Synology DS120j: The Review

In our teaser for this review at the end of last year I posited the idea that perhaps a single drive NAS might be the best way of making use of the new, monstrous capacity drives like Seagate’s latest 16TB Iron Wolf. Domestically, that is. And for small businesses. Enterprise is a different matter. Let’s test this hypothesis. The single-bay DS120j is pretty much the identical twin of the DS119j we reviewed last year. The… Now read on…

Synology DS120j: Prelude

I’m about to contradict myself. This is an interesting experiment for me and one I hope you’ll feel the same way about. In our earlier review of the Synology entry level DS119j I wrote confidently: The single drive isn’t technically a limitation on capacity—the DS119j’s specs allow for a drive as large as Toshiba’s magnificent helium-sealed MG07ACA14TE. Yes, that’s 14TB. But even if you can stump up the necessary £550, this is not an upgrade… Now read on…

Synology Nursery Slopes: the DS119j Pt 2

In the first part of this review, we covered the DS119j hardware, how to install the operating system and some of the niceties of its power consumption. But at this point, you probably want to know what you can actually do with the thing. The short answer is: quite a lot. But—and this is crucial— not all at once. DSM? MY EXPERIMENTS WITH THE DS119j raised some doubt about what the three letters of the… Now read on…

Synology Nursery Slopes: the DS119j Pt 1

We’re all having to run local area networks (LANs) these days. Back in the last century, our IT life tended to be based around our PC. Or maybe a pair of PCs, with the odd items of data initially being swapped between them via floppy disks. Techies call this Sneakernet. As the century wore to a close, we started joining our devices together. At first, using wire—Ethernet cable. But by the time laptops became ubiquitous,… Now read on…

Getting Up to Date with QNAP’s QTS part 1

The classic view sees a Network Attached Storage (NAS) device as something that sits quietly in the background delivering files across the network as required. There will be occasional updates to maintain security. That’s not, however, how the Taiwanese manufacturer QNAP views the NAS. As regular readers will know, I’ve been living with the QNAP TS-451 for about three years now. Thanks to the generosity of QNAP and of Western Digital who supplied the four… Now read on…

QNAP TS-451 NAS Server Part 6

Since part 1, this TS-451 epic has been classified as Storage and Multimedia. But our discussion of  the multimedia side of things has so far been restricted to feeding music, pictures and movies down the LAN into a variety of multimedia clients. Essentially that’s still Storage. But the TS-451 truly is a multimedia device. Even without a LAN, this box can sit in your living room wired HDMI-wise into your TV or (better still) projector… Now read on…

QNAP TS-451 NAS Server Part 5

Almost an entire year has passed since part 4 of this review, which I concluded with “to be continued”. You deserve an explanation. The Yamaha RX-679 and the QNAP TS-451 were two bits of kit that turned out to be much more fascinating than I’d anticipated. I knew when I got started that each of these was going to be a serial story but I didn’t foresee that together they’d more or less take over… Now read on…

Toshiba Canvio Premium Portable Drive

You can never have enough storage.  My first hard drive, back in the early ’80s, was a Seagate ST-506, its massive capacity of 5MB (yes, that’s MEGAbytes) being a snip at around £3,500 in today’s money.  My current MacBook Air hosts a solid state drive (SSD) that’s physically an eighth of the size and over 50,000 times the data capacity. But, as I say, you can never have enough storage. Wheel on the Toshiba Canvio… Now read on…

Buffalo TeraStation 3200

Japanese-owned Buffalo was an early pioneer of network-attached storage (NAS). You can always tell the pioneers, as the old industry joke has it, by the arrows in their backs—the arrows in this case having been fired by later arrivals to the NAS game, notably Synology and QNAP, two Taiwanese manufacturers that have been eating the Japanese company’s market share. Buffalo has recently been making a push to win back lost ground with updated versions of its… Now read on…

QNAP TS-451 NAS Server Part 4

With the raw mechanics of RAID out of the way, we’re now ready to get some fun out of this QNAP TS-451 NAS. You’ll have realised by now that it’s a lot more than a chunk of  11TB of storage on my LAN. The daemons we talked about in part 1 can be set to work behind the scenes whipping up all kinds of magic. FOR THE PAST SEVERAL MONTHS the QNAP TS-451 has been working… Now read on…