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I found a lot to like about the DS-106e. It had more features than any other off-the-shelf NAS that I've worked with and also has multi-OS support. Its performance was top rate, both with and without the use of its gigabit Ethernet features with jumbo frame support. The user interface is also well thought out and executed.

Synology's firmware support deserves special mention. The first Synology box I reviewed last February, the DS-101, has been discontinued. But Synology continues to release updates that add new features to this discontinued product. The next release, scheduled for this summer, will add MySQL, a Multimedia Server, the download station, etc. bringing it up to par with its newer siblings. This free software-upgrade support for discontinued products is a definite plus for Synology.

The main downsides are that the DS-106e has limited U.S. availability, perhaps because it is relatively new. But Synology says that the product will be available from TigerDirect in "mid-July" . Another negative is that for buyers who don't need all of the 106e's features, the same $250 or so will buy something like Buffalo's Gigabit Linkstation, complete with 250GB of storage. Finally, the client backup application Synology supplies is Windows-only.

But if you're in the market for a full-featured home or small-office NAS device, want an edge on performance and don't mind paying a bit of a premium, you won't go wrong with the DS-106e. Its performance and feature-set have raised the bar for other manufacturers.

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