The server's Download Station allows the server to download files from the Internet by itself and is able to download files from Web sites that require authentication (such as RapidShare). It also supports eMule and BitTorrent file-sharing services. You can manage your download anytime from anywhere via the local network or the Internet. This is an excellent feature for those who want to download large files, as no other computer needs to be running other than the NAS sever itself during the downloads.
The DS710+ comes with Photo Station 3, which allows you to easily organize photos into albums. Once activated, a share folder called "photo" will be created. Photos stored in this share folder will be automatically placed into a well-organized, customizable album. You can then browse the album via a Web browser and in Google's Picasa Web Album and very easily add captions and comments to each photo/album.
Any local computers can access the DS710+'s storage via its share folder, just like the way you would browse for shared data between computers, but if you want to access the NAS server's storage via the Internet, you'll need to use its File Station. To do this, you'll need to know how to set up a dynamic domain name system (DDNS) connection or access the Internet via a static IP. This whole process requires some understanding about networking, such as the capability to forward certain ports to certain IP addresses. Once set up, the File Station allows for accessing data from the NAS server's share folder over the Internet. You can download a single file or a whole folder to the remote computer at a time and can also upload files to the NAS sever. Multiple users can use this feature at a time, and from different locations.
The DS710+ has built-in backup options that are focused on backing up its content onto an external storage device or a network location. For backing files on your computer to DS710+, Synology bundles it with its Data Replicator 3 desktop software.
The Data Replicator 3 is a simple straightforward backup application that allows you to quickly copy data, much like copying and pasting using Windows Explorer, from your computer to the DS710+. The software, however, does have a nice feature that helps you find and quickly back up e-mail archives, which generally are buried deep in layers of subfolders within a user's profile. In addition, it also allows for scheduling and keeping track of the backup process via e-mail notification.
We tested the DS710+ in both RAID 0 and RAID 1 configurations and were happy with how it performed.
In RAID 1, which is the setup that focuses on data protection at the expense of storage space, the NAS server scored 321.8Mbps for write speed and 322.7Mbps for read speed. These numbers are among the fastest of dual-bay NAS servers. For comparison, the QNAP TS 259Pro scored 268.1Mbps and 350.6Mbps for Write and Read test, respectively.
In RAID 0, the setup that gives you the most of storage space and performance at the expense of data protection, the DS710 scored noticeably higher at 409.7Mbps for the Write test, which is the fastest for now. Its Read speed, however, was slower at only 323.8Mbps, compared with the 361.5Mbps of the QNAP TS259 Pro.
Overall, the DS710+'s performance is among the highest of dual-bay NAS servers. It was interesting, however, to see that its read speed seemed to be the same or slower than its write speeds. In most NAS servers we've tested, this pattern tends to be reversed.
The NAS also performed quietly in our test and remained cool and quiet even during heavy loads.
(Via wired Gigabit Ethernet connection)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Service and support
As with other NAS servers it has released, Synology also backs the DS710+ with a two-year warranty from the date of purchase. Phone tech support is available Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST. At its Web site, you can find Synology's forum, download software, and the latest firmware, and get more information about its products from its Wiki page.