Follow us on Twitter
Follow us on Twitter
Follow us on Twitter
Follow us on Twitter
Follow us on Twitter

Products' We Represent


Subscribe

captcha 

Cover-161124-Sitex-2016

Best Home NAS - Reviews by Straits Times
Wednesday, 03 June 2015 00:00

Own a laptop, a tablet or a smartphone? Many of us have all three and more.

Now, multiply this by the number of people in your household and organising all the photos, videos and music on all these devices rapidly becomes a chore, especially if they are shared.

Sure, you can upload your data to cloud services, such as Dropbox, Google Drive or OneDrive, but it will take time if you have years of photos and videos. You may also incur subscription fees for additional storage space. And what if these services become defunct?

One alternative is to create your own cloud and backup solution using a network-attached storage (NAS) device. It may sound complex, but a NAS is basically a computer which is hooked up to a network that is linked to the Web.

There are a few ways to this. You can repurpose an old PC into a NAS (check out the FreeNAS software) because it does not need a powerful CPU or lots of RAM. Even a router can act like a NAS when it has an external storage device plugged into its USB port.

The best option, however, are dedicated NAS devices, which are usually rectangular boxes with hard-drive bays. Using one, you can stream data to devices in your home network, host your own webpage or file server, and download content into an external storage device. Such functions can be accessed on PCs and mobile devices through apps.

150603 Straits Times NAS Review

Synology DiskStation DS215j

The name may not seem familiar, but Taiwanese company Synology has been making storage devices for more than a decade.

At the end of last year, it launched the DiskStation DS215j, a two-bay unit that serves as a cost-effective entry-level introduction to NAS devices.

When setting it up for the first time, you need a screwdriver to remove the plastic housing before you fit up to two 3.5-inch hard disks into the rectangular unit. On the front of the unit is a power button and indicator lights which show the status of the drives and of the NAS.

Once the NAS and network are connected, type "find.synology.com" into a Web browser to bring up the set-up wizard.

The DS215 has its own operating system and apps, and you choose the features you want to install. For example, if you intend to use it to stream video, photos or music, download the respective app packages. There are also apps for Wordpress, iTunes server and webmail service functionality.

This initial set-up takes a while, though. For some reason, I could not do a batch install and had to install the apps one by one. Fortunately, app updates can be done as a group.

There was another small installation hiccup. I had to go to Settings and authorise my sign-in details as an administrator before I could initiate the unit as a Cloud Station.

One would have thought that the first user to set up the NAS would automatically be registered as an administrator. Synology said it has updated version 5.2 of its DiskStation Manager (DSM) software to cater for this.

To link a mobile device with the NAS, you must download the respective app on your device. The easiest way is to use Synology DS Cloud, but if you want to manage just your music or just your photos, Synology has dedicated apps just for those uses.

This may sound overly complicated. But what Synology offers is nicely balanced for a user who wants full control of his personal cloud storage, and a novice who may be overwhelmed by the many features that a NAS provides.

Of course, this means that new users must explore the DSM software by themselves to turn on some settings. Synology has an extensive help section that gives step-by-step instructions on how-tos, such as how to set up the DiskStation as a media streamer and how to build your own personal cloud.

As this is a two-bay system, there are very few disk management options. Users can opt for Raid 0 or Raid 1, or choose to use Synology's own Synology Hybrid Raid management system.

The DS215j offers a balance in performance and budget, with easy-to-use software for different types of users.

 

QNAP Turbo NAS TS-231

Take your Windows desktop and put all the app icons and short cuts inside a browser tab. This is what you get with the QTS operating system that powers this QNAP NAS.

Each app represents a major feature and opens in a new separate window. Video Station, for instance, is where you manage videos on the NAS, and Photo Station, your photos.

What I like about it is that the first time I run an an app, it highlights the key functions and the buttons to enable them.

While the NAS preloads a handful of essential apps on the main page, you can add more than 60 apps via the App Center, including those created by third-party developers.

Notifications appear at the top right corner. The first one I saw prompted me to install CloudLink. This app lets users access the NAS remotely via the Internet without having to tweak the router settings.

But first, you have to sign up for a free myQNAPcloud account. A caveat here: your data will pass through QNAP's servers, so you should not send confidential data via CloudLink.

At the lower right corner, a dashboard shows the status of the NAS, such as free disk space and the health of your drives.

The interface can be tweaked further. You can change the wallpaper, delete the clock (bottom left corner) and check online for firmware updates within the settings.

Most of these NAS apps have mobile versions (Android and iOS). For instance, Qvideo is the mobile version of Video Station. QNAP appears to favour Android slightly, with some of these apps available only on the Google Play Store.

Rival Synology offers a similar interface with its own app store. But QNAP seems to have an edge in the hardware department, at least for the TS-231.

Though considered a mid-range model, this NAS has features suitable for small businesses. It has two Gigabit Ethernet ports and three USB ports. You can connect a printer, external storage drive or even an uninterruptible power supply to these USB ports.

I like the one-copy button at the front panel - you press it to copy the contents of the NAS to an attached USB storage drive or vice versa. However, I have also seen it on other NAS brands.

The NAS enclosure is plastic, but feels more solid than the cheaper D-Link DNS-327L. However, it is slightly heavier at around 1.28kg (minus hard drives). The drive bays are located at the front so you can easily swop your hard drives.

Setting up the NAS is as easy as going to a Web page and downloading the latest software. Performance was on a par with the D-Link. It took about 14min 30sec to transfer 50GB of files from my PC to the NAS.

It is not cheap, but its features and excellent user interface make it an excellent choice for power users and businesses.

 

Credit: www.straitstimes.com by Sherwin Loh & Vincent Chang

Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Permission required for reproduction

 

 

 

The name may not seem familiar, but Taiwanese company Synology has been making storage devices for more than a decade.

At the end of last year, it launched the DiskStation DS215j, a two-bay unit that serves as a cost-effective entry-level introduction to NAS devices.

When setting it up for the first time, you need a screwdriver to remove the plastic housing before you fit up to two 3.5-inch hard disks into the rectangular unit. On the front of the unit is a power button and indicator lights which show the status of the drives and of the NAS.

Once the NAS and network are connected, type "find.synology.com" into a Web browser to bring up the set-up wizard.

The DS215 has its own operating system and apps, and you choose the features you want to install. For example, if you intend to use it to stream video, photos or music, download the respective app packages. There are also apps for Wordpress, iTunes server and webmail service functionality.

This initial set-up takes a while, though. For some reason, I could not do a batch install and had to install the apps one by one. Fortunately, app updates can be done as a group.

There was another small installation hiccup. I had to go to Settings and authorise my sign-in details as an administrator before I could initiate the unit as a Cloud Station.

One would have thought that the first user to set up the NAS would automatically be registered as an administrator. Synology said it has updated version 5.2 of its DiskStation Manager (DSM) software to cater for this.

To link a mobile device with the NAS, you must download the respective app on your device. The easiest way is to use Synology DS Cloud, but if you want to manage just your music or just your photos, Synology has dedicated apps just for those uses.

This may sound overly complicated. But what Synology offers is nicely balanced for a user who wants full control of his personal cloud storage, and a novice who may be overwhelmed by the many features that a NAS provides.

Of course, this means that new users must explore the DSM software by themselves to turn on some settings. Synology has an extensive help section that gives step-by-step instructions on how-tos, such as how to set up the DiskStation as a media streamer and how to build your own personal cloud.

As this is a two-bay system, there are very few disk management options. Users can opt for Raid 0 or Raid 1, or choose to use Synology's own Synology Hybrid Raid management system.

The DS215j offers a balance in performance and budget, with easy-to-use software for different types of users.

- See more at: http://www.straitstimes.com/supplements/digital-life/story/synology-diskstation-ds215j-20150603#sthash.QAJyDHKD.dpuf

The name may not seem familiar, but Taiwanese company Synology has been making storage devices for more than a decade.

At the end of last year, it launched the DiskStation DS215j, a two-bay unit that serves as a cost-effective entry-level introduction to NAS devices.

When setting it up for the first time, you need a screwdriver to remove the plastic housing before you fit up to two 3.5-inch hard disks into the rectangular unit. On the front of the unit is a power button and indicator lights which show the status of the drives and of the NAS.

Once the NAS and network are connected, type "find.synology.com" into a Web browser to bring up the set-up wizard.

The DS215 has its own operating system and apps, and you choose the features you want to install. For example, if you intend to use it to stream video, photos or music, download the respective app packages. There are also apps for Wordpress, iTunes server and webmail service functionality.

This initial set-up takes a while, though. For some reason, I could not do a batch install and had to install the apps one by one. Fortunately, app updates can be done as a group.

There was another small installation hiccup. I had to go to Settings and authorise my sign-in details as an administrator before I could initiate the unit as a Cloud Station.

One would have thought that the first user to set up the NAS would automatically be registered as an administrator. Synology said it has updated version 5.2 of its DiskStation Manager (DSM) software to cater for this.

To link a mobile device with the NAS, you must download the respective app on your device. The easiest way is to use Synology DS Cloud, but if you want to manage just your music or just your photos, Synology has dedicated apps just for those uses.

This may sound overly complicated. But what Synology offers is nicely balanced for a user who wants full control of his personal cloud storage, and a novice who may be overwhelmed by the many features that a NAS provides.

Of course, this means that new users must explore the DSM software by themselves to turn on some settings. Synology has an extensive help section that gives step-by-step instructions on how-tos, such as how to set up the DiskStation as a media streamer and how to build your own personal cloud.

As this is a two-bay system, there are very few disk management options. Users can opt for Raid 0 or Raid 1, or choose to use Synology's own Synology Hybrid Raid management system.

The DS215j offers a balance in performance and budget, with easy-to-use software for different types of users.

- See more at: http://www.straitstimes.com/supplements/digital-life/story/synology-diskstation-ds215j-20150603#sthash.QAJyDHKD.dpuf
 

ACE Featured Products

QNAP TS-451A
QNAP TS-451A
Call for Pricing
Rack Station RS214
Rack Station RS214
Call for Pricing
FosBaby (Pink)
FosBaby (Pink)
Call for Pricing
AccessMag Rugged Magstripe Reader
AccessMag Rugged Magstripe Reader
Call for Pricing
ScanMate i1120 Scanner
ScanMate i1120 Scanner
$550
Disk Xpansion DX1215
Disk Xpansion DX1215
Call for Pricing
Momentus XT Solid State Hybrid Drive
Momentus XT Solid State Hybrid Drive
Call for Pricing
AS-606T
AS-606T
Call for Pricing

Latest News