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Cloud computing has become a pervasive technology not only within businesses but for consumers as well, who utilise cloud-based services such as Microsoft OneDrive, Office 365, iCloud, and Netflix. This has evolved user behaviour and application usage patterns, as people have become used to accessing their services, data and apps from any device, any platform, any time, anywhere.

Synology is capitalising on this trend with the DiskStation DS118 NAS (network-attached storage), which allows consumers to create their own personal entertainment cloud with content accesssible from anywhere, or small businesses to backup their data while empowering their staff to access business info securely from the field.

The setup process

Despite NAS devices being notoriously difficult for annyone outside of the IT field to setup, the DS118 setup was actually quite easy and hassle-free. You simply slide the side panel off (no screwdrivers required here), which provides you with access to the internals and enables you to install your hard-drive (3.5″ and 2.5″ SATA HDD; 2.5″ SATA SSD). You can either purchase a NAS specific hard drive (ideally) or repurpose your old portable HDD or like we did, reuse an old laptop HDD.

The Maximum Internal Raw Capacity for the drive is 12 TB (terabyte – 1 TB is around 1000 GB), which is more than enough for home- or small office use. There are metal guides inside the NAS unit that enable you to slide the drive into place and connect it to the port (again, no screwdriver required).

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Next, you plug in its power cable and connect the NAS to your router by way of plugging in the LAN cable into your notebook or desktop PC. Once you turn it on and go to the Synology website via the browser on your PC, you will be run through the setup process, which includes formatting the drive, downloading and installing the DSM (Operating system) file and having an IP address assigned to your DS118.

Then, you can setup an administrator account from which to login to- and manage the device, and can use the control panel to change DNS settings to be the same as your current network. This all sounds very complicated and involved, but in reality is simple enough for a novice PC user to do and Synology has excellent walkthrough videos online that will assist you greatly.

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Illustrating the account setup screen with fake details 🙂

Performance

Following the setup, you can backup your corporate data or set the device up as a media server using Synology’s Video Station, Audio Station, and Photo Station apps. It boasts a new 64-bit quad-core processor (Realtek RTD1296) and 1GB DDR4 RAM, enabling it to provide good data transfer speed and 10-bit 4K H.265 video transcoding on the fly.

Advanced search and filtering tools allow for easy organisation and sharing of files with just a link. The DS118 supports SMB, FTP, AFP, NFS, WebDAV, making it compatible with any environment. In terms of connectivity, there are two USB 3.0 ports, enabling you to connect additional hard-drives or USB flash drives to ingest new files, or backup the contents of the NAS.

Synology provides a plethora of apps that allow you to use the device according to your business or personal needs including ones for data backup and security (encryption). So whether you are a small business looking to store security camera footage, do data backups and empower your mobile workforce to access data from anywhere, anytime, the DS118 has got you covered. The same also holds true for home users who need a NAS to stream movies and series to their smart TV, iPad or laptop, while enabling family to access photos and home movies from anywhere.

The Synology DiskStation DS118 1 Bay goes for between R3000 and R3400 on online stores such as Take-a-lot.