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Synology Diskstation DS213 Air NAS Review

The Synology DS213 Air is a well-thought out NAS device. The addition of wireless features certainly allows the DS213 Air to operate in more environments as it can be used as a wireless hotspot, giving a wireless network even if the router isn’t wireless.

Additionally, the DS213 Air can be connected to the network wirelessly, meaning it doesn’t have to sit next to a router or available LAN socket, but where it is most convenient for you.

The Synology DS213 Air is packed with great features, especially the Cloud Station which allows the option to sync files with any computer or even mobile device. It also keeps previous revisions of files, much like market leaders Dropbox and Google Drive.

The best part of all, is that setting up access to the router is ever so easy with the built-in applications like EZ-internet and the network settings. The user can easily set-up DDNS with web address such as <name>.synology.me and many more. All of this, and a lot more is built-in and intuitive to use.

In terms of the design of the device, we were impressed. It certainly looks good, and is very functional. The 92mm fan is certainly a good option, just a little bit larger than the standard 80mm fan, allowing it to run at a slightly slower RPM but still move a lot of air over the drives. We are also very pleased to see USB 3.0 ports on the back, but do feel it is a shame that the hard drive bays are only SATA II capable.

As we have come to expect from Synology, the device is built to last, and certainly has a great build quality.

In terms of the transfer speeds, we didn’t achieve the quoted speeds, but they weren’t that far off so are clearly viable with a different set-up.

Our hard drives are standard units but the DS213 Air still delivered good performance, being able to write 3 GB of data for instance within a minute is certainly very appealing. Backing up a large number of files certainly won’t take that long after the first time and if you use the Cloud Station service to keep all of your really important files synced you won’t even notice the upload times.

The acoustic performance is impressive, even with fairly loud mechanical drives installed. Under load we only hit 36 dB, and when the device is idling the noise level drops to almost silent levels.  The thermal performance is good, keeping the drives to the low 30’s under extended load, and as soon as you stop writing to the device they drop into the mid-high 20’s. These are the kind of temperatures we like to document with hard disk drives.

While the 1.6 GHz processor and 256 MB DDR3 RAM look a tad limiting, we didn’t have any problems at all during our testing, even when using it as a serious media server. When we bear in mind the power consumption under load is only around 22 watts, this device is the perfect compromise to handle everything you throw at it while not even slightly denting an electricity bill.

Overall, we did have a lot of fun testing this device, and we found it to be very useful on a day to day basis. It is very easy to set-up web servers, media servers and network back-ups and it has plenty of potential with the third party packages available to install. This really is a great all-round NAS and server device for the home and is certainly one of the best I have ever tested.

At a price of £238.70 from Scan it might seem like a lot of money, but with such a diverse feature set it is actually very good value for money. Unfortunately, you will also have to buy hard drives which will bump the cost up quite considerably, although 3TB drives have just broken under the £100 price point at Aria.co.uk

Pros

  • Plenty of great features.
  • Up to 8 TB storage support.
  • Low power consumption.
  • Diskmanager software is very easy to set-up and use.

Cons

  • Quite expensive when considering the total cost.
  • Not the  fastest transfer speeds with lots of files.

Kitguru says: Another great NAS device from Synology

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Rating: 9.0.

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