When we talk about Synology, its consumer NAS enclosures usually come to mind. While hardware plays an important role in network storage, it is software that determines your experience. Synology’s DiskStation Manager (DSM) is among the most feature-packed NAS operating systems out there. After a major facelift last year, DSM 7.2 is the next big update, packed with features that users have been asking for for a long time. Here’s everything you need to know about DSM 7.2.
What’s new in Synology DSM 7.2 and other feature updates
With the upcoming DSM 7.2 update, Synology is adding a much requested feature – full volume encryption. This is a huge step forward from the current encryption at the shared folder level, allowing for complete protection of NAS data. With the new encryption scheme in place, there won’t be any file path limitation either, which is now a limitation if you have a lot of nested folders. Even with encryption applied to the entire volume, Synology promises a significant performance boost over what we have now.
In addition, the company is making a Google Drive alternative, Synology Drive, which is a more profitable option for those with large teams. Administrators will have the option to remotely wipe a hacked or stolen computer to avoid data theft. For end users, they will see faster file indexing when performing bulk transfers. The current implementation could take hours depending on the amount of data, but Synology claims the update will make things up to 10x faster. It’s an impressive claim, but we’ll need to do some testing on our part to see if that’s true.
Mac users will get a native Synology Active Backup app like those on Windows, allowing for an easy way to take full system backups to your NAS. Compared to Time Machine, Synology’s backup solution is more useful for administrators of large teams that handle multiple device backups remotely and manage everything from a central dashboard.
Another feature aimed at the enterprise is the addition of “write once,” “read a lot”—or WORM, for short—on DSM 7.2. It allows files to be shared with a lot of people while making the files tamper-proof to maintain the integrity of the data. Synology has additional options to allow companies to adjust retention settings to comply with local record-keeping ordinances.
Continuing Synology’s focus on data security in its 2023 outlook, Active Insight, the company’s health management tool, will soon be able to identify a ransomware attack and perform a set of automated actions so an administrator can manually intervene. Likewise, Hyper Backup will gain the ability to backup your entire NAS. This will come in handy when you have to restore the NAS and all its data to the original state after a multi-disk breach or failure.
That’s a lot of new features and upgrades coming to Synology’s NAS enclosures. Power users have been asking a lot about these utilities for a while, and they’ll finally get access to everything discussed here and more when DSM 7.2 is released sometime in the first quarter of 2023.
The new Synology lineup
Besides all the software changes, Synology also showed off the new DiskStation DS923+ at its event in New Delhi last week. The new model looks exactly the same as its predecessor, the uber-popular DS920+, but hosts plenty of changes on the inside. Most notably, it now comes with an AMD Ryzen 1600 processor and the massive new 32GB RAM upgrade option. It also has an expansion slot for upgrading the LAN port to a 10Gb connection, like what we saw recently on the DS1522+.
Of all that has changed in the DS923+, the processor selection stands out. While the Ryzen 1600 chip is quite capable, it lacks an integrated GPU, which makes it much worse at transcoding video on the fly than the DS920+, which is The NAS for a Plex server setup. Synology is clearly positioning its new mid-tier NAS for small businesses and teams while Plex streaming is largely a consuming affair.
To be clear, the DS923+ can still stream your movies and shows without a problem — unless the video files need to be pre-converted.
Synology is also foraying into the security camera market with two new offerings coming soon. These 500 Series 5MP cameras are designed to work with the Synology Surveillance Station and pack some smart features like the option to select activity zones. The best part is that you will not need to purchase additional licenses to use these cameras with your NAS.
In addition, the mid-range WRX560 Wi-Fi 6 router was also released. It runs the same software as the pricier RT6600ax.
While the new router is already available for purchase, the rest of these products are expected to be released sometime in the first half of 2023, along with all the major updates coming with DSM 7.2. Every Synology NAS over DSM 7.1 should be upgraded to the newer software when it comes out next year, which gives you even more reason to get a Synology NAS if you’re an Android user.
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