Synology DS110j NAS – a short review

Synology is a well-known brand within the NAS market, offering solutions for home users as well as corporate enterprises. Last week, when I was looking for a NAS (Network Attached Storage) to replace the Western Digital Desktop Elements 2TB external USB hard drive I was using, I came across the Synology DiskStation DS110j, a budget-friendly one-bay NAS. I searched for reviews, and the DS110j turns out to be a pretty awesome NAS for it’s price, so I bought it at RouterCenter.nl for € 135. Read on for a short review.

Product description

Quoted from the DS110j’s official website:

Synology Disk Station DS110jis designed to provide a cost-effective file storage and backup solution. The system firmware, Synology DiskStation Manager 3.0, delivers rich features for multimedia enjoyments, worry-free backup, Internet sharing, and energy-saving options.

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Not very colorful, but handy to carry box

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Synology DiskStation DS110j front view

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Installing the NAS

The DS110j comes without any hard drives, so you must install your own first. The installation is easy; I installed my Samsung HD204UI hard drive (2TB) in the NAS and hooked it up to my home network. The software from the included CD makes the installation easy. It searches for the Diskstation and then installs the DSM (DiskStation Manager) 3.0 software, making it ready to use. The whole installation process took me about 15 minutes.

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Synology DiskStation DS110j installation cd and manual

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Installing a Samsung HD204UI hard drive (2TB) in a DiskStation DS110j

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DiskStation Manager 3.0

My DS110j is running the newest DSM software (at time of writing: 3.0). DSM is Synology’s operating system with a multi-tasking, webbased interface, which is very pleasant to work with. It includes full-featured applications like:

  • Download Station – downloading from HTTP/BitTorrent/FTP/NZB
  • Mail Station
  • Web Station – PHP and MySQL web server
  • Print Server – share up to two usb printers
  • iTunes Server

Users and permissions

The admin can set up different user accounts and assign rights to it. Every user gets it own home folder (homes/userName), which can be limited in diskspace. For instance, I could set up a user account for my sister and allow her to use no more than 50GB of space. It’s also possible to define which services (File Station, Photo Station, Download Station etc.) can be used by that user.

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Synology DiskStation DS110j user setup (sorry for the Dutch interface)

More options – lots of more options

The DSM software is very advanced, it has lots of options that will help you set things up. Take a look at the screenshot below to see the multitasking interface and the configuration screen.

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Synology DSM 3.0 multitasking interface and configuration screen

Performance

I didn’t run any performance test, so this is just what I noticed. The NAS runs fine and can handle file multiple tasks at the same time just fine. The maximum speed I get when downloading a 4GB file from the NAS is about 30mb/s. Since this is my first NAS, I’m not sure if that’s a great score, but it’s enough for me.

Conclusion

The Synology DS110j is a great NAS for it’s price. I really enjoy the support for 3th party packages (like SABNZBD+) and the ability to share printers and files. Every laptop at home is automatically backed up every day. The DiskStation DS110j has defenitely made my life easier!

If you have any questions or comments, please let me know below.

  • nanyabeezwax

    Long live synology!. I just got one of these for my dad it runs flawlessly.

    • http://www.jacobras.nl Jacob Ras

      Agree. If I’ll ever need a stronger NAS, or one with more storage options, I will defenitely buy a Synology one again :)

  • http://www.jacobras.nl Jacob Ras

    This reply was sent from a Dell Vostro 1510 running Android 2.2 (Froyo), just for testing :)

  • Gabs

    Great review!