Review of Synology DiskStation DS1513+ NAS

On the X-Files one of the tenets of Agent Mulder was – “trust no one”. With the recent NSA and PRISM disclosures this mantra seems more prophetic than ever imagined. Companies we thought were keeping our information safe such as Google, Apple, Microsoft and Facebook have all at some point opened up their data for NSA surveillance. Recently Google’s founder Eric Schmidt had this troublesome pronouncement. These developments have led to the shuttering of security conscious email services such as Lavabit to the silencing of other outspoken activists who wish to protect their sources.

Most people and businesses do not have anything to hide, but that doesn’t mean they want their information readily accessible by anyone without their permission. Today’s review product helps user’s keep their information under their control. Wish to have your own email server at your home or business? Want to roll your own cloud service then read on.

Synology has long been a favorite of ours at technogog with their simple to set up and operate NAS servers. The five bay Synology DiskStation DS1513+ is one of their latest releases and is designed to provide plenty of room for storage and/or redundancy. If the Synology DS713+ is the sedan of NAS servers then the Synology DS1513+ is the SUV designed to provide up to 20TB of storage, which can expand up to 60TB via two DX513 expansion units, which can be bought separately.

While the two bay Synology units are natively limited to Synology Hybrid RAID, RAID 0 and 1 this model supports Synology Hybrid RAID, Basic, JBOD, RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 6, and RAID 10. Synology designed the Synology DiskStation DS1513+ for the small to medium business client in mind but this doesn’t preclude the multimedia happy consumer from taking advantage of the copious storage capability.

The Synology DiskStation DS1513+ uses robust DSM (DiskStation Manager) run the NAS. This software allows the user to run their own email server, use AES 256 bit encryption for shared folders, run a VPN server as well as roll out their own “Dropbox” like Cloud server.

The recent release of DSM 4.3 makes this Synology NAS – state of the art. The latest DSM release offers a revamped Mail Server, updated Synology High Availability, Server Convergence, SSD caching, TRIM support, Windows ODX support, updated PhotoStation 6, a 30% faster Cloud Station with delta-updates. In addition Synology has improved their mobile apps with iOS, Android, and Windows Phone updates

Between the speed of RAID 5 and the four available LAN ports this machine can achieve read speeds of 350.94 MB/sec and 202.34 MB/sec during writes. Plus these LAN ports can be aggregated for those infrastructures that can take advantage of 802.3ad Dynamic Link Aggregation. Having multiple LANS also provide redundancy if there is a hardware failure


The Synology DS1513+ arrives in a large brown cardboard box with the Synology logo and black writing. Unlike their two bay models, this five drive bay NAS does not come with the option of preinstalled drives. To determine the appropriate drives to use with it Synology has a page listing compatible hard drives located – here.

This NAS server is scalable and out of the box it maxes out to 20 TB (5 x 4TB). Adding two expansion DX513 units you can have a whooping 60 TBs; that my friends is a lot of storage. For even more capacity you can use external drives via the USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports on the back of the device.

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Synology packs the DS1513+ between some foam inserts to protect the unit during shipping. Inside the box we find the Synology DiskStation DS1513+, power cord, AC adapter, two LAN cables, installation disk, Quick Start Guide and screws.

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The Synology DiskStation DS1513+ measures 15.7 X 24.8 X 23.3 cm and weighs 4.25 kg without any hard drives installed. This is a big device when compared to the two bay versions we have reviewed at technogog in the past.

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Internally it is powered by the same dual core Atom D2700 processor clocked in at 2.13 Ghz as the Synology DS713+ but has 2 GB of DDR3 memory onboard with an available memory slot for an additional 2 GB.

Appearance wise it looks like the Synology DS713+ on steroids. Composed of matte black metal and plastic it has the same styling as other recent Synology boxes. Five drive bays take up the front of the device with LEDs on top and screw lock closures at the bottom of each drive tray. These are the same locks found on the Synology DiskStation DS712+ and 713+ models.

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Above these drive bays we see the Synology name on the top left corner followed by LEDs for Status, Alert, LAN1, LAN2, LAN3, LAN4 and a power button in the middle. On the bottom right of this face is the model number.

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