A look at the Synology DS416j after four months of use

On Nov. 28, 2016, I wrote a review of the Synology DS416j for Apple World Today. It’s been running 24/7 in my garage for over four months. How has the Synology NAS fared in a moderately harsher environment than in my home office?

I use the NAS to host and record two security cameras. The DS416j was sent to me with the cameras as a review unit. It has performed flawlessly, easily handling the cooler environment. It has run nonstop and never fails in its intended purpose of being a surveillance system.

I repartitioned the NAS to not only be a surveillance system, but to use part of the space for Time Machine backups. Setting up the Synology NAS to serve as a backup device for Time Machine was very easy and quick. I have my Mac as well as my wife's Mac backing up to it, and it works perfectly.

Many in the tech industry are thinking about backups today as its World Backup Day. Any of the Synology NAS devices make a great Time Machine target. They are reliable, quiet and, in the same way as Apple products, they just work.

I’ll revisit the Synology DS416j after a long hot summer and see how it has fared, as I plan on keeping it at it’s current location in the garage. I like having it there. It’s out of sight, out of mind, and has never once failed, which is perfect for a server type device.

And if you’re still entangled with a pile of external hard drives, consider getting a NAS and simplifying your life. External hard drives can only be used by one person at a time. They’re not expandable and there’s no redundancy

Cloud backup is convenient, but has subscription fees, hidden costs (depending on the provider), and privacy issues. What's more, speed and latency is limited by bandwidth.

With a NAS, all of your files are centralized in one elegant box. They’re redundant and secure. There's no need to worry about losing files when a hard drive fails thanks to RAID

NAS devices come in all shapes and sizes to meet your needs. Many models support connecting to an expansion units as your data grows. They’re suitable for multiple users; families or work groups can all back up their devices or share data easily

The best backup strategy requires the least work. Since a NAS is connected to the network and remains on all the time, you don't have to go through the hassle of finding your external drive and plugging it into your computer each time you want to perform a backup. With support for Time Machine and other software, you can set up your computer to automatically back up files to a NAS, so you never have to think about it again.