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Synology DiskStation DS211+ Review

Rating: 9.0.

Synology have been riding high in 2010, releasing some of the finest NAS systems ever to hit the consumer market. We use several of these devices in the KitGuru offices for our network file sharing and have found them to be both extremely reliable and fast.

Last month we looked at the Synology DS211, a fantastic performing mainstream unit which easily earned our highest award, and today we are looking at the DS211+ which has just been released today.

What is the difference between the DS211 and the DS211+ ? Many people seem to be confused with the Synology naming conventions, but it is surprisingly easy to break down.

“+” series = performance range.
standard series (no digit) = mixture of performance and storage.
“j” series = entry level consumer, concerned about capacity but not performance.

DS = Diskstation
First Digit = number of bays
Second numbers = year for the release

Therefore we know that the DS211+ is a member of the performance series, it has two drive bays and was created for the year 2011.

Product Highlights:

  • High performance, over 100 MB/s read speed
  • Windows® ACL Support
  • Complete Backup Solutions
  • 256-bit AES Hardware Encryption Engine
  • Hot Swappable Hard Drives
  • Cool and Quiet Design

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  1. The interface looks great. I have a windows nas but its very slow due to the CPu in it.

  2. id like their 7 series model, might pick one up next year as I love the idea of more networked storage, instead of sharing between computers, it can be painful. surprisingly i found XP best for networking shared folders.

  3. Ive never really seen the need for a NAS system. nice looking product however.

  4. tiredofsubscribingalltheweb

    Because you don’t try it ! Look at all services are proposed et economy of énergy in downloading without let your computer turned on as for exemple (FTP, HTTP, DDL, ED2K, BT) ! + all the web services hosted into your house unlike all free services on the web ! are you sur to know what they are looking for into your data ? me not, but i know that they look for information that they can exploit for marketing, like google or microsoft or all the websites who ask to subscribe a profile that they can track users traces !finally they déduce your comportement.
    What I mean is that it is better to have a maximum data at home and what kind of device allows.
    but I also use the google and microsoft sites to less sensitive data that I still want to save
    Synology does not say everything, including the fact that it is an ajax to linux and therefore can add a lot of scripts made by users around the world. Scripts and programs that are very interesting for more than half
    I am French and my English is rough, so I used google translate

  5. DSM3.0 is amazing – a multitasking web-based UI. I like the front loading drives, but wish they would make their stations a bit less plasticy – more like the Netgear ReadyNAS for example. Support from Synology is amazing too – they are still releasing all their latest firmwares for my old DS108j which is nearly three years old now.

  6. What can you do with the usb port ? Extend your stockage data ?

  7. Yeah, and they can be used for backups too.

  8. Nice review, one quitck question though that I may have skipped over…….does it support iTunes? I have the older 106j which has served me well for almost 4 years now and it provides iTunes library support for my audio, I wish it served video as well but alas I use the DLNA support to play that through my Xbox anyway!

  9. Hi Anthony. yes there is full support for itunes. works great.

  10. Nice review. Although I had hoped you would compare it to the DS211 in the conclusion. How does it compare to the DS211? Is the extra 4-5 MB/s worth the $130+ increase in price?

    What’s the advantage of the “+” in real world scenarios?


  11. SK

  12. Hi there
    New to this NAS malarkey so a quick question please

    Can this unit be used to solve off site backup issues we are having

    Is it possible to hot swap a drive (it has 2 right?), allow the system to mirror to the newly inserted drive, then remove the drive off site?


  13. Hi Nigel,

    It is possible to use internal disks to do backup :- I have 2 proposals:

    1. Create a RAID 1 volume, remove 1 of the disk off site.
    Since the volume is RAID 1, the data are mirrored to both disks. You can remove one disk (the volume would be degraded), move the disk to other place and place in a new one to fix the degraded volume. After the volume is fixed (mirrored), you can remove the disk again.

    2. Use eSATA/USB to do backup. (recommended)
    Please note that when RAID 1 is degraded, the data is not protected. You might lose your data if both disks are broken. I would suggest you to use eSATA backup. So you don’t have to make the volume degrade.

    To do so, just attache a external disk to DS211+ and setup Local Backup to backup all the data to the external disk. You can also configure periodical backup (daily).

  14. I have the DS210+, this is basically the same NAS with a new skin. not worth buying if you have bought any 2 bays models in the pass 2-3 years.

  15. Does this allow web access via the nas without registering with a 3rd party website, similar to the buffalo linkstation 2TB?

  16. FYI: The DS211+ supports a max of 6TB, not 4TB as stated in this review.

  17. Hi, my questions may seem silly and/or repetition due to my very-very weak English, but I cannot answer them myself:
    1) is it possible not to install any software to my PCs (minimal windows and minimal centOS), just configure the DS211+ on the web interface of the NAS in a browser? I want to avoid additional software installations, have to keep my systems under certain size.
    2) does it have built in bittorent client? I mean there is the info at the 211 (not 211+) that it “functions as a 24×7 BitTorrent”. Is it true in case of 211+, too?
    Many thanks!

  18. Hi Peter.

    Unlike traditional NAS systems, the Synology units need a software file to be written to the installed hard drives for the operating system to be installed and operational. this means you have to perform the initial setup via the dedicated software they supply, otherwise you can’t access it via an IP in a browser for general use.

    Once it is setup and configured, you can deinstall the Synology PC software and access it fully from an IP via a browser.

    All of the software you mention is inside the DSM package.

  19. cool, thank you!

  20. Hi, really good review!

    Even though the Netgear ReadyNAS Ultra 2 have a more powerful CPU, and more RAM, I decided to order this piece from Synology. Partly because of the Web Station and SNMP support, partly because of the sleek OS and last but not least because of this review.

    Now, it will take a few days before it arrive to my door and in the meantime I am curious to know if this model — 211+ — is capable of serving video at all? More specifically I am really curious to know if it is capable of serving MKV-files at 720p.
    (In addition to the NAS I will be using Netgear Neo TV 350, which is also on its way.)

    My intuition tells me that that it is ridiculous, that I need additional hardware (such as my computer or perhaps a PS3), but it sure would be fantastic if I could turn off my computer while watching a movie…

    Very grateful for an answer within 48 hours.


  21. Hi there, has anyone any experience using the Synology with Mac computers? how is the setup using a Mac?

    thx. Ebbe