Synology DiskStation DS112 NAS device (user review)
This one-bay NAS device gets put to the test by one of our readers
- Lots of features
- Great performance
- Setup could be easier
The Synology DiskStation DS112 is a one-bay NAS device, plus so much more.
Price$ 219.00 (AUD)
Before entering the Synology Showcase competition, I went to the company's Web site to do a bit of research on the DSM 4 software. It looked like it was a lot more than just a NAS. I wondered if all of the features listed were available only on the higher end units. It turns out they are available on the single drive SOHO/consumer units like the DS112.
I run an IT services business from a home office that supports primarily small, local businesses with fewer than 10 computers and a number of home users. So I would fit the target demographic exactly for this type of NAS device. The DS112 also has two USB 3.0 ports and one eSATA port on the rear, which can be used to connect external hard drives and USB printers.
Unpacking and setting up the DS112 was quick and simple. I popped the Installation CD into my laptop and loaded the Quick Installation Guide. The guide takes you through opening the unit and installing the hard disk. The unit will take up to a 4TB drive. You then just plug in the supplied Gigabit Ethernet cable to your router and turn on the unit.
Now you start the Synology Assistant to format the drive, load the Disk Station Manager (DSM) software from the supplied CD, and set the administrator user password. Access to the DS112 is via a browser. The layout follows the usual desktop style with icons on the left and a task bar across the top. I installed the Media Server and Windows (CIFS) so I could test.
Accessing files from theDS112 provided about the same performance as accessing the files on a Windows file share. What did surprise me was that when I tried accessing the DS112 from 4 devices simultaneously, it provided noticeably better throughput than the Windows system that I used for comparison. Coupled with DHCP services, LDAP services and mail server, this system could be used to easily replace a basic file server in a small office.
To test DLNA, I tried streaming a 1080p movie to one PC. I had no problems. I then tried two PCs and two Sony Blu-ray players, which were all connect by Gigabit Ethernet. The movie played without stuttering and the audio remained in sync. My wireless network is only 802.11g, so streaming HD video to one wireless devices was excellent. I did not expect too much more, however I was able to stream SD video to seven wireless devices, three phones, two iPads, and two laptops at the same time without any problems at all. I did a quick test of the iTunes servers and performance was very similar. I was extremely impressed with the performance under load.
In Conclusion the DS112 is basically NAS plus a whole lot more. The wide array of installable (and free) services that are available means it could replace a basic file/print server at a fraction of the cost of even a basic Windows system. My only issue is that the setup and configuration could appear to be overly complex for users with little knowledge of networking. This could be remedied with a simplified setup that automates setting up file and media sharing, which would be the most common home uses.
Note: we recently conducted a Synology competition in which users had to tell us how winning a Synology NAS device would increase their office productivity. The winners of these NAS devices (including the author of this user review) kindly agreed to review these devices to further illustrate how they will be using them for their day-to-day work.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei P10 smartphone review
- 2 Huawei P10 Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 3 Motorola Moto G5 smartphone review
- 4 Oppo A57 phone: full, in-depth review
- 5 Moto G5 Plus phone: full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- HPE is bringing Optane storage to Unix servers
- These new super fast Intel SSDs provide a bridge to Optane
- Prices of SSDs and DRAM will crash in 2019, Gartner predicts
- Pure adds more NVMe with an eye to the next storage speed bump
- What one company learned from testing Intel's superfast Optane SSDs
PCW Evaluation Team
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.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- Asus ROG Strix Z270F Gaming motherboard review
- The simple RAM buying guide
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSocial Media Executive / Specialist (Facebook) - online gamblingNSW
- FTFrontend DeveloperNSW
- FTFull Stack DeveloperNSW
- CCSoftware & Applications Programmer/DeveloperACT
- CCMDM DesignerVIC
- CCSenior Digital BANSW
- CCSenior Project CoordinatorNSW
- FTSenior Ruby on Rails DeveloperNSW
- FTSenior Solution Designer, Investment and Trading PlatformNSW
- CCWintel Server EngineerNSW
- FTNodeJS and AngularJS DeveloperQLD
- FTSecurity ConsultantQLD
- FTSenior Procurement Specialist | 3mth ContractVIC
- FTService Desk Analyst Level 2 SupportQLD
- FTIT Systems Specialists - Collaboration SystemsNSW
- FTSplunk Software Developer | 6mth ContractVIC
- TPWeb Developer - Front End focusQLD
- FTJunior - Mid Level Technical Customer SupportQLD
- FTIntegration SpecialistQLD
- CCState-wide Business Transition Lead - BrisbaneVIC
- CCGoogle Chromebook AdministratorNSW
- FTApplication Support Lead l Experience with health applicationsNSW
- CCSalesforce DeveloperNSW
- CCSQL Analyst DeveloperNSW
- TPSQL Database AdministratorNSW