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Synology - DS-106 NAS Server Review

Former staff writer    -   December 28, 2006
Category: Storage / Hard Drives
Price: $300 USD


Introduction

Storage. Something that I always find myself short on and needing more of. Backups, that's the other word that I dread to hear, as when it comes time to backup that critical data, it can take hours or even days depending on the amount of data. Let alone the giant pile of CD/DVDs that you have to store, label, and then hunt through, if you ever need something. Synology has come to my rescue with the DS-106, an all-in-one home backup and SOHO (Small Office/Home Office) server solution. According to the spec sheet on this baby, it comes loaded with tons of features to make our lives easier. Synology may not be a very well known company, but they have a very strong lineup of backup solutions and various NAS’s. The DS-106 is one of the latest additions to this strong lineup. Today I will be taking a look at this unit and testing it to see if it's really worth its price, as well as whether or not it's actually useful for what it claims to do.

Closer Look

Upon getting the DS-106, I unpacked it and then gave it a quick once-over... something that I always do when I receive a new product to review. The outside of the box is adorned with a picture of the DS-106 and a brief list of specifications.

Upon opening the package, you can see that the unit is wrapped in plastic and suspended via cardboard end pieces. There is also a separate box which contains the power cord, Cat5 cable, and driver disc/instruction manual.


Taking the unit out of the box and examining it, I immediately noticed that there are vents all over the unit. The vents were on the top of the unit, as well as on the sides. These vents are not the only means of cooling though, as there is also a small, thermally-controlled fan mounted in the back of the unit.


The RJ-45 port, the power port, as well as a reset switch are all mounted on the back of the unit. For those of you that also have external HDD’s, there is an ESata port, and a USB 2.0 port on the back as well.


The front of the unit contains the various indicator lights, as well as the power on/off button. From top to bottom are the power, status, HDD and LAN lights. In addition to the various lights, the front panel is also adorned with a copy button & USB 2.0 port.

When you receive the DS-106 there is no HDD installed. Installing a hard drive is not that hard. Simply remove the two screws in the left side panel on the back, and slide it back. Then you lift the panel and remove it by unplugging the connector from the main board on the unit. There is a small riser board that has the interface for a HDD to plug into, and on the other end there is a bracket that locks the HDD into place.





  1. Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Closer Look Continued
  3. Installation and Specifications
  4. Testing
  5. Conclusion
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