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Synology Diskstation DS3611xs Review

As it has been some time since we have reviewed a Synology product we thought we would take a refresh look at the latest V3.1 Diskmanager operating system. It is important to ensure that the newest software package is downloaded directly from the Synology website over here.

The software is also included on a CD which is bundled with the product.

The Synology Assistant is a networking tool which can find all the Synology drives installed on a network. The DS3611xs needs to be configured once. We are using multiple connections so there is more than one IP address initially, as shown above. For the review we are using all four connections.

Using the software disc (or locating the file downloaded from the Synology support site) the .pat file can be located and installed to the NAS.

The installation procedure only takes a few minutes as it writes the operating platform to the NAS.

The default log in is always ‘admin’ with no password. This can be configured later. After the login, you are presented with a step by step guide on how to set up a drive configuration. The software supports all major browsers, such as Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Opera and Chrome. All screenshots are taken from Firefox on Windows 7 64 bit.

Depending on how many drives are installed, the software allows for Basic, JBOD, RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 5+Spare, RAID 6 and RAID 10 configurations. Raid 5, Raid 5+ Spare and Raid 6 can be expanded on the fly, by adding new drives to the system.

Above, we have two drives installed in a RAID 0 configuration, with support for 12 drives, multiple configurations can be tuned from here. Top right is an alert menu which flags anything that the software deems as an important notification. On the left is a popup menu for the plethora of settings available.

The basic control panel gives access to much of the functionality of the NAS. There is also a handy resource monitor which can be set to run all the time. The software is multitasking capable so multiple windows and tasks can be run simultaneously. We noticed that this system was extremely responsive, thanks to the 3.1ghz Dual core Intel processor installed.

Folders and users can be set up within specific panels. 4096 users can be configured and 512 groups can also be set up with 512 shared folders. This unit can handle 1024 concurrent connections, which is double the count of the excellent DS1511+. Ideal for a demanding business environment. Shared folders can be accessed across the network after the configuration is set up. A point worth noting is that every Synology device on a network defaults to the identify of ‘diskstation’ meaning that the network will only recognise one of the NAS units. A simple renaming is needed if you are using more than one Diskstation across the same network. Synology should really use the identity of the PAT file to give each NAS system a unique identifier, automatically.

The Diskmanager software has an extensive help system to guide newbies around the interface and there are also options to adjust the colour scheme to something slightly different.

Above, we have hooked in four LAN connections and we can configure Link Aggregation.

The DiskManager software offers many applications for media and networking support. Photo station supports BMP, JPG (jpe, jpeg), GIF, RAW (arw, srf, sr2, dcr, k25, kdc, cr2, crw, nef, mrw, ptx, pef, raf,
3fr, erf, mef, mos, orf, rw2, dng, x3f image formats and 3G2, 3GP, ASF, AVI, DAT, DivX, FLV, M4V, MOV, MP4, MPEG, MPG, QT, WMV, XviD, RM, RMVB, VOB, RV30, RV40, AC3, AMR, WMA3 video formats.

The DNLA/UPnP Media Server can support both Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 with AAC, FLAC, M4A, MP3, Ogg, Vorbis, PCM, WAV, WMA, WMA VBR, WMA PRO, WMA Lossless audio formats. 3GP, 3G2, ASF, AVI, DAT, DivX, DVR-MS, ISO, M2T, M2TS, M4V, MKV, MP4, MPEG1, MPEG2, MPEG4, MTS, MOV, QT, SWF, TP, TRP, TS, VOB, WMV, XviD, RV30, RV40, AC3, AMR and WMA3 video formats. It also can handle BMP, JPG (jpe, jpeg), GIF, ICO, PNG, PSD, TIF (tiff), UFO, RAW (arw, srf, sr2, dcr, k25, kdc, cr2, crw, nef, mrw, ptx, pef, raf, 3fr, erf, mef, mos, orf, rw2, dng, x3f ) image formats.

iTunes Server is also supported with MP3, M4A, M4P, WAV, AIF audio formats, M4V, MOV and MP4 video formats and M3U, WPL Playlist Format. Two printers can be hooked into the system supporting LPR, CIFS, AppleTalk and Multi Functional Print Server.

If all this isn’t enough it also offers the following iPhone and Android applications.: DS Photo+, DS Audio, DS Cam, DS File (iPhone only) and DS finder (iPhone only).

Survelliance station is a useful feature, especially for a business. Users can hook an IP camera into the unit with support for up to 40 cameras (licenses required).

The software really is indepth and we have touched on many of the major features, but a new user would be advised to carefully read through the literature, as there are many features to cater to a wide audience.

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  • Nester

    Can I have your review sample for keepsies ? 😉

  • Raymond Dian

    Funny really, my network, im lucky to get 12mbit to my NAS. this is 50 times faster and its still not even at the limit. I need to win the lotto.

  • Iain

    More expensive than my computer and monitor and desk combined.

    STunning bit of work from Synology, they are really cornering this market in the last year.

  • Tennor

    My boss will be very interested in this, looks ideal for our business

  • Thomas

    I wish they would make a home version of this , an upgrade to the 1511, for a little more, with more bays, key locking system, and metal bays. their plastic mounts are very poor. QNAP can do it.

  • This might interest you http://www.kitguru.net/networking/nas/carl/synology-launch-the-ds2411-for-the-hardcore-enthusiast/

  • Brian

    That is incredible, they have certainly not compromised with this unit. its a very good price considering its targeting some cisco systems

  • David

    Nice to see them using more metal and less plastic. for this market though they wouldnt get away with it.

    Out of my price bracket but ive been looking at their other models. Something for everyone 😉

  • Pascal

    There are some things I don’t see clearly on the pictures:
    1) can the CPU be changed (i.e. normal CPU with fan or soldered onboard?)
    2) how many memory sockets are available? what memory is installed (those initial 2GB?)

  • Mark

    Cool stuff, the rack version of the xs series has some crazy performance


  • iieeann

    Just some user experience after using QNAP and Synology.
    1) The front panel is plastic. The casing is steel. External Built quality is far inferrior than QNAP.
    2) Each HDD bracket is not labeled like QNAP. Be sure to label them yourself; or label on the HDD, for future maintenance. I label both.
    3) Boot time is quite fast, less than 2 min.
    4) Network cables in the box are type CAT5e, not CAT6. 2m length.
    5) Heavy and big, ouch… Quiet during operation. Fan speed is “Quiet” by default.

    No test result yet, building volume. Intel I305-T4 network card will only arrive next week.