FreshRSS

🔒
❌ À propos de FreshRSS
Il y a de nouveaux articles disponibles, cliquez pour rafraîchir la page.
À partir d’avant-hierFlux principal

Synology DS2422+ NAS Review – The Big One?

6 juin 2022 à 01:02

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

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

Review Chapters – Skip Ahead

Synology DS2422+ NAS Review – Quick Conclusion

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

Synology DS2422+ NAS Review – Packaging

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

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

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

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

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

Synology DS2422+ NAS Review – Design

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Synology DS2422+ NAS Review – Ports and Connections

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Synology DS2422+ NAS Review – Internal Hardware

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Synology DS2422+ NAS Review – Software and Services

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Synology DS2422+ NAS Review – Conclusion & Verdict

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

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

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

 

📧 LET ME KNOW ABOUT NEW POSTS 🔔

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,263 other subscribers


Get an alert every time something gets added to this specific article!


Want to follow specific category?

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

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

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

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

20 mai 2022 à 01:10

 

Synology Router Manager 1.3 Review Chapters

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

Synology SRM 1.3 Review – USB & Storage Services

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Synology SRM 1.3 Review – Conclusion & Verdict

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

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

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

vLAN and multiple connected SSID created are now available

Multiple Failover Options available

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

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

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

Good range of support, guidance and suggested setup tools

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

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

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

Not strictly plug n play

 

Synology Router Manager 1.3 Review Chapters

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

Synology Router Portfolio

RT6600ax

RT2600ac

MR2200ac

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

(160Mhz)

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

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

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

 

📧 LET ME KNOW ABOUT NEW POSTS 🔔

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,263 other subscribers


Get an alert every time something gets added to this specific article!


Want to follow specific category?

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

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

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

 

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

19 mai 2022 à 01:10

 

Synology Router Manager 1.3 Review Chapters

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

Synology SRM 1.3 Review – Safe Access

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

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

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

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

Click to view slideshow.

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

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

 

Synology Router Manager 1.3 Review Chapters

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

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

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

Synology SRM 1.3 Software Review Part III – Network Management

18 mai 2022 à 01:10

 

Synology Router Manager 1.3 Review Chapters

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

Synology SRM 1.3 Review – Network Management

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click to view slideshow.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click to view slideshow.

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

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

Click to view slideshow.

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

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

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

 

Synology Router Manager 1.3 Review Chapters

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

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

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

Synology SRM 1.3 Software Review Part II – Safety & Security

17 mai 2022 à 01:10

 

Synology Router Manager 1.3 Review Chapters

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

Synology SRM 1.3 Review – General Security & Safety

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click to view slideshow.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click to view slideshow.

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

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

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

 

Synology Router Manager 1.3 Review Chapters

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

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

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

❌