Synology Diskstation DS212J
The DS212J is Synology's latest personal two-bay nas. It runs the company's splendid DiskStation Manager 4.0 software. Although only DSM 3.2 was included with this unit, Synology offers version 4.0 as a free download.
It would take a separate review to describe how good DSM has become these days but it truly sets Synology apart from the rest, with a proper graphical interface somewhat reminiscent of Ubuntu. There is every streaming feature you could dream of to be found and even antivirus is available freely from the Package Centre.
Combine this with solid performance on par with the ReadyNAS Duo V2 and a low entry price of £162 without disks, it is ideally suited for the user who wants to do a lot, but doesn't need the highest performance.
Reg Rating 85%
Price £162 (no disks)
More info Synology
Synology Diskstation DS212+
The DS212+ takes the underpinnings of the DS212J up to the business level with the same 2GHz Marvell chip found in the QNAP TS-219P II. On top of that you get USB 3.0 on the back and an SD card slot on the front making this ideal for archiving direct from your DSLR if you don't fancy an Eye-Fi card.
Moving from J to + also gets you front-loading drive trays with rubber damping mounts for near silent operation. What's most important, though, is that performance boost: sequential and random writes are to be found nearing in on 90MB/s making this the second fastest nas here. The only thing keeping it from scoring higher is its price tag.
Reg Rating 80%
Price £279 (no disks)
More info Synology
Next page: Thecus N2200EVO
Re: These are just for the lazy and technical illiterates.
Always amazed that the technically literate still are not clever enough to realise that most folks out there are not technically literate hence why most IT projects fail and hardware purchases never realise their full value.
The Tech Literates never bother to give the less able what they actually need and just push the wrong solution.
I have seen many small businesses languishing in tech nightmare with a £3000 Windows 2008 server that some Tech guru said they needed (then cleared off when they got too small for him to bother with) when in fact a £400 NAS would have worked perfectly for their simple file sharing needs with a little redundancy.
Tech Literates? Muppets who like wasting other peoples money more like!
Know your customer and work with them. If they trust you you can raise them up from IT befuddlement. It just takes a little time.
I went down the DIY route
HP Microserver N36L, now the N40L. The N40L offers AMD Turion Neo II (1.5GHz), 4 drive bays, 6 USB ports, Gigabit ethernet, VGA out and 2 PCI-E slots. You get a 250GB HD and 2GB RAM included. Power consumption is under 45W. Certified for Windows and RHEL.
Ebuyer sell them for £230-240, and HP have been offering £100 cashback on them for months now. Stick something like Open Media Vault or other OS of choice on there. Far more flexible option if you're that way inclined.
A friend of mine did the same as me, using Open Media Vault, and he was complaining that it all just worked. He was expecting hours of tweaking and fiddling.
Less power use, less space taken up, less to fiddle with, so more time to spend doing something else.
Re: "Proper" reviews
It bothered me, so I looked them all up - used the Reg review as primary source, then manufacturer figures, then other review sites if there was still no figures published)
1) Buffalo Linkstation - 24W max (src: http://www.reghardware.com/2011/01/20/review_storage_buffalo_linkstation_pro_duo_nas/)
2) Buffalo Terastation - 47W max (src: http://www.buffalo-technology.com/en/terastation-pro-duo.html)
3) Freecom Silverstore2 - 24W (src: http://www.freecom.com/Products/External-Hard-Drives/Network-Hard-Drives/SilverStore2)
4) Freecom DualDrive - 16W (src: http://www.expertreviews.co.uk/network-storage/1283860/freecom-dual-drive-network-center-2tb/specifications)
5) NetGear ReadyNas Duo v2 - 60W (src: http://www.reghardware.com/2012/01/18/review_netgear_readynas_duo_v2_network_attached_storage/page2.html)
6) QNAP TS-219P II - 23W (src: http://www.expertreviews.co.uk/network-storage/1291528/qnap-turbonas-ts-219p-ii/specifications)
7) Synology Diskstation DS212J - 17.6W (src: http://www.synology.com/products/spec.php?product_name=DS212j&lang=enu#p_submenu)
8) Synology Diskstation DS212+ - 18.7W (src: http://www.synology.com/products/spec.php?product_name=DS212%2B&lang=enu#p_submenu)
9) Thecus N2200EVO - 52W (src: http://nas.findthebest.com/l/748482/Thecus-N2200EVO)
10) Western Digital My Book Live Duo - 15W (src: http://www.expertreviews.co.uk/network-storage/1291513/western-digital-my-book-live-duo-4tb/specifications)
This summary reads like someones taken the brochures and some anecdotal commentary and drafted up this article.
Can we please have some more informed data including at least (using the same HDD when the choice is given):
1. sustained throughtput - read and write - with one or multiple users
2. power consumption when idle
3. noise level when idle
These devices - and I have an aging ReadyNAS NV+ - are meant to run 24/7 in a "home" environment, so the last two are as important as the first.