RAM Upgrade on a Synology ds920+

There are a lot of threads on unofficial RAM upgrades that work or don’t work on the Synology ds920+.

Just for context, the Synology ds920+ comes built in with 4GB RAM soldered in and has one expansion slot. The official maximum is 8GB, and Synology sells an official 4GB RAM stick (model: D4NESO-2666-4G) for this. However, there are many anecdotal reports that adding 8GB and 16GB RAM also work.

By running a handful of applications and Docker containers, I was maxing out the built in 4GB of RAM and spilling into swap space which slowed down the entire NAS to almost a standstill.

However, the NAS seems to be pretty finicky in what RAM it accepts or not. My first attempt was with a Kingston Fury Impact 8GB, but I could not get it stable. The system would lock up after a few minutes, if it booted up at all. I suspected that it was incompatible, although it is possible it was just the stick was bad.

Not wanting to spend more time, I went for Crucial CT16G4SFD8266 16GB upgrade. Crucial. This was recommended on other sites as well. Lo and behold, it worked the first time I put it in, and also the Synology DSM did not have any notifications that the RAM was unsupported.

So if you’re looking for an upgrade for your ds920+, go for the recommended Crucial ones, even if it’s slightly more expensive. It will save you time and headache.

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Handling power outages with an uninterruptible power supply and NUT

The main reason for having a UPS is to protect against data loss due to power outages whether it be unsaved work, or corruption due to the computer not having enough time to write things to disk. I only really started to take this seriously when I got my Synology networked attached storage (NAS) which holds all my data.

The UPS I chose is an APC model with 1300VA and a USB connection, which is powerful enough to power most of the critical equipment I have at home and to ensure they have enough time to shut down. One of the advantages of having an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) with a USB connection is that it is possible to smartly shut down any computers during a power outage.

My strategy is when the UPS goes on battery, I want the Windows PC and Linux server to shut down immediately (well after a 1 minute timeout). These are the heaviest load (roughly 100W each on idle) on the UPS and they aren’t running anything really important that I need during a power outage; they just need to shutdown cleanly. The Synology NAS is a lighter load so I don’t mind keeping that one on and only shut it down when the UPS battery is low. Keeping the cable modem and wireless router allows me to continue to have network access which is critical for NUT to work, but also for general productivity in case of a prolonged failure). I’ve found in past outages that the cable equipment in my apartment building has some sort of separate or backup power source as well so generally the internet can continue to work. With just the cable modem, router and Synology the power draw is about 50W. I can manually shut down the NAS if I want to prolong the network even further.

What’s this NUT you keep talking about?

NUT stands for Network UPS Tools which are a set of utilities that are cross platform and cross manufacturer that monitors and responds to changes in UPS statuses. As we will see in the following sections, Synology NAS already has built in support for NUT, and NUT tools can be installed on Windows and Linux.

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Upgrading memory on a Synology ds415+

I’ve had my Synology Diskstation ds415+ network attached storage device since late 2015, replacing my custom FreeNAS box. It came with 2GB of RAM, which is fine for basic file serving, but limited when running multiple applications, including Docker containers. Once applications start swapping onto the hard disks, everything starts grinding to a halt. I finally reached the breaking point on this last night when I had to reboot the NAS once more.

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Overriding Routing for VPNs on macOS

I have a Virtual Private Network (VPN) setup so that I can connect to my home network and use things such as my Synology file server when I’m not at home. This works most of the time when the IP address network of the local (e.g., Wi-Fi hotspot, etc.) doesn’t conflict with my home’s IP address network (10.x.y.0/24). However, I have come across some Wi-Fi hotspots which use a subnet of The default route through the hotspot network is then used when I try to access my home resources, instead of going through the VPN.

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Synology Hyper Backup Options and Pricing

The Synology Hyper Backup app allows owners of Synology NAS devices to easily set up backups to various cloud services.  However, one thing that isn’t shown in the app is the pricing of each service.  So here’s a pricing comparison (prices as of Aug 4, 2018).
  • Synology C2
    • Location: Frankfurt, Germany
    • 100 GB = €9.99/year (approx. USD $0.0100/GB/month)
    • 300 GB = €24.99/year (approx. USD $0.0081/GB/month)
    • 1 TB = €59.99/year (approx. USD $0.0058/GB/month)
    • 1+ TB = €69.99/TB/year (approx. USD $0.0068/GB/month)
  • Amazon S3
    • Location: Many, using U.S. (N. Virginia) to compare
    • Pricing: Complicated – only comparing standard S3 storage costs here
    • USD $0.023/GB/month (first 50TB)
  • Amazon Glacier – not supported in Hyper Backup, but there is a Glacier-specific app that can do this
    • Location: Many, using U.S. (N. Virginia) to compare
    • Pricing: Complicated – only comparing storage costs here
    • USD $0.0040/GB/month
  • Microsoft Azure
    • Location: Many, using US West 2 to compare
    • Pricing: Complicated – only comparing storage costs here
    • USD $0.0184/GB/month (first 50TB)
  • IBM (SoftLayer) Cloud
    • Location: Many, using US – East to compare
    • Pricing: Complicated – only comparing storage costs here
    • USD $0.0220/GB/month (first 500TB)
  • Rackspace
    • Didn’t have time to figure this out, but looked more expensive than the other options.
  • Amazon Drive
    • 100 GB = USD $11.99/year (approx. USD $0.0100/GB/month)
    • 1 TB = USD $59.99/year (approx. USD $0.0050/GB/month)
  • Dropbox
    • 1 TB = USD $99/year (approx. USD $0.0083/GB/month)
    • 2 TB = USD $199/year (approx. USD $0.0083/GB/month)
  • Google Drive
    • 100 GB = USD $19.99/year (approx. USD $0.0167GB/month)
    • 1 TB = USD $99.99/year (approx. USD $0.0083/GB/month)
  • hubiC
    • Location: Gravelines, France
    • 100 GB = €10/year (approx. USD $0.0097/GB/month)
    • 10 TB = €50/year (approx. USD $0.0005/GB/month)
  • HiDrive
    • Location: Germany
    • 100 GB = €5.80/month (approx. USD $0.0672/GB/month)
    • 500 GB = €12.52/month (approx. USD $0.029/GB/month)
  • SFR NAS backup
    • French website, didn’t translate to find out
  • HiCloud S3
    • Location: Taiwan
    • Pricing: Complicated – only comparing storage costs here
    • TWD $0.75/GB/month (approx. USD $0.025/GB/month)
  • Backblaze B2
    • Not supported by Hyper Backup, but can “sync” through Cloud Sync
    • USD $0.005/GB/month