Testing the Software
For the purpose of this review I will be utilising the software that comes with the DS411J to test its functions, features and ability to perform certain tasks. This will take the place of our usual test suit as beyond a file transfer speed test, there isn’t a lot you can test a NAS on.
The first step in setting up your new DS411J is formatting the drive you’ve put in. For the purpose of this test I used an old SATA II 80GB WD Caviar SE.
Once you’re all formatted and the Synology software is intalled (on both your PC and NAS) you get access to the Diskstation manager screen. From here the Wizard greets you fondly and talks you through the basics.
The first step to using the system is setting up a Volume. You can do that simply, but it does take a bit of time.
From there you can create different partitions that allows you to segment your storage.
Once setup, you can utilise the file browser to add files to the NAS. From here you can perform the standard file functions or most OS’.
While folders are created instantaneously, some individual files will of course take a while to transfer. To keep track of these, the Disk Station gives you a transfer bar and upload percentage in the top right corner; though the window can be moved if you so wish.
All functions in the DS411J require enabling before they can be used. As part of the wizard’s “Discover more applications” section, you’re given several different options to try out. One of these is the media server which is activated, like all other applications, with a tick box. From here you can also adjust DMA and browsing settings.
With media files transferred to the internal HDD, you can then view them as part of the Audio station. It’s not a bad little media player and songs are categorised quite well with the ability to searh, as well as select them from folder, album, artist and genre lists. There are also plenty of playlist options.
There’s also a plethora of internet radio that you can access from here. Alex Jones… oof.
Another handy feature of the media station is that you can access it from other PCs straight from your network menu. It appears as part of Media Devices in Winows 7, allowing you to play tracks that are found there without navigating to the NAS itself.