Hey everyone! In this article, I’ll share the details on Synology C2 with a focus on pricing and features. I’ll dig into the special features of Synology C2 and share my thoughts on how they could be beneficial over what you would get with other cloud storage platforms.
As you can see below, Synology breaks out pricing in set increments. This is more similar to how services like Dropbox price storage compared to the likes of Amazon’s AWS. This pricing style does come with disadvantages such as when you need just over a certain limit, which causes a large jump in pricing. For example, if your data grows and you now need to backup 315 GB of data instead of 275 GB, you’ll have to pay about $43 more per year!
Do note that Synology C2 Backup is designed to be used as just that, a backup target. Some cloud storage options may have special features that C2 doesn’t but in my research, those features aren’t really backup focus and can be replicated or closely matched by using Synology’s Drive application.
Plan 1 vs Plan 2
One of the major differences between Plan 1 and Plan 2 is the frequency at which your backup task can be run. With the Plan 1 option, you can only run the backup task on a daily basis. With the Plan 2 option, this is upgraded and you can run your C2 backup task on an hourly basis! Depending on how frequent you want to run your backups this may be a deciding factor and is something that doesn’t come into play with other options on the market. I’m sure this is put into place to minimize bandwidth of the cheaper plans which is why they’re able to offer these options for such low cost.
There is a solution if you don’t need to back up a large volume of data. With the Plan 1 option, you can still have multiple Hyper Backup Tasks. For instance, if you wanted 4 backups throughout the day, you can simply create backup tasks and have these scheduled periodically throughout the day. Do keep in mind this would require 4x the data allotment but if you only needed to back up 50 GB of important files you would still fall under the 300 GB option!
Data Encryption and Restoring from the Web Browser
I’ve combined these two features into a single point, simply because on their own, they don’t offer anything special over other popular cloud storage services. With every Hyper Backup task, you have the option to locally encrypt your data with any backup target, so this isn’t special at all. In addition, many cloud storage services have a web portal where you can selectively download files. Synology C2 is special due to their web portal not only allows you to download files, but you can also decrypt those files before downloading them! With other cloud storage providers you would need to download your files then decrypt those files with the Hyper Backup Explorer application you can download from Synology’s website.
That’s not to say the C2 web portal is perfect. Unlike options like Dropbox where you can select multiple files and Dropbox will create a zip archive, the C2 portal will only let you download individual files. This is something I hope changes in the near future, but hey at least the files are decrypted! On a more serious note, this is a neat feature when you combine encrypted data and restoring from the web, but it is far from perfect!
Free File Versioning
This is a feature that is only available with one of the options under plan 1. With free file versioning, you get 11 versions of your backup files for no additional cost. When comparing this to other cloud storage services, this could save you a decent chunk against your storage allotment. The benefit of free file versioning will be highly dependent upon your specific use case. For someone who needs to back up a large volume of data but only regularly edits a small percentage of that data, then free file versioning isn’t too useful. It’s certainly a nice feature though and having multiple versions of your backups is highly recommended. To have that capability for free is great as it only encourages more widespread adoption of multiple backup points!
Customize Retention Policy & Deduplication
This is a feature that is only available with plan 2 and replaces free file versioning. Instead of being limited to 11 versions of your backup you can now keep as many versions as you want. For instance, if you’re setting this up in a small business, you can set up hourly backups from 8 AM to 5 PM for instance. So every day you would require 9 backup versions. If you wanted to have a fine tooth comb to go back a full work week in time you would need a total of 45 versions of your backup! With plan 2 you can do exactly that, which is nice.
However, there is a major catch! Your backup versions are no longer free! That’s where deduplication comes in. If for instance you have 100 GB of files to backup and you want to keep those 45 versions, you don’t have to keep 45 full versions on your data. It only keeps the files that were changed for that backup version, greatly reducing the amount of storage space required. This is exactly how Hyper-backup works if your backup target is AWS S3, Dropbox or even a local backup to your Synology. This makes the plan 2 option the closest to what you would get with standard cloud storage providers.
Synology C2 is a great value especially for the plan 1 options which are great for home users and even small businesses! The biggest advantage of Synology C2 is the ability to decrypt data straight from the browser. This could be particularly useful if your Synology Server is down for some reason or another and you need to quickly restore a handful of files. With plan 2 coming with a small premium, it’s closer to the pricing of major cloud storage services such as Dropbox. In conclusion, Synology C2 is a solid service and I’ve been running it flawlessly for a couple weeks now and have no complaints.