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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This NAS is Double Plus Good
Let me say this, I'm a huge tech nerd, and when I decided to get a NAS, I've spend a LOT of time researching and going between different models. When I stumbled on the Synology 712+, I realized exactly why it was $500. It's not just a NAS with a minimized NAS OS on it. No, this thing is pretty much a Linux Box that runs NAS software. For those not familiar, let me...
Published on March 9, 2012 by Damian R. Broccoli

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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Awesome - until you need support
Finished migrating data from a pair of 5yo Synology 207 units to 712+ head with 5-bay expansion unit in the all-Mac environment. So far - awesome experience. NAS backup time down to 4.5 hours (full, head to expansion) from average of 14 hours (delta, 207 to 207 over Ethernet), AFP mounts instantaneous, Lightroom opens old photo collections very fast. TimeMachine...
Published on December 26, 2011 by VLAD DIDENKO


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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This NAS is Double Plus Good, March 9, 2012
By 
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This review is from: Synology DiskStation 2-Bay (Diskless) Network Attached Storage DS712+ (Black) (Personal Computers)
Let me say this, I'm a huge tech nerd, and when I decided to get a NAS, I've spend a LOT of time researching and going between different models. When I stumbled on the Synology 712+, I realized exactly why it was $500. It's not just a NAS with a minimized NAS OS on it. No, this thing is pretty much a Linux Box that runs NAS software. For those not familiar, let me break it down.

Normally, when you guy NAS, it has just enough software present to setup RAID, control the distribution of information, and maybe act as a print server. Very bare bones, and is more like a Glorified USB Drive than anything else. When you got to the Management Portal, it's the same kind of things as when you log into your router. Yeah, there's more behind the scenes, but WYSIWYG. On the other hand, the Synology 712+ is essentially a barebones computer that comes with an Atom Processor, 1 GB of RAM, and a custom Linux Distribution. When you log into the Management Portal, it's not a simple GUI, it's like a Remote Desktop Session. Not only will it handle the job of being your NAS, but it can do even more.

Some of the extra features I really like about it:
* Synology's Hybrid Raid System which will help maximize usable space on mixed sized hard drives.
* WebDav for accessing files remotely (using it)
* Media Manager (using it to stream seamlessly to my Xbox and other devices)
* Full Firewall (using it)
* VPN Server (not using it, but will be testing it)
* Print Server (not using it)
* Application Server (not using it yet, but can quickly setup to use MySQL and some simple PHP Apps)
* Mail Server (not using it)
* Plus a ton more!

There were three key points which led me to buy the Synology 712+:
1.) I use Crashplan (for free) to backup information from many of my computers to a single one. As the 712+ has full Linux, I was able to install Crashplan onto the device (I used a Package, but Synology has a FAQ with step by steps on how to do it) and easily pointed all of my computers to now backup onto the Synology 712+.
2.) The 712+ has two Gigabit Ethernet Ports, and can be put into Link Aggregation Mode (if your switch can support it) or into Failover Mode (where if one connection dies, it'll seamlessly switch to the other), the latter I'm currently using. Very nice if you'd like some redundancy.
3.) Options for Expandability. Right now, I only use 2 Drives in the 712+: 2 x 2TB Hard drives in their Hybrid Raid Setup. Now, down the road when somehow 2 TBs becomes not enough, I have a few options. I either buy a new NAS, which won't be likely if this one keeps working. I can also replace the HDs one by one (letting them repair in between) and then expand the space. Or I can buy a DX510 which expands the available bays to a total of seven, and through the Hybrid Raid expand my available space through adding more drives, without having to reconfigure a whole new NAS.

Now that all being said, this NAS is probably not for everyone. If you're not technologically savvy, then it might be a little overwhelming. Most people are used to the simplified UI, and lack of customization that it seems like a chore to do anything. And most of the extra Services/Features might never be used, so you're paying extra for stuff that will never be turned on. So take that into account, and if you just want a very simple NAS, go look somewhere else.

On the other hand, if you want something more robust and flexible than your run of the mill $200 - $300 NAS, then this is a great option. If you can handle yourself around another computer you'll find the extensive interface refreshing. Also, don't be turned off by it being Linux, because most of you mid-knowledge guys will never hit the command line... since most likely someone has already built a package for what you want. And since it has the more robust interface, you can easily control it remotely. Hell, I'm writing this review from work while connected to my Synology 712+ at home.

So if you are looking for something better than the average NAS, spend the extra cash for this awesome piece of tech, and have a robust system that can keep you going for a while. I've had this thing setup for 12 hours now, and I already know I've made the right decision. Now you might ask "So why not 5 Stars?". To be honest, I'm hesitant to give anything 5 Stars until I've had it for a length of time. Also, in the end, it's worth 3 Stars for the average user (probably too complicated) and 5 Stars for the more savvy (just enough flexibility)... so it's only fair to average them since not everyone will be as tech savvy as I am.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars some thoughts about the advertised speeds, but GREAT NAS!, January 13, 2012
This review is from: Synology DiskStation 2-Bay (Diskless) Network Attached Storage DS712+ (Black) (Personal Computers)
Make sure you have the proper network hardware if you're buying this NAS specifically for the 105.59 MB/sec write and 180.91 MB/sec read speeds advertised everywhere. What you need is a MANAGED switch capable of link aggregation, but read further.

- WITHOUT link aggregation, Synology claims up to 97.04 MB/sec write speeds and up to 107.09 MB/sec read speeds when transferring a 5GB file.
- WITH link aggregation, those rates jump up to 105.59 MB/sec write and 180.91 MB/sec read.

Link Aggregation in a nutshel: combining 2 Ethernet ports to get double the normal 1 Gigabit speed on a typical (gigabit) network.

Quote from the Synology forums: "Unless you intend to have multiple devices accessing the NAS at the same time over a gigabit network, then link aggregation is of no use, as a single device will never be able to have a speed of more than 1 gigabit"

A follow-up quote: "No there is no advantage on a single user network, as a single PC can never get above the 1 gigabit network connection. I fell in to this trap myself, so that's how I know"

And in my 10 min of research, in order to get those speeds from a single PC (180.91 MB/sec), I think you'd need a pair of network cards capable of "teaming". Again, I don't know a ton about this. Lots to learn about now that I have this NAS sitting at home not going as fast as it could. HAHA

--

How this NAS is performing for me (edited after I enabled Jumbo Packets):

Great interface. WOW. It's an amazing NAS. Without jumbo packets enabled on the NAS and my PC network card, I was getting about 50Mbps speeds both ways (over Ethernet). Once I enabled jumbo packets (9000), those speeds jumped up pretty close to the speeds it should be without link aggregation - roughly 100Mbps. AWESOME!!

--
Edit: a few days in..

Big problem with photo thumbnail creation on this NAS - this is a software problem. There's "photo station", a seemingly nice setup to view your photos on the diskstation app or web interface. Thing is, if you have a few years of pics saved up, to create the thumbnail galleries takes weeks and weeks. Google "synology thumbnail creation slow" and you'll find frustrated users on Synology forums. Synology has ignored the problem thus far, and released subsequent updates without fixing this particular issue. Kinda disappointing. Subtracting 1 star for this.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best NAS ever..., November 10, 2011
This review is from: Synology DiskStation 2-Bay (Diskless) Network Attached Storage DS712+ (Black) (Personal Computers)
I can't believe how Amazing this NAS is. Super fast, super quiet (even in cool mode). My hard drives (2 x Western Digital Caviar Green WD20EARX) are always in 95 F. The case is metal, not plastic. Streaming from my Oppo BDP-93 is so flawless, even with 1080P MKV files. It works the same with Mac computers (iMac and MacBook Pro mid 2011) and PC's. My DS712+ came with DSM 3.1 cd, I did the upgrade to DSM 3.2 online with no problems in less than 5 min. If your are looking for the best NAS in the market, just go for Synology.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Awesome - until you need support, December 26, 2011
By 
This review is from: Synology DiskStation 2-Bay (Diskless) Network Attached Storage DS712+ (Black) (Personal Computers)
Finished migrating data from a pair of 5yo Synology 207 units to 712+ head with 5-bay expansion unit in the all-Mac environment. So far - awesome experience. NAS backup time down to 4.5 hours (full, head to expansion) from average of 14 hours (delta, 207 to 207 over Ethernet), AFP mounts instantaneous, Lightroom opens old photo collections very fast. TimeMachine recognized by all computers and saves/restores faster than my new Airport Extreme. In the migration process almost lost the data due to double disk failure on the old 207. Good backup saved the day (as usual). Like Synology.

Update February 2014: After one of the DSM updates, a few of the ".deb" packages related to the web front-end security and security keys failed to install. Those are internal operating system packages, not the add-ons. The Support took totally unreasonable time to get to the issue (~1 month). After being unable to guide me to troubleshoot it, they did not understand my suggestion to instruct me to retry installation of those failed packages. Instead, they instructed me to open the system to the Internet traffic, following their standard "security tightening" checklist. The purpose was for the Synology engineer to login at a convenient for them time to troubleshoot it. That would be all fine, but I am not in a position to put the system on the Internet which clearly complains in the logs about failure to install the security measures. I was going to be OK even with that, but said that I need to know the time, so that I can tap and monitor the traffic for my comfort. She rejected that option.

Overall the support came across as hard to deal with and very low competence. I had to take the system offline and wait for the next DSM release, which (oh, by the way) dealt with security breaches and some customers' compromised systems. That full update installed without reporting any problems.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Spendy but fast, but support experience unsatisfying, March 12, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Synology DiskStation 2-Bay (Diskless) Network Attached Storage DS712+ (Black) (Personal Computers)
I absolutely don't regret making this purchase. It's a bit more expensive than competitive units, but it has great Mac compatibility, and is very fast, quiet, and cool... Setup was a breeze. This Synology unit replaces a previous one (wanted a higher performing one) and I couldn't be happier. Have it configured for remote access via dynamic DNS service. I think I'm using about 30% of its rich features, and they all work great.

Updated 6/23/12:

Recently had issue with unit having unexpedcted power shut downs, they helped me diagnose to a faulty PSU, so they sent a replacement PSU. Problem persisted so they arranged a replacement NAS box itself to be sent. What I got was a refurb, which I guess is to be expected, but it was an obvious refurb with sticker on bottom "Property of (some company name)", leaving me to feel my replacement for a recently purchased $500 NAS was just someone else's recycled problem.

What does leaving some other company's label on the unit say about how thoroughly the unit was tested and examined before it was sent out to another customer to replace THEIR defective unit?

For the price, I expect better service... So far the refurb replacement is holding up, time will tell for how long. I'm not overly optimistic at this point.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lots of Features - Little Efficient Package!, November 3, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Synology DiskStation 2-Bay (Diskless) Network Attached Storage DS712+ (Black) (Personal Computers)
A a software engineer working from a home office, I needed to replace my failed NAS (from a 3rd party I won't name in this post), I opted to replace my old NAS with the Synology DS-712+. This little device replaced two physical servers of mundane services with 1 simple 27 Watt Storage solution. I now have capacity on my old servers for all my dev / test Virtual Machines.

After a little learning, and lots of configuring to tweak my lab just as I wanted, I started digging deeper into this product. At first glance, it's a typical NAS, but I quickly discovered how much this little device will change my lab and my life. So, let's look at the technical specs first:

- CPU Frequency: 1.8GHz (Dual core would have been nicer)
- Memory: DDR3 1GB (I upgraded it manually to 2GB with my old MacBook Pro memory)
- Internal HDD/SDD: 2x 3.5" or 2.5" SATA2?(Hard drive not included)
- External HDD Interface: 3x USB 2.0 ports, 1x eSATA Port
- Max Internal Capacity : 8TB (2X 4TB HDD) (Capacity may vary by RAID types)
- Expandable to 7 Drives Synology DiskStation 5-Bay (Diskless) Scalable Network Attached Storage DS1511+ (Black) and up to 28TB!
- LAN: 2x Gigabit
- Hot Swappable drives!
- 180.91MB/sec Reading, 105.59MB/sec Writing
- vSphere VAII, ISCSI, and NFS Support!
- 3 year Warranty

All of this in 27.5 Watts Active / 17.6 Watts Idle!

The processor appears to be the only grip I have at the moment around the technical aspects. Memory was upgradeable, but the 1.8Ghz processor my be its most limiting factor. The addition of 2x 1Gbps Lan ports, 3x USB Ports, and two drive bays capable of holding 3TB Drives, gives my little lab ample growth.

I split the LAN ports to Public (this web site) and Private (my Lab interface) rather than aggregating the ports for more bandwidth. This allows me a little more flexibility in my home networks to keep public traffic off my local segments. I took advantage of the USB ports by connecting my APC UPS to one port and an external 2TB WD drive to the other. With Dual 2TB drives in the NAS and 1 TB drive externally, I have a convenient external backup solution.

The NAS itself has support for VMware vSphere 5 and VAAI hardware acceleration support. vStorage API for Array Integration (VAAI) means thin-provisioning with free block recovery! In addition, the vSphere support ensure that I will not be questing my lab storage as I build out new product solutions as new products release.

An amazing little nugget that I discovered was that the array, being Linus based, supports USB hubs for additional expansion. So what if there is only 3 USB ports? Adding a 7 port Belkin powered USB hub means I can move mu old USB storage drives off my desk and on to the NAS.

Now, on to the software. The real value and the the reason I purchased this device was the ability to import packages to run on the NAS. There are dozens of Synology provided and 3rd Party applications.

Some of the items I am currently running on this little device include:

- Anti-Virus Essentials - San all my shares
- Audio Sation - Web based music server
- Cloud Station - REmota access to all my media
- Tunes Server - Home sharing to other devices
- Mail Server - Hosting my home email server
- Mail Station - Web based email with RoudCube
- Photo Station - web based access to all my images, GPS tagging, and facial recognition!
- Surveillance Station - Records activity from my home wireless web camera while traveling
- VPN Server - OpenVPN and PPTP Support!
- Web Station - Hosting up to 10 Web sites with Virtual Hosts
- Wordpress - Providing services for this blog
- DynDNS DDNS Updater - to refresh my IP for my dynamic IP address
- Syslog Server - to record activity from all my servers and devices
- MySQL Server - all my data base needs
- Backup and Restore service - Backs up my web sites, photos, VM's, and MySQL to my external drive
- FTP Server for my Eye-Fi card to FTP files back into the house from the camera
- Firewall with Auto Block
- Mac/Win/NFS File Services!!!
- Directory Services - So I can get away from Active Directory

All of this and the CPU runs at about 5% to 15% most of the time and did I mention it all runs on 27.5 Watts!

The NAS has been up and running for almost 1 week. In that time, I have moved almost 1TB of data back onto the NAS. File transfers have been quick. The scheduled backups also ensure I do to need to manually backup my content monthly and instead automated the task to daily or weekly.

So, in the first week I have spent many hours adding all my services and shutting down physical servers. The power savings alone will pay for itself in the first 4-6 months.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Synology DS712+, July 24, 2012
By 
cplincoln (Arlington, VA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Synology DiskStation 2-Bay (Diskless) Network Attached Storage DS712+ (Black) (Personal Computers)
Easy to set up the hardware, and easy to set up many of the features (FTP, web access, media server, mail server, etc). Fit for a small business or someone looking to have a powerful media server. I use Plex right now, but Synology is coming out with their own very similar product.

Additionally, Synology has great customer service, and an active community on the help/ how-to forums. If your question hasn't already been answered, it will be shortly.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The DS712+ is a Silent & Fast Media Server, February 21, 2013
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This review is from: Synology DiskStation 2-Bay (Diskless) Network Attached Storage DS712+ (Black) (Personal Computers)
I've been using the DS712+ as a music (Logitech Squeezebox Server) and movie (DLNA) server for about a year now. Both of these applications have worked seamlessly with all of my devices, which include Squeezebox radio's, a Sony Bravia XBR-HX929 TV, a BDP-S780 bluray player, an iPad, various android phones, and various Windows PC's. Not a single problem or hiccup in an entire year of use. Very impressive.

Some advice I could give to a new buyer...

1. Get Western Digital Red NAS specific drives. I first configured my DS712+ with 1TB Samsung Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ drives, which were cheap, good performers, and low-temp DESKTOP class drives when I bought them in late 2011. They worked well for the 9-months I had them, with no functional problems to speak of (maybe some luck here), but the vibrational properties of this drive (and I suspect most DESKTOP types) made the DS712+ rattle over time (the rattling came from the removable drive chassis/carriages). I had to tape/adhesive the front of the box to prevent this rattling. I then replaced the HD103SJ's with 2x2TB Western Digital Red NAS drives, and what a difference. The drives run slightly cooler (89 deg F, versus 95 deg F), are quieter, and don't make the DS712+ vibrate at all. NO MORE VIBRATION! My DS712+ is stunningly silent (I can only hear a slight whir when my ear is literally placed on the box) with no drive thrashing during heavy drive activity. With these drives you will not hear your DS712+, at all, even in a really quiet room. This was really important for me, because computer/fan/hard-drive noise drives me bonkers. And (this is a big and), I took no penalty in performance. In fact, movie load times went down to about 4 seconds, vice the 8-10 seconds with the Samsung drives. The Red's are fast too.

2. Link aggregation did nothing "noticeable" to my home network environment. I wish I hadn't invested in a switch that supported link aggregation - I would have saved $100! I suppose the dual-LAN's would really help in a business environment where several users, maybe dozens, are pegging the NAS all at once, and the ability for fail-over could really help reduce down-time. However, for a home user, the dual-LAN's didn't provide noticeable bandwidth improvement. The DS712+ is really fast, even with a single LAN in use. For large, single-file transfers, I can saturate the 1Gbps direct-link to my desktop, while streaming music and movies at the same time (I've actually tried this, to see what would happen)! For those that do need/want link aggregation, I bought the Cisco SG200-08 smart switch and link aggregation worked with no problems.

3. Get the DS713+. I suspect that it will be as quiet as the DS712+. The dual-core CPU should provide some extra snappiness to web-server rendering (Logitech Media Server has a web interface), movie load-times, thumbnail generation/previewing, music on-the-fly transcoding, and improve I/O speeds when lots of users peg the drive at the same time. I'm sure add-on software packages like Plex Media Server, will greatly benefit from the faster dual-core CPU on the DS713+. For my use however, I don't notice lag with the DS712+. Everything feels really snappy. Moreover, the DS713+ has USB 3.0 support, so backups and external drive access will be noticeably faster. Oh, and I'm sure the I/O speeds to an external DX213/DX513 expansion unit will greatly benefit from a faster CPU.

4. For home use, Synology > QNAP. I also own a QNAP TS-259 Pro+, which I also really like. The DS712+ is as fast in every way (and usually faster in most), has close-to-equal build quality (QNAP does have all-metal build, while DS712+ has some plastic), and is about the same price. I prefer the Synology DSM user-interface as it's prettier and simpler to use, but both are excellent. Both QNAP and Synology have excellent third party app support. In one aspect I think the Synology is far superior, and it's in NOISE. Synology = absolutely silent, QNAP = sounds like a small leaf blower in comparison. It's in the fan size; The Synology uses an oversized fan, which is a superior cooling/noise solution. For media serving I haven't found a single aspect of the DS712+ that is inferior to the TS-259 Pro+. I suspect the DS713+ fairs just as well if you compare it to the newer TS-269 Pro.

5. Now that I have the 24x7 capable WD Red drives, I turned off the "sleep/hibernate drive after X minutes of use." This makes the DS712+ always ready for media serving requests; Movies and music start instantly, ALL OF THE TIME. That 7-8 second spin-up time after I hit "play" drives me bonkers, and I was very hesitant to NOT sleep the previous Samsung drives I had. With the WD Red's, I no longer worry about this.

6. RAID is not a backup! Use the $100 I saved you on the smart-switch you were going to use for link-aggregation, and buy a large external USB drive. The built-in backup tool works, so use it. You can also backup to Amazon S3. In this regard the QNAP software suite wins, as you can backup to a USB drive, Amazon S3, and an Elephant drive.

7. I have little or no-mileage with networking the DS712+ to Mac computers. I do know that a Mac OS X 10.6.8 (Mountain Lion) can map the DS712+ via a SAMBA share with only "windows" networking enabled on the DS712+. This seems to work well, actually. Your Mac mileage may vary.

I have to say that I'm still really happy with the DS712+. It's an uber-fast, uber-quiet, fuss-free home NAS. Ahhh, I bask in silence :)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy setup, lots of functionality, August 29, 2012
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This review is from: Synology DiskStation 2-Bay (Diskless) Network Attached Storage DS712+ (Black) (Personal Computers)
Using this device as a backup for a server. The User Interface is extremely polished. Even though it's managed through a web browser, the software is very responsive.

So far, we haven't had any issues with our backups being sent to it. A great feature is the ability to encrypt the hard drives in it. Would definitely recommend.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Super Fast. Remote Access is almost as Fast as Being at the Office., July 24, 2012
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This review is from: Synology DiskStation 2-Bay (Diskless) Network Attached Storage DS712+ (Black) (Personal Computers)
My Previous NAS was a Western Digital WorldBook 1TB Drive.
So this was quite an upgrade.
Installation can be a little tough if you are not Technically inclined and ready to do some research.
My Router is a ASUS RT-N66U which is not supported so I needed to do the Port Forwarding myself.
I was having a hard time getting remote access, until I realized that my Comcast Business Service had a Gateway with its own Firewall... After Logging on with that, I setup a DMZ for the 10.x.x.2 and then pointed my ASUS router to that Static IP and manually entered the DNS and Boom, I was up and running. I could have forwarded ports but having a Firewall in my Router and in this DiskStation is already enough firewalls for one Network...
My WD Worldbook would give me access to my Files remotely but the Speed would never get above 30Kb/sec which is painfully slow. This DiskStation was ticking along at around 500Kb/Sec from my House Service, which is limited by my Home ISP most likely.
I setup a ServerName.DiskStation.me address and that seems to work well for VPN connection in Windows and my Android Devices.
Using the VPN connection I can now make changes to my Router from anywhere. I can also Log on to the DiskStation through my Browser and Add Users, Change Permissions, etc...

I have 2 Seagate 3 TerraByte Drives running in the Default Raid mode that the Unit set them in, which gives protection against a Hard Drive Crash.

It is also good to know that I can add the DX510 5 Bay Expansion further down the Road.
So Expansion should be a snap.
Very Happy with this Unit.
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