Synology makes some of the most robust and feature-rich NAS servers on the market and one of the reasons their products shine is because of the software behind them. Their Disk Station Manager (DSM) is an impressive piece of software that enables everything from comprehensive backup options, to running a web, mail or printer server, as well as creating a 24/7 download center for BitTorrent, FTP, HTTP and more.
Version 3.2 of the firmware was released just a while ago with many improvements, including support for Mac OS X Lion, but already the company has begun testing version 4.0 and offered a brief glimpse of what's coming at CES. Among the new features are a revamped GUI to improve workflow, improved packet management, a built-in iSCSI LUN backup software, enhanced ADS/ACL support, scheduled SMART scans, enhanced mobile support with updated apps for iOS and Android, built-in ClamAV antivirus protection, and more.
However, the highlight of the release will be a new Cloud Station feature that allows users to instantly sync files from any device, via the local network or the Internet.
In a nutshell, the feature allows users to keep selected folders in a DiskStation NAS device synchronized among any number of devices in real time, similar to Dropbox. CloudStation handles the sync mechanism behind the scenes so whenever you are not connected to the local network, your devices can still gain access to the server securely via the Internet without the complication of port forwarding.
You will need to install a client on any computer you want to sync with, and also like Dropbox, multiple versions of each synchronized file will be kept on the main server so you can revert to any version you want.
The final version of the DSM 4.0 is scheduled for release in the fist quarter of the year, but anyone who wants to join the testing will soon be able to download the beta over at Synology's support website. All DiskStation NAS servers released in 2008 or later can be upgraded to the new software for free.
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