With the advent of new technology for media (photography and videography), file sizes are continuously getting larger. Of course, expandable storage is readily available, but for professional users, the notion of having to switch out and move around storage regularly may frustrate some.
Enter Network Attached Storage (NAS). NAS devices are essentially storage devices that are connected to a network. This allows a person to access the drive from any device (Mac or PC), from any location, allowing for ease of use.
Synology is one of the companies who manufactures such NAS devices, and the Synology DiskStation DS1019+ is the latest in their NAS line-up. Catered specifically to people occupying small offices and IT enthusiasts, the DS1019+ aims to be the all-in-one storage solution .
The DS1019+ retains the same CPU (Intel Celeron J3455) as the previous iterations but has made improvements to the RAM and storage capacity, now sporting 8GB DDR3L and 5 drive bay storage (can be expanded up to 10 with DX517 expansion unit)
What is most significant, however, is the inclusion of dedicated slots for M.2 NVMe SSD at the bottom of the unit. Previously, to include these SSDs into a Synology NAS unit, one would have to purchase an expansion slot which would take up an internal drive bay. Now that space is freed up.
As with other NAS devices from Synology, setup is simple and fast. Once you have the unit set up, you can access your storage through the desktop app, mobile app or from a browser.
Through its proprietary software, the Synology Diskstation Manager (DSM), one can build a private cloud drive or utilise existing public cloud storage all in a single location. Also, the DS1019+ can back up PC and Mac folders/systems, portable drives as well as photos/videos from your phone. All this is possible with the intuitive and extensive suite of features within the DSM application.
Being that it is connected to your Wi-Fi network, the DS1019+ can also act as a media server for the household or office. By downloading the respective apps for video (Video Station on desktop, DS video on mobile), audio (Audio Station on desktop, DS audio on mobile) and photos (Moments on both desktop and mobile) from package centre, users can play their media on any device on the same network.
Video Station, in particular, functions a lot like Plex. You can categorise your video files into multiple folders, and if you’ve got a rip of a movie or TV video file, Video Station automatically pulls up posters and descriptions matching it. From there you can watch the video on the Manager application itself or other devices (mobile phones, Samsung TV, Chromecast etc) via its transcoding software, with up to 4K quality available.
One advantage that Video Station has on Plex is that its transcoding runs better on its software, allowing for reduced load times. So you can run Plex on here too, but it’ll likely load longer, especially on big, high-quality video files. Having said that, Plex has all your media in a single location. If you are using Synology’s dedicated software and want to switch to listening to music, you’d have to back out of the app and open a separate app for it.
Those with home surveillance installed can also take advantage of another feature on Router Manager. By installing Surveillance Station from the package centre (DS cam on App or Play store), you can watch live feeds or recordings on your computer or mobile device. You can also customise alerts and notifications on various trigger options, like if your camera detects motion.
All in all, the Synology DiskStation DS1019+, along with its steep price, still has some niggling aspects that keep it from being the all-encompassing storage and media solution to your home or workplace, but the features it has right now certainly make it a noteworthy option among devices of its kind.
Visuals Courtesy of Soloman Soh from the DANAMIC Team.