Mar 9, 2010

My NAS Research (D-link, Netgear and Synology)

Last week I decided to buy a NAS. Every time I buy some new geek stuff, I spend many hours on research to select the optimal model. I usually start out with a price comparison site like pricerunner or prisjakt (in Swedish only). Of course I set up some requirements as well. My initial requirements was:
  1. Support for Windows & Mac OS (Samba or an equivalent solution)
  2. Secure FTP server
  3. Reasonable amount of harddisk space
Nothing special, but at least I need to know what I am looking for. After a couple of hours of hard research I had these alternatives left:
  1. Netgear Stora Home Network Storage MS2110
  2. D-Link DNS-313 or D-Link DNS-323
  3. Synology Diskstation DS110J or DS210J NAS server
Of course there are a lot of other brands, but these are the ones that I feelt was right for me. Both Netgear and D-Link are brands that I knew before, but I have never heard of Synology. The Netgear model is the most affordable. It comes with a pre-installed harddisk which is 1 TB big. It also has the option of adding an additional harddisk. The D-Link and Synology NAS servers requires you to install one or two harddisks yourself. I prefer to select the harddisk myself. The Netgear looks a little bit bulky.  The D-Link and both have support for Samba and FTP.  The feature that sticks out on the Synology NAS is the Amazon S3 support. Today I make backup using an S3 account. It would be even more convenient if the NAS could do that for me. Then I could schedule backups when I am not at home and have my computer with me. Last but not least, Synology have forums with many active users.

When I receive the NAS I want to change the network a little bit as well. This is how it looks today:

Our family photos are saved on either of the external harddisks. I sync these harddisks with the excellent Beyond Compare tool. When in sync, I use Jungle Disk to do the backup. Even though Beyond Compare is my favorite tool, I find it a little bit boring to synchronize these harddisks.  This is where the new solution should be a little bit smoother.

This is how it should look like after the upgrade.


Now we could store all of our photos on the Synology NAS server. The NAS server do backup at scheduled times. No need to synchronize the harddisk anymore. Each the computers should backup other valuable content as well, to the NAS. There is still room for improvement. For example, I plan to have wired connections to all computers in the household. The "old" switch that is used for the home entertainment should be replaced by a faster one.

But what model did I choose? You might have guessed it; I ordered the Synology DS110J together with a Western Digital Green 640 GB harddisk. This way I have an environmental friendly solution. All Synology products are designed to be environmental friendly. Notice that I use a D-Link Green DGS-1005D switch in the new network solution. 

That is all for now. I am really eager to get started with my new NAS. The original ETA was tomorrow, but the time seems to have slipped. I hope that it will arrive before the weekend.

12 comments:

Theo said...

Congratulations with your new Synology NAS! I have more or less the same network hardware as you have and needed a NAS to be able to acces photos and videos from one place and also to secure all data. I also had more or less the same preferences for a NAS but fairly soon decided that it would going to be a Synology. The most difficult decision was to choose between the DS110j and the DS210j, but after a while I realized that even a multibay NAS can not be a backup by itself. So I purchased the DS110j with a Samsung 1.5 TB HDD and I'm very pleased with it. I use the NAS as primary location for most of the data and use the old USB 2.0 HDD as a backup, using SyncBackPro.
Don't forget to think of a back-up plan though, because you always have to be sure that all your valuable data is on two different locations!

My Open Source Software Development Blog said...

Hi,

as mentioned in the article I choose between DS110j and DS110j. I came to the same conclusion as you, even if I do backup between two harddisks in a NAS I need another solution. I will use my Amazon S3 account to do backup to another place. The latest version (2.3) of the Synology firmware has support for doing backup to Amazon S3. I hope it works ok. Otherwise I will have to figure out another way to do remote backup.

Unfortunately the NAS is delayed. They have promised to deliver at the beginning of next week. I hope that they keep their promise. It is not funny to wait for things that you have ordered via Internet.

Theo said...

I just read that the latest Synology firmware (DSM2.3) supports cloud backup with Amazon S3! Note that it is also possible to backup your NAS to a connected USB HDD. But, unless you have a very long USB cable (!) this cannot be regarded as a good backup. My USB HDD is therefore connected to a PC in another part of the house and using SyncBackPro I backup the NAS now and then using a script.

My Open Source Software Development Blog said...

That sounds like a nice solution. I will try the Amazon S3 solution at first. But I think that the USB port could become useful in the future. The nice thing with the Synology products is that they are very extensible, both in terms on hardware and software.

Offshore software development India said...

I read article and it was awesome. i have not read about Synology NAS. It support supports cloud backup with Amazon S3. I have also purchased DS210j and it is working fine.

Thanks

My Open Source Software Development Blog said...

Are you satisfied with your DS210j?

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chandra said...

I am always satisfied with Netgear !! never had problems with netgear. anyways congrats for the NAS research!


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prabha said...

Hello,

just wanted to share my experience. I have a Netgear Stora NAS and pretty happy with it. Apart from the bulkiness, it is more powerful than the other NAS systems mentioned here. It has a 1GHz ARM CPU, 128MB RAM. http://www.openstora.com/ has more information about this device. And with two 1TB drives it consumes 15W at full load and 6W at idle. It has a power saving option to shut the system with specified intervals. I tried playing a movie over samba from my Windows Media Center and no performance difference. I am software engineer, so i have a SVN repo and i compiled few of my utility programs (http://www.prabha.me/pro/projects/wodd) to run on the system.

-prabha

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