Introduction and Specifications
Anyone who follows the NAS game will likely recognize the name Synology, but we’d wager most home users aren't quite as familiar with them. That’s simply because Synology storage devices have typically targeted a more advanced crowd, such as readers of this website. If you had ever met someone who was running a Synology NAS at home, you knew right away they were an enthusiast, advanced user, neckbeard, etc. Newbies use more mainstream products, but hardcore guys and gals use Synology--or something like that.
Well, times are changing, and Synology is trying to get in on the “cloud storage” game with NAS drives that are pre-configured, plug-and-play, and accessible from any internet connection, so they should be tempting to anyone regardless of their technical chops. No longer will you have to install the drives and the operating system yourself. These puppies are ready to go right out of the box.
Today we are looking at the two-drive model in the BeyondCloud series, with the model name BC214se 2300. This is a two-drive array that comes pre-configured in RAID 1 for mirroring, so anything that is written to the main volume is mirrored to the secondary volume. This protects your from data loss in the event one drive shuffles off this mortal coil, but won’t protect you in case your house goes up in flames. To its credit Synology makes it very clear in the documentation that in order to fully protect your data you need three copies of it, with one of those copies being offsite. As someone who has suffered an apartment fire, we can attest to the need for offsite backup.
|3TB (as configured)
Marvell Armada 370
RAID0, 1, JBOD, Synology Hybrid RAID
USB 2.0 x2
Power supply port
Mac OS X
6.49x3.93x8.58 inches (HxLxW)
$369.99 - Find It @ Amazon
The model we are looking at comes with two Seagate NAS 3TB drives pre-installed. The volume appears to the local system as a single 3TB drive, and is accessible either via direct network mapping, or via a web browser interface that appears when you click on the drive in Windows Explorer. It includes a MARVELL Armada 370 CPU clocked at 800MHz along with 256MB of DDR3 memory.
It holds a maximum of two 3.5” drives, though you could theoretically add 2.5” drives instead via optional adapters. There are two USB 2.0 ports on the back that allow you to either add capacity to your network storage, or backup the contents of the BeyondCloud to a USB drive. Sadly these ports are not USB 3.0, which is a bit of letdown. There is also only one LAN port, so you cannot daisy-chain drives together like you can with the WD EX2100. It supports RAID 0, RAID 1, JBOD, and Synology Hybrid Raid. You can add up to 512 user accounts, 128 groups, and 256 shared folders.