Review of Synology DiskStation DS415+ NAS


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Reports of security breaches and data theft have become quite frequent in recent weeks. With the well-publicized Sony attack the importance of securing data whether for business or personal use has become more apparent. One of the best ways to guard this data is to house it on one’s own server with various protections in place.

Synology is a company known for their highly regarded and popular NAS devices. Their recent release of the DS415+ an upgrade from their previous four-bay DS412+ was designed with security in mind as it features an AES-NI hardware encryption engine.

In addition the DS415+ has a quad-core processor that has read/write speeds of 228 MB/s and 233 MB/s when using Link Aggregation. With the Synology DS415+ you can safely roll your own personal cloud server and take your data out of a third party’s hands. An excellent overview article on Hybrid Cloud storage can be found here.

Like previous models the DS415+ is simple to setup and easier to maintain. Synology continues to develop its award winning DiskStation Manager (DSM) software. Version 5.1 was recently released to provides even more functionality to the DS415+. According to Synology these improvements include:

-Deeper cloud integration- In addition to services like Google Drive and Dropbox, Cloud Sync now adds support for OneDrive and Box.  Backup is now supported to Microsoft Azure.  The Explore feature allows for browsing for and retrieving single files from Amazon’s Glacier service.

-Sync control – Administrators can create syncing profiles.  Synced files can retain ACL permissions.

-Note Station and DS note- Create, share, and sync digital notes and notebooks with a browser or mobile device.  It’s even possible to import notes from Evernote.

-Improved security- Security Advisor provides reports and advice to improve security, and can even remove known malware.  AppArmor protects system resources from malicious software.  Package Center now supports digital signatures to prevent installing tampered software usage.

 

Unboxing

 

For this review the DS415+ arrived in a plain brown cardboard package with the Synology and DiskStation names imprinted on the front and back. The retail packaging comes in a powder blue box similar to other Synology models.

DS415 01 DS415 02

 

Opening the box we see the DS415+ securely protected by two large foam inserts along with a box containing cables and accessories.

DS415 03

 

Inside the package is the DS415+, an AC power adapter, AC power cord, a set of screws, two LAN cables and a Quick Installation Guide.

DS415 04

 

Externally the DS415+ has the same aesthetics as recent models including the DS214play that we reviewed last year. Obviously since it is a four bay unit the dimensions are larger as it measures 16.5 cm X 20.3 cm X 23.3 cm and weighs 2.05 kg without drives in place.

DS415 05

 

The chassis is composed of a matte black plastic with a textured feel. On the front of the unit is a piano black plastic shield with the model number on the bottom left corner. This shield covers the hard drive racks and is kept in place with rubber feet.

DS415 06

 

Towards the right side edge are five labeled LEDs for Status and Disks 1-4. Below these lights is a USB 2.0 connector and the power button with LED light.

DS415 07 DS415 08

 

Once again Synology employs the screwless drive trays. These bays can accommodate either 3.5” or 2.5” hard drives as well as 2.5“ SSDs. Pressing the top tab pops out the trays allowing quick installation or replacement of drives.

DS415 09

DS415 10 DS415 11

 

The maximum storage capacity for the DS415+ is 24 TB (4 x 6TB). For our review we tested the unit with four 3TB Seagate NAS drives that were provided by Synology. The DS415+ supports both SATA II and SATA III speeds.

On the sides of the DS415+ is a ventilation grate behind the Synology cut name.

DS415 12 DS415 13

 

Looking at the rear of the DS415+ we find two 92 mm fans, one for each pair of drives. Beneath these fans are two USB 3.0 ports, two Gigabit Ethernet jacks, eSATA port along with a Kensington lock slot and of course the AC connector.

DS415 14 DS415 15

 

Underneath the DS415+ are additional vents and four rubber feet to keep the box from sliding around.

DS415 16

 

Of course the DS415+ has a sleek looking housing but it’s really the inside of the NAS that’s impressive. Inside we find an Intel Atom C2538 Quad Core Processor with one stick of 2GB DDR3 memory. Unlike the DS1513+ there is only one memory slot and changing this stick will void the unit’s warranty.

Built into the processor is an AES-NI hardware encryption engine to protect the data on the machine.

In terms of speed the DS415+ advertises 228 MB/s read and 233 MB/s write with Link Aggregation enabled and 232 MB/s reading and 206 MB/s writing with encrypted file transfers.

With multiple drives in place this unit can support RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 6 and RAID 10, JBOD and Synology Hybrid RAID (SHR) configurations.

  3 comments for “Review of Synology DiskStation DS415+ NAS

  1. forum.email@biedove.net
    May 18, 2015 at 11:14 am

    This reviewer is unaware of the poor quality software used by Synology for either its DSM operating system and/or Cloud Station. Since purchasing a DS415+, I have had nothing but problem after problem using Cloud Station and with its recent update to DSM 5.2 with corresponding updates to Cloud Station For Windows, it has been an absolute disaster with Synology Support having no clue as to the problem. Numerous people are having problems with this recent update some of which are similar to mine and some with seemingly unrelated problems. DSPhoto for iPhone doesn’t do automatic updates to Photo Station as advertised. Synology Support says this is an iPhone iOS problem which means in my experience most likely this feature will never get fixed. All manufacturers want to blame their advertised features’ for iPhone iOS on Apple and iOS without them making the effort to make themselves keep up with compatibility with iOS. In my case DSPhoto never worked.
    One of the main reasons for going to an NAS/Cloud Server was to get private cloud and syncing capability but so far this top rated NAS company has been a dud in my books when it comes to the quality of its applications used in conjunction with DS415+ and since DS415+ is so much junk without applications to run the unit, one has to say the DS415+ has not lived up to the reputation Synology supposedly has.
    It’s software is far from easy to use as well. While the applications may perform some of the time, problems can seemingly occur which many users believe to be their files not syncing with Cloud Station and that they simply are loosing their files due to Cloud Station being fraught with bugs. There may be bugs but one reason for all these ‘bug’s’ seems to be due to very poor error reporting on Cloud Station’s part. Cloud Station will refuse to do the sync due to an advertised problem but Cloud Station either doesn’t report the problem where the user can be aware it happened or even if the user does see an indication of the problem, there is very little in the way of diagnostic messages giving any clues as to what may be causing the sync failure. Their user logs are next to worthless for the user with Cloud Station as they seemingly just indicate when people log on, log off, the service starts or shuts down. The logs never seem to actually state what may be the cause of a sync failure. The user logs will tell you when a user logs on but the user logs will not tell you when a folder/file is accessed by shared link.
    For a company that has been in business for at least 10 years and rated as one of the top NAS manufacturers, I am greatly surprised by the lack of quality the support software has for this product.

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