Review: Synology DS718+ Diskstation

I use Linux on my home computers – desktop, two laptops, DVR – with one Windows box I turn on to run Quicken and Turbotax and such.

NAS systems for home keep getting cheaper and cheaper; I recently bought a Zyxel unit with 2 2TB disks running Raid 1 for just over $150 altogether. This is less than I spent for my previous, one-drive 1TB NAS device.

The flavor of Linux that these boxes run can usually be enhanced with something like optware/entware, but even with extra apps there can be issues with backing up from one company’s NAS to another company’s NAS, which makes having redundant systems at home difficult unless you buy all your systems from the same company at the same time.

This is definitely a concern, especially with apps that interact with the cloud. My solution is to not run any such apps, and to use my router to keep any NAS ports closed to the outside network. I don’t think that would stop a determined, knowledgeable hacker from breaking into my home system.

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There is no such thing as only backup. 3-2-1 or nothing. 3 copies, 2 types of media, 1 offsite. A NAS will serve very well as one of your 3 copies, and it can easily back that up offsite. Beats the hell out of shipping hard drives somewhere.

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Would require some tinkering. First thought that jumps to mind is a couple of strategic holes in the back can feed in a chiller loop. Be careful of condensation!

But if you drill holes it basically ceases to be fireproof. Best case scenario it keeps your server from melting only to let water from the fire hose in.

Of course. Last I knew, though, there are already holes in this particular safe…

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A couple of links you might find useful for your Synology:

Most of the community pacakges are focused on either download tools, or cli stuff. My ancient 2xx NAS can’t run a lot of it well enough to use regularly, but yours is new and fast, so you’re likely good.


I realize that this is a simple turnkey solution and that is something that is very valuable to many people. However, for those that don’t mind getting their hands dirty, you can pick up a killer used enterprise server off ebay for this price with wayyyyy better specs and much more room for expansion.

And then spend hundreds of dollars a year keeping it powered 24/7.


I learned the (extremely rudimentary) basics of Unix after installing FreeBSD on my PowerBook G4. I only gained a little bit of practical knowledge (I now fire up Terminal for simple stuff made even simpler through CL). My biggest gain was an expanded framework of reference for understanding intermediate user-end computer concepts (and several Unix and scripting-related jokes).

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This unit has a 65W PSU. If we assume it’s running full bore 24/7 (it won’t be, but that’s ok), it’ll cost about $70/yr. You have an old, energy inefficient fridge? It’s costing you more than this thing.

Hey dummy… a eSATA port is not a HDMI port.
Did you actually test this product? If so, you might have noticed that your HDMI cable won’t fit in the back of this…

Welcome to boingboing!


I have a 2tb WD MyCloud I bought a while ago. It’s sitting doing nothing primarily because it’s noisy, but also because it’s clunky. Large transfers were a pain, and the lack of a standard USB port for simple direct connection was a frustration. I didn’t research it properly, basically. I’m hoping to repurpose it as a media server (I believe it can run Plex without any tinkering), but I need to be able to stick it somewhere where the connection is good and the noise is muffled. I might well end up just tearing it apart and sticking the drive in a caddy.

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The Synology NAS devices are good VPN endpoints. Grab an SSL cert (or use a self-signed) and setup an OpenVPN server. Open one port on your router for access to your network.

I have a few Synology NASs, one off site and replicate important data using standard shared folder sync.

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I’m running OpenVPN on my router, which isn’t quite as powerful as the DS718 but so far can handle the traffic without measurable slowdowns in throughput.

How is your NAS to NAS throughput? I can get 20MBs using ftp from my ancient Linkstation to my newest NAS, but when I use rsync that drops to under 4MBs even if I use blowfish or arcfour encryption for the ssh tunnel. I assume the cpu on the older machine is my bottleneck, do these more expensive/faster cpu Synology get closer to decent speed?

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My home internet upload is the limiting factor. I prepopulated the remote system using ext HDD to transfer so it is only deltas now.

Sync tasks run weekly between two local NASs which max out Gbit and the one remote one.

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I used Unix and Linux at work until about 2 1/2 years ago; my daily experience testing video servers and support equipment. There are some things where Window is slicker, but unless I’m running a few certain packages I stick with Fedora. I really resent having to update and run Norton, and still feel like clicking the wrong link could lure a virus that messes things up. (My older laptop started as Windows Vista; after a rootkit got at it I installed Fedora.)

Although I do not have any affection for any computer OS, I prefer to use linux because for my purposes it’s both more powerful and less expensive than anything else.

I only wear suspenders very occasionally for supporting leg armor or a heavy tool rig.

Thermally couple hot components to the shell and cool the outside with big extruded aluminum or copper heat fins?

Never underestimate ability to make a connector “fit”.

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