Once the unit is located on the network, you can connect to its web console and begin the setup wizard where you can set an IP for the unit, configure the disks and other basic settings. This was all very simple and straight forward; tasks that anyone should be able to accomplish to get the unit up and running in less than 10 minutes.
Once within the Synology DSM virtual desktop web console for the N2, you will be greeted with a very long list of settings and options. Those familiar with Synology DSM based NASes will already know what I mean, but those of you who are not, be prepared for features most basic NAS or external hard drives do not have.
Below is a summary of the features and options:
Native Windows (SMP), Mac (Bonjour) and NFS support.
FTP Support (acts as FTP server)
Support for local users and groups for security as well as Active Directory and open LDAP integration.
Server side PHP
Dynamic DNS client
Telnet and SSH for terminal CLI management
SNMP (v1 and v2)
Routing and Firewall (more on this below)
VPN (Open VPN and PPTP)
As you can see, the N2 supports a plethora of features of out the box. It easily has the ability to be the single solution for your network for most things and keep you from having to build or purchase a dedicated server. As noted above the unit can also act as a full blown router but you will need to provide a supported USB-based network adapter. A list of supported adapters is on the ioSafe website for your convenience.
Additionally, more USB 3.0 or 2.0-based hard drives can be connected to the unit and shared via the Synology DSM software. You can even connect USB printers and share them out via the print server software built into the Synology DSM interface. The interface also gives you some widget-like displays that describe the overall health of your N2 as well as access to several logs to easily monitor the system. The interface is simple to navigate and is responsive. There is even a guided setup to allow you to share you ioSafe over the Internet and access it anywhere without any complicated changes to your firewall/router.
If the features above were not enough for you, the Synology software supports plugins that can add additional features. There is a vibrant community constantly creating plugins for this. Some examples are antivirus, DHCP server, media server, iTunes server, Plex server and the list goes on and on. This additional functionality really makes the software extremely powerful and far superior to most other options out there. Combine this with the rock solid ioSafe hardware and you have yourself a killer solution to all things media for your home or business.
Simply put, this is some of the most feature rich and powerful software you are going to find for a NAS and is a good fit for a home all the way up to an enterprise solution.