Synology DiskStation DS412+ NAS device
This network storage box is a powerhouse for home and office users
Synology has made a name for itself offering a huge range of network storage devices with excellent management software that’s constantly evolving, aimed at small business and home power users. The DiskStation DS412+ is one of those products — it’s a no-nonsense storage box that offers huge storage capacity, easy upgrades and plenty of functionality beyond standard backup and access over a network.
- Wide range of storage and business apps
- Excellent transfer speeds
- Easy drive access and upgradeability
- Overkill for home users
- Initial setup can be daunting
- Surveillance Station only supports one camera by default
Synology's four-bay DiskStation DS412+ has everything you could possibly want in a network storage device: it's expandable, fast, and has a variety of apps that are genuinely useful. Its premium price means it's best suited to a small business or serious home user, but anyone willing to spend the asking price will end up with an excellent and future-proof external storage solution.
Price$ 849.00 (AUD)
Synology DiskStation DS412+: Design and connectivity
The DiskStation DS412+ is a purely functional device: it doesn’t have any flashy or superfluous styling, and the only form-over function design cues are the two laser-cut Synology logos on either side.
Take off the rubber-mounted, gloss black front cover and you’ll find four tool-less drive bays, which slide in and out when a top-mounted latch is pressed. The DS412+ accepts standard, desktop-size 3.5in SATA3 hard drives with a maximum 4TB capacity, so the theoretical storage tops out at a full 16TB. It also accepts smaller 2.5in drives.
Mounting drives is a two-minute job: secure the HDD in one of the plastic trays with the supplied proprietary screws, which secure through vibration-isolating rubber grommets, and push the drive in until it clicks. It is possible to install the drives upside down accidentally, but they won’t line up with the internal SATA ports and won’t slot in completely.
Apart from the drive bays and a DS412+ logo, there are status lights for the system and each of the four hard drives on the box’s front right. Below that is a USB 2.0 port for connecting an external hard drive or USB flash drive for reading or writing data, and a power button with accompanying LED.
Look at the rear panel of the Synology DS412+ and it’s all business. The back is dominated by two 92mm brushless fans, which draw air in from the front of the device. These run quietly for the most part, but you’ll hear them in a silent room if there are no other computers or devices running nearby.
In terms of the connectivity available, there’s everything that a high-end home user or small business might need. A traditional NAS setup would use one of the DS412+’s two Gigabit Ethernet ports into a user’s wired network, although these can be combined with link aggregation to double speeds. We like the inclusion of two Ethernet ports — it means the NAS will suit basic or more advanced network setups.
Two USB 3.0 ports (ten times faster than the front USB 2.0) make for an easy way to attach external hard drives, although the additional single eSATA port does offer theoretically faster maximum throughput. These are effective and future-proof extras that make it easier to backup data to the DS412+ without a computer, or to connect the device directly to a computer without needing a wired network (over USB 3.0).
You can also use the USB and eSATA ports to connect additional storage drives, if 16TB is somehow not enough for your needs. The drives will be comparatively slow, though, especially if you’re using USB.
Next page: Setup, features and performance
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