mode, transferring files you get a peak speed of 30MBPS and around 11MBPS on specific folders.
You can download this app on your mobile device and of course your NAS, this application helps you organize your photos lucidly allowing you to keep track of all your media in great detail. It is a lot like Photos by Google and can help you if you happen to have a bad storage situation on your phone. You can back up your media in original/high resolution with all the other metadata that is all the Data associated with each photo or video, such as creation time, comments, resolution, and location. One thing that I noticed in here was that it took a decent amount of time to upload the data but accessing it on the web client really took a while to load and the same goes for the thumbnails. This wasn’t a problem while using other applications on the NAS. Also, one more problem was that I could observe a few photos/videos missing on the web client that were on the android app and vice versa though the photo sync was completely finished.