Decidedly fast, but it’s the most expensive diskless two-bay NAS drive on test.
T he Synology DiskStation DS715 is almost identical to the DS215+. It’s a two-drive chassis with the same design. There are two hot-swap bays on the front, which can be locked shut with an Allen key. We’d recommend doing so: they’re a bit too easy for casual office thieves to pop open with a simple push otherwise.
On the rear can be found a couple of USB 3 ports and a pair of Gigabit Ethernet ports, plus eSATA. A front-facing USB 3 port would have been useful, and there’s no HDMI, but neither are essential.
When it comes to the software, Synology has the balance right between features and usability, with both Basic and Advanced modes available. There’s a comprehensive selection of downloadable apps, including a capable IP camera surveillance tool and antivirus, and web-server PHP frameworks, although the selection isn’t as extensive as some manufacturers’.
Where the DS715 differs from the DS215+ is in the core hardware specification. Instead of a dual-core 1.4GHz Annapurna Labs Alpine AL-212 processor with 1GB of DDR3 memory, there’s a quad-core 1.4GHz Annapurna Labs Alpine AL-314 processor with 2GB of DDR3 memory. In theory, this should make the DS715 faster than the DS215+, particularly with processor-intensive tasks, but our benchmark tests revealed that the superior hardware didn’t make a huge difference.
When writing a large file, the DS715 was one of the fastest at 103MB/sec, although the DS215+ was marginally quicker in our testing. In the all-important multi-file backup, the DS715 reigned supreme: it was noticeably quicker than any other NAS device this month, and more than twice as fast as some at 33MB/sec. Unfortunately, as with the DS215+, large-file reading performance wasn’t so stunning – the DS715 delivered a below-average speed of 81MB/sec, marring an otherwise impressive show in our benchmarks.
The Synology DiskStation DS715 is the most expensive two-bay diskless NAS drive on test this month. It may be blisteringly quick at backing up smaller files and copying across larger ones, but the DS215+ is almost as quick and $130 cheaper, making it the more sensible two-drive choice.
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