We would like to thank Synology for supplying the review sample.
Synology vitalized their SMB (Small and Medium Business) product category with the addition of the DiskStation DS213+ NAS. It only takes two disks, which may look like very little for SMB environments, but offers a high-performance through its dual-core processor with a floating-point unit and has enough I/O ports, including two USB 3.0 ports and a single eSATA port, to allow for external HDDs to be attached, which easily expands its storage capacity.
Synology speaks of an average speed of 84 MB/s under RAID 1 configuration and claims up to 110 MB/s reading speed. These transfer speeds sound quite high for RAID 1, but we will find out whether they approximate reality through our tests. Synology also claims that the DS213+ only consumes 2.64 W in system hibernation, 10 W in HDD hibernation, and 22.2 W during normal operations. These numbers are indeed very low and clearly show why most users prefer a NAS over a regular PC running a freeNAS operating system.
Let's take a quick look at its most interesting features before we begin our evaluation of the DS213+. It is, for starters, equipped with 512MB of DDR3 RAM and can accommodate two 3.5" or 2.5" SATA II HDDs. It is also equipped with two USB 3.0, one USB 2.0, one eSATA, and one SD card port. Its dimensions are compact, and its fan with a 92 mm diameter only emits, according to Synology, a noise level of 19.9 dBA. This is apparently the minimum noise-level of the NAS. It would be interesting to have some information on its normal noise output, and we will provide such information as part of this review. You can also install the DSM operating system directly through the Internet via the Web Assistant software, which is convenient because it ensures that you have the latest DSM version installed.