As experience has taught me, perhaps the most important aspect of any NAS device is the software used to configure it, and this is where the Synology DS-409+ really shines. The Synology Disk Station Manager 2.1 is an impressive piece of software that will let you do virtually anything.

One of the coolest applications within the suite is called Download Station 2. This feature allows you to turn the DS-409+ into a 24/7 BitTorrent, FTP, or HTTP download center. Even shutting down your computer won't affect transfers while files are downloaded directly to the DS-409+.

Using the Windows Utility Download Redirector or a Web-based Download Manager to manage other download tasks is also possible. These features are very easy to use and to understand from scratch.

The Photo Station 3 feature let's you publicly or privately share picture albums, which can also be accessed via the Internet. For using the Photo Station you simply need to enable the feature in the admin console and it will create a folder on the DS-409+ ready to receive pictures.

The Disk Station DS409+ is a master at backing up data and can do so in a number of ways. The local backup allows data to be copied from the DS409+ to an external hard drive, which is of course connected via one of the rear eSATA or USB 2.0 ports. This allows for quick and easy backups of any data located on the NAS device.

The ability to carry out a network backup also exists. Network Backup allows users to back up files and data from one Disk Station to another (or other rsync-compatible servers) over the network. With the Encrypted Network Backup option, Synology's Network Backup offers excellent security and privacy protection. Users can encrypt data when a backup task is being processed, so sensitive data will not be exposed to uninvited guests.

Besides the mandatory backup functions, the extra software features can certainly come in handy even if you don't plan to use all of them. We particularly liked the Photo Station, Download Station, and Web Station functions.