2022 How to Setup 10GBE with a Synology DS1618+

August 12, 2021

Everything You Should Know about setting up a 10GBE Video Editing NAS with Synology DS1618+ in 2022 and later

10gbe network setup nas
10gbe network setup nas

How to Setup 10GBE Network for a Synology NAS for Video Editing

I won't waste your time, I'll show you what I wish I could have found as a wrestled through the setup.

I bought a Synology DS1618+, and I love it.  



If you want to buy it, please consider using our amazon affiliate links so we can earn a small commission and we can feed our 4 children!  There's a number of relevant reviews out there, but they get a little convoluted in my opinion.  AI Review talks about the real world speeds from the DS1618+ here and it seems they actually handled the NAS.  Simply reviews has the typical walk through of each feature and that article is here.   Finally, NASCOMPARES has a breakdown of the 1618+ here, that I think is worthy - he seems to make things a little harder to quickly read but has LOTS of information.

I learned some lessons that I want to pass along to you so that you can enjoy your high speed, 10 gigabit per second video editing on my Macbook pro 16''

My Main Problem:

I wanted to use multiple computers to edit at the 10gbe speeds, and my router is not in the same location as my NAS and editing computers.  The house does not have any ethernet run.

Bottom Lines:

  • You can't direct connect to the DS1618+ via USB or thunderbolt like you would with an external hard, this is a NAS (network attached), vs. a DAS (direct attached). You must use the ethernet connections.
  • You'll need to upgrade to the DS1618+ to a 10GBE card, and get a 10GBE ethernet adapter for your computer; while making sure to connect it with a 10GBE ethernet cord (I went with CAT8)
  • Professional networking gear is expensive, and 10GBE Is not the same as Gigabit, pay close attention when buying stuff.
  • If you want multiple computers to connect to the NAS at 10gbe speeds, you need to have a 10gbe switch, which are not cheap.
  • The Mikrotik 10GBE switch I found for about $150 DOES NOT HAVE ethernet ports, they are called SFP+ ports, which require another $20-$40 adapter for each ethernet port (things are getting expensive!!!)
  • Setting up the NAS is much easier than you might think.
  • If you cannot connect or find your Synology NAS, make sure you download the desktop Synology Assistant rather than the "Find.synology.com" finder. The desktop client is VERY good at making the connection.
  • Sometimes if you're trying to connect via ethernet, and the router is ALSO on the wireless network, you'll want to shut off WIFI first, then connect to the NAS through the ethernet, and then turn on wifi for internet.
  • A switch is not a router, a 10gb Router like the nighthawk from netgear only has 1 10gbe port, meaning it won't connect multiple computers to the NAS at 10GBE speeds.
  • I'm getting 390-400 mg/second on the blackmagic test on the 10GBE stuff with 7200 Ironwolf 12tb drives with 4 drives.
  • I used the synology Raid setup, seems to be good.

Read Below: What You Need to Directly Connect a Synology to your Macbook Pro or Windows Laptop

This article will talk about what problems arise when setting up the 10gb per second switch and connection to the NAS, as well as all the gear I found out I needed to make the entire thing work.  I'll also share with you some of the hangups and frustrations I had when setting the NAS up on my Macbook Pro computers, as well as my Windows 10 Laptop.

Just like most video editors, I've had a couple hard drives go out and I'm swimming in terabytes of data.

I had 2 8 Terabyte Western Digital drives, and one of the external enclosures went out (because I plugged in the wrong AC adapter SINCE I HAVE LIKE 20 IDENTICAL ONES!!!)

Before that I had a client project on a disk drive that went bad, and after finding out that it would cost about 1200 for this particular recovery, I swore I'd get a fully redundant and safe NAS with a raid setup.

Gear Required for the 10GBE NAS Network to Macbook Pro


1 - NAS

I chose the DS1618+ over other models because it seemed like a balance.  I was thinking of buying the QNAP, because I saw that it had DAS compatibility, and it even had a model with the 10GBE card built in, but I chose the synology because there were more reviews, and higher reviews.  They also APPEAR to have more market share, and I like to do business with companies that have the highest market share. I might be wrong, but the review situation on Amazon had me opting for this.

Amazon Affiliate LInk: https://amzn.to/39p9zSv

synology 10gb pci express card for ds1618

2 - 10GBE Upgrade Card

I was impatient, so I ordered this card. I really wanted to future proof and upgrade to the 10GBE card with two built in M.2 SSD slots, but it would have been a $150 upgrade and it was backordered.

Amazon Link: https://amzn.to/2CXOBy2

ironwolf hard drive

3 - IronWolf 7200 RPM Hard Drives

I've had bad luck with my Western Digital external drives lately, so I wanted to give Seagate another try. I wanted to make the future-proof decision here and "measure twice, cut once", so I bit the bullet and ordered 4 of the 12TB hard drives.

I primarily wanted to balance capacity with speed, along with reliability.

Amazon Link: https://amzn.to/39olyzR

thunderbolt 3 to 10gb rj45 ethernet owc adapter

4 - OWC Thunderbolt 3 to 10GBE Ethernet Adapter

This had lots of reviews, was passively cooled (it DOES get hot), and was priced moderatly.

Amazon Link: https://amzn.to/3jww6RT

mikro tik 10gb sfp switch

5 - Mikro Tik SFP+ 10GBE Switch

This was the onlny moderately priced, 4 port 10GBE switch. I didn't find out that those ports are NOT ETHERNET until I got it.  This switch is sweet, priced well, but for every one of those ports you want to use, you'd need a 10GBE SFP+ Adapter.  

What is SFP+?  Well, come to find out that SFP+ is kind of a universal adapter for networking.  This port requires an adapter, and could accept high speed fiber optics, 10GBE Ethernet, or an array of other professional networking gear.

Amazon Link: https://amzn.to/2ZUPArO


6 - SFP+ to 10GBE Ethernet Adapter

This is what plugs into the 10GBE switch so that an ethernet cable can actually plug into it.  Something I wish that would have been brought to my attention from all the people giving the Mikrotik switch great reviews.... I was too ignorant to know!

Amazon Link: https://amzn.to/3nS2FM8

cat 8 cables

7 - CAT8 Cables that are 10GBE capable

Need to make sure that you're using proper ethernet cables to run at the 10GBE speeds. I'm not sure why, but it was like a couple bucks more to do the CAT8 cables, so I opted for them.

Buy the 10GBE cables here: https://amzn.to/3eSxRWc

netgear powerline adapters

8 - Netgear Powerline Adapters to get Internet to the NAS

This was annoying, but I wanted the router on the internet. I also want my router in the middle of my home so that I don't have issues with my connected tv's etc.  This has been working QUITE WELL so far!

Link to Amazon Purchase: https://amzn.to/3g0UGZ1

Synology vs. Drobo

I finally chose to purchase the Synology 1618+, but i had originally wanted a DROBO

But then my small business friends had a drobo nightmare after years of diligent use.

These wedding videographers lost EVERYTHING because the drobo just failed and support couldn't help them.  Luckily they had completed all their projects and had backups elsewhere from OLD RANDOM hard drives, but I decided I'd lean as much into safety as possible

Synology vs. QNAP

I also considered buying a QNAP, particularly because it seemed like they had a DAS functionality that synology does not yet support.

But after reading a great deal of reviews on their various levels of products, it seemed that Synology simply had larger market share, higher volume of reviews, with a higher average in the mid-range NAS market.

So I bought synology over the QNAP and the Drobo (After what my friends firm went through, i would NOT trust my business to Drobo)

I knew I wanted a super fast editing setup since I was spoiled with my favorite SSD thunderbolt 3 hard drives, and I'm a big believer in MEASURE TWICE, CUT ONCE.

I'm also a big proponent that people should invest in quality gear that will outlast the competitors, lead to efficiency, and something that anticipates your future growth in the category.

Synology 6 Bay DS1618+ fit the bill for my business backup needs.

I have lots of video, I"ll eventually have multiple editors, and I wanted good capacity and speed.

What Hard Drives Did I Buy for the Synology 1618+

What are the best hard drives to buy for the Synology NAS systems?

The most expensive ones of course!

After a bunch of homework, I came to the conclusion that I'm pretty sure every professional tech firm does - buy the Seagate Ironwolf 7200 RPM drives for a good balance of capacity, speed and longevity.

I chose 4 12 TB Iron Wolf Hard Drives, and I used proprietary Synology raid selection that provides speed AND protection.

I wrestled through and paid the tuition, so I want to help you out.  

What gear is necessary for a 10gbe connection with a Synology NAS like the 1618+ You computer will need a 10GBE RJ45 Adapter.  You will need to upgrade the card in your NAS to be a 10GBE card which plugs into the PCI express slot, and then you will need ethernet cables that support 10GBE speeds such a Cat6a and above (I went with the Cat8). That setup will get your computer connected directly to the NAS at 10gbe speeds, but it will not get the NAS connected to the internet, you would need to have it connected to a Router or Switch for that.

What Gear You Need to Connect a Mac or Windows Machine to a Synology NAS 1618+ at 10GBE speeds?

  1. The NAS itself
  2. the 10GBE Ethernet PCI Express Card (this is an upgrade card)
  3. a 10GBE Ethernet Adapter for the computer (get the THunderbolt 3 ones)
  4. Cables that are Cat6A and above, I went with Cat 8 (Cables must be fast)
  5. Connect the 10GBE to your computer with the 10GBE adapter, then plug a router into the 4 port switch.

Problem: My Router was in a different room from my NAS

My router is in the middle of my house, not near my home office.

That means I couldn't directly connect the router to the NAS, which would have given the DS1618+ internet connection.

Why You should connect your Synology NAS to the internet:

  1. Allows Updating of Packages & Firmware
  2. You can use Synology Quick Connect to remotely connect
  3. You can use features like the PLEX Server
  4. It's accessible to computers connected to the wireless router

Needless to say, I was stuck.

How did I connect my Synology ds1618+ to the router which was in a different room? After much contemplation, and the additional complexity of having other computers in the room, I decided to try out the Netgear Powerline Adapters.  

I'll talk more about this in a full review covering how the Netgear Wireless Adapters coordinate with a 10GBE Synology NAS adapter, 10GBE Switch and multiple computers.

Powerline Ethernet Adapter Connected to the Synology NAS

I used the Netgear powerline adapters to get internet over to the back room and run into the NAS. I read that you can use a wireless adapter, but I didn't want to deal with it and I figured there might be a benefit to having the ethernet in the powerlines someday. It's been about 3 weeks, and things are pretty good so far.  The speeds from wireless laptop, to the NAS is pretty slow, but it works for sure.  It's nice to be able to have the NAS attached when I take my laptop and walk around the house.

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