3-Installing Your Synology NAS

Once you have bought, assembled, and connected your Synology DiskStation, it is time to do the initial installation and basic configurations.

This is the third part in a series on getting started with your NAS: the installation of DiskStation Manager.

Installing Your Synology NAS

You bought your Synology DiskStation or NAS and installed the disks and perhaps additional memory or SSD cache modules. You connected the power and network cables.
Once you have set up the hardware, you are ready for the first power-up. After all lights on the NAS are lit, and you hear the ready beep, you can start the initial installation of your NAS.


Before we dive into dirty details, here is an overview of the entire initial installation:

  • Preparations in advance
  • Finding NAS
  • Install DiskStation Manager  (DSM)
  • Formatting disks
  • Downloading, installing DSM
  • Restarting DiskStation (10min., with a lot of disk access)
  • Create your administrator account
  • Set up QuickConnect
  • Install Synology’s Recommended Packages
  • You Are All set!
  • DSM opens, notice about the smart update, device analytics

Preparations In Advance

Before you start your setup, however, I suggest you do the following. It can make the set up a little bit easier.

One step is to create a Synology account beforehand or make sure you have it at your disposal, as you will need it during setup. Go to https://account.synology.com/ and create a Synology account. Store the password and email address (particularly if you have multiple addresses) in a safe place. A network manager is a good example. You will need this account during the installation.

Next, think of a name for your NAS. During installation, you are asked to type in the name. Last but not least, you will create an administrator account during the installation. You use this account for maintenance and additional installation. Do not use this account for daily use like connecting and storing files. You will create a user for that later.

Give the administrator a sensible name like nasadmin or, even better, something without the word admin in it. Note that the name admin itself is already reserved and can not be used. Please create a password for it as well and store both name and password in a safe place.

You are now ready to go.

Finding Your DiskStation

With the Synology Assistant application or Synology Web Assistant link, http://find.synology.com,  you search your network for the powered-on NAS before you can start the installation.

You download the Synology Assistant from the Synology Download Center at https://www.synology.com/support/download.

Select product type (NAS) and select your Synology product. In the search results, select the second tab, Desktop Utilities. Here you find the Synology Assistant at the top of the list. Download the version for your platform. Start the application. It will start a search. Once your NAS is found, please select it and click on Set up.

Without installing any tool you can also find your NAS with the URL http://find.synology.com.
When your NAS is found, click on the Set up button.

Install DiskStation Manager

DiskStation Manager or DSM is the operating system your NAS is running. You will install this first on your NAS. Click on the Install Now button or click on Manual Install. [I have to try this on a new NAS, as I suspect it will let you configure the disk configuration].

You may get a warning that all data will be removed. Confirm and click OK.

The setup will now initialize your disks and format the system partition that will contain DSM. Next, it will download the latest version of DSM for your model of NAS. When the download is complete, DSM is installed.

When the installation is complete, the NAS or DiskStation as it is officially called will restart.

Create Your Administrator Account

As I mentioned earlier, you are asked to create an administrator account for your NAS to manage in the preparations phase. This is not an account you will use on a day-to-day basis for file storage and other applications on your NAS. You also give your NAS a name on this screen, the server name. Make sure you provide a strong password that is long enough and sufficiently complex.

Click the Next button.

Set Up QuickConnect

First, be aware that you can skip this step. At the bottom of the screen, just below the Next button, is the link Skip this step. But let us start with a brief explanation of what QuickConnect is.

QuickConnect is a service from Synology that allows you, or anybody else, to connect to your NAS over the internet. The smart part of this service is that you do not need to configure your internet router or a VPN service to access your NAS. You need the QuickConnect ID.

The flip side of the coin is that everybody who can guess your QuickConnect ID can connect to your NAS and make an attempt to log in. Also note, that the connection is slow, as all traffic is routed through the Synology servers.

My suggestion is that you set up QuickConnect now but disable it after the initial installation is finished. You can then quickly enable it when necessary, for example, for support purposes. Alternatively, you skip this step for now and configure it later when necessary. I will now continue assuming you do not skip this step but want to configure it now.

If you look at the screen, you might notice that you either create a new Synology account or use an existing account. In the preparation phase, I asked you to create a Synology account. If you did, choose the second radio button Create QuickConnect ID with an existing Synology Account. Fill in the email address and password of the Synology account you created earlier. Also, enter a QuickConnect ID. This ID is a unique name to find your NAS via the QuickConnect service over the internet.

In case you did not yet create a Synology account, you can do it here. Note that this account is not an account to log in to your NAS, but you will use it for support at Synology or registration for a Synology webinar. Record email address and password properly for future use.

When all is set, click the Next button, or alternatively, skip this step when you did not enter any information.

Notice the QuickConnect link that is displayed. You may save this URL with the Drag me to the desktop icon.

Click the Next button.

Install Synology’s Recommended Packages

Until this point, you might have understood that a NAS is a network storage device or file server. That is true, but in the case of a Synology DiskStation, a NAS can be much more. As we will see later, there are many applications and services to install. Before it is installed, an application or service is called a package.

During the initial installation, you can install a subset of seven packages or skip this step. Note that you can always install and remove any package at a later date.

You might use one or a few of the proposed packages later, but why install it now? I vote in favor of skipping this step and install later what you need. But feel free to include the proposed options.

For references, these are the recommended – according to Synology – packages:

  • Moments, for managing photos
  • Video Station, for managing your videos
  • Media Server, for managing other media
  • Audio Station, for managing your music
  • Hyper Backup, a great backup tool
  • Drive, your local cloud and sync tool
  • Download Station, for managing your downloads

Note that if you skip this step, you will end up with a few packages installed anyway. For reference, these are:

  • File Station, a Finder or Windows Explorer type of tool
  • OAuth Service, an open-source authentication tool
  • Universal Search, to search your NAS

Of these three, you might not need OAuth Service, and you can remove it later on. Click on the Next button to install the recommended packages, or the Skip this step link below the button.

You Are All Set

The initial setup is almost done. Before you click on the Go button and get a quick tour of DSM, there is one box to tick.
As you remember, we started with either the Synology Assistant application or the Synology Web Assistant via http://find.synology.com link.

Here you can enable this for future use or disable it. Please note that there is a setting in DSM where you can change this later. Click on the Go button.

Using DSM

When you see the blue screen with a few icons, you are now in the DiskStation Manager. You are logged in as the administrator account you created during this initial installation.

Take note of the Smart Update message that will notify you of future updates. We get into that in more detail later. Click on the Got It button to continue.

A second window appears regarding Device Analytics. As with computers and mobile devices, manufacturers are interested in anonymous data about using the device. Although this obviously helps them, you are free to choose whether you like to comply or not. Even a reminder in the future is an option. Choose your pick and continue. Please note that there is a setting in DSM where you can change this later.

The initial installation wraps up with three tips and shows you two of the eight Widgets that you can close or position elsewhere on the screen.

In the top right corner, you see several icons. The third from the right is the personal menu of the logged-in user. Click on it to open. Please take note of two important options: Shutdown and Logout.
Always log out when you have been using the DSM. And if you are logged in as an administrator, you see the Shutdown option. This is one of the ways to shut down your DiskStation gracefully.

In the next episode, we will have a tour around the DiskStation Manager or DSM.

Thanks for reading

This post is donation-ware, and I made it to help you. Please consider leaving a comment or buying me a coffee if it did. I will be eternally grateful.

Paul Steunebrink / Storage Alchemist

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