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Synology DiskStation DS1512+ Review

We have looked at the Synology DiskManager Operating System many times in the past, but today we are looking at the latest V4 revision which was released recently. It is one of the finest operating systems on the market for a NAS system/server, and doesn’t need a high specification list of hardware to run well either. The multitasking support means that multiple tasks can be handled simultaneously.

It is important to ensure that the newest software package is downloaded directly from the Synology website over here.

We are using the latest DSM_DS1512+_2228.pat.

The Synology Assistant is a networking tool which can find all the Synology drives installed on a network. The DS1512+ needs to be configured once.

If you have read our previous Synology reviews, you will be aware that this stage has changed. You are immediately asked to change the password and server name. We recommend that you change the name to avoid possible networking confliction. Network configuration can be adjusted here also.

The DSM is next installed to the DS1512+ which takes around 5-10 minutes.

When this process is finished you are then presented with the login panel via your browser. Simply use the login password which was previously configured.

We reused some disk drives from a previous Synology NAS installation and we had a report that the volume had crashed. We included some screenshots as the new operating system revision will highlight any status reports along the right side of the screen. Very easy to find and fantastic for troubleshooting.

There is also a new ‘pop up' guide which shows a step by step guide on configuring the NAS system. This is an improvement on the older version of the software and can be quickly dismissed by an experienced user.

The control panel interface can be accessed by the top leftmost icon. This is easy to follow and all the icons are clearly labelled to ensure that inexperienced users don't feel too intimidated.

The system overview, highlighting the product name, system uptime, operating system revision and memory installed (in this case the default 1GB of DDR3).

The storage manager allows the user to configure and change the drive configuration. There are also parity consistency checks to ensure that the drives have no issues.

There are various panels available to allow the user to configure new accounts with access to specific folders and locations on the device. The Resource monitor is a useful tool to judge CPU load and memory usage.

The web services panels can be used to adjust various options, including the set up of a personal website into the ‘www' folder in the user home directory.

Even though the new Synology setup procedure can negate this problem immediately, it is worth checking the ‘server name' of the NAS. Synology products default to the ‘DiskStation' naming convention, so if you have more than one of these NAS systems on the network with the same name, it can lead to a series of potential problems. We recommend you name the devices according to product name, and if you have more than one – then number them sequentially.

If you don't like the default colour scheme via your browser software, then you can configure your own scheme.

The control panel allows the Synology server to directly access an NTP server for accurate time reporting. You can override this and use manual settings, along with specific time zones.

External devices can be connected and accessed via this panel. USB printers can also be connected to the DS1512+ NAS.

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. We have looked at this in detail before and if you missed it before you can read it here.

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