DiskStation Manager 4.0

After scoping out the DS1512+'s hardware, we fired up the latest version of Synology's DiskStation Manager software (DSM 4.0-2198). DSM 4.0 sports a revamped user interface and new features such as widgets. By default, a side widget displays system information, including the health of your NAS, a resource monitor, recent logs, current connections and your backup schedule.

The update includes many important features, such as Synology Cloud Services for seamless syncing between devices as well as Antivirus Essential, a virus scanner.

There is also a QuickConnect option to sync data without port forwarding. Furthermore, unlike licensed cloud services, Synology's doesn't have recurring fees.

The DSM 4.0 also brings enhanced mobile support with updated apps for iOS, Android and Amazon's Kindle Fire. Synology is launching two of its popular mobile apps on Android tablets: DS file and DS photo+. DS File lets you browse through DiskStation files on a bigger screen and make changes instantly.

Those with Amazon's Kindle Fire will benefit from full mobile support using the latest Synology Kindle mobile app. This adds even more functionality to the Kindle Fire by letting it access your own cloud storage to share photos, files and music with friends anytime, anywhere.

There are also various new and improved administrative tools such as iSCSI LUN backup software, enhanced ADS/ACL support, flexible notification system, improved Apple support and scheduled SMART scans.

Of course, old favorites like Download Station and Photo Station are included too. Download Station 2 turns the DS1512+ into a 24/7 download center for BitTorrent, FTP, HTTP, eMule, NZB news server, RapidShare and MegaUpload. Even shutting down your computer won't affect transfers, as files are downloaded directly to the NAS device.

Another cool application is Photo Station 4, which comes with advanced photo wall and image flow browsing options. In addition, the flexibility of photo theme customization, visitors' privilege settings to view or upload photos, virtual albums of recently uploaded images, RSS feeds, and a 3D photo browsing of Cooliris, make this the ultimate photo sharing center on the Internet. Additionally, the newly-added Google Maps integration lets you geotag your photos and trace your path.

Between its sleek interface and gobs of features, we think DSM 4.0 is the best NAS software around.