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Asustor AS6704T Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 NAS Review

28 novembre 2022 à 17:37

Asustor AS6706T Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 NAS Hardware Review – Worth Your Data?

When was it that six-bay NAS devices became so popular? It’s hard to pinpoint, isn’t it? When it comes to buying/building your own private server, to get away from subscription cloud services, there is always a balance of three key factors for most buyers – Budget vs Scale vs Power. In recent years we have seen HDD capacity limits grow in such an incredible fashion (with 22TB and 24TB HDDs arriving at the end of 2022 across the popular NAS HDD brands), so cracking the 100TB limits whilst still maintaining a 1-2 disk safety net (i.e redundancy) is easier than ever. Add to this, a huge wave of more power-efficient processors and network controllers arriving in the last 3 years and suddenly NAS devices such as the Asustor Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 (AS6706T) are tremendously appealing. This NAS tickets the boxes of EVERYTHING that most modern NAS buyers are looking for in 2022/2023. These include BTRFS support, 2.5GbE, KVM setups with 4K output, USB 3.2 Gen 2 10GbE connectivity, LCD controls, optional 10GbE, FOUR M.2 NVMe SSD storage bays AND all this arriving in a compact desktop form. The 6-Bay entry into the popular Asustor Lockerstor series makes ALOT of sense, but as 6-Bay NAS is still in its relative infancy (when compares to 2, 4 and 8-Bay systems in the last decade), is the Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 NAS the system of your dreams or nightmares? Is it all sizzle and no sausage? Ultimately – does it deserve your data? Let’s review the AS6704T 6-Bay NAS from Asustor.

Asustor AS6706T Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 NAS Review – Quick Conclusion

The Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 NAS is a respectable piece of kit! Indeed, the hardware here is almost faultless! Unless you are particularly noise sensitive (and therefore the metal chassis adding a few dBa to the ambient sound), there is almost nothing I can fault here on the device’s hardware. The scaling up of practically all hardware over the Gen 1 Lockerstor, such as Better CPU, Better Memory that goes higher, HDMI 2.0b, USB 3.2 Gen 2, a 10GbE upgrade option and THOSE FOUR M. 2 NVMe SSD SLOTS – you simply cannot fault how much is getting included here at the price point vs it’s competitors. The software is a little less compelling, with a smaller range of 1st party applications on offer, more of a reliance on 3rd party services and the absence of a few AAA+ features that are present on other devices in the market (AI services, Cloud Bolt on live synchronization, 1st Party SaaS native sync with Google Workspace/Office365, etc). That said, ADM does run very well, is clear and still quite user-friendly. The addition of choice of file systems EXT4 or BTRFS, flexibility on the use of those M.2 NVMe SSD bays and the Asustor HDMI portal still bring fantastic flexibility to the Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 NAS too. Ultimately, this is a system that is clearly making big waves on it’s hardware more than it’s software, but as long as you keep your feet on the ground and appreciate that this system is more of a 70/30 purchase of hardware vs software, you will come to respect and rely on this Asustor NAS as the backbone of your data storage setup.

SOFTWARE - 7/10
HARDWARE - 9/10
PERFORMANCE - 8/10
PRICE - 9/10
VALUE - 9/10


8.4
PROS
👍🏻Hard/Impossible to find this level of NAS Hardware elsewhere at this price point
👍🏻Those FOUR M.2 NVMe 2280 SSD slots are great and turn this 6-Bay NAS into an 10-Bay
👍🏻2.5GbE by default, as well as the option to add further 2.5/5Gb connections over USB
👍🏻The option to scale up the network connectivity to 10GbE down the line (4 and 6 Bay only)
👍🏻$60 increase over RRP of Lockstor Gen 1, but upgrades practically everything 1-2 levels (New Celeron CPU, Better/High Memory Max, USB 10G, HDMI 2.0b, PCIe Gen 3 Architecture)
👍🏻Includes support for either EXT4 or BTRFS
👍🏻Includes KVM Support with Parallel GUI over HDMI, Asustor Portal
👍🏻ADM is better tha nit has ever been, responsive, clear and intuitive
👍🏻Several different setup and initialization options
👍🏻One of very few 6-Bay NAS drives that still feature a fully functional and controllable LCD Panel
👍🏻Full Support of the traditional RAID levels for this scale (RAID 0-1-5-6)
👍🏻Storage can be expanded with TWO of the Asustor AS6004U 4-Bay
CONS
👎🏻Lack of a fluid RAID System (such as Synology Hybrid RAID, Drobo BeyondRAID or Terramaster TRAID) to allow mixed drive media and easier scaling of storage over time
👎🏻Metal chassis and trays is going to result in an increase of ambient noise (hum/vibration) than other plastic casing/tray NAS systems
👎🏻Some apps (such as the Surveillance Center apps) are long overdue an update in visuals and services
👎🏻ADM is good, but lacks the killer apps/AAA and AI service tools that are being offered by other brands right now
👎🏻They were targeted by the Deadbolt ransomware attack at the start of 2022 and although the linux vulnerability that was used has been reported to be closed and they worked with affected users, this is still going to be on the minds of some buyers

Where to Buy a Product
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Asustor AS6706T Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 NAS Review – Packaging

Now, it is worth highlighting that I did review the first generation of the Lockerstor back in Summer 2020, so if you have read that review, you are going to see alot of the same thing in terms of the presentation of the device with the Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 from Asustor. Credit to them, one area that in practically every single Asustor review I have ever done that the company always excels on, it is the retail packaging. I have been in the field of technology for quite a long time, as well as growing up as a 90s kid who would admire boxes from afar in my local tech retail outlet. Given the increase on the majority of tech purchases being made online, the necessity for eye-catching retail packaging is pretty low and therefore I am always pleasantly surprised when NAS devices like the Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 come along and put that extra bit of effort into to the point of sale design. Arriving in an attractive black and white box, it features numerous images of the Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 itself in near 1 to 1 scale, along with lots of highlighted information on the software and hardware advantages of this device. In short, I’m a sucker for a good bit of branding.

Upon opening the Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 retail box I’m pleased to confirm that the device is well packaged and partitioned for protection from movement and shock damage in transit, something that is wildly underestimated particularly in the field of data storage hardware. I know I tend to labour this point on YouTube, but silent tech damage is a real thing! I will always give a few extra points to any brand that puts its hand in its pocket and will pay for suitable protection of the unit in transit, as this is a shockingly overlooked area of this kind of technology on the basis that it is sold unpopulated.

The full AS6706T Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 retail kit contains several items that allow you to deploy the device easily for the very first time. Everything you’re going to need is included here, apart from storage media, as the Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 is sold unpopulated. Asustor has always been in the practice of providing solutions without hard drives, so that end users can choose what media and to what extent they wish to populate their NAS on day one. This is, of course, a matter of taste and preference to the end-user, but generally, I always recommend unpopulated solutions, as it will allow you to plan your budget and spending requirements far more fitting to your requirements. The full list of accessories included with the device are:

  • AS6706T NAS Unit
  • 2x CAT 5e LAN Cables
  • Mains Power Cable
  • Setup Guide and Warranty Details (3 Years)
  • Screws for 2.5″ and 3.5″ media and keys

Most of these are fairly standard items, but there are a few elements of this accessory kit that I want to touch on. First up, the Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 lacks an external power brick, which I know is an area of contention for some buyers who consider this just another thing to accidentally forget to pack when deploying a NAS in multiple locations. I have always been very much counter to this point of view, thinking that an external PSU makes a lot more sense in terms of ease of replacement in the event of failure and it also allows the NAS not to have to contend with additional heat generated from the PSU in this typically 24 X7 environment. However, somewhere in the move from the 4-Bay to the 6-Bay, the PSU on the AS6706T makes a jump from 90W to 250W!  Now, I can appreciate that a larger PSU does not immediately result in increased power consumption (the PSU rating is about the maximum power, not constant), but this does seem like tremendous overkill! The 250W PSU means that the Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 (as an external 250W PSU would be 1) large and 2) expensive). But still, this is quite big PSU increase and that can result in some increases in heat internally, putting an increase on the importance of ventilation.

Additionally, the Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 arrives with to RJ45 network cables, one for each available network port. These are cat5e and therefore more than suitable for 1Gbe and 2.5Gbe. Now (and I will touch on this more later), the 4-Bay and 6-Bay in the Lockerstor series arrive with a PCIe upgrade slot that allows you to upgrade to 10Gb ethernet, so for that, scaling up to a Cat 6 would be advisable. 

Finally, it is worth highlighting that the device also arrives with sets of hard drive tray keys, cable clips and screws for installing media into the Lockerstor 6 Gen 2. However, there was an absence of heat sinks for the m.2 2280 NVMe media bays. the Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 features four NVMe SSD cache bays (two more than the Gen 1 model and one of the big jumps that the Gen 2 Lockstor brings compared with it’s predecessor), however, I would have expected a couple of NVMe silicone or thermal heat pads included with this device. not a huge problem but just a minor thing I noticed worthy of comment. The other chassis does provide a little more ventilation over the area of the internal hardware where these M.2 drives would live, as well as provide a good amount of room for a 3rd party heatsink (as little as $10), but I am still a little disappointed that 2280 heatsinks were not provided, especially for the eventuality of these drives being used for caching. Overall I am quite happy with the Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 retail kit, despite the odd thing missed. However, I am sure many of you I’m more concerned with the build quality of this new Asustor NAS, so let’s crack on.

Asustor AS6706T Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 NAS Review – Design

The AS6706T NAS arrives in very unique and slightly old skool design. When many brands have dropped LCD panels in favour of simpler LEDs and metal screwed bays in favour of plastic click and load trays – Asustor has clearly stuck to their guns. Design-wise, the Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 AS6706T is IDENTICAL to the Lockerstor Gen 1 series (That said, there was no 6-Bay in the Gen 1 series, so this is an extensive of the existing design logic found in the 4-Bay and 8-Bay Lockerstor Chassis’). This 6-bay solution features a fantastically rugged casing, that is almost exclusively metal in both external casing and right the way down to the individual drive bays. Typically this is an area where most brands will make economies, for reasons of mass production or for reasons of noise reduction. However, I am well aware that there is a large contingent of NAS buyers who prefer metal NAS systems for added heat dissipation and build quality desirability. For those buyers, the Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 is a dream come true, indeed!

This 6-bay features a controllable LCD front-mounted panel that provides real-time information about the NAS when powered on. This information may appear a tad rudimentary, but there is no avoiding that it is useful if you need to know information such as the IP of individual network ports, state of internal temperature and details on notification warnings audibly triggered from the physical system at the touch of a button. Sure, you can access this information by logging in via the client applications or browser-based GUI, but this can take longer than a simple click of a button on the physical NAS and is especially relevant when the alert buzzer is triggered for reasons of storage degradation where the time frame is important.

HOWEVER, an often overlooked fact of the Lockerstor 6 NAS is that you can actually set the whole thing up with just the LCD panel – no desktop or model App needed! You can navigate initialization and single disk redundancy RAID configuration right from the first time power on via the LCD panel. Now, obviously, long-term access is going to be done with desktop/mobile client tools, however, for installers and/or IT Admins looking to quickly deploy these units, this level of fast setup is going to be remarkably handy. Equally, in the event of a system issue/warning (RAID degradation, high internal temperatures, disk health recognized in SMART tests, etc), the LCD panel allows you much MUCH faster means to identify the issue and address the buzzer/alarm than logging in via a client, going through authentication and more. This is especially handy if the issue is network connectivity related. Unsurprisingly, the Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 features numerous areas of LED notification. these are considerably less useful and detailed than the LCD panel but still provide minimalist information about system access and activity.

Another physical feature of the Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 that I’m pleased to confirm is still present in this 2022 NAS drive is a front-mounted USB port and copy button. Though in the case of the Gen 2 system, they have upgraded this to USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gb/s), so twice the locally connected bandwidth of its predecessor. More and more brands are removing this feature in favour of a stand-alone USB port that can trigger backups automatically when a given external drive is connected. The Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 has both a physical button that can manually instigate multiple types of NAS to USB backup, as well as an automated trigger system too – better to have both than either, as if you are going to the trouble of connecting a drive physically to this NAS the extra steps in assurance to simply click a button and the first-hand witness the backup begin is just an extra layer of peace and self-assured security that for me is vital, to have confidence in your backup strategy. Plus, the featured support of the USB 3.2 Gen 2 protocol means that you can take better advantage of external RAID storage drives and external NVMe SSD backup enclosures with a 1,000MB/s bandwidth to saturate!

BAYS / TRAYS CLOSE VENTS

Carrying on with the theme of rugged design, the drive trays featured on the Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 are particularly good quality. Each tray has a dedicated switch-based locking mechanism, plenty of ventilation and is even spring-loaded, something we are seeing less and less these days. Each tray supports a 3.5-inch or 2.5-inch SATA media drive, as well as allowing you to deploy this device with a single drive if you choose. However, as these are metal trays, that is going to increase ambient noise when it comes to larger scale HDDs of 10TB and above (predominantly all 7200RPM, 7+ Platter and helium sealed – in other words, industrial and prone to noisy operation to start with).

TRAY HDD MONTAGE

Of course, this device is designed with the utilisation of a RAID configuration ideally in mind and as this device supports both the very latest 20TB and 22TB drives, as well as numerous RAID configurations in JBOD, RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID5, RAID 6 and RAID 10. This means by current storage drive standards, this device can support up to 132TB of storage, and can even be expanded with an official Asustor expansion device over USB.

The abundance of metal design on the Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 nice will certainly assist heat dissipation, but there is no avoiding that it will also play its part in increasing general sound levels negatively. Alongside this, the Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 features less typically visible ventilation than what you see on most desktop NAS solutions. Alongside the rear-mounted active cooling fan, the only other passive cooling to assist airflow is via a minimal ventilation slit on the side and what ventilation is available on each drive tray. Once again, this system requires a little less ventilation than more plastic-based NAS casing and is therefore excusable to a degree. Next, we discuss the ports and connections available on the Lockerstor 6 Gen 2

Asustor AS6706T Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 NAS Review – Ports and Connections

The ports and connections on the rear of the Asustor Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 AS6706T NAS are comparable to that of the original 2/4/8/10 Bay systems from 2020, but a few tweaks for the new refresh have definitely been made. That said, one thing that has remained between the revisions is the inclusion of 2.5GbE connectivity (Asustor were the first to unveil commercial 2.5GbE NAS right the way back in 2019 with the Nimbustor series).

These Ethernet connections, both of which feature 2.5GBASE-T/Coppe (2.5x that of traditional ethernet speeds) allow you a much better opportunity to fully take advantage externally of that RAID of HDDs inside. Additionally, these ports can be combined (via link aggregation/port trunking) to allow up to 5 Gbe combined bandwidth. There are, of course, numerous factors to consider before reaching these speeds such as making sure the rest of your network environment is 2.5Gbe and above compatible, as well as the storage media inside providing that level of performance. However, it is still impressive that the Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 can arrive at a lower price tag than the Synology DS1621+ (with its 4x 1GbE connectivity) and even slide under the price point of the QNAP TS-664 NAS, yet still arrived with some great prosumer hardware.

Additionally, this system also features an HDMI out that can be used in unison with the dedicated parallel GUI, Asustor portal. This separate user interface and means to interact with the data on your NAS in a far more graphical level is something currently only QNAP provides. The visual out used in conjunction with the two additional USB 3.2 ports opens up numerous KVM (or keyboard video mouse) applications, such as a stand-alone surveillance system, a stand-alone desktop computer used in conjunction with the virtual machine software, direct output of your movies and box sets from your collection, a retro arcade machine with support for controllers and numerous other first and third-party software options.

Additionally, the Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 has scaled things up over the previous model by adding HDMI 2.0b, which is a 4K 60 frames per second visual output, but also is much more efficient at handling HDR and SDR using available bandwidth. That means that you will be able to enjoy particularly dense 4K top-end media with close to zero playback and browsing latency time, by connecting the NAS directly to your TV, as opposed to streaming such large media over the network.

The USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports that are featured on the Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 can also be used by numerous supported hardware peripherals and storage devices by the core NAS system, such as UPS devices, printers, expansion chassis, remotes, external storage and wireless dongles. There are even 2.5Gbe and 5Gbe USB adapters that allow you to add further network interfaces to this NAS and increase the available bandwidth to multiple users(and apps) accessing the data on the lockerstor NAS for their own needs. The 6x SATA Bays and 4x M.2 NVMe SSD Gen 3 Bays are going to provide a tremendous level of throughput, which those two 2.5GbE ports and the option to add two more 2.5/5GbE connections via USB will go a long way to externally support. But that is not the only option in this 6-Bay NAS.

The Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 NAS also has a PCIe Upgrade slot that allows you to install Asustor’s AS-T10G2 10GbE upgrade card and add ANOTHER 1,000MBs (10Gb) external connectivity to your total network bandwidth on offer! So, once again, we are seeing a whole bunch of upgrades in the Lockerstor Gen 2. Let’s move on to the internal hardware that is on offer with this system.

Asustor AS6706T Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 NAS Review – Internal Hardware

Much like its predecessor, once I removed the external casing of this NAS drive, we find that the bulk of the main controller PCB is covered by a layer of heat-reflective plastic. Under this, we find the main CPU and memory of the Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 system.

LID OFF

The CPU featured in the Asustor Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 NAS has scaled up from the Intel J4125 in its predecessor to the much newer Intel Celeron N5105, a processor that has become exceptionally popular this year in most mid-range NAS solutions with its excellent price vs featured chipset support. This has become especially true since some brands have started moving away from integrated processors like the Intel Celeron series and switching to more traditionally ‘file processing’ focused chips. The presence of a Celeron in the Lockstor Gen 2 will be of particularly good news to those who take advantage of Plex media server and similar (Emby, Jellyfin, etc) to playback denser HEVC/H.265 media and are reliant on client-side conversions. This CPU features a 2.0Ghz clock speed that can be upped to 2.9Ghz when needed, on each of the 4 cores.

This CPU also allows the Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 to take advantage of fast and large quantity memory when compared to the 2-Bay and 4-Bay systems, with this NAS arriving with 8GB of DDR4 SODIMM 2933Mhz memory that can be upgraded to 16GB as needed. For those running larger camera/surveillance operations, VMS and containers or larger-scale sync tasks, this will be great news!

Then there is possibly one of the most popular hardware upgrades in the Lockerstor Gen 2 over the Gen 1, the inclusion of FOUR M.2 NVMe SSD slots. These can be partially or fully populated with M.2 SSDs of upto 2280 length and are Gen 3 in architecture. I am still investigating if it’s PCIe 3×1 or 3×2 (I suspect the former, given the scale of hardware here that is running on this architecture/chipset).

Now, this means a possible bandwidth of 1,000-2,000MB/s. This does present the tiniest bottleneck when connecting more modern PCIe Gen 3 x4 NVMes (Seagate Ironwolf 510s, Samsung 980 and WD Black SN750 for example) that can hit 3,000-3,400MB/s at peak, but you will still see great performance benefits (particularly in file operations that require smaller and more frequent files in high quantities) and the benefits of SSD cache used in conjunction with a larger more cost-effective hard drive RAID array have long been established. However, it is worth highlighting that unlike the Synology flagship six-bay ‘ (DS1621+), the NVMe SSD that you install inside the Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 can be used for both SSD caching or as raw storage pools (either for a faster container of storage, for the Asustor ADM system software or for individual apps). There is talk of Synology enabling these bays for use as storage bays in the future, but only in 2021/2022 systems that have the bandwidth available – but Asustor have had this feature available for almost 2 years now.

HOWEVER! It is worth keeping in mind that the 4x M.2 NVMe SSD slots that the Asustor Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 has are on a separate PCIe board that is connected to the main board via the PCIe upgrade slot. That means that you will need to choose between the 4x m.2 NVMes or 10GbE official Asustor upgrade card. There ARE combination 10GbE and M.2 SSD cards in the market, but their compatibility with the Asustor platform is still TBC.

In performance testing by Asustor, using four SATA IronWolf SSD 110’s, the system was easily about to fully saturate the two 2.5GbE ports (in Link Aggregation), hitting performance of 591MB/s seq Read and 591MB/s seq Write. Even with domestic class or Pro series hard drives, you would almost certainly see the exact same level of network saturation.

In terms of 10GbE performance over a single 10Gb file (when using the AS-T10G2 network upgrade card), the results are a little less clear. Asustor reported the Seq Read performance clearly maxing the bandwidth at 1,181MB/s, but Seq Write at just 1,182MB/s. Now, this could be a number of smaller factors (using SATA storage bays in a RAID that tend to only increase performance incrementally by 150-200MB/s a drive, or the Intel Celeron inside being less file service optimized – (see my video discussing the AMD Embedded Ryzen vs Intel Celeron family here). Still, these are still quite reasonable numbers for a 6-Bay NAS and if you were to factor in the 4x M.2 NVMe SSD Bays (future video), then I think we would comfortably see much higher numbers!

Overall, the hardware that is on offer here with the Asustor AS6706T NAS is very good for the money and is a decent upgrade over the Gen 1 Lockerstor. However, a NAS is a combined hardware and software packaging and we need to go into more detail on ADM, the system software and services that are bundled in with the Lockerstor 6 Gen 2.

Asustor AS6706T Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 NAS Review – Software

The Asustor AS6706T NAS arrives with the latest version of ADM included. Additionally, this software receives frequent updates to ensure that the software runs the very best it can on the Lockerstor, as well as keeping up to date with security patches and application versions. The NAS software is accessible via a web browser and displayed very much like a normal computer operating system (desktop, user accounts, customizable themes, file management, running multiple tasks in windows that can be switched in the native tabs), but there are also a range of desktop client tools for accessing the NAS on your local machine natively, as well as a whole bunch of mobile applications that allow tailored access from your phone/tablet in more task-specific means (eg a photo app for viewing pictures and creating phone backup routines, a video app for enjoying your movies and boxsets, surveillance app to access your cameras, etc).  There is also a large range of support of 3rd party applications too in the ADM platform. Asustor is not as big a company as the likes of Synology and QNAP, whole put ALOT more money into their software development, but Asustor try to counter this by (when they do not have an in-house app) making native versions of 3rd party tools in their platform (example, they do not have a 1st party Virtual Machine app, but DO include huge support for VirtualBox). The platform is not quite as fully featured as DSM and QTS, but it is still a very smooth and accessible software platform. The app center has a few more 3rd party applications and slightly crowbarred software (eg the Amazon Media and Streaming service plugins) that is not updated up the original uploaders anywhere near enough (leading to running issues on these tools), but the 1st party apps run very well. The big takeaway on the Asustor software and it’s services is that the standard class of expected features of a modern NAS in 2022/2023 are here and run exactly as you would want, it is just some of the additional ones that other platforms have doubled down on (such as AI-related services in Photography and Surveillance for example) that are a little lacking. That said, the brand has definitely ramped up a number of the key security protocols and settings in the default setup.

LooksGood Media App – Built-in three main video library categories; movies, TV shows, home movies and smart video sorting management

    • The efficient global search function allows for searches by keywords followed by the execution of more detailed searches for the purpose of finding categories of movies, TV shows, home movies and parameters such as actors, director, year, genre, writer and title
    • Attractive poster wall and thumbnail display
    • Automatic production of video poster thumbnails
    • Centralized management and ability to configure the order of favourites and playlist history
    • The system administrator is able to configure video library and editing permissions according to user preferences
    • Can configure access permissions to share with
    • Multimedia conversion feature
    • Self-defined smart folder for video conversions
    • Supports digital TV recordings via digital
    • Easy streaming with Chromecast and DLNA
    • Supports playback of videos in Apple TV via AiVideos tvOS version

Plex – Hardware Transcoding (with a Plex Pass) is likely and with 1080p handled very well indeed, as well as some Plex 4K transcoding in H.265 (upto 60-80Mb bitrate) and the majority of H.264 Media upto 100Mb bitrate

Virtual Machines – A graphical embedded CPU like the one here will run Windows 10 and Android VMs very well. With the added support for Ubuntu and Hackintosh with VirtualBox. Then there is the option to scale up that memory to allow smoother VMs

Storage Management – BTRFS Support, as well as EXT4 for the traditionalist, Multiple Snapshot storage and browsing for recovery, a large number of ISCSI and LUN target creation, fast-acting SSD caching use. Remember that those M.2 NVMe SSD Bays can be used as both raw Pools and Caching

Network Management – Support of LAG, Load Balancing and virtual switches, as well as maintaining top transmission over 2.5/5/10Gbe for editing or gaming over the network. As well as Jumbo Frame control, DDNS automation, Wake on LAN support and internet/external NAS access with EZ Connect

Backups – Supporting a wide range of multi-tiered backup options that can be carried out simultaneously thanks to the powerful CPU in the Lockerstor and Nimbustor NAS systems, such as network RSync, USB Backups, NAS-2-NAS migration, Cloud Backups with Google Drive, Dropbox and Backblaze and numerous RAID levels internally for redundancy.

Content Management – Numerous Content Management Systems (CMS) and Customer Relationship Managers (CRMs) available in 1st and 3rd party forms, with simultaneous operations supported by this NAS

User Account Control – Supporting over 4,000 accounts, each with its own bespoke privileges and access levels, as well as grouping methods to automate the process easily

Security – AES 256bit hardware encryption on data in/out of the device, as well as over backup methods, with the Intel Celeron CPU in the AS6706T maintaining high R/W speeds throughout, as well as Windows ACL permission and configuration, auto blacklisting and multiple VPN provider support

Antivirus (ClamAV) – Scheduled Scans, Automatic Virus Definition Updates, Quarantine Infected Files

Download Center – Supports BT(Torrent & Magnet Link), HTTP and FTP Downloads, Torrent Search, Bandwidth Control, RSS Subscription and Automatic Downloading (Broadcatching), ASUSTOR Download Assistant for Windows & Mac

DropBox, OneDrive and Google Drive Sync – Each ADM Account is Able to Individually Log into one cloud Account, supporting Sync, Directly Upload Files to cloud from the NAS, or from cloud to NAS

Mail Server – Each ADM Account can Become an Independent Email Account, Provides SMTP, IMAP and POP3 Mail Protocols, Spam Filter and Black List Settings, Antivirus Scanning for Emails, Exclusive Email Backup Mechanism, Auto-Forwarding and Auto-Response Protocols

Photo Gallary – “Album” and “Browse” Viewing Modes, Manage Photo Album Access Rights: Public Access, Restricted to Certain Accounts, Album Password, Multi-level Folder Structure Support, Supports Tagging of Photos, One-click Sharing to Social Media (Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Plurk, email), Intuitive Drag and Drop Management, Slideshow Viewing Mode, Supports a Wide Range of Image Formats: JPG/JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, TIFF, RAW and Supports Video Playback

Surveillance Center – Up to 64 channels in 720p on single live view display, On-screen camera controls including camera PTZ, manual recordings, take snapshots, configure camera settings and open Maps, Up to 4 channels of synchronous and non-synchronous playback with audio, Intelligent video analytics including motion detection and foreign object detection, Supported Browsers: Windows Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Firefox, Mac Safari, Mac Firefox ESR, Event notification supports SMS, E-mail, and mobile push notification, AiSecure mobile app for iOS and Android with Push notification, Maximum IP Cam (4 Free Licenses; Additional Licenses to be Purchased)

Takeasy – Download from YouTube, Vimeo, Twitch and More, Selectable Video Type and Quality, Automatic Downloads with YouTube or Twitch Subscriptions, Preview Downloads in Progress and Online Playback

SoundsGood Audio App – Import Personal/Public Music Collection, Personal/Public Music Collection Permission Control, Playlist Editor, ID3 Tag Editor, Local Speaker Support: HDMI, USB, Audio Jack, Supported Audio Formats for Browser: MP3, WAV, Ogg, Supported Audio Formats for Transcoding Through Browser: AIFF, Flac, Supported Audio Formats for Local Speaker: MP3, WAV, Ogg, AIFF, Flac

Backup Tools – Rsync (Remote Sync) Backup, Cloud Backup, FTP Backup, External Backup, One-Touch Backup, EZ Sync, Btrfs Snapshots

These are just the tip of the iceberg and I will be going into more ADM 3.4 and AS6706T applications in the Software Review.

Here is how the Asustor ADM platform compares with the Synology DSM platform:

Asustor AS6706T Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 NAS Review – Conclusion

The Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 NAS is a respectable piece of kit! Indeed, the hardware here is almost faultless! Unless you are particularly noise sensitive (and therefore the metal chassis adding a few dBa to the ambient sound), there is almost nothing I can fault here on the device’s hardware. The scaling up of practically all hardware over the Gen 1 Lockerstor, such as Better CPU, Better Memory that goes higher, HDMI 2.0b, USB 3.2 Gen 2, a 10GbE upgrade option and THOSE FOUR M. 2 NVMe SSD SLOTS – you simply cannot fault how much is getting included here at the price point vs it’s competitors. The software is a little less compelling, with a smaller range of 1st party applications on offer, more of a reliance on 3rd party services and the absence of a few AAA+ features that are present on other devices in the market (AI services, Cloud Bolt on live synchronization, 1st Party SaaS native sync with Google Workspace/Office365, etc). That said, ADM does run very well, is clear and still quite user-friendly. The addition of choice of file systems EXT4 or BTRFS, flexibility on the use of those M.2 NVMe SSD bays and the Asustor HDMI portal still bring fantastic flexibility to the Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 NAS too. Ultimately, this is a system that is clearly making big waves on it’s hardware more than its software, but as long as you keep your feet on the ground and appreciate that this system is more of a 70/30 purchase of hardware vs software, you will come to respect and rely on this Asustor NAS as the backbone of your data storage setup.

PROs of the Asustor AS6706T Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 NAS CONs of the Asustor AS6706T Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 NAS
Hard/Impossible to find this level of NAS Hardware elsewhere at this price point

Those FOUR M.2 NVMe 2280 SSD slots are great and turn this 6-Bay NAS into an 10-Bay

2.5GbE by default, as well as the option to add further 2.5/5Gb connections over USB

The option to scale up the network connectivity to 10GbE down the line (4 and 6 Bay only)

$60 increase over RRP of Lockstor Gen 1, but upgrades practically everything 1-2 levels (New Celeron CPU, Better/High Memory Max, USB 10G, HDMI 2.0b, PCIe Gen 3 Architecture)

Includes support for either EXT4 or BTRFS

Includes KVM Support with Parallel GUI over HDMI, Asustor Portal

ADM is better tha nit has ever been, responsive, clear and intuitive

Several different setup and initialization options

One of very few 6-Bay NAS drives that still feature a fully functional and controllable LCD Panel

Full Support of the traditional RAID levels for this scale (RAID 0-1-5-6)

Storage can be expanded with TWO of the Asustor AS6004U 4-Bay

Lack of a fluid RAID System (such as Synology Hybrid RAID, Drobo BeyondRAID or Terramaster TRAID) to allow mixed drive media and easier scaling of storage over time

Metal chassis and trays is going to result in an increase of ambient noise (hum/vibration) than other plastic casing/tray NAS systems

Some apps (such as the Surveillance Center apps) are long overdue an update in visuals and services

ADM is good, but lacks the killer apps/AAA and AI service tools that are being offered by other brands right now

They were targeted by the Deadbolt ransomware attack at the start of 2022 and although the linux vulnerability that was used has been reported to be closed and they worked with affected users, this is still going to be on the minds of some buyers

Need More Help Choosing the right NAS?

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Synology WRX560 Router Review

27 octobre 2022 à 16:00

Synology WRX560 Router Review – Premium Networking?

The importance of a competent router in your home or business environment has never been more pertinent than RIGHT NOW! Finding that sweet spot for your internet access needs of high bandwidth, ease of access, yet secure and multi-layered is a terrifically difficult middle ground to achieve. Alongside this, the less technical savvy user doesn’t want to spend their days learning the intricacies of firewalls, port forwarding, encrypted authentication processes and micro-managing the privileges of their client user base. Synology’s range of routers first arrived on the scene back in 2015 and in the years since has evolved into a decent range of solutions, all of which have been designed to make the arguably complex and technical subject of router management much, much easier. Still, we ARE talking about a premium/paid router solution when most users can get a free router/basic-modem from their internet service provider (ISP) with their data plan – so in today’s review of the Synology WRX560 Router, we need to answer three main questions, 1) How does this router stack against the average free domestic ISP Router, 2) What advantages does this solution provide to the end user that cannot be found elsewhere, and 3) How does the WRX560 compare with other routers in the Synology device lineup right now? Let’s take a closer look at this new WiFi 6 and 2.5GbE-equipped router and see if it deserves your data!

Note – This review makes numerous references to other Synology Routers that are currently available. You can find my review of these in the links below:

Synology RT6600ax Review

Synology MR2200ac Review 

WRX560 Review Chapters

Synology WRX560 Router Review – Quick Conclusion

The Synology WRX560 is definitely a good router and one that is dripping in the charm, design and user-friendly software presentation that Synology has been committed to since their very first router. In the brand’s efforts to create its perfect eco-system (where is the Synology switch?), the WRX560 alongside the earlier 2022 released RT6600ax makes alot of sense. It is designed to expand the coverage and services that are available to Synology users, as well as make the overly complex subject of network and wifi management into something genuinely intuitive, accessible and easy for the average consumer. There is only so-far that you can take this (make it too simple and you run the risk of an insecure or inefficient network), but SRM is arguably as close as it gets to a perfect world for this. The hardware is reasonable, though a little lacking behind recent releases at a similar price point such as the Google Nest Pro with WiFi 6E rolled out this same week, but WiFi 6E and 6Ghz utilization still remains at a low %. I started the review of the Synology WRX560 with three questions.

How does this router stack against the average free domestic ISP Router? In terms of price, it is a big ask for many low-level users and those who just want an easy internet gateway. However, in practically every other way it is vastly superior, with WiFi 6, 2.5Gbs and the incredibly SRM platform included. Domestic/ISP routers are starting to edge fractionally closer to including some of these services, but to a significantly lower level. But they are still a long, LONG way away from this level of usability and control with such ease.

What advantages does this solution provide to the end user that cannot be found elsewhere? In short, features like the support if 5.9Ghz allowing a greater number of higher performing 160Mhz connections, all the features and services of SRM, additional optional NAS Apps, entry-level NAS style storage services and just an inarguably level of control of your home network and security of client users. There is simply no software platform that brings all this other than Synology right now. The hardware seems a touch too ‘safe’ and ‘standard’, but the software, services and bandwidth management is unparalleled.

How does the WRX560 compare with other routers in the Synology device lineup right now?

THIS is something that, right now, is a little tougher to answer. The launch price of the WRX560 is at a level that puts it a tad too close to that of the significantly more hardware/bandwidth capable RT6600ax (which has benefitted from more time in the market and a price tag floating around the £260-270 market at the time of writing. Down the line, as the pricing for the WRX560 distances itself inevitably from the RRP, this should resolve itself over time. But right now at launch, you can get the RT6600ax (with the same software and better hardware) for just a small extra quid versus that of the WRX560 Router.

Overall, the Synology WRX560 Router is a solid price kit that might have benefitted from being released BEFORE the RT6600ax companion router, but still a great piece of kit that is a fraction diminished by tough hardware choices (USB/2.5G).

SOFTWARE - 10/10
HARDWARE - 8/10
PERFORMANCE - 8/10
PRICE - 7/10
VALUE - 7/10


8.0
PROS
👍🏻SRM is still top-notch and easily still one of the best (if not THE best) router software in the market in 2022
👍🏻The Support of 5.9Ghz Radio Frequency sets this ahead of ALOT of routers right now in terms of maximum bandwidth possible
👍🏻2.5GbE port for your WAN or a LAN excellent
👍🏻A huge degree of user profile and device clustering options to create an intelligently controlled but still user-friendly network
👍🏻LAN/WAN failover Support (including with a SIM Dongle or Phone tethering)
👍🏻USB Drive Support is treated exceptionally well with several Synology NAS class applications available
👍🏻The inbuilt threat prevention database deserves more credit/attention than it seems to
👍🏻Synology Safe Access - Solid 10/10 Service!
CONS
👎🏻A single USB Port limits the use of both an External storage drive AND 2nd mobile SIM failover connection at once
👎🏻A single 2.5GbE port is a shame
👎🏻Quite large compared with many other Synology Routers
👎🏻Quite expensive given more affordable WiFi 6 routers in the market and 6E making a name for itself, as well as the price point being alot closer to that of the RT6600ax right now

Where to Buy a Product
VISIT RETAILER ➤ 
VISIT RETAILER ➤

Synology WRX560 Router Review – Presentation

The retail box of the Synology WRX560 Router is pretty standard stuff from Synology, arriving in a standard recycled cardboard container with a system-branded label, but also the retail box is printed with WRX560 specific details of the router’s capabilities and hardware specifications. All fairly standard stuff and slightly more detail than the average Synology product, as this item is a little more likely to make it to a physical retail shelf than the rest of their portfolio.

The inside of the retail box is a fraction different than the previous Synology router range (and indeed most other routers on the market) that arrive with that ‘egg carton’ style pulped cardboard-shaped inner layer, instead favouring a much more layered panel design. Obviously, the router itself takes up the lion’s share of the space, arriving in a paper fabric Synology branded cover. Synology has (in both their NAS and routers) always been quite ‘aware’ of maintaining a brand image and design in both the internal and external of their products and the WRX560 router is no exception to this. I am not going to say that the packaging we are seeing here is massively protective (if you compared it with their larger NAS systems), but this is quite a robust router casing and I think we can let it slide on this one this time.

The included accessories are quite small in number, with the retail box arriving with the WRX560 router, setup instructions, 2-year warranty information, an external 36W PSU (with regional mains adapter changing clip – only UK was included in my version but the appropriate clip will arrive if you purchase ‘in-country’) and a 1M Cat 5e RJ45 LAN cable. This is pretty much everything you are going to need (most other routers, including ISP routers, only supply a single LAN cable and if you purchase any RJ45-equipped client hardware, it will have its own cable) and therefore the result is the WRX560 being a small but low waste retail kit that I imagine is pretty high in the recycle/sustainability stakes generally.

That’s really it for the retail kit of the WRX560. Setup is done with via a PC/Mac desktop system via the web browser (free Synology Assistant client software is an option) or using an iOS or Android device with the Synology DS Router application, so there is no inclusive driver software needed. A small but competent selection of hardware. Let’s discuss the design of the Synology WRX560 Router.

Synology WRX560 Router Review – Design

The physical design of the Synology WRX560 is…well… it is quite a bit different than the rest of the Synology Routers that we have seen over the last 5+ years. Unlike the Synology RT1900ac, RT2600ac and RT6600ac routers that were a lot more horizontal in their design and featured external antennae, the WRX560 is a great deal more vertical, like the MR2200ac. However, even then, Synology went a little bit rough on the aesthetics and shape and make something that looks like a Synology re-imagining of a traditional tall home ISP router – whilst keeping that slick Synology design. That said, I cannot shake the thought that it looks like the current generation of stormtrooper helmets. Not a bad thing, just something I am now unable to shake from my mind.

When information on the Synology WRX560 Router arrived, the very first thing that struck me was that although the general colour, casing flourishes and overall brand aesthetic was in line with the rest of the Synology Router line-up, it did look quite large. When I finally got my hands on it, that turned out to be very true! Arriving at 233 mm x 194 mm x 66 mm in size, that makes it noticeable larger than the rather modest scale MR2200ac WiFi 5 mesh router. This is almost certainly so that the 2T2R + 4T4R high-gain dipole (2.4 GHz/5 GHz) antennae inside are spaced out as much as possible, at the corners of the system. The Synology branding is unavoidable though and overall, I do like the design. That said, I am not a big fan of the name, with the bulk of Synology’s routers having the ‘RT’ prefix, there were moments in early leaks/appearances of this system when it had the name ‘RT3000ax’, which makes ALOT more sense in line with the portfolio (i.e 3000 = 2400Mb and 600Mb across the 5/2.4Ghz bands). The name WRX560 seems like an odd gear shift that, although I am sure makes sense in line with a newer naming convention, seems odd after the recent RT6600ax router being released in Summer 2022.

Ventilation across the whole system is as good as you would expect. The Synology WRX560, like most routers, has no active internal cooling (fan etc) and therefore in order to maintain a good level of system ambient temperature (i.e low temp = better running), as much passive ventilation as possible is required. You can see this on all sides of the device (alongside the 30W PSU being external). That said, the fact that you cannot wall mount the WRX560 is a bit of a shame. Although this device can DEFINITELY be used as a standalone router, I think it is most likely that it will become a valuable mesh point to existing RT6600ax Router users, allowing considerably better coverage over large areas AND WiFi 6/5.9Ghz radio space coverage in all areas.

However, the size of the WRX560 means that it is going to take up a noticeable chunk of space on a desk/shelf and therefore wall mounting would have been beneficial for less noticeably deployment AND improving coverage in areas that are structured more vertically. It really is a minor complaint in the grand scheme of things, but it is something that will bother some users who will want to phase out the MR2200acs in their home/business.

Here is how the Synology WRX560 Router stacks up in size and design next to the RT6600ax premium router and the Synology MR2200ac mesh router device:

It does stand out a bit, doesn’t it! You cannot fault the design quality and no doubt the benefits on coverage with the system spreading out the internal antenna (which are fed into separate Qualcomm controller blocks), but you might need to make a little more room on the shelf for this one. Next, let’s discuss the new and largely exclusive 5.9Ghz radio frequency support available in the WRX560 router and why this is something to care about.

Why is the Synology WRX560 Router’s use of the 5.9Ghz band such a big deal?

It is a valid question. Synology has talked a big game about their new RT6600ax and WRX560 routers supporting the 5.9Ghz band and 160Mhz channel support, but what do they mean in real terms to the end user? To get to grips with this, we first need to understand what prevented 5.9Ghz use till recently. Whenever we broadcast anything, it needs a way to get from point A to point B. When delivering goods, the mode of transportation is a truck. When delivering information, the mode of transportation is the airwaves. The same can be said of wireless radio frequencies and especially those that we now use in our homes every day for wireless internet/network connectivity.

 

Radiofrequency is broken down into spectrums from 30 Hz to 300 GHz. Spectrums are further broken down into sections called bands. Governments regulate those bands and spectrums by allocating them for specific uses. For example, the 30-300 MHz spectrum is used for radio and television broadcasts. The extremely high frequency of 30-300 GHz is for stuff like radio astronomy and directed-energy weapons. The point of regulating frequencies is to make sure no band or spectrum is congested to the point of rendering it useless.

 

Currently, most Wi-Fi devices communicate using the 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz bands. The lower bands deliver farther, whereas the higher band travels faster. That’s why there will need to be more transmitters for 5G cellphones, for example. For the past two decades, the entire 5.9 GHz spectrum (5.850-5.925) was reserved for intelligent transportation systems like C-V2X. Meaning, that only devices for transportation-related purposes have been allowed access to that spectrum. Now that most of the bands in that spectrum are accessible to devices like prosumer routers and the Synology WRX560 is one of the first to take advantage of this, that is what makes this very special router indeed right now. 160Mhz frequencies are a factor here as this is the frequency when you will get the best performance out of WiFi 6 but until the 5.9Ghz band was opened up for use, it limited the range of shared bandwidth afforded to WiFi 6 and the total volume of 160Mhz frequency that could be used is increased (as well as the potential for increased smaller channels). Let’s move away from the subject of wireless connectivity and onto the physical ports and connections of the WRX560.

Synology WRX560 Router Review – Ports & Connections

The connectivity of the Synology WRX560 is near enough identical to the Synology RT6600ax premium model. That is (for the most part) very good news indeed, as there is the expected range of client connections available, as well as a greater than gigabit option and USB storage support that (thanks to Synology’s NAS pedigree) is virtually unparallel when compared to other prosumers in the market.

The WAN connection is a standard 1GbE (Gigabit RJ45 Copper) connection. The system can be used as your primary router (if your in-house internet connection feeds into a wall box with Cat RJ45 connectivity) or behind an existing router (ISP, etc). Additionally, the system has auto failover support built into SRM that can be configured in quite a few ways when used in conjunction with a mobile device with a SIM or via a 2nd Copper-connected internet connection via LAN/WAN port 1. However, there is something we do need to discuss…

Yes, that 2.5GbE Port. This is the optional WAN/LAN connection that can be used for an existing greater than a gigabit internet connection, or to a 2.5Gbps or greater device (client end-user hardware, switch, NAS, etc) to allow a potential 270MB/s (not megabit) or so bandwidth. Great stuff, right? Well, as pleased as I was when Synology embraced 2.5G on their routers, the fact it is only a single port is a little disappointing. This means that IF you use it for a greater than Gigabit internet connection, there is no additional comparable bandwidth port to get that full speed on the network. It DOES allow the larger internet connection to be more fully enjoyed across multiple 1GbE/109MB/s bandwidth devices (i.e more to go around), but many users who pay for more expensive high bandwidth internet connections like this like a primary device (gaming machine, NAS, network switch) to receive the full benefits. Only having 1x 2.5GbE results in the end user being forced to choose between high-speed internet getting shared, of a single client device to benefit – not both. This is a small % of users of course, but still something of an annoyance for some and one that was raised numerous times in the RT6600ax review video in the comments.

The side of the Synology WRX560 Router reveals a few extra interfaces. There is an auto connection WPS button (quite common, but handy), a WiFi on/off switch (10x easier than logging in via the GUI to configure on the fly) and a USB port. This port can be used for a cellular (SIM/LTE) connected internet device as a primary/failover connection (very useful – here is a demo of how that works in practice), but for anyone that has followed Synology over the years, it will be good to know that the USB storage support on this port is 10/10. Several Synology applications are supported on the system (more on those later) that genuinely bring an element of NAS-level storage access in presentation and services to the WRX560 – compared with the FTP/Samba/Breadcrumb level of storage access that 99% of other routers bring when adding storage. The port is USB 3.2 Gen 1 (so 5Gb/s or 500MB/s+ bandwidth available), but this is still perfectly fine for storage, unless you are considering external m.2 NVMe SSDs or RAID-equipped external USB storage here – whereupon I would always recommend a standalone NAS anyway).

It is something of a shame that there is only a single USB Port, not even an additional USB 2.0 port. As (much like the single 2.5Gb/s port) this means the end user is once again forced to make a choice when considering a USB storage device or USB-connected internet service for failover.

Additionally, several of the SRM applications are dependent on a storage drive target, so this might hamper some of the more business-led optional applications alongside that failover cellular internet connection. Again, a very niche scenario, but definitely something that more enterprising users are going to spot. However, let’s discuss the big one – SRM (Synology Router Manager). The software that the WRX560 arrives with is (arguably) one of the MAIN reasons that people buy Synology products.

Synology WRX560 Router Review – Software

At the time of writing, the Synology WRX560 arrives with SRM 1.3 (Synology Router Manager), the latest version of the brand’s popular router management system software. Note – the images and services below are a mixture of WRX560 and RT6600ax, but the software on each is identical and unless you plan on taking advantage of the tri-band architecture of the RT6600ax, the user experience is largely the same. I don’t think it would be a tremendous overstatement to say that more than half of the price tag of the WRX560 goes towards this software and, fair play to Synology, SRM is by FAR the best router management software that I have ever used. The brand has already produced one of the best NAS management platforms in the market in DSM and you can clearly see that ALOT of the logic, methodology and attention to the customer UX has been applied here. SRM has been around now for a good few years and despite my high praise, it is also worth highlighting that the platform has generally received fewer significant updates and feature improvements compared with DSM 6>6.1>7>7.1 in the same time frame (though regular security and database updates have been reliably constant).

Pretty much ALL routers arrive with a software GUI that you can access via your web browser (that includes your free IS router too) and from here you can manage the connections, security settings, ports and users on the system. So, what is it that makes Synology Router Manager any different? Well mainly, it is in how easy it is to comprehend the controls and the extent to which you can configure and customize the system to your own network needs. SRM 1.2 always had this and it would take a long time to go through the full range of services and features of SRM (which is why I made a FULL review of SRM 1.3 HERE that covers everything new and old) but for this review of the WRX560 I will just focus on the new additions, as well as the standout features that continue to impress.

One of the new features of SRM 1.3 on the WRX560 that arguably should have been there much, MUCH sooner was the option to create vLAN (i.e virtual networks) that can exist inside the router system for sub-networks that can be separated/connected as needed to the wider system network – such as for IP cameras, VOIP systems, or collected users in a single network. This is something that is more often associated with network switches than routers, but is still an available option on many premium router systems for a few years. There is also the means for priority of the incoming internet connection to go towards VOIP or IPTV services if needed.

vLANs were sadly not available in SRM 1.2 and it’s arrival in SRM 1.3 is very useful, but still massively overdue (see below). These virtual networks can be customized in several ways in their identity and address, but also can be bonded to a specific network interface (LAN) port, which is useful if you are going to attach a switch to one of these ports for connecting a bunch of other network devices. These virtual networks can also be attached to existing wireless SSIDs or even have a new SSID created specifically for that network.

Navigating the browser interface of SRM 1.3 is really, really easy and if you have ever used an operating system such as MAC OS, Windows or Android (which clearly you have if you are reading this!) then you will typically find that all the configuration and options for navigating SRM on the WRX560 are exactly where you would expect them to be. Leaning ever so slightly more towards the Mac side of design and placement (Synology has always had a lot of Mac branding influence, even if their support and compatibility of services always seems to end up with Windows users first – blame Apple I guess), the main desktop can be changed in a few lite ways, as well as desktop shortcuts and additional applications can be downloaded and installed easily from the App Center.

Click to view slideshow.

As touched on earlier in the review, the USB port on your router is hugely useful to the SRM 1.3 platform, with it allowing use of several Synology NAS-generation applications that you can install in SRM that including File Station, Download Station, Media Server and more. Additionally, it is recommended that in order to fully utilize the database software to catalogue remote threats and potential intrusions, you have a USB drive installed to maintain those databases.

One key element of using SRM 1,3 and the WRX560 to their fullest extent is in how the system is deployed in your network environment. You can choose to deploy the router either as your primary internet access point or operate the system as your secondary router with another router/modem (such as one provided by your ISP in between.

If you use the WRX560 and SRM as a secondary layer, a number of the security and network management features will be absent, but if used as the main management point for your internet connection, the full range of services will be available to customize. This configuration can be easily changed on the fly at any time.

The coverage and network connectivity of the three bands of wireless coverage of the WRX560 can be monitored and adjusted very easily on the WRX560, with the extent of their maximum bandwidth and frequency changed easily.

When testing of the Synology WRX560 router started, we decided to test the wireless 160Mhz WiFi connection with the Killer AX m.2 802.11ax adapter AND connect to the router via its 2.5Gps connection over wired LAN. Straight away, windows reported both connections as 2.4Gbs and 2.5Gbs respectively. This still left ample wireless connectivity on the 80Mhz and 160Mhz bands to share and in both cases, we were able to fully saturate the ethernet connection with ease.

Of course, one of the biggest draws of the Synology Router systems is their support of intelligent profiles and management. Alongside the ability to create user profiles for all connected users, you can connect individual devices to those users and then spread access rules to be applied to that user’s devices easily and borderline instantaneously. This extends to creating website access rules, internet access rules that are shared between devices and preset rules that allow you to impose access conduct configurations in around 3 clicks that are tailored towards friends, family or professional colleagues.

Click to view slideshow.

Learn a great deal more about Synology Router Manager in my five-part dedicated series below:

Synology Router Manager 1.3 Review Chapters

SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, ALL Parts - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 1, Design & Control - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 2, Safety & Security - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 3, Network Management - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 4, Safe Access - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 5, USB Storage Services & Conclusion - HERE 

Alternatively, you can watch the FULL review of Synology’s SRM 1.3 Router Software on YouTube via the link below:

Synology WRX560 Router Review – Review Conclusion

The Synology WRX560 is definitely a good router and one that is dripping in the charm, design and user-friendly software presentation that Synology has been committed to since their very first router. In the brand’s efforts to create its perfect eco-system (where is the Synology switch?), the WRX560 alongside the earlier 2022 released RT6600ax makes alot of sense. It is designed to expand the coverage and services that are available to Synology users, as well as make the overly complex subject of network and wifi management into something genuinely intuitive, accessible and easy for the average consumer. There is only so-far that you can take this (make it too simple and you run the risk of an insecure or inefficient network), but SRM is arguably as close as it gets to a perfect world for this. The hardware is reasonable, though a little lacking behind recent releases at a similar price point such as the Google Nest Pro with WiFi 6E rolled out this same week, but WiFi 6E and 6Ghz utilization still remains at a low %. I started the review of the Synology WRX560 with three questions.

How does this router stack against the average free domestic ISP Router? In terms of price, it is a big ask for many low-level users and those who just want an easy internet gateway. However, in practically every other way it is vastly superior, with WiFi 6, 2.5Gbs and the incredibly SRM platform included. Domestic/ISP routers are starting to edge fractionally closer to including some of these services, but to a significantly lower level. But they are still a long, LONG way away from this level of usability and control with such ease.

What advantages does this solution provide to the end user that cannot be found elsewhere? In short, features like the support if 5.9Ghz allowing a greater number of higher performing 160Mhz connections, all the features and services of SRM, additional optional NAS Apps, entry-level NAS style storage services and just an inarguably level of control of your home network and security of client users. There is simply no software platform that brings all this other than Synology right now. The hardware seems a touch too ‘safe’ and ‘standard’, but the software, services and bandwidth management is unparalleled.

How does the WRX560 compare with other routers in the Synology device lineup right now?

THIS is something that, right now, is a little tougher to answer. The launch price of the WRX560 is at a level that puts it a tad too close to that of the significantly more hardware/bandwidth capable RT6600ax (which has benefitted from more time in the market and a price tag floating around the £260-270 market at the time of writing. Down the line, as the pricing for the WRX560 distances itself inevitably from the RRP, this should resolve itself over time. But right now at launch, you can get the RT6600ax (with the same software and better hardware) for just a small extra quid versus that of the WRX560 Router.

Overall, the Synology WRX560 Router is a solid price kit that might have benefitted from being released BEFORE the RT6600ax companion router, but still a great piece of kit that is a fraction diminished by tough hardware choices (USB/2.5G).

PROs of the Synology WRX560 Router CONs of the Synology WRX560 Router
SRM is still top-notch and easily still one of the best (if not THE best) router software in the market in 2022

The Support of 5.9Ghz Radio Frequency sets this ahead of ALOT of routers right now in terms of maximum bandwidth possible

2.5GbE port for your WAN or a LAN excellent

A huge degree of user profile and device clustering options to create an intelligently controlled but still user-friendly network

LAN/WAN failover Support (including with a SIM Dongle or Phone tethering)

USB Drive Support is treated exceptionally well with several Synology NAS class applications available

The inbuilt threat prevention database deserves more credit/attention than it seems to

Synology Safe Access – Solid 10/10 Service!

A single USB Port limits the use of both an External storage drive AND 2nd mobile SIM failover connection at once

A single 2.5GbE port is a shame

Quite large compared with many other Synology Routers

Quite expensive given more affordable WiFi 6 routers in the market and 6E making a name for itself, as well as the price point being alot closer to that of the RT6600ax right now

If you are interested in Buying the Synology WRX560 Router from Amazon, use the link below to help us keep making great content.

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

Alternatively, my FULL review of the Synology DS Router application is available too on NASCompares. You can find the video below:

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Should You Buy the Synology DS920+ or Wait for a DS923+ NAS is Released?

9 octobre 2022 à 18:00

Should I wait for a Synology DS923+ or just get the DS920+ NAS?

Let’s be honest, it is a REALLY good question. Right now as the first quarter of 2022 draws to a close, many users who are thinking of upgrading their existing Synology NAS system, pondering migrating over to the platform or are about to make their first NAS purchase (and are concerned with longevity) are looking at the currently available highpoint of the range, the DS920+ 4-Bay, and wondering if it is due an update any time soon. This consideration is pretty valid. Synology has generally adhered to a 2-year refresh cycle on the Synology Diskstation plus series of Prosumer/SMB solutions in 2 and 4 bay, and given the 26 months (!!!!) since the release of the DS920+ (depending on where in the world you are), it is logical to imagine that a Synology DS923+ NAS could be on the horizon for Winter 2022. Synology runs a pretty tight portfolio and over the last few years in the diskstation tier have created a well-spread range of solutions that tend to be around $50-100 different in price at each tier and with each being a little more ‘extra’ than the last in terms of storage supported, CPU architecture, memory or network connectivity and a lot of the layering of their portfolio in this way is made possible by different ranges refreshing on rotation. Now, the value series of solutions (Plat, J, standard) are all ranging from 1.5-4 years since their original release and with the 20+ series all gradually hitting 2.5 years old apiece, there is a good chance that Synology (in order to propagate that layered portfolio) will need to start releasing those 2023 series of devices soon, for fear of their diskstation range becoming a little stale vs the competition. As highlighted, the currently available DS920+ is the darling of the portfolio for many, but with all indications that Synology will be refreshing solutions in 2022, a Synology DS923+ looks increasingly likely and for many that are sat on the fence, choosing between buying the DS920+ or waiting for a potential DS923+ is a tough call to make. So, today I want to go through four reasons why you should pull the trigger NOW and buy the DS920+ and four reasons why you should get comfortable, sit on your wallet and wait it out for a DS923+ NAS.

Reasons you SHOULD Buy the Synology DS920+ NAS

The Synology DS920+ NAS is a really impressive piece of hardware that, although plays it a little safe in areas of it’s hardware (I am looking at you 1GbE ports) is still a great prosumer Synology solution that is arguable the best currently fully-featured entry point into Synology NAS hardware, DSM 7 and what the brands offer that separates them from the other brands out there. Here are four reasons why you should not wait for a DS923+ NAS and just pull the trigger on the DS920+ you have in your basket.

Very Small Difference in DSM 7 Performance

For those that are not aware, all Synology Diskstation NAS solutions (big or small) arrive with DSM 7 (or DSM 6.2 in some cases is still an option) which is a complete network storage software and services platform that general can rival a lot of the software as a service (SaaS) platforms out there with the range of things it can do. From tailored file access, multi-site backups, Virtual Machine deployment, Surveillance, office administration tool, communication management, database hosting tools and more. All this is managed over numerous first-party tools, via the web browser GUI and via many client applications. It is genuinely an impressive all-encompassing platform that is far more comparable to an entire operating system than a simple data storage tool that your NAS includes. This platform allows you to create numerous users wit their own dedicated access and privileges to the NAS file/folder structure, with each user having their own DSM login/sessions running at the same time as needed, as well as being able to run many, many applications at the same time. In the event that Synology release a DS923+ NAS, as Synology have a very layered portfolio, a refresh to any system still typically maintains the structure of it’s predecessor in terms of CPU and memory. They will be upgraded, but still very much in the same basic architecture to either the DS920+ or the recently released DS1522+. The result is that a Synology DS923+ NAS will likely arrive with the AMD Embedded Ryzen R1600 or still possibly an Intel Celeron CPU and 4GB of memory by default, therefore unless you are going to particularly push the Synology NAS hardware in terms of multiple users and/or active processes internally or are prioritizing multimedia and want to be guaranteed an embedded graphics CPU, you will not see any real difference on the user side compared with the current DS920+. Synology NAS hardware will make the most of the available hardware (especially memory) it can to stay as fast and responsive as possible, intelligently flushing the case when things are getting particularly busy. Therefore, unless you are going to be running tasks that were going to tax/stress the DS920+ to begin with, the DS923+ isn’t likely to provide a significant/noticeable improvement in the general DSM 7 user experience right now. Maybe a few years down the line as the software further develops into DSM 7.1, DSM 7.2, DSM 8, etc, but not for quite a while!

Synology DS920+ NAS Prices are already good and will only get better

One advantage of hardware that has been in the market for a longer length of time (but crucially is still a flagship product by a brand) is that the pricing gets considerably more flexible the longer it is in available. Barring hardware shortages caused by external/3rd party influences, this is generally always true and it has to be said that the Synology DS920+ is certainly more affordable than its launch RRP back in summer 2020, as well as deals/promotions being regularly available at different retails and seasonal events occurring with more frequency. The DS920+ can now often be seen at the £400-450 at different retailers (admittedly in short promos) and that is a decent step down from the approx £550 it was listed at launch in most retailers.

Although Synology generally maintains a steady price point when refreshing a series (typically mating the predecessor pricepoint and increasing in single-digit % in line with inflation or standout hardware upgrades), so alongside the DS920+ already being at a nicer price point right now than ever, it seemingly appears in more promos AND if/when a DS923+ NAS is launched, expect that price to be even better. So, that means that buying a DS920+ is a better price choice and even allows you to hedge your bets a bit and still catch the DS920+ later in the event of clearance sales, etc.

Unlikely but possible HDD Compatibility Factors in a potential DS923+ NAS

Now it should be stressed that I do NOT think that this is hugely likely to happen, but not impossible. In recent Synology Diskstation series devices for business and enterprise, the brand has changed its policies on hard drive compatibility. This has resulted (after arguably some too and frow between users and the brand online) Synology’s own hard drives and SSDs being fully supported and compatible with all the storage services of their DSM software, whereas third party drives from Seagate and WD (such as the WD Red and Seagate Ironwolf series) still work and are visible to the Synology DSM storage system, but some features and services are not available (as well as the system displaying a warning message in conjunction with the unsupported HDDs being used and changes to how the brand supports users with these non-Synology HDDs – highlighting the need for their support teams to emulate their end-user setup being integral in support in many cases).

Now, this is NOT a compatibility question on the Prosumer and SMB desktop Diskstation right now solutions such as the DS920+ NAS. Indeed, I cannot see this policy being extended to a potential Synology DS923+ NAS, as the likes of the HAT5300 Hard Drives are crafted for considerably more rugged use than that expected by a plus series 4 bay. However, this is still not 100% confirmed and if Synology were to release a more affordable/value tier to their drive media that is designed for these smaller systems, such as re-purposing the Toshiba N300 NAS range as they did with the Toshiba MG06/07/08 in their enterprise tier (again, there have been ZERO indications about this right now and I am hypothesizing here)  – THEN that would bring into doubt the HDD compatibility of a new DS923+ NAS and make the DS920+ a much more attractive purchase for many new users. Again, I would say the chances of this one are very, VERY small, however, if you hear Synology reveal a value HDD series in the future – then maybe it’s something to ponder. Recent testing of the new WD Red Pro 22TB Hard drives in the Synology DS920+ NAS HERE shows that they clearly work AND work well in the older generation. The Synology DS923+ NAS will almost certainly support these new bigger WD Red drives too, but how they are presented in DSM 7.1 and it’s storage manager is still TBC.

Synology Have R&D’d the Intel J4125 and J4025 Significantly in the DSx20+ Series

When Synology release a hardware solution and introduce hardware combination (typically a CPU+MEMORY+NETWORK INTERFACE combo), they then integrate that combination and chipset towards a fleshed out range of different scale solutions. We have seen it in the Intel Atom ranges that spanned out into 5, 6, 8 and 12-Bay desktop solutions over several generations, we saw it in the Realtek RTD1296 ARM processor combination across 1, 2 and 4 Bay solutions and with the DSx20+ series released in 2020, we saw the Intel J4125 and J4025 span out into 2, 4 and 5-Bay solutions across 3 different sub-ranges. When Synology does this, you tend to find that they really push the envelope on what a processor can do and as further firmware updates roll out and development of new apps and this hardware architecture in advance also takes place in the R&D for months or even YEARS, it means that the longer a hardware combination is available, the more Synology are able to do with it in their proprietary applications.

This is no exception in the case of the DS920+ and the Intel J4125 Celeron Quad-Core processor features have been extremely well stretched by the bods in the Synolgoy R&D and Product Management teams for their platform. Now if a Synology DS923+ NAS was released, it would use a new CPU and although it is almost certainly going to be either the dual core AMD Ryzen R1600 or the quad core Intel N5105/J6412 (though I would bet on the R1600 AMD chip), it will still be a different chip and Synology will start the merry-go-round again to learn how much they can get out of it for their applications and service – pushing it as much as they can in terms of efficiency and capability. So, if you want the best and most efficient experience of Synology DSM 7 and are choosing between a very real and established DS920+ or a theoretical and potential DS923+, the DS920+ will be the better choice in terms of a product that has been significant;y road-tested by the brand.

Reasons You SHOULD WAIT for a Synology DS923+ NAS

As good as all of the benefits (both realistic and potential of course) that I have outlined above that suggest buying a Synology DS920+ NAS now is the right thing to do – it’s not all so cut and dry. There are several considerations that, based on Synology’s behaviour in previous generation refreshes, as well as changes in modern hardware architecture, that would comfortably support waiting for a Synology DS923+ NAS. Below I have outlined four reasons to wait for a DS923+, some you might be already thinking, but I bet you didn;t think of all of them. Let’s go.

The DS923+ will almost certainly feature either Optional 10GbE or 2.5GbE Network Connectivity

When the Synology DS920+ NAS was first revealed in the months before it’s formal release, one factor about it’s hardware specifications rubbed quite a few users up the wrong way – namely the continued inclusion of 1GbE (gigabit ethernet) network ports on the system. It features two ports (as found in the previous few revisions of this series and allows via link aggregation/port-trunking to hit 2GbE with a supported switch) but in spring/summer 2020, most other NAS hardware vendors were providing 2.5GbE ports at the same price point as 1GbE, alongside a few hardware client hardware that would share the network environment (switches, routers, etc) starting to implement 2.5GbE. Fast forward to spring/summer 2022 and 2.5GbE is a noticeable degree higher in uptake. Its still nowhere near as ubiquitous as 1GbE of course, but it is now being rolled into ISP routers, multi-port affordable switches, computers and even the late 2021 revealed Synology RT6600ax features a 2.5GbE port. Now, this means that Synology will almost certainly integrate the optional 10GbE upgrade port (the E10G22-T1-mini supported adapter that was featured on the DS1522+) or finally introduce 2.5GbE on their DS923+ NAS – to not do either would not only leave to steeped disappointment but also with greater than gigabit internet connectivity being more widely available globally, the thought that your NAS over the network could potentially be outpaced by an internet-connected cloud would be pretty damning.  There is of course the users who think that the DS923+ is long overdue for a default/on-board 10GbE revision and, as ideal as that would be, realistically unless Synology fundamentally changes their hardware portfolio and structured hardware pricing, 10GbE is pretty unlikely to land on the DS923+ or gen after. That said, never say never!

Potential for Synology to double jump the CPU to the AMD Embedded Ryzen R1600 or Intel J6412 Celeron in the DS923+

Since the release of the Synology DS1522+ 5-Bay Diskstation, many have been sharing their thoughts and experiences of the system and it’s unique CPU. The AMD embedded Ryzen R1600 that it features is a dual-core architecture, 2.6-3.1Ghz clock speed and support of DDR4 ECC 3200Mhz memory upto 32GB. Although that means that embedded graphics or hardware transcoding is off the table, in most other respects it is a great CPU in terms of power vs efficiency. In the past when Synology released the 4/5 Bay systems, they tended to use the same CPU+Memory combo, but increase the level of hardware and expandability in the 5-Bay version (eg DS918+ vs DS1019+, DS920+ vs DS1520+ and now the possible DS923+ and DS1522+ NAS). So there is a good chance that a new DS923+ will have that processor.

Alternatively, they might well continue pushing forward with Intel’s in this product series, but which one? This was an intriguing factor and one that I would not put past Synology to action if the DS923+ becomes an increasingly later and later release. The next-generation refresh of NAS from the bulk of the established off-the-shelf NAS hardware providers that we know so far for 2022 have all seemingly opted for the Intel Celeron N5105/N5095/N5095A Quad-Core processor for their prosumer/SMB desktop hardware. Now, there are a couple of things to unpack. First off, yes, I listed three different CPUs there. Thanks in part to hardware shortages, to the pandemic and to disruption at the production level moving forward through 2021/2022, this has resulted in Intel’s own refresh cycle of their individual ranges overlapping quite considerably. Typically they phase out (retire) a specific component after a period of time and introduce a new revision or a completely new version, with the Intel Celeron series being no exception. However, due to those interruptions mentioned, it has resulted in these three CPU revisions running and having stock spread across them. They are all very, very similar revisions with only small differences in video encode/decode (favouring the N5105 marginally) and most feel that one, two or all three of these will run in the DS923+ NAS upon it’s reveal (likely N5105 and/or N5095). I largely agree with this and although it is a better CPU than the current J4125 in the DS920+, it is a small jump that does not really justify ignoring the DS920+ on it’s own.

All this said, Synology has been moving several of their premium series to an AMD Chip (with the R1600, V1500B and now even AMD EPYC processors starting to appear in their SAS SA6400 and SA6200 series). So although it would be nice to see these Intel processors in the DS923+, I think that we are more likely too see comparable hardware to that found in the DS1522+ NAS. That said, I can definitely see Synology keep the likes of the DS223+ and DS423+ series on an Intel CPU, to perhaps reshape the portfolio and distinguish between the home and Prosumer tiers better. Regardless, any/all of this means that waiting on a DS923+ NAS will almost certainly result in a more capable CPU in the NAS for you.

Higher Maximum memory to upgrade too in current AMD Embedded Ryzen and 2021/2022 Gen Intel Celeron Processors

This is a much more minor point than CPU procrastination and second-guessing. Regardless of which CPU the Synology DS923+ NAS arrives with, practically all of the post-2020 AMD and Intel processors that would be serviceable in a desktop NAS solution arrive with 16/32GB maximum memory support. Now, the Intel J4125 that the DS920+ arrives with has an 8GB officially supported maximum and Synology largely adhere to this, with 4GB of soldered memory in the DS920+ and a DDR4 SODIMM slot that can allow an additional 4GB upgrade. So, on the one hand, that’s great news – the DS923+ will almost certainly support 16GB of memory at the very, very least – meaning more apps, more users and more services can be totally used on the system. Now, I say ‘almost certainly’ as we cannot ignore that Synology has steadily been integrating soldered/controller board attached memory on their SMB/Prosumer diskstation systems such as the DS920+, DS220+ and DS720+ over the years.

In the case of the DS920+, it wasn’t a huge deal – 4GB soldered, 4GB upgrade slot, 8GB max , done. However, in the DS220+, DS420+ and DS720+, the fact they arrived with 2GB of pre-attached memory means that a 4GB SODIMM upgrade results in an odd 6GB maximum on these systems (despite the CPU being able to support 8GB). So, do take into consideration that if the DS923+ NAS features 4GB of memory by default and it is similarly soldered, you are looking at a maximum 12/20GB of memory being the limit on this DS923+ hardware if they repeat the design of the DS920+. Or perhaps they will return to twin SODIMM slots as found in the DS1522+ and allow an AMD powered DS923+ NAS to hit the sweet spot of 32GB! Regardless, It is still more than the memory cap of the DS920+ and something to watch out for.

Questions around Diskstation Expandability in the Next Generation

Now, this point is a little more nebulous and something that will only be a concern to a smaller % of users who are weighing up between the DS920+ and a potential DS923+ NAS if revealed. I want to talk about JBOD storage expansions – I know, sexy, sexy stuff! Hear me out! One of the appeals of the DS920+ (and indeed the DS918+ and DS916+ before it) is the expandability of the system to allow you to use a Synology 5-Bay expansion down the line to add more storage to your existing RAID/SHR (i.e. the 9 in the model ID means that this is the maximum number of bays that the system can be expanded/migrated towards). Now, why should that be something to think about? The DS920+ and the potential DS923+ would both be expandable, so it’s no dice as a deciding factor. Well, did you know that expansions on the Synology NAS hardware platform ALSO get refreshed? The DX510, the DX513 and currently DX517 are the 5-Bay expansion devices (connected by 6Gb/s) are the means to add those additional 5 bays and it would not surprise me if Synology release a new expansion chassis (DX523? DX524?) to further refresh this series (improved SATA protocol, power management, etc) and when that happens, several factors raise their heads. First, production of the predecessor (the current DX517) will decrease in favour of the potential newer expansion.

Now, very, VERY few people buy an expansion for a NAS system in the first 2-3 years of their systems life – if they are producing that much data, they would opt for a larger NAS (DS1821+ or DS2422+ for example). Some users might use an expansion as a means of creating a synchronized backup with the local system, but local backups that cannot be easily disconnected such as these are less than ideal in the long term. Regardless, the point I am making is that if you opt for a DS920+ NAS now and a few years later are looking for a DX517 to expand your system, they might not be so readily available from your preferred retailer (or indeed available new in fewer quantities and therefore at a possible premium due to necessity vs scarcity). This is still a remarkably minor point of course and hinges on a lot of ‘what if’s’, but something to factor in and perhaps – if this is something that concerns you now, you should maybe jump from the DS923+ altogether and opt for something bigger on day one such as a DS1520+, DS1621+ or DS1821+ NAS now, then partially populate it in an SHR and add drives to the array as and when.

Our Predictions on the Synology 2023 NAS Hardware & Software

Synology is famously one of the most secretive companies in the NAS market and although we know a decent chunk of information on DSM 7.1, their surveillance hardware/software upgrades and even big movements on their router series, solid formal information on the Synology Diskstation and Rackstation information is only arriving in smaller dribs and drabs. That said, they still follow a few refresh trends and between these routines and smaller imprints they have made online, me and Eddie the web guy were able to make several predictions and assertions on Synology in 2022/2023. You can watch the video one of the two videos we have made on Synology 2023 Hardware, Confirmed and Predicted, below:

Video Article – SEPT 2022 Video Article – JULY 2022

Alternatively, you can read our Synology 2023 NAS Hardware MEGATHREAD over HERE.

More information on the Synology DS920+ NAS

If all of the above has led you to strengthen your resolve, get off the fence and find out more about whether the Synology DS920+ suits your needs, then you can find out more information on the Summer 2020 released NAS in the reviews below in both video and written form. It covers the things I liked, the things I didn’t and ultimately helps you understand whether Synology and it’s DS920+ deserves your data. If you are choosing Amazon, eBay or to purchase your DS920+, please use the links here as it helps support the site, costs you nothing extra and allow us to keep creating our reviews, guides and free support services. Cheers!

Video Review of the DS920+ NAS Written Review of the Synology DS920+ NAS
Video Review Synology DSM 7 Written Review Synology DSM 7
SOFTWARE - 9/10
HARDWARE - 8/10
PERFORMANCE - 10/10
PRICE - 9/10
VALUE - 10/10


9.2
PROS
👍🏻Dual NVMe M.2 cache
👍🏻Great RAID Options
👍🏻Excellent choice of Apps
👍🏻Snapshot Replication
👍🏻BTRFS and SHR
👍🏻Support Plex
👍🏻Virtualization
👍🏻4K Video transcoding
👍🏻Full Plex Transcoding
👍🏻Hot-Swap trays
👍🏻DLNA Compliant
👍🏻Expandable
CONS
👎🏻No Copy button
👎🏻Only 1Gbe Ethernet ports
👎🏻No PCIe slots
👎🏻Only a single accessible Memory Bay

 

 

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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.  

New Synology RT3000ax Router

14 septembre 2022 à 17:30

Synology Planning on a New RT3000ax WiFi 6 and 2.5GbE Router for 2022/2023

Yes, Synology is working on a new WiFi 6 and 2.5G router – The Synology RT3000ax. Before I go any further though,a little bit of background. I think it would be safe to say that Synology has been quite successful in their range of prosumer routers. When they first introduced the RT1900ac 6 years ago, it was seen as something of an experiment to see if they could bring the same level of software, design and experience that they had learned in network attached storage to one of the most common devices in all our homes and offices worldwide. Fast forward to now and they are on the 3rd Generation (technically, a little bit of overlap) and we have seen both the standard of Synology Router and the functionality of Synology Router Manager (SRM) evolve considerably – with the router arm of their portfolio getting stronger all the time. Which brings us to the newly revealed RT3000ax router, a more compact 802.11ax router that seems destined to serve as the refresh for the MR2200ac or (more likely) the RT2600ac at some point in the future. With a new and intriguing design (definitely looks like what the most recent star wars trilogy did to stormtrooper helmets, but ok) and borrowed elements of the recently released RT6600ax router, the RT3000ax would appear to be designed to be in a tier of their router portfolio serving as the middle-ground (when the OTT RT6600ax seems a bit pie in the sky). Let’s discuss this new router, the hardware we know about, the software and whether this device is worth waiting for.

Hardware Specifications of the Synology RT3000ax Router

The Synology RT3000ax router is quite comparable to the RT6600ax in a number of ways when it comes to it’s general hardware specifications (those the details on the qualcomm processor and on board RAM remain a mystery at the time of writing), with the system supporting 2.5GbE on a WAN/LAN port (as well as 4 more 1GbE LAN ports, with one being dedicated WAN), failover support, WiFi 6 support and USB storage compatibility that allows the use of applications (modified Synology DSM NAS apps) to be used on the system with SRM. However, there is always clear build choices here that show that the RT3000ax is designed for slightly more modest deployments. It’s a dual-band (2.4/5G design), uses internal antennae, is more verticle in it’s shape, is wall mountable and I have yet to hear if mesh support is available (assume yes, but still TBC). Here are the specifications that I know about so far:

Synology RT3000ax Router

Wireless Standards 2.4GHz: 802.11 b/g/n/ax

5GHz: 802.11 a/n/ac/ax

Frequency/Bandwidth 802.11ax (2.4GHz): Up to 600 Mbps

802.11ax (5GHz): Up to 2400 Mbps

5.9Ghz Support TBC
WAN Gigabit WAN x 1

2.5G WAN / LANx 1 (Dual WAN)

LAN Gigabit LAN x 3 and 2.5G LAN x 1
USB USB 3.2 Gen 1 (Type-A) x 1
File System EXT4, EXT3, FAT, NTFS, HFS+ (Ext Drive)
Physical Buttons/Switches • Power • WPS • Wi-Fi On/Off • Reset
Wireless Modes Wireless Router

Wireless AP (Access Point)

Antenna Internal 2T2R Omni-directional high-gain dipole (2.4GHz)

Internal 4T4R Omni-directional high-gain dipole (5GHz)

Size 233 x 194 x 66mm

Setup of the Synology RT3000ax router is largely the same as that of the rest of the RT and MR series from the brand, with it being usable as a primary router point or as an additional access point. The dual WAN design allows users to connect their ingoing/outgoing internet connection to an upto 1GbE (1000Mb/100MMB) connection, or use the 2.5GbE connection for greater than gigabit external connections. This also means that the support of failover is available, with the option to connect more two internet connections to the system (either both via WAN connection and/or with use of a 4G/5G LTE SIM connection via a supported USB device). Something I tested (along with other recovery features of SRM and the RT6600ax) in the video lower in the article.

These are still questions surrounding some SRM supported features and recent Synology router services that are available on the RT6600ax router and whether they will be available on the RT3000ax, such as:

  • Will the RT3000ax Router use/access the 5.9Ghz Band, allowing larger 160Mhz connections? Almost certainly yes, but still TBC
  • Will Mesh connectivity with other Synology Routers (RT6600ax, RT2600ax, MR2200ac) be available, and at launch? Again, almost certainly yes, but still TBC

We will update this article and the larger Synology 2023 Hardware Page as soon as we know more. You can visit the BIG Synology 2023 Page HERE

How Does the Synology RT3000ax Compare with the RT6600ax Router?

Many users who are considering buying the Synology RT6600ax right now in Autumn 2022 might hear the news of a new RT3000ax WiFi6 router coming at some point in the future and be thinking about whether to buy now or wait. It’s a very good question! However, the more you look into the specifications (even based on the few we know right now comparatively) it is clear that the RT6600ax router is the more powerful and capable price. So, if you were already about to buy the RT6600ax as it sounded ideal for your needs, then waiting for the release of the RT3000ax will not be worth it for you. However, if you were only considering the RT6600ax for its WiFi 6 and 2.5G capabilities and you were not looking to upgrade your setup until the end of 2022 or the first quarter of 2023 (when this new outer is likely to arrive realistically), then here are how the Synology RT3000ax and RT6600ax compare:

Model Synology RT3000ax

Synology RT6600ax

Price TBC $309 – £260 – €299
Wireless Standards 2.4GHz: 802.11 b/g/n/ax

5GHz: 802.11 a/n/ac/ax

2.4GHz: 802.11 b/g/n/ax

5GHz: 802.11 a/n/ac/ax

Frequency/Bandwidth 802.11ax (2.4GHz): Up to 600 Mbps

802.11ax (5GHz): Up to 2400 Mbps

802.11ax (2.4GHz): Up to 600 Mbps

802.11ax (5GHz-1): Up to 1200 Mbps

802.11ax (5GHz-2): Up to 4800 Mbps

5.9Ghz Support TBC YES
WAN Gigabit WAN x 1

2.5G WAN / LANx 1 (Dual WAN)

Gigabit WAN x 1

2.5G WAN / LANx 1 (Dual WAN)

LAN Gigabit LAN x 3 and 2.5G LAN x 1 Gigabit LAN x 3 and 2.5G LAN x 1
USB USB 3.2 Gen 1 (Type-A) x 1 USB 3.2 Gen 1 (Type-A) x 1
File System EXT4, EXT3, FAT, NTFS, HFS+ (Ext Drive) EXT4, EXT3, FAT, NTFS, HFS+ (Ext Drive)
Physical Buttons/Switches • Power • WPS • Wi-Fi On/Off • Reset • Power • WPS • Wi-Fi On/Off • Reset
Wireless Modes Wireless Router

Wireless AP (Access Point)

Wireless Router

Wireless AP (Access Point)

Antenna Internal 2T2R Omni-directional high-gain dipole (2.4GHz)

Internal 4T4R Omni-directional high-gain dipole (5GHz)

2T2R Omni-directional high-gain dipole (2.4GHz/5GHz-1)

4T4R Omni-directional high-gain dipole (5GHz-2)

Size 233 x 194 x 66mm 65 x 280 x 180 MM

So, as you can see, the main difference here is the scope of bandwidth, coverage and distance that is covered between the RT6600ax and RT3000ax – with the RT6600ax clearly being the larger (thanks to that tri-band support and larger external antenna coverage. But if you are looking for a smaller deployment and are not in a big rush right now, the RT3000ax router will provide most of the other features on offer!

Software and Security of the Synology RT3000ax Router

The Synology RT3000ax router will arrive with Synology Router Manager (SRM), as well as a range of client applications, Synology DSM-built tools that have been modified to work on their router platform and compatibility/support of all the usual OS’. You can find out more on the latest release of SRM (version 1.3) in my FULL SRM REVIEW HERE on YouTube and in my long written review of SRM1.3 here on NASCompares, but the highlights are:

SRM Features LAN/WAN management

– Port forwarding
– Network segmentation
– Traffic Control
– IPv4/IPv6 Dual Stack
– Smart/Auto WAN Switching
– Failover and load balancing
– Policy routing
– IPTV & VoIP Support
– MAC address filtering
– Set up web filtering
– Router Bridge Mode Support

Monitoring

– Live view per device
– Application statistics
– Bandwidth Device Control
– Client Application QoS
– User QoS
– Detailed Report Generation (PDF,CSV,HTML etc)

Synology Safe Access

– User & network profiles
– Access Time management
– User Internet schedule & Time quota
– Highly-customizable Web filters
– Site Access Schedules
– Safe Search integration (YouTube, Google, Bing and more)
– User Unblock/Access Request and Control GUI
– DNS over HTTPS Available
– Let’s Encrypt integration
– Dual-stack firewall
– Automatic blocking and two-factor authentication
– 5 Network and 15 SSID Creation for Network Layers
– Automatic security database updates
– DNS & IP threat intelligence Database
– Google Safe Browsing
– VPN Plus Application Service
– Site-to-Site VPN
– Access your network without VPN client
– TLS 1.2/1.3 support
– Supports the ChaCha cipher
– Validated by Microsoft Azure
– Bandwidth control & block list
– Active Directory and LDAP support

Add On Apps (Requires a USB Drive)

– VPN Plus Server
– Download Station
– Media Server
– DNS Server
– RADIUS Server
– Threat Prevention

QuickConnect and DDNS for Encrypted/Secure Remote Management

Supported Clients (for SRM) Windows 7 onwards, Mac OS 10.12 onwards
Security WPA2-Personal, WPA/WPA2-Personal, WPA2-Enterprise, WPA/WPA2-Enterprise, Opportunistic Wireless Encryption (OWE), WPA3-Personal, WPA3-Enterprise, WPA2/WPA3-Persona

Find out more on the automated recovery of connectivity in wired/wireless configuration, how the system handles failover, mesh self healing and more in my Synology Router Experiments video below:

When Will the Synology RT3000ax Router Be Released?

Right now, the information we have on the RT3000ax router is a long way from complete and that, combined with the relatively recent release of the Synology RT6600ax, likely means that this new router will not see release particularly soon (though I would expect it to be highlighted at the Synology 2023 digital event). More likely, the Synology RT3000ax will be looking at a VERY later 2022 release or (more likely) a Q1 2023 release. As more information on this device becomes available, I will update this article, the Synology 2023 SUPER ARTICLE and comparisons with the current generation of Synology Routers as information arrives. Subscribe to the NASCompares blog OR just chuck your email in the notification box below (no sign-up needed, you just get the alerts to updates to this article) to stay informed on the Synology RT3000ax router Have a great week!

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