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NAS Reviews

Disk Station
At a glance
ProductSynology Disk Station (DS216+)   [Website]
SummaryTwo-bay, dual-core Intel Celeron-based NAS with large feature set
Pros• Broad feature set with lots of installable apps
• Btrfs-enabled snapshot backups
• 4K video transcoding
• Quiet
Cons• Relatively expensive
• Single Gigabit Ethernet port

Typical Price: $430  Buy From Amazon

Introduction

The DS216+ is the cheapest member of Synology's "Plus Series" aimed at "Workgroup/ Small & Medium Business" buyers. Like the expandable DS716+ I reviewed in January, the 216+ uses an Intel Celeron processor. The DS215+ it replaces used a dual-core Annapurna Labs Alpine AL-212.

While the DS216+ has a significantly lower price than the DS716+ (currently ~ $340 vs. $450), it shares most of the features of its more expensive sibling. It's also a better performer, as we'll see in a bit.

Synology DS216+

Synology's website has one of the best product comparison tools I've seen. The image below shows just a portion of all of the features in a comparison between the DS216+, DS716+ and the Value Series DS216.

Synology feature comparison of Synology 2-bay NASes

Synology feature comparison of 2-bay Synology NASes

The DS216+ has its own Quick Installation Guide that includes step-by-step instructions for mounting drives into its tool-less disk trays, connecting the DS216+ to power and LAN and configuring the NAS. The Quick Installation Guide also includes front and rear panel callouts, shown below, as well as an LED Indicator Table found in Appendix B. Unlike the DS716+, which features locking disk trays, the DS216+ just has a press-fit drive bay cover.

The DS216+ uses the same case as the DS216 with a few subtle of differences. The DS216 has two USB 3.0 ports on the rear panel and one USB 2.0 port on the front. Conversely, the DS216+ has two USB 2.0 ports on the rear panel and only a single USB 3.0 port on the front panel. The DS216+ also has an eSATA port that's missing on the DS216.

Synology DS216+ front and rear panel callouts

Synology DS216+ front and rear panel callouts

Inside

The DS216+ uses the same case as the DS216, so we could not open it without risking case damage. Therefore, most of the DS216+ components listed in Table 1 are guesses and assume a design similar to the DS716+.

For this review, we decided to compare the DS216+ with the top-ranked ASUSTOR AS5102T and the Synology DS716+. All three NASes target the Small/Medium business user. Of the three products, the DS216+ is at a hardware disadvantage compared to the other two. DS216+ has only a dual-core Intel Celeron and 1 GB of RAM; the other two NASes have quad-core Celeron processors and 2 GB of RAM.

  Synology DS216+ Synology DS716+ ASUSTOR AS5102T
CPU Intel Celeron N3050 1.6 GHz dual-core Intel Celeron N3150 1.6 GHz quad-core Intel Celeron J1900 2.0 GHz quad-core
RAM 1 GB DDR3 2 GB DDR3 in SoDIMM. Upgrade/removal voids warranty 2GB DDR3 Upgradeable to 8GB
Flash 128 MB DOM (?) 128 MB DOM Samsung ADATA IUM01-001GFHL (128 MB USB DOM)
Ethernet Intel WG82574L (?) Intel WG82574L (x2) Broadcom BCM57781 (x2)
USB 3.0 Etron Tech EJ168A (?) Etron Tech EJ168A ASM1074
SATA Marvell 88SE9170-NNX2 (?) Marvell 88SE9170-NNX2 ASM1061 (x2)
Table 1: Key component summary

The DS216+ drew 19 W with two Seagate NAS HDD 4 TB ST4000VN000 drives Synology included spun up and 8 W with the drives spun down for power save. RAID 1 rebuild was immediate when the bad block check was skipped. Noise was rated as low.

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