The Synology DS224 is a NAS that can be widely used, including for business purposes. The DS124 is an ideal entry-level model for home use, for example.
We will start with the most comprehensive of the two new NASes that Synology presents: the DS224+ (shown at the top) This is a 2-bay device equipped with a quad-core Intel x64 Celeron J4125. By default, the DS 224+ comes with 2 GB of RAM, this is expandable to 6 GB through a memory module if desired. Practical is, that Virtual Machine Manager is also supported. This allows you to setup and run virtual machines, think of something like a print server or even Volumio. However, in that scenario we recommend you to expand the memory to the mentioned 6 GB to let these virtual systems run smoothly. As for audio, this NAS can effortlessly be used as a media server – obviously supporting DLNA.
With appropriate tools downloadable from the Synology website, the NAS can be perfectly used as a backup target. Shared folders and authorized users are also easily arranged. Backing up or synchronizing to various cloud storage services from the Synology DS224+ is also possible. Practical in this regard is that there are two disk slots. These can be configured as RAID for additional data protection. In such a way that both drives mirror each other. In case one fails, you replace it without losing a single bit of your data.
The DS224 can also be used as an advanced video surveillance system if you wish, according to the manufacturer: ‘With support for over 8,300 validated IP cameras and ONVIF devices, the Synology Surveillance Station video management system transforms the DS224 or DS124 into a powerful surveillance management and recording solution. Users can quickly set up and manage their cameras through an interface with plenty of configuration options, allowing for easy encryption, backup and archiving of recordings.’
The Synology DS124 is a perfect entry-level NAS. It is a 1-bay specimen, which means it fits one hard drive. This does mean you need to make sure you have a good backup system, because if that one drive fails catastrophically on a bad day you will lose your data. Fortunately, the NAS features a high-speed USB 3.2 Gen 1 port. You can connect an external USB drive or even SSD to it and have backups made to it at regular intervals. In fact, this is a must if you want to protect your data properly!
As for the rest, almost all software features of the DS124 are the same as those of all other NASes in Synology’s lineup. They all run on the same DSM (Disk Station Manager) operating system. So this NAS is also perfectly usable as an affordable media server, for example, or (and) as a base for a video surveillance system. What the DS124 does not support is the creation of virtual machines, but that is more something for pros and tinkerers anyway. As for hardware, the base is formed by a quadcore Realtek RTD1619B ARM processor, assisted by 1 GB of RAM
The Synology DS224 costs €299 ex VAT and the DS124 costs €149 ex VAT.