For build quality the DiskStation is hard to fault, it feels solid and well built, like it will last. From a design perspective the DiskStation is fairly a standard black box, with some touches of flair, such as the stencilled Synology logo on the side. Its overall feel is one of function rather than style, but given is designed purpose and the amount of features it packs into such a compact package we are more than willing to accept its looks.
Installation of disks into the DiskStation was a very simple process. Within minutes of getting the DiskStation out of its packaging we had a disk installed and the software updated to the latest version. If we were being hyper critical of Synology it would have been nice to see a tool free disk caddy, rather than having to use screws however this is a minor point and one that doesn’t impact the process of installation in any way.
The DSM 3.2 software available for the DiskStation is incredibly impressive. While we have highlighted some of the features a home user might find interesting there are many other features included which stand this product out from the crowd. We should also remember that this product is designed to attract not only home users but small businesses as well and the DSM 3.2 software has a raft of features for that market.
At around the £350/$500 mark the DiskStation DS411 isn’t a budget item, it is however very competitively priced when compared to other 4 bay NAS products. While no hard disk is supplied with the DS411 this allows us to configure the internal storage as we see fit, either using existing disks we have or buying new ones. A list of supported HDDs can be found on the Synology web site and like many other Synology products the DS411 comes with a two years manufacturer’s warranty.
We should remember that the DiskStation DS411 is a mid to high end model, so there are plenty more options from Synology to choose from depending on budget restraints. For example, the 2 bay model – DS211, comes in at around £200 and still features all the benefits of the DSM 3.2 software.
Finally, for those who want to test DiskStation Manager and its features in full a free, interactive demo is available on Synology’s website.