Over the last two years, we've watched Synology simplify the DiskStation Manager software while at the same time add new features at an impressive rate. In the same time, NAS products have migrated from data storage devices to full servers capable of running native databases, cloud connected storage, and a whole slew of tasks that most of us wouldn't even attempt to configure on a Windows desktop due to complexity. This is really the brilliance of the DS414 and other NAS products; the simple software makes using advanced software very easy and without the same fuss associated with configuring the functions inside Windows.
In the end, users want simplicity over complication. With 5TB and 6TB HDDs on the market, most users have access to ample storage space without a NAS, but that doesn't mean we should write off NAS products. The DS414 provides data reliability from the redundant array system, data security from the user management system, and cloud connectivity from a convenient to configure step-by-step interface. That's really just the baseline of where to start. From there, users can configure DLNA media sharing, data backups from multiple devices, and even off-site data backups. All of these tasks are simple to configure and, at the same time, service more than one client PC or Mac.
Performance wise, the new Marvell dual-core Armada XP processors caught us off guard. This is the first Marvell based 4-bay NAS that I would strongly recommend as other Marvell based NAS products I've tested fell flat in our performance tests. The DS414 is a very powerful system, and at less than $500, the system is priced well for the performance and functions offered.
Overall, the Synology DS414 is a very nice system for home or small office use. The performance provides a low latency user experience, and the features allow users to configure the system for multiple roles in the home or office. The price is within reason and competitive with similar units on the market, and the two-year warranty is sufficient.
If there is anything to complain about, it has to be the piano black finish on the front cover. The surface is very smooth and looks great at first. The cover is a fingerprint magnet, and a paper towel will leave micro scratches. You need soft cotton or a microfiber cloth to clean the surface as it's delicate.
PRICING: You can find the Synology DS414 for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.
United States: The Synology DS414 retails for $479.49 at Amazon.
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