Android Police · April 22, 2017 0

Synology DiskStation DS416play review: Cloud who? Personal servers can be cool and feature-filled too

This is one of the most difficult reviews I’ve had to write to date. I’ve been using the Synology DS416play for several months, yet everytime I sat down to start writing, I felt overwhelmed by what I should and shouldn’t discuss and eventually found myself drifting to work on another simpler and more urgent news article. I love detailed reviews, I enjoy delving deep into every single feature a product offers and discussing its benefits and limitations, as evidenced by the lengthy reviews I’ve written on Android Police over the years. But if I wanted to do the same for this NAS, I knew I’d end up with 10K+ words at the very least without even scratching the surface of many options. A 300-page book wouldn’t cover everything I want to talk about with the DS416play, because it’s that feature-filled.So naturally, compromises had to be made. I eventually convinced myself that I’d have to selectively choose from the hundreds of screenshots and notes I’ve taken over the months and tackle the review from a specific point of view: the Android user. After all, we’re on Android Police and it makes sense to focus on what the average Android user would get out of having this personal NAS server. The other limitation is a personal one: it’s true that I know about nerdy things more than your average Joe, but I have nowhere near the detailed understanding and expertise of an advanced user. I came to this review with zero previous experience with personal servers and no background whatsoever in networks, NAS servers, and connectivity. I don’t know the jargon and I am not very interested in learning it unless it’s essential for a feature I’m actively setting up or using.With that preamble out in the open, what do I think of the DS416play? In one word: outstanding. If you’re thinking about buying a personal server and you’re not easily terrified by having to set a couple of things up and research a few acronyms, then the Synology experience should be very approachable to you. The performance is excellent and the options are mind boggling once you start digging deeper. There’s a lot here for more advanced users too, though I wouldn’t have the slightest idea if the specs satisfy the super-uber-mega demanding users. I’m sure some of our readers can easily point to a couple of specs and scoff saying they wouldn’t touch a server with at least quadruple that number and/or with 3 other missing options. But everyone else probably wouldn’t complain.