After buying a DS712+ in 2012, I decided to get another in 2017 to set up at my mother's house as a backup solution and perhaps a portal to get to her LAN and help fix things at her house. The Diskstation as you may already know, is sold at a premium to the parts themselves due to 1) the compact form factor for home and SMB users, and more importantly, the customized interface built on top of Linux, known as DSM. While I run a FreeNAS server at my house, I wanted the convenience and stability of not having to manage the backup system at my mother's. The DSM software from Synology is worth the premium in that regard. The support for letting you venture outside of Synology's ecosystem has improved since the earlier days of DSM. You can set up Virtual Machines to run inside the Diskstation, and there's actually documentation about using SSH and support for logging in as a regular admin user if you want to interact with it that way. The SMB transfer speeds seem decent enough on a 1 GB interface, on the order of 95 MB/s when I transferred a large file. Writing to the Diskstation over NFS mount I got about 60 MB/s. The VPN server feature seems easy to set up and worked fine within my LAN. Some features of DSM are more marketing than robust solutions, though... The one thing I've noticed in the first week is the meager speed on rsync of 5 MB/s on a gigabit LAN. This won't be a bottleneck on syncing my NAS to the Diskstation in another state, but with ISPs upgrading their bandwidth, it could become a limitation in the future. For the price of this box, I could get faster performance using Linux on commodity hardware, but it wouldn't have the ease of use, nor the compact form factor that Synology has put together here. Will update with any new observations I have after more time using it remotely.