Synology DSM 7 is RELEASED! 5 Reasons You Should Upgrade Your NAS

Synology DSM 7.0 Now Available – 7 Reasons to Upgrade from DSM 6.2

As many of you might well have heard, after several long years of waiting, Synology DSM 7.0 (the NAS software, GUI and storage services platform from the brand) has finally been officially released. It’s been a long road and one that I have been following on and off for almost 3 years since its initial reveal, with DSM 6.2 receiving several key updates in the meantime and many users are pondering whether to upgrade their existing Synology NAS server to the latest version. Synology will continue to maintain DSM 6.2 (as some systems are not able to use DSM 7 yet), though obviously, this will decrease over time as DSM 7.0 becomes the Synology’s focus. so, today I wanted to discuss 5 reasons why you should upgrade to DSM 7.0 on your Synology NAS today. If you are still on the fence about it, worried about how some applications or services will deal with the migration, below is the latest videos and articles on DSM7 from NAS Compares that will convince you whether to proceed or play it safe.


Recommended DSM 7.0 Articles:

The Synology DSM 7.0 FULL REVIEW – https://nascompares.com/synology-dsm-7-0-full-review/

How Well Does DSM 7.0 Run on Different Synology NAS – https://nascompares.com/2021/06/18/synology-dsm-7-0-how-well-does-it-run

Synology 2021 – Focus on DSM 7.0 – https://nascompares.com/2020/12/07/synology-2021-focus-on-dsm-7

DSM 7.0 Early Impressions – https://nascompares.com/2020/12/17/synology-dsm-7-0-beta-early-impressions


 

Synology DSM 7.0 – The Responsiveness and Fast Login Speed

Synology DSM and their NAS platform, in general, has always been praised for its responsiveness. Whether accessing your NAS through a web browser, mobile application or general network device, DSM has always managed to give you a tremendously confident sense of ‘local’ when accessing the system GUI. It can be all too easy to forget that when you are interacting with a Synology NAS and DSM through the web browser, that you are not accessing anything connected directly – it is all being conducted via the network, local WiFi or Remotely via the Internet. Synology DSM 7 was always very responsive and (unless you are connecting on a weaker network or using a particularly weak system heavily) it only ever seems to have the slightly larger latency than the PC I would be using to access it on. However, DSM 7 has really managed to find some extra hears in there and one of the first things you will notice when you make the upgrade to DSM 7 on your NAS is that the system is even more responsive.

As mentioned, DSM 6.2 was no slouch, but DSM 7 manages to tweak a number of back end settings and responsive input points (such as the login screen verification, sub/context menus when in use, moving between multiple windows) to make general navigation significantly higher in feedback/reaction. Although this is clearly at its most noticeable when you first log into the system (and this was featured at its initial preview back in 2018), it is a speed of access that persists pretty consistently and only really starts to dip when the system is under particular stress. Also, DSM 7 has a recommended memory minimum of 1GB, however, it can still be downloaded officially from Synology for systems like the DS115j and DS220J that feature 256MB and 512MB respectively – with comparable performance still maintained. So, although it feels less important than the rest of the reasons here, a good reason to upgrade to DSM 7 is to enjoy a much more responsive and reactive Synology NAS GUI!

Synology DSM 7.0 – Much Clearer and Intuative Storage Manager

For many users, the intimidation of managing their storage system on day 1 or day 1000 never really goes away. As robust as a Synology NAS system might appear, the fragility of your storage, once it is displayed as ‘all your data spread across many hard drives’, can be rather disconcerting – especially when your data is mission-critical! Over the years, many brands have gone one of two ways about their storage management GUI – either they have gone SUPER technical, in order to make sure the end-user has all (too much?) information at their fingertips. Otherwise, many brands and their software (including Synology DSM 6.2) provide a more generalized display of the information of their storage architecture. This will include largely text-based displays, but presented as tabs and blocks of information that relate to individual disks, storage pools and volumes (with context menus for maintenance). Synology DSM 6.2 has always had a little bit of an identity crisis when it comes to the storage manager and this si something that DSM7 has resolved by providing a much better selection of graphical representations of the NAS, Drives, SSDs and makes the whole display about 10x more intuitive to the data storage novice.

This way of displaying storage information more graphically is something that Synology had already begin to integrate with the SSD caching bays, displaying how the cache was being utilized, displaying hit rates and utilization – but in a much more visually understandable form and it is good that this has been implemented across the system in a much broader way. If you have been using your NAS for a few years already, then chances are that the benefits of this newly designed storage manager will be a little lost on you, but for those setting up a brand new Synology NAS or are still a little green on the subject of RAID, storage pools and volumes – it will be massively useful.

Synology DSM 7.0 – Improved Cloud Connectivity and Storage Mounting

There was a time when users would have to make a choice between NAS or cloud services (such as Google Drive and Dropbox) for where their data would live, with one inevitably being more suitable than the other. However, in more recent times, the benefits of having BOTH in place has been heavily emphasised, with the ease of access globally of a cloud combined with a centralized local server to ensure constant connectivity and security where it matters most. Although cloud connectivity existed in Synology DSM 6.2, it has to be noted that it has been substantially improved in DSM 7.0. A great deal of these improvements are focused on the use of Synology’s C2 platform, as well as how this storage appears to a local NAS user.

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One that we already knew about but is nice to see a move from beta to full release is the Hybrid Share application. Hybrid Share, which combines C2 storage flexibility and synchronization capabilities with on-premises bare metal (NAS) solutions, and C2 Identity, a hybrid cloud directory as a service to simplify cross-site domain management. Together with platform improvements such as supporting up to 1 Petabyte volumes for super-large tasks, DSM 7.0 also introduces security improvements in the form of Secure SignIn. A 2 step verification tool similar to Google Authenticator, but dedicated to Synology NAS solutions. Other new additions to the C2 cloud platform (that can be used within DSM 7.0) are C2 Password, C2 Transfer, and C2 Backup are standalone solutions that address modern needs to protect passwords, share sensitive files, and back up any endpoints and common SaaS cloud services – which were already well supported in DSM 6.2 in Active Backup 365/Google Workspace.

Although a few of these features are still accessible in DSM 6.2, the full complement of services is only available on DSM 7.0 and rolling out one by one between now and mid-July. So, if you already factor Synology C2 into your storage setup, you will be improving the access and security of your storage environment by upgrading. Though do remember that at the time of writing, several of the enterprise-grade XS, SA and FS systems are still awaiting the DSM 7.0 upgrade choice, so you may be forced to wait.

Synology DSM 7.0 – Much, MUCH Better RAID 6 Handling & Fast Repair

Anyone that has ever lost data from a NAS will have learnt two very important things, 1 – RAID is not the same as a Backup and 2 – Sometimes 1 disk of failure protection is not enough! Synology has always provided RAID 6 support to any NAS system with more than 4 Bays (even the more modest J series), but even if you are prepared to overlook the capacity drop of switching from RAID 5 to RAID 6, there is the added negative of the performance drop that you can endure. RAID 6 requires the system to create double parity architecture in the configuration/storage pool, which can result in the CPU having to work a little harder to write data, reducing the performance AND increasing resource use. Likewise in the event of a single drive (or even two) drives failing, this results in much slower system performance as the RAID configuration need rebuilding with new drive media. Synology DSM 7.0 however not only provides a much more rapid RAID rebuild system but also promises vast improvements on performance on a RAID 6 during its degraded state whilst you await rebuilding too!

Although the improvements to degraded RAID performance are good (especially appealing to integral business data users), the faster rebuild option is a much more universally appealing addition in DSM 7 to considering upgrading now. Unlike normal RAID rebuilding in DSM 6.2 (which incidentally also can have its priority scaled up as needed to marginally increase build time) which rebuilds the data block by block, regardless of whether there is data in that area of the array, the new Synology Fast Repair will only need to rebuild the areas of the storage pool where the data actually resided. So if you have a 4 Disk RAID, that is only 20% full/used, the fast repair option will only need to build that area and not the empty area of space. Although no one likes to dwell too much on RAID failure and it’s an odd reason to consider upgrading from DSM 6.2 to DSM 7.0, it’s still a very interesting feature that will significantly reduce the lesser performance associated with RAID rebuilding.

Synology DSM 7.0 – It is Much More Secure

Although I have already partially touched on this, Synology has really ramped up the security settings and default parameters of DSM 7.0 noticeable. That is not to say that DSM 6.2 isn’t safe but given the increased cloud connectivity and improvements in control that is present in DSM 7 (as well as the improvements made with their C2 platform), you definitely get the feeling that the ways and means of accessing your system have been tightened considerably. These include:

  • Enhanced the password policy. Passwords must exclude username and description, include both upper-case and lower-case letters as well as numerical digits. The minimum password length is eight characters.
  • Added the ability to delegate predefined administrator roles to non-administrator user accounts and allow them to manage certain services and system settings, offering more flexible permission management.
  • Added the ability to require imported users to change their passwords after their initial DSM logins.
  • Enhanced LDAP client authentication performance by reducing the number of queries sent with a caching mechanism.
  • DSM 7.0 also introduces security improvements in the form of Secure SignIn. This brand-new authentication system makes two-factor effortless and straightforward to use (FAST FORWARD IN THE VIDEO BELOW TO 01:40)

  • The following services and packages now support UPN logins: Synology Assistant, Hyper Backup, Synology Mail Server, Synology Calendar, and Shared Folder Sync.
  • Enhanced domain database synchronization performance by syncing only altered data.
  • Added the ability to block USB and console ports.
  • Enhanced QuickConnect connection process to strengthen security.
  • Provides only TLS 1.3 support for the Modern Compatibility option for TLS/SSL profile level.
  • Added the ability to set 2-factor authentication is mandatory for specific users or groups.

So, as you can see, it’s a good combination of making existing working practices with your NAS much stronger AND introducing more system security defaults. With an increased concern in 2021 about ransomware and intrusions on public/private clouds becoming ever more lucrative to hackers – this impressive pile of security improvements on your NAS might tip you over the edge from DSM 6.2 to DSM 7.0

BONUS Reason to Upgrade – DSM 7.0 is Widely Supported!

Although this one doesn’t really count, I DO think it is worth highlighting. Namey that the support of DSM 7.0 as an upgrade from DSM 6.2 is very, VERY widely available. It came as no surprise that it would be supported on Plus series devices, such as the DS918+, DS218+ or DS1821+. However, the fact that much, MUCH older J series devices (with 32bit ARM processors and 256MB memory are also eligible for the upgrade is massively impressive! Below is the current range of Synolgoy NAS that can now be upgraded to the fully released DSM 7.0 official upgrade:

21-series: RS2821RP+, RS2421RP+, RS2421+, RS1221RP+, RS1221+, DS1821+, and DS1621+.
20-series: RS820RP+, RS820+, DS1520+, DS920+, DS720+, DS620slim, DS420+, DS420j, DS220+, DS220j, and DS120j.
19-series: RS1219+, RS819, DS2419+II, DS2419+, DS1819+, DS1019+, DS419slim, and DS119j.
18-series: RS2818RP+, RS2418RP+, RS2418+, RS818RP+, RS818+, DS1618+, DS918+, DS718+, DS418, DS418play, DS418j, DS218+, DS218, DS218play, DS218j, and DS118.
17-series: RS217, DS1817+, DS1817, DS1517+, and DS1517.
16-series: RS2416RP+, RS2416+, RS816, DS916+, DS716+II, DS716+, DS416, DS416play, DS416slim, DS416j, DS216+II, DS216+, DS216, DS216play, DS216j, DS216se, and DS116.
15-series: RS815RP+, RS815+, RS815, DS2415+, DS1815+, DS1515+, DS1515, DS715, DS415+, DS415play, DS215+, DS215j, DS115, and DS115j.
14-series: RS2414RP+, RS2414+, RS814RP+, RS814+, RS814, RS214, DS414, DS414slim, DS414j, DS214+, DS214, DS214play, DS214se, and DS114.
13-series: DS2413+, DS1813+, DS1513+, DS713+, and DS213j.

As mentioned earlier, a lot of the enterprise-level hardware will have DSM 7.0 upgrades rolled out in Q3/Q4 of 2021, but if you are curious about upgrading your 2020/2021 Series PLUS NAS to DSM 7.0, below are four videos showing how the DS220+, DS920+, DS220j, DS1821+ and DS1621+ handle DSM 7.0:

 

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    144 thoughts on “Synology DSM 7 is RELEASED! 5 Reasons You Should Upgrade Your NAS

    1. Synology Photos is just a shit show. I’m so used Photo Station, have so many photos well sorted with custom access rights management, I’m just too afraid that this is gonna break and I’m loosing functionality. It’s the major application I use my NAS for. I don’t mind the other changes, but just for this I’m not gonna update untill they force me.
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    2. For music that you could play, No Copyright Sound (or is it Songs?) or NCS shouldn’t give you any trouble with YouTube. Along the same lines, The Blender foundation or someone releases “movies” under similar license terms. Big Buck Bunny is a pretty good example of that.
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    3. I am thinking about getting a DS220+ for a dedicated home security system. I would have 3-4 4K cameras. I would upgrade the memory to 6 GB since I have a spare 4 GB. Would the DS220+ be sufficient for this task? I already have a DS-918+ for other NAS tasks.
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    4. I’m about to buy my first NAS, this very one, ds220+, not even for myself, it’s actually for my dad and man!… Amazon feedbacks are exilarating! The amount of people putting you off buying because of their shitty 1 to 2 stars conplains about noise, can’t navigate the OS, or straight out malfunction from factory is enormous for a product and brand that I’m convinced it’s really good. One thing though, a customer did complain about his unit becomming unusable after DSM 7 upgrade and since those 2 gigs of RAM sound really tiny for 2021 I did worry for a moment there and many are complaining also about Synology support being slow and useless. Can anyone confirm?
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    5. Now you know you are Da Man! Hands down your info is Jake.
      That said. SAID…. If I hear “BEATER” one more time I’m gonna find a bridge and Jump.
      Beta. Bay-Ta. Beta. It’s a pretty simple word. Nowhere near as complicated as Al-lou-min-yum.
      I’ll give y’all a hall pass on that one. Beater. No way! Say it with me cuz it’s gonna be hard for you to break.
      Bay-Ta
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    6. So I am really confused here. I use my 220j almost entirely for streaming videos. If that is the only thing it is doing is DSM 7.0 a mistake or not? Experiences SEEM to go both ways but no opinions from people that have updated to 7.0 are straight in whether it is ok.
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    7. I tried to install audio station and all it did is block my web site on my web station and blocked all port based hosts..web portal issues. Plex is terrible, does not support all formats, often audio tracks are not supported, if you want multiple users you have to pay. It best to just have file shares, and VLC playlist and stream via website as at least it works properly, no fees or licensing issues but you have to design the web portal yourself, not easy.
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    8. They made the text smaller moved things around to make you have to relearn where things are and removed support for some usb devices and disabled a number of other services by default, plex, video station are useless as they do not support some .mkv dolby audio on movies as it a licensing issue, the traffic bandwidth limiter does not work at all. Synology support confirmed there are terrible bugs! even removes ext3 support…My experiences is, but to bugs is if you upgrade its possible that all you’re data and raid volumes will just disappear, and you will need to re upload all you media again on new volumes, so its best to do a full back up first.
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    9. Guys, can someone confirm if it’s gonna work without issues if I switch to that 7.0?
      I have a working previous version but I keep getting spam from Synology pushing me to upgrade. I really don’t use it for anything but for nightly backups from my PCs, so I don’t want to click upgrade and then spend half a day fixing issues in my NAS.
      Also can someone tell me why do I need to upgrade? Aside from stopping the spam emails.
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    10. I think I’ll just keep an eye out for security vulnerabilities in 6.2 because that’s probably the only thing that will push me me to upgrade to DSM 7. It’s working fine as it is with 3.2 and I don’t need another headache. If the device was relatively new with none or barely any data then sure, I would upgrade. The loss of some USB dongles/devices compatibility and lack of ext3 support isn’t very encouraging either.
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    11. I upgraded to DSM 7 today, and my LAN upload speed from my PC to my DS916+ via a direct cat 7 Ethernet cable has dropped by between 50% and 90%: and I can’t roll back to DSM 6.

      And migrating Plex hasn’t been smooth sailing – but I admit a lot of that may be down to me.
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    12. interesting. i always thought NAS devices would have it standalone application to connect via encryption and login password with login device identification. And pre-registration of devices to access the NAS device. Too bad then such are just as vulnerable as all servers and routers that need web browsers to connect and install. Even if the NAS itself does not have security holes, they can always access the data via the web “history” of the browser, which they always keep at the seat of the browser we use! As matadata. I would like to see us return to the point where we can trust systems to be made for the safety of the individual and not for the safety and existence of the company.
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    13. I did the switch on my DS420+ a minute ago. Have 6GB RAM, it was 6% use before, went to 8% after the upgrade so no big deal. The system seems a lot more responsive in everything you do and of course the UI is more modern. Everything is more neat and easier to use.
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    14. I have a DS1821+ with a simple setup, o365 backup and VMM. I had my 4 1gbe ports in LACP and also had a 10gbe card installed. After upgrade my unit would not boot. I had to reset the admin password and network settings before I was able to get back into the unit. If anyone else has the same issue.
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    15. I like 7.0. I like all of the changes. I have zero regrets. I use my NAS mostly for backups and music/video playback over my network. I use Emby. I’m sure the photo problem some have will be resolved. I use advanced programs on my PC and the Cloud for photos. Photos on my NAS are for there for safety backup only. Overall, for me, 7 is easily better than 6.2. Your mileage may vary.
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    16. In my many years, there is normally very very little reason to upgrade early.

      If there is a specific feature, fair enough. In my case wsl2 for docker on Windows.

      How ever, being first is a mugs game.

      Let’s see what comes down the path with 7.1.
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    17. I just use my 720+ for Plex and Photo storage. Migrating hundreds of movies to a new OS that doesn’t do a good job.
      I only use my own folders such as Majorca 2013 so use of tags, face recognition and the software deciding what folders it puts them is of zero interest to me

      So I see no value in the grief of updating to 7.0
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    18. Upgraded yesterday a bit of fun and games with Plex but managed to sort it. Had to use Docker ( not for Plex that’s using the new app), instead of native third party apps which was biit of issue as I didn’t understand docker but other than that all ok. Onwards and upward now DSM 6.x was getting very long in the tooth
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    19. I am a serious amateur photographer and have been using Synology for years
      Just migrated from 220+ to 1621+
      and therefore… were forced to an upgrade from DSM 6.2 to 7
      Imo, the previous PhotoStation was much better and I dont like the idea of mixing the mobile photos of Moments with the camera photos of PhotoStation at all …
      and there is no choice for us to switch back ……
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    20. Thanks for the update – one obvious question is there a good WINDOWS application that manages photos ?
      My NAS are just used for data storage and backups . . . they are great . . . recently rebuilt whole system with 6.2
      The disadvantage with upgrading to DSM 7 — where people use many applications — is the *big bang* change
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    21. You are able to change the menu style in almost same place as in 6.2
      You change it in Personal menu (to find the menu go to the “desktop” klik on the 3rd icon from the rigth in the top rigth)
      in 6.2 it is under the tap ‘Desktop’ > ‘Main menu style’.
      in 7.0 it is under the tap ‘Display Preferences’ > ‘Desktop’ > ‘Main menu style’.
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    22. No one talks about the fact that facial recognition is removed on those J devices.
      It was there on moments.
      Synology photos is not such a big upgrade compared to moments.

      I have seen many reviews but no one seems to mention facial recognition
      WHY?
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    23. I’ve been waiting for this video!
      Do you know if DSM 7 affects the transfer speed over the 10G network? I now on the old DSM get up to 8.9 Gbs and was wondering if the new DSM would speed it up any?
      Also if adding additional drives is any faster? For example going from 6 to 8 drives, will it take days again or hours as promised in their marketing videos?
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    24. Please help me: Tried loading DSM 7 on my DS920+ currently on ver. DSM 6.2 to just test use it on VMM. While trying to load the correct file: “DSM_DS920+_41890.pat” I got this error message: An error occurred while creating the (DSM) image. [DS920Plus – VM storage 1] The installation file is incompatible (?!) Please make sure you have selected the correct file to upload.
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    25. Your my main YouTuber I watch about Synology NAS. I am new to using them. I have purchased a DS918+ upgrade to 8gb of ram and two 512gb of NVMe Samsung evo in read only cashe. I also have 4 iron wolf 10tb drives. I mainly use this as a Plex server. Would upgrading to DSM 7.0 be a good idea with this device? Just looking for some pro advice. Thanks.
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    26. I know its an odd idea, but it would be interesting to see how DSM7 would run comparing the DS920+ only against the DS918+, or other comparable NAS of the same spot on the ladder, but of different versions, showing the hardware differences and how DSM7 does between them.
      Is there a difference because of the processor or other hardware differences?
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    27. Thank you for your video about this NAS. im for sure go upgrade it to DSM7 i need only to find a way to backup all.. im not sure if i can just upgrade and it will leave just all my Data on the HHD’s 🙂 Thanks again.. great video !!
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    28. I don’t like that they eliminated support for usb devices in 7.0.. it’s bad enough that they don’t support 10gb networking directly in 920 but now they don’t support it via usb either even with third party drivers… on this alone I won’t be going to 7.0. Kinda a shame
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    29. I gave up on Synology NAS, so I bought a Dell R720 and made that into a NAS BOX. Granted mines Twice the price of synology, but I have 16 cores, 32 treads @3.3Ghz, 192GB of 1866 Ram and 32Tb of storage with dual (redundant) power supplies.
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    30. @NASCompares Thank you for these videos. I find them really helpful. I was wondering if your filesystem was formatted with ext4 or BTRFS. With the DS220+ model is there a major difference between filesystem performance in Surveillence Station on DSM7?
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    31. After deciding not to build a TrueNAS in an old computer case, I have been following to try to id my preferred solution. My DS 920+ is scheduled to arrive tomorrow and this video is extremely timely for me.
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    32. For a moment, I thought the DS220+ was performing better than the DS920+
      I have the DS920+ and waiting before to upgrade, but seeing this video, I’m wondering if I should not upgrade also the RAM.
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    33. please tell me the fastest way to get a photo library (Apple imac) of about 540gigs over to my ds2020j from a usb drive. tried photo station but has a limit of 1000 photos at at time, the ds2020j doesn’t have a copy button,
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    34. I finally bought a NAS (a DS220+ even!) and this will actually be my first one. Been watching some of your videos while I wait for Amazon to get the unit here (of course the drives will be here tomorrow). So it sounds like DSM 7 would be stable enough to throw on the unit tight out of the gate, then?
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    35. If I use my station only as a mapped network drive. Should I just keep older DSM? I’m concerned only about security.
      I’m on DS220J

      P.S. Thanks to you I’m working now with Synology equipment and it is so easy to use. Great help from you.
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    36. I migrated from google photos to synology photos. I experience the problem that some pictures don’t have the correct meta data. It takes the files from the upload time to synology. I made albums in google photo like year 2018 and downloaded it like that. Consequently, there were no separate json files. Can you help?
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