exFAT Availabe for free in QNAP and Synology now

Akash Jain Estimated Read Time: 1 Minutes

Since exFAT support is available in the Linux kernel, you can use exFAT in both QNAP QTS5.0+ and Synology DSM7.0+ for free

What is exFAT and why is it used

exFAT is a file system - the algorithm that determines how your data is stored, read, and modified on the storage device. exFAT is available in both Windows and MAC, so you can format a hard disk in exFAT and use it in both MAC and Windows. It also lets you store files larger than 4GB, making it popular with videographers and people who have larger files. For example, if you format your USB flash drive to exFAT, you can read it with QNAP/Synology if exFAT support is enabled.

How come exFAT is now free on QNAP and Synology ?

Since exFAT was developed by Microsoft, it had a proprietary, unpublished specification (until 2019). In 2019, Microsoft published the specifications and promoted its inclusion in the Linux kernel. So as of Linux kernel 5.7, the exFAT driver was included. The latest DSM and QTS, which use the latest Linux kernel, support exFAT for free.

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Synology DS923+ is launched, but this one feature of DS920+ will be missing

Akash Jain Estimated Read Time: 1 Minutes

The Synology DS920+ is one of the most successful NAS in the history of NAS.The DS920+ is the successor series to the DS415+, DS916+, and DS918+ and this series has never disappointed.

The latest model in this series is being introduced today: DS923+. As expected, Synology has used an AMD processor here- AMD Ryzen R1600, which makes the DS920+ the last in this series to feature Intel Celeron Processor with integrated graphics. This makes DS920+ more desirable than DS923+ to certain users.

Why would you still want the DS920+?

The DS920+ was powered by an Intel Celeron J4125 with an integrated graphics unit - Intel UHD Graphics 600, thanks to which DS920+ could perform hardware transcoding on Plex - which happens to be one of the most used applications on Synology (and other NAS devices). Hardware transcoding is a feature that the DS923+ will lack

Here is a look at the Plex compatibility guide, which shows just how capable the DS920+ is

Should you upgrade to DS923+

Aside from the lack of Plex hardware transcoding capability, the DS923+ is better than the DS920+ in every way. RAM can be upgraded to 32GB, 10G upgradabilty with Mini Card and M.2 Volume creation is all new in DS923+

If you want the latest in the series and can do without integrated graphics, you should go for the DS923+. However, if you are getting a bargain on the DS920+ and need the integrated graphics, you should go for it.

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Synology DSM 7.2 to Support M.2 NVMe Volumes

Akash Jain Estimated Read Time: 1 Minutes

Currently, all Synology models with M.2 NVMe slots can only use the M.2 SSD for caching. However, in DSM 7.2, M.2 volume creation is supported, albeit with some caveats

1. You must have DSM 7.2 to support this feature

2. You must have Synology M.2 SSDs

3. The only series that support this are DS923+, DS723+, DS1522+, DS1621+, DS1821+, and DS1621XS+

An M.2 NVMe volume would be very fast. But M.2 NVMe is also notorious for overheating, so good ventilation and heatsinks are usually recommended for M.2 NVMe. Synology has tested its M.2 SSDs for thermal performance and that is probably why they have forced volume creation with Synology drives only

Aside from overheating, M.2 NVMe SSDs are mostly not hotswappable - Synology has not confirmed that yet. M.2 NVMe capacities are also limited. But despite all that, there will be users who want a faster drive and can take advantage of this new feature from Synology

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Synology DS920+ vs DS923+

Akash Jain Estimated Read Time: 1 Minutes
Synology's best-selling DS920+ now has a DS923+ successor. Here are the main differences between the 2 models

The DS923+ is powered by an AMD Ryzen R1600

Synology has upgraded all Intel Celeron models to AMD Ryzen. The overall performance of AMD Ryzen is better, and the only thing missing on Intel is integrated graphics.The DS920+ was powered by an Intel Celeron with integrated graphics, so it was capable of H/W transcoding, a feat that the DS923+ is not capable of. Apart from that, the AMD Ryzen is better suited for general computing than the Celeron

DS923+ will offer support for the E10G22-T1 mini 10G card

The Synology DS923+ will have 2 x 1GbE ports just like the DS920+, but it will support an add-on card. Most of us thought that the DS923+ will have a 2.5G port, but Synology has opted for 1G and offers an option to upgrade to 10G

The DS923+ will come with 4GB ECC DDR4 RAM, upgradeable to 32GB

The DS920+ could only be upgraded to 8GB, but the DS923+ will be upgradeable to 32GB. Also, the memory is ECC, so the RAM upgrade will be more expensive

DS923+ will support NVMe M.2 volume creation

If you are using DSM 7.2 and the Synology M.2 SATA, you can create NVMe M.2 volumes. For other models, the M.2 NVMe can be used for caching only

The other specs remain mostly the same, but we will keep you updated as we learn more about the DS923+ next week.

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Synology DS923+ and DS723+ to have open drive policy

Akash Jain Estimated Read Time: 1 Minutes

One of the many questions we are asked about the new Synology DS923+ and DS723+ is whether they will have an open drive policy or whether Synology's own drive policy will be enforced

For those who do not know, Synology implemented a policy for certain Synology high-end NAS servers to only use their own drives. Synology drives offer higher performance, deeper integration with DSM, and full compatibility. Synology is able to optimise the essential parameters when a drive has its own firmware. For example, the Synology NVMe M.2 drive has better thermal regulation, and that is the only drive that may be used to create a volume. So the policy enforcement means a better performance and compatibility for Synology so it was assumed that it might be extended to desktop Plus series too.

We have confirmation that the Synology DS923+ and DS723+ will not enforce the HCL policy. This means that you can use any drive that is listed in the compatibility matrix, and there will be many.

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Synology gives a sneak peek of WRX560 wifi6 router

Akash Jain Estimated Read Time: 1 Minutes

Synology's RT6600AX Wifi6 routers have received great reviews, as have the Wifi5-RT2600 and MR2200. If you like to think in analogies, the RT6600AX was the wifi6 of the RT2600

Today at the 2023 and beyond global event, Synology previewed the MR2200 counterpart in Wifi6 - the Synology WRX560. Synology also gave a retail price of US$209 and the technical specifications of the WRX560

Just as you can use an RT2600 with multiple MR2200s to create a cost-effective mesh network, you can mix the RT6600AX as the main router with the WRX560. Furthermore, all 4 devices can be meshed together with SRM 1.3

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Coming soon: Synology DS923+, Synology DS223 and Synology DS723+

Akash Jain Estimated Read Time: 1 Minutes

The 3 best-selling Synology models, namely DS920+, DS218 Play, and DS720+, have been around for a while and we expect the series to be refreshed in 2023 in any case.

Rumors about the 3 new models are circulating on the Internet.

It is rumored that the Synology DS920+ will be replaced by the DS923+, while the DS218Play could be replaced by the DS223 and the DS720+ by the DS723+.

So far there are no hardware specifications, but here is what we think might happen

Prediction 1: AMD processor in the DS923+ instead of the Intel processor in the DS920+.

Synology seems to be switching from Intel to AMD Ryzen, we saw that with the DS1621+, DS1821+ and DS1522+. The AMD Ryzen would be faster than the Intel Celeron, but there would be no integrated graphics with AMD, so performance could be lower for certain tasks like 4K video transcoding. For all other tasks, AMD would be faster than celeron.

Prediction 2: 2.5Gbe ports on DS923+.

10Gbe SFP+ ports are out of the question on these devices. Synology could move from 1Gbe to 2.5Gbe, as QNAP and Asustor have done with many devices.

Prediction 3: More memory on the DS923+ (DDR4)

They may increase the size of RAM on the DS923+. It would mostly remain DDR4 and not likely to be DDR5

Prediction 4 : Upgradeability of the DS923+ with PCI or mini

The Synolgy DS923+ could have a PCI slot (like many QNAPs) or a mini-module like the DS1522+.

What specifications do you think the new NAS would have. Please comment.

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Easy 5 minunites installation of Tailscale on QNAP

Akash jain Estimated Read Time: 2 Minutes

Tailscale makes accessing your NAS from anywhere super easy, without port forwarding, and is therefore very popular. It is lightweight and secure and we have received many requests to install it on QNAP and Synology.

There is already an installation package for Synology, but not for QNAP. One option for QNAP is to first create a QPKG for QNAP and then install it- but that needs you to know how to use make.

However, there is an easier way to install Tailscale on QNAP with Docker using QNAP's Container Station.

The only downside to using QNAP GUI is that you can not use the - - authkey option with it. The created client is an ephemeral node - every time this container is restarted , you need to visit the web interface and reauthorize. Not that containers are restarted frequently or reauthorization is a big deal, but you should know that you can not use authkey.

And of course, tailscale only creates a tunnel to one device ( QNAP in this case) . Do not expect to be able to access your entire network like you can with OpenVPN. There is one option, but it requires additional configuration and we will save that for another time.

This turtorial is also available as a video on youtube now.

Step 1: Create your tailscale container on QNAP and run it

Start the container station and search for tailscale. We will use the official tailscale image. You will see many other images, but for security reasons it is better to use the official image.

Select it and create a new container. The only option you need to change is the network mode from default NAT to host

Step 2 : Find your tailscale auth link and add your QNAP as a node

In the command window of your container, you will find the Auth link. Go to this link, log in and add it to your network.


You can now download the client for another device, add that device to your network, and access your QNAP from any device logged into your Tailscale account.

Running Tailscale in Ephemeral mode

You can run tailscale in ephemeral mode by specifying  auth key as TS_AUTH_KEY environmental variable. When you do so you don't have to authenticate by visiting the auth link.

Step 1 : Obtain your Auth key

Login to tailscale. Go to settings -> personal settings -> keys -> auth key. Here you can generate a key ( go with reusable key ). They key is generated and shown only once to you, so you need to copy it when its displayed.

Step 2 : At the time of creating the container you can specify your env variable with the name of  TS_AUTH_KEY and value as the value that you got from step 1

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QNAP Core OS and Apps are not affected by log4j vulnerability but you may still be vulnerable

Akash jain Estimated Read Time: 1 Minutes
Many QNAP owners have asked us for information about the Log4j vulnerability, whether it affects QNAP devices, and what they can do to protect themselves.

QNAP does not have just one OS - they have 3 - the oldest QTS, the Enterprise QES and the new QTS Hero. All 3 OS are not affected by the Log4j vulnerability.

Qnap has also confirmed that their core apps are not vulnerable to Log4j, so the QNAP core OS and the apps are secure.

Third-party apps, virtualized apps, or Docker apps could still be vulnerable. QNAP has disabled many apps in the App Store that were vulnerable, but not all are disabled. For example, if you have a Docker app installed, QNAP cannot disable it.

If you are concerned about this - Perform an app audit - make a list of all the apps you use and check if any of them use log4j. Remove, disable or patch the app that you are not using or that is vulnerable.

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Your Synology may be affected by Log4j vulnerability

Akash jain Estimated Read Time: 1 Minutes

Many Synology owners have asked us about the Log4j vulnerability over the last 6 months. Whether you are affected by the Log4j vulnerability or not depends on the applications you run on your Synology

If you only use Synology Core packages, you are safe. Synology DSM does not use log4j 2, so if your NAS has only Synology Core packages, you are safe.

If you have third-party apps installed, or are running virtualized apps on your Synology, or are running Docker apps on your Synology, you may have an app that uses log4j 2. In this case, you should perform an app audit - make a list of all the apps you use and check if any of them use log4j. It is also a good idea to remove the applications that you do not use.



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