Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Synology DS110j review, part 2

Part 1 is here.
A little more than a month after I started using the Synology DS110j NAS I think it's time to share the experiences.

Web interface
It works, it works well. Only thing I had to get used to is that you need to grant access to the various applications on a different tab than where you create and manage user accounts. I do expect some changes in the 2.3 firmware which is in beta now.

Speed
A lot of question I see are things like "is 800mhz enough" and "is 128mb RAM enough?" My experience up until now is that yes it is. OK, granted, you can really stress that little box. I did so just last night by running a backup from an EXT3 volume to an NTFS volume, that conversion takes some power.

Downloading
What can I say. It works, it works ok out of the box and with SABNZBD on it it works like a dream!

Hooking up an additional drive
It works. On all three USB ports. A drive shows up in the file manager tree and you can use it, that's all there is to it. Speed is decent enough although copying 45 gb of DVD images took about 50 minutes.

What doesn't work?
Well, my main problems are with audio. OK, it can share my mp3 collection, that part works. There's a web player interface that works sort of but is cumbersome to create a playlist on the fly.
Squeezebox server is installable as a service on the device. And it may work if you have any squeezebox devices but it is not a viable solution as a web player. There are various other web solutions but most of them start the installation instructions by letting your PHP and webserver out of the webroot, not something that sounds very secure to me.
The web player is supposed to get a major overhaul in the 2.3 firmware and squeezebox server may work very well in conjunction with a Squeezebox touch which should be released this spring.

Should I buy this or a bigger unit?
Well, that really is up to you. I think 120 euros for what is basically a 800mhz miniature linux system is very reasonable. It does what I want it to do. Performance is OK for my needs. Yes you can have your backup disk in the same enclosure and if you don't already own a USB disk that would make sense. Yes you can buy a DS109+ and get more CPU power. But do you need that? With 3Tb disks scheduled to be released this year and 2Tb disks rapidly dropping in price ask yourself what you really need.

Any questions, feel free to contact me.

3 comments:

Sameer said...

Thanks for a good review on the Synology DS110j. After reading around for reviews, I settled down on buying this model today.

It would be good if you could share your experiences with the multimedia DLNA features offered by this unit. Hope you may have tested this feature out.

Jeroen said...

It works. Well, it works as in that the TV does see what's advertised. What complicates matters is that you are very much dependent on whatever formats your other devices can display since the DS110j does not do any form of transcoding.

In other words, your synology will advertise a folder full of xvid, mkv and quicktime videos but your tv may to be able to play them necessitating a mediaplayer.

Jan said...

Great review I have bought one and it is on its way to my house. Could you show us how to load SABNZBD on it? And will that support SSL NZB's?