I became increasingly concerned by the safety of my data after that some loss and corruption occurred on my NexStar LX NAS, apparently following episodes of heavy disk activity. I'm still not sure who to blame: the NAS or the old Seagate Barracuda inside.
So, I had in mind to find a new NAS and hard drive in the next few months. I first saw the QNAP TS-109 on DealExtreme.com, which gave me an idea of what the ideal NAS should be: something more than just a hard disk enclosure with some SAMBA, FTP and BT agent, but rather an always-on, multi-purpose server to second my 10 years old patch-worked computer. I found very attractive the mySQL and PHP enabled web server, and the secure HTTPS and SFTP connectivities. Thanks to the users comments on DX, I realized that this model was both outdated and overpriced.
The successor TS-119 Turbo (priced around €250) with its superb Ajax web interface looked even more appealing. But then I discovered its most direct competitor, the Synology DS109 and none of them would have been a bad choice really.
What decided me in the end was an offer on a German shop for a Synology DS109 @ €234...including a 500GB Hitachi DeskStar hard disk! Their all-but-friendly ordering system was a pain to deal with but it was really worth it!
One week after receiving their "shipment tracking email" ...with no tracking number, the package arrived.
First surprise, a small bag of sweets was included in the package. That's nice, I'd have preferred that easy-tecs.com reply to my emails (about the missing tracking reference), but at least they try to add a friendly touch to the process.
Upon opening the NAS by removing 2 screws and pushing the upper part forward, I could see the promised hard disk already in place.
I am using it for a few weeks now and this little gem really delivers. The management interface is extremely clear and simple in all aspects. I could even use the Surveillance Station with one of my FI8908W IP cams. I say one of them because, for each additional camera configured (up to 8), you have to buy a license, and it cost roughly the price of my camera, so it's just plain non-sense for me. Also, as there is no camera profile for the Foscam models, the Pan and Tilt cannot be exploited .
I had one annoying problem though with this unit:
- I wanted to use the USBCopy feature to recover the content of my old NAS. The copy process started normally but stopped some time after with the log entry "USB drive ejected".
The Synology tech. support proved helpful and responsive, and we could finally blame this on the few bad sectors present on the source. Synology R&D team confirmed that bad sectors couldn't be skipped (which is not normal: I could backup my old NAS through USB on my PC w/o problem) and promised to look after this in a future update.
- Very simple to use despite the large choice of features
- Clear and nice Ajax interface
- Silent and low energy (9-19W)
- Reactive technical support
- Synology agent may not always find the DiskStation on some PC's
- USBCopy fails on bad sectors instead of skipping them.
- Additional camera license cost the price of an actual camera!
More stuff on Synology DS109:
Synology Download Center
3rd-party Apps integration
Ajax interface overview