Remote Access on the Synology DiskStation

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Portfwd-principle.png

Overview

This article aims to illustrate to the administrator on how to conduct Port Forwarding on the network, for the goal of accessing the Synology DiskStation's Services remotely. Accessing the DiskStation remotely can be used for the following applications

  • Provides a location on the Internet to access/retrieve data files on the DiskStation
  • To access Surveillance Feeds, Stream Music, Photos to Mobile Devices
  • Provide a location where backups can be stored.
  • Remotely manage the Synology DiskStation anywhere in the world, where an Internet Connection is available

Notes:

  • This article was written on DSM 3.1-1605
  • Want to watch the webinar? Click here to watch the webinar!



Aspects of Port Forwarding and Remote Access

What is Port Forwarding?

Essentially speaking - Port Forwarding allows for remote computers over the Internet to access specific computers and/or services within a private LAN. This is handled through a Router, which handles the routing of internet data through specific ports on the network. Ports can be considered as specific access “doors” which various computers will respond to. Much akin to forwarding a phone call from New York, NY to Seattle, WA; Port Forwarding forwards a call from the Internet, to the local network, and into the DiskStation, where the DiskStation (or another computer service) will pick up the call and respond.


How to access services remotely?

To access a DiskStation or remote computer service remotely, knowing the external IP address of the WAN modem is required. This can be determined by visiting whatismyip.com which will display a webpage denoting the current external IP address. Knowing the WAN IP Address - this information can be given to anyone that needs access to the DiskStation Remotely. It is recommended to sign up for a DDNS Resolution service, covered in the next section.


What is a DDNS?

Portfwd-principle-dns.png


All Internet connections today are assigned an IP address, which may be Static (fixed) IP, or a Dynamic (variable, constantly changing on an interval) IP. To have it where it's easier to remember what the IP address is to a particular location is, names are often used, such as www.synology.com. This process is similar to using a Telephone Directory to find names of a person or service, which will then point to a telephone number.
Signing up for a Dynamic Domain Name Service Resolution is a way of where a new users can acquire a domain name for free or for a service fee - so that it's easier to remember where their network is on the Internet. The following DDNS Providers can be used currently with DSM 3.1, where the DSM can update the DDNS provider with the newest WAN IP Address of the DiskStation on a periodic basis.



Notes about Port Forwarding with ISPs

  • Port Forwarding may only be available with specific ISP Contracts
  • Ports may be blocked by the ISP
  • Accessing the DiskStation remotely may increase or exceed the amount of data consumed within a specified billing cycle, please consult with the ISP to ensure that this limit isn't breached by excessive consumption of Internet Data.
  • Please consult with your ISP or a network consultant to determine if Port Forwarding is available with your network
  • For Internet Safety, only open ports that you need - and forward services that are designed for Internet Access.


Performance while accessing the DiskStation Remotely

Portfwd-performance.png

When accessing the DiskStation through a remote network, performance of accessing files is mainly limited by the WAN network itself, as indicated in the above image. While this performance can be improved by purchasing a higher-tier contract - it may not improve the performance as the Internet has multiple routes to reach the final destination. As there are multiple routes - there can be a multiple number of bottlenecks on the Internet which can result in lower performance.


Enable services

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The above image indicates common services on the DiskStation can be accessed remotely through Port Forwarding.
The Common Services and ports to access remotely on the Synology DiskStation article will list common ports and services which can be accessed remotely on the Synology DiskStation.


Compatible Router

Using of a Compatible Router with the Synology DiskStation will allow the DiskStation to control the Port Forwarding aspects on the Router. If a non-compatible router is used - and Port Forwarding is needed - then two options can be done


Port Forwarding with DSM's EZ Internet Wizard

Overview: This article will guide the administrator in using the Synology DSM EZ Internet Wizard to enable remote access to the DiskStation, and create a DDNS name for the IP Address.


Step 1:

  • Login to the Synology DiskStation Manager as administrator
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Step 2:

  • Launch the EZ Internet Wizard
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Step 3:

  • Press Next to proceed
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Step 4:

  • Select Through a router, most common method of using the DiskStation
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Step 5:

  • To proceed further, a fixed IP address will have to be enabled on the DiskStation.
  • Press Next to proceed
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Step 6:

  • Please update the Router List before proceeding.
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Step 7:

  • Indicated in the lower left-hand side, the router list has been updated.
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Step 8:

  • Select the router which is currently used on the network.
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Step 9:

  • Select a service which to allow remote access of; in this example, the Web Services are going to be enabled.
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Step 10:

  • A DDNS is recommended to be created or enabled. This guide will cover in creating a No-IP.com account and registering a new hostname.
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Step 11:

  • Fill in the blanks
    • Hostname: The DDNS name of your WAN connection (ie, synologydemo.no-ip.org)
    • Email: The email account used for this DDNS registration
    • Password: The new password for the new account to be created at no-ip.com for account management.
    • Username: The new username for the new account to be created at no-ip.com for account management.
    • First Name: Account manager's first name for the new account to be created at no-ip.com for account management.
    • Last Name: Account manager's last name for the new account to be created at no-ip.com for account management.
  • Please be sure to read and agree to No-IP.com's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.
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Step 12:

  • Summary of changes to be committed on the DiskStation and the router.
  • Press Apply to proceed.
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Step 13:

  • Verification of all tasks completed - Press Finish to close the Wizard.
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Step 14:

  • Testing of the newly enabled Port Forwarding for web access
  • Note: testing the new connection is best done using Router Configuration Testing or from an outside network, such as at a friend's house, or at a Hotspot
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Further Reading


How to add additional Port Forwarding Rules to the Router

Overview: This article will guide the administrator in identifying the location of where the router management is handled within DSM 3.1

Step 1:

  • Login to the Synology DiskStation Manager as administrator
Dsm30-login.png

Step 2:

  • Open Control Panel, Proceed to Router Configuration
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Step 3:

  • Router Configuration is presented
    • Setup Router: Change the Router for that the DSM is currently managing
    • Create: Add additional rules to the Port Forwarding setup
    • Delete: Delete selected rules
    • Save: Commit Changes to the Router
    • Test Connection: Test the selected rule to see if the Port Forwarding is enabled correctly.
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How to change the DDNS Provider

Overview: This article will guide the administrator in identifying the location of where the DDNS Provider Administration is within DSM 3.1

Step 1:

  • Login to the Synology DiskStation Manager as administrator
Dsm30-login.png

Step 2:

  • Open Control Panel, Proceed to DDNS
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Step 3:

  • Here, the DDNS provider, along with the account credentials and host name can be changed.
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Further Scientific Reading

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