Synology is well known in the industry for they specialize network-attached storage appliances for home, office, and enterprise. Here, we have the Synology DiskStation DS418 4-Bay NAS up for review to see what makes it tick and why Synology is known to make some of the best network-attached storage solutions in the market.
The Synology DiskStation DS418 is packed with a quad-core Realtek RTD1296 processor with a base clock of 1.4GHz and 2GB of DDR4 Memory. The NAS itself also has hardware encryption engine and a 10-bit H.265 hardware transcoding engine.
For connectivity and storage, it has dual Gigabit ethernet which will be ideal for some I.T. professionals as this will ensure maximum uptime for the NAS among other applications, and it also has two USB 3.0 ports which can be used to attached external USB storage devices that is supported by Synology.
The DS418 can support up to 48TB of mass storage with its 4-Bay drive slots but theoretically, it can be expanded up to 108TB with external USB enclosures.
For cooling, the DS418 has two built-in 92mm fans that can
be set on different fan profiles: full-speed, cool mode, and quiet mode. The
hard drive bays are spaced enough to allow proper airflow.
The DS418 uses EXT4 file system out of the box but other file systems can be supported as well such as EXT3, EXT4, FAT, exFAT, and NTFS but this will require you to purchase a license through the Synology Package center. The reason for this is that File System formats are licensed and most of them are only exclusive for a specific operating system.
Operating System and Software Features
Synology’s DiskStation Manager or DSM for short is an award winning NAS operating system that gives a desktop environment-like user interface through the web browser. It is very intuitive and easy to navigate, and it is where you can configure your network settings and create your own personal cloud service with Synology. Setting it up will require you to have some basic networking knowledge but the instruction manuals included with the device and online are very well detailed with step by step instructions that will guide you through all the necessary workarounds.
To set up the DS418, you will just need to plug it in your network and run the Synology Assistant software which will help you locate your device and bring you to the installation web graphical user interface (GUI). From there you can set your admin password and start learning the GUI and its dashboard.
As mentioned earlier, the GUI has a desktop environment-like interface which makes everything quick easy to understand. You will be able to see system widgets that displays vital information all the time and, on the desktop, you will find the icons for the Package Center, Control Panel, File Station folder, and DSM Help. The DSM Help is where you can find all the necessary information to navigate and configure your Synology NAS to how you want it to function.
Opening the package manager, you will find all the amazing applications that will help you personalize your Synology Cloud. You can use install packagers to set up the DS418 a Cloud Station Server, Multimedia Server, Mail Server, etc. These wide range of packages can also help improve collaboration in the office, especially with file sharing.
The DS418 works very well as a NAS in every way because it allows users in a network to share files regardless of what operating systems they use: Windows, MacOS, Linux, etc.
It is also capable of streaming your media files, including 4k resolution videos with ease because of its H.265 hardware transcoding engine using feature filled apps like the Video Station and Photo Station. The mobile companion apps are also effective for this purpose because it will let you stream your multimedia content to your mobile phone, either Android or iOS.
Another useful app is the built-in Office system that works like Google Docs, except it runs directly on the NAS. Office collaboration is made easier when you get used to using the Synology Office apps, but user experience will vary.
So, for the final thoughts on the Synology DS418, we are amazed that it brings more to the table more than just being a standard Network Attached Storage. SOHO users will be able to have the power of creating their own personal cloud service at their own finger tips and be able to control everything in it the way they want it to be. Being able to assign users and user permission and policies, they can make sure that their data is in their control. Plus, with its built-in encryption features, antivirus, custom SSL, you can make sure that every file you put in this little box in good hands. The DS418 will make an I.T. pro’s life easier in managing the data of their SOHO set up.