The DS411 offers two USB 2.0 and one eSATA port for peripheral devices. You can add more USB ports by means of a hub. The eSATA connector is not compatible with Synology’s exclusive multi-disk expansion modules. The USB interface can be used for external disks, printers, UPSes and Wi-Fi controllers. The NAS can access multiple partitions of an external disk formatted in FAT32, NTFS, ext3 or ext4. You can also format external disk partitions as FAT32, ext3 or ext4 from the NAS's web interface. By default, the external disk are visible in the network environment as a shared folder named like usbshare* or satashare* (where * stands for the disk and partition numbers separated with a dash) with full access rights for all users. You can edit the access rights and name of a shared resource and the NAS will remember such changes and restore them as you reconnect the same disk. A safe disconnect option is available in the NAS’s web interface.
Besides a simple unidirectional link to a printer, the latest versions of Synology’s firmware are compatible with all-in-ones, including their scanning feature. This only works in Windows, though, whereas network printing is available with every modern OS. Recently Synology has also begun to support AirPrint and Google Cloud Print.
The NAS can be powered via an UPS. The official compatibility list includes a lot of products from APC and some models from CyberPower. The NAS can react to a power failure in two ways: wait for the battery charge to drop below certain level or shut down immediately. When the power supply is restored, the NAS can automatically turn back on. You can also connect multiple NASes to a single UPS and use one of them for power management.
As for wireless adapters, the compatibility list includes 802.11n models. Besides the mentioned types of peripherals, you can plug in an external audio card to the NAS’s USB port for the Audio Station service to use.
The NAS’s web interface is available in Android and iOS optimized versions which help you access files in shared folders and do some setting-up. It is easier, however, to install special client software which is freely available in the respective markets. The software bundle includes the following utilities: DS finder, DS file, DS audio, DS photo+ and DS cam. Each utility can access the NAS both from the LAN and from the internet. You’ll need the external address and port translation in the latter case. Several profiles for different NASes can be created in each utility. HTTPS can be used, but even if you use HTTP, DSM 4.0 encrypts your username and password for higher security on public networks.
DS finder helps you check out the status of your NAS and learn such information as model name, serial number, uptime, temperature. It also shows you the NAS’s network settings and HDD parameters. You can use DS finder to reset or shut down your NAS or enable a sound signal for identifying it (the Find Me option). When running on an iPhone/iPad, DS finder supports push notifications from the device’s OS.
DS file provides access to files stored on the NAS in a user-friendly interface. You can manage your files by downloading, deleting and moving them. Thanks to QuickConnect, you won’t have to set your router up for remote access.
DS audio is a client for the NAS’s Audio Station and allows listening to music.
DS photo+ provides access to Photo Station albums. With DSM 4.0, you can remove photographs and download images at their original size. It is expected to support Apple TV soon.
DS cam is a remote client for the video surveillance system which allows viewing live pictures and recordings from web-cameras connected to the NAS. It works via the internet.
The interfaces of DS file and DS photo+ have been adapted for Android 3.1+ tablets. An Amazon Kindle optimized version of the software bundle is expected in the future.