Synology C2 Backup: Overview


White clouds in a blue sky

Synology just made its Synology C2 Backup Service available worldwide. Before this, it was only available in Europe.

Pricing is only listed in Euros. I’ve read some suggestions that the price will be the same in US dollars (swap the € with a $ but keep the same numbers). Barring an update directly from Synology, I expect that they will bill in Euros and the credit card company will handle the exchange rate (and impose any foreign exchange fees). My thinking is that this is in line with their published price, which mentions explicitly Euros. Currently, €1.00 is worth $1.20 which is a pretty significant difference. So when comparing prices to other services, consider the exchange rate and any charges your credit card may impose. It would be nice if Synology did just swapped currency symbols, but they’ve shown no signs of doing so.

The data center is in Frankfurt, Germany, which is where all your data will reside, at least for now.

Synology divides the plans into two Tiers. Tier 1 plans are available at three storage levels; 100 GB (€9.99/yr), 300 GB (€24.99/yr) and 1 TB (€59.99/yr). The 1 TB plan is also available for €5.99/mth.

All Tier 1 plans offer the following:

  • Once a day backups.
  • Up to 11 backup versions are kept for 30 days. Only the source file size on the Synology NAS counts against the storage limits.
  • Files can be restored via the web.

The Tier 2 plan charges €69.99/yr in 1 TB increments. As soon as you cross a terabyte threshold, you pay another €69.99. So 100MB pays the same as 1 TB, and 1.01 TB pays the same as €2 TB.

The Tier 2 plan includes the following:

  • Hourly backups, rather than just daily.
  • The data retention policy (versioning) can be customized. The size of all versions is included in your storage usage calculation, although data deduplication may reduce charges. (In Tier 1 plans the archive versions are not included in the storage calculation.)
  • Deduplication is done on your backup data to reduce storage usage and costs.
  • Files can be restored via the web

New users get a 30-day free trial. You need to provide a credit card and will automatically be billed for your selected plan after 30 days unless you go into Synology C2 and cancel the renewal.

You need a Synology account to setup Synology C2 Backup. It’s the same account you have for DDNS or QuickConnect along with other Synology licenses and services. If you have multiple Synology devices connected to the same account the storage limit is pooled across all devices.

The backups are encrypted, although Synology doesn’t elaborate on specifics. Hyper Backup to Synology C2 supports client-side encryption, which is a requirement for me when backing up to the cloud. This does require some trust in Synology since they control all the software and could collect the encryption key if they wanted it. If you use web restore and client-side encryption, you’ll need to enter the password in the web browser, which could be an additional security risk, although easily avoided by not doing any web restores.

Since even the C2 beta wasn’t available in the United States, I’ve only just started looking at it. I like the features. Personally, I currently backup files to Backblaze B2 using desktop backup software (Arq). For clients where this isn’t a good option, I recommend Amazon S3. It’s reliable, and since you only pay for the bytes used it can be less expensive than the tiered options. Although, it is harder to predicts costs since you pay for more than just the bytes used.

In summary, Synology C2 backup could be a capable replacement for Amazon S3, so I’ve begun my first backup. While any factors can impact upload speed, over the first 8 hours I’ve been getting about 1.3 MB/s (that’s Bytes, not bits). This is in line with what I get with U.S. based data centers such as Backblaze B2 or Amazon. So, having the data center in Germany doesn’t seem to have much impact.

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