Synology DiskStation DS216+ NAS Review: Solid performance, great value

By Steve
Feb 29, 2016
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  1. Today Synology's DiskStation range can't truly be described as 'NAS' products any more -- they are full blown servers that can handle everything from Cloud based storage to 4K UHD transcoding. Today's subject, the DiskStation DS216+, is Synology's latest two-bay device which is currently retailing for $300.

    This mid-range two-bay model is designed to bridge the pricing gap between the DS716+ ($450) and DS216 ($280). As such you find twice the memory of the DS216 but half that of the DS716+, while the SoC has been upgraded from the Marvell Armada 385 of the DS216 to the dual-core Intel Celeron N3050.

    An exciting feature of the DS716+ which has been handed down to the DS216+ is support for the more modern BTRFS, B-tree file system, making this the cheapest Synology device to support it. For this review we'll compare the performance between EXT4 and BTRFS while also checking out the new features offered by Synology's latest DiskStation Manager 6.0 Beta software.

    Read the complete review.

  2. Raoul Duke

    Raoul Duke TS Guru Posts: 860   +307

    I want to go to something like this for backup, running ~12 TB in the desktop comp right now and thinking of adding another 4 TB drive (will replace older 2 TB Green). A HD failure at this point would result in more than just tears, but without total backup I'm to blame.
  3. Capaill

    Capaill TS Addict Posts: 279   +86

    I bought a 4-bay version of this a few years ago for full RAID and it's still going strong. For a small user, the 2-bay version is probably much better value but limits the redundancy options. The key advantage of a Synology NAS is the software - you get the exact same software with a 2-bay as you get with a 16-bay. It's got way more features than I will ever figure out how to use but it works and it's always being updated.
    There are lots of apps available for running your own call centre, to torrenting, to running a media centre with remote access over the internet for multiple users. Or even connecting IPTV cameras (only one license included). Definitely worth a look if you're looking for a NAS solution.
    The fans are also very quiet when running in silent mode and the drive temperatures stay in the mid-20s celsius which is perfectly safe. I let the NAS power down the drives after 20 minutes of inactivity and they take about 20 seconds to spin up, using WD Reds. Very happy with it.
    Julio Franco and Steve like this.
  4. Slappy McPhee

    Slappy McPhee TS Rookie Posts: 17

    This right here just reminds me how much the NAS space irritates me. I have for example 22TB of drive storage across 12 1-2TB discs I have amassed over the last 5 years. My option would be the DS3615xs in the NAS offerings however you have to be somking some serious crack if you think I am going to shell out 3k for a NAS enclosure. I get that this is off topic, but it still gets to the point that these devices are overpriced IMHO. I am instead having to invest in a Rosewill tower case that can accept that many drives and will have to connected two of them to external USB ports. I will spend a hell of a lot less and be able to run 16 GB of RAM for a rainy day. Just sad really. I would much rather have an enclosure like the above mentioned without having to sell a kidney.
    jauffins likes this.
  5. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 1,100   +526

    Can anyone tell me the appeal of all-in-one NAS units like this? A more powerful system with something like FreeNAS can be built for cheaper and it'd be more versatile.
  6. ColdFish

    ColdFish TS Rookie

    I can explain!

    I have, right next to me here, a fat server running FreeNAS. Which is nice, but it doesn't really do much other than handle my backups. There's no UI, so I can't have my assistant or wife or half my staff do anything at all. Still.... if you're cool with command line, that's great.

    Synology has built in tools which are AWESOME. Right now, for example, I've been writing some code for a new system. Every time I hit Save, a copy of the file is being synced to my local Synology 213+. I can open the directory, right click on any file, and choose to recover any version (I set it to 20 versions back).

    Synology has a built in sync tool, so you can sync it to another Synology Nas, backup tools, which is why I have my older one at home, plugged in the basement, but at 3am is getting a nice fat copy of the files from the office.... took me all of 5 minutes to set that up.

    There's another option where you can upload stuff to Amazon S3. So, some stuff goes right to S3 every night and costs almost nothing. AND.... there's a Amazon Glacier plugin, where you can have stuff that you'll probably never need again, but need access to, and costs almost nothing, and you want to make 100% certain nobody messes with it: Like all my taxes and legal stuff.

    Then there's media features. Honestly, this is totally dishonest and horrible of me, but when my kids want to watch some *****ic movie, I can pull out my phone, open up ds download, and find a torrent of the movie in about a minute. Click "download", and put my phone away. By the time I get home from the office, that movie will be there.

    Since PLEX is a built in plugin (as is their own ds video app), my ROKU sees it just like netflix.

    Anyway, I could go on for a day about how great these things are. FreeNAS.... it's a nice big hard drive. The diskstations are Servers. They're tools that make life a lot easier, especially if you're trying to spend your time running a business.

    Oh.... there's also PhotoStation, which I've got installed on the home one. You can have your phone's picks auto-upload to it. Then, if you want to share stuff on facebook or something, you send it via the diskstation, and it looks like a normal pic, but it's coming off your diskstation and the right-click download is disabled. Obviously, you can still get the image, but its like putting a lock on your front door.... they can still break in if they really want to, but it makes it harder. AND, if you later have a bunch of crap you've posted and decide you wish you didn't post... there's a box where you can just see all the stuff you've shared and un-share it. (wife loves it).

    Sorry for going on. :)
  7. Technician

    Technician TS Addict Posts: 677   +113

    I tried one of these a couple years ago, I ended up building my own that was a better option for me.
  8. cartera

    cartera TS Addict Posts: 276   +67

    I have a DS214, they perform great and everything is simple and intuitive.

    All you need is a 4 bay DS4XX and 4x6TB disks, that's not going to cost 3k. Unless you need that many individual disks. Otherwise , all the reasons you may be looking for were hit on the head by coldfish.

    jauffins and Steve like this.
  9. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 1,100   +526

    Thanks for the explanation!
  10. Slappy McPhee

    Slappy McPhee TS Rookie Posts: 17

    The whole point is to use what I have and not waste what is there. Sure, I could drop more coin and buy more and larger drives, but to me that would be stupid, pointless, and wasteful.
  11. cartera

    cartera TS Addict Posts: 276   +67

    That's a bit of a non point then. What your actually saying is your not in the market for a NAS because you're happy with your current solution in which case you may as well not be on this page.
    jauffins likes this.
  12. infiltrator

    infiltrator TS Booster Posts: 140   +21

    "they are full blown servers that can handle everything from Cloud based storage to 4K UHD transcoding."

    I wouldn't go that far in saying that Synology NASes can handle 4K UHD transcoding. I own one and I can say from experience that as long as the video you are trying to transcode, doesn't have a very high bit rate, the NAS will transcode without a struggle.

    I have a 4K TV and when watching Full HD movies/shows in high bit rate the unit will struggle and the video will freeze.

    During the transcoding, I also noticed that the CPU usage is always at 99%... If I drop the bit rate, then I am able to watch without my interruptions.

    I also read on the Synology website, that the CPUs in their units are not designed for heavy transcoding due to their low processing power.
  13. Technician

    Technician TS Addict Posts: 677   +113

    You are saying you have to own something to be able to form an opinion of it? That's ridiculous.
  14. infiltrator

    infiltrator TS Booster Posts: 140   +21

    I have a 50TB Freenas server at home, don't tell me, its pointless and wasteful. If you don't need all that extra storage don't invest into one, its that simple.... If you are not producing contents, or downloading movies/tv shows than there's no point in having a massive storage system.... Go with a simple and basic RAID 1 NAS solution, so that you have some redundancy, in the event that one of the HDDs fail.

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