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Synology DS212j, DS212, and RS212: Three 2-bay NAS devices

Synology is one of the most innovative NAS manufacturers in the world. Moreover, its firmware is not so much firmware as it is a fully fledged operating system, which is especially true for the latest version (DSM 4.0). We're taking a look at three Synology NAS devices - the DS212j, the DS212, and the RS212.

The names chosen by Synology are pretty logical. The first two models mentioned above are intended for desktop use and are called DiskStation. The RackStation is a model that will fit into a 19in rack, therefore it is more aimed at the business segment. The first digit of the three-digit number refers to the number of disks supported, so all three models in this review have room for two drives.

The last two digits represent the model year, in this case 2012. The letter after the model year indicates the positioning of the product, where "j" is the slowest and the "+" the fastest model. The firmware is the same for all models. The differences between the models can be found in the case, particularly in the built-in hardware, processor and amount of memory.

DSM 4.0 is the newest version of the Synology firmware. To create a complete review of this firmware would amount to writing a book - it is that comprehensive. What is especially nice is that Synology's firmware is backwards compatible with earlier models. The latest version works on machines starting with the 8 series, which means that DMS 4.0 runs on four-year-old models.

While Synology offers a wide array of features, there is a flipside. All these features mean that the NAS has to do more than just share files. Since you can use more functions at the same time and a operate heavy load, buying a higher-end model becomes an important factor. You can read the rest of Synology DS212j, DS212, and RS212 previewed on