Synology DS411 NAS Review

👤by David Mitchelson Comments 📅02-09-11
Synology DSM Opearting System

Towards the end of last year Synology launched DSM 3.1 the next stage in their NAS OS. DSM 3.1 has rich features and a wide array of functionality. The main focus with it, is that it can sustain multi-tasking operation with ease. Upon installing Synology Assistant which can be found on the software CD we are faced with the following screen. This gives us information about the DS411 that is being hosted on our Gigabit network.

Incidentally, installing the NAS is very easy. Slot the drives inside the unit, connect it to the network via the CAT5 cable supplied in the bundle, hook up the DC in power-pack and you are ready to go!

Straight out the box the DS411 doesn't have an OS, so we need to install with the latest version from the Synology website. When download, the .pat file just needs to be selected and the software integrates DSM 3.1 for you.

Installing DSM 3.1

During the installation of DSM 3.1 the software configures the HDDs installed inside the DS411. This involves applying network protocols, formatting the drives and adding partitions ready to be used for storage. This process doesn't take very long at all - it will of course depend on how large the drives are. The drives I installed are 1TB Samsung F3's.

Configuring drives ready for use within the DS411

Upon completing the installation of DSM 3.1, we can now log into the NAS. From the Assistant. The default login details are admin and no password. This should be adjusted after first logging in for security measures.

The login screen

Inside the GUI there are lots of features to look at and use. The Control Panel has a wide array of functionality allowing you to take full control of the DS411. Below is a screenshot showing what is available. The beauty with DSM 3.1 is that you can perform multiple tasks at once unlike in previous version of DSM.

The control panel with a multitude of features

Amongst many of the leading features with the DS411 and DSM 3.1 we have the ability to store files on the NAS and stream them to mobile devices such as Android or iphone. For the purpose of this review I thought it would be a worthwhile inclusion to show the functionality between the NAS and mobile device for audio files with DS Audio by Synology. About Synology DS Audio.

Synology DiskStations not only offer a great storage solution for media files, but now you can access your music collection directly from your iPhone or iPod Touch. Synology's DS audio application allows users to access their music collections stored on the Synology DiskStation and stream that music through the iPhone or iPod Touch across an internet connection.

NOTE: Sound station will need to be enabled from the Control Panel of DSM 3.1

First things first, I went to the Android Market and did a search for Synology. Upon searching I discovered a number of apps by Synology to interface with my NAS but the app that I am concerned with is the DS Audio. The great thing is, these apps are also free!

Android market has many Synology free apps

After installing the app, we are met with a login screen (just put in the IP, username and password) and then you come to a home screen which gives you different options. I select "Folder" and can then navigate to where I have put an MP3 on the DS411.

The DS Audio homescreen - search for music in different ways

I can then play the file directly from the DS411 from anywhere within range of the wireless connection the NAS is being hosted on. So if you have an iphone and docking station with speakers you can ideally have the music playing off the NAS within another room. Perfect if you are entertaining guests and want some ambience!

Playing music off an android phone directly from the DS411

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