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Design and Configuration

Sometimes entry-level devices look just as presentable as top-end models, but it is not the case with the DNS-313. This NAS shows it with its every feature that you must not expect anything exceptional from it. What you can see here is the straight lines of the case, cheap plastic of the front and back panels, and a few indicators. Expensive products can follow minimalistic design as well, but there is a difference between them and the DNS-313 which you may find it hard to describe but feel instantly.

On the other hand, the case of the DNS-313 is practical. Its matte surface doesn’t make finger marks and speckles of dust too visible, and its main part is made from a whole piece of metal with thick panels. This improves the thermal conductivity of the case and makes it steadier thanks to the heavier weight. This NAS can be positioned both vertically and horizontally.

When placed horizontally, the device stands on the barely noticeable rubber juts located at the junction of the panels and the main part of the case.

To place the DNS-313 upright you should insert the included stand into the groove in one of the side panels. The stand doesn’t stick out much, but makes the device quite steady.

Installing a hard drive into the DNS-313 is a matter of few seconds. And you need even less time to take the HDD out afterwards. So, in order to put your HDD in, you should move the front panel sideways (or up, if the NAS rests on the stand) and insert the HDD into the case until its connectors are inside. The HDD is securely fixed within the case with spring-loaded brackets. Then, to take the HDD out, you just pull at the lever on the back panel of the case whereas the front panel must be open. This is a simple and elegant solution.

The HDD must be cooled somehow. The DNS-313 employs a 40mm fan for that.

The fan is installed on the back panel. When the NAS is idle and the HDD is rather cool, it does not rotate at all. When the HDD is being accessed for a while and reaches a certain temperature threshold (about 45°C), the fan starts up and drives the fresh air from the holes in the front panel through the entire case. The fan has a velocity sensor, but we didn’t notice it to be gaining speed steadily. If it works, it is rotating at maximum speed and is quite audible. The fan is noisier than the HDD then. By the way, the DNS-313 supports HDD hibernation mode: when not accessed for a certain while, the HDD halts, making the NAS absolutely silent.

Talking about the back panel, here is what you can find on it (from left to right):

  • Connector for the external power adapter
  • Gigabit Ethernet port
  • USB port
  • Reset button
  • Fan

As mentioned in the specs, the DNS-313 cannot work as a USB host. It means you cannot connect, for example, USB drives to it. The DNS-313 cannot work as a NAS and an external HDD simultaneously, either. Therefore there is a special shutter above the Ethernet and USB connectors that physically blocks the currently unused interface. Besides, there is a lever on the back panel, above the interface ports, for taking the HDD out of the case.

The front panel is even more desolate than that (from left to right):

  • HDD activity indicator
  • On/Off button combined with a Power indicator
  • NAS mode indicator (off when the DNS-313 is used as an external drive)

We don’t have any complaints about the indication system of this device. The indicators have optimal brightness and are designed as intuitive icons.

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