image
 
OR

Synology DiskStation DS216+II Review: A user-friendly NAS for your media collection

Vinu Varughese Oommen
Technology Reporter
Editors Rating
If you’re on the lookout for a great backup solution for your home or workplace, then take a look at what we have to say about the DS216+II NAS system.

7.9
overall
Pros: Small and compact, Easy to setup, HDD installation is a breeze without any screws, good number of applications to use.
Cons: Slightly sluggish performance, more USB 3.0 ports could have been included.

No matter how reliable are your computer systems and storage devices, it’s always important to have a backup solution in place to protect all your important data. We have got the opportunity to try out the Synology DiskStation DS216+II NAS system so let’s get on its features and performance.

Design and Specifications

 

There is no denying that Synology makes some great NAS systems for business enterprises and home environments. Speaking of home environments. The chassis of Synology DiskStation DS216+II is quite small (1.25kg) that will easily suit any environment. The case is black in color with a glossy finish on the front panel that’s removable for the HDD trays.

It’s very easy to remove the panel with no worries of any screws. The hard drive bays can be easily taken off and users can install two 3.5-inch HDD. This is one NAS system where you don’t have to look for a screwdriver and installing our Seagate IronWolf 6TB NAS drive was a breeze. The DiskStation DS216+II features two HDD bays.

On the front of the device is the main power button, a copy button for instant transfer of data, a USB 3.0 port which is handy, and LED status indicators for the two HDDs and LAN.

Speaking of which, the Ethernet LAN port is located behind the device, along with two USB 2.0 ports, the eSATA port, and the power connector. The exhaust fan is very silent so you don’t need to worry about any noise.

Features and Performance

With the recent boom of 4K content, there is no doubt that users would want to stream 4K movies on their UHD HDR televisions without going through the hassles of connecting portable drives. The Synology DiskStation DS216+II is designed to stream 4K video content. However, it appears that the NAS actually scales down the resolution of the 4K content for easy streaming across your wireless connection.

The Synology DiskStation DS216+II technically features the dual-core Intel Celeron N3060 processor with 1GB DDR3 RAM to run the DSM operating system. The device brings hardware transcoding support for H.264, H.265, MPEG-2, and VC-1 up to 4K resolutions at 30fps. The system is capable of holding a total of 20TB storage with both bays combined.

When it comes to file sharing capacity, the NAS is capable of supporting a maximum of 256 local groups and 2048 local accounts. Setting up the Synology DiskStation DS216+II is easy, as you only need to power up the device and connect it to your router’s output LAN port. You will need to first install the Synology application and then run the software to detect the NAS on your network. You will automatically be directed towards the browser page for the NAS.

I was then asked to proceed to update the DiskStation Manager which took some 10-15 minutes.

You will also be asked to create the QuickConnect account which basically lets you access the NAS from any other network.

The NAS then asks you whether you want the essentials to be installed. Installation of these applications did take some time.

Finally, we landed into the main dashboard of the NAS, where you can find the Package Center (which is basically your app store), a Control Panel to tune the settings and the file station to browse all your data from the drive. There are different widgets on the right end, which highlights the health of the device and the resource monitor.

The Package Center is neatly designed and differentiated between different categories. Certain apps such as the Video Station, the Audio Station, and the Photo Station lets you handle and access your media content from the NAS system. As I love snapping a lot of images with my Sony A6000, the Synology DiskStation DS216+II and the Photo Station appears to be a great application to be utilized.

The File Station is easy and simple to use. You can easily your files to the NAS drive.

The Control Panel gives you access to a lot of options for QuickConnect, Themes, File Services, DHCP settings, Group and Domain, Hardware and power, Security, User Privileges and more. Yes, NAS has its own firewall so you don’t need to worry about any hackers. It’s technically another mini PC with its own OS and processor that manages huge drives. I should mention that we successfully tried the Quick Connect from another network, but the connectivity was delayed a bit and that’s acceptable. The NAS also goes into hibernation when not in use and it does turn on by itself if you access it from the same or different network.

As far as performance goes, accessing the dashboard is slightly sluggish speed, but that’s understandable since the NAS is equipped with the Intel low-end dual-core processor. Same goes for accessing the applications such as the Photo Station, which I used to store my photo collection. As long as the data is safely backed up in the NAS drive and cloud storage, I’m all content about it. While transferring my data, the NAS did mention that my router speed is limited to 10Gbps and it recommends 100Gbps connection (something that you should keep in mind while setting the NAS up).

Review Verdict:

I’ve been looking for a NAS system that fits well in my home or office space, one that is easy to install and free from complicated setups. While the drive only holds two hard drive bays, the total capacity allowed is 20TB, which is quite a lot for any small-sized office or personal use. Accessing the dashboard and the files stored is easy to use and if you can keep up with the slightly slow loading times, then this NAS is quite a good choice to consider. I also loved the amount of applications and utilities available to make the most out of the NAS. The Synology DiskStation DS216+II NAS is priced at AED 1098.