If you got a new Synology NAS from your holiday, here are some of the top 5 things you should do with your new NAS.
#1 Setup Quickconnect Account & Home Network
First thing first, you want to properly configure your NAS so you can have access at home and abroad. Synology made it easier for you to reach your NAS with their Quickconnect service. QuickConnect solves the dynamic IP problem most residential ISP suffers when trying to access any web service externally.
After you have setup the QuickConnect, you can access your NAS outside your home with a static web URL.
Next, we want to ensure the NAS access at home works across all devices with a static IP address (or via hostname). What you want to do is go to your home router’s admin panel and find the setting for DHCP reservation. This essentially provides a constant IP address while the router still serves IP address for other home devices via DHCP. Also, while we are updating the router’s setting you want to ensure port forwarding are turned on for the external QuickConnect, default Synology diskstation port is 5000. We need to make sure all the proper ports are forwarded from external access.
Once you have the above settings configured properly, all your home devices will not have a universal NAS attached.
#2 Setup Folders and User Permissions
Next step is to create shared folders for your need. This really depends on what you want your NAS to do. If you have Mac at home, you can configure your NAS as Time Machine for all Mac’s backup, but at the same time, you want to restrict the access to the backup folder. The same idea applies if you want to hook up IP cameras and use NAS to record daily surveillance footages.
If there are more than one user will be using the NAS then its best to create multiple accounts and appropriate permissions to each account that serve its own distinct function and purposes. For instance, if you are also planning to use your NAS as a Plex server, then the Plex account should only be contained and used for this purpose and this purpose only. You also want to avoid using one single admin account for all folders and permissions. If the one account is leaked, then you are putting your entire data in danger.
#3 Leverage Build-In IP Camera
Each Synology comes with some built-in licenses (2 channels) that allow you to connect to IP cameras for home surveillance. This is a very nice cost efficient solution compare to buying a sperate dedicated system for the same job. Synology is able to connect most IP cameras you can get from the market, it supports a range of manufacturer from consumer orientated to enterprise class hardware. Their surveillance station VMS (video management software) software is one of the best out on the market that’s web based.
#4 Power Management
Next, you should do is look into ways to save as much power as you can while you are not using the NAS. You are not only saving power but also prolong the life lifespan of the hard drive, hence protract your data integrity. Synology NAS itself is already extremely power efficient compared to traditional desktop machines. But there are more rooms to grow in terms of saving power. You can start off by going to the Hardware & Power section to check the appropriate setting for your need.
Next, you want to go to HDD Hibernation to turn on and save as much disk activity when idle as you can.
Lastly, one of the BEST features I love about Synology is the ability to send WOL magic packet to wake up other devices on the local network. This means I can use Synology as the go-to portal if I want to access my home desktops and doesn’t require the desktop to be constantly turned on.
#5 Download Companion Mobile App (iOS/Android/Windows)
One of the biggest advantage using commercial NAS like Synology is the support for other ecosystem and platforms. Synology offers companion apps across the board for easy of access to your files. Whether you are on iOS, Android or Windows platforms there are dedicated native apps you can download to enhance the experience of having all your file at your finger tip. The cloud access is truely your own cloud solution.
Co-founder of Next of Windows and a cool geek 🙂
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Last updated: 02/05/2017