A house of cardboard with a heart of gold
- RAID capabilities, Gigabit Ethernet, user-friendly interface, direct-recording and downloading of content to the NAS, eSATA and USB 2.0 connections
- Case feels cheap
The DS207+ is well worth its slightly higher than usual price tag. As long as you aren't planning to move the NAS around, its host of features and connectivity will probably win you over.
Price$ 499.00 (AUD)
The Synology DS207+ has a variety of interesting features that are backed up by solid network-attached storage (NAS) fundamentals like Gigabit Ethernet and ease of use. Although it is slightly more expensive than some other NAS devices on the market, this unit is definitely worth the extra dollars.
Looking at the DS207+ from the front reveals a no-fuss approach to displaying information. A simple green light on a black background indicates which hard drives are active — the unit can have up to two 3.5in drives. It should be noted that the DS207+ does not come equipped with any drives — these will have to be bought separately.
Below the lights is a button that is linked to a handy USB port. To facilitate the backup of data from USB keys, the NAS allows users to plug them in, press a key and wait for the transfer to finish before moving on. Underneath the USB 2.0 slot is an eSATA port that allows other hard drives with the appropriate connections to attach and act as a third NAS drive.
Turning the unit around to reveals an additional two USB 2.0 ports on its back, the aforementioned Gigabit Ethernet port and a cooling fan that runs relatively quietly.
It's when handling the device that one notices its main flaw. Despite having a plain white exterior that is reminiscent of Apple products, the casing lacks the build quality needed to match the stylish look. Although the NAS is not designed for constant movement, other units such as the QNAP TS-209Pro Turbo Station have shown that a little bit of metal can go a long way.
Opening the box up reveals a user-friendly installation process, along with all the screws and cabling required to install two Serial ATA hard drives. Easy step-by-step instructions are included in the manual; most users won't have any trouble getting started.
For users who choose to install two hard drives, with a maximum combined capacity of 2TB, the RAID capabilities will be a major positive. When the NAS is set to RAID 0, both hard drives combine their available space to act as a single drive. If the user prefers safety over size, RAID 1 turns the hard drives into mirror copies. This means that if one hard drive fails, the second will act as a backup. The device's hot-swap capability allows you to remove one hard drive in RAID 1 mode without turning it off — an added bonus for productivity.
Performing this action and many others is easy thanks to Synology's very user-friendly Disk Station Manager 2.0 software. An interesting option included in the system is the ability to link several compatible wireless cameras to the hard drive so the footage is recorded without requiring a computer. Users can then monitor the footage remotely via the Internet, all of which is good news for small business owners.
Another interesting option lets you use the Download Redirector software to download BitTorrent files directly onto the device.
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A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
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