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Installation and Setup

Although this network storage and server solution is priced at about $300 on its own, it actually doesn’t come with any storage of its own. It’s up to you to supply it with a couple of 3.5-inch hard drives. For the purposes of this review, I used a pair of 250GB Seagate Barracudas with the SATA interface.

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The installation of the spinning platters is very straight-forward. One of the plastic panels slides right off of the Synology DS-207+ NAS, revealing a pair of hard drive bays. From there, all I had to do was slide in the two drives, screw them in place, and connect the appropriate data and power cables. The panel is then put back in place, secured by a pair of screws.

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After this, I had to install the suite of software provided on the CD. The initial server software needs to be installed on the NAS hard drives themselves and this is done through your network-connected computer. This takes a few minutes, after which you will want to install some software on your computer. These allow you to access the server, stream music, and send BitTorrent downloads to the NAS.

Core Functions and Usability

At its core, the most important function that the Synology Disk Station DS207+ serves is as a data backup solution. There are several ways that you can go about doing this, but most are accessed through the main Synology Assistant program. From there, you can launch into the Disk Station management interface shown below. This is done through a web browser.

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The File Station function allows you to access all the file stored on your NAS through a web browser. Simply point Firefox or Internet Explorer to http://servername:5000. The limitation here is that you can only upload one file at a time. I prefer using “My Network Places” in Windows XP for this purpose.

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Along with this external hard drive-like functionality, the Synology DS207+ also boasts several total backup solutions. There is Secure Network Backup, Local Backup (USB device connected directly to the server), and Desktop Backup (Synology Data Replicator II).

Other features that you may enjoy include using the DS207+ as an Audio Station, UPnP Multimedia Server, Photo Station, and a Web Server with PHP and MySQL support.  The media server functions of this device support almost everything you can dream of including…

  • Audio Format: aac, ac3, FLAC, LPCM, m4a, mp1, mp2, mp3, mpa, ogg, raw, wav, wma
  • Video Format: asf, DivX, avi, dat, mov, MPEG1, MPEG2, MPEG4, vob, wmv
  • Image Format: bmp, gif, icon, jpg(jpeg, jpe), png, psd, tif(tiff), ufo
  • Playlist Format: WPL, M3U    

Because of it’s server functions, you can host your own website if you’d like. One of the coolest applications is the Synology Download Redirector. Using this, you can direct BitTorrent, FTP, and HTTP downloads to the server rather than to your computer. I had some trouble with secure FTP connections, however, because I couldn’t find where I could input my FTP credentials.

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