While the world may have gone insane, one thing is for certain… it is a great time for the average joe and jane Q public to be thinking about their home network infrastructure and network attached storage options. More and more consumer orientated motherboards come with (at the very least) two 1GbE NICs, high performance network backbones like routers and the like are getting more and more powerful. Mainly though even mid-grade Network Attached Storage appliances are getting more and more powerful. For instance, the recently released Synology DiskStation DS1520+ appears to offer a lot of bang for relatively little cost. To be precise, the DS1520+ is a five-bay, four core processor, 8GB RAM based appliance that will only set people back $699 (USD).

The asking price and core count alone piqued our interest when we first heard about it… as not that long ago a low TDP, high core count NAS appliance that comes standard with 8GB of RAM would have gone for much, much more than that. More intriguing is the bay count. Five bay models are a personal favorite of ours as they actually offer a high enough drive count to make Raid 6 a viable solution. Mix in the fact that once you go above 4-bays they almost invariable double the fan count from one to two while still not increasing the asking price all that much and 5-bays are, in our opinion, a great introduction to the world of NAS appliances.

Digging deeper will only further increase your interest. Not only is this a 5-bay model that uses the rather peppy, and yet power sipping, Intel Celeron “Gemini Lake” J4125 processor. Not only does it come standard with 8GB of Samsung DDR4-2666 (and not 2400 as usually used) RAM, it also comes with nice to have features. Features such as dual NVME M.2 slots and dual eSATA ports for easy future expansion abilities. Much like getting a four core CPU, these are features that not that long ago were reserved for pricier models. Yet here we are. A ‘Plus’ line model that offers all that and still comes with an MSRP of under 7-bills.

That is a lot to like. Especially when you factor in the custom Linux based DiskStation Manager Operating System. An OS that over the years has become arguably the gold standard in ease of use for novice NAS owners. An OS that over the years has also been constantly upgraded and refined, and now includes enthusiast orientated features such as actually useable read-write caching and Hybrid RAID… which offers RAID like redundancy and resiliency but also performance and flexibility. Being able to slap in any size hard drive and have it ‘just work’ while still not impacting performance like say OpenMediaVault’s implementation does is a major selling feature to say the least.

Taken as a whole, the Synology DiskStation DS1520+ certainly sounds like a rather good NAS appliance. One tailor made for a wide variety of buyers and scenarios. With that said, the old saying ‘the devil is in the details’ does spring to mind… as when something sounds too good to be true it probably is too good to actually be true. So, is the Synology DiskStation DS1520+ too good to be true, or is it too good to ignore? Let’s dig in and find out.