The Synology is a Nas enclosure and therefore ypu will need to buy two Sata hard disks giving it a maximum capacity of 6TB (with 3TB hard disks).
It can use 3.5in or 2.5in hard disks, but an optional adapter costing about £8 is needed for the latter.
It has a white plastic case that splits in half lengthwise to allow disk installation.
This is a simple procedure, with four screws supplied for each disk. There are ventilation grilles at each side and a large but quiet fan at the rear.
The device will switch to a low-power state after a set period of inactivity, waking up when a PC tries to access it.
In addition to the Gigabith Ethernet network port at the rear, there are two USB2 ports for sharing printers or adding external storage for backing up the Nas.
Once the hardware is ready, running the Synology Assistant software guides users through installing the system software and configuring the hard disks.
It automatically detects the installed disks and sets them up
Manual setup is also possible, for example to configure the hard disks as a Raid array, which needs two disks to work. It’s a complex feature to set up but Synology’s Hybrid Raid feature makes it easier to configure.
All new Synology devices use the same management software, which is easy to use for setting up basic features such as enabling the iTunes server.
Using more advanced features, such as remote web access or the email and blog servers, does require a little more technical knowledge, but there’s plenty of help available in the online manual. A range of free add-ons is also available for download.
Software is included for backing up connected PCs, and free apps are available that allow remote configuration, music, video and photo streaming to Apple and Android smartphones and tablets.
It offers more features than most users will need but this makes it a very versatile product.