Synology DiskStation DS413j Review – Performance, Backup & CloudStation

In the first part review of the Synology DiskStation DS413j, I talked about unboxing and setting up and in this second part review, I will talk about the performance, backup and CloudStation.

Performance

DS413j - LAN Speed TestDS210j - LAN Speed Test
LAN Speed Test (DS413j Left vs DS210j Right)

Tested the file transfer speed using LAN Speed test. The DS413j is on SHR with WD Red and the DS210j is on RAID 1 with WD Green. When I am doing the test, I also notice that the DS413j with WD Red is extremely quiet unlike the DS210j on WD Green which makes slightly more noise, but it is still acceptable.

Backup
I am still currently using the Synology DiskStation DS210j which is on 2x WD Green 1TB running on RAID 1. It is possible from one Synology NAS to backup to another Synology NAS via it’s Network Backup feature.

There are a few types of backup options that are available in the Server Backup feature:

  • Network Backup
    Network Backup allows you to back up data from one Synology DiskStation to another one, including rsync compatible server, over the network. Encryption and compression makes a backup task safe and efficient. You can also block-level backup, so that only the changed files will be processed to save network bandwidth.
  • Shared Folder Sync
    Shared Folder Sync allows users to synchronize specific folders from multiple servers to a single destination server in real-time. Branch offices will be able to share documents with headquarter seamlessly and safely with encrypted folder protection. The disaster recovery time can be greatly minimized when your source DiskStation experiences failure, and in turn it can ensure maximum service uptime.
  • Time Backup
    Time Backup is a unique backup application that comes with snapshot, multiple backup versions, and smart recycle that keeps storage space from filling up. With an intuitive interface, backing up and restoring files is effortless. You can either back up files from one shared folder to another shared folder, or from one DiskStation to another DiskStation.
  • Local Backup
    You can create multiple volumes to place your data, you can always backup important data from between two volumes – from one shared folder to another shared folder. You can also back up data to an external storage device, such as a USB/eSATA hard drive.
  • Amazon S3 Backup
    Synology also allows business users to back up data from DiskStation to their Amazon S3 cloud storage account. So use Amazon S3 storage space as a backup to your DiskStation or treat it like a contingency site should anything happens to the data.

To enable Network Backup and/or Shared Folder Sync, just login to DSM and go to “Control Panel -> Network Backup” as shown in the screenshots below.

DS413j - Control Panel
DS413j – Control Panel

DS413j - Enable Network Backup
DS413j – Enable Network Backup

DS413j - Enable Shared Folder Sync
DS413j – Enable Shared Folder Sync

To access your Backup & Restore tasks, click on the “Apps” icon at the top menu bar and choose “Backup and Restore”.

DS413j - Backup & Restore
DS413j – Backup & Restore

Backup – Shared Folder Sync
The difference between Shared Folder Sync and Network Backup is Shared Folder Sync will propagate changes in both ways (source < -> destination) while Network Backup will only propagate changes from a source to a destination (source -> destination).

To create a Shared Folder Sync, go to “Apps -> Backup and Restore -> Shared Folder Sync Tab”.

I would recommend Shared Folder Sync if you are using two Synology NAS which is not physically located together. A use case for me is when I moved out to my own house sometime in 2016, I will get another Synology NAS and setup Shared Folder Sync to sync data back to my Synology NAS at my parents’ place. In this way, regardless of whether I am at my own house or at my parent’s place, I can always access the data.

In terms of the freshness of the data, it depends on what you set for the sync schedule. I would recommend choosing “Run sync on modification” if you need the data in real time. But I personally prefer to choose “Run sync every 1 hour” to avoid too much network/file overhead. The 1 hour is derive from the time taken to travel from my place to my parents’ place.

Shared Folder Sync - Step 1
Shared Folder Sync – Step 1

Shared Folder Sync - Step 2
Shared Folder Sync – Step 2

Shared Folder Sync - Step 3
Shared Folder Sync – Step 3

Shared Folder Sync - Step 4
Shared Folder Sync – Step 4

Shared Folder Sync - Step 5
Shared Folder Sync – Step 5

Shared Folder Sync - Step 6 (Done)
Shared Folder Sync – Step 6 (Done)

Backup – Network Backup
To create a Shared Folder Sync, go to “Apps -> Backup and Restore -> Backup Tab”.

I would recommend Network Backup if you have two Synology NAS which is physically located together. Like in my case I am placing the DS413j besides my DS210j and my primary NAS is the DS210j. I only open and save documents with my primary NAS which is already on RAID 1, and thus having the data available in real time for both NAS is not needed.

The reason I am using the Network Backup on a daily basic is just in case both my hard disk in my DS210j fails at the same time.

Network Backup - Step 1
Network Backup – Step 1

Network Backup - Step 2
Network Backup – Step 2

Network Backup - Step 3
Network Backup – Step 3

Network Backup - Step 4
Network Backup – Step 4

Network Backup - Step 5
Network Backup – Step 5

Network Backup - Step 6
Network Backup – Step 6

Network Backup - Step 7
Network Backup – Step 7

Network Backup - Step 8 (Done)
Network Backup – Step 8 (Done)

Cloud Station
Synology’s Cloud Station is like your personal Dropbox on your Synology NAS. For those unaware, Dropbox is a file hosting service that offers cloud storage and file synchronisation with your computer/devices. Dropbox is great but some people might have second thoughts about storing confidential files on third party servers But with Cloud Station, the files will be stored in your Synology NAS which you own.

To make Cloud Station seamlessly sync files from your computer to the Synology NAS and vice versa over the Internet, it makes use of QuickConnect to remove the hassle of configuring any port forwarding.

QuickConnect is a relay service that can help you set up Cloud Station syncing easily without configuring port forwarding rules for your DiskStation.

Of course if you are an advanced user, you can configure your own port forwarding. In fact if you would like to sync files between 3 or more computers, it is recommended to set up port forwarding rules for better performance. By default, Cloud Station uses TCP port 6690.

You can install Cloud Station via the Package Center.

Cloud Station - Install via Package Center
Cloud Station – Install via Package Center

After installation, you need to enable User Home Service (Control Panel -> User -> User Home Tab -> Enable user home service).

Cloud Station - Enable User Home Service
Cloud Station – Enable User Home Service

Once that is done you can proceed on to setup your QuickConnect (Control Panel -> Quick Connect). By default your Quick Connect ID will be numeric, however you can customize it to uniquely identify your Synology NAS (in my example I am using lesterchan).

Cloud Station - QuickConnect
Cloud Station – QuickConnect

And you are almost done!

Cloud Station
Cloud Station

Remember to go to Cloud Station -> Privileges and check the boxes of those users that is allowed to sync files using Cloud Station!

Cloud Station - Privileges
Cloud Station – Privileges

Next, we need to install the Cloud Station client on your computer for it to sync the files to the NAS. You can download the client from Synology Download Center. Right now only Windows and Mac are supported.

Cloud Station Client - Step 1
Cloud Station Client – Step 1

Cloud Station Client - Step 2
Cloud Station Client – Step 2

Cloud Station Client - Step 3
Cloud Station Client – Step 3

Cloud Station Client - Status
Cloud Station Client – Status

Syncing files is extremely easy, a folder called “Cloud Station” will be created in your home directory in your computer, if you copy and files or folders to it, it will have a “blue sync” icon overlaid on it and once the file has been synced to your Synology NAS, it will have a “green tick” icon as shown below. You can treat the “Cloud Station” folder like any other ordinary folder.

Cloud Station Client - Syncing Files
Cloud Station Client – Syncing Files

Cloud Station Client - Sync Done
Cloud Station Client – Sync Done

Cloud Station Client - Settings (Sharing)
Cloud Station Client – Settings (Sharing)

Cloud Station Client - Settings (General)
Cloud Station Client – Settings (General)

Cloud Station also has a native app called DS cloud for both iOS and Android.

Cloud Station iOS App - Setup   Cloud Station iOS App - Setup
Cloud Station iOS App

Cloud Station iOS App - Setup   Cloud Station iOS App
Cloud Station iOS App

Cloud Station iOS App   Cloud Station iOS App
Cloud Station iOS App

I have not experience any problems with Cloud Station so far, the only complain I have is that it takes quite a while (1-2 minutes) to connect to my Synology NAS for the initial computer’s bootup if you are using QuickConnect. I tried forwarding TCP port 6690 on my router to the Synology NAS and it only takes 30 seconds to connect!

To Be Continued …
For the third and final part of the review, I will talk about Synology multimedia features such as Video Station, Audio Station, Photo Station as well as their native iOS/Android mobile apps, DS video, DS audio, and DS photo+.

Recap

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  • Jean-Michel

    Hi Lester, thanks for the review.

    For business use, I may be interrested in shared folder sync.

    do you know how it will react in case of conflict (file 1 is opened / modified on DS A., in the mean time, the file 1 is opened in order to be modified on DS B)

    Will it be a warning when file 1 is opened on DS B (read only)

    both files can be modified at the same time and then it creates a duplicate of the file? (like in cloud station)

    The warning will occur @ the time of saving the file.

    Thanks for your help

  • http://lesterchan.net/ Lester Chan

    My guess is if the file is in used on DS A, DS A still will be able to sync to DS B, however, since DS B has the file open as well, DS A copy will not be able to write to DS B.

  • Guest

    Lester, Have you experienced any problems with the Cloud Station taking up “too” much space? I’ve been reading in the forums that people are stating that there is a bug with the Cloud Station software where it does not delete old synced files and it fills up. They are seeing while putty’d into th eNAS that the cloudstation folder is abnormally large and still growing.

  • Kelvin Chew

    Lester . I tried shared folder sync …it will not propagate both ways as u have mentioned.
    Its only 1 way traffic

  • http://lesterchan.net/ Lester Chan

    Should’t be, are you on DSM 4.2?

  • Kelvin Chew

    yes i am. i have got a 1511+ and a 1512+ both on 4.2
    SLSq memoryworld tech also confirm its 1 way traffic unless all of us is missing something here.
    need help if you know a way through shared folder sync.
    how can i contact you?

  • http://twitter.com/Laneyshen Laney Shen

    Hello Kevin,

    This is Laney from Synology. It is great to see your interest in the Shared Folder Sync feature. Syncing folders in two ways has been a feature that many user requested, and yes now we only support one-way of shared folder sync. I am sorry for the misunderstanding we brought to you and Lester, and I have sent the feature request to my developers, and hopefully it will be added to the future version of DSM soon.

    If you want a folder and the changes to be updated and accessible by both servers, you can try Mount Remote Folder. Different from Shared Folder Sync, Mount Remote Folder has one copy of the file though.

    If you have any other questions, please feel welcome to let me know.

    Thanks,
    Laney

  • Kelvin Chew

    hi Laney,

    finally someone has answer my quest.
    yes the term shared folder sync has really caused misunderstanding by the whole of earth people.
    it has cause tremendous stress and anxiety. i do hope syno will rename it to DIRECT COPY or 1 way traffic instead of us giving our client false hope. i really do hope it will come in the future firmware soonest.
    please make this request top priority.
    i gaurantee i will sell more for you haha :)

    nuff said.

    i have some queries. my client’s 2 synology nas needs to be sync.
    since its a one way sync for now and i have manage to sync from nas A(30 user) to nas B (20 user)using shared folder sync.

    now is there another way to upload nas B documents to nas A so that it will go in a cycle.

    eg. using ftp or using your mentioned mount remote folder for nas B user( i think u meant mounting of nas A remote folder for nas B user right?)

    nas B to nas A need not be realtime. as long as it does sync.

    or using a sync program like puresync to sync up nas B to A

    what do you suggest or do you have a better idea. thanks Laney,

    appreciate your replies.

    thanks Lester and laney.

    i’m in deep shit because of this.

  • http://twitter.com/Laneyshen Laney Shen

    Hi Kevin,

    Considering your client’s situation, you may use Mount Remote Folder (http://www.synology.com/dsm/business_file_sharing_remote_folder.php?lang=enu). If NAS A mounts the folder of NAS B, both NAS A and NAS B will access the folder in NAS B, and the changes will be synced automatically. However, like I mentioned, there will be only one copy of the files, which are stored in NAS B.

    Please feel free to let us know your other feature requests here (http://www.synology.com/support/inquiry_form.php?lang=enu&type=1).

    Regards,
    Laney

  • Kelvin Chew

    hi Laney,
    i forgot to mention nas A and B are in different location different network with no vpn. does mount remote desktop still work if i have ddns to link them up?
    if mount remote folder can be use in the above mention setup
    i need to open port 139 right.?

  • Holger Winkelmann

    anybody know you can connect cloudstation client to many NAS ?

  • http://lesterchan.net/ Lester Chan

    I think only one

  • Jack Miller

    Thanks for your very helpful review. I am a non-tech and new to NAS. We have DS212j backing up our website at collocation site. I have DS413j at home office. Currently running Netbackup from DS212j to DS413j but is very slow (100-140Kbs). Backup files total about 50GB and it currently takes almost entire week to complete. What type of backup or sync would you recommend would you recommend between the two DS’s?

  • http://lesterchan.net/ Lester Chan

    For me, I would rsync (Linux Utility) to backup your website to DS212j and use Network backup from DS212j to DS413j

  • Jack Miller

    Thank you very much

  • Dhafir Moussa

    Thanks for the excellent review. I have just bought the 413j with two WD 2T RED drives. I am planning to use RAID1, but in the future if I get a third 2TB RED drive can I plug it in and change the config to RAID5 without losing my data?
    Thanks

  • http://lesterchan.net/ Lester Chan

    Nope, I don’t think you can change RAID without losing your data

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