Synology SRM 1.3 Software Review Part 4 – The Safe Access Application

 

Synology Router Manager 1.3 Review Chapters

SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, ALL Parts - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 1, Design & Control - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 2, Safety & Security - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 3, Network Management - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 5, USB Storage Services & Conclusion - HERE 

Synology SRM 1.3 Review – Safe Access

Synology has featured ‘Safe Access’ in SRM pretty much since the beginning. It takes the basic logic that most routers have of being able to ‘see’ devices that are connected to the network and change how, what, where and when they can access ANYTHING. I know that sounds a bit ‘control freak’, but this is more commonly referred to as Parental Controls in more basic routers. However, ‘Safe Access’ is so far ahead of this in terms of its design, control and deployment that what you actually have here is something hugely suited for home and business that most routers barely come close to (with some companies such as TP-Link and Linksys charging monthly subscription fees for on top of the router purchase). At its core, Safe Access allows you to create profiles of users (so, your family or professional employees for example), band their connected devices under that profile, and then allow you to create custom levels of access to everything (internet or network) that suits their role/maturity. This logic can also be applied to creating profiles that suit network hardware (NAS, Switches, IP Cameras, etc) which can be duplicated and/or amended as needed.

Once a profile is created (and even during the process) you can ensure that the user/hardware it is intended for will only be able to access specific networks/SSIDs on the hardware that is connected with their profile. As new devices appear on the device history page, these can be assigned to the existing profiles or you can start a new profile up at any time.

Once a range of profiles for the devices and people in your router network, Safe Access allows you to monitor their access (both Live and historical information if you have enabled the feature) and start to change the rules of their access, which genuinely has a large amount of advantages for home users with young children in the house that needs their web access to be more structured and/or employees that need enough access to do their job, but not enough not too!

The full range of controls and access protocols that you have the ability to adapt/limit/restrict access to is pretty awesome. These include pre-set site filtering options (with databases updated regularly) that quickly create blanket access rules for sites online (As well as the option to customize and add/remove pages that you want). Then there are scheduled access times that will bar that profile/users from complete access at pre-set times. Interestingly, you CAN set rules that allow a profiled user to, upon hitting an access-rule that was the result of restrictions and guidelines you put on that profile, request access and that will be pushed to the appropriate admin/power user to allow/deny (linked with notifications) and can be accessed and actioned from in the DS Router 2.0 mobile app too.

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However the most intriguing for parents looking at this router will be the Time Quota feature. This is a system that allows you to bestow X amount of time per day to a profile that can be strictly shared to all their devices (i.e a 3-hour quote cannot be repeated on 3 devices if all three come under 1 profile user, it is shared).

Safe Access still continues to be a great feature even several versions into SRM and after years of testing and measuring against the parental controls of many other routers I have reviewed, this still wins by a country mile! Before we conclude this review, let’s discuss the storage support of SRM 1.3 and see what the famous NAS brand Synology brings to the table here. When reviewing and judging Synology Router Manager 1.3, you have to somewhat separate your feelings about Synology router hardware (the RT6600ax, RT2600ac and MR2200ac) a little. This is because, although the Synology router hardware may seem a little safe-to-middling at times vs current hardware in the market, the software they provide has always been absolute class. SRM 1.3 continues this pedigree with a user interface that manages to do the nearly unthinkable – it manages to make the process of managing your network easy and actually ENGAGING! That’s one of the biggest hurdles of managing a router and your network security in general, it’s a massive chore that is fraught with technical jargon, hurdles and screens saying ‘no’, ‘invalid’ or ‘not available’. Synology has crafted a genuinely intuitive and accessible router software system here and although a lot of that is thanks to their years in NAS software, they have certainly improved upon previous revisions in SRM too. When it comes to the features that SRM arrives with, clearly ‘Safe Access’ is one of the killer apps of the SRM 1.3. But it doesn’t stand alone and thanks to the integrations of ‘network switch’ style controls and a wide array of custom network settings, it really feels like more of a complete version in 1.3. Additions of long-overdue features such as vLAN and customs, custom SSIDs and the DS Router application’s improved layout/controls are smaller steps in SRM 1.3’s development than some would like, but with the software feeling that pinch more responsive and the layout of the controls getting tweaked to be more intuitive, that just means that SRM 1.3 is just adding polish to an already fantastic management system. Additionally, the latest generation of Synology router hardware means that new configuration options and the extent to which you can use SRM 1.3’s services have been drastically increased in time for version 1.3. At the time of writing, we are still awaiting the SRM 1.3 update to extend to the full Synology router series (thereby enabling mesh with the likes of the MR2200ac), but that shouldn’t be too long and with that, the option for SRM 1.3 to manage a grander mesh wireless network in your home/office will be hugely beneficial. In short, still highly recommend it SRM 1.3 in 2022/2023.

DESIGN - 10/10
SECURITY - 10/10
CONTROL - 10/10
FEATURES - 9/10
VALUE - 9/10


9.6
PROS
👍🏻Incredibly easy to use, intuitive and very responsive
👍🏻
👍🏻\'Safe Access\' puts all other Parental Control and filtering services to shame (and it\'s included subscription-free)
👍🏻
👍🏻vLAN and multiple connected SSID created are now available
👍🏻
👍🏻Multiple Failover Options available
👍🏻
👍🏻USB Support in SRM 1.3 is huge and shouldn\'t be overlooked
👍🏻
👍🏻Guest WiFi Portal and Generated reports have a real business/enterprise feel to them
👍🏻
👍🏻The free VPN Plus licence is pretty generous vs other routers/platforms
👍🏻
👍🏻Good range of support, guidance and suggested setup tools
👍🏻
👍🏻Can be set up, accessed and controlled locally & remotely. As well as via multiple mobile apps, desktops web browsers or SSH
CONS
👎🏻Mesh Support with MR2200ac is still not available at the time of writing as the SRM 1.3 update is not on all routers yet
👎🏻
👎🏻Similar hardware routers from Netgear (even older NightHawk generations) allowed container applications (plex, smart home tools, etc)
👎🏻
👎🏻Not strictly plug n play

 

Synology Router Manager 1.3 Review Chapters

SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, ALL Parts - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 1, Design & Control - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 2, Safety & Security - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 3, Network Management - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 5, USB Storage Services & Conclusion - HERE 

You can watch the FULL review of the latest WiFi 6 Router from Synology, the RT6600ax, over on YouTube below:

Alternatively, you can watch my full review of Synology SRM 1.3 on this NAS in the video below:

My FULL review of the Synology DS Router application will be available on NASCompares shortly. You can find the video below:

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Synology SRM 1.3 Software Review Part 4 - The Safe Access Application
Author Rating
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96 thoughts on “Synology SRM 1.3 Software Review Part 4 – The Safe Access Application

  1. Very helpful! Do I understand you correctly that I can create multiple wireless networks (say 1 private and 1 for guests) and then assign Schedule and Content filtering to only one of those wireless networks? I assume devices connected to one network cannot see the devices connected to the other? I’m trying to find basically that exact feature to have a guest network for foster children in the home. Could I even assign a separate DNS server to those networks to implement parental controls with something like OpenDNS?
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  2. Dude this is all old and familiar features and ways to use their router. Most already know this. I thought this was going to be a video to point out the differences of the 6600 over the 2600. This video is mainly restating of stuff we already know
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  3. Anyone have any idea on what you upgrade first? Have existing Mesh with 2600 and 2200 running SRM 1.2.

    Do I Upgrade the 2600 first or the 2200 please? Surely upgrading the 2600 to 1.3 would render the 2200 unable to connect and incompatible?

    Any help appreciated.. 🙂
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  4. They also removed features like wireless repeater mode and didn’t say nothing. That mode was one of the reasons I purchased the router and now you can’t go back to 1.2. Never again will I buy from Synology.
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  5. I think the MR2200’s connection issues are a 1.3 issue. Mine have been dropping off about once a week and I’m still on the 2600ac, not only that, but their light patterns have been behaving very strangely. Like they’re connected, but every now and then, the WiFi symbol will scroll the lights from bottom to top for 20min, and then go back to normal.
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  6. Hi Rob. Ive been a subscriber for many years, your videos have helped me
    to decide to buy many Synology nas units, my first being the ds212plus
    my latest the ds1821plus. Like you I`m from the uk so I`m hoping you
    can help me with a question I cant get my head around.

    My internet currently comes from Plusnet with an adsl connection/router
    that as you know comes down the standard phone line connector (via that splitter/filter).
    This router has a single Cat5e cable connected to my Q-Nap QSW-M408C, then around the house
    to all the pc`s nas etc with Cat5e or Cat6.

    Plusnet have just offered me FTTP so I`m hoping to upgrade in September. And after watching
    your video on the Synology RT6600ax with its Vlan feature I would love to buy this and setup
    two Vlans, one for all my devices and the second separate Vlan for my Kids stuff.
    (I do not want my Kids having access to my shared folders etc)

    What I do understand is that once FTTP is installed this new connection is just a standard
    Cat5 or Cat6 Cable that connects to the Wan socket on a router.

    But what i`m not clear on is this:

    Does the RT6600ax completely replace the Plusnet router?? and if your answer is yes, do I
    need to setup into the Synology RT6600ax settings some sort of the old Plusnet/Connection
    /account/username stuff like I had to with my Adsl router??

    I assume Plusnet will send me a pre configured FTTP router and my Best guess would be I do not use
    this Isp router at all. The Synology router will just connect to the internet in its place
    without the older Plusnet/Connection/account/username etc settings. And then just leave me to setup
    its DHCP, Lan, Vlan stuff myself?

    The above might sound like a silly question but after spending a lifetime buying my own Dialup modems
    (first modem was 9600, 14,4 then 28.8k) and then plenty of Netgear adsl routers over the years the one constant
    headache was trying to get the correct login settings to work, since most normal people just used the
    pre configured hardware.

    I will appreciate any ideas yourself any anybody else has. Many Thanks F S
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  7. Been using Asus routers for about a decade. Ordered this Synology rooter tonight to upgrade from my Asus Ac2900 and after watching this video I think I made a good choice.
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  8. Thanks for the comprehensive review. All the infomation I needed. I’d buy one in a heartbeat but until they support my exisitng Synolgy mesh I’ll have to wait.
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  9. Great video … as usual. Based on your previous review of Synology’s RT6600ax, I recently bought one (yeah… tough to locate one in Spain) and have been THOUROUGHLY impressed. So my comments are really directed at both reviews. As I work my way through all the rich features of SRM 1.3, this deep dive has been wonderful and helped me close down a few missed security holes.

    While the RT6600ax didn’t provide as good of a range boost over my ISP’s LiveBox 6+ as I hoped nor did it fix the intermittent service problems I have (which Orange tech support keeps claiming is how and where I have the router it installed), the control and security of SRM has more than made up for it. It is the proverbial light years ahead of what Orange offers in their residential router.

    I know this is a review and comparison channel and less a “how to”. However, I’d love to see a more in-depth connection/setup/security video as I did have a little trouble trying to connect and set up the RT6600ax. Not Synology’s fault but the limitations introduced by my ISP and their router limitations. Initially, I was hoping I could connect it directly to the ONT but it seems I don’t have the technical wherewithal to figure that out. I hoped the LiveBox could be set up as a bridge, but that option is not immediately available. I then tried connecting to the LiveBox router and setting up as an Access Point. That sort of worked but was pissed that I couldn’t use all the features of SRM. I then tried connecting to the ISP’s router using the Wireless Router operating mode but, as to be expected, ran into double NAT issues. I finally had to set up a DMZ on my LiveBox and pointed it to the RT6600ax. This seems to work as I have not had problems so far. However, I am not yet sure if opening a DMZ is an inherent risk (I would love feedback on this option). However, one would assume using a router with firewall rules enabled in a DMZ is probably one of the safer options.

    So my next comment is with regards to the Threat Prevention feature of SRM. To see the attacks and where your vulnerabilities lie is both a blessing and a curse. Of course, with my ISP’s router, there is nothing of this reporting. I guess the average person just assumes and accepts that they are safe behind the router provided the ISP… and maybe they are. However, when you can actually see the types of “Malicious Events” available in the Threat Prevention app (e.g. Network Trojans, Attempted Information Leaks), where they are coming from, and the intensity/frequency, I am left a little shell shocked and worried. It is like watching the news… the more bad things you see happening around you, the more anxiety and fear you feel. If I just play naive and ignore that there are bad elements out there, as happens with your ISPs router, I can just live happily in my little bubble and not worry about bad things until there is a problem. So, a more deep dive on how to handle the threat reporting in SRM and steps you can take to harden your system would be much appreciated.

    So again, great video and if anyone has references, advice and help for points raised above, I would love to hear about it.
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  10. My new rt6600ax refuses to go above 100Mbps download, and suggests (via popup in SRM) it may be the cable. My older router (which this one is supposed to replace) is getting nearly 500Mbps download on my 16″ macbook pro m1 ultra, and my synology NAS is showing around 940Mbps on ethernet (again, on the older router). But on the new 6600, my NAS via ethernet is maxing at around 94Mbps 🙁 Any ideas? Very frustrating.
    REPLY ON YOUTUBE

  11. Hi there,
    Thanks a lot. So after your review i bought the RT6600ax. So now i need to upgrade my home network to manage and separate my iot network (home assistant, cam, aquara, shelly, etc.) from my home / work network. Can you help on guiding me to choose a switch (i guess it will be managed) and give so hints on configuration (both the router & the switch). Maybe i should add that today y network is build on the RT2600 plus 2 MR2200 because of concrete.
    Philippe
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  12. Does the dns package support local network dns entries? I currently use ddwrt and have local dns records configured for a few server IPs…that way my desktop and mobile clients can connect to files and emails using those fqdn names locally
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  13. Does the dns package support local network dns entries? I currently use ddwrt and have local dns records configured for a few server IPs…that way my desktop and mobile clients can connect to files and emails using those fqdn names locally
    REPLY ON YOUTUBE

  14. The biggest flaw in synology product line – its not complete. No switches. No PoE. this router show again cheap plastic 4 port ethernet on the back. There is no way to build even small size home network with just router. They should add two 12/24 port switches, with/without PoE and SFP support running the same software. together with NAS they can have a good solution
    REPLY ON YOUTUBE

  15. Ill agree to a Great rewiew, and you have mentioned a lot of things which are really helpfull (not for me) but for other sure.
    What i want to comment on, is your surprise that the RT6600ax comes with the SRM 1.3 and the older devices are still SRM 1.2, well this is what synology was presenting from the “Day One” when the RT6600 was presented by end of 2021 so no surprise for me here, the SRM 1.3 for the RT2600 and MR2200 will be or according to synology should be in June so we need to wait for this one as well.
    What im glad and really glad that the support for the MR2200 and the mesh is there, and also with another RT6600, which you cannot do with a RT2600 so a huge step forward i like, AAAANND well if you do a MESH then you will have TWO USB ???? Ports, the question is if the can be used but i think this is an alternative for those who will be having a MESH network.
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  16. Amazing review. Thanks a lot for your effort. It’s almost like we’re dealing with a Nas Station here. In terms of user experience anyway. I think if they added Plex, a lot of basic users wouldn’t have bought a Nas Station anymore, so I think is is a selling strategy here. Anyway, great review, I am considering buying an unit after watching your video. Well done mate! Keep up the good work!
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  17. Looks fantastic. As mentioned previously, I am using a net gear R9000 which to be fair has been working brilliantly. I flashed it with DDWRT recently using my iPad Pro, it took an absolute age to login but finally it worked. I am registered as a blind person but enjoy fiddling around with technology. I am waiting for your video next week for The router shootout vid but, am quite taken with the RTÉ 6600.
    Thank you for all of your videos they are very helpful
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  18. Synology does produce nice devices but it’s all fine when you have warranty. When it’s over and your device will stop working, synology won’t repair it even if you could just pair for the repair. They just dont give a f**k. Think twice before you buy an synology router.
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  19. This looks like an unboxing, not an actual review. You’re holding a device that is capable of sophisticated beam-forming, but we don’t have any speed tests / comparisons / ping results for a typical wood-frame house for example. I like the new features, but I was really into that I’d just set up a pfSense box, or a UDM pro. Why would I buy this thing instead of a cheaper WiFi6 AP/router? Why would I buy it instead of a UDM pro + AP? I had an ac2200 before and I returned it, because SRM is a far cry from DSM, and here they are cramming features into a device with just 1GB of RAM. If you’re saying that it strikes the perfect balance, I’d like to see come figures proving that. Otherwise the video should be titled either “unboxing” or “first impressions”.
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  20. I just want to know if I connect a 2.5GB NAS to that 2.5GB LAN port of the Synology, I get speeds between the NAS and the client above 1GB over WIFI6E, thanks.
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  21. When the videos get this long ( which I do very much appreciate ), I head straight to the conclusion. If you conclusion is positive, I generally go back to the beginning. That’s what I’m doing here. Your opinion at the end is exactly what some of us need. I currently have an RT2600ac but now I will buy a new 6600 model and use the 2600 as an access point in the upstairs of my home. Many thanks for all of the time that you put into these reviews.
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  22. Is it possible to create “Web Filter” on a schedule? For example from 4PM to 8PM can be a “homework” time slot where only allowed whitelisted websites are available?
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  23. That’s for a great review. Worth watching it all. Look forward to future videos on this router.

    Three questions; Do you think Synology will release a WiFi 6 upgrade to the MR2200ac? Maybe an MR6600ax?

    Also, can devices be assigned a frequency? Orbi takes control of that an many times connects 5GHz devices (like FireTV) to 2.4GHz when only in the next room. ????????‍♂️

    Lastly, I’m sure the answer is yes, but I didn’t see it covered, can you assign static IP’s or reserve IP’s for devices?

    Thanks again! I really love the ability to create a VLAN that merges with an SSID to isolate my IoT.
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  24. The usual lan limitation of all router you have only one 2.5gbe port. Now a router should have at least one 2.5 gbe (Better 5gbe as in Italy a phone company started to sell a FTTH 5gbe fiber connection at a good price in selected city) wan AND one 2.5 lan port (better 5gbe) and let a multi-g switch to manage the signal. Also it should manage analog phone otherwise we must pay for the router that provider offer
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  25. Very interesting review so thank you. You say you will be reviewing the Asus RT AX series….will you be doing this one?
    ASUS RT-AX89X 12-Stream AX6000 Dual Band Wi-Fi 6 802.11ax Router
    Cheers
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  26. Felicidades, es un buen ejemplo.
    250 sentadillas son unos 4.FO/L-J27g1 muchas y un buen ejercicio.
    5:25 Se deja ver que hay muy buenos resultados ????????

    Saludos desde la Cd.. de world ????????????
    los mortales abian apreciado tan hermosa mujer.
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  27. Hey
    Thanks so much for this very informative Video! 2 Questions though:
    1. Can you connect the router to a VPN, so your whole home internet traffic is secure? If so, what VPNs can be used?
    2. As some might know, wireguard is a very simple, fast and secure VPN solution. Is it possible to run wireguard as a server or as a client on this router? If there’s a option to install packages, really one should be able to potentially develop or manually install the option for wireguard as a client and perhaps even as a wireguard VPN server…..

    Many thanks!
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  28. Great review – thank you. Is there any way to limit the internet bandwidth available to a specific user / device or IP range? I usually allocate only 80% of the available internet bandwidth to make sure that no single user or device hogs all the bandwidth and that my downloads always have bandwidth available without impacting anyone else.
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  29. Loved my 2600ac and as a Parent it allowed me to easily be a truly evil bastard cutting off internet to all my sons devices when he was in trouble and at bedtime with a schedule 😉
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  30. Thank you for this review. I didn’t know that buying this one to replace RT2600 would render my 2200 MESH obsolete until SRM1.3 support. Just saved me a lot of money.
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  31. About the USB port thing: while an extra cost, sure, is it possible to purchase a little USB hub, plug that in, and then plug multiple HDDs, a 4G dongle, etc.?
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  32. I have a Net Gear r9000 x10, do you think this rt6600 would be a good upgrade? R9000 has started dropping Wi-Fi and kicking me out of plex, on paper they seem to have similar specs, although net gear have tried to kill the router with firmware numerous times.
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  33. Great video. Btw, note that 3G/4G dogles are at EOL support by SRM (as per the Synology Compatibility List) so I am not sure how viable alternative one has for a backup WAN connection.
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  34. Just wondering. The new software disabled support for 4G dongle. But I noticed in your video around minute 31.45 that there is a mobile network section in the settings.

    I hope I can use my SIM with dongle. Been wanting to switch to Synology router for the longest time but couldn’t due to the poor support for SIM card.
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  35. Thanks for the thorough review but this is too little too late from Synology as an existing customer… I welcome SRM 1.3 VLAN and multiple SSID but these were promised and should have been out several years ago however they stalled SRM development to focus on DSM7. It has left a really sour taste in my mouth as I invested heavily with RT2600ac and 2x MR2200ac (along with multiple NAS) but have had to relegate the RT2600ac to just doing WiFi as an access point because of all bugs and the lack of development. I’m now using a PFsense router which is far more stable and has had better features, scalability and resilience for years. I’ll look at SRM 1.3 when it lands for my existing devices but when it is time to upgrade my mesh WiFi hardware I have no loyalty to Synology or confidence in their support for their network devices so i’ll be looking at other offerings.
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