Synology DiskStation DS112 NAS device (user review)

This one-bay NAS device gets put to the test by one of our readers

Synology DiskStation DS112 NAS device (user review)
  • Synology DiskStation DS112 NAS device (user review)
  • Synology DiskStation DS112 NAS device (user review)
  • Synology DiskStation DS112 NAS device (user review)
  • Expert Rating

    4.50 / 5

Pros

  • Lots of features
  • Great performance

Cons

  • Setup could be easier

Bottom Line

The Synology DiskStation DS112 is a one-bay NAS device, plus so much more.

Would you buy this?

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.

The DSM desktop interface as it appears through the Web browser.
The DSM desktop interface as it appears through the Web browser.

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.

The Package Center provides various apps that you can elect to install.
The Package Center provides various apps that you can elect to install.

File Station allows you to download BitTorrent files direclty onto the NAS, and there is even a built-in video player.
File Station allows you to download BitTorrent files direclty onto the NAS, and there is even a built-in video player.

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 newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?