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Synology USB Station 2

Synology USB Station 2

Neat networker for external drives and printers

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It handles account setup and configuration, so you can control access to parts of any drive you have connected to the device. Creating accounts and protecting areas of a drive may be necessary – even if you’re using the device in the home – as intelligent teenagers might otherwise indiscriminately fill your storage, but many people will still want to plug and go, and here DSM3 isn’t that convenient.

Synology USB Station 2

DSM 3 configuration
Click for a larger image

If you want to copy files from a local machine to a drive attached to the USB Station 2 you have to select ‘Upload overwrite’ or ‘Upload skip’ in the DSM3 file browser, and hunt for the local files in a separate dialogue – hardly intuitive. There’s also a filesize limit imposed by Java – 2GB for older versions and 4GB if you have the latest incarnation.

Better to map the drive attached to the USB Station 2, so you can treat it as a network drive under Windows. You need to run the Synology software on each machine that needs to access a drive or printer and there’s no ‘mapping wizard’ or auto-setup, which would make it friendlier for inexpert customers.

The device can act as a print server, which is a useful extra, and there’s a list of printers here that have been tested with the USB Station 2, but there are likely to be many more. Any well-behaved USB printer should work, though be aware this is only for network printing. The USB Station 2 doesn’t support network scanning from all-in-ones.

When I copied 4.7GB of data (a DVD’s worth) from a client drive to an external 320GB USB drive connected to the Synology device, it took 10m17s and copying it back took just over a minute less, at 9m14s.

Synology USB Station 2

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