Pros: Pretty fast, good interface, good software
Cons: None so far...!
It arrived and I immediately 'deboxed' it and it was well packaged and protected. It came with the usual 'brick' style power adaptor and kettle lead, the unit, some screws for the hard drive and the enclosure to ensure it shuts tight, a network cable, a quick install guide and of course the software disk. The unit has 3 indicator LED's, one for LAN, one for drive activity and one for status, plus the power on LED. It has a single Gigabit LAN port and two USB2 ports on the back and the fan vent and also the micro reset switch. It also has a USB2 port on the front, power switch and a backup button - this is used to back a USB drive up to the NAS server, not the other way.
I had downloaded all the latest of the Synology site as the older firmware has issues with MAC OSX 'Lion'. I slid the case apart (very easy) and installed the drive (very easy) and put the two screws in to hold the case together. Next I installed the software on Ubuntu to access the drive. It was a bit fiddly esp if you don't know linux well. This is not necessary as the drive can be accessed through a web portal, but they don't indicate that in the quick install guide, but it can make life easier to initialise the drive. Finally I connected the drive up to my router, via a Gigabit switch Homeplug network. I switched the drive on and it picked it up immediately and allowed me to initialise it (format in laymen's terms) which it does to EXT3. EXT4 is still classed as 'unstable' by some and has caused issues with data loss in the past, NTFS has the usual Microsoft issues and FAT/FAT32 is no good on a large drive as large files are not supported. It then immediately looked for a firmware update, which I duly did to put it on the latest. I then found its IP address and set it a static IP from the router. This makes it easy to access through the web portal as it doesn't change and you can then remember the number. Finally I logged into the drive.
It is just like working off a desktop. It allowed me in as administrator and made me set up a password. From there I set up the User folders and privileges.
Next thing is putting data on it. I transferred 200GBs of music over to it via an IDE based USB2.0 drive, through the PC. I got a transfer rate of around 4MBs and it duly took around 8 hours to transfer all the data across. I have also converted films to MPEG4 and uploaded them. The drive was sorting itself out and has done what self maintenance it needed to do so the upload speed has gone to around 27MBs, so 1GB takes about 8 minutes or there about.
Now the good thing is, if you have an Iphone or IPad, you can download the Synology apps and access the drive that way. This enables streaming of music/photos and films to the phone (hence MPEG4) and this is really fast, even with 3 people streaming data from it at the same time.
So overall a fabulous piece of storage kit. It may not be the easiest to configure, but with patience and reading the manual, you can work it out. It is well supported and doesn't have a useless 'Windows' only interface. The data transfer is good (I am used to 4MBs on my Linksys 'Slug') and the download streaming is really good. If you back your data up like me, you don't need the added expense of RAID as it can take just as long to mirror a drive failure as stick data back on it from scratch. The firmware is very good too and it is so simple to set file permissions and add users, basically administer it. The fan is quiet and cools the drive well. And finally, I have still yet to explore other things on it. If you need a simple NAS box, this is it.