Synology DiskStation DS214se
The most robust operating system, wide choice of applications, speed, price.
The entry-level Synology Disk Station DS214se Network Disk (NAS) is an excellent choice for personal use. In addition to backup, it offers the ability to play streaming media, and satisfies your data sharing needs.
The DiskStation DS214se is a better-equipped two-bay NAS server than competing entry-level models. Turning under the latest DSM 5.0 operating system, it has many features usually reserved for much more upscale servers, such as the DS1513 +. It can be found in the diskless version, and with 4 TB include. Despite the limited system RAM and processor, the DS214se is still able to provide an excellent data transfer rate for a 2-bay server, especially in read speed. Keep in mind, however, that it is still an entry-level storage device. It is designed to work primarily for one task at a time, and is therefore not suitable for demanding multitasking environments. If you’re looking for a personal network storage solution for just a few users, the DS214se will be a great choice.
The DS 214se requires that you open its case to access the disks
Solid OS And Entry-Level Hardware Specification
The DS214se uses an older generation of chassis, like that of the DS410 released four years ago. In practice, you must open the enclosure to install or replace the internal hard drives. Although the operation, which involves removing two small screws on the back and sliding the left side of the case, is quite easy to achieve, we are far from the proposed design in new models of DiskStation, such as the DS712 +, or the DS1513 + where you access the windows from the front. You only need to open it if you buy the diskless version of the DS214se. Otherwise, it is likely that you will not need to access the hard drives for a long time. If you do, you must shut down the server before starting work. It does not allow hot swapping of hard drives unlike models of the manufacturer equipped with bays at the front of the chassis. This Synology NAS supports standard SATA internal 3.5-inch (desktop) and 2.5-inch (notebook) drives of any capacity. Many vendors offer packages that include NAS “bare” with hard drives of different capacities. The buyer to make his choice according to his needs and his budget.
The DS214se offers nothing exceptional in terms of specifications. It is based on a minimalist processor Marvell Armada 370 clocked at 800 MHz and 256 MB of non-expandable DDR3 memory. With these specifications, it’s useless to expect massive multitasking capabilities. The back of the DS214se enclosure accommodates two USB 2.0 ports to expand storage capacity or connect a printer. A little disappointing at the time of the USB 3.0. To compensate for this somewhat dated design, the Synology DS214 uses the latest version of the very good DiskStation Manager (DSM) operating system: version 5.0. The new OS brings a much more efficient web interface for the user, very similar to that of a native operating system. It also brings a new way of configuring the server to work connected, as well as a huge collection of applications that add a lot of value to the Synology NAS system.
Synology’s Entry-Level Network Storage (NAS) Disk comes with a single Gigabit network port and two USB 2.0 ports
Simplicity of Configuration
With DSM 5.0 , the DS214se is pretty easy to install. Once the hard drives are installed, simply connect the server to your existing network with an Ethernet cable (included), and turn it on.
You must then go to the Web interface, with a browser open from a computer to its IP address, or by launching the Synology installation software. The interface is presented to the user as an operating system, of the Windows or Mac OS type. Everything happens through the web browser and users can perform the majority of the operations through this. But if not, Synology’s support software can also do some extra work, such as organizing network drives to share folders.
The Web interface allows you to perform any configuration on the server, including general settings management, RAID configuration, and access to all other settings, including those for native applications or those installed later. .
Flexible RAID Configuration
By default, the internal disks of the NAS disk are set up in the Synology Hybrid RAID (SHR) configuration. A default setting that automatically arranges available storage in the best possible configuration, based on the number of drives, the best data protection, performance, and storage space, all in that order. In the case of DS214se, a dual-bay system, the SHR is very similar to RAID 1. The SHR mode also allows you to use hard drives of different capacities and allows you to easily adapt your storage space without having to rebuild the system. RAID from scratch.
You do not have to use the SHR. Different RAID modes are available on the Synology DS214se, such as RAID 0 or RAID 1. All Synology NAS servers support all available standard RAID configurations, depending on the number of disks they contain.
Excellent Support For Different Platforms
The Synology DS214se NAS supports all available consumer computing platforms, whether Windows, Mac OS, Linux, or even Android or iOS mobile OS. For example, for Windows, in addition to sharing data via the SMB protocol, you can also configure the server to integrate into a domain through the Active Directory Service, which allows Windows administrators to manage the data. NAS server storage via the domain control interface.
For Macs, the Synology DS214se will automatically appear in the Finder and will be considered as the destination for the Time Machine backup service.
In addition, for a good portion of its functionality, the server offers mobile applications that support mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) on Android and iOS.
Package Center: An App Store Made in Synology
Advanced NAS servers allow users to add and remove features. Synology offers the best solution on the market for adding services to your network hard drive, relying on a vast choice.
DSM 5.0 comes with a very well-organized Package Center that allows you to install (and remove) service and application packages on a Synology NAS. Each package is a new program that adds a function or option to the server. The number of packages that can be installed depends directly on the performance of the server. The DS214se comes with 35 packages organized into five categories: backup, multimedia, security, business, and utilities. You can also manually install packages that are not in the Package Center.
Most, if not all, of these packages are very well designed and each would deserve its own test. Here is a selection of those that we find most useful for the general public.
Download Station is a complete download application. It allows the network drive to download files to the Internet independently. It can even download files from websites that require authentication (such as RapidShare). It also supports file sharing services like BitTorrent. You can search for content and double-click on the result to start the download. You can also manage remote downloads from a mobile device through the mobile app for Android and iOS. Technically, the server can handle up to 30 simultaneous downloads at a time. But given its power, it’s more realistic to manage fewer than 10 downloads simultaneously.
Cloud Station works similarly to the Dropbox service. There is no limit to the number of computers you can use for synchronization or the amount of data that can be synchronized, as long as it does not exceed the space available on the server or the quota of the user’s account . The only limitation of the Cloud Station is that it is not possible to synchronize files larger than 10 GB. Technically, the DS214se can handle up to 512 user accounts. Again, given its power, it is more reasonable to limit yourself to a few. The performance of remote access is a direct result of your Internet connection and upload speed. If you have a fast and complete Internet connection, you may want to consider canceling your subscriptions to services like Dropbox.
Surveillance Station turns the server into a complete digital video recorder for IP cameras. The server can support up to six cameras (only one license is included). This system works very well and is an excellent tool for the security of your home. There’s also a DS Cam mobile app for iOS and Android that lets you monitor your home or business from your mobile device even when you’re away from home.
Time Backup is software that offers the equivalent of the Mac OS Time Machine service for other operating systems. You can choose to back up some shared folders on the network hard drive, to a connected external hard drive, or to another Synology NAS. You have options to manage the backup generations or their periodicity: every hour, every day, every week … You can also set an expiry date for backup files. It is an excellent application if you use the NAS to host important data and do not want to lose information in case of accidental modification.
There are many other interesting Packs. For example, for the only multimedia category, there is the Photo Station (for photo sharing and blogs), the Audio Station (for streaming music playback), the iTunes Server, the Media Server) , and the Video Station for video streaming.
What the DS214se offers (and any other Synology NAS server) far exceeds the needs of most users, and is by far the most complete NAS server solution (in terms of applications and services). Without the need to be a computer specialist, you will still need some basic knowledge to install some packages.
Very Good Performance For an Entry level
Given its technical specifications, we could not expect much performance side for the DS214se. The results are amazing. With a Gigabit Ethernet connection, the server supported a write speed of 52 MB / s and a read speed of 100 MB / s. This is very good results. The test was performed while no services / applications were running in the background. The same NAS server test with an ongoing Time Machine backup operation gave slightly slower results. By voluntarily using many software at the same time, performance has been significantly reduced, and the interface has also shown significant slowdowns.
Overall, while the DS214se is definitely lagging behind other models for intensive use in multitasking. It handles very well a monotech use. The Synology DS214se worked well during tests without any particular slowness. Despite the big fan in the back, whose speed depends on the internal temperature, he remained very quiet.
The DiskStation DS214se is certainly among the most affordable NAS server on the market, and easily ranks among the best, thanks to the multitude of features it has. It offers the best quality / performance / price ratio when compared to other servers with the same configuration on the market. As an entry-level server, performance is pretty impressive as long as you keep the number of concurrent tasks reasonable. The Synology DS214se is therefore an excellent choice for personal use with backup, the ability to play media streaming and data sharing. For this price, you will certainly not be disappointed with the investment