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Hier — 28 juin 2022NAS Compares

Terramaster TOS 5 Software Review

28 juin 2022 à 08:15

Terramaster TOS 5 NAS Software Review – Network Better?

If you are an existing Terramaster NAS owner, or are someone that has been considering their NAS brand for your private server purchase, then you might have heard that they recently released their latest BIG software update. Upgrading from TOS 4 to TOS 5, this new update brings a huge range of improvements in the GUI, available applications, supported services, security and user controls to their NAS systems. Today I want to review this massive software upgrade and help you decide whether you should upgrade, as well as help you decide if a Terramaster NAS is going to be the right choice for you and your storage in 2022/2023. So, get comfortable and let’s break down everything about TOS 5 in today’s review and help you decide if it deserves your data!

Review Chapters (click below to skip ahead)

Disclaimer – It is important to note that even though TOS 5 is now fully released and in its non-beater version, some applications are still in beta within this software platform and although I will touch on them throughout this review, I will make a point of highlighting when some applications in full release or are still in Beta. These include Terra Photos, Terrasync tools, Centralized Backup, elements of Terra Search and Surveillance Manager. Although all of these applications are still available in the app center, the experiences I had with them still demonstrate that they are not in their final form and suffered weak resource sharing with the rest of TOS5. Otherwise, all other elements discussed in this review are in their full release candidate form. Additionally, at the time of writing, TOS5 is not available for ARM processor NAS devices. This review was conducted on an F4-423.

What I liked in TOS 5

  • The GUI is considerably clearer and much more vibrant.
  • The options and icons in the GUI are much more responsive and clear against other background activities.
  • There are considerably more backup and synchronization tools in TOS5.
  • There are a vastly improved number of storage configurations and services available at your disposal.
  • The mixed drive TRAID Is going to win serious points with ex-synology owners.
  • The system includes direct tech support and remote access terminal for official support and difficulties
  • The network isolation mode in TOS5 is both unique to the brand and particularly helpful.
  • The resource monitor is 10 times better than in previous versions of TOS 5 and genuinely useful. 

What I did not like in TOS 5

  • The number of applications that are still in beta at the launch of TOS5 is disappointing.
  • The upgrade path between TOS4 and TOS5 is not as smooth as it should be. And will confuse some and concern others.
  • Remote access still seems to be a little too easy to do. And not enough warning is provided as to the inherent dangers of a weak remote setup.
  • Multimedia tools are a little lacking and although there is a general DLNA media server application and the photo app in beta, there is no dedicated video or music tool available.
  • Resource sharing could still be greatly optimized when running multiple apps or services at once.

Terramaster TOS 5 Review – Design and Navigation

Although the general design and layout of TOS 5 have not changed a great deal in its methodology compared with TOS4, it is the responsiveness and intuitive layout of some choices that have been greatly improved in this new version of the Terramaster software. Clear improvements have been made in how the user interface is accessed via most available web browsers and you definitely get more of a localized access field when interacting with the GUI on your Terramaster NAS in TOS5

Equally, there have been changes made to the control panel when navigating settings and configuration options on your TOS5 NAS and some choices have been moved to more appropriate sections, as well as more important areas such as security and file services have been vastly improved and/or moved to their own app portal on the desktop.

From the initial GUI of TOS5, you can also access all of the user settings by clicking the user icon at the top right of the screen. From here you can configure a number of presets for the connected client login and an option to add two-step authentication to your access credentials, now a great deal more accessible here from the desktop. However, I am not a huge fan of the fact that two-step authentication on the Terramaster NAS in TOS5 still seems to require the use of the official Terramaster mobile app and does not seem to support of third-party OTP apps such as Google authenticator, but it is still better to have this extra layer of double authenticated access alongside your password.

Equally from this top right range of contextual options, you are able to quickly access a breakdown of the health, activity of your storage and network on the Terramaster NAS in TOS5. This range of widgets and information can be configured quite quickly and although the TOS 5 system now contains a very robust resource monitor, this is a nice range of options to be accessible directly from the GUI and better presented than what we saw in TOS4.

Customization of user access and GUI in TOS5 is not absolutely huge. You are able to change the wallpaper to a number of preset included wallpapers (as well as upload your own image), but that is about it and there isn’t a huge degree of customization with regards to icons or differentiating one user from another visually. You can however change the initial login screen to display a different range of text or images based on the user and for those of you that want to create guest login portals to the NAS or want to differentiate different departments to have their own stylized login screen, this is indeed possible.

Additionally, creating multiple users with their own tailored levels of access to different directories and NAS services is still very easy in TOS5 and although I was unable to find any means to upload an existing CSV or another database of accounts, creation was still very straightforward. I will highlight that during the upgrade from TOS4 to TOS5, multiple accounts that I had created did not carry over seamlessly in the upgrade and I have raised this with Terramaster and look forward to their reply.

As mentioned, one enormous area of improvement on TOS5 is the considerably more robust and detailed resource monitor. In previous iterations of TOS4, You were GIVEN a great degree of information, but it was displayed in an incredibly unintuitive way and with little to no means to interact with this data. In TOS5, the ability to create historical and analytical reports of data is considerably easier and with each of these parameters digging down quite comprehensively in terms of individual client apps and users, resource consumption and which processes are perhaps getting greedier than others. Though the level of control you have over these services and processes from the new improved resource monitor is a little less impressive, and although it will help you identify which processes are eating up all of your memory, you cannot close these processes as easy as you might in a standard task manager on your operating system.

This isn’t wholly unusual and indeed only QNAP really provides the option to kill processes on your NAS on the fly due to its potential for harming system and storage operations. Still, there were times during the use of TOS5 when I felt that resource management could have been improved upon internally. That said, the system did regularly update me via notifications, email notifications, and in the lock center to tell me when the system was under particular duress or needed my attention. The improved log center did a better job in TOS5 of differentiating the importance of different alerts and although email notification frequency was a pinch high, these could be configured in levels of importance in the log center.

Another area of improvement on TOS5 is the range of available applications that you can choose to install on your Terramaster NAS and run with ease. Although lacking the wider variety of applications in both first and third party that their competitors at Synology and QNAP feature (with 46 apps available and 8-10 of these in Beta), there were still several applications available here that were notably absent in TOS 4. Additionally, these beta applications were very clearly marked as in development and all applications could be installed in a single click, be added to the desktop GUI with a further click, suspended in the event of resource-saving with just another click and finally uninstalled if needed with again, just one click. A lot of the base-level back-end applications that are required to run these apps and services are installed by default on a Terramaster system and therefore adding these final applications is both quick and pretty seamless. Talking of quick and seamless, one thing that I have mixed feelings about (mostly good) is the option for technical support and remote assistance on your Terramaster NAS at the touch of a single button on the GUI.

Available by default and immediately listed on the GUI desktop applications, TOS5 includes the ability to register a technical support ticket directly from your NAS. Of course, you will need to have an internet connection in order for Terramaster to receive your technical inquiry, but this means that important log information, serial numbers and much more analytical details on the nature of your technical difficulty are easier to attach and send off for potential swifter resolution. Equally and perhaps in partnership with this technical support option, there is the facility to allow Terramaster to remotely access your Terramaster NAS from within this desktop to UI app in TOS5. You will need to set up an availability time from within the option and of course enable internet-level access, but I can certainly see a number of users who have difficulties with their Terramaster NAS taking advantage of this first-party remote support. My only concern with this is that this means that there is an access point for Terramaster upon request to be able to access your NAS remotely and although the brand has tightened a number of security settings in TOS5 and provided several security tools and services recommendations that are peppered throughout the software UX, I don’t feel that an option like this should be so readily available to novice users. I can see the benefit, but can also see the dangers of a less experienced user opening doors to a NAS remotely. Of course, this feature likely exists behind the existing security settings and configurations that you set up and therefore still going to need an element of end-user cooperation in order to be used by Terramaster, but still, it does give me a certain pause for thought.

Another element of using TOS5 that I felt could have been done better in terms of design and presentation is the upgrade path for those who are shifting from the TOS4 platform onto TOS5. Unlike other updates to the firmware, which tend to be either automatic or can be actioned from within the TOS control panel with relative ease,  TOS 5 requires the user to restore the system to a factory state and then install TOS5 as the system’s new operating system. It does not dismount your RAID array or delete your data if done properly, but it is still a very clunky method of upgrading and if done wrong does have to potential to format your system. Less experienced users may be a tad too intimidated to click an option marked restore to factory settings without fear of losing their precious data. Terramaster for their part have been clear that the upgrade should not delete your data, but still heavily insist that you have backups in place before upgrading –  which for users housing data in the tens of terabytes is perhaps easier said than done. That is no excuse for not having a solid backup foundation, but realistically there will be users who simply cannot afford to back up the entirety of their existing TOS for storage to make the jump to TOS 5 (choosing instead to only backup mission-critical data).

Ultimately, in terms of design and navigation, I cannot fault TOS 5 as it is clearly a big upgrade on TOS 4 and something Terramaster has clearly been working on to bring their NAS software up to par with their competitors. Things do feel a great deal more responsive and the layout of icons and services has definitely been tweaked for the better. I still feel that some services and tools could still do with tweaking in their presentation, but you do definitely feel the difference in this latest version of Terramaster’s software and if all you have ever used is TOS 4 or TOS 3, this is probably going to blow you away.

Terramaster TOS 5 Review – Storage Services

TOS 5.0 brings a massive range of improved storage services and supported configurations in its latest release, hugely dwarfing those of TOS4. The landscape of modern network-attached storage has changed quite rapidly in the last 5 years and simply providing the means to create a RAID and backup in a rudimentary fashion just isn’t going to cut it in 2022. Therefore, Terramaster seriously needed to improve on the range of storage services and applications that are included in their storage platform, even when they are still largely considered the value tier in the market. Despite this rather more cost-effective reputation, there are a number of services that the brand is offering that ape those of much more expensive alternatives from Synology & QNAP, and in fact even manage to offer a middle ground of services to allow you access to the advantages of either of those top two brands in a less exclusive fashion (eg NVMe SSD Pools, BTRFS, Fluid RAID, etc). There is the inclusion of expected storage services that were available both in TOS4 and on offer from all other NAS brands, such as creating a RAID, supporting a Hot Spare, Data Scrubbing, creating snapshots of your storage and even now including options for SSD caching in TOS5. However, on top of all of these, the brand has provided some quite nifty innovations in the latest release of their software in terms of storage tools. Let’s touch on one of the AAA+features that were highlighted early, TRAID.

Likely the one that got a lot of early people’s attention and a feature that Synology have largely dominated (though Drobo did have the feature too) the market in support of, TOS5 includes a fluid and flexible RAID configuration option in the form of TRAID. In brief, all NAS offer most traditional RAID configurations such as RAID 5 and RAID 6, which provide you with benefits in performance and in redundancy (ie protection from one and/or two drives failing). However, you need to ensure that all drives used in the array are equal in capacity otherwise you will be unable to take advantage of any additional capacity in larger drives (eg all 2TBs, or all 4TBs etc). TRAID allows you to use mixed drives in your RAID and although few people would choose to take advantage of this on day one, years into your system’s life, you may wish to install newer and larger drives gradually into your existing RAID to expand and that is where mixed drive support becomes tremendously beneficial in allowing you to increase your base storage capacity, without having to build a brand new RAID configuration. 

Improvements on storage pool creation are not the only way in which TOS5 improves upon how it manages and contains your storage though and in this new firmware update (alongside traditional easy volume creation that supports both EXT4 and BTRFS choices – the latter providing bit corruption healing during initial write and lower resource impact doing snapshot creation), there is also the support of Write Once Read Many configurations on volumes (WORM). For users that want to create a container for storage that can have data sent to it but that data be unmodifiable for a predetermined range of time, support of WORM is going to be a tremendously useful and welcome addition in TOS5. However, there is also another little addition to TOS5 in its RAID management that existing Synology and ZFS server users will also welcome, FAST-RAID repair.

Although TOS5 features a customizable RAID rebuild priority option, which although welcome is not exactly new in 2022, it does feature an improved RAID rebuild feature that will greatly improve the time it takes for a partially populated RAID storage pool to be rebuilt in the event of a degraded state (i.e when a drive fails). This Fast-RAID repair feature when selected will result in the system only rebuilding the areas on each disk where data would have remained in the original storage pool drive (using available parity data for reference) and the rest of the drive space across the platters is then zeroed out. This means that if you have a RAID storage pool that comprised 20 terabytes, but only 5 terabytes of actual data inside, your RAID, rebuild speed will be considerably faster than in a traditional RAID rebuild scenario where the system would have to build and enter a value for every bit on the disk. RAID-rebuild times are something that only higher-tier business and enterprise users tend to heavily focus on (downtime = lost money) and although there are preventative and preemptive measures that you can adopt to save time such as hot spares, this Fast-RAID rebuild option will reduce downtime and/or lower performance during a RAID resync operation.

TOS 5 also now includes its own dedicated iSCSI manager that makes simple work of creating multiple target paths and hosted areas of LUN storage. Alongside a range of improved network file service protocols in the file services area of the control panel, this much more intuitive means with which to create large block storage (although available in TOS 4) was not presented quite so intuitively. There are additional options built into the storage manager too that allow you to scale the level of compression used with the systems volumes too and it is little innovations like this that are built into the improved storage management of TOS5 that will tempt new business users looking at Terramaster as an affordable alternative to subscription cloud services.

Finally, there are improvements in how you can view and interact with the individual storage media on the Terramaster NAS. For starters, there is now a benchmark tool that you can utilize to analyze the performance of individual hard drives and SSDs inside the NAS. Additionally, there is the continued support of SSD caching in TOS5, however Terramaster has joined the small collection of brands that not only support the use of NVMe SSD storage for caching, but also support the utilization as a storage pool. This will be particularly useful to users who want to take advantage of improved performance available on these m.2 PCIe-based SSDs for booting key applications in the NAS software or VMs.

That said, I encounter a few hiccups when trying to interact with the NVMe SSDs as a storage pool (low benchmarks, pointing services at them) and although Terramaster assure me that this is being worked on, currently using the NVMes as standalone storage is not something I would recommend right now. Aside from this, though, I simply cannot fault the scale of storage improvements that have been afforded to the creation of pools and volumes in TOS5 compared with the previous version and this was a particular standout highlight for me in this software upgrade. But what about file and folder management?

TOS much like many other NAS brands provides a file manager that allows you to access and edit the file/folder structure of the data contained in your volumes, shared folders and connected remote storage easily. This file manager has seen only a few small tweaks in TOS5, however, it did seem more responsive than its previous version and still continues to provide the benefits of shared folder management available in BTRFS.

The ease of sharing files and creating customizable links to share with users with customized access and date policies was still very easy. As well as the ease and speed with which you can create, duplicate, and execute snapshots on shared folders on the fly. All fairly standard but well-executed stuff.

However, I will say that the file manager was not particularly fast in its thumbnail creation when viewing images and the depth of information that could be obtained when looking at the properties of files via the TOS file manager still felt quite rudimentary. It is a minor point and not a great deal of users are going to access files regularly via the web browser in this fashion. However, this does seem like an oddly straightforward feature that is absent or poorly handled in the TOS5 file manager.

Equally, most file types still continue to be unplayable natively in the TOS web browser GUI. Common photo file types could be opened and viewed, some video files and a limited number of supported audio formats too. But due to the lack of tailored multimedia applications available in TOS 5, accessing multimedia on a Terramaster NAS is still infinitely better over DLNA or using third-party tools such as Plex or Emby. Let’s move on to network management and security in TOS 5.

Terramaster TOS 5 Review – Network & Security Management

If there is one area that intimidates NAS buyers early on, it is having to understand and get to grips with network management and security settings of your storage. Unlike many other areas of IT, it is tremendously difficult to dumb down or demystify network and security management without risking undermining the safe access you have to your data. Many NAS brands have tried and failed to make this complex area of NAS ownership as accessible as possible.  TOS 5 does a fair job and certainly improves upon TOS4 in the configuration options and how they are presented to the end-user, but there are still a few areas that could use improvement. We have already touched on the brands, improved integration of OTP (two-step authentication) as well as the admin super user account being disabled by default on the system. There are even improved notifications on the fly when using the system and whilst the system is running in the background, being presented to the user that highlight when your system is being used in a less optimal or less secure way. Terramaster suffered something of a PR bloody-NAS earlier in 2022 when they were targeted by the Deadbolt ransomware group (along with other NAS brands), so network security and the level of protection afforded to users’ data by a Terramaster NAS was brought into question. Needless to say, TOS 5 includes numerous changes and additions to the system software that have focused quite specifically on these areas.

New to TOS 5 is the isolation mode feature that has no doubt been spurred on by numerous reports of ransomware attacks targeting multiple NAS brands. A very unique feature to just Terramaster, the isolation mode is found in the control panel and allows the user at a single touch of a button to suspend all remote internet-based connectivity to the NAS. However, it does not stop there and isolation mode has several other important features when it is triggered. These include suspension of all SSH and telnet services, disabling of all custom, third party (i.e non system signed services) and insecure PHP applications and in order to disable isolation mode, requires a system restart which is a complete manual and authentication required procedure. In short, isolation mode is the One-touch method of suspending all untrusted or uncertain communications with the device and allows the end-user a killswitch that will not lose them their data.

However, isolation mode is the more extreme way in which you can sever all connectivity outside of the network to your NAS and TOS5 does include a bunch of other features that allow you to cherry-pick which services and protocols you are prepared to enable. A number of these standard connections are disabled by default when you set up TOS5 for the very first time and likely this is done to protect somewhat more novice users from accidentally leaving the back door open in error. You can limit connections to the NAS to specific IPs, ports and only secure HTTPS connections if you wish, as well as disable any kind of TOS5 GUI access outside of trusted clients/paths. Additionally, UpUp has been disabled by default (remote and network) and DOS protection is enabled on day one.

Alongside the means to create multiple user accounts and groups that will have their own login credentials and levels of access to the Terramaster NAS system services, the software also allows you to create a custom auto block and frequency of failed login attempts protocol to your own specific needs. This can be as heavy-handed or as lucy-goosy as you wish. Again, not ground-breaking, but the default system setting are a few notches higher in this latest Terramaster NAS software revision.

Accessing your Terramaster NAS outside of your local network is possible by utilizing the inbuilt TNAS online service that allows you to connect remotely via the internet with your NAS via the Terramaster authentication server. This service is disabled by default and you will need to create an account with Terramaster to register your device to begin remote access in this method. This is a free service that is included with your NAS and is not in any way subscription-based, however performance will be a fraction more limited (i.e slower) than via more custom and direct access setups, though considerably easier to set up.

There are numerous additional security precautions you can take that range from adding certificates, randomizing your default ports and utilizing a VPN pass-through, however do not forget that this more convenient remote access feature will never be truly a safe as your own customized and thoroughly unique remote access method.

Another of the more understated but useful additions to TOS5 is the security advisor tool that is installed and available immediately from the desktop GUI. Comparable to similar security advisors and scanners from Synology and QNAP, the TOS5 security advisor scans your entire Terramaster NAS setup in order to highlight any weaknesses in security or data safety. Although the security advisor is by no means a comprehensive and enterprise tool, it is certainly going to be of use to less experienced storage and network users who appreciate a helping hand and regular reminders of keeping their NAS as closed as possible.

However, the hand holding that Terramaster provides to the end-user when crafting a more secure network environment could certainly be improved upon to benefit novice and amateur users. I cannot fault the range of services and tools for network configuration that are available in TOS5 that are included in the price of the NAS, but the level of tips, hints and guidance that the system provides is virtually non-existent. When looking at these more complex and intimidating areas for new NAS buyers, It is quite easy for me to regularly state online that users should have a bulletproof firewall set up, but with little to no guidance in the firewall area of TOS5 as to what certain settings can result in (for good or bad), I can imagine this is perhaps a pinch to challenging for some novice users.

VPN service, in stark contrast to when you look at how firewall management in TOS5 is conducted, is much better and has its own dedicated application and settings in the TOS5 control panel.  TOS 5 supports several different existing VPN providers that allow fast and easy implementation of your account credentials and adding the NAS to your current subscription either as a VPN server or just generally. It seems a little sparse when compared to the presentation of VPN settings by their competitors, but it does get the job done.

Overall, Terramaster has certainly improved network management and security tools in TOS5 a great deal over their previous firmware release. There are a bunch of new tools, a few system unique options like isolation mode and arguably there is very little available from other NAS brands that are not currently available here in TOS 5. The presentation is a little underwhelming and those of a less technical stance may hit a few barriers along the line, but I do think Terramaster have clearly upped their game with regards to how network and storage security is handled in their software. Let’s discuss backup and synchronization in TOS 5.

Terramaster TOS 5 Review – Backups and Synchronization

On the subject of backups, TOS5 has clearly put a bigger emphasis on consolidating the supported range of services and tools that were already available, rather than introducing many new applications in this area. That isn’t to say that Terramaster has not bolstered the available range of services. TOS 5 introduces new client-supported backup services such as Centralized Backup for Windows, Linux server and VM systems to give just one example. But for the most part, what TOS5 has provided over its predecessor is to make things a great deal more intuitive on how these different tools work together for an improved 3-2-1 backup strategy. There are also small improvements to the synchronization tools thatarrive in TOS, allowing you to bolt-on storage from remote spaces and this too is presented notably better in this latest revision on Terramaster’s NAS platform. This extends right the way down to creating a backup of your system configuration, or importing an existing Terramaster configuration, there is definitely a more refined and intuitive approach to back up and synchronization on TOS5.

The majority of the backup and synchronization tools that TOS5 arrives with can be created, modified and actioned from within the backup one access portal and from here you can manage the bulk of backup operations on your NAS. It is still a little bare-bones when compared to other NAS brands out there and lacks a few guidance points for those less experienced in remote backup processes, but having the bulk of these important backup tools on your NAS in a single place makes considerable sense.

Although a myriad of different connection protocols for remote storage services are supported (such as WebDAV, FTP and SMB), the most user-friendly and easy means with which to connect to storage services together for backup paths over the network is going to be Rsync. This allows a one or two-way synchronization to be created between your Terramaster NAS and another storage area. TOS 5 supports the usual variations of Rsync setup here and although it’s all useful, there isn’t a tremendous amount of change in the latest update here from TOS 4 to TOS 5.

Likewise, USB backups, although amply covered in their own dedicated tool (supporting file transmission in either direction, as well as supporting full synchronization and differential backups) are not hugely changed they were in TOS 4 in terms of how they are conducted.

TOS5 also supports a dedicated folder-to-folder backup and synchronization tool that is predominantly targeted at creating backup targets from within your NAS storage volumes. Although on the face of it, this seems a somewhat unnecessary requirement when duplicating data inside a system only leading to continuing to put all your eggs in one basket, many users will appreciate the ability to have an in-system and in-volume (or pool-to-pool) backup routine as well as for synchronization. It is a rather niche-supported service but there is an audience for it.

Centralized backup is one of the newer services to Terramaster NAS software and allows you to create system-wide backups on your Microsoft computers, third-party Linux servers and virtual machines via VMware and hyper-V images. Of course, much like the bigger and bolder Synology Active Backup Suite (of which Centralized Backup is clearly designed to emulate at a more affordable level), it requires the installation of a desktop client application to be downloaded and installed on your local machine, which can then establish a connection with the NAS with TOS5 and conduct one or scheduled backups that are far more OS friendly to reinstate than typical file folder backups. The application and service are still in beta and although I appreciate what they are trying to do with this, it did feel a little unfinished during my review. We will return to this application with a dedicated video when the service is fully released.

Moving slightly away from traditional backups and synchronization with remote servers, we can discuss cloud synchronization. Much like TOS4, the latest version of Terramaster’s software supports connection and synchronization with a number of third-party cloud services. Although the list of supported cloud providers is not quite as exhaustive as it is from Synology and QNAP, popular entries such as Google Drive, OneDrive and Dropbox are immediately available and connection with your NAS can be made in minutes. Once connected, you are able to create a customized synchronization routine between the TOS5 NAS and your cloud provider that allows you to change synchronization schedules, file date inclusions, strict exclusions, file size limits and more. Once connected, this synchronized cloud space and its existing file folder structure will appear in the file manager on TOS5 desktop in the browser interface. It is a simple but reliable tool and I was able to connect several different cloud providers in less than 5 minutes each with bespoke settings. Although little has changed in the transition from TOS4 to TOS5, there were a few extra options in the config menu that I appreciated and it did seem to run better.

Overall, although the range of backup and synchronization tools available in the TOS 5 platform is not exactly going to blow you away, it isn’t really supposed to. There is pretty much every common means of backing up the content of your NAS and client devices you are going to need on day-1. TOS5 has simply taken all of these services that existed in TOS4 (for the most part), improved their presentation and added further features. Add to that the new promising-looking Centralized Backup tool and although TOS5 is not exactly going to blow your socks off in this department, you cannot say that a Terramaster NAS in 2022 does not give you sufficient options to back up your data.

Terramaster TOS 5  Review – Multimedia Management

Unfortunately, multimedia management is one of the weaker areas of both Terramaster NAS and in TOS5. The standard services that one would expect when utilizing a network-attached storage device as a multimedia server are certainly present here. Support of UPNP, as well as accessing your media over DLNA, is easily possible in TOS5 and we will of course touch on the AI photo recognition application (Terra Photos) currently in development from the brand that is available in beta alongside TOS 5s launch. However, after this, there is precious little else that is multimedia targeted and what there is just a little basic. Heading into the file services area of TOS5 shows that you can set up the standard multimedia indexing locations that ensure that the system understands where different types of media reside inside the NAS. You can adapt existing values or add multiple different targeted locations with ease. Again, nothing really exciting but at least it’s there.

Even setting up your NAS as a multimedia server in TOS5 is by no means difficult and there is a dedicated multimedia server application for handling things such as thumbnail generation and transcoding configs there, plus options on different audio format support and several other different media tools that you would expect when streaming photos, music and video from your NAS over the network. It was all so very…safe and proficient.

It might also seem a little old-fashioned in 2022, but there is also a dedicated iTunes server application to allow your Apple devices and iTunes media services to connect with the media on your NAS in a tailored and dedicated way. These are useful applications and definitely something that will be useful when streaming your multimedia from the NAS, but the problem is that that is about all the applications you have available. There is no dedicated audio application outside of the iTunes tool and zero first-party video application. So when playing video media on the NAS, You want heavily reliant on third-party applications to get the job done. Which might not sound so bad (so, SO many people use PLEX) but you cannot use hardware transcoding on your NAS without a Plex Pass account, so you have a catch-22 situation where TM doesn’t provide a video app with easy transcoding, but the inclusive multimedia app Plex will charge you – bummer!

Now, the TOS5 terra photos application is still in beta and despite there being a number of polished apps in TOS5, this AI-powered photo tool is not one of them. The logic is certainly there and it is able to crawl your photo albums to generate lists of recognized faces into collections that you can name and catalogue – however, the application is still quite a long way from being completed, featuring poor resource management in this beta version and lacking a number of album and folder management tools that would be expected when complete. Likewise, despite the application crawling existing albums, it was always slow in its response time and thumbnail generation, as well as the AI photo recognition being nowhere near popular alternatives from Synology Photos and QNAP QuMagie. The tool definitely shows promise and perhaps towards the end of 2022 we will see a big leap in its development and speed of use, but right now I find it hard to recommend Terra Photos in it’s beta state.

Ultimately when it comes to hosting multimedia on a Terramaster NAS, TOS 5 features a base level of polished enough media tools to support your collection and I would still heartily recommend utilizing your Terramaster NAS with third-party tools such as plex media server and Emby. Both of these services are available for free download in the TOS5 app center via the web browser, are installed in less than three clicks and you can have your fully featured and highly polished multimedia server up and running exceedingly quickly.

It’s just a bit of a shame that TOS 5 for all of its benefits, simply does not feature any key multimedia application that challenges these two third-party alternatives right now. Given the more affordable-minded (e.g cost-effective) buyer that the Terramaster brand has cultivated who has a big, big focus on multimedia streaming, this gap in their platform is certainly surprising.

Terramaster TOS 5  Review – Conclusion and Verdict

Overall, TOS5 is definitely a big and impressive upgrade over TOS4 in terms of design, features, speed and responsiveness. It would have been great if killer apps such as the Surveillance Manager and Terra Photos were completed and out of beta when this big software update finally arrived, but even without them, you can’t fault the scope of improvements that have been included in this latest update to the Terramaster NAS software. With numerous improvements in its security setup, as well as disabling some of the more vulnerable settings of TOS4, upgrading to TOS5 will only provide you with a better day-to-day Terramaster NAS experience.

However, it has to be highlighted that the upgrade path for existing Terramaster NAS users is still a pinch, more complicated and certainly less fluid than people might expect and runs the risk of intimidating some users enough that they will simply not update their firmware, risking potential vulnerabilities to be exposed down the line. As we move into the newer generation of Terramaster hardware arriving in the market, no doubt these newer late 2022 generation devices will arrive with TOS5 by default and largely closed this issue for new users. Bottom line, TOS 5 is DEFINITELY a big step up in the brand’s software, but might still need a little more time in the oven.

TOS 5 – What I LIKED TOS 5 – What I DIDN’T Like
  • The GUI is considerably clearer and much more vibrant.
  • The options and icons in the GUI are much more responsive and clear against other background activities.
  • There are considerably more backup and synchronization tools in TOS5.
  • There are a vastly improved number of storage configurations and services available at your disposal.
  • The mixed drive TRAID Is going to win serious points with ex-synology owners.
  • The system includes direct tech support and remote access terminal for official support and difficulties
  • The network isolation mode in TOS5 is both unique to the brand and particularly helpful.
  • The resource monitor is 10 times better than in previous versions of TOS 5 and genuinely useful. 
  • The number of applications that are still in beta at the launch of TOS5 is disappointing.
  • The upgrade path between TOS4 and TOS5 is not as smooth as it should be. And will confuse some and concern others.
  • Remote access still seems to be a little too easy to do. And not enough warning is provided as to the inherent dangers of a weak remote setup.
  • Multimedia tools are a little lacking and although there is a general DLNA media server application and the photo app in beta, there is no dedicated video or music tool available.
  • Resource sharing could still be greatly optimized when running multiple apps or services at once.

Thinking of buying a Terramaster NAS Drive? If you use one of the links below, it will mean that NASCompares will receive a small fee in return, which goes directly back into making videos, articles, guides and reviews. Thanks for being a good sport!



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New Synology FS3410 Flashstation NAS Revealed

27 juin 2022 à 01:15

New Synology FS3410 Flashstation NAS Revealed

Synology has really been on a roll recently with revealing their 2022/2023 solutions, with 7-8 different solutions being unveiled and (for the most part) released in the last 3 months or so. The Synology RS3410 NAS that today’s article covers is the latest addition to the brand’s quiet but steadily growing Flashstation server series. Started more than four years ago, Synology has gradually added several desktop and rackmount solutions to this area of their portfolio and the FS3410 is the SECOND entry into this product family this year (the other being the FS2500 affordable 1U rackmount released much earlier in 2022). Although very similar to the rest of the enterprise solutions from Synology in terms of software (all arriving with DSM 7.1 and supporting the full range of features and services), the flashstation series is specifically aimed at SSD populate, flash storage practical applications and has a few NAND durability considerations thrown in for this more high performing but endurance aware media. This new flashstation server is designed to sit in the middle of the existing pack of FS systems (so, FS2500 > FS3410 > FS3600 > FS6400 Flashstation, scaling upwards) and arrives with support of SATA SSD media in the Synology SAT5200 and SAT5210 media range. Let’s discuss the hardware, compatibility, availability and pricing we will expect from the new Synology FS3410 Flash Rackmount server.

What are the Hardware Specifications of the Synology FS3410 Rackmount NAS

The specifications of the Synology FS3410 Flashstation NAS are (somewhat unsurprisingly) quite beefy, arriving with an EIGHT CORE Xeon processor, 16-128GB of DDR4 ECC RDIMM memory, dual 10GbE onboard and the option to add two high-performance PCIe cards (that can be scaled up to dual-port 25GbE fiber cards). Flash media servers NEED to have high-end surrounding components as the media inside (particularly when you factor RAID) can reach some truly astonishing performance levels – so it is imperative that you remove any potential bottlenecks that may impede that tremendous throughout. The CPU inside IS rated at over 10K on CPUBenchmark, can hit 2.7Ghz per core when needed in burst and is a 16-thread processor – meaning plenty of vCPUs in virtualization when needed. It is highlighting however that this processor isn’t the newest and was first launched back in 2016. This is not too unusual, as server processors do tend to be revealed and released to distribution a long time before they are fully utilized in mainstream server systems. Still, that is still quite an older CPU than some of the embedded Ryzen or Intel Xeon Silvers that Synology has been using lately. Nevertheless, this CPU will be highly proficient at pushing those 24 bays of SATA SSD storage to their high-performance potential.

In terms of the connectivity and scalability of the Synology FS3410 NAS, the rest of the specifications are quite solid. Those PCIe upgrade options (both PCIe Gen 3 x8), the two copper 10GbE ports (10GBASE-T) and four ethernet ports provide a great range of connectivity available on this device and mean that, when fully populated, it allows you to hit a reported 356,500/129,400 iSCSI 4K random read/write IOPS and 6,970/3,536 Sequential Read/Write (RAID F1, Synology SAT5200-960G SATA SSD installed in all bays).

Click to view slideshow.

Here is how the rest of the specifications of the Synology FS3410 pan out. It’s quite a solid build, 2U in height, Redundant PSU equipped and full depth.

processor
Processor model Intel Xeon D-1541
Number of CPUs 1
processor architecture 64-bit
processor clock 8-core 2.1 (base frequency) / 2.7 (max overclock) GHz
Hardware Encryption Engine (AES-NI) YES
Memory
system memory 16 GB DDR4 ECC RDIMMs
Pre-installed memory modules 16 GB (16 GB x 1)
Total number of memory slots 4
Maximum memory capacity 128GB (32GB x 4)
storage device
number of disk slots twenty four
Compatible Disk Types* (See All Supported Disks) 2.5″ SATA SSD
Disk hot-plug support YES
Remark
  • Synology only guarantees the full functionality, reliability, and performance of Synology hard drives listed in the compatibility list . The use of unauthenticated components may limit certain functions and result in data loss and system instability.
  • Compatible disk type refers to the type of hard disk that is confirmed to be compatible with the product after actual measurement, not the maximum speed limit of the hard disk slot.
External port
RJ-45 1GbE port* 4 (Support Link Aggregation / Failover)
RJ-45 10GbE port 2 (Support Link Aggregation / Failover)
management port 1
Maximum number of LAN ports 15
USB 3.2 Gen 1 port* 2
PCIe
PCIe expansion 2 x Gen3 x8 slots (x8 link)
file system
internal disk
  • btrfs
  • EXT4
external disk
  • btrfs
  • EXT4
  • EXT3
  • FAT
  • NTFS
  • HFS+
  • exFAT
Remark You can install the exFAT Access package for free from DSM 7.0’s Package Center. If you use DSM 6.2 or earlier, you need to purchase exFAT Access in Package Center.
Exterior
Dimensions (rack unit) 2U
Size (HXWXD) 88mm x 482mm x 724mm
weight 15.0 kg
Rack Mount Support* Four Post 19″ (Synology Rack Kit – RKS-02 )
Remark Rack kit sold separately
other projects
system fan 80mm x 80mm x 4pcs
fan mode
  • full speed mode
  • low temperature mode
  • silent mode
Replaceable system fan YES
Power auto-recovery YES
Noise value* 46.1 dB(A)
Timer switch YES
wake on lan YES
Power Supply / Transformer 550W
Dual power supply YES

One last thing to note about the FS3410 Flashstation is that, much like many of the recent Synology enterprise and hyper-scale solutions released/planned by the brand in 2022/2023, the compatibility of drive SSD media is listed on the official pages as Synology SAT5200/SAT5210 SSDs only. That means that using non-Synology branded media in this system will place you in a position where the brand might not be able/willing to assist you with support. The Synology SAT5200/5210 series of SSDs ARE high in durability, though their performance is a little under alternatives from WD, Western Digital Ultrastar and Seagate – so some users might be less keen on this.

HOWEVER! It is also worth noting that solutions like the Synology FS3410 are intended for a very high-end class of business user and typically those users prefer a single provider/all-in-one solution and THOSE users are going to be more than happy with Synology providing a range of their own storage media in conjunction with this device, as well as prefer it all to be an in-house solution (warranty, support, replacement, on-site tech help, etc). Therefore the stricter compatibility on this server is less of a barrier than normal. Let’s discuss where this system sits in the Synology Flashstation portfolio.

How Does the Synology FS3410 NAS Compare with the FS2500, FS3600 and FS6400 Flashstation?

As mentioned, the Synology FS3410 Rackmount is the latest addition to the Flashstation portfolio. Over the years, we have seen some hugely impressive servers join this product family and having a much more fleshed-out range of solutions so that businesses can cater their budgets towards the area that they need it most, is always going to be appreciated. The FS3410 sits between the FS2500 and FS3600 solution in terms of power, features, hardware and pricing (and quite far behind the FS6400 MONSTER Flashstation server).

Here is how the four Flashstation servers compare in terms of their hardware. The hardware scales i na numebr of different directions (capacity, CPU power, eternal connecctivity, scalabilty and more) and therefore allows the end user to pour their budget towards the areas of flash storage that their business solution is needed for.

FS2500

FS3410

FS3600

FS6400

Hardware
processor
Processor model AMD Ryzen V1780B Intel Xeon D-1541 Intel Xeon D-1567 Intel Xeon Silver 4110
Number of CPUs 1 1 1 2
processor architecture 64-bit 64-bit 64-bit 64-bit
processor clock 4-core 3.35 (base frequency) / 3.6 (max overclock) GHz 8-core 2.1 (base frequency) / 2.7 (max overclock) GHz 12-core 2.1 (base frequency) / 2.7 (max overclock) GHz 8-core 2.1 (base frequency) / 3.0 (max overclock) GHz
Hardware Encryption Engine (AES-NI)
Memory
system memory 8 GB DDR4 ECC UDIMMs 16 GB DDR4 ECC RDIMMs 16 GB DDR4 ECC RDIMMs 32GB DDR4 ECC RDIMMs
Pre-installed memory modules 8 GB (8 GB x 1) 16 GB (16 GB x 1) 16 GB (16 GB x 1) 32GB (16GB x 2)
Total number of memory slots 2 4 4 16
Maximum memory capacity 32GB (16GB x 2) 128GB (32GB x 4) 128GB (32GB x 4) 512GB (32GB x 16)
number of disk slots 12 twenty four twenty four twenty four
Maximum number of disk slots to install expansion units 48 (RX1217sas x 2) / 72 (FX2421* x 2) 48 (RX1217sas x 2) / 72 (FX2421* x 2)
Compatible Disk Types* (See All Supported Disks) 2.5″ SATA SSD 2.5″ SATA SSD
  • 2.5″ SAS HDD*
  • 2.5″ SAS SSD*
  • 2.5″ SATA SSD
  • 2.5″ SAS HDDs
  • 2.5″ SAS SSD
  • 2.5″ SATA SSD
RJ-45 1GbE port 4 (Support Link Aggregation / Failover) 2 (Support Link Aggregation / Failover)
RJ-45 1GbE port* 2 (Support Link Aggregation / Failover) 4 (Support Link Aggregation / Failover)
RJ-45 10GbE port 2 (Support Link Aggregation / Failover) 2 (Support Link Aggregation / Failover) 2 (Support Link Aggregation / Failover) 2 (Support Link Aggregation / Failover)
management port 1
Maximum number of LAN ports 15
USB 3.2 Gen 1 port* 2 2 2 2
expansion port 1 1
Remark
  • This product’s 1GbE port MTU value is limited to 1500.
  • In 2019, USB-IF rebranded the standard formerly known as USB 3.0 to USB 3.2 Gen 1.
  • This product’s 1GbE port MTU value is limited to 1500.
  • In 2019, USB-IF rebranded the standard formerly known as USB 3.0 to USB 3.2 Gen 1.
In 2019, USB-IF rebranded the standard formerly known as USB 3.0 to USB 3.2 Gen 1. In 2019, USB-IF rebranded the standard formerly known as USB 3.0 to USB 3.2 Gen 1.
PCIe
PCIe expansion 1 x Gen3 x8 slot (x4 link) 2 x Gen3 x8 slots (x8 link) 1 x Gen3 x8 slot (x8 link) 2 x Gen3 x8 slots (x8 link)
Dimensions (rack unit) 1U 2U 2U 2U
Size (HXWXD) 44mm x 481.9mm x 555.9mm 88mm x 482mm x 724mm 88mm x 482mm x 724mm 88mm x 482mm x 724mm
weight 8.3 kg 15.0 kg 14.9 kg 17.26 kg
Rack Mount Support* Four Post 19″ (Synology Rack Kit – RKS-01 ) Four Post 19″ (Synology Rack Kit – RKS-02 ) Four Post 19″ (Synology Rack Kit – RKS-02 ) Four Post 19″ (Synology Rack Kit – RKS-02 )
Remark Rack kit sold separately Rack kit sold separately Rack kit sold separately Rack kit sold separately
Power Supply / Transformer 350W 550W 500W 800W
Recommended number of virtual machines (see more) 16 (see more) 24 (see more) 32 (see more)
Recommended number of Virtual DSMs (license required) 8 (including 1 set of free licenses) 16 (including 1 free license) 24 (including 1 free license) 32 (with 1 set of free licenses)

When will the Synology FS3410 Flashstation NAS Be Released and How much will it cost?

The Synology FS3410 Flashstation NAS is already appearing on the official Synology Taiwan pages and will likely appear on the global (i.e U.S, Europe, etc) within the next few weeks. Regarding pricing, this IS an enterprise product and will be priced as such. The flashstation series has always had a price tag that is considerably HIGHER than the rest of the Synology portfolio, but considerably LOWER than most other flash server solutions in the enterprise sector (HP, EMC, Netapp, blah, blah). Given the Synology FS2500 has a $3500 price tag, the FS3600 has a $6500 price tag and the top dog FS6400 has a $12000 price tag, I think we can see the Synology FS3410 Flashstation arriving around the $4500-5000 mark (tax and your local region making all the difference). I look forward to sharing more on the FS3410 Flashstation and other units in this product series later in 2022/2023.

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This description contains links to Amazon. These links will take you to some of the products mentioned in today's content. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Visit the NASCompares Deal Finder to find the best place to buy this device in your region, based on Service, Support and Reputation - Just Search for your NAS Drive in the Box Below

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7] Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  

How to Mesh the MR2200ac & RT2600ac with Your Synology RT6600ax Router

24 juin 2022 à 01:34

What You Need to do to Mesh Your RT6600ax, MR2200ac and/or RT2600ac Routers Together

As you may have already heard, Synology has rolled out the Release Candidate of SRM 1.3 for all their router devices, now available on the official download pages (HERE for the MR2200ac and HERE for the RT2600ac), as well as a slightly tweaked update for the RT6600ax (which already arrives with SRM 1.3). The result of this (which is great news to many) is that alongside the benefits of SRM 1.3 in vLANs, tagging, SSID creation, improved GUI and layout, you can now MESH YOUR SYNOLOGY ROUTERS! This was one of the few software limitations that the new Synology RT6600ax WiFi 6 Router had at launch, especially when many buyers were considering the RT6600ax as a replacement for the RT2600ac router that was in the middle of their existing mesh system. So, today I want to guide you through a few of the ways that you can update your older Synology RT2600ac and MR2200ac routers in order to allow you to mesh them with your brand new RT6600ax device.

Important Note About Using MR2200ac as a Mesh Node for the Synology RT6600ax Mesh Router

IMPORTANT #1 – The SRM 1.3 Firmware update for RT2600ac and MR2200ac Router is still a ‘release candidate’, which means that although it is pretty much was the final version of what the software update will be when it is eventually released (likely in August or so), it is still not a ‘final’ release, so be sure to backup your router configuration in the control panel if you choose to proceed with this update. Additionally, SRM 1.3 will not be available to the RT1900ac router series.

IMPORTANT #2!!! If you are running an RT6600ax WiFi 6 Router and want to add a batch of new/factory restored MR2200ac Mesh Points, you will need to go through the process of updating each node from SRM 1.2 to SRM 1.3. However, unlike Synology NAS systems during initialization, there is no point in the first-time setup of the MR2200ac/RT2600ac to upload a firmware file or the system search for the latest firmware online. This is only possible AFTER the router is initialized and from there, you will need to download the latest firmware (SRM 1.3), allow the system to reboot, THEN reinitialise the MR2200ac/RT2600ac so it can enter a ‘find’ status (when the LED on the system is a single, flashing blue light). From THAT point, you can find the MR2200ac/RT2600ac in the WiFi Access Point Search of your RT6600ax Router and add these nodes successfully. So:

  • ALL Synology MR2200ac Mesh Routers will need to be updated individually to SRM 1.3 before attempting to connect with an RT6600ax Router Network
  • SRM 1.3 Update can be downloaded from the Synology site OR from the MR2200ac initialization (coming soon, after Release Candidate and final release are made public online)
  • First-time initialization and setup in 1.3 has been updated, so the initialization of a Router with SRM 1.3 on board is much simpler and more user-friendly
  • If you try to connect your RT6600ax to an MR2200ac mesh node without updating that mesh node to SRM 1.3, it will SEE the MR200ac, but it will not be able to connect it due to firmware incompatibility between SRM 1.2 and SRM 1.3

It is worth highlighting that from then onwards, your primary router will be able to push updates to the nodes individually (much as the RT2600ac pushes updates to the MR2200ac mesh router points). No doubt as time goes on, this method of updating with be considerably easier and as newer routers go through manufacture, they will have SRM 1.3 onboard by default.

IMPORTANT #3! – If you are migrating from an RT2600ac to an RT6600ax Router, make sure to update the RT2600ac to SRM 1.3 first, then backup your router configuration in the control panel by heading to Control Panel > System > Update & Restore > Backup Configuration. From here you can create a config file that you can store locally on your computer, which can then be used to reinstate your configuration on the new RT6600ax. SRM 1.2 configurations cannot be used on an SRM 1.3 Router

Installation of SRM 1.3 on the Synology MR2200ac Router

First of all, upgrading to SRM 1.3 is much the same as typical firmware updates in Synology products IF you already have the device setup and can log in to the GUI.

Updating an MR2200ac or RT2600ac via the GUI

Log into your Synology MR2200ac or RT2600ac and head into the control panel, then select System, then Update & Restore, then select Manual SRM Update.

From here browse your local machine and find the .PAT file that you downloaded from Synology.com in the download area of the RT2600ac or MR2200ac, then select it and choose to install this update

You will be greeted by a pop-up that states that this update may change or remove some features of SRM 1.2 in line with SRM 1.3. Additionally, it will stop backup configurations you have made of SRM 1.2 from working in this new revision of the software. From here you can click confirm to proceed

The system will start uploading the SRM 1.3 pat update file to the MR2200ac or RT2600ac router

You will then be informed that in order for the update to take effect, then you will need to restart

During this installation and completion of the SRM 1.3 update, the router and its services will not be accessible.

When the installation of the first part of the SRM 1.3 update is completed, the system will reboot and a clock will count down. If the router GUI does not reappear in the browser after this time, it may well be because the router was on a dynamic IP setting and has changed it’s address. Use the Synology Assistant tool to find your Synology MR2200ac or RT2600ac’s new address.

When the system reboots, it will book back into the login GUI, but now it will be the improved and further polished SRM 1.3 login screen. From here you can log in as normal and enjoy SRM 1.3 with new features.

Next, lets discuss what you need to do in order to add existing MR2200ac and RT2600ac routers to a mesh network with the RT6600ax Router.

Adding a Synology MR2200ac or RT2600ac Router to the Synology RT6600ax Router as a Mesh Point

In order to add a Synology MR2200ac or RT2600ac to your RT6600ax Router as a mesh point, you will need to ensure that they are running SRM 1.3 as their firmware. In the case of the RT2600ac, this will be REALLY easy, as you can access the main SRM 1.2 GUI and update to SRM 1.3 as the software appears on the Synology Download section. However, in the case of MR2200ac nodes (which are rarely used as a primary router) you are going to need to update each node with SRM 1.3 before they are seen by the RT6600ax. If you have them connected with an RT2600ac, it is easy to push the update to SRM 1.3 across the whole existing network. However, if you only have the RT6600ax and 1 or more MR2200ac mesh routers, each one will need to be updated to SRM 1.3 using the steps in the guide above THEN formatted to factory settings.

If your MR2200ac is on SRM 1.2, follow the guide above to upgrade it to SRM 1.3. If you have updated your MR2200ac to SRM 1.3, you now need to restore it to factory settings here:

Doing so will result in the device deleting all data and settings – so be sure that this is what you want to do. Proceeding with this will result in the device taking 5-10 minutes to complete.

Alternatively – you can reset your MR2200ac router by using the reset pin on the rear of the router. However, this will not allow you to make any configuration backups and is irreversible.

Next, head over to your Synology RT6600ax Router and head into the WiFi Access Tab to start adding WiFi points/Nodes

You will be asked which connection method your nodes will be connected by. I STRONGLY recommend selecting both ethernet and wireless connections

The reason I recommend this is that it is about 100x easier to set up a smaller mess network of around 5-6 nodes by bringing them all together and connecting via LAN to the RT6600ax, then later disconnecting them and positioning them where you need them to be. It IS worth remembering that later on when you get them up that their distance from the primary router will affect the strength BUT (crucially) when a Synology mesh router is connected with the RT6600ax primary router, it knows the wifi identity and security credentials of the node and will connect wirelessly with the MR2200ac etc as soon as it is within range (even if the primary connection was via wired ethernet).

Note, if you are connecting the nodes (temporarily for setup or long term) via ethernet, you need to ensure that the MR2200ac or RT2600ac has cable connected to the WAN port and into a LAN port of the RT6600ax. Otherwise, the connection/host-client communication will not function correctly. Again, later on, after the node is set up, you can move these nodes away and the wireless connectivity will also function between the mesh points.

After this, there are a few steps to highlight the best places to set up a mesh node (in terms of proximity and multiple points), but also a note that you need the mesh mode in the correct LED lit configuration (that single blue flashing light)

When the RT6600ax scans the local network for the other Synology router to extend the mesh network, it will list the router(s) it has found and then invite you to enter the secure pin code that is printed on the back of all Synology routers (8 digits, numerical, cannot be changed)

After that, the RT6600ax Router will begin setting up the new mesh WiFi point (testing the strength of connection, copying over the SSID configuration and establishing the backhaul). This will not take more than a minute or so per node and (unless the mesh node has been obstructed, powered down, or has not been updated to SRM 1.3) should connect to the RT6600ax network.

And that is it. Now the MR2200ac or RT2600ac are part of your RT6600ax Mesh router system. They will no longer appear on the Synology Assistant tool and their SRM GUI cannot be accessed – they are now connection nodes to the larger RT6600ax router system and can be managed and adjusted in the SRM 1.3 GUI of the primary router. You can also power down the mesh router nodes and move them to new locations in your home or office for greater coverage. When they power back on, as long as they are in the coverage area of the primary router, they will re-join the RT6600ax/Primary router network automatically. If they are in a weak area of coverage/distance, the system will let you know and recommend which ones need to be brought closer.

If you are still unsure about the benefits of SRM 1.3 and debating whether purchase a Synology Router (or maybe you have one and you are unsure whether to upgrade from SRM 1.2 > 1.3), you can use the video and article below where I fully reviewed SRM 1.3 on the RT6600ax Router.

Synology SRM 1.3 Video Review

Synology SRM 1.3 Video Review

 

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This description contains links to Amazon. These links will take you to some of the products mentioned in today's content. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Visit the NASCompares Deal Finder to find the best place to buy this device in your region, based on Service, Support and Reputation - Just Search for your NAS Drive in the Box Below

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7] Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  

Synology SRM 1.3 Update for MR2200ac and RT2600ac Routers FINALLY!!!

23 juin 2022 à 00:00

Synology Release SRM 1.3 for the RT2600AC & MR2200ac Router for Adding RT6600ax Mesh Setups

Good news for those of you who have been considering upgrading their existing Synology router mesh setup OR those who already own the previous releases in the Synology Router series with the announcement of SRM 1.3 for the RT2600ac and MR2200ac devices. Synology Router Manager (SRM) 1.3 was released with the newest device in the brand’s router lineup, the RT6600ax, but not made available for the previous generation devices immediately. The newest version of SRM includes multiple improvements to the GUI, included applications and services, added vLAN support and (most important of all) now means that those of you who have an existing MR2200ac Mesh network in place can now connect with the RT6600ax (that many opted to replace the RT22600ac in their existing set ups). Updating your Synology MR2200ac and RT2600ac to SRM 1.3 SHOULD be very easy as soon as the Release Candidate of SRM 1.3 is available on the official download pages (HERE for the MR2200ac and HERE for the RT2600ac) as you will be able to manually download and update your system OR head into the control panel and allow the router to check the Synology update database and update directly.

Important Note About Using MR2200ac as a Mesh Node for the Synology RT6600ax Mesh Router

IMPORTANT!!! If you are running an RT6600ax WiFi 6 Router and want to add a batch of new/factory restored MR2200ac Mesh Points, you will need to go through the process of updating each node from SRM 1.2 to SRM 1.3. However, unlike Synology NAS systems during initialization, there is no point in the first-time setup of the MR2200ac/RT2600ac to upload a firmware file or the system search for the latest firmware online. This is only possible AFTER the router is initialized and from there, you will need to download the latest firmware (SRM 1.3), allow the system to reboot, THEN reinitialise the MR2200ac/RT2600ac so it can enter a ‘find’ status (when the LED on the system is a single, flashing blue light). From THAT point, you can find the MR2200ac/RT2600ac in the WiFi Access Point Search of your RT6600ax Router and add these nodes successfully. So:

  • ALL Synology MR2200ac Mesh Routers will need to be updated individually to SRM 1.3 before attempting to connect with an RT6600ax Router Network
  • SRM 1.3 Update can be downloaded from the Synology site OR from the MR2200ac initialization (coming soon, after Release Candidate and final release are made public online)
  • First-time initialization and setup in 1.3 has been updated, so the initialization of a Router with SRM 1.3 on board is much simpler and more user-friendly
  • If you try to connect your RT6600ax to an MR2200ac mesh node without updating that mesh node to SRM 1.3, it will SEE the MR200ac, but it will not be able to connect it due to firmware incompatibility between SRM 1.2 and SRM 1.3

It is worth highlighting that from then onwards, your primary router will be able to push updates to the nodes individually (much as the RT2600ac pushes updates to the MR2200ac mesh router points). No doubt as time goes on, this method of updating with be considerably easier and as newer routers go through manufacture, they will have SRM 1.3 onboard by default.

IMPORTANT #2! – If you are migrating from an RT2600ac to an RT6600ax Router, make sure to update the RT2600ac to SRM 1.3 first, then backup your router configuration in the control panel by heading to Control Panel > System > Update & Restore > Backup Configuration. From here you can create a config file that you can store locally on your computer, which can then be used to reinstate your configuration on the new RT6600ax. SRM 1.2 configurations cannot be used on an SRM 1.3 Router

Installation of SRM 1.3 on the Synology MR2200ac Router

First of all, upgrading to SRM 1.3 is much the same as typical firmware updates in Synology products IF you already have the device setup and can log in to the GUI.

Updating an MR2200ac or RT2600ac via the GUI

Log into your Synology MR2200ac or RT2600ac and head into the control panel, then select System, then Update & Restore, then select Manual SRM Update.

From here browse your local machine and find the .PAT file that you downloaded from Synology.com in the download area of the RT2600ac or MR2200ac, then select it and choose to install this update

You will be greeted by a pop-up that states that this update may change or remove some features of SRM 1.2 in line with SRM 1.3. Additionally, it will stop backup configurations you have made of SRM 1.2 from working in this new revision of the software. From here you can click confirm to proceed

The system will start uploading the SRM 1.3 pat update file to the MR2200ac or RT2600ac router

You will then be informed that in order for the update to take effect, then you will need to restart

During this installation and completion of the SRM 1.3 update, the router and its services will not be accessible.

When the installation of the first part of the SRM 1.3 update is completed, the system will reboot and a clock will count down. If the router GUI does not reappear in the browser after this time, it may well be because the router was on a dynamic IP setting and has changed it’s address. Use the Synology Assistant tool to find your Synology MR2200ac or RT2600ac’s new address.

When the system reboots, it will book back into the login GUI, but now it will be the improved and further polished SRM 1.3 login screen. From here you can log in as normal and enjoy SRM 1.3 with new features.

Next, lets discuss what you need to do in order to add existing MR2200ac and RT2600ac routers to a mesh network with the RT6600ax Router.

Adding a Synology MR2200ac or RT2600ac Router to the Synology RT6600ax Router as a Mesh Point

In order to add a Synology MR2200ac or RT2600ac to your RT6600ax Router as a mesh point, you will need to ensure that they are running SRM 1.3 as their firmware. In the case of the RT2600ac, this will be REALLY easy, as you can access the main SRM 1.2 GUI and update to SRM 1.3 as the software appears on the Synology Download section. However, in the case of MR2200ac nodes (which are rarely used as a primary router) you are going to need to update each node with SRM 1.3 before they are seen by the RT6600ax. If you have them connected with an RT2600ac, it is easy to push the update to SRM 1.3 across the whole existing network. However, if you only have the RT6600ax and 1 or more MR2200ac mesh routers, each one will need to be updated to SRM 1.3 using the steps in the guide above THEN formatted to factory settings.

If your MR2200ac is on SRM 1.2, follow the guide above to upgrade it to SRM 1.3. If you have updated your MR2200ac to SRM 1.3, you now need to restore it to factory settings here:

Doing so will result in the device deleting all data and settings – so be sure that this is what you want to do. Proceeding with this will result in the device taking 5-10 minutes to complete.

Alternatively – you can reset your MR2200ac router by using the reset pin on the rear of the router. However, this will not allow you to make any configuration backups and is irreversible.

Next, head over to your Synology RT6600ax Router and head into the WiFi Access Tab to start adding WiFi points/Nodes

You will be asked which connection method your nodes will be connected by. I STRONGLY recommend selecting both ethernet and wireless connections

The reason I recommend this is that it is about 100x easier to set up a smaller mess network of around 5-6 nodes by bringing them all together and connecting via LAN to the RT6600ax, then later disconnecting them and positioning them where you need them to be. It IS worth remembering that later on when you get them up that their distance from the primary router will affect the strength BUT (crucially) when a Synology mesh router is connected with the RT6600ax primary router, it knows the wifi identity and security credentials of the node and will connect wirelessly with the MR2200ac etc as soon as it is within range (even if the primary connection was via wired ethernet).

Note, if you are connecting the nodes (temporarily for setup or long term) via ethernet, you need to ensure that the MR2200ac or RT2600ac has cable connected to the WAN port and into a LAN port of the RT6600ax. Otherwise, the connection/host-client communication will not function correctly. Again, later on, after the node is set up, you can move these nodes away and the wireless connectivity will also function between the mesh points.

After this, there are a few steps to highlight the best places to set up a mesh node (in terms of proximity and multiple points), but also a note that you need the mesh mode in the correct LED lit configuration (that single blue flashing light)

When the RT6600ax scans the local network for the other Synology router to extend the mesh network, it will list the router(s) it has found and then invite you to enter the secure pin code that is printed on the back of all Synology routers (8 digits, numerical, cannot be changed)

After that, the RT6600ax Router will begin setting up the new mesh WiFi point (testing the strength of connection, copying over the SSID configuration and establishing the backhaul). This will not take more than a minute or so per node and (unless the mesh node has been obstructed, powered down, or has not been updated to SRM 1.3) should connect to the RT6600ax network.

And that is it. Now the MR2200ac or RT2600ac are part of your RT6600ax Mesh router system. They will no longer appear on the Synology Assistant tool and their SRM GUI cannot be accessed – they are now connection nodes to the larger RT6600ax router system and can be managed and adjusted in the SRM 1.3 GUI of the primary router. You can also power down the mesh router nodes and move them to new locations in your home or office for greater coverage. When they power back on, as long as they are in the coverage area of the primary router, they will re-join the RT6600ax/Primary router network automatically. If they are in a weak area of coverage/distance, the system will let you know and recommend which ones need to be brought closer.

If you are still unsure about the benefits of SRM 1.3 and debating whether purchase a Synology Router (or maybe you have one and you are unsure whether to upgrade from SRM 1.2 > 1.3), you can use the video and article below where I fully reviewed SRM 1.3 on the RT6600ax Router.

Synology SRM 1.3 Video Review

Synology SRM 1.3 Video Review

 

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NAS Buyers Guide 2022 – A Handy Guide for NAS Beginners

8 juin 2022 à 01:33

NAS Brands in 2022 – Get it Right, FIRST TIME!

If you have been looking to purchase your first NAS drive, or are looking at upgrading the system that you have been using in your home/office for the last few years, then it is understandable that it is ALOT of get to grips with. Network Attached Storage has evolved incredibly over the last few years and has gone from a rather niche area of the I.T industry into something that pretty much all users can benefit from in their daily lives. With the monthly/annual subscription costs of cloud storage providers (such as Google Cloud, AWS, DropBox and Microsoft OneDrive) getting higher, as well as the size of our daily data skyrocketing, making the switch from rented 3rd party cloud space to your very own NAS server in-house makes ALOT of sense. It becomes even more compelling when you add in the full range of software, services and features that modern NAS includes (Plex, AI Photo Recognition, Surveillance, VMs, Hybrid backup-n-sync and more), but like any area of technology – NAS can become a complicated and confusing subject. Every year for the last 5 years I have produced a guide on modern NAS brands, the best solutions you can get right now, who the brands have improved/declined and ultimately created an idiots guide to choosing the right NAS solution for your needs right FIRST TIME. In this, the 2022/2023 edition, we have seen a huge increase in 2.5GbE network solutions, improvements in M.2 NVMe technology and all of the popular NAS brands introducing improvements in their server software. So, what are you waiting for? Here is my guide to Network Attached Storage in 2022. Use the chapters below to skip ahead and I hope this helps you choose the right solution for your needs.

Want to Skip Ahead to a Specific NAS Brand or Subject? Click Below:

Is a NAS and a Server the Same Thing?

You will often hear people use the word NAS and the word Server differently. Both are exceedingly similar and often interchanged, but there are some teeny tiny historical differences between them. The word server can sometimes bring out a cold sweat in the less technically minded or IT experienced, but in reality, it is a pretty harmless term. A server is a piece of hardware (like a computer) or software (so a program that runs on a computer) that manages, shares and controls data (pictures, videos, word documents, PDFs etc) to a number of people who wish to access them (these are called ‘clients’). That is it. Sure, there are much more complex and expensive servers that are designed to communicate with other servers or computers without human intervention – but in essence, they are all the same thing. Now where a regular server will give access to your users/clients via your internal network (router or switch) a NAS Server is the same, but it opens up a whole area of accessing it over the internet too. Different NAS servers provide different results and speeds and typically are designed with individual purposes in mind (i.e some are designed with media playing in mind, some with faster backing up and others with Surveillance recordings with CCTV IP Cameras). So first and foremost you have to make sure that the NAS you buy is designed for the tasks you have in mind. A fork and a Spoon are both cutlery, but you wouldn’t eat soup with a fork (maybe a spork). Traditional bare-metal servers have the option of remote internet access, but nowhere near as intuitively and with a focus on user-friendliness that NAS systems provide.

What is NAS Drive?

Network Attached Storage, with the exception of casual 3rd party cloud use, is currently the most popular means to store, access, share and distribute data across your home, your city and the rest of the world. It provides you with the means to:

  • Access your Multimedia on Network devices over DLNA
  • Backup all your devices easily and at a time of your choosing, wire-free
  • Stream Media over the internet, anywhere in the world
  • Share files securely and with full control of how and when they are accessible
  • Centralize the storage of your data in one location
  • Create Bespoke tiered backup solutions that fit your own needs

Choosing between Synology, QNAP, WD, Drobo, Netgear, Thecus and Asustor NAS

Let’s get our hands dirty and start working out what is the best NAS for you. All the brands have a different target audience in mind and each has its own Pros and Cons. However, all of them support a number of similar abilities, software and network basic functionality. So before we talk about what is better or worse about each NAS brand, let’s look at what they all have in common:

Applicable to all

  • All are compatible with Mac, Windows, Android and Linux
  • All arrive with a selection of included applications and services for tailored data access
  • All can be purchased Worldwide and feature regular security updates and firmware improvements regularly
  • All can be accessed via Mobile apps available via Google Play and iTunes, though there are more on some other brands than others
  • All can be accessed via your web browser – like Chrome, Opera, Safari, and…sigh… Windows Explorer
  • All use SATA HDD and SSD, with some having SAS enterprise options too
  • All work via the network and can be accessed worldwide over the internet
  • 3rd Party applications like PLEX, KODI and APPLE TIME MACHINE are supported
  • All arrive DLNA certified, so they will be accessed by your PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Smart TV or Sonos system to play media
  • All are either WiFi-enabled or can have a WiFi dongle attached – though your speeds will suffer
  • All when purchased NEW arrive with a warranty of at least 2 years and in many cases more

Why Not Use Cloud Services like Google Drive, OneDrive or Dropbox instead of a NAS?

Do not think that 3rd party cloud services are bad, they really aren’t! In fact, you should always consider adding a 2nd or 3rd tier into your backup strategy at home/work, and synchronization of files/folders on your NAS with the cloud is a good means to ensure you have another backup in place. Additionally, most NAS feature a variety of 256bit encryption options, password protection, 2 step verification and more to allow secure access is ensured to the NAS and the content, even via the cloud. Additionally, bg NAS brands like Synology and QNAP have been supporting Hybrid Cloud services that not only allow cloud storage to be bolted onto your NAS storage for shared usage and access, but also both brand support backup and synchronization with cloud collaborate services, such as Google’s G Suite and Microsoft’s Office 365. So there is DEFINITELY still a valid and useful place for 3rd party cloud services in 2022, however, I rarely advocate the use of these cloud services as a PRIMARY storage location. They ARE convenient and you can get a limited amount of space included for free, but I generally have three core reasons that I do not recommend cloud as a first-tier storage.

COST – The cost of most 2 year subscriptions costs about the same as if you just purchased even a small scale NAS on day 1. It might seem like just 5 or 10 bucks a month, but over 2 or 3 years, it all adds up and moreover, after that time you either need to keep on paying every month or still buy a NAS or DAS system for the data to live on. Might as well buy the NAS sooner rather than later as it will be inevitable eventually.

ACCESS – NAS provides more apps, file-level tailored use and can be better adapted into popular 3rd Party applications like PLEX, KODI, APPLE TIME MACHINE and DLNA supported devices. A cloud provider severely limits the kind of access you have on a regular basis.

PRIVACY – NAS provides full individual user control and access, as well as admin controls. Plus the NAS can be fully disconnected from the Internet/Network at your discretion. A cloud provider has a relative pre-set safety protocol that, when cracked on one or two occasions, opens up mass hacking

This is not to say that data on your NAS is completely inaccessible. Any NAS brand can only really stay 1 step ahead of the hackers, patching exploits as they are found (no different than any online service really), but a NAS is a means to create a secure, customizable and ultimately bespoke data storage solution.

Why Choose Synology NAS? Advantages and Disadvantages

synology-all-black-logo-for-banner

Likely one of the two NAS brands you have heard of, Synology NAS is the company that invests HEAVILY in its software – and it shows. It may seem one of the most expensive, but with it, you get some genuine boundary-breaking software with your purchase.  You still get a great level of hardware in the majority of Synology NAS solutions, but the real draw of Synology is that software. Not only does it support your own hardware environment of PCs, Macs, entertainment devices and mobiles in their own respective software, but DSM also includes MANY applications designed around keeping all your data IN-HOUSE. So, replace Skype/Whatsapp with Synology Chat, Replace Google Docs and Office365 with Synology Office. Use Synology Drive to make your storage visible and accessible the way YOU want it, and export your entire cloud/data network over to a Synology NAS and remove all the external access as and when you need! They aren’t the cheapest and they want you to do it ‘there way’, but it’s a pretty decent way. Additionally, their recent DSM 7.0 software has left many users impressed, with enhanced support of those 3rd party cloud storage and business services, AI photo recognition, their surveillance platform continuing to win awards and even an in-house cloud service in Synology C2. Stylizing themselves very much as the ‘Apple’ of this industry, they really do focus on keeping things straightforward and intuitive.

PROS of Synology NAS

  • Easily the most intuitive and Usage browser-based GUI (award-winning DSM 6.2/7.0/7.1) – FULL Review HERE
  • One of the best Surveillance NAS software solutions
  • Most popular vendor for Mac users for it’s UI
  • Incredibly feature-rich NVR software included, in Surveillance Station
  • Includes Active Backup Suite – Enterprise level and fully featured Backup Co-ordination software
  • Lowest Power Consumption vs other brands
  • A large # of their systems arrive with m.2 NVMe SSD caching upgrade bays
  • Quiet chassis compared with other brands
  • Task specialised Ranges like ‘PLAY’, ‘PLUS’ and ‘J’ make buying easier
  • The best range of first-party software, with Synology Office, Chat, Mail, Drive and more
  • SHR and SHR-2 – also BTRFS available in most solutions
  • Cloud Services available in Synology C2
  • Desktop and Rack-mount options are available
  • Best software for Home and SMB

CONS of Synology NAS

  • Often the most expensive
  • Recent Enterprise NAS Hardware has changed Compatibility in favour of Synology HDDs and SSDs
  • Generally, Synology NAS has the lowest hardware power in their systems
  • NVMe SSD Bays are for caching ONLY, they cannot be used for super-fast storage pools
  • More technically minded folk will need to dig a little to get to the nitty-gritty
  • SHR is not available on Enterprise NAS Systems
  • Network ONLY – no HDMI, Audio in/out, Thunderbolt, etc

Synology DS220J NAS – $180

4-Core ARM 64bit CPU – 512MB Memory – 1GbE – 2-Bay

RECOMMENDED – Synology DS920+ – $535

4-Core Intel 64bit CPU – 4/8GB Memory – 1GbE – 4-Bay –  NVMe

Synology DS1621XS+ NAS – $1899

4-Core Intel Xeon 64bit CPU – 8/16GB Memory – 10GbE – 6-Bay –  NVMe

Best Budget NAS

Check Amazon Below for Current Prices/Stock

Best Mid-Range Solution

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Best Business Solution

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Why Choose QNAP NAS? Advantages and Disadvantages

QNAP_logo1_hnlgpk_ptkfgi

Often considered the choice for the more hardware-aware buyer, if you are looking for a much more traditionally computer associated hardware – QNAP NAS is certainly the one that springs to mind. Generally considered the ‘innovators’ of the NAS industry, they have the largest range of solutions available Notwithstanding the fact that their hardware is by FAR the most evolved platform in NAS (thunderbolt 3, multiple HDMI, 10Gbe standard solutions, Silent NAS, AI solutions and advanced SSD caching), the platform is fantastically diverse, providing great NAS options alongside network switches, network adapters and generally reshaping your hardware environment for the better. The software has also evolved dramatically into its own beast, moving away from trying to imitate and carving its own path. It is a little more technically (and I really do mean a little) but it is far more rewarding for it. They do not feature some popular items on their portfolio, such as BTRFS or a fluid RAID system like SHR/BeyondRAID, but make up for this with their own range of alternatives and in most cases succeed. Get your reading glasses on though, as their range is quite vast and might overwhelm you a tad. In recent years the brand has shifted focus a great deal more towards software in efforts to meet the gap with their rival Synology to pretty good success. This is often achieved by releasing software that does the previously impossible before anyone else, but lacking a little of the polish of their biggest rival. Recent achievements with HybridMount, vJBOD, HyperVisor Protector, QuMagie and Multimedia Console have been received remarkably well, arriving onto the scene 1-2 years before anyone else. Alongside this, QNAP still has easily the best virtual machine and backup software for home and SMB in Virtualization Station and Hybrid Backup Sync.

PROS of QNAP NAS

  • Best Solutions for Plex Media Server in NAS
  • Enterprise/Business Solutions feature ZFS
  • 2.5Gbe, 5Gbe and 10Gbe Options
  • Best Virtual Machine and Container Solutions in NAS
  • NVMe SSD Bays can be used for Caching, Storage Pools or Tiered Storage Configurations
  • Almost all range is metal in design, or a plastic but unique chassis
  • HDMI and remote control included in most Media NAS devices
  • Thunderbolt NAS options covering TB2, TB3 and even TB4 (TS-464)
  • Two Surveillance Solutions (with 4/8 Camera Licenses included)
  • The Best Backup/Synchronization solution in ‘Hybrid Backup Sync 3’
  • Technical information far more readily available
  • Lower price compared with Synology in terms of hardware
  • Regularly updated software and Detailed GUI/APPs – FULL Review HERE
  • Desktop and Rackmount options are available
  • Much better business options and definitely the best for virtual machines

CONS of QNAP NAS

  • A more android feel towards apps and stability means some users will be put off
  • Lacking the BTRFS and SHR support of Synology
  • Higher typical Power consumption
  • Often a fraction noisier due to chiefly metal chassis
  • Much larger range of devices can lead to confusion
  • Most units arrive with 2-3 Years warranty, but longer will cost you more
  • Have been targetted by Ransomware attacks in the last 2 years

QNAP TS-233 NAS$205

4-Core ARM 64bit CPU – 2GB Memory – 1GbE – 2-Bay

RECOMMENDED – QNAP TS-464 – $599

4-Core Intel 64bit CPU – 4/16GB Memory – 1GbE – 4-Bay

QNAP TVS-872XT NAS$2200

4/6-Core Intel Core 64bit CPU – 8/64GB Memory – 10GbE – 8-Bay

Best Budget NAS

Check Amazon Below for Current Prices/Stock

Best Mid-Range Solution

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Best Business Solution

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Why Choose Asustor NAS? Advantages and Disadvantages

asustor logo

Another brand that was once a little on the fringe until around 2018, Asustor NAS has really upped their game in recent years, arriving with some impressively affordable 10Gbe solutions with the AS40 series, followed with the very well received Nimbustor 2 & 4 devices, and is now absolutely killing it with the Lockstor series. Certainly, a brand that wants to carve its place in the industry, the ASUS connected brand currently offers software features and functionality of Synology (BTRFS and Realtek integrated Processors) along with QNAP challenging hardware in HDMI 2.0a and 2.5Gbe default network ports (which they introduced first). This combined with a much cleaner and significantly improved software GUI in ADM, they have moved much beyond the slightly scrappy outsider vibe they had years ago. Recent additions to the range, such as the LockerStor have even included NVMe SSD bays and Xeon powered hardware, so the evolution clearly continues. The software does feel like a good middle ground between Synology and QNAP, even if missing the killer apps and hardware that gave them their market share (Thunderbolt3, SHR, Collaboration Suite, etc) and with a number of their newer releases arriving at a good chunk of $£ lower in price than comparative NAS from others (often more than 10-15% lower in fact).

PROS of Asustor NAS

  • Great Price vs Hardware – Often one of the lowest Prices Hardware solutions available
  • Recent Lockerstor Gen 2 Releases are Incredible Value for the Hardware
  • BTRFS Support
  • First Brand to Adopt 2.5Gbe Commercially
  • Nice software and still supports Kodi (unofficially), something slowly being pulled from other NAS Software stores – FULL REVIEW HERE
  • Good selection of Home and Business NAS devices
  • Early Adopter of HDMI 2.0a – so 4K at 60FPS and have their own HDMI GUI in Asustor Portal
  • VM deployment and Container Support not dissimilar from QNAP, only not quite as flash
  • Noise is pretty low on most home devices like the Nimbustor 2/4
  • More Apps are available on the NAS app store, more than QNAP and Synology
  • Product Naming is easier to follow than most brands

CONS of Asustor NAS

  • Mobile Apps are very functional but appear a little sparse
  • Many HDMI apps seem to be simplified web portals, rather than standalone applications
  • Browser-based GUI does not feel quite as smooth as Synology DSM, but on par with others
  • The Surveillance Center application feels very dated and less intuitive than most
  • Have been targetted by Ransomware attacks in the last 2 years

Asustor Drivestor 2 NAS$165

4-Core ARM 64bit CPU – 1GB Memory – 2.5GbE – 2-Bay

RECOMMENDEDAsustor LockerStor4 G.2 $550

4-Core Intel 64bit CPU – 4/16GB Memory – 2.5GbE – NVMe – 4-Bay

Asustor LockerStor 10 Pro NAS $1299

4-Core Intel 64bit CPU – 8/32GB Memory – 10G+2.5G – NVMe -10-Bay

Best Budget NAS

Check Amazon Below for Current Prices/Stock

Best Mid-Range Solution

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Best Business Solution

Check Amazon Below for Current Prices/Stock


Why Choose WD NAS? Advantages and Disadvantages

wdfulllogo

Although they have been a little quiet in terms of their hardware output recently, WD NAS is a brand that has been around for years (though most know them as a hard drive brand) and Western Digital NAS drives are a firm favourite among students and low-level storage solutions. They have a number of solutions in their WD My Cloud range that supports lite home users all the way to industry-level business users who want robust storage. The software may seem a little sparse and a far cry from Synology and QNAP, but they provide straight forward and clear setup. They WILL seem limited to anyone familiar with Synology/QNAP, but they certainly have a place in the industry. With user-friendly support of Apple Time Machine, Plex and DLNA – They are a great starter NAS with pre-populated options to make them extra affordable.

PROS of WD NAS

  • Popular HDD Vendor too, with expertise on their side
  • Often pre-populated so all warranty is covering Drives+NAS
  • Pre-populated NAS options result in better price for storage overall
  • Very fast set-up and can be deployed to deploy within 30 mins
  • Small+compact – featuring some of the lowest noise and power consumption of all
  • 3-year warranty on most units
  • Some units have 2 x PSU ports for Redundancy

CONS of WD NAS

  • EXT4 only
  • Have been VERY Quiet in NAS hardware in the last 12-18 Months
  • barely any mobile apps and relies on 3rd party mobile apps to connect over IP/Network settings
  • Smaller App selection in-app store
  • Limited User Interface
  • No HDMI, 10GBe, only USB 3.0 and 1GBe RJ45
  • Often much lower specs than Synology and QNAP
  • VERY small range
  • Desktop Only – No rackmount or Larger options

WD MyCloud EX2 NAS$159

2-Core ARM 32bit CPU – 512MB Memory – 1GbE – 2-Bay – Inc Drives

RECOMMENDEDWD MyCloud Pro – $450

4-Core Pentium CPU – 4/8GB Memory – 1GbE – 4-Bay – Inc Drives

WD MyCloud EX4100 NAS$349

4-Core ARM 32bit CPU – 2GB Memory – 1GbE – 4-Bay – Inc Drives

Best Budget NAS

Check Amazon Below for Current Prices/Stock

Best Mid-Range Solution

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Best Business Solution

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Why Choose TerraMaster NAS? Advantages and Disadvantages

One brand that I have always had a personal love for is TerraMaster. This is purely subjective and should be taken with a pinch of salt, but for a brand that no one really knows about, they give ALOT of the key features that other bigger brand advertise alot. BTRFS support is available on pretty much ALL the Intel-based devices, they feature one of the ONLY 4 LAN 2-Bay NAS’, along with an Intel N5105 based 10Gbe 2, 4 5 and 8-Bay solution and a particularly unique 2 HDD 10GbE system. Arriving with a thunderbolt DAS range too, Terramaster is a NAS brand that has evolved comparatively quickly and although for the most part, they are only available via Amazon, this has still allowed them to be a recognizable brand. Typically in a like for like hardware comparison with them and companies like Synology/QNAP, you will find them better value for money, and the software (though less diverse or slick than those two big brands) is still pretty smooth and intuative. The chassis design is a little underwhelming, but even that has improved in recent revisions. All in all, they are the best budget NAS solution out there in 2022 and a good entry point into NAS.

PROS of TerraMaster NAS

  • Great Price vs Hardware
  • VERY Fast Brand Evolution
  • TOS 5 Software introducing Surveillance, FluidRAID, AI-Powered photo Recognition and Isolation Mode
  • Added a LARGE 2.5GbE selection of NAS in their portfolio
  • Hugely Improved GUI and Client apps
  • BTRFS available as file system choice
  • Desktop and Rackmount options
  • Similar Hardware to QNAP and Asustor, but at a Lower Price
  • Straight forward range and classification
  • Very Straight Fordwared Setup

CONS of TerraMaster NAS

  • Very Few Mobile Apps
  • Not quite as polished or fully featured as Synology/QNAP
  • Despite Business targeting, very poor support of 10GBe till recently in the F2-423
  • A little dated design
  • Arrives with Warranty, but the turnaround is slower than many
  • Have been targetted by Ransomware attacks in the last 2 years

Terramaster F2-423 NAS$289

4-Core Intel 64bit CPU – 4/32GB Memory – 2.5GbE – 2-Bay

RECOMMENDED – Terramaster F5-422 – $599

4-Core Intel 64bit CPU – 4/16GB Memory – 10GbE – 5-Bay

Terramaster T12-423 12-Bay NAS $1399

4-Core Intel 64bit CPU – 4/32GB Memory – 2.5GbE – NVMe – 12-Bay

Best Budget NAS

Check Amazon Below for Current Prices/Stock

Best Mid-Range Solution

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Best Business Solution

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Why Choose Buffalo NAS? Advantages and Disadvantages

One brand that has danced with the home NAS industry, but pretty much now exclusively business in Buffalo. This brand is one that provides a number of key elements that businesses love. Robust and Rugged hardware design, Empty or Pre-Populated NAS solutions, Customizable Warranty options, Windows Server Pre-Installed Solutions, 10Gbe at an affordable Price and just generally being an enterprise/Business solution through and through. They lack the sexy/indie vibe of other brands, but that is not their target demographic – they want the user who wants storage that is simple, reliable and ‘setup and forget’. This means that on the face of it, they will seem quite pricey, but that is because you have to factor in the inclusion of hard drives, the service+support and the industrial level construction.

PROS of Buffalo NAS

  • Great Price vs Hardware for Business Users
  • Fantastically Rugged Construction
  • Lowest Priced 10Gbe Solutions
  • Can be purchased pre-populated, so warranties are all covering
  • Desktop and Rackmount options
  • Similar Hardware to Netgear, but at a Lower Price
  • Straight forward range and classification
  • EXCELLENT Windows Storage Server NAS devices, with inbuilt Windows Server 2016 for FAST deployment
  • Better Standard Warranty Length and more bespoke Recovery/Destroy options available
  • Easier and more customizable Warranty Extension options

CONS of Buffalo NAS

  • Very Few Mobile Apps
  • Availability outside of U.S and Japan is low
  • More focused on Business Users
  • Poor power consumption and dated design
  • Weak CPU choices on the whole
  • Lacks some more modern NAS innovations introduced by QNAP, Synology and more

Why Choose Netgear NAS? Advantages and Disadvantages

NETGEAR_Logo

One brand that has probably the longest history in network solutions is Netgear – pretty much ANYONE has heard of them, whether it was because your first switch/router came from them, or because they have such a squeaky clean reputation. The NAS solutions, much like Buffalo, are very industry-focused, but arriving with a few more features in the GUI department than them. Also arriving with pre-populated options and a diverse warranty structure, they do give alot to business users. They may seem a little ‘blah’, but what they lack in sizzle, they make up for in sausage.

PROS of Netgear NAS

  • Huge Mac and Windows Support
  • Fantastic Network configuration options
  • rugged and sturdy metal design
  • Often longer warranties than other brands like-for-like
  • Can be purchased pre-populated, so warranties are all covering
  • Supports usual RAID levels, as well as X-RAID and X-RAID 2 – Expandable RAID volumes not unlike SHR
  • Desktop and Rackmount options

CONS of Netgear NAS

  • High price Tag
  • Releases are very few and far between
  • Despite Business targeting, very poor support of 10GBe
  • Small App selection
  • Limited User Interface
  • REALLY confusing range
  • Not designed for a newbie – and larger units may need a dedicated IT guy
  • High power consumption and not the quietest

Should you buy Budget NAS brands like D-Link or Zyxel?

It should be highlighted that there are more NAS brands available than the ones discussed today. with each passing year more and more brands release their own NAS server for home and business use. However, in many cases, they are either too unreliable, too low on support and features, too technical for anyone with below-bill-gates depth of knowledge and most importantly most all, arrive from a brand without an established reputation. When it comes to buying the right network-attached storage device, you need to know what your buying works, as well as knowing that the manufacturer will be there in the event of a problem. likewise, you are trusting you’re are most likely trusting this brand with your most precious data (some photos and videos are irreplaceable) and from data loss to data theft, choosing the right NAS brand is essential.

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Synology DS2422+ NAS Review – The Big One?

6 juin 2022 à 01:02

Synology DS2422+ NAS Review – Go Big or Go Home?

I think it would be safe to say that Synology sells quite a lot of NAS. The brand has always had a strong focus on software and providing ‘solutions’, as opposed to ‘flogging hardware’, but ultimately the outcome is that Synology continues to be the top brand in network-attached storage worldwide. One of the biggest reasons for this of course is Diskstation Manager (DSM, currently in version 7.1), the fully-featured network software that is easily comparable in design, utility and quality to many top tier operating systems. DSM 7 is included with all Synology NAS systems to largely the same degree, but when it comes to hardware, their portfolio has tended to spread itself a little more in order to cater for those looking for value, power, features or scale – giving the end-user an opportunity to spend their budget on the areas of NAS that matter most to their network environment. The 2021/2022 released Synology DS2422+ NAS in today’s review is an interesting example of these lines being blurred by the brand and in doing so, trying to provide a little bit of everything. Arriving as the follow up to the DS2419+, this new massive 12-Bay SMB (small/medium business) solution has tweaked a few things it’s architecture, as well as including some of the opinion dividing changes to DSM 7 that have been rolled out in the last 12 months. The DS2422+ arrives with the now well established Ryzen embedded processor series, the opportunity for lots of memory, huge storage scalability, network upgradability and arrives as a solution that hopes to be the center of your home/business storage for many years (evolving over time). So today I want to review the Synology DS2422+ NAS and help you decide if it deserves your data.

Review Chapters – Skip Ahead

Synology DS2422+ NAS Review – Quick Conclusion

When Synology launched the DS2422+ and DS3622xs+ NAS at the same time, despite them both being upgradable 12-Bays, the DS2422+ was a little in the shade of the bright, shiny and powerful DS3622xs+. It is understandable, while the DS2422+ arrives with a familiar embedded Ryzen CPU and supersized version of the architecture already present in the DS1621+ and DS1821+, the DS3622xs+ was a Xeon and 10GbE monster! But people tend to forget the price difference of well over $1000 between them and for may – THAT is going to be a HUGE dealbreaker. If you are already convinced by the Synology software eco-system and are concerned with how much capacity you are going to need in future, the DS2422+ is easily the best value for money that the brand provides right now. Aside from the upgradability of the system’s network connectivity down the line, memory upgrades when the time comes and storage expansions that effectively double your storage potential waiting for you – there is the simple advantage that the DS2422+ does NOT need to be fully populated on day 1. Thanks to Synology’s continuing support of SHR (Synology Hybrid RAID) on this NAS, it means that you can leverage your budget on this box to partially populate the NAS with storage media and then the rest of your budget on the rest of your network hardware or scaling the power of the device up considerable (as opposed to the ‘upfront’ nature of purchasing the DS3622xs+ hardware). Synology continued stance on 1st party HDD and SSD media is still continuing to ruffle feathers and the inclusion of this policy DS2422+ seems a pinch overkill, but now DSM 7.1 is being a touch less OTT about 3rd party media, this is less of a barrier that it once was. Once again, it comes down to how much you want to engage with the Synology ecosystem, its services, its business focus and ultimately how much the DS2422+ will be doing in your own network hardware environment. In conclusion, the DS2422+ IS a good NAS and if CAPACITY is more important to you than POWER, then the DS2422+ is by far the best Synology NAS for you in 2022.

Synology DS2422+ NAS Review – Packaging

The retail packaging for the Synology DS2422+ is fairly standard stuff. This is hardly a solution that you are going to pick up on the shelf of your local I.T shop, so priorities in the packaging are going to be massively in favour of protection in transit more than looking nice. The NAS arrives in 2 layers of cardboard box packaging and the NAS itself is held in a hard foam framework.

Synology has never really cut corners on protecting its solutions in transit and the DS2422+ NAS is no exception. The NAS arrives unpopulated, but even if it was fully populated with HDDs, this system will be well insulated from shock/motion damage (both of which can be silent killers of this kind of tech down the line.

Laying out the contents of the DS2422+ package shows us a small batch of accessories. These include details on the first time setup, information on the included 3yr warranty (can be extended to 5yr), RJ45 LAN cables (Cat 5e), screws for 2.5/3.5″ media, keys for the bays and an external mains power cable. All fairly standard stuff and you don’t even really need the 3.5″ screws in most setups as the bays are click-n-load.

Occasionally, I might have a moan about a NAS brand including Cat 5e RJ45 cables with a solution instead of Cat 6/7, however as the DS2422+ arrives with 1GbE, this is by no means an issue. Equally, I would highlight that the setup manual/paperwork is pretty redundant and SIGNIFICANTLY better setup guides are available online, but it’s better to include this than not at all.

The retail packaging of this business-focused NAS is unsurprisingly rather plain. This is hardly a crime and the Synology DS2422+ puts more stock in its design and deployment than it does in looking good in its box! Let’s take a close look at the design of the DS2422+ NAS

Synology DS2422+ NAS Review – Design

The design of the DS2422+ NAS Chassis is very familiar and is one that (although tweaked in small places over time) has remained largely the same over years throughout other releases in the 12-bay Diskstation NAS series. It has always provided a good balance of storage, versus efficient airflow and heat dissipation.

The DS2422+ chassis is almost entirely metal, with the only notable exception being the front panel of the desktop casing and the trays. This larger metal chassis, in conjunction with the 12 bays of SATA storage and twin rear fans results in a NAS that is most certainly going to make some noise. Although not reaching the “aeroplane take-off’ levels of noise that a rackmount like the RS1221+ reaches, the DS2422+ is still a NAS that you do not want to be in close proximity with when in full operation. the official Synology pages highlight that the noise level is a reported 25 dB(A), however, this is based on the use of 2TB Seagate Ironwolf HDDs (which do not feature on the compatibility list I might add) and not the enterprise build HAT5300 Hard drives that this system is designed to be used with, which are a noticeable degree noisier due to their high performance, workload and durability design. Below is a quick vid on their noise level:

The front of the Synology DS2422+ has no LCD/Display panel, but rather it has numerous LEDs for displaying system, activity and access. These can all be adjusted in brightness and activity in the DSM 7 control panel, with eat pertaining to different areas of the system hardware – Hard drives, network status, network connectivity and system health.

The 12 bays of storage featured on the DS2422+ are all well ventilated around the front oF the chassis and between each bay to allow passive airflow to flow as heat is dissipated inside. As mentioned earlier, the DS2422+ can run fully or partially populated, as well as be run on a single SATA HDD/SSD if need be (which would be rather daft). The system utilizes traditional RAID configurations to allow the end-user(s) to create a good balance of performance and redundancy in their storage over multiple drives. Additionally, the storage can be increased by adding further drives in available bays, an expansion chassis (the DX1222) the DS2422+ or via the popular Synology Hybrid RAID (SHR) configuration. Now, this is not a new thing and the PLUS series of Synology NAS has always allowed this configuration in a way that the larger and more powerful DS3622xs+ did not (for reasons of overall performance dip compared with traditional RAID levels i.e. RAID 1,5,6,10, etc). The benefits of SHR in terms of scalability and adding larger capacity drives to your storage array years down the line (as larger capacities HDDs arrive and/or prices decrease per TB) have always been a compelling part of buyers who purchased the PLUS series and always a bit of a puzzler why it is not available here on an XS series solution. SHR on the DS3622xs+ is not impossible if you are migrating from an older NAS as shown here in this video, but it is still a shame it remains absent on the DS3622xs+ as a day 1 choice. For many, this might be a deciding factor when choosing between the DS2422+ and DS3622xs+.

Each bay utilized a spring-loaded tray design that ensures that a drive will not be installed unless in full alignment with the internal SATA port inside. Additionally, each bay of the DS2422+ features a locking mechanism (with 2 keys included with your accessories pack) that ensures that accidental removal of an HDD/SSD in your NAS is not possible – this is especially useful as the DS2422+ does not support re-silvering and accidental removal of a drive for even just a single second can lead to hours upon hours or degraded RAID rebuilding.

The trays themselves are plastic in design, but the days of this being a negative are largely gone now and although early versions of NAS servers have cheaper and less robust plastic trays, this new generation Synology NAS has exceptionally well made plastic trays that are sturdy enough for even excessing storage use. Each tray also takes advantage of a click n load design that allows 3.5″ media to be installed without screws/screwdriver. Alternatively, there are screws and screw-holes for the installation of 2.5″ SATA SSD media for faster storage pools and/or caching storage. However, on the subject of storage media on the DS2422+, we should probably address the hard drive shaped elephant in the room.

The DS2422+ NAS is another release in the Synology High-end/enterprise series that has opted for a much more streamlined compatibility list. This results in this NAS only being fully 100% supported and compatible for use with Synology hard drives and SSDs. These include the HAT5300 and SAT5200 (along with a few others with upgrade options). Although there are a few exceptions to this, the compatibility list over on Synology.com is pretty clear on this:

Synology’s decision to only fully allow the storage capabilities of their systems with their own branded storage media on enterprise-level solutions was met with a mixed reception when it was rolled out in late 2021. On the one hand, the HAT5300 series of drives ARE good drives, arriving at a price point similar to the likes of Seagate Ironwolf Pro and WD Red Pro Pro-class Drives BUT featuring the architecture, performance and durability of Enterprise-class drives (such as Seagate EXOs and WD Gold) – it is a pretty good deal. Likewise, those looking for a full ‘one party’ solution will be pleased as it allows simple installation, deployment and management (with firmware updates and drive warranties being considerably easier to manage). However, with only four capacities of HAT5300 (4TB, 8, 12 and 16TB) at the moment, as well as a relatively sudden pull on the support of other hard drive brands on this system, it has left quite a few users unhappy. It is worth highlighting that using 3rd party hard drives on the DS2422+ in the latest release of DSM 7.1 is not blocked. You can go ahead and install and use the likes of WD Red, Ultrastar and Seagate Ironwolf HDDs in the DS2422+ for Storage Pools, volumes etc, as well as using drive health management tools such as S.M.A.R.T. However their use will lead to the system displaying an amber Warning message (formally showing ‘critical’, till Synology changed their position a little upon feedback from users) and drives will be listed as not on the official compatibility list. Not the end of the world, but for users who are installing the DS2422+ NAS solution professionally for 3rd parties, this might be jarring for the intended end-users.

Nevertheless, the HAT5300 and SAT5200 series are still very good drives for this system and its AMD embedded Ryzen CPU and 4GB memory to sink its teeth into and when fully populated and equipped with 2x10GbE connections banded together (via the installation of the network expansion card 10GBASE-T on the E10G18-G2) has been reported to reach 2,202MB/s Sequential Read and over a quarter of a 128,000+ 4K random Read IOPS.

Removing all the trays shows that all 12x SATA connectors are all combined data/power as you would expect. I did wonder, given the launch of Synology HAS5300 SAS Hard drives two months or so ago, that the next generation of this enterprise 12-Bay would factor in combined SATA/SAS connectors, but I guess then it would tread on the toes of the DS3622xs+ and rackmount solutions somewhat.

The DS2422+ NAS also features the neat and well-branded Synology ventilated/mesh logos on either side. Speaking as someone who has deployed a few Synology NAS solutions personally and professionally over the years, I can say these vents capture a lot more dust than you might expect and definitely help to assist passive airflow internally and assist dissipation. it is one of those slick design points that Synology are fond of,

The physical design of the DS2422+ is largely unchanged since the DS2415+ and DS2419+ that came before it, but that is no bad thing. It manages to balance large storage potential vs compact deployment, as well as maintaining that Synology branded modern design. The lack of a front-mounted USB is a bit odd, given the numerous convenient advantage this would provide, but it’s a minor gripe and given that this NAS is designed with remote/out-of-office deployment in mind, it’s not a big loss. Let’s talk about the connectivity and accessibility of the DS2422+ NAS and how it will provide physical access to your data.

Synology DS2422+ NAS Review – Ports and Connections

The connectivity that is featured on the DS2422+ NAS has changed very little since the DS2419+ that came before it, but still arrives with plenty of network connections, storage options and the previously mentioned PCIe upgradability. When Synology first revealed the DS2422+ 12-Bay, many were quick to highlight that Synology still continues to resist the change from gigabit ethernet towards 2.5GbE on this system. This and the fact that DS3622xs+ arrives with 2x 10GbE is another example of how the DS2422+ at launch was a little in the shade comparatively in its contents. The rear of the chassis is largely dominated by the twin fans.

These two fans are 120mm in size each and are held in a large cooling module that can be removed as needed for cleaning and general maintenance. The sheer scale of the DS2422+ in storage and the amount of heat that is going to be generated by the system in operation means that active cooling and the effectiveness of these efficient components are going to be quite a high priority. By default, these fans will be set to automatic (adjusting their RPM as the system’s internal NAS temp dictates) and can be set to manual – but I definitely would not recommend it! The only real reason a user would want to manually control the operation of fans on a NAS would be for reasons of ambient noise and, to be frank, with this system fully populated with 12x HAT5300 NAS HDDs – the noise of the fans is going to be the leat of your ear troubles!

The DS2422+ features an internal 550W PSU which is surprisingly beefy for this NAS. Yes, those 12-bays of storage are going to need a decent amount of power to keep going, but aside from the PCIe slot needing power, there is no support for graphics cards or even the PSU featuring an additional power 4/6/8 connector for a grander PCIe card (there ARE ports for cable available in the PSU block, but no signs of Synology opening access to this for a PCIe upgrade). To put it into perspective, the DS1621+ and DS1821+ both arrive with a 250W PSU (so, less than half) and those two systems also features M.2 NVMe SSD slots (something not present on the DS2422+).

As mentioned, the Synology DS2422+ is another entry into the Diskstation Plus series that arrives with 4x 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports and that is somewhat underwhelming in 2022 – especially when most other NAS providers have immediately skipped to 10GbE at this tier or swapped 1GbE out in favour of 2.5GbE at the same price as 1G. The system DOES have four of these ports (supporting LAG/Trunking and therefore hitting 4Gbe with a smart switch setup) which is going to be tremendously useful.

As discussed several times here at NASCompares, 2.5GbE might not be dominating the marketplace compared with existing 1GbE utilization and not have the 1,000MB/s+ bandwidth possible in 10GbE, BUT it does seem strange that Synology has still not engaged with 2.5GbE on their NAS solutions (though admittedly featuring it on their RT6600ax Router). Although the argument against its inclusion is compelling (i.e still hardly mainstream), users looking at the DS2422+ will be hoping to get at least 3-5yrs of service out of this 24×7 hardware (likely more) and who’s to say where 1G/2.5G/10G will be at in that time with client hardware in your network environment. With many brands offering 2.5G solutions at the same price as 1G – this results in Synology’s steadfast refusal to include 2.5GbE in 2022 rather stubborn.

Nevertheless, if you already have a 1GbE network, or were going to opt for a 2x Port 10GbE upgrade card for around $200-250 for this system (rather than spend $1000+ more on the DS3622xs+) then you are not going to be hugely concerned one way or the other over the appearance of 1GGbE on the DS2422+. Much like other Synology NAS systems, the DS2422+ also arrives with USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5Gb/s) Type-A ports that allow you to connect a small range of hardware. The hardware that is supported has been pared back somewhat in recent years (devices such as Printers, scanners, Bluetooth and WiFi dongles were removed from the compatibility/supported lists in DSM 7 – possibly down to the way DSM 7 is built. Additionally, the USB on Synology NAS drives CAN NOT be used to interface with the NAS, as the NAS is the ‘host’ in this connection, not the PC/Mac etc. The USB ports CAN be used for external storage though and there is a wide range of applications in DSM that support connectivity of storage to these ports (USB Copy, Hyper Backup, File Station, Virtual Machine Manager and more).

There is an external mini SAS shaped port on the DS2422+ NAS that allows you to connect one of the DX1222 expansion chassis’ and add an additional 12 storage media drives to your available storage. If you are running an SHR setup, it is very easy to expand your existing Storage Pool and Volumes (if provisioned correctly) to spread across both the DS2422+ and expansion – though Synology does not recommend this (risk of accidental disconnection).

The PCIe slot that the DS2422+ features is a PCIe Gen 3×8 slot that allows you to install one of several Synology branded PCIe upgrade cards. Synology does support a few 3rd party PCIe cards from Intel (among others) but I have yet to test if cards not listed on the compatibility list display a similar warning to when you install 3rd party storage media or memory upgrades. Card installation is quite straight forward and although it will require the removal of the top plate of the system’s external casing, it is a simple click and load installation – no power cables needed.

Synology’s available range of PCIe cards has grown little by little in the last couple of years and now supports 10G and 25GbE, across multiple ports and in fiber and copper forms. In most desktop NAS systems in the Diskstaiton portfolio, I would call the E25G21-F2 with its two 25G ports a little overkill – but in the case of the 12-Bay DS2422+ and potential for another 12 bays in the DX1222 – That card might be just the thing to make the most of this systems throughput potential! Additionally, despite the DS2422+ not featuring the 2x m.2 NVMe slots of the other 2/4/6/8-Bay diskstation NAS, you can add this with the E10M20T1 Cobo card of M2D20 dedicated caching card (at an additional cost – grumble, grumble).

Overall, the default network connectivity is one of the weaker areas of the Synology DS2422+ NAS and although there is clearly a few areas of upgradability available to those that want them, what you have here is not a massive leap up from the previous 2 generations of SMB 12-Bay. Let’s get the external panels removed on the DS2422+ and discuss its internal hardware.

Synology DS2422+ NAS Review – Internal Hardware

Accessing the internal hardware of the Synology DS2422+ NAS is considerably more convenient than smaller and more compact diskstation devices, with the external chassis of the server arriving in three individual panels that are secured by 2 screws each. Two of these panels are necessary for removal to allow access to ways in which you can upgrade the NAS hardware in its lifespan. Removing the panels shows us that the compact chassis design of the DS2422+ results in 50% of that internal space being given to the main storage backplane/board. This board has 12 SATA data+power connectors and is connected to the main system board via a PCIe slot at an angle.

That main storage board is remarkably clear internally, features vent holes above each drive bay and even the power cabling being fed into the board is discreet and understated at the base. The result is a huge area of clear space for ventilation running through both the media bays AND over the large CPU heatsink. Unlike the top and left side panel of the DS2422+, this side of the chassis will not really need to be accessed for any reason other than troubleshooting, but it’s reassuring to see that the internal components are very well spaced out, despite the compact nature of this 12-bay chassis.

The right-hand panel of the DS2422+ covers the two SODIMM memory slots featured on this NAS. Now I was very pleasantly surprised to not that the memory included with the DS2422+ is rated at 3200Mhz frequency. Now, the memory featured on the SMB/Center-Business solutions from Synology in the last few years have all featured an ECC (Error Code Correction / Error Correcting Code) component, to ensure that micro errors and inconsistencies in data as they are passed through the system memory are spotted and corrected. Indeed, this has always been a big hardware factor in the buying decision of IT Admins that like to dig deep into the specs sheets. But till this 2022 series, Synology has always opted for 2400Mhz memory ECC (whilst providing fractionally faster 2666Mhz non-ECC in their Home/Prosumer devices) – so this is a nice upgrade that (correct me if I am wrong) Synology has not raised anywhere online. I respect that.

The fact this system has 4GB of memory is a little underwhelming for businesses and most businesses are going to need to upgrade that memory quite early into it’s deployment. However, it is worth remembering that much like Synology and their position on drive media or PCIe upgrades, they have a very strict officially supported compatibility list and using non-Synology branded memory. As this is largely a business targetted solution, many of those buyers will be happy to purchase first-party accessories with a solution to guarantee that they stay within the warranty, ensure the system works to the standard and heights promised by the manufacturer, etc. However, not everyone feels that way and even if you factor in that the branded memory in the DS2422+ is ECC and 3200Mhz, the cost of Synology memory modules online is noticeably higher than the likes of Kingston, Crucial or Transcend. Once again, it is only going to be a barrier if you do not want to commit to the Synology eco-system completely.

The CPU featured inside the DS2422+ NAS is the AMD embedded Ryzen V1500B and this is now the 2nd generation of devices to arrive with this efficient but very capable processor. Arriving in a 4 Core, 8 Thread architecture, it features a 2.2Ghz clock speed per core. Synology has largely ignored embedded graphics CPUs in their business/enterprise systems (the last 12-Bay example was the DS3612xs+ with an Intel Core i3 a decade ago) and the V1500B is continuing that position. As proficient as this processor is for large file transfers, running all those first-party Synology applications and dynamically shifting it’s resources to where they are needed nice and quick, this processor still lives a little in the shadow again of the CPU in the DS3622xs+ (a quad-core Xeon) and once again is a clear cut example of how the DS2422+ chooses ‘Storage Capacity’ over ‘Power in it’s design. The Processor still does a fantastic job of running the full Synology collaboration suite, Surveillance Station, Multi-client backups and Cloud synchronization tools, all at the same time though, which ultimately means that you have a solid hardware base to wrap your business data around. The Synology DS2422+ is clearly trying to be a local desktop PaaS and SaaS solution in one, with the kind of storage capacity options that most cloud providers are simply never going to be able to offer at the same price.

When it comes to running Virtual Machine environments on the DS2422+ NAS, things are a little more mixed. The NAS arrives with the Synology Virtual Machine Manager, so you can create multiple brand new virtual machines quickly, as well as insert virtual installation/boot media and run very bespoke VM setups (licence free). There are also many ways to import existing ISO VM, Virtual Hard drive or 3rd party VM images (Hyper X, VMware, etc) onto the Synology VMM tool, as well as significant cross over with other Synology applications such as Active Backup Suite to host VMs in a failover routine. All this is managed by the CPU very well, despite not having embedded graphics, and the processor’s multiple threads also mean that VM deployment is a little more flexible with the use of dynamic resource sharing and vCPUs supported. However, I would not really pursue VMs on the DS2422+ NAS without upgrading that memory on day 1.

External performance of this 12-Bay and that CPU in the default setup is immediately going to saturate those 4x 1GbEs with ease. Aside from the general starting internal architecture being more than enough anyway, we are talking about up to a 12 HDDs and/or SSDs – that can easily it the 1000’s of megabytes of throughput anyway. So, it’s only by more enterprising setups involving SSDs and 10GbE that we can get a more realistic picture of what this system can output. Below is the sequential R/W performance and 4K Ransom IOPs of the DS2422+ with SSDs in a RAID 5, 2x 10GbE (Link Aggregated) and how it compares with three other Plus series 12/16-Bay’s in Synology’s portfolio (RS2821RP+, RS2421+ and the DS2419+ Predecessor). The DS2422+ hit 2,202MB/s Seq Read and 1,457MB/s Seq Write throughput externally – a big jump on the DS2419+ predecessor, but the tiniest fraction behind the rackstation solutions (hardly noticeable in fact). However, in 4K random IOPS, it was the leader of the pack, at 128,406 Read IOPS and 65,098 Write IOPS. Again, exceedingly close to the similarly built rackmounts, but a big jump up on the older 2019 gen 12-Bay plus series model.

Overall, the hardware that the DS2422+ features internally is very competent, more than proficient but will not exactly blow your socks off. You have a great base of hardware to handle standard business data management and with several options to scale up the hardware on offer, is a decent upgrade on its predecessor and what you have by default is more than enough to handle those 12 bays of storage. The lack of onboard NVMe SSD slots is still rather surprising, given Synology’s big push on this feature in the majority of their NAS systems and the default 4GB of memory seems a little small when you factor in what this system will be purchased for, but overall I think this is still a good balance of hardware for this scale of storage and cost when put into perspective with the rest of Synologys portfolio. Let’s discuss Synology NAS software, DSM, and how it makes up the lion’s share of the DS2422+’ price tag.

Synology DS2422+ NAS Review – Software and Services

Now, to cover the WHOLE Synology software and services that are included with the DS2422+ NAS would result in a review that is twice as long as this review so far! Synology’s Diskstation Manager software that comes with this device (either DSM 7, DSM 7.1 or DSM 6.2 depending on your preference) provides a massive arrangement of services, applications (first and third party supported) and a huge number of client applications for desktop, mobile, windows, Mac and Linux (as well as a bunch of other more home-based tools). These allow management and access to the data on the DS2422+ in very tailored ways, as well as the web browser-based access that has the appearance, intuitive design and responsiveness of a local operating system. The DSM interface can be accessed by hundreds of users at the same time (with each user having tailored access, rights and privileges). DSM is available with ALL Synology NAS and the depth and abilities of DSM on any NAS are dependent on the hardware architecture of the NAS itself. In the case of the Synology DS2422+, it supports practically EVERYTHING (with the exception of SHR, as previously mentioned). If you want to learn about the latest version of DSM 7 and the software and services that are included with the DS2422+ NAS, watch my FULL review below (alternatively, you can read the DSM 7 Full Review HERE):

As mentioned, the DS2422+ supports pretty much the entirety of the DSM 7 and DSM 6.2 applications and services. If you are an existing user of SaaS and PaaS (Software as a service and Platform as a service) from the likes of Google Workspace and Office 365, knowing that you can synchronize these systems or choose to export away from them onto the Synology services is going to be very appealing. Key business applications that are included with your NAS are:

Synology Office – Create documents, spreadsheets, and slides in a multi-user environment. Real-time synchronization and saving make collaboration a breeze.

Synology Chat – Aimed at businesses, Synology Chat is an IM service that transforms the way users collaborate and communicate.

Synology Drive – Host your own private cloud behind the safety of your NAS with 100% data ownership and no subscription fees.

Synology Moments – Manage your photos and videos with deep-learning algorithms that automatically group photos with similar faces, subjects, and places.

Synology Calendar – Stay on track, share calendars, and schedule meetings, while ensuring sensitive information remains safely stored on company premises.

Synology Active Backup for Business (ABB) – Consolidate backup tasks for virtualized environments, physical servers, and personal computers, and rapidly restore files, entire machines, or VMs – completely license free.

Synology Hyper Backup – backup you NAS safely and efficiently to multiple destinations with deduplication, integrity checks, compression, and versioning.

Synology Surveillance Station – Safeguard your business, home, and other valuable assets with reliable video surveillance tools.

Synology Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) – An intuitive hypervisor that supports Windows, Linux, and Virtual DSM virtual machines. Its powerful disaster recovery tools help users achieve maximum service uptime.

Synology High Availability – Synology High Availability (SHA) combines two Synology NAS servers into one active-passive high-availability cluster, alleviating service disruptions while mirroring data.

Synology Central Management System (CMS) – Synology CMS allows you to manage multiple Synology NAS servers quickly and conveniently from a single location.

Synology Video Station – Manage all your movies, TV shows, and home videos. Stream them to multiple devices or share them with friends and family.

Synology Photo Station – Built to help photographers manage their photos and share them with clients for feedback or business development.

Synology Audio Station – Manage your music collection, create personal playlists, stream them to your own devices, or share with family or friends.

Synology File Station – Manage your Synology NAS files remotely through web browsers or mobile devices.

You cannot really fault the software and services that are included with the Synology DS2422+ NAS, as you are going to get the very best experience available on the platform, thanks to the hardware and architecture of this NAS. DSM 7 is an ever-evolving platform, so if you are reading this now at the time of publishing or years later, there is always going to be something in DSM for everyone.

Synology DS2422+ NAS Review – Conclusion & Verdict

When Synology launched the DS2422+ and DS3622xs+ NAS at the same time, despite them both being upgradable 12-Bays, the DS2422+ was a little in the shade of the bright, shiny and powerful DS3622xs+. It is understandable, while the DS2422+ arrives with a familiar embedded Ryzen CPU and supersized version of the architecture already present in the DS1621+ and DS1821+, the DS3622xs+ was a Xeon and 10GbE monster! But people tend to forget the price difference of well over $1000 between them and for may – THAT is going to be a HUGE dealbreaker. If you are already convinced by the Synology software eco-system and are concerned with how much capacity you are going to need in future, the DS2422+ is easily the best value for money that the brand provides right now. Aside from the upgradability of the system’s network connectivity down the line, memory upgrades when the time comes and storage expansions that effectively double your storage potential waiting for you – there is the simple advantage that the DS2422+ does NOT need to be fully populated on day 1.

Thanks to Synology’s continuing support of SHR (Synology Hybrid RAID) on this NAS, it means that you can leverage your budget on this box to partially populate the NAS with storage media and then the rest of your budget on the rest of your network hardware or scaling the power of the device up considerable (as opposed to the ‘upfront’ nature of purchasing the DS3622xs+ hardware). Synology continued stance on 1st party HDD and SSD media is still continuing to ruffle feathers and the inclusion of this policy DS2422+ seems a pinch overkill, but now DSM 7.1 is being a touch less OTT about 3rd party media, this is less of a barrier that it once was. Once again, it comes down to how much you want to engage with the Synology ecosystem, its services, its business focus and ultimately how much the DS2422+ will be doing in your own network hardware environment. In conclusion, the DS2422+ IS a good NAS and if CAPACITY is more important to you than POWER, then the DS2422+ is by far the best Synology NAS for you in 2022.

Synology DS2422+ PROS Synology DS2422+ CONS
  • HUGE Storage Potential
  • Prioritizes Storage, whilst still providing a good CPU+Memory Server combo
  • Full access to the complete DSM Software Packages & Services
  • Lots of upgrade options
  • ECC Memory at this storage scale is appreciated, and 3200Mhz rated
  • Excellent ventilation throughout
  • PCIe slot is Gen 3×8, so plenty of bandwidth to play with
  • Surprisingly compact for 12 Bays of storage
  • 1GbE is feeling rather outdated in 2022 and for those futureproofing, seems shortsighted
  • Ambiguity in how the system operates and support when using 3rd party media
  • Living in the shadow a bit of the enterprise DS3622xs+ NAS
If you are thinking of buying a Synology NAS, please use the links below to CCL (which will open in a new tab):

 

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This description contains links to Amazon. These links will take you to some of the products mentioned in today's content. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Visit the NASCompares Deal Finder to find the best place to buy this device in your region, based on Service, Support and Reputation - Just Search for your NAS Drive in the Box Below

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7] Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  

Synology DS Router 2.0 – Quick Review

3 juin 2022 à 01:10

Synology DS Router 2.0 Mobile App Review

Synology, as a brand, has always been remarkably keen to highlight its software more than its hardware. That isn’t to say that the brand does not have some great hardware in its portfolio, but they would rather be known as a ‘solution’ provider, as opposed to a ‘hardware’ provider. Their software development often extends much further than just the system and services that their hardware includes (e.g. DSM, SRM, Surveillance Station, etc) and alongside their onboard software, they have long been producing a wide range of client hardware tools that integrate with their solutions and allow much more convenient and tailored access to their systems. One such application that has seen a big update in 2022 is the mobile client application DS Router for iOS and Android, which is now available in version 2.0. The Synology router portfolio is a little smaller than the rest of their Diskstation, Rackstation and Surveillance focused solutions, but this has not seemingly dulled continued development on router software and DS Router 2.0 has arrived with promised improvements in its GUI, it’s range of supported services of your Synology router system and a greater degree of control possible via this highly convenient mobile app. So today I wanted to write a short review on this latest update to the app and find out if this app is as good as they say it is, whether this adds to a compelling reason to switch to their network ecosystem and ultimately if Synology Routers deserve your data. Let’s start.

Synology DS Router 2.0 Review – GUI and Navigation

The user interface of DS Router 2.0 is very clear and after you have entered your login credentials (as well as the 2-step authentication of course, that is fully supported too) you are taken to a very easy to follow and clean GUI. The initial screen is quite understated, with it highlighting the accessed system internet connectivity, a notification bell to highlight anything pressing that needs your attention and some basic level details that are by no means intimidating. This initial lite overview also allows you to share the access to this WiFi connection in 2 clicks with anyone in your vicinity via a bunch of methods native to your handset. If you are looking for more information on the control and customization of your Synology Router via the app, then you will need to click the settings tab and that shows a much more detailed breakdown of what the app has control over.

As user-friendly and clear as this all is in DS Router 2.0, I would definitely have preferred the network tools/controls to be their own option on the bottom row (alongside Device List and Safe Search) as most people using DS Router 2.0 with their router will be using it to manage and monitor their network on the fly and it seems a tiny bit odd to go to ‘settings’ on the app, compared against the PC/Mac desktop interface SRM that places these controls under ‘Network Center’ and has a separate ‘Control Panel’ for settings. All that said, the settings menu is pretty exhaustive and although it seems to have the controls for EVERYTHING, it does seem a little TOO general. Overall, you definitely cannot criticise the level of controls available in DS Router 2.0, but the layout could maybe be expanded a bit on the bottom control bar.

Synology DS Router 2.0 Review – Network Activity Monitoring

The DS Router 2.0 app allows you to monitor the activity of your Synology router on the fly, as well as access historical records (if you have enabled the system option to keep records). These records can be extended to track upload/download traffic into the router WAN, but you can also access details on the individual devices on the network and how much data (packets or MB/KB/etc) is being exchanged. Once again, this UI is incredibly straightforward and pretty intuitive.

This traffic and resource monitoring does not extend to monitoring the CPU/Memory usage (which CAN be checked in the ‘router information area), but it does show a list of the active processes and services running on the router and how much of a bite they are taking on the router and which are eating up the bandwidth more than others. It’s a fairly expected and non-ground-breaking tool, but the fact it can also include historical data whilst on the fly (accessible via a convenient mobile app) definitely rates it much higher than many other traffic/network monitoring mobile router tools out there.

Synology DS Router 2.0 Review – Mesh Controls

One of the most prominent features that have been highlighted in recent releases of the Synology Ruter series is the support of mesh router support. This is when a primary network can be wirelessly (or in some cases wired) expanded by a physical network of nodes that are dotted around your home or place of work. As useful as a desktop PC/Mac user interface is for navigating the SRM 1.3 software, adding nodes is always going to be much, MUCH easier to do if you are using a mobile. This is because of physically moving around to test signal strength and optimal connectivity via the primary router and the node(s). The Synology DS Router 2.0 application allows you to easily add nodes (including setup and signal improvement suggestions) and expand your wireless network easily.

Again, this is not something that is new to router mobile apps but it is worth highlighting, as when it comes to mobile control and management of a router, this can be a real killer to have to do on a static machine. Plus, it is provided easily and very straightforwardly.

Synology DS Router 2.0 Review – WiFi Controls

Controlling and monitoring your WiFi networks with DS Router 2.0 is also a great deal more detailed that you might expect. The latest Synology RT6600ax router supports upto x15 SSIDs on a network and the WiFi control of DS Router 2.0 not only allows you to change their basic individual settings (name, security protocols/encryption, passcode, etc), but it also allows you to do some more precise things. This includes the ability to connect an SSID to a specific 2.4/5Ghz band (or both), change the radio channel between 20-160Mhz to use the available frequency more efficiently, to black/white list Mac Addresses or IPs or even lock the WiFi to a schedule.

Alongside this, you have the option to take advantage of Smart connect, which runs in the background of your router’s WiFi to automatically move connected devices from the 5Ghz (faster by smaller range) connection to 2.4Ghz (slower, but much further reach) frequency as client hardware changes location. Finally, you have similar options available to create and edit your guest WiFi network as needed – all manageable from the DS Router application. I genuinely cannot fault this area of DS Router 2.0 and in fact, it was significantly faster/easier to navigate WiFi settings on mobile than on the desktop!

Synology DS Router 2.0 Review – Client Monitoring

Next, you have client monitoring and control tools. From the ‘Device List’ tab, you are able to see all the connected devices to your Synology router (as well as a history of previously connected or offline devices) that allows you to customize what level of access and priority those devices have on the overall bandwidth. The initial Device List GUI breaks the devices into wired/wireless, but also shows their level of network traffic, the frequency/band they are occupying and the SSID/LAN they are living on at that time.

Each of these client entries can be opened up into its own sub-menu that allows you to name the client hardware and apply an icon suitable to it (e. phone, tablet, printer, etc). More interestingly though, you can also make immediate changes to how that device is being handled by the router with some hardcoded options. These include the ability to move the device into a Low or Medium device group (to apply on-the-fly priority of service if you need a given client to have their connectivity at that second to be adjusted), as well as a single click slider option to temporarily pause internet access for a client device on the fly. This is all presented very clearly again and with as little tech jargon (outside of terms like IPs and MAC addresses) as possible.

Synology DS Router 2.0 Review – Safe Access

Almost certainly the ‘jewel in the crown’ of the Synology Router system is the ‘Safe Access’ feature that allows you to create a completely customized, dynamic and human-friendly control system for your entire network. It would be tremendously unfair to think of it as a simple ‘Parental Control’ system (which I should add several mid-high level router providers seemingly lock behind a subscription wall, disappointingly) as that would be like comparing a push-bike with Harley Davidson! In brief, Safe Access allows you to create user profiles for every member of your family/office/business and then connect their client devices to that profile (eg Mum, Dad, HR, Children, Printers, security cameras, etc). Once you have done that, you can then create easy to create, customize and control rules that will apply to a specific profile and filter down into all the devices underneath it (adding a user photo and router login credentials too if you choose). The range of rules and parameters that you can apply to a profile are both extensive AND very easy to understand. As new devices connect to the router, you can add these in 2 clicks to an existing Safe Access Profile OR in 3-4 clicks, create a brand new one.

Each profile can be adjusted to quite an impressive degree in DS Router 2.0 and there are several network monitoring tools available to see their current/historic network usage. Digging a little deeper into the profile creation shows that in DS Router 2.0 you have pretty much ALL the configuration and on-the-fly profile management controls that are available in Safe Access on the desktop SRM 1.3 platform. You can create internet access and time quote rules (time of date, day of the week and even number of hours that a user is allowed to connect, that can be spread across each of their devices to prevent overlap/abuse of access by hopping devices), as well as apply a rather dynamic web filter to a specific Safe Access profile. So, for example, you can choose to craft rules for a specific profile that means that all devices under ‘Daniel’ (in this case a teenager) share a 2-hour evening internet access (spread across their phone/home console), but only between 5-9pm and allows access to educational/homework-related sites, but not adult or social media sites. This same kind of profile rule logic can be applied to staff/employees when you need to provide internet for work, but need some sites restricted for SOME employees but not all (eg, ‘marketing’ team needs all social media outlets, but not the warehouse teams).

When it comes to that Web Filtering, the controls that are included in DS Router 2.0 are almost identical to those of the desktop web browser SRM 1.3 GUI – which (for when you need to make changes quickly on the fly whilst at work/off-site) is going to be fantastically useful. There are several preset profiles that can be switched between, or you can craft your own bespoke profile. You can also ‘force’ safe-search rules on a wide range of social networks and search engines which means that explicitly or inappropriate material is filtered out on these sites before they are viewed by the destinate client device. This safe search push will override any settings on that search engine by the user, even if they are logged in (eg Google Search and having your Gmail account logged in).

Overall, I cannot stress enough that alongside Synology Routers having Safe Access largely justifying the whole system, the controls of it that are available in DS Router are EXACTLY the level of ease-of-use and level of control that parents and employers are going to need access to at a moments notice. Plus, the level of creation and modification you can make with DS Router 2.0 to newly connected devices to the network is just as good. Massive thumbs up from me.

Synology DS Router 2.0 Review – Cross Service & USB

Before I end the review of DS Router 2.0 for iOS and Android, I wanted to talk about one of the often overlooked features of Synology Routers and mobile applications from the brand. All Synology routers feature 1-2 USB Ports and because Synology is a brand that is largely associated with NAS development (committing millions of hours of R&D into that industry) you will not be too surprised to know that connecting a USB drive to your Synology router will allow you to use a whole bunch of Synology NAS applications and services on your mobile phone. Now, I am not suggesting that the RT6600ax, RT2600ac or MR2200ac are suitable replacements for a NAS, however, I AM suggesting that the range of services available for a USB storage device in SRM 1.3 and DS Router 2.0 is surprisingly fleshed out. The DS File mobile application allows you to see the full file/folder structure, create customizable share links for the files (network or remote access), allows shared folder management, zip/extract collections of files, view several different types of files on the device and is pretty much exactly the same user experience that a Synology NAS user would have on in this app, but with just a USB drive.

Additionally, the DS File application in use with a Synology router also allows you to create an automatic photo backup from your mobile devices,directly to the USB storage connected to the router. I know this is not a DS Router application, but the fact this is something that is still possible was just too interesting not to mention. The phone photo backups can be set to only backup any/all photos taken (that are saved to certain directories, such as DCIM) from that point onwards, only backup all your existing photos upto that point, or the best of both and have a regular backup of all your photos on the fly from your handset to the router and to the USB. Its a very minor thing I know, but the idea that the Synology router allows you to create a pretty full proof live sync photo backup from your phone with any old USB is pretty cool.

My FULL review of the Synology DS Router application will be available on NASCompares shortly. You can find the video below:

Synology DS Router 2.0 Mobile App Review – Conclusion & Verdict

Overall, DS Router 2.0 is still a great application and the wider range of services and controls that have been added to this latest version definitely make it much more viable as a long term alternative to the desktop GUI/SRM 1.3 when managing your router. The GUI is still not the best it can be, with odd ‘everything else here’ vibes from the ‘settings’ menu, but it is incredibly clear, pretty intuitive and manages to make the navigation and management of your router to be much less intimidating than many would think. Some things are near impossible to simplify (port forwarding rules, for example) but even there, DS Router gives it a try. The controls of both Safe Access and Wireless Management are particular standouts of how the new version of the app has increased convenient control and although DS Router does not completely remove the need/necessity of a web browser and time in SRM to set up your router, it is pretty darn close!

 

PROs of the DS Router 2.0 CONs of DS Router 2.0
Easy to use and follow controls

Modern and Intuitive design

Safe Access management on the fly is 10/10

Wireless Management on the fly is also tip-top

Device Monitoring and Management is fast and clear

Very Responsive GUI

Traffic/Activity Monitoring is very good (plus supports historical data)

The Settings Menu seems overly full and some items should be standalone/selectable on the bottom bar

 

Synology Router Portfolio

RT6600ax

RT2600ac

MR2200ac

Class / band
compatible standards
AX6600 / Tri-band
IEEE 802.11ax / ac / a / b / g / n
AC2600 / dual band
IEEE 802.11ac / a / b / g / n
AC2200 / Tri-band
IEEE 802.11ac / a / b / g / n
Maximum communication speed
(5GHz band 1)
4800Mbps

(160Mhz)

1,733Mbps
(4str / 80MHz)
867Mbps
(2str / 80MHz)
Maximum communication speed
(5GHz band 2)
1200Mbps incompatible 867Mbps
(2str / 80MHz)
Maximum communication speed
(2.4GHz band)
600Mbps 800Mbps
(4str / 40MHz / 256QAM)
400Mbps
(2str / 40MHz / 256QAM)
WAN terminal 1000BASE-T x 1 1000BASE-T x 1 1000BASE-T x 1
LAN terminal 2.5GBASE-T x 1 * 1
1000BASE-T x 3
1000BASE-T x 4 * 2 1000BASE-T x 1
USB terminal USB 3.0 Standard-A x 1 USB 3.0 Standard-A x 1
USB 2.0 Standard-A x 1
USB 3.0 Standard-A x 1
CPU Qualcomm IPQ6018
Arm Cortex-A53 4-core 1.8GHz
Qualcomm IPQ8065
Qualcomm Krait 300 2 core 1.7GHz
Qualcomm IPQ4019
Arm Cortex-A7 4 core 717MHz
RAM 1GB DDR3 DDR3 512MB DDR3 256MB

 

You can watch the FULL review of the latest WiFi 6 Router from Synology, the RT6600ax, over on YouTube below:

Alternatively, you can watch my full review of Synology SRM 1.3 on this NAS in the video below:

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This description contains links to Amazon. These links will take you to some of the products mentioned in today's content. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Visit the NASCompares Deal Finder to find the best place to buy this device in your region, based on Service, Support and Reputation - Just Search for your NAS Drive in the Box Below

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7] Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  

 

Synology Unofficial Memory on DSM 7.1 – DS920+, DS220+, DS720+, DS420+ and DS1520+ NAS

1 juin 2022 à 01:19

Using Synology NAS, DSM 7.1 and Unofficial Memory Modules for DSx20+ series

NAS systems are not cheap and nor are the accessories! However, one area that many new/existing NAS buyers take issue with more than most is the cost of official NAS memory. It’s an unfortunate fact that any computer system that has been built/tailored towards a specific purpose, is going to end up costing more. This usually comes down to much more specific design requirements and NAS drives are no different. But when it comes to Memory modules, people are slightly less forgiving. When a NAS brand sells it’s branded memory, many are quick to raise that the brand rarely makes the memory itself and instead they are putting their branded labels on memory from the likes of Kingston, Samsung, ADATA or Crucial. Now, this is only partially true, as brands tend to test a wide range of memory in the development phase of their products and then settle on the best choice based on that system architecture (no doubt factoring cost of course too) and then THAT memory is made the brand’s recommended choice, labelling it brand-approved. Where things get murky is when brands start to become rigid on their system’s use of other memory and how that impacts brand support and how the system treats ‘other’ or ‘unofficial’ memory.

Article Chapters to Skip Ahead

In the case of Synology, this can lead to DSM 7.1 displaying a warning notification in the software highlighting the use of an unsupported memory. There is also the fact that the brand might become less able to assist you in any warranty claims from reasonable system hardware failure if the issue can be stemmed in any way to memory. Now, when Synology released the latest revision of their software, DSM 7.1, there were some reports online of users stating that their system would no longer boot with 3rd party memory installed. Although I tested this on the NASCompares YouTube channel with mixed results, I have since RE-TESTED this (on the heavy request of users who did not experience any issues, who queried the results) and in that follow-up testing, ALL 3rd party memory modules worked (video embedded later in the article below). So, it looks confirmed that unofficial/3rd party memory STILL WORKS in DSM 7.1 at the time of writing, which means users still have a choice of choosing the 3rd party RAM route or sticking with the officially provided and branded memory. Nevertheless, many users who look at Synology’s pricing for their official memory modules might be thinking “HOW MUCH???”:

Important Considerations about Synology NAS and Unofficial Memory Upgrades

Now, let’s get serious real quick. A Synology NAS does not occupy the same importance in your hardware environment as a TV, sound system or even day-to-day PC. A NAS system will often be one of many backups of ALL your data! Therefore exercising caution on how your upgrade/tinker with it can have more dire consequences than simply breaking it – it can lead to the potential loss of genuinely irreplaceable photos, videos and more. Therefore if you are looking at upgrading the memory of your NAS drive and using hardware that is not on a recommended list by the manufacturer, you need to make sure you have your backups in order – have at least two backups (i.e 2 complete copies of your data OUTSIDE of the original file – one on your phone and one on a NAS only means ONE copy!). Additionally, if/when you install ANY new memory, it is highly recommended that you run a quick(ish) memory test using the desktop Synology Assistant application (for Windows/Mac) so that the NAS can check that the memory is good-to-go. Be warned, this process can take several hours (a relatively simple 2GB Transcend DDR4 2400Mhz SODIMM module in a DS920+ in my testing for a YouTube video took just over 1 HOUR and 40 MINUTES) and during that time, access to the NAS is largely impossible (plus the system will re-boot at least once). So ensure you do this during a quicker/downtime moment for your network. Below is a brief overview of where the Memory Test setting of Synology Assistant is and how to enable it:

We conducted a wide range of tests of memory from Crucial, Transcend, ADATA, Kingston, Sabrent and ADATA DDR4 SODIMM memory. These tests were conducted with a Synology DS220+ and DS920+, each running DSM 7.1. Here are the results from a video over on NASCompares:

So, let’s discuss 3rd party memory, Synology NAS and DSM 7.1 on some of the brand’s most popular systems for home/prosumer users – as it is these users who are less inclined to choose the official memory route.

Synology DS920+, DS220+, DS720+, DS420+ and DS1520+ NAS Memory Tested

Now, before getting to the confirmed working memory that works in DSM 7.1 on the popular Synology Plus Series NAS right now, it is worth remembering that official Synology memory is always going to be the ‘ideal’ choice for the NAS. Despite reservations of price and (in some places) availability, this is still the memory that is going to present you with the least hurdles in the event of ALL support claims with Synology. Additionally, official memory will ensure no ‘warning – incompatible/unsupported memory installed’ message being displayed in DSM 7.1. Most home users will be able to ignore this warning no doubt, but if you are installing a Synology NAS for a 3rd party (friends, family or professional installation), it might un-nerve the receiver. It is for reasons like these that you might still want to opt for the official Synology memory. In that case, you can find the official memory modules available from Synology here:

D4NESO-2666-4G

D4ES01-4G (ECC)

D4ES01-8G (ECC)

D4ECSO-2666-16G (ECC)

However, we have been testing ALOT of memory with the Synology Diskstation Intel J4125 and Intel J4025 series of NAS devices since DSM 7.1 was released (DS920+, DS220+, DS720+, DS420+, DS1520+) and the following 3rd party memory modules are all confirmed to work in those systems.

IMPORTANT

  1.  The Synology DSx20+ series of NAS devices all arrive with default 2GB or 4GB of memory internally that is attached to the controller board/PCB which CANNOT be removed. Therefore you will ONLY be able to install a single memory module to upgrade these systems.
  2. When installing a new memory module, the Synology NAS system may take longer than usual to boot that first time (as I found out to my somewhat embarrassing error!), so give the system upto 20mins to boot the first time you install a new memory module.
  3.  The Intel CPU inside these systems has a maximum memory support of 8GB and they recommend that all memory matches the frequency/speed (Synology provide 2666Mhz DDR4 on these systems). So, try to err towards 2666Mhz (though we have successfully tested both 2400Mhz and 3200Mhz). Additionally, having in excess of 8GB is not guaranteed to mean the CPU can actually use more than 8GB in its architecture internally.


4GB Confirmed to work on DS920+/DS220+/DS720+/DS420+/DS1520+

The following 4GB Modules of DDR4 SODIMM memory have been tested in the DS920+, DS220+, DS720+, DS420+ and DS1520+ NAS running DSM 7.1. The Links used below will take you to amazon (it SHOULD re-direct to your own country/storefront automatically) where this memory is available. HOWEVER, thanks to their site having a policy of substituting product links to something else in the event the original product is out of stock, MAKE SURE to check that the memory modules for 16GB and 32GB SODIMM modules are DUAL RANK or ‘DR‘, as Synology NAS typically have trouble with SR/SINGLE RANK modules above 8GB. When in doubt, use the model ID.

Kingston KVR26S19S6/4

2666Mhz, Single Rank

AM-D4NESO-2666-4G

2666Mhz, Single Rank

Crucial CT4G4SFS8266

2666Mhz, Single Rank

$23.25 (18/05/22)

Find on Amazon >

$34.95 (18/05/22)

Find on Amazon >

$33.77 (18/05/22)

Find on Amazon >

 

TimeTec 76TT26NUS1R8-4G

2666Mhz, Single Rank

Transcend M2666HSH-4G

2666Mhz, Single Rank

SK Hynix HMA851S6CJR6N

3200Mhz, Single Rank

$31.99 (18/05/22)

Find on Amazon >

$26.49 (18/05/22)

Find on Amazon >

$15.99 (18/05/22)

Find on Amazon >


8GB Confirmed to work on DS920+/DS220+/DS720+/DS420+/DS1520+

Now, when it comes to 8GB Memory modules on the DS920+, DS220+, DS720+, DS420+ and DS1520+ NAS running DSM 7.1, it is once again worth remembering that the CPU has that 8GB recommended maximum memory in place from both Intel and Synology. So, although all six of the tested modules below WORK, the jury is still out on whether you will be able to use them to their fullest extent. Additionally, remember that this will be paired with the 2/4GB of memory that the NAS has soldered to the controller board internally, so you will end up with either 10GB or 12GB of visible memory inside your NAS.

TimeTec 76TT26NUS1R8-8G

2666Mhz, Single Rank

SAMSUNG M471A1K43CB1

2400Mhz, Single Rank

Crucial CT8G4SFS8266

2666Mhz, Single Rank

$28.99 (18/05/22)

Find on Amazon >

$27.75 (18/05/22)

Find on Amazon >

$38.50 (18/05/22)

Find on Amazon >

 

ATech AT8G1D4S2666NA0N12V

2666Mhz, Single Rank

Sabrent Rocket SB-DDR8

3200Mhz, Single Rank

ADATA AD4S240038G17

2666Mhz, Single Rank

$31.25 (18/05/22)

Find on Amazon >

$49.99 (18/05/22)

Find on Amazon >

$55.80 (18/05/22)

Find on Amazon >


16GB Confirmed to work on DS920+/DS220+/DS720+/DS420+/DS1520+

Finally, we have the largest current memory that works in the DS920+, DS220+, DS720+, DS420+ and DS1520+ NAS running DSM 7.1 – 16GB in a single DDR4 SODIMM non-ECC module. For many users, the idea that a 16GB RAM stick for their NAS from Kingston, Crucial or Samsung will cost less than a 4GB official module is just too damned tempting! Much like the 8GB modules, it is really important to remember that these are substantially higher than the recommended maximum of the CPU by Synology and Intel, so although these have been tested and confirmed to work by both me (Robbie @ NAScompares) and many online sources, I would still ensure you have at least 2 backups in place of your data at all times regardless. 

TimeTec 76TT26NUS2R8-16G

2666Mhz, Dual Rank

SAMSUNG M471A2K43CB1

2666Mhz, Dual Rank

Crucial CT16G4SFD832A

3200Mhz (2933/2666Mhz)

$52.99 (18/05/22)

Find on Amazon >

$77.00 (18/05/22)

Find on Amazon >

$73.99 (18/05/22)

Find on Amazon >

 

Crucial CT16G4SFRA266

2666Mhz, Dual Rank

Sabrent Rocket SB-DDR16

3200Mhz, Dual Rank

ADATA AD4S3200716G22

3200Mhz, Dual Rank

$67.39.99 (18/05/22)

Find on Amazon >

$74.99 (18/05/22)

Find on Amazon >

$98.00 (18/05/22)

Find on Amazon >

Is Upgrading the Memory on a Synology NAS worth it?

Many users will avoid updating default Memory on a Synology NAS server while it is still under warranty – thinking that “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. However, If you are buying a Synology NAS that supports an official or unofficial user memory upgrade, there’s almost no reason not to do the upgrade. There are practically no disadvantages (none at all, if you buy official Synology Memory) and the benefits will be immediate. You can always wait till later on an upgrade when you notice a drop in performance, however, I would keep an eye on deal websites for your compatible DDR3 or DDR4 Synology NAS supported memory and then grab some when a bargain appears. I do wish some lower capacity NAS’ drives, such as the DS120j, DS220j and DS420j (that arrive with much less memory soldered to the motherboard than their CPU can handle at maximum) were able to have their memory upgraded, as this becomes a tremendous bottleneck. There are cases where two drive bays are enough in terms of total available storage space (especially with 18TB Seagate and 20TB WD Red NAS drives in-coming), so you will be able to run a lot of applications, for multiple users, but the rather comical 256MB, 512MB and 1GB memory available in these budget models is just not enough to run DSM 7.1 to its full potential on these NAS and the result will be that most users will walk away with a very poor opinion of the Synology NAS experience.

Looking for Other Synology NAS and Compatible Unofficial Memory?

We have made several guides on finding the right unofficial memory that can be used on Synology NAS systems over the last few years. You can use the huge guide liked below to scroll the current available range of NAS from the brand and the official and unofficial RAM that works with it.

Synology Unofficial Memory Upgrades – 2022 UPDATED (Click Below)

 

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A Guide to 2.5GbE Switches – Which is Best?

30 mai 2022 à 01:10

Buying the Right 2.5GbE Switch Switch First Time

Whether you like it or not, 2.5 Gigabit ethernet is very much a THING in 2022! From ISP routers and gaming desktops, to USB adapters and PCIe cards at $25, the access to 2.5x traditional 1GbE network speeds is pretty much 100% for everyone now. The ease of making the switch to 2.5GbE is made even easier when many client network hardware devices are either arriving with 2.5G at the same price as 1G, or include WiFi6 capabilities and therefore have the potential to exceed wired 1GbE too. So, when buying hardware for your home or office in 2022 or 2023, it is understandable that for reasons of future-proofing, you might want to invest in 2.5Gb hardware to ensure everything has the fullest bandwidth possible, without breaking the bank. One of the most important devices you will need to get in order to manage a 2.5GbE network (ensuring no bottlenecks and/or making sure everything gets their fair share of the bandwidth) is by investing in a network switch. A network switch is much like a plug adapter/extension can provide more power points from a single socket over a larger distance, but that also means that much like plug adapters, some are more reliable than others, have features of control and efficiency that are not available on all others and, ultimately, that some 2.5GbE network switches are better than others!

Want to Skip to the Best Switches? Click below to jump ahead:

So, today I want to walk you through the best 2.5Gb network switches you can buy right now, broken down into the best for price, value, scale, features and more. Before we go any further though, I know what you are thinking. Why should someone invest in a 2.5GbE network switch/setup, when they can just skip it and go for a 10GbE setup?

Which Choose 2.5GbE over 10GbE in 2022 and 2023?

It’s a fair point. Although 10GbE is still more expensive than 1GbE and 2.5GbE, it HAS come down in price quite noticeably over the last 5 years. This alongside improvements in more efficient and affordable 10GbE network controllers has led to 10GbE routers and 10GbE switches arriving on the market at a much more affordable price point than ever. Many die-hard network veterans turn their noses up at 2.5GbE, as (alongside 10G being available to businesses and prosumer users for the better part of 10-15years) they consider 2.5G to be a stop-gap and overall better to spend the money towards something bigger and broader in bandwidth. So, why should you care about 2.5G then? Well, a few reasons actually. Such as:

  • Although 10GbE switches and routers ARE in the market at a better price than ever, they are still 3-4x the price of 1GbE alternatives in the managed or unmanaged form
  • 10GbE ports on laptops, computers and standard office hardware is still very much in low adoption. 2.5GbE featured less than 1G, but it’s still ahead of 10GbE in consumer adoption by default
  • PCIe  upgrades with 10GbE are still very expensive (1Gb PCIe = $10, 10Gb PCIe = $80-100 minimum)
  • External 10GbE upgrades are limited and very expensive (Thunderbolt to 10GbE are your only option and start at $150-200, such as the Sonnet SOLO10G-TB3 or QNAP QNA-T310G1T), whereas USB-to-1G adapters are $10-12 and USB-to-2.5GbE are $20-25
  • 10GbE arrives in both Copper and Fibre, which is useful for diverse setups, but leads to a coin toss of more expensive 10G Copper base hardware vs 10G Fibre cables/transceiver high price point and complexity. 2.5GbE uses all the same hardware in place as traditional 1GbE and allows for improved sustainability and less waste
  • Most client hardware is not able to take advantage of 10GbE and although having 1-2 high bandwidth devices (a NAS or SAN type server) connected over 10Gbe to the network can be beneficial to all, most client hardware devices will never be able to saturate 10Gb Connections. In those cases, a 1x10G and 8+ X 1G solution is preferable – which end up costing more than full, widespread 2.5G adoption.

So, yes, 10GbE will most certainly provide you with more bandwidth to play with, but it will cost you more – both for the switch, but also to upgrade each of the client devices on the network .This can slightly mitigated in a few ways (opting for 10GBASE-T and reusing some hardware, gradually upgrading the key clients, choosing comb style switches that featured mixed ports, etc) but 2.5GbE is a more affordable alternative that allows you to upgrade some systems enough for them to saturate 250MB/s bandwidth and not overspend on 10GbE for systems/networks that were never going to take advantage of the 1,000MB/s on offer.

Examples of a 2.5GbE to USB Adapter – $22.99 Examples of a 2.5GbE Network PCIe Card – $27.99

Understanding the Difference Between Managed & Unmanaged

This is one of the two main areas whereby the price of your networks switch can differ wildly. Network switches predominantly arrive in two software types. namely managed and unmanaged. A managed switch is a device that allows an admin or another authorised user to access a control panel visually displayed in the web browser or a supported mobile app, to configure numerous settings inside the switch and create a much more tailored, superior network environment for their own needs. Ranging from configuring which ports and devices have priorities, combining network ports for larger bandwidth (known as link aggregation or port trunking), creating security rules to prevent network invasion and numerous other unique and customisable configuration options. It can be intimidating to configure these settings and although things have become a little more user-friendly in recent years, it is still pretty overwhelming at first to configure your own network connection in a managed switch.

An unmanaged switch, as you probably have already guessed, does NOT allow users to configure the network in any kind of unique way. Unmanaged network switches arrived with more rudimentary internal processes that have numerous default settings for network access, security protocol and how to behave as more client hardware connect to the network. You lose a number of key and popular features such as link aggregation, priority of service, quality of service, failover configurations and more. However an unmanaged switch arrives at a noticeably lower price point due to its more cost-effective internal hardware requirements and if you are a home or even low-level business user who does not require a particularly unique network setup, an unmanaged network switch can often be perfectly fine. It should also be highlighted that smaller, unmanaged switches are often fanless and near-silent in operation too. In short, if you are not particularly tech-savvy, have no interest in learning the ins and outs of your network management, are on a tight budget or are running a fairly rudimentary setup, then an unmanaged switch should be perfectly ok for you and your network requirements. However, in almost every other regard, a managed switch is always better in the long run.

Learn More About Managed VS Unmanaged in the Article Below:


BEST 2.5GbE to USB Adapter – QGeeM 4-in-1 2.5GbE & USB C Hub – £25.49 (currently on offer 06/22)

The 4-in-1 USB C to ethernet hub expands the USB-C port of your laptop to 6 functions. You can connect to the Ethernet, charge the laptop, use an external monitor, data transfer, connect the mouse, etc. to improve your work efficiency. In the process of expansion, it cleverly retains all the functions of the USB-C port that supports up to 100W PD to charge your laptop at full speed, the data transmission speed reaches an astonishing 5Gbps, and it also supports [email protected] media display (mirror mode and extended mode. The USB C adapter is stylishly designed, lightweight and portable, very suitable for home, office environments and business trip, easily handle multitasking and increase productivity.

  • 1x Ethernet: up to 2.5 Gbps
  • 1x USB C: 100W Charging / [email protected] Video / 5Gbps Date Transfer
  • 2x USB 3.0: up to 5 Gbps

The USB c to 2.5g ethernet adapter is for users looking to move beyond Gigabit Ethernet speeds. It can provide network bandwidth of up to 2.5Gbps, 2.5 times the traditional network, and backwards compatible with 10/100/1000Mbps. Compared with wireless connections, wired networks are more secure and stable. There will be no lag in video conferencing, transferring files and playing games. 100W Power Delivery via the USB C PD port, which charges up to 100W, When expanding other devices, you don’t have to worry about running out of power on your laptop, and you can also reduce the number of cables on your desktop. The USB 3.0 port can transfer your files at speeds up to 5Gbps, 10 times faster than the USB 2.0. Backward compatible with USB 2.0 and below, Allows you to connect keyboard, mouse, hard disk, U disk, etc. to your device.

qgeem

I recently upgraded my MacBook Pro and I was bummed to find out that the new versions don’t have USB ports anymore. This hub allows me to plug in all my devices that use a USB! It’s small and portable which I appreciate because I can easily carry it with me in my backpack without much-added weight. Just tested it out using my Cricut machine and it worked like a charm! Allows 2.5 gig ethernet speed where there is no port on the laptop. Much faster for wired environments than Wi-Fi only. Since it provides a USB “C” port and two USB “A” ports, you still have USB available on the laptop. Works Great and adds functionality to the laptop! My studio has a really unstable wifi signal so I am looking for a portable hub including Ethernet and a USB port for my Dell XPS. And I am happy with this tiny hub. It works great after 3 days of use. Now I don’t need to worry about the unstable connection during my zoom meeting. In addition, I can connect more devices like flash or external drives to my laptop. It is very light and convenient, I can also bring it when I travel without any concern.

Check if this switch is available on Amazon. This helps us at NASCompares


Cheapest 2.5GbE Network Switch – QNAP QSW-1105-5T – £80-100 (currently on offer 06/22)

The QNAP QSW-1105-5T switch definitely lives up to what it promises and has a very clear target user in mind. It does not pretend to be more than it is and because of that can maintain high performance and low physical and power usage impact for users looking to move to the next level of networking without spending a vast amount. The QSW-1105-5T serves as a great upgrade for users moving from gigabit ethernet and towards multi-gigabit environments and with fantastic growth in 2020 towards 2.5G, 5G and 10Gbe in affordable hardware, the need for a more palatable and affordable upgrade to this tier is not only hugely welcome but fast becoming an inevitability. That said, the QSW-1105-5T is not for everyone, it seems a little pricey when unmanaged 1Gbe 5-Port switches are generally around £40-50.

Also, if you already have a multi-gigabit network environment in place or have need of a more controllable and priority defining network environment in mind, you will probably find the QSW-1105-5T a backstep and limiting in its scope. But the QSW-1105-5T is not designed for that and does not pretend to be so, and with QNAP having released and in the process of releasing switch options to cater to an ever-evolving network clientele, whether this is the switch for you or not, by the end of 2020 QNAP will almost certainly have a switch that suits your needs and budget. Bottom line, I really like this device and couldn’t see myself finding many uses for this device for aspiring YouTubers like me as well as day-to-day data work in general.

Click to view slideshow.

Needless to say, the QNAP QSW-1105-5T is not a hugely powerful switch that is designed to challenge smarter or larger entries into the QNAP QSW range of switches – but that is largely the point! Along with users looking at play n play upgrades to their PC/Client machines at home/office with USB adapters (such as the QNA-UC5G1T), the appeal of 2.5Gbe upgrades in networks that favour WiFi 6 and (soon) WiFi 6E is actually quite pronounced. In this arena, the QSW-1105-5T has little or no competition right now and even if it did, it’s a very solid and well-made product. The price point of over $100 for a 5-Port switch that is unmanaged, when you can pick up 1Gbe unmanaged switches at $40-50 is a little off-putting, but given the next tier (10Gbe) will likely set you back $200 for the same unmanaged architecture, this is more a question of finding a balance I guess. Aside from that, It is hard to fault the switch for what it is, as it is delivering on all it’s promises – I just wish there was a managed version too to take advantage of 2.5Gbe LAG connectivity that is available in almost all multi LAN QNAP solutions in 2020/2021.

Check if this switch is available on Amazon. This helps us at NASCompares


Best Value PoE+ 2.5GbE Switch – TRENDnet TPE-TG350 – $184

Expand your network’s bandwidth and reduce traffic bottlenecks with TRENDnet’s Unmanaged 2.5G PoE+ Switches. These 2.5G PoE+ switches come equipped with 2.5GBASE-T RJ-45 ports that provide higher gigabit speeds capable of up to 2.5Gbps over your existing Cat5e or better cabling. Each high-speed 2.5G PoE+ switch features a durable metal enclosure and can be mounted to the wall for setup flexibility. The fanless design lowers energy consumption and eliminates distracting operating noise. TRENDnet’s reliable 2.5G PoE+ switches are cost-effective solutions to increase your network’s throughput. A 55W total PoE power budget on this PoE+ switch supplies up to four PoE+ devices with up to 30W per port.

  • 5 x 2.5GBASE-T ports
  • 55W PoE power budget
  • IEEE 802.3bz (2.5G) compliant
  • Supports IEEE 802.3at/af PoE standards
  • Backwards compatible with 10/100/1000Mbps devices
  • 25Gbps switching capacity
  • Fanless design eliminates noise
  • Wall mountable for installation flexibility

Check if this switch is available on Amazon. This helps us at NASCompares


Best 8-Port 2.5GbE Switch – TRENDnet TEG-S380 – $179

Despite it’s growing popularity with hardware manufacturers, 2.5G still gets overlooked, and this is a shame. Why? Well, 2.5G network capabilities are showing up in more computers and motherboards nowadays, and it can be the most affordable way to go multi-gig. For instance, 2.5G cards and dongles won’t break the bank, while 2.5Gbps speeds can theoretically be achieved with existing Cat5e. Along with the previously mentioned TG350, TRENDnet releases an affordable unmanaged 2.5G switches. Called “TEG-S380, an 8-Port Unmanaged 2.5G Switch and is the brand’s addition to TRENDnet’s Multi-Gigabit Networking Solutions family. Both switches include 2.5GBASE-T RJ-45 ports, which allow users to achieve up to 2.5Gbps over existing Cat5e (or better) cabling. TRENDnet’s new 2.5G switches are cost-effective means of increasing a network’s throughput, and helping to reduce or eliminate network bottlenecks.

These multi-gigabit switches also feature a durable metal housing, as well as a fanless design to eliminate distracting operating noise. For installation flexibility, the 2.5G switches are conveniently constructed to be mounted on the wall or placed on a desktop. These TRENDnet switches are IEEE 802.3bz compliant; they are also backward compatible with legacy technology hardware. No special configurations are required for these switches to connect and network devices to high-speed 2.5G Ethernet. Equipped with 2.5GBASE-T RJ-45 ports that provide higher gigabit speeds capable of up to 2.5Gbps over existing Cat5e or better cabling. The 2.5G switches feature metal housing with a convenient wall mountable design for greater installation flexibility. Meanwhile, the fanless design of the 2.5G switches lowers energy consumption costs and eliminates operating noise.

Check if this switch is available on Amazon. This helps us at NASCompares


Best Value Managed 2.5GbE and 10GbE Switch – QNAP QSW-M2108-2C or QSW-M2108-2S – $279-309

There is always going to be the question of “who actually has 2.5Gbe these days?”, which is a perfectly valid point! The answer is that thanks to the growth of WiFi 6 (802.11ax) we are seeing lots of router solutions arriving with 2.5G ports. That’s not all though, there are several USB-to-5Gbe and USB-to-2.5Gbe adapters in the market that serve as much MUCH more affordable (and far more convenient) alternatively to hardware systems upgrading to 10Gbe via a PCIe card. Lastly, some more compact systems (Raspberry Pi, MacBook, ChromeBook, Laptop, Surface Pro, etc) do NOT have the ability to upgrade their network port conventionally. So, given that to date, there is no 10Gbe-to-USB adapter on the market (and if there was, I would look at Aquantia in the future), the only alternative to break out of 1Gbe bottlenecks is to use 2.5/5G USB adapters – which is EXACTLY why this 10Gbe and 2.5Gbe network switch exists! QNAP was not one of the first to introduce a budget +Gigabit ethernet switch in 2020/2021 and given the affordability of 10Gbe, as well as the need for businesses to improve their internal networking speeds to match that of high-end ISP and fibre internet around the world, they likely will not be the last.

Click to view slideshow.

However, the combination of 8x 2.5Gbe with the 2x10G really makes the QSW-2108-2C managed switch really stand out, whilst still arriving in a compact and affordable way – a scaled 10Gbe switch for businesses that want to make the step towards this network bandwidth, but is still unsure about the investment. With its unique multi-port combo system, allowing users to combine copper and fibre environments, there is a large degree of flexibility even at this more affordable price point. The design is not for everyone and it lacks the lifetime warranty of some more expensive NETGEAR solutions, but the QNAP QSW-2108-2C is most certainly a capable solution and manages to live up to every single promise that QNAP claims. Along with an incredibly intuitive management panel and ease of design that lends heavily from the QTS NAS software, it certainly beats most of its competitors in the GUI department. In short, the QSW-M2108 largely defeats any notion of looking at 1Gbe switches ever again…

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Best Gamer 2.5G/10G Switch – D-Link DMS-106XT – $140

As you can probably guess from my tone throughout this review, I found it pretty tough to fault the D-Link DMS-106XT network switch given its price tag and wide variety of network connectivity. There are a few design choices that are going to split opinion (metal throughout, LEDs, very unconventional shape, etc) but these are quite minor points in the grand scheme of things. The Price tag of this switch for a 10GbE and 2.5GbE switch, even unmanaged, is going to make it damn near irresistible to many buyers and now that it has had some time in the market to increase exposure, availability and reviews, the price tag has become increasingly flexible (arriving as low as £130/$140 in some retailers).

Click to view slideshow.

D-link could stand to be a little clearer about the turbo mode and it’s advantages with the DMS-106XT and the extent to which those LEDs can actually be customized is pretty weak, but you are clearly getting a sturdy, solid and high-performance piece of kit here. Additionally, with the increase of affordability of 10GbE, as well as 2.5GbE becoming the defacto port to be used with WiFi 6 client hardware, this switch has a much wider audience than it might have had just 2 years ago. A great piece of kit and one I heartily recommend.

Pros – 10G + 2.5G arriving at the same/cheaper price than many 2.5G-only switches right now.  Unique and Attractive Design. Unmanaged BUT the Turbo Mode adds Priority of Sevice features.  Fanless + Ridged Metal design assists heat dissipation. LED and lighting are quite cool looking

Cons – LED lighting controls are practically zero

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Best Unmanaged 2.5GbE and 10GbE Switch – QNAP QSW-2104-2T or QSW-2104-2S – $210

QNAP Systems introduced the QSW-2104 series of unmanaged switch models. The series is formed by the QSW-2104-2S and QSW-2104-2T network switches. The QSW-2104-2T is an easy-to-use unmanaged switch with 2-port 10GbE RJ45 and 4-port 2.5GbE RJ45, allowing you to upgrade your network environment by connecting a wider range of devices with different bandwidth requirements. Featuring a near-silent fanless design and compliance with IEEE 802.3az (Energy Efficient Ethernet, EEE), the QSW-2104-2T operates quietly and with optimal power usage. With high performance and superb functionality, the QSW-2104-2T is the ideal choice for creating an affordable high-speed network environment in your home or workplace.

Click to view slideshow.

aBoth of them are six-port with two 10GbE ports and four 2.5GbE ports, and the difference is that the QSW-2104-2S has 10GbE ports routed to SFP + fiber-optic transceivers, and the QSW-2104-2T model – to connectors designed for copper twisted pair connection. Note that in the first case, speeds of 10 Gb/s and 1 Gb/s are supported, and in the second – 10 Gb/s, 5 Gb/s, 2.5 Gb/s, 1 Gb/s and 100 Mb/s. The 2.5GbE ports in both cases are designed for twisted pair connections and support speeds of 2.5 Gbps, 1 Gbps, and 100 Mbps. With no complex settings required, the QSW-2104 series supports auto-negotiation that optimizes transfer speeds and performance for each connected device. It also features network loop detection that automatically locks looped ports to ensure the network environment quickly resumes normal operations. With plug-and-play support, near-silent, passively cooled design, IEEE 802.3az compliance, and automatic loop detection and blocking, the QSW-2104 series unmanaged switch is “the ideal choice for affordable high-speed networking environments in homes, and in the workplace” says the manufacturer.

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This description contains links to Amazon. These links will take you to some of the products mentioned in today's content. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Visit the NASCompares Deal Finder to find the best place to buy this device in your region, based on Service, Support and Reputation - Just Search for your NAS Drive in the Box Below

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7] Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  

Comparing the Synology DS1520+ vs DS1522+ NAS – Which Should You Buy?

27 mai 2022 à 01:19

Comparing the Synology DS1520+ vs DS1522+ NAS – Which Should You Buy?

Let’s be honest. Network Attached Storage (NAS) is much the same as any other kind of consumer-available technology, in that every few years a brand will release the latest hardware in its portfolio and buyers will IMMEDIATELY start comparing it versus its predecessor. New vs Old, Launch Price vs Discount Deals, Cutting Edge vs Well Established – regardless of your own motivation, then are a whole bunch of reasons why someone will be comparing the Synology DS1522+ for 2022 versus the 2020 released DS1520+ NAS. Today I want to take a closer look at these two NAS systems from the big brand in NAS drives and compare their strengths, their weaknesses and ultimately help you decide which one deserves your data right now. Let’s begin.

Note – Depending on when you are reading this, the availability of the DS1522+ or DS1520+ will be different. So, regardless of which one of these two NAS systems best sounds like it suits your needs, it is paramount that you remember that your data should be backed up at all times. So do not just leave your data in an insecure or unsafe state in favour of waiting for either of these NAS to arrive. Unless your data is in at least 2 separate copies (NAS, close, USB, etc), it is NOT backed up! If you need help, you can use the free NAS advice section HERE.

Comparing the hardware of the Synology DS1522+ and DS1520+ NAS

The 5-Bay Diskstation releases from Synology have always been one of the most interesting tiers of the brand’s desktop solutions. The reason for this is that all too often this scale of system serves as a bridging point between Prosumer & SOHO systems and the small/medium business hardware in their portfolio. This is demonstrated first in the scale of the available RAID 5/6 storage, but then more so in the scalability and upgradability of the 5-Bay system, allowing two expansions, greater network connectivity and better internal hardware than the more domestic targetted solutions – often with the internal hardware differing considerably between each periodic 2-3yr refresh by the brand. Let’s first look at the internal hardware of these two NAS’ to see how much they differ. The DS1520+ NAS first arrived on the scene with some great hardware advantages over the (then 2 months sooner released) DS920+, arriving with a 4 Core Intel Celeron Processor that featured integrated graphics, 8GB of DDR4 2666Mhz memory and NVMe SSD upgrade slots. In the two years since its release though, Synology clearly decided to make some big changes in the DS1522+ to make it considerably more scalable and general business/file-ops focused. The newer DS1522+ features a dual-core AMD Ryzen embedded R1600 that, although arriving with half the cores of the Celeron in the DS1520+, has a higher CPU frequency and total achievable frequency in turbo/burst when needed. That said, users will be surprised to learn that this CPU also does not feature embedded graphics, so therefore the DS1522+ will be less CPU efficient at handling multimedia or VM deployment than the DS1520+.

Though both systems feature 8GB of DDR4 memory, the 1522+ has much higher pedigree and wins here thanks to its use of much more impressive ECC (error code correction) memory to identify and repair any bit level write errors and can also be scaled to a considerably higher 32GB of memory (with the DS1520+ maxing out at 8GB).

NAS Model DS1520+

DS1522+

CPU Model Intel Celeron J4125 AMD Ryzen R1600
CPU Quantity 1 Embedded Ryzen
CPU Architecture 64-bit 64-bit
CPU Frequency 4-core 2.0 – 2.7 GHz 2-core 2.6 – 3.1 GHz
Hardware Encryption Engine (AES-NI) Yes Yes
Integrated Graphics Yes No
CPU Cache 4 MB cache 1 MB L2 cache, 4 MB L3 cache
Memory
System Memory 8GB DDR4 non-ECC SODIMM 8GB DDR4 ECC SODIMM
Memory Module Pre-installed 8GB (4GB On-board + 4 GB via a 2666Mhz Module) 8 GB (8GB x 1)
TDP 10W 25W
Total Memory Slots 1 2
Maximum Memory Capacity 8GB 32 GB (16 GB x 2)
System Fan 92 mm x 92 mm x 2 pcs 92 mm x 92 mm x 2 pcs
Power Supply Unit / Adapter 120W External 120W External

Next up, let us discuss storage on the DS1522+ and DS1520+M, as these two systems are near enough identical on that one. Both arrive with 5x SATA storage bays, though you can deploy either NAS with as little as a single rive if you want. From there you can go ahead and install enough drives to accommodate a RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 6 or Synology’s own flexible RAID configuration, SHR. Both systems can be initialized to operate with either a BTRFS or EXT4 file system, as well as supporting the wide range of services and features of the Synology Storage Manager. Finally, as mentioned, both systems feature M.2 NVMe SSD bays and both only allow these to be used for caching with DSM and its services/storage. Even in terms of expandability, these systems are largely identical. with both supporting the connection of two DX517 expansion chassis and reaching a total potential 15 bays of storage. As both systems support the latest version of Synology DSM, that maximum volume, simultaneous volumes, active storage shares and hybrid storage support are largely identical. The only area where things might differ significantly between the DS1520+ and DS1522+ is regarding Hard Drive compatibility. Synology changed its position a bit on compatibility in a few of the 2022 series hardware releases (beginning with the RS3622xs+, DS3622xs+ and DS2422+ at the start of the year) with them stating that they fully support the use of their own HDDs and SSDs in these systems, but not in third party drives from the likes of WD and Seagate. These drives will still be usable in their systems, but the user will be greeted by a warning message regarding compatibility. Now, this is not a factor of the DS1520+ compatibility, however, we are still (at the time of writing) awaiting confirmation of the HDD compatibility list of the DS1522+ NAS, so although it is NOT CONFIRMED RIGHT NOW it is possible that your choice of supported HDDs might impact which NAS is better for your storage.

Model DS1520+

DS1522+

Size (Height x Width x Depth) 166 mm x 230 mm x 223 mm 166 mm x 230 mm x 223 mm
Drive Bays & Storage 5x SATA 5x SATA
Maximum Drive Bays with Expansion Unit 15 (DX517 x 2) 15 (DX517 x 2)
M.2 Drive Slots 2 (NVMe) for Read/Write Caching 2 (NVMe) for Read/Write Caching
Hot Swappable Drive Yes Yes
RAID Support JBOD, RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, SHR JBOD, RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, SHR

Now in terms of the external connectivity and how it can be upgraded, this is another big area of difference between the DS1520+ and DS1522+ NAS. Both systems arrive with 4 1GbE RJ45 LAN ports, which can be combined via link aggregation/Port Trunking to allow up to 4Gb/s bandwidth between the system and a supported smart switch. However, the big difference in bandwidth potential between these two NAS centres around the DS1522+ features the option to upgrade it’s network connectivity to 10GbE by installing an E20G22-T1-mini 10G network upgrade in the available proprietary slot. Now, this is not a connection that is available in the default DS1522+ and is an optional upgrade, but still it is good to know that the option of adding 1,000MB/s bandwidth is available down the road. The DS1520+ does not include an option to increase the network connectivity in this way (though unofficial and not officially supported USB-to2.5GbE and 5GbE connectivity via 3rd party adapters are possible (but I wouldn’t trust their long term stability really) and for many, this will be a deal-breaker between these systems in the same way the CPU differences between these two NAS’ does. Both systems see the same sized chassis and the 10GbE upgradable slot on the DS1522+ using a smaller M.2 sized connector rather than the PCIe 3×8 slot of other Synology NAS, so it does not impact the size of the chassis.

Model DS1520+

DS1522+

RJ-45 1GbE LAN 4 (with Link Aggregation / Failover support) 4 (with Link Aggregation / Failover support)
2.5GbE LAN  No No
10GbE LAN  No Optional
USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5Gb/s) 2 2
USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gb/s) No No
eSATA Port 2 2
PCIe Expansion No Yes (currently supports E10G22-T1-mini Adapter)
Supported File System
  • Btrfs
  • EXT4
  • Btrfs
  • EXT4
Size 166 mm x 230 mm x 223 mm 166 mm x 282 mm x 243 mm
Weight 2.62 kg 5.1 kg

Overall, I think the differences between the DS1520+ and DS1522+ are some of the most notable that the brand has ever delivered between two NAS just two years apart in the same series! The option of 10GbE later in the system’s lifespan, along with a huge 32GB of ECC memory on the DS1522+ I think narrowly put that NAS ahead, but it is by no means an unquestionable victory, as not only are those advantages of the DS1522+ more centred around additional purchases, but also the DS1520+ features that quad-core graphics embedded CPU – which means that a number of common Synology NAS desktop uses for entertainment such as Plex Media Server and Video Station are going to run much more efficiently on the older system. Then you have to also factor in that the DS1520+ is going to be available at a more affordable price thanks to its longer time at retail (with the DS1522+ almost certainly remaining close to its RRP for the bulk of 2022. I still think the DS1522+ is the better business and mission-critical performance choice overall, but the DS1520+ is going to be better suited to home and prosumer users overall.

Expected Performance of the Synology DS1522+ vs DS1520+ NAS Compared

The performance of Synology DSM services and supported 3rd party connected appliances is going to be very similar on both the DS1520+ and DS1522+ NAS when it comes to utilizing the respective systems in low volume/frequency client tasks. By that, I mean that the scale of the operations that you need the NAS to action (from simple file sharing and downloading, to more intensive multi-site backups, file streaming, databases and surveillance for example) will largely dictate which NAS will perform better for you. As mentioned, the DS1520+ and its embedded graphics supported CPU will use fewer resources to perform graphically focused tasks such as transcoding, as well as running applications that have a high volume of visual data such as live camera feeds in Surveillance Station 9. Whereas the file handling and general transfer performance of traditional data exchanges are going to use fewer resources on the DS1522+ embedded Ryzen processor, as well as have a much, MUCH higher ceiling for total processes thanks to that larger memory scalability already discussed. Below is a breakdown of the most popular applications and services that are included with either the Synology DS1520+ or DS1522+ NAS:

Synology Office – Create documents, spreadsheets, and slides in a multi-user environment. Real-time synchronization and saving make collaboration a breeze.

Synology Chat – Aimed at businesses, Synology Chat is an IM service that transforms the way users collaborate and communicate.

Synology Drive – Host your own private cloud behind the safety of your NAS with 100% data ownership and no subscription fees.

Synology Moments – Manage your photos and videos with deep-learning algorithms that automatically group photos with similar faces, subjects, and places.

Synology Calendar – Stay on track, share calendars, and schedule meetings, while ensuring sensitive information remains safely stored on company premises.

Synology Active Backup for Business (ABB) – Consolidate backup tasks for virtualized environments, physical servers, and personal computers, and rapidly restore files, entire machines, or VMs – license free.

Synology Hyper Backup – backup you NAS safely and efficiently to multiple destinations with deduplication, integrity checks, compression, and versioning.

Synology Surveillance Station – Safeguard your business, home, and other valuable assets with reliable video surveillance tools.

Synology Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) – An intuitive hypervisor that supports Windows, Linux, and Virtual DSM virtual machines. Its powerful disaster recovery tools help users achieve maximum service uptime.

Synology High Availability – Synology High Availability (SHA) combines two Synology NAS servers into one active-passive high-availability cluster, alleviating service disruptions while mirroring data.

Synology Central Management System (CMS) – Synology CMS allows you to manage multiple Synology NAS servers quickly and conveniently from a single location.

Synology Video Station – Manage all your movies, TV shows, and home videos. Stream them to multiple devices or share them with friends and family.

Synology Photo Station – Built to help photographers manage their photos and share them with clients for feedback or business development.

Synology Audio Station – Manage your music collection, create personal playlists, stream them to your own devices, or share with family or friends.

Synology File Station – Manage your Synology NAS files remotely through web browsers or mobile devices

However, the extent to which you can use all these applications at any single time (both as multiple clients using the same software or multiple applications running in parallel on the same NAS system) is going to be better on the Synology DS1522+ in the grand scheme of things, thanks to that potential 32GB of memory available to scale up down the line. Here is how these two Synology NAS drives compare in volume and features in those 1st party services:

Model DS1520+ DS1522+
Max Single Volume 108TB 108TB
SAN Manager 128 ISCSI Targets and 256 LUNS 128 ISCSI Targets and 256 LUNS
Surveillance Station 40 Cameras Max, 2 Licenses 40 Cameras Max, 2 Licenses
Collaboration Suite ALL Tools ALL Tools
Synology Drive 350 Connections , 5,000,000 Files 350 Connections , 5,000,000 Files
Active Backup FULL Support (Google, 365, VM,  local) FULL Support (Google, 365, VM, local)
Synology Photos All Features All features
Hybrid Share Full Support of 10x syncs Full Support of 10x syncs
Accounts 2048 Users, 256 Groups, 512 S.Folders 2048 Users, 256 Groups, 512 S.Folders
SHA Yes Yes
VMM Yes, 4 Recommended Max Yes, 8 Recommended Max
Hardware Transcoding Yes No
MailPlus 100 concurrent users, 5 Licences 100 concurrent users, 5 Licences
SHR Support Yes Yes
Snapshots 65,536 Max 65,536 Max
Web Hosting Upto 30x Upto 30x
Hyper Backup Yes, all features and clients Yes, all features and clients
Max Tested R/W Speed 451.28MB/s – 451.18MB/s 736MBs – 796MB/s

Once again, very similar and indeed, both systems largely provide the building blocks to use each application to the highest extent allowed/recommended by Synology in DSM. Despite these NAS’ having very different CPUs, they still ultimately support the same volume of services (at maximum) in DSM. But the DS1522+ clearly has more recourse scaling possible and that will hopefully mean that you will be able to push several applications in higher frequencies each more on the newer system than the old one. Just don;t overlook how useful that Intel Celeron CPU would be to multimedia tasks.

Synology DS1520+ vs DS1522+ NAS – Conclusion and Verdict

Synology has clearly taken a rather different tactic in the release of their newest 5-Bay system, making changes to the expected hardware configuration and architecture that set it on a very different path than its predecessor. Those with longer memories will know that the Diskstation 5 Drive portfolio used to be very much this kind of design (i.e a file transfer focused CPU, more memory scaling, optional 10GbE, etc) and rather than building off the design of the 4-Bay (as the DS1520+ did against the DS920+), the DS1522+ seems to scale itself against the DS1621+ in it’s shape and abilities. If you were already looking at Synology NAS systems that being heavy emphasis on scaling their architecture notably down the line in efforts to remain future proof, the DS1522+ is going to tick ALOT of boxes for you. Whereas if you were looking at a Synology NAS for home use, a Plex Media server, low client/user use and generally as more of a setup-and-forget solution, then the DS1520+ will likely suit your needs better and will have the added benefit of a more palatable price point in 2022. How far Synology will extend the build logic of the DS1522+ towards other solutions in the diskstation/rackstation portfolio still remains to be seen. Most business users will want to opt for the DS1522+ though. Cheers for reading!

NAS MODEL ID

Synology DS1520+ NAS

Synology DS1522+ NAS

Where to Buy:

 

Need More Help Choosing the right NAS?

Choosing the right data storage solution for your needs can be very intimidating and it’s never too late to ask for help. With options ranging from NAS to DAS, Thunderbolt to SAS and connecting everything up so you can access all your lovely data at the touch of a button can be a lot simpler than you think. If you want some tips, guidance or help with everything from compatibility to suitability of a solution for you, why not drop me a message below and I will get back to you as soon as possible with what you should go for, its suitability and the best place to get it. This service is designed without profit in mind and in order to help you with your data storage needs, so I will try to answer your questions as soon as possible.

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This description contains links to Amazon. These links will take you to some of the products mentioned in today's content. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Visit the NASCompares Deal Finder to find the best place to buy this device in your region, based on Service, Support and Reputation - Just Search for your NAS Drive in the Box Below

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7] Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  

WD Black SN850 SSD Review in 2022 – Still Worth it for your PS5 & PC?

25 mai 2022 à 01:13

WD Black SN850 SSD Heatsink Edition Review, Temperature & Benchmark

Whether you are considering buying a new super-fast PCIe 4.0 NVMe solid-state drive upgrade for your PC gaming rig or shiny new (ish) PS5 console, then there is an exceptionally high chance that one of the very first SSDs that you came across/considered was the WD Black SN850. Released in Autumn 2020, the SN850 was the latest drive to join the long-running gamer series of SSDs and HDDs from WD in their ‘WD Black’ labelled media, as well last being one of the fastest commercially available SSDs in the market when it’s launch (only really challenge by the Samsung 980 Pro released shortly before). However, that was close to 1.5yrs ago and in that time ALOT of other brands have taken the time to catch up and (in many cases) exceed the performance of the ‘OG’ WD Black SN850 in terms of 4K performance, speed and durability. That said, all that additional time in the market, along with being developed and produced ‘in-house’ at WD without 3rd party components, has resulted in the WD Black SN850 arriving noticeably lower in price than many of its competitors SSDs (such as the Seagate Firecuda 530 released in Summer 2021) and also having better global availability to boot. So, now in 2022, many buyers are wondering whether the WD Black SN850 SSD still deserves its place inside their gaming machine or has the shiny gone off this drive a bit and it’s better to buy a competitors wares (or wait for a new drive, such as a WD Black SN950 or SN850X perhaps)? Ultimately, does the WD Black SN850 still deserve your data in 2022? Let’s find out in our hardware review, PS5 testing and PC benchmarks.

Important – The WD Black SN850 SSD used for this review is supplied by WD, however, all opinions and judgements are purely my own. Additionally, the WD Black SN850 model used was the Heatsink equipped version running the latest firmware update as of Jan 2022. Finally, In the interests of perspective, throughout this review, I will be comparing the WD Black against numerous SSDs that have been released in the 1.5yrs since its original release, in order to put its abilities into perspective. However, hardware comparisons will largely be made against the Samsung 980 Pro as both brands have a shared ‘1st party’ build/design focus.

WD Black SN850 SSD Review – Quick Conclusion

The WD Black SN850 SSD can certainly still hold its own against all the ‘young whippersnappers’ that have entered the PCIe 4 NVMe SSD market since it first arrived on the scene back in 2020, with some consistently solid 4K random performance that rarely drops, reliably high read performance across the board and an average price point worldwide that means if it ISN’T on special offer/seasonal sale in your usual eRetailer, it definitely will be somewhere – having arrived at this party early, it is now so fantastically ‘everywhere’ that many would consider it a no brainer to be your perfect SSD pick – and fair play, they are likely right. Right the way down to big names in the industry recommended its versatility (Mark Cerny, PS5 designer arriving louder than most), the WD black branding being a mainstay of professional gaming and the simple fact that the WD Black SN850 does exactly what it says it can do, no ifs, no buts, make it still a solid choice. All that said though, PCIe 4 NVMe SSD development has certainly moved forward and although the SN850 holds it’s own in some key benchmarks and build qualities, there are now more enduring SSDs in the market, with higher throughput drives available to buy and (possibly most crucially of all for some) the SN850 can get noticeably hotter than others in the market as more efficient SSD controllers were researched, developed and released in 2021. In pure gaming usage, the WD Black SN850 can still get the job done, but in mixed-use or content creation/production, there might well be better options out there for you. And lest we forget, WD Black might well have a PCIe5 in the works to pip everyone to the punch again – keep your eyes peeled!

WD Black SN850 SSD Review – Packaging

The WD Black SN850 for our review was the heatsink equipped version (arriving at around 30-35 more than the bare version) and straight away, you can see the retail packaging on this SSD absolutely oozing with that oh so familiar WD Black branding.

The heatsink and almost immediately recognizable ‘WD’ design is clearly the bit show-off factor here, as well as the usual brand shouting of sequential read performance (all brands do it). Though I will say that there has been a heck of a trend recently for SSDs to arrive in white and black packaging – PS5 retail design synergy? Who knows (highlighted this in my Samsung 980 re-review recently) and I am pleased that WD has not caved in with a redesign to blag some console gamer attention, sticking with the existing design that’s largely unchanged since it’s original launch.

Opening the retail box of the WD Black SN850 SSD shows us the drive (with heatsink pre-applied – very important, as I will discuss later) encases in a plastic 2 piece shell frame, as well as a support, setup and instructions manual.

WD consumer and prosumer SSDs have always arrived like this, but I always want to highlight it regardless as way, WAY too many brands cut corners here (in the age of predominant eRetail, most consumers see the retail packaging AFTER buying, not before) and I like both the design of this presentation, as well as the protection this kind of kit provides. Not huge (as SSDs are nowhere near as fragile as a traditional platter and disc-based HDDs) but still a higher level of protection is afforded here than most.

Removing all of the packaging provides us with a particularly sleek and modern looking SSD+Heatsink combo indeed. You will typically find that SSDs targeted at gamers, content creators or those working in post-production fall into two aesthetical design choices. Either ‘eSports’ style that has a million LEDs and sharp edges/corners to give off an aggressive feel OR a ‘mature-professional’ look that is sleek, understated yet modernist in design. PNY chose eSports, Seagate and Samsung chose ‘mature professional,? The WD Black SN850 Pro box design is very much going for middle ground gamer design. But, let’s be honest, all of this is rather pointless in terms of how it all looks, as after Day 1 – an ideal M.2 NVMe SSD will NEVER be seen again (encased in a PC, Mac or PS5 for its use), so how does the WD Black SN850 heatsink design translate into cooling and temperature management?

First off, the solid-looking design-block design that the casual glance would provide is quickly revealed to be actually quite heavily ventilated in a number of ways. The middle part of the heatsink is ventilated throughout the entire length in its width, allowing air to pass through and assist in moving the heat/energy being dissipated from the WD Black SN850 controller, NAND, etc.

Additionally, the top of the WD Black SN850 heatsink is ridged in an effort to capture air passing over it, which will further assist dissipation. I think these will be tremendously useful in a PC environment, but I would be curious how the more restrictive M.2 expansion slot of the PS5 (with its much more limited airflow in this direction) would be able to take advantage of this.

Now, the WD Black SN850 doesn’t HAVE TO be purchased with that 1st party heatsink and in its absence, WD would still recommend that users purchased an m.2 2280 length heatsink and thermal pads when installing their drive in PC/PS5 systems (though never highlighting any specific brand/make/model aside from their own, which cannot be purchased separately). These typically range from as little as $5 to $20, depending on their complexity and active heat dissipation (some with copper piping, some with inbuilt fans). Here is how the WD Black SN850 SSD heatsink compares with a popular $10 PC designed heatsink, the Eluteng, in design and built:

Then there are physical design differences with another 1st party NVMe SSD heatsink from Seagate, with their Firecuda 530 series:

As you can see, the $10 also clearly tried to capitalize on active airflow, but a great deal more, substituting physical materials to draw the heat away from the SSD, in favour of allowing as much ventilation as possible to get rid of the heat as much as it can – a good design choice for an open-air and fan assisted PC, but less useful in the PS5 closed M.2 bay. Let’s open up the WD Black SN850 HEATSINK and take a look at the SSD. Inside is a fairly standard WD Black SN850 M.2 NVMe SSD, much like the un-heatsink equipped version. Though it is also worth mentioning that the later releases of this drive include the much more recent update to the SSD controller firmware, something that is considerably more difficult to update yourself without a PC + M.2 slot, as the PS5 does not include support for 3rd party SSD toolkits to be installed (and a firmware update on an m.2 SSD is not possible over USB, as a direct motherboard connection is required). Next, we removed the official heatsink from this SSD in order to see how it covers the SSD and its components.

The 1TB version of this SSD is single-sided (also known as single-rank or SR), so this means that heat generated on the base of the SSD is not really going to be a concern. Even in 2-sided SSDs (2TB/4TB typically), SSDs will have the NAND (where the data lives) and maybe half of the on-board DRAM/Memory, both of which are ok to get a ‘little warm’ to work their best. It is the controller on the top (the brains on the SSD that manages all the transmission of data, not unlike the CPU of your computer) that needs to stay as cool as possible.

So, let’s get some PS5 testing started first. I installed the WD Black SN850 into my PS5, with 2 temperature nodes in place. The first node was located underneath the heatsink and thermal pad, on top of the SSD controller (the WD NVMe In house designed controller) and the 2nd node was located outside of the PS5 M.2 SSD expansion bay, between the storage bay and the PS5 internal fan. This 2nd node was used to check the ambient system temperature as the SSD was being used to see if heat dissipated from the SSD and into the heatsink was impacting the PS5 ambient temperature.

Then I reapplied the M.2 SSD cover over the WD Black SN850 SSD and then placed the PS5 side plates. As counter-intuitive a it feels to cover the SSD up in this bay, this is something Sony recommend (which I will be looking into and comparing in a future video against running it WITHOUT the cover), so I went ahead with it.

During this temperature test of the PS5 with the WD Black SN850 SSD, I ran several tests. I performed a sustained write activity (moving several games from the internal PS5 SSD to the WD Black SN850), a gameplay session on GTA V (measuring the SSD controller temperature and the ambient temperature), repeated that test with Red Dead Redemption II, then performed a heavy read application (moving those games back to the PS5 internal SSD). These results were compared against the exact same test with a WD Black SN850 in the $10 Eluteng m.2 heatsink. Below, in the video, were the results and conclusion of that test.

Now, it should come as no surprise that the WD Black SN850 dissipated a greater degree of heat from the controller than the Eluteng $10 m.2 SSD heatsink, due to WD heatsink being designed around this single SSD and its components (therefore targeting whether the controller would be particularly well). However, what about when we compare the temperature testing of the WD Black SN850 against that of the Seagate Firecuda 530 with heatsink? Both of these are 1st Party heatsink equipped SSDs that have been designed around and applied at the factory level TOO their respective SSDs. Performing the same tests, with the same games/processes, here is how each SSD heatsink performed.

The WD Black SN850 SSD heatsink did perform better than the $10 SSD heatsink in terms of heat dissipation and temperature control, but not hugely better and I think a lot of that comes down to the PS5 having that closed M.2 slot. That said, when we performed the same tests with a more modern released SSD in the Seagate Firecuda 530 (released a year later and noticeably more expensive), the Seagate seemed to run cooler and/or the heatsink did a better job. We cannot ignore small factors such as ambient room temperatures and times or day, however even when you just look at the temp difference at the start and end of each test as a differential, Seagate seemingly kept things consistently cooler overall. So the big takeaway from that test for me was that the WD Black SN850 ran cooler in the PS5 than the bare SSD with a $10 heatsink, but the SSD still runs hotter than a few of its more modern released contemporaries. Next, let’s talk about the performance of the WD Black SN850 in PS5 gameplay, how it compares with the system’s own internal PS5 and how it fares against its competition.

So, What about the WD Black SN850 in PS5 deployment?

When I installed the WD Black SN850 into the PS5, the system immediately gave me a benchmark of 6,457MB/s, which is pretty impressive for the 1TB model. The PS5 uses a different test and benchmark algorithm than those of popular PC tools such as ATTO, CrystalDisk and IOMeter, focusing exclusively on read performance. There isn’t even a direct reference to whether this figure is based on sequential data or some PS5 game-data specific data size/frequency, so we very rarely see the 7,000MB/s sequential read figure that most SSD brands talk quite loudly of. Nevertheless, this 6,450MB/s+ figure is still very solid and repeated testing gave us 6222MB/s, 6455MB/s and 6551MB/s, so it was quite a consistent benchmark for PS5.

As you would hope, the WD Black SN850 immediately appears in the PS5 storage manager for us and there can be used in conjunction with the PS5’s own internal SSD (and USB drives).

Let’s see how the WD Black SN850 SSD compares with several PCIe4 SSDs that have been released in the almost year and a half since its release.

WD Black SN850 SSD Review – PS5 Benchmark

To put the WD Black SN850 SSD PS5 Performance Benchmark into a little perspective, here is how it compares against the Addlink A95, Adata XPG Gammix S70, Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus and Gigabyte Aorus 7000s – four SSDs that are all PS5 supported and VERY similar architecture very little difference between the others in this tier, it is a solid benchmark.

Addlink A95 PS5 Benchmark – 6556MB/s XPG GAMMIX S70 PS5 Benchmark – 6235MB/s
Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus – 6557MB/s Gigabyte Aorus 7000s PS5 Benchmark6557MB/s

As you can see, the WD Black SN850’s PS5 benchmark is in a similar bracket to these other four SSDs, though they did seem to outpace it on repeated benchmark tests, back to back. A more recently published PS5 performance test over on our YouTube channel of the WD Black SN850 compared with the Seagate Firecuda 530 and Samsung 980 Pro using the Unreal 5 Tech engine demo showed us that the WD still works like an absolute charm even 6 months since the storage expansion feature was enabled:

Full PS5 Testing of this SSD is available as a playlist over on the NASCompares YouTube channel, with a total of 25 GAMES TESTED SO FAR! But for now, let’s carry on with looking at the hardware of the WD Black SN850, how it conventionally benchmarks and how it compares with currently favourite PS5 SSDs like the Samsung 980 Pro and Seagate Firecuda 530 in the numbers!

WD Black SN850 SSD Review – Hardware Specifications

As you might expect from an M.2 NVMe SSD that boldly promises performance of over 7,000MB/s sequential read (ie BIG data), the hardware specifications and architecture of the WD Black SN850 are quite modern. Indeed, for all the big talk of the Seagate Firecuda 530 hardware (still currently the ‘score to beat’ PCIE Gen4 m.2 NVMe right now) being top tier, the WD Black SN850 is pretty darn similar on the spec sheet, despite releasing a year earlier! Though there are some key build differences that I will touch on later. Below is how it looks:

WD Black SN850

500GB – $139.99, 1TB – $249.99, 2TB – $409.99

PCIe Generation PCIe Gen 4
NVMe Rev NVMe 1.4
NAND BiCS4 96L TLC
Max Capacity 2TB
Controller WD_BLACK G2
Warranty 5yr

I know a lot of the above will seem needlessly technical, so below we can bring the most important considerations into sharper focus.

Hardware Focus of the WD Black SN850 SSD Series

The WD Black SN850 SSD benefits from an almost completely ‘in-house’ architecture, which means that the NAND for storage and the controller is designed by WD themselves, without relying on 3rd parties such as Phison or Innogrit for its controller. This is WD’s PCIe Gen 4 chip called “WD Black G2 NVMe Controller.”.

 

It is produced on an 8 nm production process in WD’s factory. At its launch, it noticeably outpaced the Phison E16 in terms of design, but now has given way in many ways to the Phison E18 controller which arrived on the production scene around the time the WD Black SN850 was first released. Still a solid SSD controller never the less and backed by more in-house components. The WD Black SN850 also features their own DDR4 memory/flash chip which provides 1GB of fast DRAM storage for the controller to store the mapping tables, etc. As you would expect, this scales as the storage capacity scales.

The storage NAND of the WD Black SN850 is 96L WD TLC NAND, which has and is separated across 2x cells on the 1TB of a capacity of 512GB. (4x 512GB on the 2TB). This is one particularly interesting area that I don’t think gets enough credit. Right now, at the start of 2022, there is a very small handful of SSDs that are using NAND of a higher layer count than 96L (ones such as the Seagate Firecuda 530 at 176L), but this is a trend that we are starting to see change with even more affordable brands such as Addlink and ADATA embracing 176L Micron NAND as standard in their prosumer tiers. It’s a small factor but definitely worth highlighting and something that brands like Seagate and Samsung exceeded very early on.

Overall the build of the WD Black SN850 is still pretty strong compared with most SSDs in this performance tier and the inclusive heatsink certainly makes it be even more appealing for some. You really cannot fault the hardware inside/onboard the WD Black SN850, as it is still (even 16-18 months after release) higher performing in sequential Read than many other M.2 NVMe PCIe 4 SSDs released in that time. Before we go into the full testing, however, it is worth taking a moment to look closely at the reported performance benchmarks of the WD Black SN850, as although the performance seems stellar at sequential Read and 4K random IOPS numbers, there are areas such as write and endurance when compared with its main rivals that it perhaps falls a little short.

WD Black SN850 SSD Review – Official Stats First

Right now at the start of 2022, the WD Black SN850 is continuously being compared by buyers with two other big-name SSDs, the Samsung 980 Pro and the Seagate Firecuda 530 (I am as guilty as anyone on that!). Both these SSD’s arrived with optional Heatsink versions (the Samsung only recently though), though the Samsung SSD was released much close to the WD Black SN850 drive (with the Seagate SSD arriving in Summer 2021). Below is how these three SSDs compare in the traditional hardware architecture and durability.

Brand/Series WD Black SN850

500GB – $139.99, 1TB – $249.99, 2TB – $409.99

Seagate Firecuda 530

500GB – $149.99, 1TB – $239.99, 2TB – $489.99, 4TB – $949.99

Samsung 980 Pro

1TB – $179, 2TB – $299

PCIe Generation PCIe Gen 4 PCIe Gen 4 PCIe Gen 4
NVMe Rev NVMe 1.4 NVMe 1.4 NVMe 1.3c
NAND BiCS4 96L TLC 3D TLC Micron B47R 176L Samsung 128L 3D TLC
Max Capacity 2TB 4TB – Double Sided 2TB
Controller WD_BLACK G2 Phison E18-PS5018 Custom Elpis
Warranty 5yr 5yr 5yr
500GB Model WDS500G1X0E-00AFY0 ZP500GM3A013

MZ-V8P500BW

Price in $ and $ $139.99 $139 / £119 $119 / £109
1TB Model WDS100T1X0E-00AFY0 ZP1000GM3A013 MZ-V8P1T0BW
Price in $ and $ $249.99 $239 / £199 $209 / £179
2TB Model WDS200T1X0E-00AFY0 ZP2000GM3A013 MZ-V8P2T0BW
Price in $ and $ $409.99 $419 / £379 $390 / £369
4TB Model N/A ZP4000GM3A013 N/A
Price in $ and $ N/A $949 / £789 N/A
500GB Model WDS500G1X0E-00AFY0 ZP500GM3A013

MZ-V8P500BW

Total Terabytes Written (TBW) 300TB 640TB 300TB
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) 1,750,000 1,800,000 1,500,000
DWPD 0.3DWPD 0.7DWPD 0.3DWPD
1TB Model WDS100T1X0E-00AFY0 ZP1000GM3A013 MZ-V8P1T0BW
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) 600TB 1275TB 600TB
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) 1,750,000 1,800,000 1,500,000
DWPD 0.3DWPD 0.7DWPD 0.3DWPD
2TB Model WDS200T1X0E-00AFY0 ZP2000GM3A013 MZ-V8P2T0BW
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) 1200TB 2550TB 1200TB
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) 1,750,000 1,800,000 1,500,000
DWPD 0.3DWPD 0.7DWPD 0.3DWPD
4TB Model N/A ZP4000GM3A013 N/A
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) N/A 5100TB N/A
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) N/A 1,800,000 N/A
DWPD N/A 0.7DWPD N/A

Some differences are quite easy to understand, such as the NVMe revision, as the update between NVMe 1.3 and 1.4 happened around the time of the WD Black SN850 release. Then there is the pricing differences between these three SSDs, with the Seagate Firecuda arriving at a noticeably higher price point. The price difference here can be attributed to several factors, such as the longer time being available at retail and both the WD Black SN850 and WD Black 850 in-house component built. However, one of the other big reasons for that differing price is in the durability of the Seagate over the WD and WD SSD, with its terabytes written over its lifespan and drive writes per day arriving at more than double. What about random performance and sequential throughout?

Below is how the WD Black SN850, Seagate Firecuda 530 and WD Black SN850 compare in performance, based on maximum possible and directly from the brands:

Brand/Series WD Black SN850

500GB – $139.99, 1TB – $249.99, 2TB – $409.99

Seagate Firecuda 530

500GB – $149.99, 1TB – $239.99, 2TB – $489.99, 4TB – $949.99

WD Black SN850 H/S

1TB – $179, 2TB – $299

500GB Model WDS500G1X0E-00AFY0 ZP500GM3A013

MZ-V8P500BW

Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 7000MB 7000MB 6900MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 4100MB 3000MB 5000MB
1TB Model WDS100T1X0E-00AFY0 ZP1000GM3A013 MZ-V8P1T0BW
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 7000MB 7300MB 7000MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 5300MB 6000MB 5000MB
2TB Model WDS200T1X0E-00AFY0 ZP2000GM3A013 MZ-V8P2T0BW
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 7000MB 7300MB 7000MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 5100MB 6900MB 5100MB
4TB Model   ZP4000GM3A013 N/A
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB N/A 7300MB N/A
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB N/A 6900MB N/A
Brand/Series WD Black SN850 Seagate Firecuda 530 WD Black SN850 H/S
500GB Model WDS500G1X0E-00AFY0 ZP500GM3A013

MZ-V8P500BW

Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 1,000,000 400,000 800,000
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 680,000 700,000 1,000,000
1TB Model WDS100T1X0E-00AFY0 ZP1000GM3A013 MZ-V8P1T0BW
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 1,000,000 800000 1000000
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 720,000 1000000 1000000
2TB Model WDS200T1X0E-00AFY0 ZP2000GM3A013 MZ-V8P2T0BW
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 1,000,000 1,000,000 1,000,000
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 710,000 1,000,000 1,000,000
4TB Model   ZP4000GM3A013 N/A
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 N/A 1,000,000 N/A
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 N/A 1,000,000 N/A

Between all three SSDs, in terms of sequential Read and Write performance, the WD Black SN850 (for the most part) sits in third place here pretty consistently. That said, it is still very close to the WD Black in most cases. In terms of random 4K IOPS, things fare a little better for the WD Black SN850 and although still outpaced by the much later released Seagate Firecuda 530 in traditional Read and Write performance, it comes out consistently 1st place in IOPS overall. So, now that is the manufacturer supplied performance figures done, let’s do some of our own tests on a mid-range PCIe 4 M.2 enabled Windows PC for some benchmarks.

Testing the WD Black SN850 m.2 PCIE4 NVMe SSD

The WD Black SN850 was selected for this test and it was tested using multiple benchmark tools, from a cold boot, in the 2nd storage slot (i.e not the OS drive). Each test was conducted three times (full details of this are shown in the YouTube Review of the WD Black SN850 over on NASCompares):

Test Machine:

  • Windows 10 SN850 Desktop System
  • Intel i5 11400 Rocket Lake – 6-Core 2.6/4.4Ghz
  • 16GB DDR4 2666MHz Memory
  • Intel B560M mATX Motherboard
  • OS Storage, Seagate Firecuda 120 SSD
  • Test SSD connected to Secondary PCIe Gen 4 M.2 Slot

Using CrystalDisk, we got a good measure of the drive and verified that this PCIe Gen 4 x4 SSD was indeed using the 4×4 lane. Additionally, the temp averaged out around 44C between each test being conducted. Much like the PS5 temperature testing, the WD Black SN850 was able to get rid of the heat it had gathered very quickly. Additionally (as the grahy below shows) in the more open air based PC environment, the temperatures of the WD Black SN850 and it’s heatsink were considerably better than inside the PS5 closed storage bay:

The first tests were conducted using the ATTO disk benchmark software. The first was a 256MB test file size and below is a breakdown of the transfer rates and IOPS. The 2nd Test was a 1GB test file and finally, the last test was with a 4GB test file. The system was given 1-minute cool downtime between tests, no screen recording software was used (remove overhead) and a heatsink was used throughout (no reboots)

ATTO Disk Benchmark Test #1

256MB File PEAK Read Throughput  = 6.45GB/s

256MB File PEAK Write Throughput = 4.91GB/s

 


 

ATTO Disk Benchmark Test #2

1GB File PEAK Read Throughput  = 6.45GB/s

1GB File PEAK Write Throughput = 4.91GB/s

 


 

ATTO Disk Benchmark Test #3

4GB File PEAK Read Throughput  = 6.44GB/s

4GB File PEAK Write Throughput = 4.95GB/s

 


Next, although the ATTO tests were quite good, but not what I would have hoped from this SSD, so I moved on to the Crystal Disk Mark testing to see how well it would handle our lasts barrage of tests. The first test was the 1GB file testing, which measured both sequential and random, as well as the read and write IOPS. Test were conducted on a 1GB, 4GB and 16GB Test File. I also included a mixed 70/30 read and write task to give a little bit more of a realistic balanced workload. These tests were conducted with 1-minute cooling break in between

CRYSTALDISK MARK 1GB TEST


CRYSTALDISK MARK 4GB TEST


CRYSTALDISK MARK 16GB TEST

 

Next, I switched to AS SSD benchmark. A much more thorough test through, I used 1GB, 3GB and 5GB test files. Each test includes throughput benchmarks and IOPS that are respective to the larger file sizes (important, if you are reading this and trying to compare against the reported 4K IOPS from the manufacturer).

AS SSD Benchmark Test #1

 


AS SSD Benchmark Test #2

 


AS SSD Benchmark Test #3

 

Ordinarily, I would introduce tests like BlackMagic and AJA into the mix here, but even a short burst of testing on an NVMe like this would over saturate the cache memory on board. Nevertheless, in the short term we still could ascertain the reported performance on 1GB, 4GB and 16GB file testing was:

1GB AJA File Test Results (Peak) = 5868MB/s Read & 5547MB/s Write

4GB AJA File Test Results (Peak) = 6001MB/s Read & 5530MB/s Write

16GB AJA File Test Results (Peak) = 6015MB/s Read & 5530MB/s Write

Overall, the WD Black SN850 was certainly able to provide some solid performance, as well as potentially exceed the test figures here on a more powerful machine. Given the reported Read and Write statistics that the brand has stated publically, I think there is enough evidence here to back up those claims. IOPs were a little lower than I expected, but again, we were testing very large file types, so this would have to be taken in context with the PC used and not the monster machine that most brands feature for their printed benchmarks (i.e 8-12 core Ryzens).

WD Black SN850 SSD Review – Conclusion

The WD Black SN850 SSD can certainly still hold its own against all the ‘young whippersnappers’ that have entered the PCIe 4 NVMe SSD market since it first arrived on the scene back in 2020, with some consistently solid 4K random performance that rarely drops, reliably high read performance across the board and an average price point worldwide that means if it ISN’T on special offer/seasonal sale in your usual eRetailer, it definitely will be somewhere – having arrived at this party early, it is now so fantastically ‘everywhere’ that many would consider it a no brainer to be your perfect SSD pick – and fair play, they are likely right. Right the way down to big names in the industry recommended its versatility (Mark Cerny, PS5 designer arriving louder than most), the WD black branding being a mainstay of professional gaming and the simple fact that the WD Black SN850 does exactly what it says it can do, no ifs, no buts, make it still a solid choice. All that said though, PCIe 4 NVMe SSD development has certainly moved forward and although the SN850 holds it’s own in some key benchmarks and build qualities, there are now more enduring SSDs in the market, with higher throughput drives available to buy and (possibly most crucially of all for some) the SN850 can get noticeably hotter than others in the market as more efficient SSD controllers were researched, developed and released in 2021. In pure gaming usage, the WD Black SN850 can still get the job done, but in mixed-use or content creation/production, there might well be better options out there for you. And lest we forget, WD Black might well have a PCIe5 in the works to pip everyone to the punch again – keep your eyes peeled!

PROs of the WD Black SN850 CONs of the WD Black SN850
High Availability Worldwide

One of the first PS5 Expansion Compatibility confirmed SSDs

Performance still stands up well in 2022 (almost 1.5yrs since original release)

Impressively dense NAND for one of the earliest gen PCIe 4 SSDs still

Still has some of the highest 4K Random IOPS in the market

Very Good Pricing Now

Regular Firmware updates

Heat dissipation in a PS5 environment was not as good as I hoped (PS5 closed bay design at fault really)

Traditional Write performance, even at 2TB, looks a little lacklustre against the competition in 2022

Still no 4TB version commercially available

 

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Terramaster F4-423 NAS Review – Powerful Value?

23 mai 2022 à 01:44

Review of the Terramaster F4-423 NAS Drive

The Network Attached Storage industry (NAS) unlike many areas of the tech world is actually surprisingly small in terms of the companies that fight for market dominance. With less than 10 big players and less than 5 of those being real marketing recognized, choosing a NAS solution is actually quite restricted. In that small paddock of NAS brands, the one that is by FAR the best hardware value (as in, getting the most for your money in terms of hardware) is Terramaster. A brand that has evolved incredibly rapidly in the personal home/office server market in the last 7-8 years. Although not as well established as bigger brands with decades in the server industry (such as Synology and QNAP), in the short time they have been in the NAS market, they have produced a range of solutions that sneak up remarkably close in hardware/software to those bigger brands, whilst sometimes arriving close to half the price for the same architecture. Their latest series is the x23 series (arriving in 2, 4, 9 and 12-Bay desktop solutions so far, at the time of writing) and today I want to review their F4-423 4-Bay NAS. Going up against the likes of the Asustor Lockerstor 4 Gen 2 and QNAP TS-464 NAS (released around a month on either side of the F4-423), as well as competing with Synology’s DS920+ right now, the F4-423 has some steep competition.  Nevertheless, with its pricetag already £100-180 less (depending on where you shop) the F4-423 already seemingly has the high ground in terms of affordability, but what about software, quality and overall performance? Let’s review this new Terramaster NAS and see if it deserves your data.

Terramaster F4-423 Review Chapters

Terramaster F4-423 NAS Review – Quick Conclusion

Terramaster still continues to be the most affordable fully-featured provider of the whole NAS market and although a number of their solutions have always felt a little rough around the edges, you always got the impression that you were getting a good deal for the hardware that was available from QNAP and Synology. Now in 2022/2023, the same continues to be true but in the F4-423 NAS’ case, you are actually getting some pretty top tier (for the Home/Prosumer) market at a price tag that is really tough to argue with. Terramaster has clearly been watching their bigger competitors and cherry-picked the features that people have been asking for (2.5GbE, USB 3.2 Gen 2, M.2 NVMe SSD bays, etc) for this new generation. In terms of software, things are a little less convincing and although TOS 5 (currently in Beta at the time of writing) still continues to evolve into something genuinely fully featured and impressive, TOS 4 that the F4-423 includes at launch is usable (if unexciting) platform that provides the base level services that a new NAS user would want, but lacks killer apps that their competitors are offering right now (File Streaming, AI photo recognition, Surveillance, etc). Most of these ARE included in TOS5, but until it arrives much later in 2022 in a full release, the F4-423 feels like a powerful NAS that doesn’t have the software to show off its strengths yet. If you are reading this later in 2022 or 2023, this might well be irrelevant though, as the brand rolls out their bit firmware update to ALL Terramster NAS devices. Overall, I definitely CAN recommend the F4-423 NAS for its hardware, for Plex Media server or as an affordable multi-tier backup solution, but if you are looking for a NAS for more tailored data access or in a much more fully-featured package – hold out a little longer till TOS 5 gets released first.

Terramaster F4-423 NAS Review – Unboxing, Packaging & Presentation

The initial impressions of the presentation Terramaster F4-423 NAS were a little meh! As this is a more affordable solution, it is understandable that some areas of the retail package are going to be a little understated. Additionally, NAS systems like the F4-423 NAS are going to 99% of the time be purchased online (not in your local I.T shop or generally in line of sight at the point of sale), so the need for flashy packaging is less important. That said, many brands still put a little effort into this and present their solutions as a means to promote a brand, lifestyle or general vibe or excellence in their product (i.e. “the first bite is with the eye” etc). The Terramaster F4-423 arrives in a very plain brown box and just has the model ID with a sticker and the brand logos.

Remarks of presentation aside, the packaging of the Terramaster F4-423 is pretty good in terms of protection. The unit is well held in foam (a little softer in density than I would like maybe) and the accessories are neatly and securely contained. There is practically no room for the system to move in transit and ultimately, that is all that matters (silent shock/motion damage to the components).

The accessories box contains lots of accessories and although most are pretty standard (setup instructions, power supplier, warranty information, screws, etc), there are a couple of unusual additional that I have never received in other brand’s products, namely the inclusion of additional HDD tray clip/screw washers and additional rubber feet for the NAS. This isn’t really a good/bad thing and for those that need them, it’s a handy addition. Just seemed an unusual addition.

One small but positive area of note is the LAN cable included. As mentioned earlier, in more affordable NAS solutions (like more tech), the way savings can be made is by cutting corners. Therefore I was surprised that the Terramaster F4-423 arrived with a surprisingly high-quality LAN cable. Thick, Cat 6 and very high quality at the connector. Again, this si a small point, but companies such as QNAP and Terramaster HAVE provided Cat 5e cables of a shorter length, thinner material and nowhere near the quality of this one with their 1/2.5GbE solutions. It’s a VERY minor point, but this is the sort of area I would have assumed Terramster would have saved a few £/$ on and I am impressed.

The Terramaster F4-423 arrives with an external PSU (quite standard in 4-bay desktop systems) and it’s quite non-descript and not too much to write home about. It’s a 2-pin connector 90W PSU.

Overall, there is quite a good range of accessories included with the Terramaster F4-423. Nothing spectacular, but pretty much everything you are going to need (aside from storage media) to set up your NAS quickly and easily. Let’s discuss the design of the F4-423.

Terramaster F4-423 NAS Review – Design

Terrasmaster NAS drives are pretty distinctive. The brand has been using largely the same chassis in its 2 and 4 Bay systems for about 5 years. There HAVE been improvements (port placement, removal of the odd handle on the top and the tray quality is massively improved) but in the desktop 2/4-Bay systems, things have changed very little. The design is looking a little dated now in 2022, but it is still very functional and whereas brand like QNAP have 8-10 different design chassis in their portfolio, it is nice that Terramster have at least kept a consistent look/shape to the solutions in their portfolio for brand recognition.

The Terramaster F4-423 NAS chassis is a combination of Metal and plastic (with the front, rear and media trays all arriving in plastic, but the 1 piece surrounding the middle area is metal). Indeed, at a glance you might assume the whole thing is metal, with the brushed silver colour scheme, but no. The system’s passive cooling (vents) are located between each of the media bays, and at the base of the machine. The system seemingly takes advantage of horizontal airflow through the chassis (with the rear fans facilitating this) and the metal middle section providing dissipation for the internal mechanisms getting warm.

The ventilation on the base of the Terramaster F4-423 is pretty much the entire system and the rubber feet of this NAS are noticeably taller than other NAS 4-Bay systems. Although these are chiefly under the drive media bays, they are pretty much over the entire controller board too, to create an angled air circulation through the bays/board and via the fans on the rear.

The Terramaster F4-423 chassis lacks any LCD panel (these days only QNAP and Asustor seemingly include these on a few of their systems) and system information is provided by multiple LEDs on the front. These cover the activity, status and health of the media bays, the network connection and the power of the system.

The main storage bays of the Terramaster F4-423 NAS are SATA connected plastic trays that support 2.5″ and 3.5″ media (i.e HDDs and SSDs). The system can operate with a single drive if you choose, allowing you to gradually add more storage over time. However, the Terramaster F4-423 (like most NAS) works at it’s best with multiple drives in a RAID configuration for the safety net of redundancy and/or a performance increase of multiple drives being read/written to at the same time.

The trays inside the Terramaster F4-423 support the toolless installation of 3.5″ HDDs (i.e no screwdriver needed and drives click in securely) and 2.5″ SSD/HDDs need the included screws. The SATA connections inside are combined data/power, so no loose cables or tricksy installation. Lastly, the Terramaster F4-423supports hot swapping, so drives can be inserted/removed without powering down the system, just BE AWARE that removing a drive that is in a RAID is not recommended (by ANY NAS brand).

And that is about it for the design of the Terramaster F4-423 chassis. They have used this same design in the bulk of the desktop 2/4 systems, so there are few surprises here. But nonetheless, it seemingly does the job and aside from the design perhaps looking a little old these days compared with Synology’s more expensive Diskstation series, it’s a solid enough build. Let’s discuss the ports and connections of the F4-423 NAS.

Terramaster F4-423 NAS Review – Ports and Connections

The connections available on the Terramaster F4-423 NAS, although few in number, are all pretty good for what the devices are costing right now. Only three connections to discuss (and one of them is a bit negligible) but given the device’s price point, the available external bandwidth here is impressive. The rear chunky fan module that is located on the rear of the F4-423 (much like previous Terramaster NAS systems) is a little unsightly, but as it is on the rear of the unit, you are never going to see it much.

The twin fans are thicker than many other fans in the market and although that results in a greater draw of air into the system when it is operational, it does also mean that when in operation, the Terramaster F4-423 is a pinch louder. These fans can be adjusted in rotations per minute (RPM) in the TOS software of course, but it is not recommended and it’s best to leave the system fans on automatic so they can dynamically adjust to the internal temperature for efficiency.

Of course, the first big improvement of the Terramaster F4-423 over its predecessors (F4-422 and F4-421) is the inclusion of 2.5-gigabit ethernet (2.5GbE). The NAS arrives with two ethernet ports that can provide around 250-279MB/s throughout each, as well as allowing link aggregation (aka Port Trunking) to combine their bandwidth and provide 5GbE (around 500-550MB/s throughput) with the use of a smart switch. In the last few years, we have seen several brands provide 2.5GbE connections at the same cost as 1GbE ports and with internet service providers and affordable switch manufacturers providing 2.5GbE solutions, it was only natural that NAS brands would make the jump towards it. Hypothetically, if you had a faster than Gb internet connection (fiber etc) and a google drive account, that means that you would be able to connect with your cloud drive FASTER than a NAS system in your home if you only have 1GbE. This is why NAS systems need to arrive with 2.5/5/10GbE in 2022, for the sake of futureproofing and to keep up with the growing demands for data access. Additionally, 4 SATA storage bays (as well as the use of those internal SSD bays that I will touch on later) will easily saturate a 2.5GbE and even LAG supported 5GbE connection, so these ports allow you to maximize your storage potential and share that bandwidth with multiple connected users.

One slight letdown is that the Terramaster F4-423arrives with an HDMI port BUT they do not have any kind of HDMI/Visual GUI that can be accessed (unlike QNAP’s HD Station and Asustor’s Portal applications) The HDMI out DOES allow you to access SSH/Telnet level/stylized backend controls with a USB keyboard, but with this CPU and hardware architecture supporting embedded graphics, 4K media and multimedia services, it is a real shame that you cannot do anything more home/SMB friendly than command line. Maybe one-day Terramaster will update TOS to take advantage of this feature in a more graphical/KVM way, but it has been 2 years of these systems having HDMI and we have yet to see any change on this.

The USB ports of the Terramaster F4-423 are a subtle upgrade over previous/older NAS systems from the brand, with this NAS featuring 2x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A ports. These allow connections of up to 10Gb/s (1,000MB/s – double that of the USB 3.2 Gen 1 5Gb/s in older systems) and that means much, MUCH faster local backups to external storage drives, as well as the support of USB JBOD storage expansions. The real benefits of USB 3.2 Gen 2 in expansions are only really felt when using larger SSD arrays or 5-8 bay expansions. Nevertheless, these ports are a nice extra for the system. Additionally, Terramaster recently released an affordable USB-to-2.5GbE adapter for £25+ that allows you to connect ANOTHER 2.5GbE port on this system. Add a 2-4Bay storage expansion to the other USB port and you have a great deal of storage and network bandwidth for this system to graduate towards, all thanks to those newer gen USB ports.

The ports and connections of the Terramaster F4-423 are few in number but still nonetheless good upgrades over it’s predecessor. Terramaster could have EASILY cut a few corners here (i.e USB 3.2 Gen 1 or just a single 2.5GbE port) and most users would not have batted an eye (as it is noticeably lower in price than the similar USB 3.2/2.5G QNAP TS-464). Let’s get our screwdriver and take a look inside this NAS to see how Terramster have approached the internal specifications of the F4-423.

Terramaster F4-423 NAS Review – Internal Hardware

The internal hardware of the Terramaster F4-423 NAS is a mix of current generation hardware choices and quirky application. The internal boards comprise two PCBs (one for the SATA storage nad another for… well… everything else). In most cases, a user will almost never completely dismantle a NAS drive in its lifespan. However, in the case of the F4-423, you are going to need to take it apart quite considerably in order to access a number of the upgrade options. In order to access these, you will need to remove the six rear screws of the chassis and then remove the rear panel. This rear panel contains the active cooling fans and either awkwardly hangs from the chassis or you will need to disconnect the fan (something only fractionally less ideal). From here you will need to slide the entire internal framework out and that allows you to access/upgrade a couple of the internal hardware components as needed.

Once the full internal board is disconnected, you are able to see a wide variety of heatsinks, ports and modules. This is a slightly unconventional means of accessing these bits but something that most PC builders will be ok with. The board is double-sided with the m.2 SSD slots and a single SODIMM memory slot on one side, and the Internal CPU and another populated SODIMM slot on the other side – which is significantly harder to access and requires removal of even more of the internal framework to access.

The CPU featured in the Terramaster F4-423 NAS is a quad-core Intel Celeron N5105 CPU, a processor that has been very much the ‘CPU of choice’ among the 2022/2023 generation of NAS hardware from most of the brands (except Synology). This is a quad-core x86 64bit processor that is 2.0Ghz in clock speed, that can be burst up to 2.9Ghz when needed. It features an onboard AES-NI encryption engine, as well as Intel embedded graphics for visual data tasks such as native multimedia playback, transcoding, photo management and improved services in TOS 5 (still in beta) towards AI photo recognition and surveillance with IP Cameras. As mentioned, although this is never going to challenge the likes of an Intel Pentium or Intel Core in 2022, it is still a very good CPU and in the context of NAS and this price point, very competent indeed.

Alongside that CPU, the Terramaster F4-423 NAS also arrives with 4GB of DDR4 Memory. However, closer inspection of the F4-423 architecture does raise a couple of small questions. Firstly, the 4GB of memory the system arrives with is a single 2133Mhz SODIMM module. Most other NAS systems with this architecture arrive with 2400-2666Mhz memory. It’s a small point, but this is the first NAS I have seen with DDR4 memory at 2133Mhz. Additionally, the 4GB module is located in an incredibly difficult place under the main cage array, so installing larger/faster memory is not going to be possible without much more dismantling. Talking of ‘adding more memory’, Terramaster state that the F4-423 NAS supports up to 32GB of DDR4 SODIMM memory across its two slots. However, Intel state that this CPU only supports a maximum 16GB across two channels – so although I am sure the system would definitely see 32GB of memory if you have 2x 16GB installed, I do wonder if you will definitely be able to actually USE all 32 correctly.

The Terramaster F4-423 also features two M.2 NVMe SSD bays that allow you to install significantly faster SSDs into the system alongside SATA HDDs, meaning that you have another option for your storage. Now, there is good and bad news here regarding these ports. On the plus side, they can be used for either caching alongside the larger HDD RAID configuration (to allow read/write caching and significantly improve their performance in key areas) or as it’s own storage pool. This is something that popular NAS competitor Synology has never implemented to their NVMe bays, despite it being a highly requested feature. On a slight downside, as the Intel N5105 CPU inside the Terramaster F4-423 is already being stretched a little thing in it’s architecture, these M.2 NVMe SSD bays are PCIe Gen 3 x1 speed. This means that NVMe SSDs such as the Seagate Ironwolf 510/525 or WD Red SN700 at PCIe Gen 3/4 x4 will be limited down to a maximum 1,000MB/s per bay. This is still something you can incorporate into a solid RAID for improved performance and its better to have them, than not at all though.

The internal hardware inside the Terramaster F4-423 is still good for the money and certainly gives you a solid base level of hardware to work with. The means to access and upgrade the system hardware is less smooth than most/all other commercial NAS brands, but once you have jumped these odd hurdles, you have some great kit here to use in conjunction with 1st and 3rd party applications. So, let’s move into the subject of software and TOS on the F4-423.

Terramaster F4-423 NAS Review – Software

VERY IMPORTANT – At the time of writing this review, the Terramaster F4-423 NAS arrives with the 4th generation of their software platform TOS. Why is this important? Well, because right now there is a beta in progress for TOS 5 and it is a SIGNIFICANT step from the current generation of TOS that is included with the F4-423 at launch. So, if you are considering the F4-423 NAS later in 2022/2023, then there is every chance that TOS 5 has been released and you can download it (free etc) onto the device. We will be reviewing TOS 5 fully when the final version is released, but for now, I wanted to highlight a number of hte key features that will be added to TOS later this year, as well as the current range of services that are included in TOS 4 right now. (important, we originally previewed a VERY earlier build of Terramaster TOS 5 Alpha in the video HERE on the NASCompares YouTube channel which will give you an idea of how TOS5 looks/feels, but many new features have been added in the months since the beta was rolled out). LOADS more features have been added since this original alpha preview and we will soon be deep-diving into this newer Beta release very soon. Below is what Terramaster say is included in the new TOS ver.5 Beta.

New Features & Improvements in Existing Services

In TOS 5, not only have the storage structure and data interaction mode been reconstructed but also, compared with the previous generation, it adds more than 50 features and 600 improvements. The new features meet more business requirements, as well as significantly improve response speed, security, and ease of use.

Browser Access to TOS is Now 3x Times Faster

TOS 5 adopts progressive JavaScript language and a lightweight framework with a faster loading speed. TOS 5 features bidirectional data binding, easier data manipulation, and automatic synchronous response to data changes in the page; UI, data, and structure separation make it easier to change data without the need to modify logic codes. Using progressive JavaScript language, TOS 5 has a more lightweight framework. In addition, through two-way binding of data, the view, data and structure are separated. When the page is operated, it automatically responds to changes in data, which makes the system “lighter” and achieves a faster loading speed.

New caching technology avoids network round trips between the server and the database, bypasses the calculation that occupies resources, saves server resources, and improves response time and waiting time, so TOS 5 has the fastest response time in the current TOS family. Compared with the last generation, the TOS 5 response speed has increased by 300%! Use WASM to optimize the calculation method and execute the back-end complex calculations on the front-end, thereby reducing the calculation pressure on the server. In addition, TOS 5 uses the most popular back-end language at the moment, which can support high concurrent requests. Compared with traditional interpreted languages, the compilation speed is faster.

Improved Resource Monitor in TOS 5

The new iconic resource monitor board allows you to grasp the operating status of your TNAS comprehensively and intuitively in real-time; at-a-glance visibility of system load, CPU and memory usage, network traffic, disk I/O, device temperature, storage, processes, online users, listening ports, and system resource occupancy. Historical records of up to 30 days can be easily traced back.

Full One Button System Isolation Mode Available in TOS 5

TerraMaster’s unique security isolation mode completely isolates your TNAS device from the external network through network isolation, digital signature, and file format restriction, providing a safer operating environment and effective protection against virus and ransomware attacks.

Support of the WORM File System in TOS5

Data can be written at one time within the customized protection period and cannot be deleted or modified. This effectively protects your data from malicious damage, deletion, or tampering and provides data protection for up to 70 years; essential for the financial, judicial, medical, and scientific research sectors, as well as other business users.

Improved Storage, Backup & Sync Features in Terramaster TOS 5

TOS 5 features optimized storage architecture to reduce the system space occupation. The file deduplication system, file system compression, TRAID elastic array, and other functions also save you up to 40% of storage space

Single Portal Folder Level Backup for Home and SMB Users

Reduce complexity and embrace simplicity. All backup needs can be completed through a single portal, providing one-stop backup solutions including Central Backup, TerraSync, Duple Backup, Snapshot, USB Copy, CloudSync, and other comprehensive backup tools. This meets your clients’ disaster recovery and restoration requirements, as well as backup policies and destinations.

Business Focused ProActive Backups for Larger Business

To improve management efficiency, medium and larger-sized businesses need a centralized and active backup solution for multiple users, PCs, and servers. Centralized Backup is a business-oriented backup solution that supports backup and restoration for multiple device types. You can centrally backup data of dozens or even hundreds of PCs, servers, or virtual machines with only one TNAS.

New Flexible RAID Support in TRAID in TOS 5

By optimizing the traditional RAID mode, TerraMaster RAID (TRAID) gives you flexible disk array configuration, flexible online migration, capacity expansion, and redundancy policies. As well as improving disk space utilization, it also provides solutions and security protection for storage space changes caused by new business requirements. Much like Synology Hybrid RAID (SHR) in that you can mix drive capacities for improved storage after the RAID redundancy calculation. I reached out to Terramaster directly on this and they confirm that this function is supported in TOS 5.

Multiple Client Sync with TerraSync in TOS 5

TerraSync, a TerraMaster self-developed synchronization tool, realizes data synchronization between multiple users and multiple devices. It efficiently implements data sharing among branch offices and data synchronization between individuals on multiple devices and platforms, which assists employees in collaborative work and improves work efficiency.

New CloudSync Application for Bare Metal-to-Cloud Live Sync in TOS 5

The new CloudSync app integrates multiple cloud drives and syncs them into one application, including Google Drive, One Drive, Amazon S3, Backblaze, Box, Dropbox, Koofr, OpenDrive, pCloud, Yandex disk, and Aliyun. This allows users to centralize the management of multiple synchronization tasks and add a variety of cloud disk synchronization options including Aliyun and Rackspace. A more flexible, stable, and efficient solution for data synchronization between your TNAS and cloud drives is facilitated by your choice of customized synchronization strategies, such as traffic control, scheduled tasks, and encryption.

CCTV Surveillance in Terramaster TOS 5

TNAS is an ideal video recording storage device. The new Surveillance Manager makes full use of TNAS storage resources to realize camera management, real-time monitoring, video storage, playback, query, event and activity monitoring and recording, providing you with economic and flexible video monitoring management tools to safeguard your personal and property safety.

AI Photo Recognition Now Available in TOS 5 with Terra Photo

Terra Photos is TerraMaster’s brand-new AI photo management application that provides smart solutions for your photo management and sharing; it uses intelligent AI algorithms to identify and classify faces, pets, locations, and other objects in your photos.

Docker Added to Existing Container Tools in TOS 5

Combined with docker-compose and portainer, the new Docker Manager features an optimized operation interface, with multiple new features which provide visual management that meets all your requirements for container customization and flexible configuration.

New Update to Terramaster’s Mobile App, TNAS Mobile 5

To adapt to TOS 5, TNAS mobile has also ushered in a comprehensive update, TNAS mobile 5. Featuring an optimized user interface and interaction, it has also added mobile phone backup, photo management, personal folders, team folders, data safebox, TerraSync, remote administrator, and other functions, which provide more convenience for remote access, mobile office, and remote management of your TNAS.

TOS 4 on the Terramaster F4-423 NAS

Once again, I need to highlight that the F4-423 NAS needs to be viewed with its price tag always in mind. With software and hardware that is available on other NAS brand devices, it is easy to imagine that this device is a much, more affordable alternative to QNAP or Synology NAS. However, you should always remember that this device is still aimed at those looking for a first dip into NAS and if should be compared with WD NAS and D-Link when making your choice of NAS. it is DEFINITELY better than those and arrives at a better price, but it may still be a year or more before the Terramaster TOS Software platform can compete with DSM and QTS. That said, the Beta is really showing that TOS is going to evolve even further and for more information about the TerraMaster TOS operating System, I recommend visiting my software review here from a couple of years ago.

Key Software and NAS tasks that are supported are:

  • RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, JBOD
  • Apple Time Machine Backup
  • Cloud Migration and Synchronization
  • NAS to NAS Rsync Support
  • Plex Media Server
  • Docker

  • Mail Server
  • Web Server
  • DLNA Media Server
  • WordPress Server
  • Download Server
  • Snapshot Support

With a good range of applications to choose from, as well as the support of modern NAS applications in the mix, the TerraMaster F4-423 does give you a good base with which to start your NAS journey, though it may feel a little streamlined for those with greater NAS experience.

Terramaster F4-423 NAS Review – Conclusion

Terramaster still continues to be the most affordable fully-featured provider of the whole NAS market and although a number of their solutions have always felt a little rough around the edges, you always got the impression that you were getting a good deal for the hardware that was available from QNAP and Synology. Now in 2022/2023, the same continues to be true but in the F4-423 NAS’ case, you are actually getting some pretty top tier (for the Home/Prosumer) market at a price tag that is really tough to argue with. Terramaster has clearly been watching their bigger competitors and cherry-picked the features that people have been asking for (2.5GbE, USB 3.2 Gen 2, M.2 NVMe SSD bays, etc) for this new generation. In terms of software, things are a little less convincing and although TOS 5 (currently in Beta at the time of writing) still continues to evolve into something genuinely fully featured and impressive, TOS 4 that the F4-423 includes at launch is usable (if unexciting) platform that provides the base level services that a new NAS user would want, but lacks killer apps that their competitors are offering right now (File Streaming, AI photo recognition, Surveillance, etc). Most of these ARE included in TOS5, but until it arrives much later in 2022 in a full release, the F4-423 feels like a powerful NAS that doesn’t have the software to show off its strengths yet. If you are reading this later in 2022 or 2023, this might well be irrelevant though, as the brand rolls out their bit firmware update to ALL Terramster NAS devices. Overall, I definitely CAN recommend the F4-423 NAS for its hardware, for Plex Media server or as an affordable multi-tier backup solution, but if you are looking for a NAS for more tailored data access or in a much more fully-featured package – hold out a little longer till TOS 5 gets released first.

PROS of the Terramaster F4-423 CONS of the Terramaster F4-423
  • 2.5GbE at the Price of 1GbE
  • Good CPU for the Price Point
  • USB 3.2 Gen 2 is very forward-thinking for local backups
  • Great RAID Options
  • Snapshot Replication
  • BTRFS Support if preferred
  • Supports Plex and all 1080p Transcoding
  • 4K Video transcoding natively
  • A large amount of maximum memory supported (16-32GB – TBC)
  • Includes two M.2 NVMe SSD Bays that can be used for storage or caching
  • Default 4GB memory is 2133Mhz
  • HDMI Currently Unsupported
  • Until TOS5 is Fully Released, TOS Software feels a little empty of Killer-Apps (AI photo recognition, Surveillance, etc)

Click the link below to take you to your local Amazon store and where to buy the terramaster F4-423 NAS.

 

 

Synology SRM 1.3 Software Review Part V – USB Storage Services & Conclusion

20 mai 2022 à 01:10

 

Synology Router Manager 1.3 Review Chapters

SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, ALL Parts - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 1, Design & Control - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 2, Safety & Security - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 3, Network Management - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 4, Safe Access - HERE

Synology SRM 1.3 Review – USB & Storage Services

One feature of Synology routers and SRM 1.3 in general that I really, REALLY think doesn’t get anywhere near the respect it deserves is the USB support. Coming from the network storage pedigree that Synology has, you would expect their router to support some level of storage by adding a USB drive. Hell, most ISP routers and $50 amazon unbranded routers have USB ports. However, unlike the painful simply breadcrumb and white screen file list arrangement that most routers with a USB port provide, SRM 1.3 provides several personal NAS class storage management tools. This combined with a number of the router service tools able to use the storage for their records and logs (as well as the use of the USB for failover/phone-tethering), you might see why I am also super annoyed that the latest generation Synology RT6600ax router only has one port. Ultimately though (short of that niche failover support for business), SRM 1.3 is at its best when that USB is used with a storage drive.

A connected drive can be accessed and interacted with by both Windows and Mac operating systems, with access being made possible in a bunch of different ways, ranging from network access to web browser targets and even WebDav for remote internet access.

Much like Synology NAS, you can set the system to periodically index the storage drive for multimedia, as well as regularly scan the media for creating thumbnails. SRM 1.3 allows the connected media to be visible by DLNA/uPnP network players (so most home consoles, smart TVs, sound systems and phones), though remote access and any kind of transcoding if completely off the table with this level of hardware of course!

Using the File Station application provides you with a genuinely complete file management tool, that allows you to intuitively browse the files, create shared folders, Copy, Paste, Archive, extract and view media files in the web browser. It is completely the same as the File Station tool that is included with every Synology NAS and is a joy to use!

Although using USB storage via a router (when cloud storage and NAS storage are now very mainstream) seems a bit old skool, if you are placing this router in your home network and do not have any form of network-attached storage or substantial cloud space available (eg in the terabytes), this port serves as an excellent alternative. Plus, given the low cost of USB external drives that are bus-powered (available in up to 4-5TB currently), this drive can be used as a backup drive for all/most of your devices when combined with the Synology mobile apps available, as well as a means to share those files locally or remotely over the internet with colleagues and family in just 2-3 clicks.

Additionally, you can map the storage as a network drive on both Windows and Mac systems, so you do not even need to log into the SRM 1.3 GUI interface to read/write to it. Even if an external USB drive will only hit around 120-160MB/s (unless it’s SSD based of course), that will be fine as a single WiFi 6 80-160Mhz connection will saturate between 120-240MB/s under perfect conditions.

You can even access the storage on the UB storage connected to the Synology RT6600ax, RT2600ac and MR2200ac router with the DS File mobile application for iOS and Android, meaning you can interact with your files on the go, as well as trigger automated photo backups from your phone with the extra options built into File Station/DS File.

SRM 1.3 also supports the brand’s download station tool which allows you to action files to be downloaded from anywhere on the internet onto your connected USB drive. These download options take many forms (FTP, HTTP, RSS feeds, Torrents, NZB, etc) and can be managed from this single portal in the web browser or via the DS Get application for iOS and Android. I have been using Download station on my NAS for downloading the latest episodes of podcasts for years now and always found Download Station on Synology to be one of the best tools out there for managing internet-wide downloads. It does have a search functionality built-in, but (like more download manager applications like this on other NAS brand’s systems), I would use caution, as Synology cannot fully verify the sources (though you can list others, such as the InternetArchive which is an ever-growing rich source of historical data).

The support of USB storage on SRM 1.3 might sound a little archaic in the age of Google Drive, DropBox and NAS drives becoming increasingly affordable, but I am still hugely gratified to know that the development that Synology has made into their storage systems has been extended to SRM. As mentioned earlier, you might well be looking at a Synology router for your home for its Safe Access, performance and coverage, but it also means you have the option for a surprisingly robust and multi-featured storage system too by just adding a USB Drive. Plus SRM also features the means to backup your existing router configuration in case you need to experiment with your ports/settings and want to roll back easily, which can be stored on your local client machine or the USB. It’s just a shame that the most recent RT6600ax that has SRM 1.3 onboard only has a single USB (forcing users to have to make a tough decision on storage vs a phone sim dongle/tethered-phone for a WAN failover, but nevertheless the USB support in SRM 1.3 is unparalleled.

Synology SRM 1.3 Review – Conclusion & Verdict

When reviewing and judging Synology Router Manager 1.3, you have to somewhat separate your feelings about Synology router hardware (the RT6600ax, RT2600ac and MR2200ac) a little. This is because, although the Synology router hardware may seem a little safe-to-middling at times vs current hardware in the market, the software they provide has always been absolute class. SRM 1.3 continues this pedigree with a user interface that manages to do the nearly unthinkable – it manages to make the process of managing your network easy and actually ENGAGING! That’s one of the biggest hurdles of managing a router and your network security in general, it’s a massive chore that is fraught with technical jargon, hurdles and screens saying ‘no’, ‘invalid’ or ‘not available’. Synology has crafted a genuinely intuitive and accessible router software system here and although a lot of that is thanks to their years in NAS software, they have certainly improved upon previous revisions in SRM too. When it comes to the features that SRM arrives with, clearly ‘Safe Access’ is one of the killer apps of the SRM 1.3. But it doesn’t stand alone and thanks to the integrations of ‘network switch’ style controls and a wide array of custom network settings, it really feels like more of a complete version in 1.3. Additions of long-overdue features such as vLAN and customs, custom SSIDs and the DS Router application’s improved layout/controls are smaller steps in SRM 1.3’s development than some would like, but with the software feeling that pinch more responsive and the layout of the controls getting tweaked to be more intuitive, that just means that SRM 1.3 is just adding polish to an already fantastic management system. Additionally, the latest generation of Synology router hardware means that new configuration options and the extent to which you can use SRM 1.3’s services have been drastically increased in time for version 1.3. At the time of writing, we are still awaiting the SRM 1.3 update to extend to the full Synology router series (thereby enabling mesh with the likes of the MR2200ac), but that shouldn’t be too long and with that, the option for SRM 1.3 to manage a grander mesh wireless network in your home/office will be hugely beneficial. In short, still highly recommend it SRM 1.3 in 2022/2023.

PROs of the SRM 1.3 CONs of SRM 1.3
Incredibly easy to use, intuitive and very responsive

‘Safe Access’ puts all other Parental Control and filtering services to shame (and it’s included subscription-free)

vLAN and multiple connected SSID created are now available

Multiple Failover Options available

USB Support in SRM 1.3 is huge and shouldn’t be overlooked

Guest WiFi Portal and Generated reports have a real business/enterprise feel to them

The free VPN Plus licence is pretty generous vs other routers/platforms

Good range of support, guidance and suggested setup tools

Can be setup, accessed and controlled locally & remotely. As well as via multiple mobile apps, desktops web browsers or SSH

Mesh Support with MR2200ac is still not available at the time of writing as the SRM 1.3 update is not on all routers yet

Similar hardware routers from Netgear (even older NightHawk generations) allowed container applications (plex, smart home tools, etc)

Not strictly plug n play

 

Synology Router Manager 1.3 Review Chapters

SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, ALL Parts - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 1, Design & Control - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 2, Safety & Security - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 3, Network Management - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 4, Safe Access - HERE

Synology Router Portfolio

RT6600ax

RT2600ac

MR2200ac

Class / band
compatible standards
AX6600 / Tri-band
IEEE 802.11ax / ac / a / b / g / n
AC2600 / dual band
IEEE 802.11ac / a / b / g / n
AC2200 / Tri-band
IEEE 802.11ac / a / b / g / n
Maximum communication speed
(5GHz band 1)
4800Mbps

(160Mhz)

1,733Mbps
(4str / 80MHz)
867Mbps
(2str / 80MHz)
Maximum communication speed
(5GHz band 2)
1200Mbps incompatible 867Mbps
(2str / 80MHz)
Maximum communication speed
(2.4GHz band)
600Mbps 800Mbps
(4str / 40MHz / 256QAM)
400Mbps
(2str / 40MHz / 256QAM)
WAN terminal 1000BASE-T x 1 1000BASE-T x 1 1000BASE-T x 1
LAN terminal 2.5GBASE-T x 1 * 1
1000BASE-T x 3
1000BASE-T x 4 * 2 1000BASE-T x 1
USB terminal USB 3.0 Standard-A x 1 USB 3.0 Standard-A x 1
USB 2.0 Standard-A x 1
USB 3.0 Standard-A x 1
CPU Qualcomm IPQ6018
Arm Cortex-A53 4-core 1.8GHz
Qualcomm IPQ8065
Qualcomm Krait 300 2 core 1.7GHz
Qualcomm IPQ4019
Arm Cortex-A7 4 core 717MHz
RAM 1GB DDR3 DDR3 512MB DDR3 256MB

You can watch the FULL review of the latest WiFi 6 Router from Synology, the RT6600ax, over on YouTube below:

Alternatively, you can watch my full review of Synology SRM 1.3 on this NAS in the video below:

 

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Synology SRM 1.3 Software Review Part IV – The Safe Access Application

19 mai 2022 à 01:10

 

Synology Router Manager 1.3 Review Chapters

SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, ALL Parts - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 1, Design & Control - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 2, Safety & Security - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 3, Network Management - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 5, USB Storage Services & Conclusion - HERE 

Synology SRM 1.3 Review – Safe Access

Synology has featured ‘Safe Access’ in SRM pretty much since the beginning. It takes the basic logic that most routers have of being able to ‘see’ devices that are connected to the network and change how, what, where and when they can access ANYTHING. I know that sounds a bit ‘control freak’, but this is more commonly referred to as Parental Controls in more basic routers. However, ‘Safe Access’ is so far ahead of this in terms of its design, control and deployment that what you actually have here is something hugely suited for home and business that most routers barely come close to (with some companies such as TP-Link and Linksys charging monthly subscription fees for on top of the router purchase). At its core, Safe Access allows you to create profiles of users (so, your family or professional employees for example), band their connected devices under that profile, and then allow you to create custom levels of access to everything (internet or network) that suits their role/maturity. This logic can also be applied to creating profiles that suit network hardware (NAS, Switches, IP Cameras, etc) which can be duplicated and/or amended as needed.

Once a profile is created (and even during the process) you can ensure that the user/hardware it is intended for will only be able to access specific networks/SSIDs on the hardware that is connected with their profile. As new devices appear on the device history page, these can be assigned to the existing profiles or you can start a new profile up at any time.

Once a range of profiles for the devices and people in your router network, Safe Access allows you to monitor their access (both Live and historical information if you have enabled the feature) and start to change the rules of their access, which genuinely has a large amount of advantages for home users with young children in the house that needs their web access to be more structured and/or employees that need enough access to do their job, but not enough not too!

The full range of controls and access protocols that you have the ability to adapt/limit/restrict access to is pretty awesome. These include pre-set site filtering options (with databases updated regularly) that quickly create blanket access rules for sites online (As well as the option to customize and add/remove pages that you want). Then there are scheduled access times that will bar that profile/users from complete access at pre-set times. Interestingly, you CAN set rules that allow a profiled user to, upon hitting an access-rule that was the result of restrictions and guidelines you put on that profile, request access and that will be pushed to the appropriate admin/power user to allow/deny (linked with notifications) and can be accessed and actioned from in the DS Router 2.0 mobile app too.

Click to view slideshow.

However the most intriguing for parents looking at this router will be the Time Quota feature. This is a system that allows you to bestow X amount of time per day to a profile that can be strictly shared to all their devices (i.e a 3-hour quote cannot be repeated on 3 devices if all three come under 1 profile user, it is shared).

Safe Access still continues to be a great feature even several versions into SRM and after years of testing and measuring against the parental controls of many other routers I have reviewed, this still wins by a country mile! Before we conclude this review, let’s discuss the storage support of SRM 1.3 and see what the famous NAS brand Synology brings to the table here. When reviewing and judging Synology Router Manager 1.3, you have to somewhat separate your feelings about Synology router hardware (the RT6600ax, RT2600ac and MR2200ac) a little. This is because, although the Synology router hardware may seem a little safe-to-middling at times vs current hardware in the market, the software they provide has always been absolute class. SRM 1.3 continues this pedigree with a user interface that manages to do the nearly unthinkable – it manages to make the process of managing your network easy and actually ENGAGING! That’s one of the biggest hurdles of managing a router and your network security in general, it’s a massive chore that is fraught with technical jargon, hurdles and screens saying ‘no’, ‘invalid’ or ‘not available’. Synology has crafted a genuinely intuitive and accessible router software system here and although a lot of that is thanks to their years in NAS software, they have certainly improved upon previous revisions in SRM too. When it comes to the features that SRM arrives with, clearly ‘Safe Access’ is one of the killer apps of the SRM 1.3. But it doesn’t stand alone and thanks to the integrations of ‘network switch’ style controls and a wide array of custom network settings, it really feels like more of a complete version in 1.3. Additions of long-overdue features such as vLAN and customs, custom SSIDs and the DS Router application’s improved layout/controls are smaller steps in SRM 1.3’s development than some would like, but with the software feeling that pinch more responsive and the layout of the controls getting tweaked to be more intuitive, that just means that SRM 1.3 is just adding polish to an already fantastic management system. Additionally, the latest generation of Synology router hardware means that new configuration options and the extent to which you can use SRM 1.3’s services have been drastically increased in time for version 1.3. At the time of writing, we are still awaiting the SRM 1.3 update to extend to the full Synology router series (thereby enabling mesh with the likes of the MR2200ac), but that shouldn’t be too long and with that, the option for SRM 1.3 to manage a grander mesh wireless network in your home/office will be hugely beneficial. In short, still highly recommend it SRM 1.3 in 2022/2023.

 

Synology Router Manager 1.3 Review Chapters

SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, ALL Parts - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 1, Design & Control - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 2, Safety & Security - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 3, Network Management - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 5, USB Storage Services & Conclusion - HERE 

You can watch the FULL review of the latest WiFi 6 Router from Synology, the RT6600ax, over on YouTube below:

Alternatively, you can watch my full review of Synology SRM 1.3 on this NAS in the video below:

Synology SRM 1.3 Software Review Part III – Network Management

18 mai 2022 à 01:10

 

Synology Router Manager 1.3 Review Chapters

SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, ALL Parts - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 1, Design & Control - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 2, Safety & Security - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 4, Safe Access - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 5, USB Storage Services & Conclusion - HERE 

Synology SRM 1.3 Review – Network Management

The more premium a router is (i.e expensive!) the more you find that they start to feature features and services that are more often found in switches. Indeed, it still surprises me that Synology has yet to make the jump towards its own range of switches in the way that the other NAS brand QNAP has. That said, the network management and control that is featured in SRM 1.3 is quite extensive for a router, even if the complaints surrounding how long it has taken Synology to feature virtual network creation have been fairly constant these last few years. The Network Center application largely provides the bulk of network management resources, opening up into a brief overview of available connectivity and enabled SSIDs. There is also a live graph of activity covering uploads, downloads, system hardware resources and the status of those individual physical ports.

If you dig a little into the Port Status area, you are able to see any live connections and the bandwidth currently available on that connected line. This was one area of design that I was a little underwhelmed by on Synology’s part. Aside from the user interface in the Network Center application featuring a few different options whether you used the router on its own or as an additional access point (which makes sense logically), SRM 1.3 still lacks a larger topographical overview of the network, virtual networks and SSIDs. I appreciate that this would fall more into ‘network switch’ territory, but with the RT6600ax router with SRM 1.3 supporting 5 virtual networks, 15 SSIDs on a network, 4 LAN ports and the ability to bond them together in a custom way – that would be MUCH easier to comprehend graphically or in a breadcrumb/tree style.

There IS however a clear and quick-to-setup means to create a failover connection involving multiple ports. Although in the diagram below WAN and LAN 1 were featured, this is customizable via dropdowns. Additionally, you can factor in the USB SIM dongle or Mobile Phone USB tethering services to be used as a failover for the WAN and a wired internet connection. This failover also has a few straightforward rules and system policies for how the switch would take place in the event of your primary connection dropping, as well as what happens when it gets stored. Fairly straightforward stuff, but presented very well in SRM 1.3 and makes having a backup internet connection a lot more justifiable and easy to implement.

The newly added virtual network creation (vLAN) support in SRM 1.3 is pretty straightforward and (as this system is a router) also benefits from a few extra things (as well as supporting a few things you might expect), such as:

  • The ability to assign custom VLAN IDs
  • The option to completely block a vLAN to access the SRM 1.3 Controls/GUI
  • The option to block any communication/visibility between one vLAN and all other networks
  • The option to bond (attach) a physical port to a specific vLAN
  • The option to connect the vLAN with an existing SSID or create a new one during the creation wizard
  • Later in the access and user panels, you can permit levels of access to virtual networks

Again, this is all not really groundbreaking stuff, but 1) it’s something people have requested in SRM for a while, 2) brings a lot of network switch functionality to a router and 3) is presented in that special Synology ay that makes it remarkably straight forward. Bearing in mind we are talking about vLAN creation (something very few domestic users will ever know how/need to do) being made as easy as setting up an old Hotmail email account, I respect the effort.

Click to view slideshow.

Once additional networks have been created, they are displayed in a list on the main Network center page, each able to be completely reconfigured or their identities and ports changed with ease. Again, I am surprised that Synology was not able to show this information in a bit more of a pictorial fashion (something the likes of Netgear and QNAP have shown on their routers and switches for years).

As you might expect, creating a new SSID is INCREDIBLY easy in SRM 1.3 and you can create a whole lot of them too. Each can have its own identity, security protocol (eg WPA 3 Enterprise style or something more modest for legacy devices), and assignment to a specific frequency or band (eg 2.4-5Ghz and/or over 80Mhz or 160Mhz) to ensure that the right wireless connections are getting the benefits of the better coverage. That really is just scratching the surface of it and it’s impressively detailed in its configuration options.

As you might expect, SRM 1.3 (of course) features port forwarding rules that can be changed and allows you to create those more targeting but tactically placed means of accessing your network when needed, whilst keeping the safeguards in place. This is something that Synology cannot really make very user friendly and frank it should not be! Aside from the fact that a basic-mid level of understanding of port placement and protocol is needed, too much bad news surrounding ransomware injections from the likes of Asustor and QNAP in the last year or two has demonstrated the folly of inexperienced users punching holes in their firewalls etc (or worse still, brand’s offering to do it for you with little warning to the consequences). A standard by often vital feature, that is getting the respectful treatment it deserves here.

For those of you that have high priority internet connections running into your home or business premises, there is a specialized setting for giving PoS to IPTV (so online TV services and VoIP (voice over IP) phone lines. Along with numerous profiles for each that can be selected from a drop-down, you can also create custom profiles manually. This will likely be only of use to specific users and perhaps a greater range of external internet services might be added over time (as they increase in popularity) but still a handy feature for some and a nice extra for business lines certainly to ensure that phone calls over the internet are clear as/when needed, rather than giving a specific port priority of service generally, which might lead to unnecessary network throttling for everyone else accidentally. Better to identify a service specifically, rather than the port.

Talking of identification, as devices are connected and disconnected from the machine SRM keeps a record and along with names, will try to assign a device identity (classing it as a phone, laptop, printer, NAS, etc), which will be useful later to know what devices are on which network (As well as assigning access to these later in the ‘Safe Access’ tool. This is by no means full proof in how accurate it will identify devices and you can add custom icons as needed.

Returning to external checks and monitoring, SRM 1.3 also includes a few bits and bobs in the ‘Network Tools’ area for monitoring how packets of data are moving externally. These include a Traceroute service for when you connect with a website, so that you can see where data you get travelled along the way, particularly routers. A traceroute provides a map of how data on the internet travels from its source to its destination and although is often limited by connections along the route, can be a handy way to troubleshoot, as well as test site identities. Next, there is a ping measurement tool that allows you to measure the reply speed in milliseconds from a site to test your connection to/from a given internet location. Finally, there is an incredibly easy to use Wake on LAN (WoL) service that will automatically list available devices that are on the network and allow you to power them on/off if they support that feature. Again, this is now exactly groundbreaking, but it is presented in a very easy to understand way, which is what SRM 1.3 seems to constantly strive for and (for the most part) succeed at.

Click to view slideshow.

The last thing I want to touch on is the ability to generate remarkably professional reports of system activity (as well as internet, user, device and specific network service activity) in a scheduled and repeatable form. These generated reports can be tailored to a specific date or time, and can also have the range of data/services that they include be customized too. So, if you want a once a day, or once a week report that details the network behaviour of your staff, this can be set up automatically to be emailed to you on the frequency of your choosing.

Alternatively, you can create a much more general and system/network-wide report that covered the activity of everything in-house (as well as external connections where appropriate) and from there get a good understanding of the main active users/devices. This is all presented in a great balance of textual and graphical language and is something that IT admins will be able to use and learn from. Synology provides an even better and more dynamic version of this kind of reporting in their multi-site/system monitoring platform ‘Active Insight’ (a paid subscription platform), so I am impressed that Synology has not attempted to play this tool behind a license or cloud wall.

Click to view slideshow.

There is also a fairly common feature in SSRM and on the Synology routers to create a guest WiFi SSID that allows you to create a network that has lower network importance, access and connectivity to the rest of the system. This is hardly new, but it is worth highlighting that this Guest WiFi mode is a great deal more customizable than many I have seen and you can change a great deal of the rules, timing and allowed behaviour permitted on it.

You can even very quickly create a custom login portal screen (much like many of the public WiFi spaces you may have logged into previously) with SRM 1.3 and this adds an interesting extra degree of policy to your business class router operation.

The network management of SRM 1.3 is still good and something that those inexperienced in this rather double-niche area of I.T will certainly find beneficial. Those more aware of this subject are likely to want to look past the user-friendly GUI and ask for the more aggressive customization tools (many of which are absent and/or are more at home in a network switch, such as port trunking or even semi-automated loop detection when switches are introduced to the router LANs), but when you have here is still remarkably well presented, very responsive, more customizable than I thought it would be and you are still getting a decent mix of a router and switch features packed into a single software platform in SRM 1.3. Let’s sink our teeth into Safe Access – possibly one of the main reasons that mainly look at the Synology Router series.

 

Synology Router Manager 1.3 Review Chapters

SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, ALL Parts - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 1, Design & Control - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 2, Safety & Security - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 4, Safe Access - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 5, USB Storage Services & Conclusion - HERE 

You can watch the FULL review of the latest WiFi 6 Router from Synology, the RT6600ax, over on YouTube below:

Alternatively, you can watch my full review of Synology SRM 1.3 on this NAS in the video below:

Synology SRM 1.3 Software Review Part II – Safety & Security

17 mai 2022 à 01:10

 

Synology Router Manager 1.3 Review Chapters

SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, ALL Parts - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 1, Design & Control - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 3, Network Management - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 4, Safe Access - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 5, USB Storage Services & Conclusion - HERE 

Synology SRM 1.3 Review – General Security & Safety

Regardless of whether you are a home or business user, the security of your network is going to be one of your priorities very early on. Both internal network security with the devices that are exchanging packets of data via the router, right the way to how the router governs and manages the stream of data coming from your internet connection, if a router isn’t particularly secure, you will all too quickly find out! Worse still, if you are an inexperienced network technology user or a business lacking in-house IT support, then the ease of configuring a router to be as secure as possible within your specific network environment is going to be even more of an uphill battle. SRM 1.3 tackles this in several very clear ways. First off, despite its incredibly user-friendly browser GUI, the majority of its more potentially insecure architecture elements (i.e those that if you mishandle them or let them open could be disastrous in the wrong hands) are either disabled by default or are locked behind more advanced configuration windows/portals. Some are more obvious than others, such as port forwarding (common to all routers and not something anyone should touch without reason) settings and IP/Mac address blocking, which are all quite useful, but common. However, there are little things of note that are impressively specific to SRM 1.3, such as the power-use admin account being disabled by default. Something that even now in 2022 is still not the case for many routers (including ISP ones) and with those same power user crenedtials printed on the base of the router.

Additionally, all devices (both current and for a period, historical) are monitored in SRM and this allows you to monitor their behaviour, block them, label for for later use in ‘Safe Access’ or simply keep an eye on their behaviour.

If you had additional SRM 1.3 software user accounts, there are several options for restricting an accounts access (IP locking, resritcing individual app/storage access, removing SRM 1.3 dashboard access, etc) and that also extends to auto-block methods that will change the parameters for a scenario where someone is trying to log into an account erroniously.

When it comes to what services, features and applications the router with SRM 1.3 is running, there is a single portal full control list that allows you to quickly disable these quickly in the event you need to shut everything down tight or just want to troubleshoot each service one by one. This list of services and level of control will differ on whether you are using the router as a primary or secondary system, but this single page means to shut down any active internet/network service is really handy.

Then there are the inbuilt firewall settings that allow you to use present configurations for securing your internet access point, as well as the means to create a much more customized set of firewall rules. It has to be said that the bulk of things covered in security in SRM 1.3 so far are available on the bulk of prosumer routers, just not presented in a way as user-friendly as here and not to the same extent in most cases.

Then there is the inclusion of the Synology VPN software within SRM 1.3. VPN Plus allows your Synology Router to host a powerful VPN server that is easy to set up and manage. It supports SSTP, OpenVPN, L2TP over IPSec, as well as Synology’s own SSL VPN protocol and lightweight desktop client. Web-based portal VPN gives users direct access to company intranet sites and there is even an option to provide employees with browser-based remote desktop access. The Synology VPN is a service that supports SSL fast authentication and encryption access to webpages, files, and applications on the Internet (as well as local networks). Here, you can customize things like the Client IP range, Self-owned domain name, ports, security level, authentication, and others. You can also enable split tunnelling, which allows users to connect to destination webpages, applications, and servers in certain local subnets or local IP ranges.

Click to view slideshow.

Each Client VPN Access License allows one concurrent user account to use Synology WebVPN, SSL VPN and SSTP, with permanent validity upon activation. Every Synology product that supports VPN Plus comes with a free license. To add more concurrent user accounts at no additional cost, simply sign in to Synology Router Manager (SRM) as an administrator to activate additional free licenses. You can assign permissions to more user accounts than installed licenses. All the accounts are given access on a first-come, first-served basis. When the license quota is reached, no more accounts will be given access until other accounts are disconnected from all Synology SSL VPN, WebVPN, and SSTP services. Once a user account is connected to VPN Plus and starts using any of the three features, it will be allowed to use any of the other features on the same or different devices at once without requiring extra licenses. Each additional connection beyond the first requires registration of a free license.

Features Pre-installed free license Additional free client VPN access licenses
Service Synology SSL VPN 1 concurrent account Up to product specifications
WebVPN
SSTP
OpenVPN Unlimited connections (up to product specifications)
L2TP over IPsec
PPTP
Management Real-time traffic monitor V
Connection history V
Service-based permissions V
Bandwidth control V
Block list V

For those that want to get even more beefed up in the security stakes when accessing the controls and complete GUI of SRM 1.3, you also have the option to create/install a secure tunnel with free and easy installation of the Let’s Encrypt certificates from within the control panel. This is a small extra that you can of course manage for the most part with many other paid certificates if you prefer, but it is still good to have this option available from within the software and that it guides you through the process too.

Speaking of guiding the user through the process, SRM 1.3 also includes the Security Advisor tool (much like the one found in NAS and DSM) that analyzes your system and then provides you with details on how you can strengthen the safeguards, settings and setup of your router. The extent to which it will check and report can be configured in its settings menu, but even in the default configuration, it is quite thorough.

Upon completion of a scan, SRM 1.3 will then provide suggestions on what you need to correct/improve upon. Again, a lot of this is going to be a bit comment-internet-sense-101 (eg don’t use ‘password’ as your password), but it does include several more business-focused recommendations if you chose that level of scanning. The scanning with the security advisor can be triggered manually or set to a regular schedule from with the software and can also be linked to notifications if a potential vulnerability or router weakness is highlighted. This then allows you to connect with the router, access the severity of it and then proceed accordingly.

When it comes to accessing the router and SRM 1.3, local access (eg from on the same network) will be relatively straight forward and unless you have blocked SRM access on a specific account or your IP/Subnet/etc are different to the system, you should have fairly direct and secure access up to this point. But what about remote/internet access? Sometimes you will want to access the router and SRM 1.3 to quickly access a setting/service (perhaps for IT troubleshooting or simply a family memory having difficulty with the network). In that case, you can use the popular Synology Quick Connect service (much like their NAS) to tunnel into the router and SRM 1.3 securely from anywhere in the world, via Synology’s encrypted servers. This is a completely free service that is included with ALL Synology products and can also be customized to only allow access via very specific means and by very specific people too.

Then you have ‘Safe Access’, one of the jewels of the crown in SRM 1.3. I will go into more detail on the Safe Access service later on, but in terms of security, alongside a whole bunch of ways to craft a safe and trusted internet access point for your router users, Safe Access also allows you to enable forced Google Safe Browsing and enable the Threat Intelligence database tool. So, let’s go through these two forms of network protection, what they do and how they help.

The safe search functionality allows you to automatically shift the results of popular internet search tools and some social platforms to automatically enable ‘safe’ mode or disable any NSFW content. This will also overwrite any custom policies that users logged into those sites will have (i.e having a Google account logged in and set to show all results’ will be overwritten by the router enforcing safe search rules). This is a feature that is widely available on ISP routers and other paid premium routers, HOWEVER, on those you lack the scaled options of off/low/moderate/high, as well as the option to scale these to individual users/devices on the system and different policies to different sites. Eg you want your employees to have full and unrestricted access to YouTube and Social sites for marketing purposes, but want adult content restricted on typical Google search results in the workplace.

Now Synology’s Threat Prevention dynamically guards the security of your Synology Router as data is handled and manages packets on network devices by inspecting Internet traffic to detect and drop malicious packets and also records network events, for statistical analyses regarding malicious sources to check their severity. Threat prevention is arguably less advanced in its architecture compared with Safe Access, ut is still a great tool in a much broader way.

Click to view slideshow.

Understanding the difference between these two approaches to protect your network and your network client base is quite straightforward. They represent two different approaches to your network security. Safe Access is DNS-and IP-based. It integrates several external databases (including Google Safe Browsing) that identify domains and IPs related to malware, phishing, botnets, command and control servers, social engineering, etc. When a device in the network attempts to access the blacklisted destinations, Synology Router prevents the connection from even being established. Threat Prevention, on the other hand, is signature-based. It monitors incoming and outgoing traffic using Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) – not just checking the domain or IP – and is able to drop any malicious packet detected in real-time. In addition to Internet attacks, Threat Prevention can alert you to inappropriate user behaviour, such as sending passwords through unencrypted HTTP traffic. Both packages work automatically. You can review the event logs and adjust the actions, but even if you don’t, they still silently protect you in the background.

The know target lists and algorithms that each of these tools (and other connected databases that feed into the intelligent actions and alerts) are updated regularly in the system database and by default, these are automatically downloaded to their latest versions. It is recommended that you never change these settings.

Overall the background and passive security settings that are configurable in SRM 1.3 are not an enormous leak, at least in terms of the broad result, than more premium routers in the market. What sets SRM 1.3 out from them though is that it is presented in a much more user-friendly fashion, is considerably more scalable and provides a considerable amount of flexibility that most other routers would limit to an ON/OFF switch. The Threat Prevention tool is can be a little underwhelming (perhaps needing more attention than it has, especially compared with Safe Search) but overall the security and safety of internet connectivity via a Synology router and SRM 1.3 is still very good.

 

Synology Router Manager 1.3 Review Chapters

SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, ALL Parts - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 1, Design & Control - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 3, Network Management - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 4, Safe Access - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 5, USB Storage Services & Conclusion - HERE 

You can watch the FULL review of the latest WiFi 6 Router from Synology, the RT6600ax, over on YouTube below:

Alternatively, you can watch my full review of Synology SRM 1.3 on this NAS in the video below:

Terramaster NAS’ New TRAID – The Mixed Drive Capacity RAID

19 juin 2022 à 01:55

Terramaster NAS Introduce a Flexible RAID System into TOS 5

With several NAS brands in the market, it can often be the small features that one brand offers over another than can be the deciding factor for many in choosing the right solution for their needs. One feature that current NAS favourite Synology have offered on their solutions in the last few years was SHR (Synology Hybrid RAID) and this was a feature that many people desired enough to choose their premium platform over others. This is about to change however with the news that TOS 5 from Terramaster (the software that is included with their NAS systems) features a new fluid/flexible RAID system too, known as TRAID. This is a very appealing feature for many that are already looking at Terramaster NAS’ affordability. TOS has revealed several new features (isolation mode, Surveillance Camera software, AI Photo recognition and more) and the TRAID configuration to allow flexible and fluid RAID storage is going to be very popular indeed.

Why Are Flexible/Fluid RAID Configurations Popular?

RAID flexibility in configurations such as TRAID and SHR have always been appealing to home/SMB users, as it allows the end-user to fully or partially populate their NAS systems with mixed capacity HDD/SSDs. Few people will want to do this on day 1, but years into their NAS drive’s life, when they want to add newer, bigger hard drives (as the cost of HDDs per Terabyte drops over time) and this is where mixing drive capacities and still getting the benefits of larger available capacities becomes increasingly desirable. Traditional RAID (RAID 1, 5, 6, etc) will measure each drive in an array by the smallest available drive. Therefore, for example, if you have 7x 10TB Hard drives and 1x 10TB in a RAID 5 carry, traditional RAID systems will class all eight of those drives as 1TB each. Fluid RAID’s allow the system to only be concerned with ensuring 1 drive’s worth of redundancy (i.e 1x of the biggest drive available) and then presents the whole of the rest of the storage to the end user. In short, by optimizing the traditional RAID mode, TerraMaster RAID (TRAID) gives you flexible disk array configuration, flexible online migration, capacity expansion, and redundancy policies. As well as improving disk space utilization, it also provides solutions and security protection for storage space changes caused by new business requirements.

What is Terramaster TRAID?

TRAID is the abbreviation of TerraMaster RAID. TRAID is a flexible disk array management tool developed by TerraMaster. It has features such as the automatic combination of disk space, hard disk failure redundancy protection, and automatic capacity expansion. All these features do not require manual configuration by the user, and the system will automatically complete the configuration according to the properties of the hard disk. TRAID provides users with an optimized, flexible and elastic disk array management solution, especially suitable for new users who are not proficient in how to configure a disk array.


Note – Once you have selected TRAID as your array type, you cannot convert TRAID to a traditional array type unless you delete and recreate the array. If you want to manage the array type manually, it is recommended that you use the traditional type when building your array, such as Single, RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 6, RAID 10, etc.

Higher disk space utilization options for TRAID

In the digital age, the amount of our data is increasing rapidly, and the capacity of hard disks is also increasing rapidly at a rate of almost doubling every 3 years. When we purchase larger capacity hard drives, we also hope that the old hard drives can continue to play a role, but the traditional array mode cannot meet this demand. TerraMaster TRAID array solves this problem very well. With TRAID flexible management strategy, you can continuously add hard disks to your array to expand the storage capacity, even if the hard disk capacity is quite different. For examples. Let’s say, you want to combine 1TB, 2TB, 4TB, 8TB, 10TB 5 hard drives with different capacities to form a disk array with redundancy protection. In traditional RAID mode (RAID 5), you only get 5TB of usable space. To give that a little perspective, here is how the traditional RAID works

How TRAID works versus RAID 5

With TRAID’s elastic strategy, you can get 23TB of usable space. TerraMaster uses the Linux disk management tool to subtly divide the hard disk space of different capacities into smaller partitions, and then combine the redundancy strategy to recombine the partitions. Once the TRAID is formed, users can still replace larger capacity hard disks or add more hard disks to expand the storage space of the array according to their needs. Compared with traditional arrays, in addition to redundancy protection, TRAID can significantly improve the utilization efficiency of disk space. At the same time, compared with traditional arrays, TRAID arrays have higher efficiency when expanding capacity. Here is the same HDD setup you saw previously in the RAID 5 diagram and how it would result in TRAID

How to expand the storage space of TRAID?

After the TRAID is formed, you can expand the storage space through the following 2 methods.

1. Replace the hard drive with a larger capacity
Note: Replace only one hard drive at a time, and make sure that the newly added hard drive meets the requirements.
Operation method: Keep the TNAS powered on, remove one of the drives, and insert a larger capacity drive, go to Control Panel > Storage Management > Storage Pool > Edit, and select “Repair”. After the array is repaired, use the same method to replace other hard drives.

2. Increase the number of hard drives
Operation method: Keep the TNAS powered on, insert a new hard drive, go to Control Panel > Storage Management > Storage Pool > Edit, and select “Expand”. Make sure that the newly added hard drive meets the requirements and you have enough spare disks slots.

Hard disk failure redundancy protection
TRAID can provide you with redundant protection against a hard disk failure, allowing a maximum of one hard disk to fail. Ensure your data is not lost in the event of a hard drive failure in the array.
Note: You only need one hard disk to create a TRAID array, but TRAID of one hard disk cannot provide redundancy protection. If redundancy protection is required, you need at least 2 hard disks.

TRAID+ with redundant protection of 2 hard drives
If you wish to provide 2 hard disk failure redundancy for the array, a maximum of 2 hard disk failures are allowed. Please choose a higher level TRAID: TRAID+. Note: At least 4 hard disks are required to form a TRAID +.

How to migrate TRAID to TRAID+?
You can migrate TRAID to TRAID+ by adding the number of hard drives.
Note: TRAID can be migrated to TRAID+ only when there are 3 or more hard drives.
How to do it: Keep the TNAS powered on, insert a new hard drive, go to Control Panel > Storage Management > Storage Pools > Edit, and select “Migrate”. Make sure that the newly added hard drive meets the requirements.

Want to see a demonstration of how TRAID works using different Hard Drive capacities? I made a full demonstration using TRAID and 4 mixed drives, as well as the advantages/disadvantages of the configuration in the video below:

Find out more about the planned updates and improvements to TOS for Terramaster NAS in the Beta update below:

Terramaster NAS TOS 5 Beta Now Available – Learn More Below