Synology DS916+ NAS This Bad Boy Rocks!
Synology has another winner on it's hands with the DS916+ NAS
A NAS (Network Attached Storage) is a small black box that holds all your digital, movies, music and personal files. Unlike a computer it rarely ever requires your attention.
Their DiskStation OS as it's called is well known for being super intuitive and having a wide array of apps that can turn a simple black box that holds a few hard drives into a powerful media server, personal cloud and can provide many more functions as easy as adding another free app from the long list they provide. Synology also offers a free mobile app to let you control and setup apps on your NAS from your mobile devices.
For 2016, the new Synology DS916+ comes with choice of either 2GB or 8GB of onboard Ram. It also features 4-core CPU, up to 2.56 GHz. While this model only holds up to 4 hard drives, it can easily be scaled up to 9 drives with the optional Synology DX513 box.
It comes with AES-NI hardware encryption engine to protect your data, and is able to perform Single H.264 4K or triple Full HD 1080p video transcoding on the fly. This is handy to be able to play back your media to multiple devices without first needing to convert them into a device compatible format.
Easy as Pie to UseIf you have never used a NAS before, it works a little different than a computer server which typically has a monitor, mouse and keyboard. A NAS is a headless device. This means you can tuck it way in a closet and all it really needs is an Ethernet wire plugged in from your Router on your network.
Controlling your NAS works much the same way you setup your home Router. Synology gives you an app that is basically a shortcut to a web browser. Once the app is opened it goes to a log in screen where only registered users can make changes or add software to the NAS. An icon also shows up under your drive list. This is where you can drag and drop files to save them to your NAS. Much the same as your would with a removable USB flash drive.
Unlike your USB Flash drive a NAS will constantly back up any files saved to another internal hard drive so you always have a mirror image of your data. Should a drive fail, just pull the bad drive out and swap in another drive of the same type and size and the NAS takes it from there and automatically backs up all the data from the remaining drive onto the new one.
The Synology DS916+ makes this process particularly painless as it requires no tools to swap drives. Want to increase storage add another pair of drives and you just doubled your available drive space with full redundancy.
NAS vs Computer ServerThe big advantage of a NAS over a computer is the operating cost. The DS916+ with only a couple drives installed only uses around 30 Watts of power. This goes up to 50 Watts with all the drive bays filled up. Compare this to an equivalent desktop PC and you can figure on using almost 4X as much electricity. A NAS also comes with an energy saver mode so when not in use it spins the drives down barely using any power. They are designed and built to run 24/7.
Another big plus for a NAS is it runs quieter compared to most computers with two or three much louder fans. Because they are also much smaller, a NAS box can easily be tucked out of the way and quickly forgotten.
Synology has built and released another great NAS with the DS916+. If you are ready to move your file storage to the next level, compare prices on Amazon for a great deal on the new DS916+ Synology NAS.