Now that we have had plenty of time using and testing the Synology DS216se, we can begin to conclude our findings. With the key focus of this NAS unit being an easy set up device to allow for home data back up, we have to wonder if the price tag asked is worth its value and generally, if the overall experience for people who may not be knowledgeable with this sort of tech is stress free. In addition to this, we need to see how it performs in real world testing and what we think as an overall thought of the product. What we need to think of here is that the DS216se is designed for home networks and nothing too large or on an enterprise level so please bare this in mind while we detail our findings. So lets begin!
To begin with, the general construct of this NAS is what we expected and is basically 2 HDD slots with a cover. But the addition of a small compact enclosure allows for this device to be stored anywhere and it does not need a large system to configure it, meaning whatever is in the little box of storage is capable of keeping up with your needs and no further complications from third party vendor hardware conflicts. Just follow the easy hardware installation guide and you are ready to go. Pop the NAS to one side, plug in the necessary cables and away you go through an easy tutorial of software set up/configuration. With such a small system dealing with everything, you don’t need to have a dedicated workstation or server set to one side to cope with the demands of a network. You have a little white box sat there, doing its thing and dealing with all your requirements from video streaming to easy backup access, with plenty in-between!
As mentioned earlier, configuration is so simple that even people without much knowledge in networking or IT can set up the device, but once set up the DS216se can provide as much complexity as you like. From setting the device up to be a general storage volume to making its own back ups with auto-alerts of outages, streaming HD videos and providing WAN access to anyone with the relevant software, you can use it for your requirements or go that extra mile to use the DS216se to its full potential. We are happy to say it is an easy device to set up, both hardware and software sides of the equation, with plenty on offer and the support side for those out there who may not understand all the technical stuff.
So, how does it perform? Well, it’s very good actually. The tests we covered earlier did show some varied results but overall, for the requirements of a NAS on a home network, it will function fantastically for everyday household needs. We put this thing through some hard testing from streaming to numerous workstations, a HDTV and so on, without any findings of bandwidth chokes or “bottlenecking”. The DS216se coped, realistically and in a working environment, very well and kept up with what we threw at it. Realistically, the specifications of the device are not going to compete with other devices on the market for a similar price or a workstation configured to be a server but all the same, for a compact little system pumping some of the figures it did we are happy to say this will meet the needs for most households.
Overall, I am very happy as to how the DS216se performed as a whole but have a few things to note. Firstly, we had some random drop outs on the network while testing this device and although this could be something on our end or a conflict, we would like to note this all the same. Next, this device is aimed at a specific market. If you would like a cloud based access system and a standalone device to cope with your storage/data backup then this NAS is for you. Whereas, if you would prefer to keep your data backed up in a RAID configuration and you are on a budget, setting up a RAID configuration through windows would probably be the best thing to do. The money you pay does go towards a standalone device with all the support you could need and a certainty of correctly configured volume access so make sure you bare this in mind before thinking twice on spending XXX amount on any NAS for that matter. Finally, the only other downside we had was running a direct point to point network line between a workstation and the device while testing. Now, we understand that the device is suppose to be set up on a network but we faced some real issues when configuring for use as a standalone device for one workstation. You would imagine that you could plug in the device to your PC through a network cable, have access to it and be able to configure it. But this was not the case and meant that we would have to get the device on the network, set up the RAID array and volume, memorise the path before plugging directly into the workstation and waiting until we could then manually map a drive to it. We may have missed something or Synology may have software available that isn’t web based but at the time, we were unable to find any support for setting up in this fashion. Maybe something to think about for anyone wanting to move the device around or “piggyback” off of one workstation.
With this said, we are delighted to have the DS216se set up as an easy access device for all our work here at Play3r. It means that access can be securely provided anywhere and everywhere with a very nice software inteterface to top it off. Please note that DSM, the interface behind the Synology home NAS systems, will be covered in another article due to the mass features it has as a stable platform for storage management.
As a final note, we highly recommend the DS216se for any small business or home network due to the simple set up, additional support, easy to use interface and vast array of features available. Performance is excellent and works well as a standalone streaming device and all without needing to re-route traffic on your network due to bottlenecking, great for you film junkies out there. Grab this great little product by Synology while you can and ensure your data is safe.
We are proud to bestow the Synology DS216se with our Recommended Award.
I would like to thank Synology for sending the DS216se to be reviewed.
– Compact unit with very sleek looks and not too noticeable in a home environment
– Works very well for its intended use performance wise
– Great value and option to dedicate workstations/servers for mass storage
– Plastic casing for the enclosure was a little weak
– Some network drop outs while configurations were loading
– Depending on your requirements, the price tag for this device may not be the best alternative for RAID based storage
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