Synology DiskStation DS216se 2-Bay NAS Unit Review

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[section_title title=”GUI and Accessibility”]

GUI and Accessibility

We have the hardware side of the NAS set up, the device is on the network and an IP address has been assigned, we can now move onto some of the many key features of the desktop style interface that is DSM.

To start, we have the main desktop based layout we have grown to be very familiar with over the years of using Windows OS. We have a task bar at the top of the screen, desktop in clear view to allow for shortcuts to the software on offer by DSM and a few more options doted about.

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The taskbar has a “Main Menu” a lot like Windows Start Menu that opens up to show all programs available to the user. Left clicking will launch the utility or right clicking will allow you to create a shortcut onto the desktop. We can also run a search within the Main Menu to easily locate applications we require. Don’t worry, there are plenty more out there that we have not downloaded just yet so you’ll soon need to use the full extent of the search facility if you like to optimise your NAS to support many different uses.

To the top right of the task bar, we have some additional features of DSM including Notifications, my account options, another search facility and finally, widget board which allows you to set up widgets which is handy for quick analysis of your NAS unit.

Finally, we have the desktop which provides plenty of software options pre-installed and shortcut added. We have made a list of the basic utilities for your understanding of what is on offer.

  • Control Panel – The settings and configuration side of your NAS unit. Allowing for access to file sharing, connectivity and system settings.
  • File station – An easy file navigator tool to have a look what is on your NAS device. This also allows you to create personal and shared folders, plus entitle users to have very specific access to whatever is in the main volume.
  • EZ-Internet – Allowing for access to your NAS over the internet, handy for when you are traveling and need a specific file you have backed up to your Synology device.
  • DSM Help – Your help with any questions you may have on the DSM suite.
  • Package Center – Expansion and availability is key for NAS units so Synology have added the Package Center to allow for just fewer than 100 individual applications to be configured with your device.
  • Resource Monitor – A handy utility for monitoring your hardware, from CPU usage to network speeds, the data provided is real time to allow for better observation of your system performance.
  • Storage Manager – Similar to the Resource Monitor, the Storage Manager allows for administration of your storage. Features like a health status, volume data and configuration can be found here.
  • Log Center – Allowing for a real time log of changes made to files/data on the NAS and connectivity.
  • Security Advisor – A cool tool that assists with locating any form of security flaw in your system to advise you how to strengthen the security around your personal files.
  • Support Center – A utility that allows you to speak to advisors on any issue you may have with your Synology NAS unit or the DSM suite.

These are just some of the options on offer by DSM, plenty more to come in upcoming updates to the software and addition of add ons from the Package Center. If there is something you want to do with your data, you can be sure that Synology and their R&D (Research and Development) team have thought of it and incorporated it. With so much available, we could not even begin to show you everything on offer so we will keep it brief with some of the tools we used to set up our NAS to suit our requirements.

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