Thanks to Synology, I am glad to test out the Synology DiskStation DS620Slim, a 6-bay NAS (Network Attached Storage). In my review, I will share with you the intro, setup and usage of this NAS.
This review is quite lengthy. I have made a menu for your easy navigation.
With the advancement in technology and better resolution on cameras, file size is becoming a big storage issue as you will be running out of storage fast.
There are many ways to resolve the issue. You can upgrade your hard disk (or SSD) on your computer to a bigger one, invest in cloud storage, get bigger external hard drives or get a NAS.
Depending on your lifestyle, one of the solutions might fit you. However, if you are thinking of a long term solution, there isn’t a lot. For example, external hard drives might seem to be a good solution as they are affordable and come in different configurations.
If you think deeper, they are going to pile up and you will need a system to manage the content inside them. Unless you always have them by your side, you will not be able to access your files when needed.
Cloud storage is getting cheaper and you can usually access them anywhere with an Internet connection. However, good cloud storage could mean that you will need to pay a monthly or yearly fee to maintain your content in their servers.
Price comparison of Synology NAS and public cloud
With the above limitations, NAS might be THE solution to fit in. It resides in your place with no maintenance fees and customizable to your needs. And the content can be retrieved anywhere in the world with an Internet Connection.
The brand, Synology, has been around for many years. In the past, when I heard about NAS, I imagine them as bulky and ugly. The latest Synology NAS that I am reviewing (Synology DS620Slim) is a very small 6-bay unit that can easily blend into the house.
It helps to centralize the storage place for you and even your family members. It can be accessed remotely via computer or mobile devices. You can create links to share digital files, photos or videos. There are so many other things that Synology NAS can do. I will talk about them later.
What is important is that the Synology NAS solution requires only a one-time investment in the hardware.
My review unit comes with two SSDs. I set it up using the simplest method for the purpose of storing my files.
There are many ways to use the NAS. I will not go into details on how the NAS can become a media hub where you can stream content via their Video Station software, or even download files from the Internet.
This review is for basic users who need the NAS for basic storage.
For the setup, I have made a video on the unboxing, how to install the SSD into the Bays and connect the physical unit to the home network.
As you can see, it is quite easy to install the SSDs into the Bays.
If you need the full specifications of the DS620Slim, click HERE.
Here is the two slots that I used to install the SSDs.
You can use a key (provided) to lock it in case someone accidentally take it out.
Talking about storage, it is important to have the right SSD for your NAS. They are like the “heart” of the device. Synology has a recommendation page for you to choose your drives.
In my opinion, this is one of the pain-point for having a personal NAS. It is a heavy investment to safe-guard your content safely with you.
You can check out some of these drives on Shopee.
Do remember that for NAS, you will need at least two drives with same capacity.
Software Setup and Usage
This, in my opinion, is the tedious part. However, it is good that you can follow the instructions and set up the NAS. I am a noob on NAS. I simply follow the recommended settings when prompt. You can check out the details in the video here.
When you setup properly, you will be greeted with this very clean interface.
And if you click on the Package Center, you can choose from the many free software to install them into the NAS. They are segregated into Synology official software and 3rd Party software. All of them are free to use.
As you can see, there are software catered for different needs. If you want to use your NAS to view photos and etc, it will be good to install the “Moments” app. If you are into streaming video content, you can consider “Video Station” app.
For myself, I am using it primarily as a storage. To use it seamlessly to become part of my drive in my PC, I actually map it. In the video during the last part, I shared how you can map a network drive to access the NAS easily. Go check it out if you have not.
There are also free mobile apps on Google Playstore or Apple AppStore that you can download to access your NAS. These apps are really convenient.
I am using one app, Synology Drive, to access my content on the NAS. Very simple to use.
Pros and Cons
- Simple to use
- Security and privacy is not an issue as it resides in your house
- No monthly/yearly fee for cloud storage
- Centralize storage for the whole family
- Free software included for your different needs
- Expandable and flexible configurations
- Expensive one-time investment on hardware
- Hardware has always to be “on” and hence watch out for electricity bill
- No technical support if you run into trouble
Overall, the Synology DS620Slim NAS is easy to use. Setting up for the first time might be a little nerve-wrecking for those who are not used to setting up stuff. However, if you can follow instruction, just follow it and everything will be fine.
The initial investment on the hardware like the device itself and the hard drives are going to put people off. However, you are free from monthly/yearly fees which is often not under your control if they increase the price.
If you have large files and uses a lot of storage for them, I would recommend the Synology NAS as a good solution. If you have family members who need storage, this NAS solution is perfect.
As there are many ways you can configure the Synology DS620Slim NAS, this post will not be able to cover every one of them. If you have questions, let me know.