Monday, April 6, 2009

My NAS Project Part 1

Finally! In fact, 2 "finallies" (got such word in English??!!) Haha...

First finally, I bought my NAS after so long, more than 3 months after I sold off my D-Link DNS-323.

Second finally, I unpacked the box! The box has been sitting on the floor for a week plus! My gangs asked me, how could I resist to neglect new toys for so long? They were even more impatient than me. You'd know, typically everyone wants to see/try the new gadgets, new chicks or whatever new things at the earliest possible. Can I say I'm macho enough that nothing in this world is new to me? Wahaha... But, simply I have no time ler. Hehe...

Anyway, back to serious matter, my NAS Project. I finally made my decision to buy this new toy...


The Synology DS209. Unveiled the box...


The accessories in the package. That includes...


You can also see the key features are printed on the box for quick glance.

The front of the NAS...


With all the LEDs to reflect the operational status of the NAS, an USB slot, power button and USB Copy button (indicated with a C) for one-touch USB copy function to a designated folder when an external drive is plugged into the front USB.

Nothing on the side, just a logo...


And the rear...


The smart fan, 2 USB extensions and a Gigabit LAN NIC, a rectangular security lock (or Kensington lock) on the right, a small round reset button below the USB extension and the power connector. You can refer to picture above for its dimension.

One thing I don't like about its design is the USB extensions and NIC card are close to each other. So you really have to get slim USB cables to connect your drives or printers like this...


So the 2 x rear USB are not meant for thumb drives, I mean big fat thumb drives, you should connect the thumb drive using the front USB extension. Alternatively, get a slim USB extension cable.

Also, if you notice from the pictures, there are LEDs on the NIC card just like the common NIC card you have on your PC. Don't be conned by these LEDs, they will never blink. You should check the network status at the front panel.

I tried to look for installation guide but couldn't find, so I have no choice to read the "Read Me First" leaflet...


OK, so a reminder, you can't install this device without a workstation if you don't have the hard copy of the quick installation guide in hands. Of course you can proceed with it if you are experienced with such installation. I rather to have the QIG to be printed than this Read Me First.

I didn't check the harddisk compatibility online, but the dealer confirmed to me that Seagate 1.5TB is compatible as this 2-bay NAS supports up to 3TB internal storage, 2 x 1.5TB...


I only bought one at this moment as I don't plan to setup any RAID or JBOD, just plain basic disk for my setup.

If you followed some of my posts about NAS, you may already know Synology is my preference than QNAP. Reasons,
  • It has better interface which is full AJAX interface that provides interactive drag-drop web interface just like Windows. This is practically useful in web based file explorer (it's called File Station) which simulates the Windows Explorer like interface.
  • It has better features/applications out of box compared to QNAP, though users can find more application packages from QNAP website to enhance its features
  • Better and responsive support from Synology. I tested both pre-sale supports before I made my purchase and disappointed with QNAP support. If I am not mistaken, this was mentioned in few online forums by other users too.
  • Commitment from Synology on its firmware release policy. QNAP has been very lagging in new firmware release.
  • Synology provides 2 years warranty over 1 year warranty by QNAP.
  • Cash voucher I received from the conference :)
  • May be I was convinced by the presenters in the conference.

The dealer I bought from carry these 2 products, the boss and the specialist have been very neutral to give their comments on either brand but very helpful in guiding me to make my final decision. I recommend this IT store...


Midi Specialist Solution. The boss, Dennis was the gentleman who invited me to the conference and have been very responsive to emails. I got my DS209 at RM1399 after the RM100 cash voucher discount. Most important, no additional charge for using credit card! This is very unusual in Low Yat. I bought my harddisk at different store as Midi Specialist does not carry 1.5TB harddisk.

Here is the price list...


If you are planning to get a NAS, you can experience yourself from the demo units setup by Midi Specialist, click here for QNAP demo unit and here for Synology demo unit. ID is admin and password is either admin or blank (empty, no password).