Yearly Archives: 2012

Synology DiskStation DS213+ Hardware Review


Synology's 2-bay NAS units have consistently performed well in our tests.?Today we are looking at the latest offering from the company, the DS213+, a high performance 2-bay NAS full-featured storage solution for small and medium businesses.


Our DS213+ unit arrived safely packaged in a fresh green and white box with a prominent Synology logo on it. Synology products are produced with RoHS compliant parts and packed with recyclable packing materials.

Bundled with the DS213+ chassis you will find the following included items:

  • AC adapter
  • Ethernet cable
  • Software Installation CD for PC and Mac
  • Synology Quick Start Guide
  • HDD mounting screws (used to screw the hard disk drives into the bays)

First Impressions

The DS213+ features a black glossy removable front-panel on a mat-black chassis. In vertical order the LED's and ports available on the front are:

  • Status LED
  • Disk 1 LED
  • Disk 2 LED
  • SD card port
  • USB 2.0 port
  • C copy button
  • Power button



The green C copy button allows the user to quickly backup data from a connected USB storage device or inserted SD card to the DiskStation.

Simply push the copy button on the front panel and all files will be copied to the specific shared folder on the DiskStation.






A quick look on the back of the unit shows a 90mm exhaust fan which does a good job of keeping the DiskStation cool while remaining quiet.

Two USB 3.0 ports, RJ45 Gigabit LAN port, Kensington lock, eSATA port, and the AC connector and a label with the mac address and serial number.



Technical Specifications

CPU Dual Core 1.067 GHz
Memory DDR3 512 MB
Internal HDD/SSD 3.5″ or 2.5″ SATA(II) X2 (Hard drive not included)
Max Internal Capacity 8TB (2X 4TB HDD) (Capacity may vary by RAID types) (See All Supported HDD)
External HDD Interface USB 3.0 Port X 2, USB 2.0 Port X 1, SD Card Port X 1, eSATA Port X 1
Size (HxWxD) 165 X 108 X 233.2 mm
Weight 1.25Kg
LAN Gigabit X1
Noise Level 19.9 dB(A)
Warranty 2 Years

The Synology DiskStation DS213+ is a convenient light-weight yet powerful NAS server for business or home use. Powered by a low energy, dual-core CPU, explicitly a Freescale P1002 (PowerPC based), which integrates a security engine that supports all popular encryption algorithms.

For those that like details, we thought it would be fitting to mention, the power adaptor for this unit is made by EDACPOWER with a model # EA10721A-120 (12V 6A DC) and an input voltage rating of 100-240V. Lastly, the unit comes with a standard two-years warranty, and a somewhat hefty price tag.


Synology DS213+ HDD Installation

The storage capacity theoretically can reach 8 TB even though RAID levels are restricted by the two hot-swap HDDs.



Last year we've reviewed the?Synology DS212 Network Storage Appliance?with similar results. The Synology DS213+ is easy to setup right out of the box, no complicated installations, no hassle software. Because of its dual core processor this unit runs the entire system resourcefully and swiftly. Even though it's on the costly side, it does have its own bonuses, i.e. it's hibernation function, low energy consumption, updated (Version 4.1) DiskStation Manager operating system. The two hard disk storage bays in the DS213+ should be more than enough for most users but the lack of additional disk space could be a factor in business environments where RAID 5 or RAID 6 (which requires more than two disks) are often preferred for high data redundancy.

HP Media Vault Gen. 2 and HP MediaSmart Server: Help, I Need a Caddy!

Background The HP Media Vault Gen2 and Mediasmart Server were originally released by HP back in 2007. Since then HP upgraded them with different hardware and software, put in larger drives, different firmware but one thing remained the same, the hard drive caddy. This proprietary little piece of plastic has been the scourge of many trying to repair a stripped unit, or one just picked up from an auction that is missing the caddies. The caddy (HP part no. 5070-3836) for the most part is not built very well and is easily broken. This key part it is nearly impossible to find new or used. You can find them on eBay from time to time but usually sell for ridiculous money and don't come up on auction very often. Forget trying to get one from HP, that's a dead end as well. . If you are lucky enough to find one on the internet they are usually already broken or just the wrong part. I just had a friend that ordered one from Europe, after a few weeks it arrived and was the wrong caddy. (Always check the pictures if you do find one) The 5070-3836 caddy was used in...

Neato meet Benji, Benji meet XV-21!!!

Dyson has done it, DirtDevil too; now Neato Robotics' introduces XV-22... just kidding its XV- 21 but that didn't rhyme. 

We are talking about a robotic vacuum geared for households with resident pets and excessive allergens. The new robot is shaped familiarly like its original cousin (see our review of the Neato XV-11) yet features a new filter for 3x improved airflow and suction and new bristled brush that works specifically to pick up pet hair.

Set for an April 2012 release with a reported price tag of $429. The great news is that is you already have Neato you can get  away with simply an upgrade to the latest firmware via USB and a $60 Pet and Allergy kit.


Grid Junction 2.0 for WHS 2011 and SBS Essentials 2011 Discontinued

A big thank you to all our supporters and beta testers, unfortunately the project did not gain enough traction to warrant further development.

After careful consideration we have made the decision to suspend development of Grid Junction 2.0 for the foreseeable future. We have decided not to release the source code or any unfinished versions of Grid Junction 2.0. If you currently have Grid Junction 2.0 beta installed, please uninstall it at your earliest convenience.