Design and Configuration
Every product from Synology is ready to impress you with its splendid design but all of Synology’s products, save for the RS series, follow the same style and do not offer much variegation. This consistency can be viewed as a manufacturer’s visiting card, but regular revisions of the design concept are necessary, anyway. So, the DS209+ is not exactly new in terms of exterior design, yet different from the previous dual-disk NASes from this brand. The difference is in the color and surface of the case. The rest is the same as in the older models. The DS209+ has become more practical because accumulated dust is less visible on the black case. And having acquired a rough and matte surface (the older models had a glossy surface of the case), the DS209+ is more resistant to scratches, and greasy fingerprints are inconspicuous on it. It is just even more pleasant to touch.
The black and glossy plastic front panel is curved in, and the device’s buttons and indicators are placed in the resulting depression. We like this solution because the front panel matches the overall style of the case and is also very ergonomic.
The DS209+ can be positioned upright as is indicated by the rubber feet on the sides of the case. Thanks to them the device can stand firmly on any surface, especially with HDDs installed.
The case is ventilated with a 70mm fan located at the back panel. This is a minor improvement over the DS207+ which used to be cooled with a 60mm fan from the same manufacturer.
The cool air is coming in through the vent holes in the bottom of the case. There is no other way into. Although there are not many holes in the bottom, the temperature within the case, and the temperature of the internal HDD, remains acceptable even when the NAS is being accessed actively. We can see that from the data reported by the integrated thermo-sensors of the processor and HDDs. For example, the processor temperature varied from 49 to 54°C even under long and heavy load on the NAS while the HDDs were only as hot as 38-42°C. Both values are perfectly normal.
You should also appreciate the HDD hibernation mode offered by the DS209+ for silent operation. When the DS209+ is not accessed for some time (you can specify this period in its settings), the HDDs are halted until the next access. Thus, when the HDDs are idle, you can only hear the fan, which is almost inaudible itself.
Before we take a look into the DS209+, let’s see how it communicates with the outside world. Here is what it has on the front panel (from top to bottom):
- Status indicator (blinking in orange in case of an error)
- LAN indicator (indicates the activity of the Ethernet port)
- Disk1 and Disk2 indicators (indicate the activity of the internal HDDs)
- USB 2.0 port
- C button with indicator. If you plug a supported drive into the USB port, the indicator near the button will light up. Then you can press the C button to copy all data from the external drive into a special folder on the internal HDD. An appropriate service must be set up for this feature to work.
- eSATA port
- Power button with indicator
The indication system is good. The indicators do not form an incomprehensible solid line as in many other devices. Two out of the six indicators are located near the buttons they refer to. The indicators differ in color and size (but all of them are sufficiently large). And finally, they are bright enough to be visible even at daylight but not as bright as to blind you. All of this makes working with the DS209+ a pleasure.
The back panel carries the following (from top to bottom):
- 70x70mm fan
- Two USB 2.0 ports
- Gigabit Ethernet port
- Reset button
- Power connector
Besides that, the back panel offers a cable holder for the power adapter and a Kensington security slot.
You have to dismantle the DS209+ in order to install hard disks into it. It is easy: you only have to unfasten two screws at the back panel and shift one of the side panels. You can see a steel partition here that covers almost the entire PCB. It is on this partition that the fasteners for the internal HDDs are to be found. The DS209+ can accommodate almost any 3.5” HDDs with SATA or SATA-II interface and a capacity up to 1.5 terabytes inclusive. The HDDs are secured on the steel partition with four screws and connected to the PCB with two short cables. The screws and cables are included with the NAS.
The quality of the case is very high, by the way. All of its details are fitted together perfectly without gaps or anything.