Typical newbie mistake?

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Typical newbie mistake?

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NAS
DS210j
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Mobile operating system
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I've heard about Synology since a used Apple Time Capsule blew its power supply several years ago. I've used Time Machine since by connecting a 3TB drive to the laptop via USB whenever I thought of it. Last week, I had a bright idea: I looked at eBay and found a used NAS, cheap. The DS210j arrived yesterday, and I soon realized 1) I didn't know how old it is and how that will determine its usefulness and 2) even if I find compatible Synology software, whether I can learn how to use it. I've glanced at this forum and another on the Synology site, and don't immediately find answers to all the questions that are coming to mind. Not just one newbie mistake, maybe, but a whole procession. I can probably send the old device back to the seller. Comments?
 
The DS210J was introduced in 2009, and was (as all J types) a low budget, low memory model when it was released.
Now, 14 years later, it is unsupported and I would not waste time/money on it, you will be disappointed in about every way.
Find yourself a recent one in the DS220 or later range, and If you intend to to anything more than just plain storage, stay away from a J type.
 
As @EAZ1964 said, not much you can do. If you are looking to stay on the budget side just for backup purposes and some light usage of supported packages inside the DSM system, you might look into DS223J (2023 edition). Same principle, as 210j but it is a much more powerful device even for the J series.

If you are not looking for a new model, then DS220j will be the previous version from the same series (4y old atm).
 
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A general rule for Synology NAS naming, but there are some exceptions to this.

  1. DS (Disk Station) or RS (Rack Station) for tabletop or computer racking.
  2. First one or two digits are the maximum disks that can be supported, with extra-cost expansion units.
  3. Last two digits are the model year. Current year if released in fist half of the year, next year if second half.
  4. Suffix for the NAS series, if present.
For example, the DS209j is a desktop, two drive NAS from 2009 in the entry-level j-series. While my DS1520+ is a five drive unit that supports two expansion units (each hold five drives) from 2020 in the plus series.

An exception would be my DS218+ because it supports one expansion unit but is ‘2’ because the storage array cannot span between the two devices. Spanning storage array between NAS and expansion unit isn’t advised as there’re too many risks of something failing and taking the whole array down.

If you can stretch to the very new DS223j then that would be the best j-series device and give you a lot longer life. The latest DSM 7 has recommended minimum RAM of 1 GB, and this has now only just happened for DS2nnj devices with the 23.

If you can stretch further then the DS224+ has only just been announced. It has the same CPU as my DS1520+ and I’m still very happy with it. You’ll find you can run it as a home server for more/all the packages, unlike the lower series. After this it’s more about adding more drive bays. Have a look at @Rusty’s reviews on his Blackvoid site.

Avoid any DSnn15+ because these have the IntelAtom C2000 CPU and needed a fix to the circuit board. Some may not have had this done at a suitable time, so it’s best to avoid they secondhand if just to not have to worry about it. Google it and you’ll find many hits.
 

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