Synology Disk Station DS410jIn the shared house where I live for the last year been running a server for storing files and as a place to do any big downloads too. Recently we noticed are electric bill had got quite expensive so in attempt to cut the bills we started looking at what drains the most power in the house. Naturally we found the server to be one of the biggest drains as it runs at about 150W ideal. As a result of being an old desktop with a AMD X2 3200+ processor in.

So to cut are electric bill by a bit, I set out to find a replacement. My criteria for the replacement being low power usage, quiet, RAID Support and having at least 4 HDD bays.

Matching these criteria  I came up with a 2 possible choices the Data Robotics Drobo FS 5 Bay Stoage Robot priced at around £550 and the Synology Disk Station DS410j priced at around £260.

My choice between these two products came simply down to pricing although I had heard a lot of good things about the Drobo but at over double the cost of the DS410j for me this was just not a valid option.

Synology Disk Station DS410j

I won’t go into all the features of the DS410j here but I will point out a few that really attracted me to the product. For full details checkout the product page here.

  • Runs Linux at the Core this is very important to me as I have experienced NAS systems that run embedded windows and there really is nothing more horrible.
  • Power Consumption is very good with 4 drives installed, it uses 42.9W on access and 16W when in its hibernate mode. So even at full load it uses about a 3rd of what are current server does in its ideal state.
  • Can install additional applications from Synology and 3rd Parties. Also you can develop applications yourself using the open GPL Source. I always like stuff to be as open as possible and know if I have some burning desire to create something for a device I can do.
  • Can be used as a central point for downloads. With the ability to use a number of protocols BitTorrent, FTP, HTTP, NZB, and eMule. Much better than having to leave a noisy computer on over night if you have some big downloads to do.

Installing Under Linux

Installing the DS410j is a very painless process after the usual connect it up and power it on. You simply put the disc in and fire up the Synology Assistant.

Although the manual doesn’t mention installing under Linux you can do so. Simply go to the root of the disc and there is a Linux directory within that directory there is a how to install assistant file, which basically talks you thought copying some files across and running an executable.

When you fire up the assistant it scans the network for Synology devices you can then select your device, select what firmware you want to install and either do a one click or a custom install.

Installing the firmware takes maybe 20 minutes or less. Onces its installed you can then access the web interface. This is where you will format your drives configure the RAID and set everything else up.

Speed Test Results

In my testing of the device and general usage I noticed that the device was very slow at transferring FTP.
So I thought I would run some tests here are the results of transferring a 3.3Gb File from DS410j to my Linux desktop over a GigaByte network.

NFS: 1 minute 20 seconds
SMB: 2 minutes 11 seconds
FTP: 3 minutes 8 seconds
FTP with SSL: 15 minutes 25 seconds

As you can see the protocol seems to make a lot of difference when it comes to the speed of transfer. Wondering if it was just me I checked out the Synology forum and its not there are a few discussions on the forum such as this one.

I would hope this is an issue they intend to address I am going to contact Synology support about it and will report back if I get an answer about why it’s so slow using FTP.

Power Usage

With a plugin energy monitor I checked out how the DS410j performed with its power usage.

With the 2 x Samsung 1TB discs installed it uses about 14W when in its hibernate mode with the discs spun down and when being accessed it uses 23W. Which is very good so your bound to make a substantial saving on your electricity bill and recoup some of the costs of the NAS.


I have now been running the NAS for a good few days, here are my impressions of it what I like and what I don’t.

  • Web interface: Nice clean and lots of functionality without being overcomplicated so caters for both the average user and the advanced at the same time.
  • SSH: The device can be accessed by SSH to get both busy box and shell access. There is plenty of info on the Synology Wiki that tell you what you can tweak and customize via SSH also Linux users will find most elements are standard.
  • Quite: With 2 hard drives going it really wasn’t very audible at all till you a few meters away and even then its still very silent. Much quitter than one of the old mac minis running at full speed.
  • Download Station: The Synology interface for doing downloads to the NAS is very good.
  • Privilege Settings: Easy to configure users and groups with different privilege settings for files / folders.
  • Web interface: In my opinion the Web Interface seems a tad sluggish but that might just be me being picky.
  • Limited to one admin user: Not the worse thing in the world but would be nice to be able to assign normal users to be able to access some elements of the control panel.
  • NFS: Seems to be the preferred way of mounting drives to a Linux client from the NAS. However since this does not have any form of authentication seems a bit bad to me.
  • FTP Transfer Very Very Slow – See Speed Test Results


Overall I would say the product is very good its user-friendly, power efficient and does everything I think that you can expect from a NAS in its price range and more.

The only issue with it that I can’t emphasize enough is the FTP with SSL transfer being so slow. Once this is addressed for me personally it would improve the product substantially since I am paranoid and don’t like everyone on the network having access to my files or being able to see them in plain text as they are being transferred.

I will now end with a rating well two ratings for the DS410j:

For the average home user running Windows I would give this product 9.5 /10. It’s easy to setup and does everything 99% of people need.

For anyone running Linux on their network and / or are a bit more paranoid about security like me. I would give this product 7.5 / 10 till the FTP with SSL issues are resolved or some other secure transfer method is introduced to the device.

If you have any questions about the DS410j please leave a comment or send me an email. I would love to know what other people think of it’s as well.

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  1. Sounds good – thanks for the interesting read.

    I used a non-RAID Synology Disk Station and also liked it. Nowadays I want my “server” to do other things, such as to provide a test LAMP web server. I believe you can even do that with these things given some tweaking, but I’m going to stick with a full PC for this.

    • Mark Davidson

      You are right David about being able to run LAMP services on the Disk Station. I have not tried it personally as I have more than enough web servers for testing.

      However from my quick glance at it I would say you could actually have Apache and PHP running in two clicks. Not sure about MySQL but would imagine it can be enabled with another check box tick.
      Also phpMyAdmin can be installed really easily as well as its available as an app from Synology.

      • dustin

        if you can install phpmyadmin, then you can also probably install mysql as there is no point in having phpmyadmin without a server to get in and administrate.

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