Sunday, 30 July 2017

Adding additional camera licenses to Synology Surveillance Station

Overview


You may (or may not) be aware that Synology Diskstation has a module called Surveillance Station which is an IP based CCTV system and DVR built into your very own NAS unit.

I'm not going to go into depth over the fundamentals of Surveillance Station right here, and i know there are a 101 other products and systems out there. Personally i like Surveillance Station and find it works perfect, nice to work with and not overly complicated to configure.

The point of this post is the licenses... something i incidentally DON'T like about the Synology system if i am being completely honest... read on to find out why!

So you will find your Synology NAS unit will come by default with 1 or 2 camera licenses. This really depends on the actual model i believe, the more expensive ones being blessed with 2 straight out the box. The DS716+II 2 Bay NAS does indeed have 2.

So, if you want a couple of cameras, you are golden, it's all there ready for you to setup and monitor what need to keep an eye on.

One of the reasons i bought a Synology NAS was to indeed use this element of it. I also need to add a couple of extra cameras to it above and over the 2 'bundled' free ones.

If you do try to add more, then you will receive message from your NAS...


So how to you add more?

Bad news is... you need to stump up some more cash...

Quite a bit more cash!

Now, i work with many different hardware and software license controlled pieces of software on a daily basis. I get it, i understand it, why it's there. I may begrudge it sometimes i'll admit!

So how much to add another camera to your system... £5?... maybe £10? Honestly i would be happy to spend up to a tenner per camera to add more. I think thats reasonable.

Its actually about £50 for a single license....! It's a bit hard to swallow i know! And yes... other systems offer for less, even free.

Minor good news... there are 1, 4 and 8 packs for camera licenses. The more you buy the cheaper it gets... i should say 'less' instead of 'cheaper'.



At the time of writing (30/07/2017) we are looking at £49.65 for 1, £159.17 for 4 (£39.80 each) and 8 for £310.99 (£38.87 each)

You can't argue that's a bit steep! But if you are time invested in this system, sadly it's your only option i believe!

It get's a bit worse...

Don't worry... not a wallet stinger again!

I find this a little odd in the way it works and have been asked a few questions on this.

There is no 'license server' with the license packs... you may have noted the Amazon Links i have added above for them.

You don't go to a website (as such) or have a digital connection/login to manage these licenses.

You purchase them as an item, from an authorised dealer of Synology products. Amazon being one of them. Also i tend to find the Prime items and the by Synology tag.


You do not have to purchase via Amazon, but i do implore that you find authorised distributors via the Synology website. Searching on Google does bring up some alternative options, some also offering 24/7 email delivery of your license. I don't use these, nor do i intend to try. Please just be careful with your money and online purchases.

Ok, so what you receive is a card with the license key, you then punch that into your NAS, but more on that later.

So why is this worse?

Again, this is not a digitally managed system that you can log in with. That code, on that card, IS your license. Lose it and need to reinstall it... and you are stuffed basically!

It's like a lottery ticket. If you lose the ticket you cannot claim the prize. Simple as that.

You will likely only use the card once, to enter the code, and then forget about it. But please do ensure that you keep it safe. OR keep a backed up copy of the number somewhere isolated and safe of course!

If you do lose it, from what i understand, it is nion impossible to reconcile with Synology to get it replaced. They don't keep a record of what license is on what machine.

Doesn't sound great i know, and i am not trying to discourage you, just keep that code safe basically!

Can i install it on more than on Synology system?

No, it only works on one at a time. And checks over the internet that it is only installed on one machine at time. Trying to do so may void your license.

Can i swap it to a new Synology system?

Thankfully yes, you can deregister a license from one system and install on a new one if you are upgrading etc. But again... as said, keep that code safe!

Do the licenses expire?

Thankfully not no! Once you have purchased your license, it is yours to keep forever and doesn't run out or need renewing.

Adding the new license

So amongst the annoyingly high price and oddly antiquated method of acquiring them, you have paid and and are committed to using the system.

Thankfully it is straightforward!

Step 1: Open the License manager with Surveillance Station


Step 2: From here you can click Add to install your new licenses.

You can also see what is Used, Available and so on.


Step 3: Read and Agree to the statement and click Next

Pay particular attention to that third point!


Step 4: Type in your license code and click Finish


You should now have additional 'Available' licenses and be able to add more cameras to your system.

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