Synology Disk Station 409slim review

Synology's latest NAS goes on a diet by using 2.5in drives rather than regular 3.5in models. We see if it still has enough beef to impress.

Many will appreciate the scheduled power on/off settings, which allow you to choose at what time the Disk Station powers on and powers off each day. You can additionally select the days this applies to, with presets for weekend and weekdays. The download manager is a useful tool, too. In addition to BitTorrent support, it can handle FTP and HTTP downloads, meaning you don't need to leave a PC on for large, overnight transfers.

The DS409slim supports CIFS, AFP, FTP, NFS and SSH protocols. Security isn't skimped on either, with FTP access over SSL, encrypted network backup and HTTPS support, which means you can securely access files remotely. It's easy to create users, groups and shared folders, as well as permissions for each, plus there's the expected Windows ADS support.

We configured four 250GB disks as a RAID 5, which took around 10 minutes in Rapid mode. Of course, performance - as with any barebones appliance - will depend on the particular disks you install. Our 5,400rpm drives managed 30.4MB/s when reading large files, and 19.2MB/s when writing. With small files, these figures dropped to 25.7MB/s and 17.3MB/s respectively. Speeds weren't much faster when configured as a RAID 0, but were around 4MB/s slower for reading and writing in a RAID 6. These speeds are slower than we've seen from 3.5in disks in Synology's DS409,

With 2.5in disks costing around twice as much as 3.5in disks for the same capacity, the DS409slim isn't the greatest choice if value is your top priority, although the unit itself is cheaper than we were expecting. If size, noise and power consumption are the critical factors, it's a hands-down winner.

Verdict

A superb four-bay barebones NAS with a startling number of features. With low power consumption, low noise and a small footprint it’s an excellent choice for small businesses or home offices.

Chassis: Desktop CPU: 1.2GHz Memory: 128MB Storage: 4x hot-swap SATA drive bays Ports: 2 x USB 2.0; 1x eSATA Network: 1 x Gigabit Ethernet Management: Web browser (Disk Station Manager 2.1) Software: Data Replicator 3 Power: 20W idle, 12W standby

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