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Synology DS1522+ : AMD Ryzen R1600, 8 Go de RAM et 10 Gb/s en option

Par : Fx
synology DS1522 300x225 - Synology DS1522+ : AMD Ryzen R1600, 8 Go de RAM et 10 Gb/s en optionSynology annonce le lancement d’un nouveau NAS : DS1522+. Il s’agit d’un boîtier composé de 5 baies, animé par un processeur AMD Ryzen R1600 et 8 Go de RAM… mais ce n’est pas tout. Il y a du très bon et du moins bon. Son prix de lancement : 775€ ! Synology DS1522+ Le Synology DS1522+ est un boîtier pouvant recevoir en standard jusqu’à 5 disques durs (2,5 et 3,5 pouces) ou SSD. En option, il sera possible d’ajouter 2 […]
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Synology DS1522+ NAS Review

Par : Rob Andrews

Synology DS1522+ NAS Review – And Now for Something Completely Different, sort of…

Many who have been following the release strategy of the popular network-attached storage brand, Synology, have been noticing something of a shift towards premium business products this last few years. The brand still features numerous solutions that are targeted toward home, value and prosumer users, but it is undeniable that Synology has been giving a great deal of attention to top-tier business and enterprise above all else in 2022. So far, the new Synology DS1522+ NAS is a solution that on the face of it is something a little bit more SMB and Prosumer, arriving in a 5 Bay desktop chassis and mid-range server CPU form. This new system has striking differences in a few key areas though compared with the DS1520+ predecessor and with little mention of a new DS922+ or DS923+ from the brand in any form, many are wondering if the new DS1522+ is what the shape of the smaller end of the Synology portfolio is going to look like moving forward. Today I want to review the Synology DS1522+ to find out whether this new iteration of the popular Diskstation series is a move for good or for bad, discuss its hardware and what this newer configuration of hardware is able to do. Let’s find out if the Synology DS1522+ NAS deserves your data.

Review Chapters

Synology DS1522+ NAS Review – Quick Conclusion

The Synology DS1522+ is a good NAS drive and most business-focused users are going to appreciate what this newer configuration of hardware is able to provide. There was never any doubt in the extent to which this new NAS would support DSM7, and given its architecture, there is virtually nothing in the popular NAS software that this system cannot do. Likewise, having the option of 10GbE on a Diskstation of this scale will be hugely attractive to some, though the proprietary means with which you need to upgrade is arguably less desirable. The R1600 CPU is a good choice of processor for file handling and simultaneous tasks, as is the 8GB of memory that this system arrives with, plus the potential to ramp it up to 32GB. After that though, the desirability of this system to home users and multimedia users is a little less compelling and with such a large audience of users who look at NAS for their media streaming, the DS1522+ not featuring a more graphically enabled chip will leave them somewhat underwhelmed. Bottom line, the DS1522+ is a solid and full DSM7 supporting system here and you cannot fault the design, internal/external performance and ease of use of this Synology NAS. However, there will always be users wondering why this NAS never arrived with an Intel chip.

SOFTWARE - 10/10
HARDWARE - 8/10
PERFORMANCE - 8/10
PRICE - 8/10
VALUE - 8/10


8.4
PROS
👍🏻8GB of ECC Memory that can be scaled to 32GB – LOVELY STUFF
👍🏻Optional 10GbE Upgrade
👍🏻Continued Support of Synology Hybrid RAID on this scale
👍🏻4x LAN Ports by default
👍🏻Expandable with another 10 Drives down the line (2x DS517)
👍🏻NVMe SSD Bays for Caching will be very useful with this 5-Bay RAID Storage
👍🏻DSM 7.1 is hands down the best NAS software and services in the market right now
👍🏻3 years base warranty, with optional extra 2yrs
👍🏻Numerous storage service advantages inc. BTRFS, Fast RAID Rebuild and Auto-Repair
👍🏻First Party Hybrid Cloud services with Synology C2
👍🏻Exceptionally good surveillance software included
CONS
👎🏻That CPU is going to divide opinion
👎🏻HDD & SSD Compatibility list is a little thinner than I expected
👎🏻Optional 10GbE upgrade is via a heavily proprietary route



Synology DS1522+ NAS Review – Packaging

As always with Synology Diskstation NAS, The DS1522+ arrives with familiar two-tone livery-covered brown box packaging. It’s an attractive presentation indeed and I have always appreciated Synology’s approach to providing what looks like generic packaging that when you take a closer look is clearly specifically designed for this system with neat finishing touches. It is a small detail but for a brand that I believe heavily stars itself on Mac presentation, these small image details do all add up.

With regard to protection in transit, this system arrives a little less protected than some of the bigger desktop NAS systems. Featuring a predominantly cardboard internal frame, with foam panels, this system arrives in a moderately protected fashion in terms of movement in transit. Additionally, as the systems are always shipped unpopulated, this is less of an issue.

Inside we find the usual Synology retail kit and although the system does not arrive with media, it does feature pretty much everything else you’re going to need to deploy this product for the first time. Inside we find the unit itself, an external PSU, details on the first-time setup, information on the 3 years of warranty (that can be extended to 5 years), screws for 2.5 in media, keys for the hard drive trays and an ethernet cable.

Taking a closer look at that external PSU, it is a Synology branded 120W power block with separate mains power connector. Five-bay NAS systems tend to be the tipping point when it comes to internal or external power suppliers. Personally, I always prefer an external PSU for reasons of speedy replacement, when in a pinch and less warranty hassle.

The system also arrives with a single RJ45 cat 5e ethernet cable. I know this system features multiple ethernet ports but only a small percentage of users will likely take advantage of link aggregation, failover or load balancing and it would be wasteful to include cables for this smaller percentage of users. Likewise, as this system is gigabit ethernet by default, cat 5e is perfectly acceptable here.

Overall, the presentation of the Synology DS1522+ retail kit is pretty much everything you would expect. All fairly standard stuff that is presented neatly and securely. Let’s dig a little deeper and discuss the design of the new Synology DS1522+ Diskstation NAS

Synology DS1522+ NAS Review – Design

The design of the Synology DS1522+ has changed very little in this now third generation of the popular compact 5-Bay Diskstation from the brand (not inc the DS1513/15/17/etc which were especially more business-focused). Taking advantage of a larger and modified version of the familiar chassis found in the DS920+, this five-drive system is surprisingly small in stature given the level of storage and connectivity that it contains. Additionally, there is more ventilation dotted around the system than one might expect for its scale and although the chassis is predominantly plastic in its external casing (surrounding the internal aluminium frame), it still feels very sturdy in its build quality and is dripping in that slick Synology branding and design.

The sides of the DS1522+ square chassis have the vented Synology logo and there is additional ventilation around every storage bay from the front that all works in conjunction with the two rear active cooling fans on this system. It is a good balance between functionality and modern design here on the DS1522+ and Synology have been tweaking this design for many years now to ensure this system still looks pretty darn good on any desktop setup.

The SATA bays on the front of the Synology DS1522+ are all lockable and support 3.5inch and 2.5inch media. Additionally, the system does not require full population to operate and will easily function with as little as a single drive. The Synology Hybrid RAID (SHR) feature that allows you to take advantage of mixed capacity RAID configurations is also supported on the DS1522+ and although the compatibility list for this NAS is a little stricter than the lights of the DS920+ (oddly, Pro series HDDs from Seagate and WD Red are not here and no drive above 16TB), it is still a little bit more varied than more enterprise NAS that the brand has unveiled in 2022.

Synology has recently been changing its position on supported media in its systems and many were concerned that the DS1522+ would be similar in HDD/SSD compatibility to the likes of the DS2422+ and DS3622xs+ (i.e. only officially supporting use of their own HAT5300, SAT5210, SAT5210 and SNV3400 media). The range of drives that appear on the DS1522+ compatibility list includes several 3rd party NAS and server-grade HDD/SSDs, though there are still some glaring omissions at the time of writing (eg a number of WD drives are missing and only Red Plus and Purple present, plus drives above 16TB are absent). You can still choose to use non-Synology verified drive media in the DS1522+, but the brand does state that you are using the system in a setup that is not how it was intended and might result in support issues down the line.

The trays of the DS1522+ themselves, much like the chassis, are plastic in material, but are click and load drives that ensure the installation of hard drive media takes just a few seconds, as well as the support of installing 2.5inch media using the included screws from the accessory kit. It is a very straightforward system to get up and running and installation of drives have come a long way since the days of having to fiddle with SATA and power connectors inside your old DiY tower desktop case.

Although the Synology DS1522+ does not feature an LCD panel for real-time information on your device, it does feature numerous LEDs that denote the activity of the storage media, network connectivity, system status, and any errors that may have been encountered internally. Synology has always been rather clear that management of their systems needs to be conducted with an additional client device (computer, smartphone or larger server overseer program) with the likes of a KVM setup being largely out of the question here.

The DS1522+ also features a front-mounted USB port that allows quick and easy attachment of external storage to be utilized for backups in either direction (with a specialized USB backup tool to craft more bespoke and tailored synchronization and exchanges), as well as to simply attach a few supported accessory devices easily. It is a shame that this port is USB 3.2 Gen 1 and therefore limited to 5Gb/s, rather than the more popular Gen 2 10Gb/st connection that is becoming widely available. This may limit the speed of some backup operations quite significantly and when you are talking about a large RAID-enabled five-bay storage system that can support up to a 20TB drive in each one, we are talking serious amounts of data here.


Alongside the five SATA bays of storage, the DS1522+ also features two rather useful m.2 NVMe SSD bays that allow you to install superfast m.2 PCIe performance storage drives into this modest-sized system. These bays are ventilated and allow for additional heatsinks to be attached to SSDs inside. Synology has been a keen supporter and innovator of SSD caching in storage servers. Its benefits and improvements via the many different types of SSD cache that are possible to improve the overall access and performance to the primary storage in a number of ways and I’m glad to see Synology continuing with this feature here.

It is worth highlighting though that Synology continue with their strict use of these bays for SSD cache only and does not allow their use as independent storage pools and volume creation. This is a real shame as this system not only can benefit via the optional 10GbE connection, but also many users would like this area of super fast storage to be more directly beneficial to specific DSM applications, priority databases, virtual machines or even dense multimedia use. There are ways and means to unofficially mod your Synology NAS to allow these bays for use as storage pools, but it is not recommended, is not officially endorsed and could potentially be patched out in a further firmware update, thereby resulting in these NVMe storage pools being a touch unstable long-term.

Overall, I still really like the design of Synology Diskstation devices and the DS1522+ is another great example of the brand really putting in the hours in, crafting a device that is just a huge leap from what other brands put out in physical architecture. Although it seems tremendously understated and discreet in its scale, that is kind of the whole point and often one of the main reasons people are so happy to have a Synology on their desk whilst they work. Let’s take a closer look at the port and connections of the Synology DS1522+ to see how it has improved on its predecessor, as well as just how much you are going to be able to do with those five bays of RAID storage.

Synology DS1522+ NAS Review – Ports and Connections

The port and connections available on the DS1522+ are remarkably similar to the previous generation DS15XX+ Diskstation from Synology, but with one rather important upgrade that I will talk about later on. The DS1522+ NAS external performance, even if fully populated with SSDs, is going to be negligible (dual-core CPU and 5 SATA drives) and therefore Synology has clearly had to balance factors such as value and necessity when choosing the connectivity of this system. For the most part, what we see here is largely what we expected and perhaps a little safe, but they do manage to cram quite a lot into this tiny little box.

As always, with these rather compact chassis, the rear of the system has two active cooling fans that are designed to keep the internal components operating at optimal temperature efficiency. These fans can have their RPM adjusted manually or left on automatic modes to ensure they increase or decrease in speed as needed. As this system is a plastic external casing and these fans are too rather small plastic fans, noise shouldn’t be too much of a problem unless you choose to install more enterprise or large capacity drives.

On the subject of day 1 network connectivity, there is a mixture of good and bad news. The Synology DS1522+ NAS arrives with four ethernet gigabit ethernet ports that allow users to create multiple network connections with this device at 100MB/s+ each, or link aggregate them in order to achieve 400-450MB/s+. This will of course depend on the storage media and RAID configuration you opt for, but this is a good number of network ports for such a modest-sized device. The fact that they are still gigabit ethernet in 2022 is something of a disappointment though and whilst all other NAS brands right now have already shifted gear in their latest releases to 2.5 GbE, Synology still appears steadfast to be sticking to gigabit ethernet. However, networking on the DS1522+ NAS is not quite over yet…

This is because the Synology DS1522+ NAS also features a network expansion port that allows users to install an optional 10GbE ethernet upgrade module. This module, although an additional purchase, is something a lot of users are going to be glad they can utilize later in the system’s life to improve network performance in this device.

You may also have noticed that I have not referred to this upgrade as a card, but as a module. This is because the upgrade port on the Synology DS1522+ uses a unique proprietary design, which I will get onto in just a moment

According to Synology’s own reports, the DS1522+ with the 10GbE upgrade card achieved up to 736 MB/s sequential read and 796 MB/s sequential write performance. This does seem a little surprising, as I would hope that this system, if fully populated with SATA SSDs would do a better job of saturating a 10G connection, but I will be running my own tests for YouTube shortly.

Inside the network upgrade port, you find a PCIe Gen 3 x 2 slot (so a potential 2,000MB/s bandwidth). This is not a commonly used adapter connector and this means that you cannot use off-the-shelf 10GbE ethernet upgrade cards when upgrading the system, but rather you need to use Synology’s own first-party, specifically designed adapter on this system, the E10G22-T1-mini. On the plus side, that is a decent amount of bandwidth being made available to a single 10GbE connection and it will be interesting to see if Synology can flesh out a range of accessories for this adapter slot, despite its small form.

Additionally, many users will embrace the convenience of this upgrade module method compared with the slightly more hands-on and internally invasive PCIe upgrade methods that are traditionally associated with network upgrades. However, this module costs a pinch more than normal 3rd party PCIe 10GbE upgrade cards and is also a little bit pricier than their own normal PCIe 10G upgrade card Synology’s own E10G18-T1).

The fact that it arrives in this proprietary form is possibly another move by this brand to keep everything in a ‘first-party ecosystem’ which I know a number of users are less keen on. Nevertheless, having an option of 10GbE here is tremendously useful to have, but I query whether this module was the only way it could have been done. 

Another form of upgrade that is possible with the Synology DS1522+ is with storage expansions. This device can be connected to two official DX517 expansion chassis allowing you to store up to 15 bays of storage across the complete storage system. Although these expansions have their RAID managed by the main DS1522+ NAS, as they are JBOD (just a bunch of drives), this is still going to be tremendously useful to users who either wish to expand their existing SHR storage pool easily or wish to create mirrored storage backups with the main NAS storage. Expansions like these allow users to focus the budget they intend to spend on their NAS storage more appropriately away from day one capacity and instead towards the system power, whilst also having the option to expand existing storage pools without needing to reconfigure or create brand new pathways for existing client devices.

Finally, the Synology DS1522+ also has an additional USB port that allows you to attach further external storage, a UPS device, or a few other compatible USB accessories to the Synology DS1522+. DSM 7 and DSM 7.1 reduced the range of supported USB devices for reasons of compatibility.

Overall, the external connectivity and available upgrades that you can attach to the DS1522+ are all moderately good for a system of this scale and despite some of my reservations about how Synology have chosen to pursue the upgrade path towards 10GbE on this system, it is still hugely important and advantageous that this is possible on this system. The rest of the connectivity present here is pretty much everything we expected, including the slightly underwhelming gigabit ethernet by default, I’m sure there is plenty here for most SMB users to sync their teeth into to make the most of the Synology DS1522+ in their network setup. Let’s discuss the internal hardware and how it has changed in this latest iteration of this product family.

Synology DS1522+ NAS Review – Internal Hardware

When I first announced the Synology DS1522+ here on NAS compares, the predominant and loudest comment made by you guys was regarding the CPU choice that the brand opted for in this device. Up until this point we had gotten used to the Synology 5-Bay effectively supersizing the architecture of the 4-bay that came before it (eg DS918+ > DS1019+ and DS920+ > DS1520+) and we’re all pretty convinced that this system would and should feature an Intel Celeron processor. When the hardware for the new DS1522+ NAS did arrive, many of you were quite surprised Synology had opted for another embedded Ryzen CPU, the Ryzen R1600.

Now, let’s get it out the way immediately. For a five-bay NAS device running DSM7 and with an optional 10GbE connection – the Ryzen R1600 is a good CPU. Its two-core, four-thread architecture, though a little weaker than many would have hoped, has an excellent power vs efficiency level and when combined with the support of ECC memory enables the system to get more done reliably and also whilst utilizing less raw power. Other desktop and rackmount NAS from Synology that feature a similar quad-core Ryzen (the V1500) proved that this processor is more than up to the task of managing multiple RAID pools and volumes whilst in 24/7 server use. Equally, no doubt Synology have benefited from lessons learned in the previous embedded Ryzen NAS developments that have resulted in this new R1600-equipped system benefiting in how well it runs DSM7 applications. Although industry measurements are a little few and far between on this relatively new processor, the hardware architecture behind it stands out very well.

The issue for many, as mentioned earlier, is going to be that this is NOT an embedded graphics processor and many users look at this scale of solution as a mixed-use device for home and business, or just for purely enjoying multimedia, are going to be a bit underwhelmed as that is something that this processor is less suited for. The hardware architecture we have here is going to result in very high CPU utilization for even mid to low-end multimedia handling and heavier tasks such as 4K multimedia and transcoding while streaming, are going to push this process to the 100% utilization mark very quickly. Many are concerned that Synology may be in the process of reshaping the lower tiers of their portfolio to solely utilize these Ryzen processors, something I assume and indeed hope not to be the case. Additionally, it is worth highlighting that this particular family of Ryzen CPUs (The R1000 series) does feature AMD Vega embedded graphics options, so it is an odd choice by the brand to stick with this product family but opt away from more graphically proficient processors that are in the line-up.

Moving forward, we can discuss the memory that is utilized by the Synology DS1522+. Much like previous five-bay NAS systems, the DS1522+ arrives with 8GB of memory by default. Arriving in SODIMM DDR4, the system can have its total available memory upgraded to an impressive 32GB across two slots. Those looking at the Synology DS1522+ for surveillance, large databases, containers or virtualization are definitely going to be pleased with this style of total memory available in the system’s life.

Additionally, it is worth highlighting that the DS1522+ is yet another solution from Synology that features error-correcting code (ECC) memory, which is certainly a high-end business preference for many. This type of memory benefits from an additional module on board that checks data as it enters and exits the RAM and if inconsistencies or errors occur during the write, this memory recognizes this when comparing the format of the binary at the beginning and end of its pass through, restoring the data to its integrity before it is committed to the larger NAS system during a write operation. Those that utilize larger databases or simply huge amounts of data that are high in frequency but low in volume. Will certainly see the benefit in this rather than encountering corrupted data days, weeks, months or even years down the line. This is by far the smallest NAS that Synology has released to feature this more enterprise-grade memory.

There is no avoiding that the CPU choice of the Synology DS1522+ is certainly going to divide opinion. As Synology continues down its path towards being a more enterprise and high business solution provider, I do think their shift towards more corporate storage and file management focus in its chosen hardware is only going to increase. That isn’t to say that the hardware on offer inside the DS1522+ is not good. Quite the opposite, from the design of the internal components and how they are laid out in this 24×7 server, to the general quality level of both the CPU and memory. Aside from multimedia concerns, you still have a very proficient and good-value Synology server here in terms of hardware. Likewise, this five-drive NAS is with it two NVMe SSD bays working with that CPU and memory combo is going to result in some very fast, responsive and highly productive storage for you, your home and/or your business. It will be interesting to see how the Synology DS1522+ compares against the Intel-powered Synology DS1520+ that came two years before it in terms of performance. Let’s discuss the level of support that the Synology DS1522+ provides towards Synology’s award-winning software.

Synology DS1522+ NAS Review – Software and Services

Now, to cover the WHOLE Synology software and services that are included with the DS1522+ 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 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 DS1522+ 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 dependant on the hardware architecture of the NAS itself. In the case of the Synology DS1522+, 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 DS1522+ NAS, watch my FULL review below (alternatively, you can read the DSM 7 Full Review HERE):

As mentioned, the DS1522+ 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 DS1522+ 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 DS1522+ NAS Review – Conclusion & Verdict

The Synology DS1522+ is a good NAS drive and most business-focused users are going to appreciate what this newer configuration of hardware is able to provide. There was never any doubt in the extent to which this new NAS would support DSM7, and given its architecture, there is virtually nothing in the popular NAS software that this system cannot do. Likewise, having the option of 10GbE on a Diskstation of this scale will be hugely attractive to some, though the proprietary means with which you need to upgrade is arguably less desirable. The R1600 CPU is a good choice of processor for file handling and simultaneous tasks, as is the 8GB of memory that this system arrives with, plus the potential to ramp it up to 32GB. After that though, the desirability of this system to home users and multimedia users is a little less compelling and with such a large audience of users who look at NAS for their media streaming, the DS1522+ not featuring a more graphically enabled chip will leave them somewhat underwhelmed. Bottom line, the DS1522+ is a solid and full DSM7 supporting system here and you cannot fault the design, internal/external performance and ease of use of this Synology NAS. However, there will always be users wondering why this NAS never arrived with an Intel chip.

Synology DS1522+ PROS Synology DS1522+ CONS
  • 8GB of ECC Memory that can be scaled to 32GB – LOVELY STUFF
  • Optional 10GbE Upgrade
  • Continued Support of Synology Hybrid RAID on this scale
  • 4x LAN Ports by default
  • Expandable with another 10 Drives down the line (2x DS517)
  • NVMe SSD Bays for Caching will be very useful with this 5-Bay RAID Storage
  • DSM 7.1 is hands down the best NAS software and services in the market right now
  • 3 years base warranty, with optional extra 2yrs
  • Numerous storage service advantages inc. BTRFS, Fast RAID Rebuild and Auto-Repair
  • First Party Hybrid Cloud services with Synology C2
  • Exceptionally good surveillance software included
  • That CPU is going to divide opinion
  • HDD & SSD Compatibility list is a little thinner than I expected
  • Optional 10GbE upgrade is via a heavily proprietary route
If you are thinking of buying a Synology NAS, please use the links below as it results in us at NASCompares receiving an affiliate fee from Amazon:

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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.  

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Synology E10G22-T1-Mini : la carte réseau RJ45 10 Gb/s

Par : Fx
Synology E10G22 T1 Mini 300x225 - Synology E10G22-T1-Mini : la carte réseau RJ45 10 Gb/sSynology l’a annoncé en même temps que le RS422+, voici le nouveau module réseau E10G22-T1-Mini. Derrière ce nom se cache une carte réseau au format mini : 26,37 x 45,38 x 75,7 mm (H x l x P). Elle s’insère dans le NAS, sans avoir à le démonter. En effet, une petite trappe à l’arrière du boîtier (en retirant 2 vis cruciformes) permet de l’installer facilement en le glissant. Autre particularité et pas des moindres, l’E10G22-T1-Mini est compatible jusqu’à 10 […]
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Terramaster TOS 5 Software Review

Par : Rob Andrews
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 […]
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CrowdSec, le Fail2Ban moderne et collaboratif

Par : EVOTk
CrowdSec 300x225 - CrowdSec, le Fail2Ban moderne et collaboratifL’outil CrowdSec est une sorte de Fail2Ban moderne et communautaire. L’idée est de pouvoir protéger efficacement ses services Web, mais également de prévenir les autres utilisateurs des adresses IP malveillantes, des attaques en cours… et cela de manière automatisée, afin de mettre en place des contre-mesures efficaces rapidement ! CrowdSec Projet des Français Philippe Humeau et Thibault Koechlin, CrowdSec est un système de prévention des intrusions open source, gratuit et collaboratif. Il analyse les comportements, répond aux attaques et partage […]
☐ ☆ ✇ Cachem

Test OnePlus Nord CE 2 5G (en partenariat avec Hekka)

Par : Webmail
OnePlus Nord CE 2 5G 300x225 - Test OnePlus Nord CE 2 5G (en partenariat avec Hekka)Au fur et à mesure de son développement, les prix se sont envolés et les téléphones embourgeoisés. Il y a quelque temps, OnePlus a décidé de revenir aux sources et a présenté en 2020 le OnePlus Nord, suivi des OnePlus Nord CE 5G, OnePlus Nord 2 5G et enfin OnePlus Nord CE2 5G qui nous intéresse aujourd’hui. Ces téléphones sont vendus à des prix du milieu de gamme (entre 350 et 450€), mais possèdent des qualités de téléphones bien plus […]
☐ ☆ ✇ NAS Compares

New Synology FS3410 Flashstation NAS Revealed

Par : Rob Andrews

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.  
☐ ☆ ✇ NAS Compares

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

Par : Rob Andrews

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.  
☐ ☆ ✇ Cachem

Synology SRM 1.3.1 (RC) est disponible : VLAN, Wi-Fi Mesh

Par : Fx
Synology SRM 1.3.1 RC 300x225 - Synology SRM 1.3.1 (RC) est disponible : VLAN, Wi-Fi MeshSynology annonce l’arrivée de son logiciel interne pour les routeurs SRM 1.3.1 Release Candidate. Cette nouvelle version est très attendue par les utilisateurs de RT2600ac et MR2200ac. Elle ajoute la gestion des VLAN ainsi que d’autres fonctions présentes dans la SRM 1.3 réservée au RT6600ax. Alors, doit-on installer cette nouvelle version SRM 1.3.1 RC ? Réponses… Synology SRM 1.3.1 RC Synology l’annonce depuis plusieurs mois, elle est enfin disponible ! SRM 1.3 pour ses anciens routeurs RT2600ac et MR2200ac est […]
☐ ☆ ✇ Cachem

Test NAS : ASUSTOR AS3302T Pro

Par : Fx
Test ASUSTOR AS3302T Pro 300x225 - Test NAS : ASUSTOR AS3302T ProLes NAS Asustor sont de plus en plus nombreux et c’est une bonne nouvelle. Le fabricant propose une large gamme de NAS du plus petit pour le particulier au plus puissant pour les grandes entreprises. Alors que le fabricant fête tout juste ses 10 années d’existence, nous vous proposons notre test de l’AS3302T Pro (DriveStor 2 Pro). Son prix est un de ses atouts, mais ce n’est pas le seul… Test ASUSTOR AS3302T Pro L’ASUSTOR AS3302T Pro est différent de […]
☐ ☆ ✇ NAS Compares

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

Par : Rob Andrews

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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unifi dream wall 300x225 - UniFi Dream Wall fait son apparition... 910€ !L’UniFi Dream Wall vient de faire son apparition sur le site officiel Ubiquiti. Il s’agit d’un routeur/passerelle (UniFi OS) que l’on peut accrocher au mur. Il dispose de nombreux ports réseau Multi-Gig (WAN/LAN) et il est Wi-Fi 6. Le boîtier était très attendu, il est actuellement réservé au membre du programme Early Access. Son prix est de 909,60€… UniFi Dream Wall (UDW) Chez UniFi est une gamme de produits réseau réservés aux utilisateurs avertis et aux professionnels. Ils sont connus […]
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D-Link DMS-106XT 10GbE and 2.5GbE Switch Review

Par : Rob Andrews
Review of the D-Link 10G/2.5G DMS-106XT Switch Remember when buying a network switch was something you did because it was needed for work? Or because you needed to catch a network together for a client and had to explain for what felt like the millionth time the difference between a switch and a router? That […]
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NAS Buyers Guide 2022 – A Handy Guide for NAS Beginners

Par : Rob Andrews

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

Check Amazon Below for Current Prices/Stock

Best Business Solution

Check Amazon Below for Current Prices/Stock


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

Check Amazon Below for Current Prices/Stock

Best Business Solution

Check Amazon Below for Current Prices/Stock


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

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Best Mid-Range Solution

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Best Business Solution

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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

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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

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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?

Par : Rob Andrews

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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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.  
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Synology DS Router 2.0 – Quick Review

Par : Rob Andrews

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.  

 

☐ ☆ ✇ NAS Compares

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

Par : Rob Andrews

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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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.  

 

☐ ☆ ✇ NAS Compares

A Guide to 2.5GbE Switches – Which is Best?

Par : Rob Andrews

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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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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