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Synology DS212j vs. DS213j

Operating from their headquarters in Bellevue, Washington, the Synology America Corporation has been designing NAS devices for consumers and small businesses since 2000. Having perfected their trade through years of research and development, Synology is now able to offer dedicated NAS devices that are user-friendly, customizable and, most importantly, affordable. While the incredibly user-friendly DS212j has maintained popularity for a few years now, the newly released DS213j is gaining momentum within a highly competitive market.

DS212j

Synology's DS212j has been around for quite a while now, but it still stands as one of the most effective and user-friendly NAS devices ever released. Because it is so outdated, the device relies solely on the USB 2.0 framework. This will undoubtedly be a point of concern for many users, especially when nearly all of today's NAS devices offer USB 3.0. Another setback with the DS212j is the lack of any eSATA architecture, instead opting to only provide support for SATA II drives.

The Synology DS212j features a processor speed of 1.2 GHz and 256 MB of RAM, which is enough to provide quick and easy access to files such as documents, pictures, music and movies. Synology's Hybrid RAID system offers your choice of RAID 0 or RAID 1, ensuring the safekeeping of your files, and the device itself boasts numerous self-diagnosis algorithms for troubleshooting purposes.

Despite its obvious age, the DS212J does perform well for a legacy piece of equipment. The hardware supports Windows 2000 and onward, Mac OS X 10.3 and onward, and Ubuntu 9.04 and onward -- so you'll be able to upgrade your operating system without having to worry about system compatibility.

DS213j

The DS213j is best thought of as an upgrade to the DS212j. Less expensive and more user friendly, Synology's DS213j is ideal for home users who are experimenting with NAS devices. Still relying on the Marvel 6281 single core processor, the DS213j offers speeds of 1.2 GHz and two separate drive bays instead of one. This allows for a maximum capacity of 8 TB by using two separate 4 TB drives, while Synology's proprietary Hybrid RAID system ensures the integrity of your files.

Just like with the DS212j, Synology's DS213j is still lacking in connectivity when compared to some other consumer options available today. While there are two USB 3.0 ports as well as one USB 2.0 port, the use of standard SATA as opposed to eSATA greatly limits the connectivity of the NAS even further. This will certainly create a bottleneck for some of today's systems.

Synology's DS213j NAS uses a FPU-enabled core, which effectively doubles the amount of DRAM to a total of 512 MB. This makes common tasks, such as photo viewing, much faster. The improved software, Synology's DiskStation Manager 4.2, also streamlines the entire process of accessing, sharing and securing your files. Moreover, there are a variety of mobile apps available directly from Synology, which lets users access their cloud from nearly any mobile consumer device. Released in May 2013, the Synology DS21j has a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $219.99.

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