Synology DS416play NAS | Unsponsored Review
Welcome to our review of the Synology DS416play NAS drive. In this review we give you a complete overview and comparison of the drive against its older brother the Synology DS1815+
What is a NAS?
NAS stands for network attached storage, what that means is that you can access your hard drives over the network (via wifi, cable, or over the internet), allowing you to share personal files a lot faster than if you had an external hard drive, and a lot safer than over the internet.
We personally loved the look of its older brother the DS1815+, however the DS416play is a lot smaller, lighter, and has more than enough ports for our home use case. 2 fully working USB ports (the back two), and 1 USB port which worked with most drives (anything that wasn’t HFS formatted) and 2 LAN ports. The DS416play also features brightness controlled LED lights, which is a one up against the DS1815+ which is always on max brightness.
Both units are noisy, very noisy, almost as noisy as a kettle chugging away. It makes no sense, as using the same WD Red drives in a WD MyBook Duo enclosure makes 10% of the noise.
We fed the DS416play 10TB of data, and the NAS drive couldn’t handle it. It became unusably slow. Transfer speeds were at most 9MB/s, then the next second 500KB/s. Listing files and folders on Macs and Windows took tens of seconds. In the video clip we give an example of it taking 23 seconds! to list a folder containing only 17 files. Trying to play a 4k video clip would be choppy and take forever to load. Now while the DS1815+ does too suffer from performance problems, at least it can play a video clip, and with the aid of SSD caching and RAM upgrades you can improve the performance of listing files and folders. With the DS416play you’re stuck with an unusably slow drive.
The DS416play comes with the DiskStation operating system, which can be accessed via ssh using the command line, or via a web browser. The OS is great to use, very fast, comes with lots of apps, however they’re really not usable on this device. VideoStation takes forever to load a video and isn’t compatible with all the formats as Plex. Plex, while it could play videos at the lowest encoding setting, eventually it would always get overwhelmed by our media library and crash the system (yes a full reboot was required). PhotoStation is unusably slow. Virtualization apps like Docker and VirtualBox aren’t available on this unit due to the limited memory specs.
Don’t buy this model, it’ll cause you a month of sleepless nights trying to get it to work. Go for the DS1815+
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