Synology DS1522+ 5 Bay NAS Review

Today, we are writing our Synology DS1522+ 5 Bay NAS Review. It focuses on the latest addition to the Synology NAS portfolio, the DS1522+.

Their newest product sports a design made for both business and home users. Also, it replaces the DiskStation DS-1520+ as its optimised successor.

The NAS has eye-catching features like a 5-bay build and an AMD Ryzen R-1600 processor. Plus, its best enhancement of all is the addition of an expansion port along its rear. It allows you to include a single-port 10GbE interface for optimised network performance. 

Continue reading our Synology DS1522+ 5 Bay NAS Review to get information on its design, build quality, performance, etc.

Synology DS1522+ 5 Bay NAS Packaging

When our package arrived for this Synology DS1522+ 5 Bay NAS Review, it looked like other NAS boxes from Synology. You will find information on the product, including its name, company branding, and features. You will also find an image of the NAS in front of the box. 

Inside, you have all the accessories you need to get started, plus an external power brick. The DS1522+ is a massive product made of plastic and metal with five 3.5-inch drive bays in front.

Accessories-wise, you will find a quick installation guide, two RJ45 LAN cables, and hard drive tray keys. There is also a 120 AC power adapter, a few screws for the 2.5-inch SSD, and a power cord.  

Synology DS1522+ 5 Bay NAS Review – Design and Functionality

Looking at the NAS for our Synology DS1522+ 5 Bay NAS Review, we can say it is well-built. The DS1522+ utilises a sleek black enclosure measuring 6.5 x 9.0 x 6.7-inch (H x W x D). It also comes with five hot-swappable and front-loading bays. 

Like most NAS devices we review, the DS1522+ does not have drives included in its package. So, it is necessary to factor in the cost of five of these once you plan to purchase your NAS.  

The NAS has tool-free drive slots that accommodate 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch hard drives or SSDs. A good thing is you can even lock the drives for increased security by utilising the two included keys.

On the front portion, you will find the power button. The area also features LED activity indicators for the five drives and a USB 3.2 Gen 1 port. 

Remember, the status indicator blinks green every time the DSM boots and turns solid green when it is ready. If there is a system error like overheating/degraded volume, you will see a blinking orange LED. 

We also checked the rear of the NAS, where you will find the dual system fans. These run along the top section and take up most of the space. 

Below the fans are the 1GbE RJ45 ports, the eSATA ports, a reset button, and a power port. You will also find the USB 3.0 port and a Kensington Security slot. 

A significant change made to this NAS is its external power supply. It helps reduce the product size, but you will still need to use a power brick. 

Lastly, a handy network upgrade slot can work with the 10GbE module from Synology. You can purchase it separately for more optimised 10Gbps networking. 

Key Features of the Synology DS1522+ 5 Bay NAS 

Now, our Synology DS1522+ 5 Bay NAS Review will focus on the features of the NAS. These are the elements that make the product the best option available. 

Versatile File Management for Homes and Small Businesses

The 5-bay SS1522+ is a flexible, easily expandable and scaleable solution, depending on your needs. It provides optional support for 10GbE networking, NVMe SSD caching, and 15 drives. Plus, it works with Synology DiskStation Manager (DSM), which makes data sharing, backup, surveillance, and synchronisation more flexible.

Synology DS1522+ 5 Bay NAS – All You Need for Your Home Office

With its broad range of applications for small businesses, the DS1522+ is your go-to solution. It makes tasks like media sharing and file management more convenient while providing everyday data protection and camera surveillance.

Flexible Networking Options

Take advantage of built-in connectivity to integrate your NAS into any network environment. You can also add plug-and-play modules to expand its capabilities.

The DS1522+ has four built-in Gigabit ports that support automatic network failover and load balancing. These deliver fast and reliable performance. 

Adding an E10G22-T1-Mini Network Upgrade Module allows for faster networking.

Store, Share, Protect

The DS1522+ lets you manage all photos, media files, documents, backup devices and apps. Professional video surveillance features help protect your essential data and assets.

When using the NAS, you can take advantage of Synology Drive, an excellent alternative to Google Drive. We will discuss this later in our Synology DS1522+ 5 Bay NAS Review.

Multi-Layered Backup

Like other Synology NAS, the DS1522+ has integrated technologies that keep it protected. As a result, all your backup files, folders, VMs, SaaS applications, and physical devices.

Surveillance with the Synology DS1522+ 5 Bay NAS 

Your Synology Device can be a video management system that is rich in features. It is also compatible with a wide range of IP cameras.

Superior Performance Supported by Synology Drives

Synology has enterprise-grade drives that deliver excellent reliability and performance. These also have integrated data protection features built for Synology systems.

Increased Protection with Extended Warranty Plus

Extended Warranty Plus adds two years of Synology-certified support to the standard 3-year warranty of the DS1522+. With premium services, recovery can be faster when unwanted disasters occur.

Specifications

We will check the NAS specifications in this part of our Synology DS1522+ 5 Bay NAS Review. 

As Synology mentioned, the most notable upgrade to the product is the CPU. The DS1522+ uses the AMD Ryzen R1600 – a 2-core 2.6GHz with bursts of up to 3.1GHz. It is an excellent upgrade from the Celeron J4125 from Intel, which is present on the previous model.

The NAS also features 8GB non-ECC DDR4 RAM (standard, upgradable to 32GB). Plus, it supports 3.5-inch/2.5-inch SATA drives and M.2 2280 NVMe SSDs for dual cache slots. 

When it comes to networking, the DS1522+ features four 1GbE LAN ports that have network failover support. Synology claims it can deliver up to 736MB/s and 796MB/s of sequential read and write. And this is when you install the mini 10GbE network module.  

Also, the DS1522+ supports AES-NI encryption and RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, Basic, Hybrid, and JBOD. 

Hands-on with the Synology DS1522+ 5 Bay NAS

This section of our Synology DS1522+ 5 Bay NAS Review is where we share our hands-on experience with the product. Moreover, we will also discuss the Synology DSM, the Synology Drive, and why it is an excellent option.

Synology DSM

Like other releases from Synology, DS1522+ 5 Bay NAS fully supports DSM. It offers multimedia management, hyper/desktop backup choices, snapshot replication, and a virtual machine manager. 

We conducted a hands-on test for our review to see the significant upgrades DSM 7 offers.

With the recently-released Surveillance Station 9.0, you can use the DS1522+ as a surveillance hub. Its most recent version lets you observe cloud multi-floor layouts and dual records to prevent footage loss.

Overall, it is a highly flexible NAS solution with an impressive selection of tools.

Launching the DSM

During the first launch, the desktop will have icons including Control Panel, Package Centre, File Station, and DSM Help. When downloading more applications, these will automatically get added to the desktop. 

The two windows along the ride portion of the screen display details like Total Running Uptime plus RAM & CPU use. The LAN IP address of the product is also here. 

On the upper left corner of the screen is the Main Menu icon, which provides access to other programs available. These include Storage Manager for creating volumes and configuring your RAID settings. There is also Active Insight, where you can send data to Synology for quick fixes to technical issues.

You will also have Security Advisor – a program for scanning malware, checking password length, and keeping software up-to-date.

The Package Centre is for accessing and downloading any Synology and third-party applications. The selection allows you to utilise the NAS as a cloud server, multimedia server, video surveillance centre, etc.

The Control Panel is the area where you configure security and network settings. It is also where you configure file services/file sharing, set privileges, and create user groups. 

The File Station allows you to access data via a web browser. It even lets you organise folders and files for your convenience. Lastly, the DSM Help icon brings you to a screen for viewing help articles and tutorials. 

Synology Drive

When you have the DS1522+, you can install Synology Drive and transform your NAS into a private cloud. With this feature, you can enjoy using cloud storage without monthly recurring fees. 

Synology Drive is a cloud storage system that can organise files, folders, and shared team folders. It can also manage other items in a centralised location. 

Synology Drive allows you to intuitively view shared files in a UI before syncing these across linked devices. Synology can also restore previous file/folder versions using advanced data backup capacities with Synology Intelliversioning. 

With centralised admin tools, it is easy to acquire real-time details on the server status, bandwidth use, and linked devices. You can even analyse different file versions and Office files consumption trends. 

An integrated audit log allows you to monitor user actions and execute security audits. The latter is necessary to determine malicious activities. 

Synology also offers Drive ShareSync, which lets you sync files between office spaces. 

Synology Drive works with Synology Office seamlessly, allowing you to create and edit spreadsheets, documents, and slides in one place. It can work on smart devices via iOS and Android for added convenience.  

Functions Efficiently with the NAS

Since the Drive works with your NAS, you can manage everything independently. You will not have to worry about third parties, which lowers the chances of data getting compromised. 

Cloud storage platforms like Google Drive have many issues related to unwanted access. When this happens, malicious individuals gain access to personal and sensitive data.

But with a NAS and Synology Drive, you will not have to rely on a company/service to gain access to files. Why? Because it is all stored in your NAS. 

Additionally, using a NAS will help decrease costs in the long run since no monthly subscriptions are necessary. You can also go for future upgrades by simply replacing/adding extra hard drives. 

An Excellent Alternative to Google Drive

The ultimate dream is to have your cloud storage. And with pre-built systems like Synology DiskStations, getting started is quite simple. Although Synology is more notable for its hardware, it has recently improved its software offerings.

For instance, Synology Drive competes with Google Drive by offering a simple user interface and several contemporary features. These factors encourage most users to abandon Google’s service for something better. 

Installing Synology Drive

Install the Synology Drive Server package on the NAS to use Synology Drive. You can find this in the Package Center software. Search for it in the Package Centre app, then select install.

It is necessary to download the Drive Server package from the internet and separately install all dependencies on the NAS. Since there are a lot of items to download, it can take some time to finish.

Once completed, you can start installing the Synology Drive Server package then you are all set. 

Accessing Your Synology NAS via the Internet

You can access your data from almost anywhere with just an internet connection. Because of this, cloud storage tools like Google Drive have become very popular. 

But if you want to stay away from Google services, you can do it with your NAS instead. QuickConnect from Synology is the simplest and best option.

You can switch it on by going to Control Panel > External Access > QuickConnect > and Enable QuickConnect. 

For the feature to work, ensure that you have a Synology account connected to your NAS. It should not be your NAS user account. 

Doing this will allow you to receive a custom web address. With the latter, you can virtually access the NAS no matter where you are. 

Synology Active Backup for Business (ABB) and Synology Drive Client Backup Task

The Backup Task in Synology Drive Client and ABB perform identical tasks – backing up crucial files in a centralised location. However, ABB places greater emphasis on a comprehensive whole-device backup. 

Since it can run a wide range of devices used by most enterprises, it is a comprehensive backup. Synology Drive, in contrast, is more user-friendly.

The mobile app gives you access to all data and lets you upload and share files. It even automates backup from the PC. Additionally, if you want to share the storage with someone, you can create users and offer them login information.

Backup and Sync on Synology Drive Client

Once you finish installing Synology Drive, you can download the Synology Drive Client and install it on your PC or Mac. Doing this will automate the backup and sync files to the Synology NAS.

Synology Drive features the Backup Task and Sync Task. To set a Backup Task, you can choose a folder or drive to backup. Then, you will configure its progress (continuous, manual, or scheduled). 

This backup tool is beneficial and convenient since it continues to run in the background.

Sync Task has three Sync Rules: Upload to Synology Drive only, Download Data from Synology Drive, or Two Way sync. It is a handy feature since you can access other files via shared folders, especially when using multiple devices. 

Syncing is the safest and easiest way to back up files since it detects which files made changes. Plus, it stores previous versions, allowing for quick restoration.

On-demand sync is excellent when saving up computer storage and is practical for limited file syncing. 

Private Cloud Storage for Users and Shared Team Folders

Creating groups and multiple users lets you provide file or folder access to other people using their Synology Drive space. This feature may be similar to other cloud services, but when using a NAS like the DS1522+, you will not have to pay recurring fees. Since this is your storage and not an online platform like Google Drive, it guarantees secure privacy.

Users will input credentials for their storage space via the Synology Drive web portal or mobile app. You can indicate how much storage each user will have or use its storage capacity at once.

Using Synology Drive as a private cloud makes things more trouble-free by creating custom links for sharing. You only need to put these in every device with the login credentials. 

This feature is handy when companies need remote access to files in the NAS. It is also essential for work-from-home employees. The Synology Drive ShareSync app keeps data on another NAS. It is convenient for businesses with different offices.

The data in your NAS is accessible via various platforms like the web portal, desktop app, mobile app, and map network drives.

Synology Office

Synology Drive does not only offer a backup and sync solution, but it also has productivity apps like Google Drive. To use this, install the Synology Office package using DSM. Once done, Synology Office will directly integrate into the Drive app via the web. 

With Synology Office, you can natively open MS Office files. However, you will need to convert these files to proprietary formats of Synology to edit these. 

The editor screen has a similar layout to Google Docs, and all the standard tools are in the usual locations. As a result, there will be almost no learning curve when using Synology Office.

You can also export your files in .docx and .pdf formats, which makes Synology Office ideal for most productivity work.

Like all Synology NAS, the DS1522+ is easy to configure, thanks to the simplicity of DSM and Synology Drive.

In our tests, this product delivered excellent performance. It rarely pushed its memory use and CPU performance to its limits.

We learned that the NVMe cache is crucial to achieving the best scores and improved performance. Using the 1Gb ports limited the potential of the DS1522+, especially when we transferred large files.

When using this NAS, we highly recommend using the optional 10GbE port for unparalleled performance. 

Overall, the system performance of the DS1522+ out of the box met our expectations. Its flexibility makes it a top-notch product, and taking advantage of it unleashes the full potential of the product.

The Synology DS1522+ 5 Bay NAS as a Plex Media Server

Aside from using the DS1522+ as a storage solution, we also tested it as a Plex media server. We managed to transcode four out of five videos simultaneously without issues during our tests. Since the NAS had higher transfer speeds, it had more power to play content directly.

Note that results will vary when using standard 3.5-inch HDDs. But what makes the DS1522+ a best-selling NAS is its ability to take full advantage of SSDs and HDDs.

We have tested numerous Synology NAS products over the years. From the affordable options to the business-grade models, we have used these and can attest to their excellent performance.

With the DS1522+, Synology offered the same reliability and top-notch performance combined with improved features, making it easy to recommend.

Synology DS1522+ 5 Bay NAS Review Summary

The new DS1522+ from Synology is an excellent storage solution for homes and small businesses. It offers room for a lot of storage, multiple RAID options, a broad range of apps, and high-speed performance. 

Although its price may be steep for a NAS without drives, it is highly expandable and still worth purchasing. Plus, it can support 10GbE for faster network connectivity.

Most importantly, this product delivered excellent performance during our tests. Plus, it features Synology Drive, a better Google Drive alternative with enhanced data security and protection.

Overall, we highly recommend the DS1522+ for its top-notch reliability and flexibility. 

Learn more about the DS1522+ 5 Bay NAS by visiting the official product page of Synology.