Synology DiskStation DS1513+ Review

Updated March 31, 2014
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Synology DiskStation DS1513+
Bottom Line

The Synology DiskStation DS1513+ is a massive network-attached storage (NAS) drive that's ideal for use as an office server. It supports multiple RAID configurations, so it can be optimized for speed and security, and it comes with lots of business-friendly features. With its massive capacity and high price tag, it's clearly overkill for most home users, but business owners should find it highly capable.

Performance

Everything you could ask for. Dong Ngo of CNET says this drive has literally everything a small business could need for both storage and server functions. Its capacity is huge yet flexible, with five drive bays that hold up to 5 TB each. It supports all standard RAID (redundant array of interactive disks) configurations, and its four gigabit Ethernet ports help it balance load and optimize performance. Speaking of performance, Ngo says this is "the fastest NAS server I've tested." It comes with a deluxe software suite and a "robust web interface," yet it can also work with just about any outside software you can name. The only downside Ngo sees is that setting up this drive's more advanced features isn't a job for the novice user.

ProsHuge maximum capacity, Tons of features, Very fastConsSetup can be complex, Poor customer support, Drives cost extra

Reliability

Poor support. Because the Synology DiskStation DS1513+ accommodates multiple disks, it's easy to keep backup copies of your data in different places. Also, Ngo notes that the drive's built-in power supply and its two large ventilation fans are user-replaceable, reducing the need for professional service. However, none of this protects you against a failure of the drive itself. In reviews at Amazon.com, we saw a troubling number of reports of drive failures or technical problems of one kind of another -- usually accompanied by loud complaints about the utter unhelpfulness of Synology's customer support. The drive has a three-year warranty, but replacement can take as long as a month.

Value

Doesn't come cheap. Like most NAS drives, the Synology DiskStation DS1513+ is pricey. The drive enclosure itself costs nearly $800, and that doesn't even include the actual disks, which Ngo says can cost $50 to $300 each. Nonetheless, Ngo considers this drive a great value compared to other NAS options, saying it "brings enterprise-grade features and performance down to a budget that general consumers can feasibly afford." With its huge capacity, stellar performance and vast array of features, Ngo says it's "by far the best investment for those looking for a central storage server that has it all."

Our Sources

1. CNET

Synology DiskStation DS1513+ Review: A New Level for NAS Excellence, Dong Ngo, Updated May 31, 2013

CNET awards the Synology DiskStation DS1513+ a perfect 5 star-rating and an Editors' Choice award. Editor Dong Ngo says it combines "massive dynamically scalable storage space" with fantastic performance and a huge array of useful features. Its only downside: Setting up its advanced features isn't a job for novices.

2. StorageReview.com

Synology DS1513+ NAS Review, Josh Shaman, June 18, 2013

Josh Shaman of StorageReview.com gets hands-on with the Synology DiskStation DS1513+, going into minute, highly technical detail about its performance and features. He names it one of the best NAS drives available based on its "robust performance," flexibility and easy setup.

3. Amazon.com

Synology DiskStation 5-Bay Diskless Network Attached Storage (NAS) with iSCSI/DS1513+, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of April 2014

We found about 60 reviews for the Synology DiskStation DS1513+ at Amazon.com, with an overall rating of 4.5 stars out of 5. Owners say this drive is fast, quiet and feature-packed, but they disagree about the ease of setup. We also saw numerous complaints about Synology's customer support.