Articles: Networking

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As of the beginning of 2013 Synology offers three models of 4-disk network attached storage devices for different market segments. The DS413j is meant for home and SOHO users with its ARM platform, lack of hot-swapping, and only two USB 2.0 ports for peripherals. Next goes the DS413 for workgroups which runs on a dual-core PPC processor, permits to replace HDDs without shutting down, and offers eSATA and USB 3.0 interfaces. The senior model DS412+ is based on the Intel Atom platform and, having the same case as the previous model, offers two Ethernet ports with teaming capability. Besides these, we can also note the DS411 slim, designed for 2.5-inch drives and released a couple of years ago.

All of Synology products share the same DSM firmware, their firmware differences being only determined by their hardware peculiarities. Besides the ports mentioned above, these 4-disk NASes vary in processing performance, which affects such factors as the number of web cameras, VPN connections, backup jobs, cloud service users, etc, supported concurrently. You can go to the company’s official website and find the details in a handy comparative table there.

Package and Accessories

Every device is shipped in Synology’s traditional cardboard packaging painted white for the junior model and blue for the others. The box design is unified, so there is a sticker to identify the particular model and learn some other information about it (specifications, accessories, key features).

The accessories are almost identical in every case. Besides the NAS, the box contains an external power adapter with cord, one or two Ethernet cables, mounting screws for HDDs, a CD with software and documentation, and a quick installation guide. The power adapter has a connector appropriate for the particular region and there are a couple of spare screws in the box.

Interestingly, each model uses an external power adapter. On one hand, this helps reduce the noise and improve the thermal conditions inside the case, but on the other hand, it is less convenient in terms of placement and connection. Notwithstanding different CPUs, the power adapters are all rated for 12 volts and 100 watts. It is the HDDs that are the main power consumer in each NAS, and the power adapter is chosen with some reserve for allow for any fluctuations in the CPU’s power requirements.

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