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Published June 23, 2009
Admittedly products like the Disk Station DS-409+ are more of a luxury than a necessity for home users. For business use, however, the DS-409+ can be a highly valuable tool that is well worth the asking price.
The DS-409+ by itself costs $600 plus the addition of the four hard drives. Thankfully nowadays hard drives are a dime a dozen, with quality 1TB drives such as the WD Black selling for just $100 each, with 2TB drives going for ~$250. All up you would be looking at spending around $1000 to build a 4TB server, while an 8TB configuration would cost around $1600. That's a ton of storage but anyone buying a 4-bay NAS device is obviously after just that.
Anyone who requires less than 4TB of storage is better off checking out 1-bay and 2-bay devices. The DS-109 used to compare against through our review costs just $230. This NAS device also proved to be quite speedy, and for under $500 can support 2TB of storage.
We found the DS-409+ to be an invaluable tool for storing and accessing data. Its 1.06GHz processor was powerful enough that several users could access the device at once, streaming music, movies, and pictures. The DS-409+ handles this kind of demand very well, just as any high powered desktop computer would.
Those wanting to use the DS-409+ in their living room alongside a HTPC should not worry about the noise generated by this NAS server, as it's very quiet. The DS-409+ can be tucked away out of sight, thanks to its small footprint and the fact that the unit is self managed and anything that needs to be altered can be done so remotely.
In terms of performance the DS-409+ is another step in the right direction, slowly getting closer to the performance of today’s desktop computers. Although a basic desktop computer featuring a PCIe Gigabit LAN controller with a pair of hard drives in RAID0 was roughly 40% faster, this kind of setup has many management disadvantages when compared to a NAS device like the DS-409+.
The latest revision of the AJAX-based GUI is most impressive and although it really tops off the DS-409+ nicely, the fact that Synology is offering this update to products that have been in the market for years is just the kind of thing we love seeing from manufacturers.
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