Firmware and Web-Interface
Having very advanced hardware capabilities, the DS107+ offers a rich selection of extra services that can rarely be found on such devices. This functionality is supported by firmware, and the firmware image you can download from the manufacturer’s website is about eight times the capacity of the NAS unit’s flash memory chip. It is because most of the firmware is written to the internal HDD rather than into the flash memory. The NAS creates a system partition, over 100MB large, when formatting the HDD for the first time.
By the way, the source code of the firmware is only available at a special request and will cost you $20. Perhaps this is the reason why PC enthusiasts do not create their own versions of firmware. At least we couldn’t find serious projects concerning Synology products on the Web. On the other hand, the official firmware already offers as many functions as most users will ever need. Moreover, you can install two small patches, available on the manufacturer’s website, to make the DS107+ (and other products from Synology, too) accessible via Telnet and SSH. The latest version of firmware for the DS107+ (2.0.3-0518) allows transforming it into an NFS server by means of a few console commands.
As we noted above, the NAS offers a large number of various services. We’ll describe some of them here. One is not shown in the picture above but is interesting nevertheless. It is Audio Station. This service will be helpful if you connect special speakers or an iPod to the NAS unit’s USB port. The Audio Station feature can be used to play music stored on the DS107+ or broadcast Internet-based radio stations.
You’ll feel even more comfortable when listening to music if you connect a special USB remote control to the NAS.
Yet another service not shown in the picture is Photo Station II. It is meant for viewing photos and video clips stored on the DS107+ via the Internet. This feature only works when the NAS can be accessed from the external network, of course.
The last feature we’d want to mention is the iTunes server. It allows using the NAS by means of an iTunes client installed on a remote machine.
Now we can discuss the web-interface of the DS-107+. It looks simple, yet elegant.
The page you open in your browser consists of three sections. The header provides no valuable information. The left part of the screen contains a menu with groups of settings. The rest of the screen displays the contents of the currently selected group. It is a set of tabs each of which offers individual settings. Each displayed page provides a Help button. On pressing it, you can get information about the settings of the current page. The Help system of the DS107+ is brief, yet informative, so you shouldn’t find it difficult to make out what each setting means.
Upon successful authorization, the first page of the first settings group is shown, offering you a sort of a sitemap.
This sitemap helps easily find the necessary setting even if there are any discrepancies between the subgroup context and the group context. We don’t say the DS107+ has too many such discrepancies, yet there are a few of them in the menu. Now we’ll enumerate the main groups of settings for you.