The switch from FreeNAS to Synology

I am not sure how long I have been using FreeNAS but its was during v9.x and I used it up to v11.2. 11.2 was leaps and bounds nicer to look at than v10. Still had some issues but over all served its purpose.

One day in the FreeNAS channel someone mentioned Synology and I started watching video’s on it and instantly I regretted not moving to that sooner.

So I made the decision to buy a new Synology box, one that supports 8 drives because I had 4TB just lying around and had already gotten 4x12TB drives for the FreeNAS. It was actually cheaper to buy the Synology box than it was for the FreeNAS box.

I was NOT disappointed and I continue to admire how it all seamlessly work. Accessing the desktop is all web based and its super nice, to boot its the same as accessing it remotely. On top of that Synology gives you a free way to access it which is very cool. Every app that is included can be accessed using this method which makes it super convenient.

One thing I really liked was the BTRFS system where you can add drives of different sizes so right now I have 4x4TB and 4x12TB drives all running in the same enclosure.

Before with FreeNAS, I learned about docker and played a little bit with docker but it was running in a VM and I  didn’t want to run it along with the other VM’s I was already running. Docker was hard to grasp but I would occasionally tinker with it and finally gave up on it as I didn’t see a real need.

Ironically with Synology I am 100% running docker and so far have 15 docker containers running. One of the best features is that as long as you define your mount points, you can upgrade your docker containers quite easily.

CONS:
Surveillance station only allows 2 camera’s, which is really dumb. Should allow 4 or the home use license should be a lot cheaper.

VM Machine only allows 4 VM’s before it also charges 50$ per VM. Again for home use, should be cheaper.

 

Nerding out over…

Something I always wanted to do was make my own VPN to gain internal access to my network, man its very cool to have this setup and super handy as I no longer need to port forward or use reverse proxy.

I was cheating by having to wake my main PC and gaining access but this was easier said than done.

What happened was I got a 10G eth card but found that it did not support WOL, so what ending up happening was I had to activate my 1G eth card to gain the ability to WOL my pc.

What I found out was that wifi/eth/10G was the priority order so I had to figure out how to change it which was not easy. Then I had to figure out how to block everything on the 1G eth card which was not easy to find. I would up assigning it to the public network then blocking all access to the public network. This took me like a week to figure out.

Of course all of this was done prior to making a vpn, which solved all of my issues. Now I regret not doing it sooner.

Updates

I haven’t updated in a while because I don’t come across enough content to make reference to anything but here is what I am working on now:

Rpi+7″ monitor – I got the parts and put them together for no other reason than to do something and have them. Not sure why I bought 2 of them. I think the initial thought was to use them in different scenarios but it didn’t work out how I wanted.

*** UPDATE 4/16/2019 1:32 AM –> I decided to use one for my PiHole because I  figure out a way to forward my dns traffic to a docker version so this was much easier.

ALSO I JUST freakin bought the Rpi3 and of course they go and announce the Rpi4…arrgh. On the plus side its not due out till 2020.

Google WiFi – I bought this based on reviews and when I got it, it was GREAT. The wifi issue I was having all but disappeared, which was poor signal in certain parts of the house. It was only after I got used to it did I notice some issues.

Runs double NAT, which means my FING box can only either read the LAN IP’s OR the WiFi IP’s which are different. For some reason it will not read the LAN IP’s.

This wasn’t designed for those that are semi advanced users who are doing semi advanced things on there network. This is perfect for those that never want to touch there network. HIGHLY recommended for those that just care about WiFi coverage.

PfSense – Decided I wanted more of an advanced firewall so I purchased a firewall appliance and installed pfsense on it, which is really neat. I had to get it because what I was using, wouldn’t have been supported in v2.5 which is expected sometime this year or early next year. Plus I happen to be in a situation when my FIOS was installed, that he ran an ethernet cable from the UNT to where I wanted to have the main internets so I could choose to run my own router.

Synology DS1819+ – This has 8 bays rather than 4 bays and man-o-man the user experience on it is a very stark contrast over FreeNas. I am going to write up something on the differences at a later time.

Unifi – This is the replacement for my Google WiFi, these are the more professional AP’s some some very cool stats.

IP Camera’s – I decided to install some IP camera’s instead of using this nest cam. I was finding the resolution was super poor even though its claiming to be a 4K device. Plus with the surveillance station that’s running on my synology, this makes it easy to keep and run my own copies and I can detach from the sub I have going with Nest.

*** UPDATE 4/16/2019 1:38 AM –> Yeah well in theory this app was great but when I went to add a 3rd camera it demanded I buy a new license for 53$. I had bought a AMCREST NVR for like 95$ but put it off to the side in case the Synology box, good thing I did as this unit accepts an unlimited amount of camera’s. 8 4K’s but really, residential only needs 3-4.

Smart Homes and smart things

I came across this post on my tweeter feed, was a re-post by someone else and I really disagreed with it but then I saw who posted it and now I am not sure if it’s is serious or in jest.

Personally I really like smart home stuff, yeah it has its issues but what doesn’t. In fact I did have issues with my WeMo stuff and I got pissed off at it and replaced it all with Alexa and Alexa compatible stuff and now everything is working better than before.

Right now I have the following:
2 Philips Hue’s – NOT the multi colored ones – That control the living room
3 Philips Hue’s that control the outside
2 Philips Hue’s that are in the living room
Nest Thermostat
1 Alexa in the living room
1 Alexa in the bonus room

What I don’t like is the Alexa routines, they are a little on the sparse side compared to Wemo but the fact that it works and WeMo is a pain in the ass to get working, I let it slide but would like to see more options available for its Routines.

This is prob the best response I have seen, this is totally me in the not to distant future.

Project Stream

Well I got accepted into the beta, I can see this being the future but sadly the ISP caps would ruin the fun if that’s what the future brings. I have seen a lot of comments that they easily eat through 15Gb per day playing streaming games AND that Comcrap starts to BW limit those that do.

Reblogging Regret?

UPDATE: 10/25/18 7:21 PM –>  Alrighty, new laptop came in and so far so good. Tested the thunderport display and this time no green dots all over the place. Lets hope it lasts longer. So Amazon actually came through for once.

Updated Regret?

UPDATE: 10/24/18 4:27 AM –>  Well I just got an email from Amazon and it basically said, please send back the laptop then we will take care of you. I didn’t like this answer so I chatted with them and “supposedly” they are sending me a replacement by tomorrow as an exception. I am not sure why this needed to be tagged as an exception but whatever. I am also doubtful that I will get a replacement tomorrow so we will see.

Update: 10/24/18 01:57 AM –> Well I got the laptop today. Took it to work and connected the thunderbolt display and saw green pixels all over the screen.

Changed monitors, still there.

Jiggled the cables, still there.

Hooked the cable to a different laptop and no green pixels which means that it is not a cable issue.

So I selected the replacement process for a new laptop, if this one is bad I will return that one and get a different brand.

I mean I could just not use it but some time down the road I will want to use it and remember that this is defective, why have something new that’s defective even a little?

UPDATE: 10/22/18 3:14 PM –>  I see that it was shipped! Hurray!!

Update: 10/21/18 09:49 PM –> Well still no shipping update, I am hoping that when I wake up there will be some sort of change. In the mean time I find myself really bored without it, I normally take it to work as I have some downtime so now I have to find stuff to do.

Update: 10/19/18 03:39 PM –> and that’s what I was expecting.

Update 10/19/18 12:55 –> Still haven’t got an sms saying its being sent out but still says delivery for today.

UPDATE: 10/18/18 6:32 PM –>  Hmmmm just noticed that the chat transcript that I wanted emailed to me never made it, now I’m wondering if this is going to bite me in the ass.

UPDATE: 10/18/18 3:34 PM –>  So it all began day before yesterday. I shut down my laptop to go home and noticed that it took a long time to shut down, where before it would hardly take any time. I booted it up and everything was really really slow. I messed around then I walked away for a while so the screen went into power saving mode. I noticed that all the lights were on where before, when it would go into sleep mode, they would be off. I attempted to wake it up and it would not wake up.

When I restarted it, it said there was a problem and then I noticed that the main NVME drive wasn’t being detected. Dang!!

So now I don’t know if this is a drive issue or a laptop issue with that connector.

I know for a fact that I am 2 weeks past the 30 days with Amazon but I thought I would try them and see what they say, surprisingly they said they would take it back for a full refund and said to buy another, which is what I did. Another surprise is I had the option to get it next day. So more updates to follow, although I don’t see a shipping text on my phone.

Now I just have to remove the extra memory and the larger NVME I installed in it.

Regret?

I sold my old laptop which was very thick and weighed about 10lbs, this proved to be a challenge when I would take my laptop to work and I rode my bike, so I finally got a new thinner gaming laptop which isn’t even a 1/2 inch thick and less than 4 lbs.

My regret is that it heats up near where you place your hand to play the game but I guess that is the trade off? As it happens it does not like the new Nvidia drivers at all and crashes games, at least the ones I like to play so I am now using some older driver that’s not optimized for this version of card. Kinda regretting the decision to go with this type of laptop but I am committed, at least for a while.

UPDATE: 10/07/18 10:47 PM –>  So as I am sitting here reading this post, since the time of the original post I have gone and successfully installed 411.70 mobile version and it has been running stable so the only remaining regret I have is that I have to buy a laptop cooler that sits under the laptop. It does seem to help..at least a little bit or I think it does. Maybe its a placebo effect?

Backstory to my laptop drama

On August 25th I placed an order for a new laptop and 4 brand new 12TB hd’s for my NAS.

I went to sleep and when I got up I had an email saying that my account was locked due to suspicious activity. My last order was canceled, my password was changed and all my billing info was erased.

I went through the process to get my account back but started a chat dialogue with an Amazon rep to get my account reinstated. They said they would be working on it and it would take 24 hours.

24 hours passed and still none of my info was populated so back to chatting I went. They said they were still working on it. I got an email saying they reinstated my account but they never did.

Another chat session asking why they locked my account in the first place, no concrete answer.

I told them that I was going to place another order and that they pay for over night shipping. They eventually agreed.

As it happened they did not followup with the merchant and I did not get my over night shipping.

More chats followed and no concrete answers as to why they were not fulfilling there end of the deal. After all, they screwed up, they need to make it right.

In the mean time all of this took so long that I missed the weekend that I was planning on working on the laptop and NAS. Always happens that way, order something and it never ever arrives on the weekend you are free.

Reblogging Splashtop is amazing

UPDATE: 10/17/18 2:02 AM –>  OK so in the years that followed since this post I have abandoned this tool. They stopped offering this for free and there paid version was super expensive while in the same span Google was offering a similar tool for free which I have been using exclusively. The only time I cant use this I use TeamViewer.

Splashtop is amazing

I can’t not say good things about this application. I have Logmein and its very much like VNC in that in updates small chunks of squares and you can se a definite lag when you are scrolling on the screen, splash top is nice and smooth. I just wished it was available on more platforms, like Linux, while it is available its only available via a tablet and not a desktop client.

Reblogging NAS issues

UPDATE: 10/13/18 5:24 AM –>  So an update to this story, I decided to get 4x 12TB drives. I decided to get the really expensive WD RED drives, it was a time consuming process but it was easy. I unlock the drive, replace the old drive with the new one and wait for it to resilver, took like 4-6 hours per drives.

So I have a total of 40TB, awwwweeeee yeah!! This will future proof me for a very very long time.

NAS issues

Writing this up for later review:

My older NAS HD failed, I never set up notifications and I had built this with RAID0, stripe. Which was fine at first but once you lose an HD you lost everything. I was lucky that I was able to save 90% of the stuff I acquired. Anyways fast forward to now.

I at first ordered 4 WD RED 6TB NAS drives, these are the recommended drives. They were 149$ at the time. (Remember that for later in this article)

One came defective out of the box, I ordered a replacement but it was out of stock and wouldn’t arrive for 3-4 weeks. I didn’t want to wait so I ordered 4 Seagate 6TB NAS drives. These were cheaper. I thought, kewl I will save money. Yeah hindsight is blind, at least in my case.

Almost to the month I started to get failed sectors on one of my drives. I do have to commend Amazon for outstanding customer care, they extended my request for replacement by another month in case my other drives became defective.

Anyways, I was going to swap out my order for the WD RED’s but they jumped to 249$ each….SAD PANDA!! Guess I will have to stick with what I have for now.