We would like to thank Synology for supplying the review sample.
Contrary to popular belief, NAS boxes don't have to be expensive to be fully featured and functional, especially since most models run the same operating system as their high-end siblings. The Synology DS214se we will evaluate in this review is a solid example of this. It can only take up to two disks that aren’t installed on easily removable trays or caddies and its hardware is average to keep the price as low as possible, but it runs Synology's new DSM 5.0 operating system with even more features than Synology's already richly featured DSM 4.0. Synology put a long road behind itself to create an OS with so many features and such usability, and we are very curious to see how well a mainstream NAS will exploit its capabilities.
Synology tried hard to keep cost to a minimum while offering a product that will cover all the needs of a regular home user. The first feature to go were hot-swappable hard drives, which is sound since most home users won't make use of it. Nor did Synology use a strong CPU by using a low-clocked, single-core CPU, which, however, will also result in a very small footprint, a crucial feature to home environments. Synology says the DS214se to average over 58 MB/s write and 102 MB/s read in RAID 1. Write speed definitely looks low, but given the weak CPU, though it includes a floating-point unit for enhanced performance, such performance doesn't come as a surprise. Read speed, however, is normal for a single Ethernet NAS. The fact that the DS214se is a fully certified DLNA media server will probably also be of great interest to most since it can stream music, photos, and videos to DLNA-compliant devices easily and reliably.