I tried measuring the transfer rate of Synology DS210j on my network, where both my desktop and the NAS are connected to the same router. The measurement was done with ATTO, which is a rather old but widely used benchmark tool for hard drives. SiSoft Sandra was also tried out, but apparently it had trouble with benchmarking a network hard drive, as it crashed.
ATTO shows the maximum reading speed at 35MB/s and write speed at 24.5MB/s, which are reasonable speeds for a "small" NAS with ordinary drives. In Windows the speeds were a little lower with "Drag and Drop" between folders on the desktop and the NAS. The disks used for testing were 2 Western Caviar Green 640GB with 32 MB of cache and configured in RAID1. The router used was a D-Link 825 (Firmware 2.01, rev. B2) and the cables between router, NAS and desktop were Cat 5e.
This was the first time I had my hands an a NAS, and naturally I was quite curious whether or not I could configure and use it. Luckily, Synology are thorough with guiding the user through the initial setup via the installation CD and DiskStation Manager 2.3 features good explanations to the various functions and settings.
DiskStation Manager 2.3 is a mighty interface, but remains easy to administer even to the untrained user. There are numerous possibilities, but you can customize the settings to fit exactly what you need, which is a huge advantage. The software does have minor defects, but works very well as a whole.
Naturally, the hardware itself isn't on par with a destop PC, but handles its tasks well, and it even runs hompages, SQX Server and blog directly from it. It probably cannot handle numerous visitors simultaniously, but the possibility remains, which is cool. Furthermore, the power consumption and noise level are far below that of a desktop PC.
In everyday use DS210j is used as file server, download station as well as streaming music on my laptop when not at home. It is very nice being able to play some music at a party or start a download and have it ready when you're back at home. The only thing missing is a WakeOnLan feature, which is available in the bigger models.
• Low power consumption and noise level
• Minor software "issues"
• No Wake-On-Lan feature