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Synology RackStation RS812 Review

We have looked at the Synology DiskManager Operating System many times in the past. 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.

It would take a dedicated indepth review to cover all of the options in this software, but we will skim some of the options which we have detailed in the DS713+ review a short while ago.

Setting up a volume doesn’t take too long and the options available will vary depending on how many drives you have available.

Options are available for single volumes on RAID, or Multiple volumes on RAID.

With only one drive in our system we can only have a ‘BASIC’ setup. The screenshot above shows the other options however, Raid 1, Raid 5, Raid 5+Spare, Raid 6, Raid 10, JBOD and RAID 0.

This stage of volume creation is important. If you are using an older drive which you aren’t sure about, it is best to use the longer disk check and select ‘Yes’. Be aware this can take a serious amount of time, as the system has to remap bad sectors, if found.

The format process will vary depending on how many drives you are using and the RAID mode.

When the drive is ready, the system health will change to indicate a ‘good status’. This is a new addition in the latest revision and will help inexperienced users who may find the wealth of settings confusing.

It is important to set up a shared folder at this stage, so you can access the storage across your network from multiple computer systems.

The main settings can be accessed from the control panel options at the top left. The NAS will also flag updates and alerts top right.

The Package Center is the main area for downloading and updating the NAS, if you want to use third party software. This is a nice touch, although we found this panel rather slow to update for us. This section of the interface is expanding on a regular basis.

The main control panel window gives access to the main settings and configuration options. These are all labelled clearly and easy to navigate and find.

If you use a network of mixed devices then this panel is important, as you can configure Windows, Macintosh networking and the NFS service. FTP can be set up in a dedicated panel.

We recommend you give the server a unique name. If you have several Synology NAS systems in the same network, they default to the same Diskstation name, which means your Windows network will only see one of them.

The Control Panel has dedicated Media Indexing options. It can scan for multimedia files including videos, photos and music.

The NAS system can be used for automated backing up of special folders. There is also the option to set a speed limit, if it has a negative impact. You can restart the NAS system automatically after failure and adjust the fan speed mode between three settings.

External devices can be connected and accessed via this panel. USB printers can also be connected to the DS713+ 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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