slow write speed to nas, read fine.


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+BudMan

So I have recently fired up a synology ds918+ running DSM 6.2-23648 (beta)

 

So when I was running windows I got full speed both up and down from shares 113MBps.. With smb3 multichannel I was seeing 220 up and down.. I have a thread showing this.

 

Well my move to the nas vs windows running on a esxi host has pushed me to move my main desktop to linux.. I will prob only run windows as VM to help users with stuff, etc.  Just because I am stuck with it at work doesn't mean I have to run it at home any more.

 

So running linux mint 18.3.. All was going good until tried to mount my shares..  Seems something odd with latest kern or something and since not using smbv1 had to mount via cmd line, will add to fstab once all working as it should.  So no problem I got my shares mounted and working..

 

sudo mount -t cifs //192.168.9.10/share /home/budman/nas/share -o username=budman,vers=3,uid=budman

 

Copy a large file down and speeds look fine...

 

5ac10f63dc5e7_Screenshotfrom2018-04-0111-56-20.thumb.png.8ef91fd4adc57148efa73cd4af115fe3.png

 

But when pushing a file to the share.. it max out at like 14MBps

 

While I can find all kinds of info about slow speeds, nothing that makes much sense for tweaks to smb.conf and such..  Or specific on changes in how mounting it?

Selection_001.thumb.png.dfa30624de7c2cf77678289661ec8290.png

 

I don't use samba much.. Any suggestions here?  Anyone seen this sort of thing - seems very odd.. Its sure not a disk issue this is running off 860 EVO brand new SSD.. If I boot back to my windows SSD I get full speeds..

 

I move a lot of files back and forth between my nas and pc.. So if can not work this out have to go back to running windows until I do.  I can give NFS a try vs smb... But seems odd linux mint doesn't come with nfs out of the box?

 

edit:  Using file station to upload the file gives me 72MBps... So clearly its something in the in the samba on linux..

 

edit2:  Guess just use NFS... because with that seeing full speed.. WTF??/

 

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+BudMan

So I updated to 4.16 kern that came out the other day... And now seeing 60MBps..

 

This just makes no sense..  I am going to try booting a different distro..

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  • 2 weeks later...
PNWDweller

I was going to suggest NFS - it works better.  I use it for my Kodi box to share with.   Sounds like you solved your problem with speeds at least with that protocol.   I use Linux Mint 18.3 here as my main Distro.  

 

I ran a quick DuckDuckGo search and found some interesting chatter about it from being anything from wifi card being on at same time as the Eth0 to other possible configuration tweaks.   

 

 

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+BudMan

Yeah wireless card off..

 

NFS fixed the problem of seeing full speed for gig.. Just makes no sense..

 

Bumped the kern to 4.16 and seeing 60MBps vs the 14..

 

Been looking to how I could get NFS multipath working.. Since with SMB3 multichannel I can see 200+MBps.. with the 2 nics I have both in my pc and the nas..  I hate to say it I might have to roll back to using windows on my PC... Arrggh..

 

I booted windows 10 and bam 114MBps..  Both read and write to the share on the nas.  I had to run out the door for work..  There has been talk of nfs multipath or pNFS for years.  But I can not find any real clear cut guides on getting it to work in a client server sort of setup.  Lots of talk about using it with vmware.  And found some info on getting it to work with client server if running centos, etc.

 

Think just going to bite the bullet and go back to windows..  Also having ###### time with access shares with just browsing in linux mint to the shares.  I have to mount the shares from cmd line.

 

I am happy with the NFS speeds for 1 gig.. But since I have the switch ports and the nics in both the nas and the pc be nice to see the 200 ;)

 

When I get home I will reboot into windows and connect the 2nd nic and enable multichannel on the nas again and see how it goes.. If I get constant 200ish prob just going to stick with windows.. I normally just use linux from cmd line anyway off a vm..  But would of been nice to be fully windows free ;)

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+BudMan

Well if I want smb3 multichannel guess I have to stick with windows on the desktop..

 

220MBps just to big of deal for me to overlook

multichannel.thumb.png.d1149a48649aa1be311cd16e0f2c1a42.png

 

write speed to the share is a bit slower - but 177MBps is 60 some percent faster than without the multichannel..  I will have to see if can get that up to 220 if use SSD on the nas and or setup a write cache on that share.  Write to the shr array expect to take a hit vs reading from..

writespeed.thumb.png.eae03401d4af2516ec47103cf6d5a774.png

 

If anyone knows how I can get these speeds using linux as my desktop be it either NFS multipath or SMB multichannel be happy to go back to linux as desktop.

 

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  • 5 months later...
vortex-

Hi BudMan,

 

how do you get that kind of speeds? Even 14 MB/sec would be good for me.

I currently have Mint 18.3 with the latest 4.15 kernel, a DS 414 with SMB configured in fstab, and I never get more than 4 MB/sec write speed. It's like that since a few years with various other distros. In Windows 7 I got 20-30 MB/sec.

Also I never got NFS working, I think there were some issues with user rights.

 

Thanks

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+BudMan

What is your connection speed? 20-30MBps is horrible!  Can you run an iperf test between your client and your server.

 

So I am seeing 220 both read and write without any issues on my DS918+ after a bit of redo of my array.  Using just raid 0 with 3x4TB drives..  What version of Samba are you running?  I could for sure boot mint on my desktop and see what I can get to my nas... I know for sure windows 10 does smb3 multichannel without any issues.  And once I fixed up the nics I was having a bit of problems with to a dual port.. Windows 10 doesn't like my built in broadcom on this older dell.  It runs for awhile and then just locks up.

 

DS414 what version of DSM are you runing 6.2.1-23824 is the latest and I show it available for the DS414, what disks do you have and how do you have them configured?

 

I was seeing decent speeds with NFS... but couldn't find how to get any sort of multipath working with it.. So had to bite the bullet and just running windows on my desktop.. It screams 220 both up and down with current config and read/write cache setup on the raid 0 array.

 

Here is a write of 8GB file from my PC to nas

writespeed.thumb.png.70760528f2d376fa32430d8199fa7b49.png

 

When I get home tonight I will grab copy of latest mint and see what I can get..

 

 

 

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    • By Fezmid
      The Synology DS720+: Incremental update to a great platform
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      If you want to build the cache, installing the NVMe drives is as easy as turning the DS720+ over, opening the drive bays, and sliding the chip into place. I didn't put a heat sink on the Western Digital Black drive, and while temperatures were about 7ºF/4ºC higher than the internal drives, there were no thermal performance issues, even under load.

      Initial Setup and Installation
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      If this is your first Synology device, I would recommend downloading the Synology Assistant for the initial setup. Install this tool on your desktop and it identifies all of the Synology devices on your network so that you can just click on them to connect. While you could look at your DHCP server to find out what IP address it assigned, this just makes life easier.



      When you first connect to the Synology DS720+ from your browser, you're presented with the Web Assistant page that begins the setup process.



      After that, you're given a screen that begins the installation of Synology DiskStation Manager (DSM) onto the NAS device.



      As is typical for any destructive process, the system warns you that all data on the hard drives will be destroyed, and you must acknowledge this before you may proceed.



      The installation then begins. Although the process says it takes approximately ten minutes, if you have a fast Internet connection, it shouldn't take quite that long.



      Once DSM is installed, it's time to setup the actual operating system. The system prompts you to give the NAS device a name, and to create a username/password combination that will act as the admin account on the DS720+.



      Next, you're asked if you want to setup QuickConnect, a feature that gives you access to your NAS device from the Internet, in essence providing you with a public cloud. If you want the best security, you can skip this feature. If you want easy access to your files from the Internet, you can enable QuickConnect, just make sure you turn automatic updates on to help limit damage from attacks against your device.



      On the next screen, you're given the option to share the device's network location so that you can identify it on the Internet.



      That's it, your Synology DS720+ is now configured and ready to use. However just because the operating system is installed, doesn't mean you can actually do anything with the device yet, since you haven't actually configured the storage. This is one area where I think Synology could improve the initial setup. If you have a storage background, the rest of the setup is straight forward, but for those who don't, it may not initially make sense.



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      Once created, you'll be able to mount the disks onto whatever other systems you want on your network.



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      Performance
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      The two NVMe slots for caching are a nice feature, but during my tests, offered little in the way of performance in a small home setup, so that shouldn't factor into your decision.

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    • By Fezmid
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    • By Fezmid
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      After confirming the channels that are available, you're asked to enter your zip code so that Plex can download a guide to know what shows are being aired at what time. You're also able to deselect any channels that you're not interested in, although I don't see any benefit to putting blinders on in this case.



      That's all there is to it! Plex takes you to a guide that looks similar to cable and satellite providers, allowing you to see exactly what shows are on what channels and at what time. If you see something interesting, you can click on it to get more information, to watch live, or to record the episode for future view.

      If you want to bypass Plex, you can always download the HDHomeRun app and watch live TV from anywhere in the world.

      Plex DVR
      Aside from easy access, one of the big selling points to streaming services like Hulu and Netflix are the fact that they're commercial free. I had this functionality built into my VCR in the late 90s, but the networks and studios have constantly sued DVR manufacturers that try to include this feature.



      For now, at least, this functionality is included in Plex DVR. If you look under the DVR Settings, you'll see an option to "Remove Commercials." Instead of just skipping them, Plex will actually analyze the recording and cut the commercials out of your recordings. Not only is this a great time saver, it also reduces the size of the files on your NAS device, so is a good feature to use. In my testing, it seemed to work great on the major networks, but not quite as good on the aforementioned subchannels. On the bright side, the feature seems to err on the side of caution, as I never lost more than a couple of seconds of a show, although the risk is there.

      In addition to removing commercials, there are other features you can enable. You can choose whether you want to only record HD, in which case Plex will skip all non-HD content. There's also the option to automatically replace any SD items in your library with an HD version, as well as whether you want to allow partial recordings in case weather impacts your antenna signal. Finally, there's the option to start recording a certain number of minutes before and after the program is scheduled to run.



      While not strictly related to just the Plex DVR feature, the search feature in the interface is extremely useful for finding content to record. Instead of having to try to find the content on the guide, simply type it into the search window, and you're presented with content, whether it's an upcoming episode or series you'd like to record, an episode already recorded on your Synology NAS device, or music and movies you may already have stored. The search box also looks at online content from TIDAL, as well as podcasts and Web Shows that match the term, and the results are broken down based on where the content is located; "Live TV & DVR" means it's not on your device but can be recorded, whereas things in your "Library" are available to consume immediately. Finally, you can also search for actors or musicians by name and see the same type of results: A search for "Fillion" will bring up the TV shows Castle, The Rookie, and Firefly, as well as the movies Monster University, Serenity, and Blast from the Past.



      A typical one hour TV show in standard definition takes just over 1Gb of storage, while a show in HD will take nearly 5Gb of storage (with commercials removed), if using the standard settings. If you're worried about storage space, you can configure Plex DVR to automatically delete a show either one day or one week after watching it, but since I'm hesistant to automatically delete content, I'd personally leave it off and just do it manually.

      How do I watch it?
      So now that you have your SiliconDust HDHomeRun saving shows to your Synology NAS device, how do you actually watch the shows? The answer is simple: The same way you'd watch anything on your Plex server. Plex has apps for practically any platform, from mobile devices, to gaming consoles, to Roku and Amazon Fire TV, and even Oculus VR. The Nvidia Shield is supposed to make a good Plex client as well. Some of these platforms have a fee associated, but if you have Plex Pass (which you need to use the DVR functionality anyway), they're all free. This makes watching as easy as using your cable box.



      You can also share your content with friends and family. Doing so is as simple as sending an invitation and selecting which libraries you want to share. Once the person accepts the invitation, they'll have full access to stream to their own devices.

      Conclusion
      While I didn't cancel my DirecTV subscription, I did use the combination of Plex and HDHomeRun for a couple of months, and found very little to complain about. I never missed a recording, the picture quality was just as good as my satellite, and it was easy enough for my wife and daughter to use. Being able to watch TV from anywhere, like my daughter's dance lessons, was a great way to pass the time, and recording old 80's sitcoms that I enjoyed as a kid was the cherry on top.

      This process also made me analyze our TV watching behaviors. One thing that surprised me was the fact that most of the shows we watch are actually on local TV. There are some, like AMC's The Walking Dead, that aren't, but it seems that much of this content can be replaced with a few streaming services that will still end up being cheaper than our current monthly bill, so it is something we'll have to explore as a family.

      If you're looking for a way to cut the cord, the combination of Plex and HDHomeRun sitting on a NAS device like the DS1019+ is a great way to meet your goal. Instead of paying over $100/month on cable or satellite, you can pay $240 for a lifetime Plex Pass subscription and an HDHomeRun Quatro, install Plex on an existing NAS device or a server and have access to all of the local channels, including those you may not have known were even available.

      If you don't care about cutting the cord, but instead want a flexible interface that lets you watch your cable (but not satellite) programming anywhere in the world and also provides far more storage than your cable company provides, the HDHomeRun Prime and Prime 6 options sound like they will fit the bill, although I haven't had a chance to test them.

      Do you have any cord-cutting recommendations? Share them with us in the comments!

    • By Fezmid
      Review of the Synology DS1019+, a storage workhorse and a Plex beast
      by Christopher White

      While it's convenient to let someone else manage the storage of your data, that convenience carries a certain amount of risk. You're trusting someone else to secure your personal information, and this isn't always the safest course of action. Although you can't keep all of your personal information out of the hands of bad guys, many people would prefer to keep their private photos, videos, and documents within their own home as opposed to trusting a third party to provide proper security controls.

      To that end, today I'll take a look at the Synology DS1019+, a five-bay NAS device that has strong video capabilities.

      Specifications
      The DS1019+ is part of Synology's "plus" line, meaning it's built for power. As such, it includes an Intel Celeron J3455 quad-core CPU running at 1.5 GHz with bursts to 2.3 GHz and includes both AES-NI to improve encryption performance and the HD500 video chip to allow dual-channel H.264/265 4K video transcoding on the fly. The system runs the latest version of DiskStation Manager (DSM), currently 6.2 update 4, and retails for $649.99.



      The model I was sent came with 8GB of RAM, although the base model comes with only 4GB.



      There are five drive bays on the DS1019+, providing capacity up to 60TB in a JBOD setup. Most people will configure the box with either RAID-5/SHR or RAID-6/SHR2, which utilizes either one or two disks for redundancy, leaving you with between 36-48TB of storage.

      CPU

      Intel Celeron J3455, 64-bit, 1.5Ghz with AES-NI encryption Memory 4GB - 8GB DDR3L-1866 RAM, depending on configuration Disk Capacity 60TB (12TB x 5) native; 180TB with expansion units Network 2xGbE (with link aggregation/failover) USB Ports 1xUSB3 (back), 1xUSB3 (front) Size (H/W/D) (6.5in x 9.1in x 8.8in) / (166 mm x 230 mm x 223 mm) Weight 5.6 lbs / 2.54kg



      From a connectivity perspective, there are two Gigabit Ethernet ports on the back that can be aggregated into one to improve performance. Note that you can't double your throughput from a single stream, but rather the aggregation can be used as either failover in case a switch port dies, or can be used to improve bandwidth on multiple streams.



      The DS1019+ has two USB 3.0 ports, one on the front and one on the back, although the "copy to NAS" button has been removed from recent Synology models.

      In case you want more than five drives for your NAS, there's an eSATA port that allows you to add storage space via a Synology expansion unit. You can also secure the DS1019+ wtih a Kensington lock if you're concerned about the physical security of the device.

      One interesting thing to note is that the DS1019+ has an entirely plastic chassis. This makes the device feel cheaper overall, but being as it will be sitting in a closet somewhere, probably isn't a big deal.



      The device also supports up to two M.2 NVMe SSD chips, accessible via the bottom of the device. If installed, these are used purely for caching and can't be added to your overall storage usage. Using one SSD will improve the read cache, while installing two will improve both the read and write cache. I haven't had the opportunity to test this functionality, but according to the documentation, every 1GB of cache will use 416KB of memory, meaning 256GB of cache will require at least 104 MB of system memory.

      The product line used to be easy to decode by simply looking at the name, but things have become more complex in recent years. The DS1019+ has an Intel Celeron J3455 processor to support better video transcoding, but the DS1618+ has a quad-core 2.1GHz Intel Atom C3538 processor with on-chip AES-IN encryption. In performance tests, the Atom usually beats out the Celeron, but according to Synology engineers,

      Read another way, the DS1019+ was made for video, while the DS1618+ was made for for small and medium businesses (or home power users) who want more drives, RAM, Ethernet ports, PCIe slots, and the like. Synology has apparently abandoned the "play" line and uses the "+" line for both video and high performance devices.



      There's still a way to decode the product based on the name. The first two letters tell you if it's a standalone device (DS), a rack-mountable device (RS), or an expansion bay (DX or RX). The second two numbers indicate the maximum number of drives that the device supports; in our case, the DS1019+ supports 10, the five built-in drives and a five-bay expansion unit. The next two numbers indicate the year the device was released, and the last piece tells you what the device specializes in.

      Hardware Installation
      The whole point of a NAS device versus building your own is in its simplicity, and the DS1019+ delivers. Simply plug in the power cable, connect an Ethernet cable, turn the box on, and you're done.



      Connecting drives to the DS1019+ is as easy as the other Synology NAS devices I've reviewed in the past. Place the 3.5" disk in the sled, click the two side pieces into place, and the disk pack is ready to insert into the NAS device. It's a great design, although I'm a little concerned that if the plastic clips on the side break you'll be out of luck and will have to contact Synology for a replacement. That said, I've swapped drives in quite a bit during my tests and I've never run into an issue.

      The sleds also support 2.5" drives, such as SSD, but in order to mount those into the sleds you'll need to screw it into the bottom of the sled with the included screws.

      I did find one minor quibble with the drive sleds. Other Synology models I've reviewed are spring loaded, where you press bottom of the insert, it clicks out, and then you pull the drive out. The DS1019+, on the other hand, is not: To get drives out, you simply put your finger under the bottom of the insert and pull out. It works fine, but to me, lacks the premium feel of previous devices.

      If you want to lock the drives into place to stop someone from simply ejecting it from the enclosure, you can use the enclosed keys to do so, just keep in mind that the locks do not appear very difficult to bypass. I suspect it's not there for hard core security as much as to prevent a passerby from pulling the tray out.

      Initial Setup and Installation
      There's really not much to say about this that hasn't already been said in previous reviews. Once you turn the DS1019+ on, use the Synology Assistant to locate the device on your network, point your web browser to the interface, and click ok a few times. When the OS installation is complete, create an account, decide if you want to create a QuickConnect ID so you can easily access the device remotely, and you're dropped into the interface.

      From here, create a disk group, a volume, and then put shared folders on top of that. The whole process can be completed in under 10 minutes, although the device performs parity checking in the background that, with five large disks, can take hours to complete.

      Performance
      Since the DSM operating system controls the interface and overall ease of use, there's not much difference between models. Performance, on the other hand, is dependent on the actual hardware so there are always differences between the different releases. Although I'll dig into the specifics below, I'm happy to say that the DS1019+ has the best disk performance of any NAS device I've tested, outside of the Thecus N7710-G utilizing a 10GBe card.

      As with all of my NAS reviews, in order to test performance and bypass the PC as much as possible, I used OSFMount to create a 4GB RAM disk and then used Robocopy to test throughput between my desktop and the DS1019+. The volume on the Synology DS1019+ was created as a SHR using the Btrfs filesystem. This is similar to a RAID-5 configuration, whereby one disk is used for redundancy.



      My first test is copying large, 3GB files to and from the NAS device. Copying a large file is easier for a disk because the drive can read and write sequentially, so performance is always better with these types of tests. The DS1019+ was able to both read and write at an impressive 113 MB/s, which is pretty close to the theoretical maximum speed of Gigabit Ethernet.



      Where things became a little more surprising was in the small file test. Here, I copied roughly 3GB of small MP3 files to and from the NAS device. Generally performance in this test is significantly slower, with only the previously mentioned Thecus N7710-G even keeping close to the large file performance. In this case, the DS1019+ managed to absolutely destroy the competition, giving us speeds of 108MB/s when reading from the NAS and a still-dominant 99 MB/s when writing to the device.



      Synology devices also have the ability to do link aggregation to provide more throughput to multiple streams (as opposed to doubling a single stream), assuming your switch supports this.



      While I don't have a lab capable of officially testing this, I did setup link aggregation and ran a real-world test. Using Plex (which will be discussed later), I attempted to stream Incredibles 2 in HD to the Xbox One, Venom, transcoded from HD to 480p to an Essential PH-1 phone, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine in standard 480p to my Windows desktop, and copy roughly 400GB worth of files from my Windows desktop to the NAS. Although this work taxed the CPU, everything ran perfectly with no buffering issues on the three videos and with acceptable performance on the copy. Benchmarks are one thing, but real world tests like this show that the DS1019+ has some good power behind it.

      Disk Management
      When things are setup and working smoothly, Synology devices are great, but what happens if there's a disk failure? Luckily, DSM handles this type of issue extremely well.



      For my test, I started with five disks of different sizes (two 4TB drives, two 6TB drives, and one 8TB drive) in a Synology Hybrid RAID (SHR) configuration.



      In order to simulate a disk failure, I pulled one of the 4TB drives from the array to see what would happen. As expected, the DS1019+ started beeping loudly and an error message displayed on the DSM interface. At this point, my volume was in danger because another disk failure would corrupt the entire array; if I were using SHR2, I would have protection from a double disk failure.



      I then inserted another 8TB drive to replace the "failed" drive, opened Storage Manager, selected the pool, and clicked the "Repair" button. I was presented with a short wizard that displayed the new drive and, after clicking next, warned me that all of the data on the drive would be destroyed if added to the pool.



      After acknowledging the data destruction, the new drive was put into the pool and a consistency check was performed. Although this process can take hours, you can still use the NAS device with a minimal performance impact.



      Finally, to make use of the extra space, I selected the volume and expanded the action tab. One of the options on the menu is to use the maximum amount of storage available and with the click of a button, the volume was extended.



      I should note that this process is documented on the Synology website. Overall, I've found the Synology online knowledgebase to be extremely useful, as are the public forums. For example, the company has a RAID calculator that allows you to select what drives you want to use in a NAS device, what protection level you want (SHR, RAID-6, etc), and the tool tells you how much usable space, wasted space, and protected space your array will have.

      Plex Configuration and Utilization
      Sure, you could just use your Synology NAS as centralized storage, but then you'd be missing out on a lot of other features that it has. We've looked at some of them in the past, such as using it to store video from your security cameras with the Synology Surveillance Station application. We've also explored office tools as well as photo management with Office and Moments, and backup capabilities with Hyper Backup and the C2 cloud platform. Today we'll dig into the ever popular media management tool, Plex.

      You can download Plex from the Package Manager within Synology, but I found that the version there was a little behind the most recent. In most cases, this is probably fine, but for my testing, I went to the Plex website and downloaded the Synology package directly from the source. It's important to note that although I ran my tests on Synology, I suspect you'll see similar results from any similar NAS device, and that Plex has pre-made packages for all of the major NAS players like QNAP, Thecus, and TerraMaster.



      After installing the package, either through Package Manager or manually, you can connect to your new Plex server. Doing so opens up a new web browser (or tab) connecting to (the default set) port 32400, and you're greeted with an introduction page, then asked to create or login to your account.



      The first issue I ran into, and it appears to be a common piece of confusion because there were many articles about it online, was "where do I go to upload video files to Plex?" I was able to see a volume labeled Plex within the control panel, but couldn't find any shared folders to be able to mount on my Windows host so that I could copy files across. It turns out that, by default, nobody has access to view the volume. So make sure you go in and edit the shared folder permissions to open up permissions to the proper users.

      Plex organizes media by what they call "Libraries." Each library can have different permissions, and you can have any number of libraries that you want. A common configuration is to have one for movies, one for TV shows, and one for home videos. Plex also supports music and pictures, but I didn't try either of those this time around as I really like Synology's own Moments and don't need the ability to stream music.



      Each library can have different agents applied to them, a setup that determines where on the Internet to look for things like trailers, descriptions, photos, and the like. A movie library might look for details at IMDB, while a TV library might look at TheTVDB instead.



      Each library has a specific naming convention, and that process can be a little confusing. To start with, all media should be put in a folder with the name of the video followed by the year in parenthesis. From there, you have a few different options. Movies support the following different types of special features: behind the scenes, deleted scenes, featurettes, interviews, scenes, shorts, and trailers. You can either put these special features in the same folder as the main movie and append the feature type to the filename, or you can create subdirectories for each type of feature and drop named files in there. In either case, you have to name them yourself.



      TV shows are even pickier in their naming requirements. Each season of a show has to be placed in its own folder, and follow the naming standard, "[Series Name] - s##e## - [Episode Name]" where s## is the season number and e## is the episode number. Things get more confusing when it comes to special features for a season, and there's some disagreement online about how they should be named. Some people suggest putting all special features in a folder named "Season 00" whereas others suggest starting the labeling at episode 101 for the season. I tried both, and preferred the latter because it helped group the features with the season. Sadly, the display only shows "Episode 101" instead of the filename, so you have to look at that manually.

      Aside from the naming process, the fact that Plex automatically pulls pictures, descriptions, ratings, and more from the Internet, giving you your own Netflix-like experience, is pretty cool.



      While sharing media within your own house is great, Plex takes it one step further and allows you to stream the same media outside your house, as well as with friends and family. By default, video quality shared outside the home was set to be fairly low. When streaming a Blu-ray movie to an external device, the quality was acceptable but looked to be more like DVD-quality. You're able to modify the quality for both external and internal streams, and once I changed the setting to allow up to 10 Mbps to the Internet, both the picture and audio quality were great, even on a projector.

      There are clients for practically any platform you want to connect to the Plex server, from PC to Android to Xbox One and everything in between. Most clients are free, with the exception of Android, iOS, Windows, and even Windows Phone. Although you can provide a PIN number to secure your Plex account when streaming from a device, when doing so on a console, everyone in the room can see what you're typing. It'd be nice if Plex adopted the same method for inputting the code as the Xbox does: mapping each number to a controller button.

      Finally, Plex also offers a paid version of the service. Dubbed "Plex Pass," it gives you extra features such as automatically finding movie trailers and other extra features on the Internet, applying lyrics to music, and allowing you to record live TV. The cost is $4.99 per month, $39.99 per year, or $119.99 for a lifetime subscription, and it lets you use the mobile and Windows apps for free.

      There's plenty of other features I haven't even looked at available with Plex, and I may conduct a deep dive on the application in the future if our readers have an interest in it. Everything I attempted to run on the Synology DS1019+ ran great and the overall experience was smooth and flawless.

      Conclusion
      I've reviewed a lot of NAS devices over the years, but I was surprised at how much I loved the Synology DS1019+. First off, the performance really surprised me as it was, by far, the fastest device I've tested that didn't come with a 10GbE interface. That performance didn't stop at simple file transfers either, as I was able to easily stream three videos and copy files at the same time without any loss of performance. Combine that with the fact that DSM is not only rock solid, but also smooth as butter and easy to use gives Synology a winning combination.



      That said, I have a few minor issues. For the price, I would have preferred to see a metal case over the plastic one. Sure, it probably doesn't mean much, but the metal gives the device a more premium feel. I also much prefer the drive sleds with springs on other Synology models compared to the basic ones that come with the DS1019+. Finally, while five drive bays are great, for a device made for media, I would've liked to have seen six for a similar price, although you can always add an expansion unit if you need more drives.

      These are all extremely minor issues though, and have no impact on the day-to-day use of the NAS device. If you have the money and are looking for a top notch device to stream video as well as handle other chores in your house, you can't go wrong with the Synology DS1019+. If you don't have any need for a lot of video transcoding, you might opt for the 6-bay DS1618+ instead, which might not be able to stream as many Plex videos simultaneously, but is still a powerhouse in its own right.

    • By Fezmid
      Three big Synology announcements: MR2200ac mesh router, Active Backup, and 24/7 phone support
      by Christopher White





      Synology holds an annual event where they announce new products and services. Today, in New York City, the Synology 2019 event is underway and the company has made three big announcements.



      The first, and arguably most exciting, announcement is that Synology is releasing the MR2200ac, the company's first mesh router. Running the latest version of the OS, SRM 1.2, the MR2200ac can be run by itself, be used with the RT2600ac router (but apparently not the RT1900ac that we reviewed), or paired with other MR2200ac devices. The device has a Qualcomm IPQ4019 quad-core CPU, and tri-band Wi-Fi, but no word on how much RAM it has. The MR2200ac also has Google Safe Browsing and DNS/IP threat intelligence built in, meaning you can turn on (per connected device) filtering, blocking both questionable websites, as well as YouTube videos that may not be kid-friendly.

      The second announcement at the event is that all Synology NAS owners now have free access to the Active Backup suite of tools. This suite allows you to perform full backups of your Windows hosts, VMware virtual machines, and file servers, and gives you the ability to restore single files or entire computers. In addition to hosts, the suite also allows you to backup Office 365 and Google G Suite instances, giving administrators the ability to consolidate their data backups from both on-prem and the cloud onto Synology NAS devices.

      Finally, Synology also made an announcement that both home and business customers will have access to 24/7 phone support in North America.