Network Attached Storage - Synology DS215j

Every day the world creates 2.5 quintillion bytes of data, according to a vcloudnews info graphic.
That's enough data to fill 10 million high definition Blu-ray disks which, when stacked would measure the height of the Eiffel Tower in Paris four times over.

Much of that data is stored on computer servers, such as the Synology DS15j network attached storage device.
Such devices are ideal for home and small businesses users who want to maintain control of their data while making it available to others on the home or business network, or remotely over the internet.


This neat little box of tricks contains two hard disk drives which constantly copy data from one another so that when one drive fails, as is inevitable through wear, the other will retain the data. 

The DS215j comes without drives, and only works with an identical pair which are sold separately. It's compatible with either 3.5 inch drives, or 2.5 inch with adapters, which slot into place side by side.

Once secured in place by screws, supplied, the DS215j requires a power connection and a cable connection to a router.
Once power on setup is required via a web browser via or  http://diskstation:5000. Prompts install the latest Diskstation operating system on the DS215j are followed by prompts to set up a user name and password that give you access to the network attached storage device from the personal computer you are setting it up alongside. Setup takes about 40 minutes and includes an option to set up a link which you can email out to others for quick access.

Once setup is finished the DiskStation operating system is accessible through the web browser. 
It looks something like a Windows or Mac desktop with shortcuts to applications.
There's Package Centre, Control Panel, File Station and DSM Help ready to help you on your way.

Just like every other operating system out there, you can download applications to get the functionality out of it that you want. You do this via Package Centre which offers free apps you can download to configure your DS215j the way you want. Pre-installed apps include Audio Station, Cloud Station, Download Station, Media Server, Photo Station and Video Station.

Control Panel gives you access to setting related to apps, connectivity, file sharing and the system health.
File Sharing takes you to the individual folders on the DS215j. Default folders are Music, Photo and Video.
DSM Help gives you access to the contents page of the manual foe Disk Station Manager as well as links to online resources made available by Synology.

On first launch DiskStation gives you a short tour of the features which will be second nature to anyone with more than a passing familiarity with the Windows or Mac operating systems. Just like other operating systems the developer is releasing updates all the time fixing bugs, adding extra security and adding new functionality. When this is the case a small number appears over the Control Panel icon revealing there's a message. Clicking on it takes you through the update process. It's advised not to update when you need access to data on the network attached storage, as the update process puts it out of action for around about 10 minutes.

You can also access the DS215j from the Windows Explorer folder. It's file system is accessible under Network>Other Devices.