Everyone likes the concept of sharing files and folders from their computer and phone on the go. Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive are personal cloud storage products that have a common thread where they are hosted by a major tech company, costly in that these companies shake you down every time reach their free storage threshold, and you are more likely to be pushed in a direction of using products that meant for their ecosystem only. Synology makes a suite of software and hardware products for those who want more control out of storage.
- Accessing a Synology remotely so you can work from home
We have a new & improved version of this blog post!!
Accessing a Synology remotely so you can work from home
The new post gets less into the weeds and provides a lot more links for a cleaner version of explaining a Cloudstation server and client setup. For more phone app details, continue reading here.
Synology Cloud Station DS Cloud Setup for iPHone
It is important to know the following settings for illustration 1 and illustration 2.
- The Above Illustration 1
- The Synology name. What are you connecting to?
- DDNS – name.synology.me
- QuickConnect – http://quickconnect.to/YourID
- FQDN – diskstation.domainname.com
- User Name
- Example User Name created in Synology DSM – Fernado
- Enable SSL
- Enabling SSL allows for secured connection
ProTip! Use Keepass for storing all related information regarding your Synology user name credentials, server name, and setup notes.
- The Above Illustration 2
- Shared Folders
- Shares are enabled for Cloudstation sync access via Cloudstation Server
- Defer to your IT guy or whoever set the Synology Diskstation on what share folders to sync.
Note: Some shares may contain a substantial amount of data. Be careful what you sync. By default, data will sync via WiFi connection only.
What data to sync?
- The Above Illustration 1
- I highly advise to perform “download only” option.
- Basically, this options makes the data on your phone read only and the data sync from your computer or Synology DSM.
- The Above Illustration 2
- Syncsub Folders
- enable subfolders and all formats
Understanding Shares and Your Workflow
You or your organization must have a Synology DiskStation or their higher end, line of NAS products to store your data on for Cloudstation to work. Ultimately, you want your DiskStation customized to the way you work.
DiskStation Shares & Cloudstation Setup
Homes – Home drives shares are enabled for each user created by default. They are essential for storing personal photos, backups, and Synology Drive related data.
Video – Share is created when you enable the Synology Video Station package
Work – Share can be created manually by you and you provide your user permissions or group permissions to the share. Best practice is apply group permissions.
PC – Desktop Setup
- Local Disk (C:)
Data that resides on your local computer’s hard drive. Use Synology Cloud Station Backup to backup data that is stored here.
This is your personal drive. Personal data like old Outlook PSTs, photos, and docs should be placed here. Cloud Station Drive data is also stashed here depending on how you configured the app.
Communal video data should be stashed here. Again, this is how I customized by Synology. Your communal data may differ
This is a vague term for work related data that everyone in you business can collaborate on shared documents and data. This folder will be used later to sync with CloudStation Drive.
Network Info Sheet – Mapped Drives
Note: The desktop shares have to be added manually to your desktop unless you create scrips, etc for this to happen automatically. This manual add of the shares is called mapping the drive.
Below is how we break down shares and present them to clients when they are deciding what individuals should have permissions to specific network shares for file servers in both regions.
||Personal Home Drive
||Sync files and folder between NY and SD; and Cloud Station Drive
|| Sales Data
Note: Analyze illustration above and skip below the PC setup for CloudStation Drive if you have a Mac once you have read the summary of the CloudStation Drive software can potentially help you on the go.
Synology Cloud Station Drive Summary
The Cloud Station Drive takes one of these shares and makes it accessible on your computer and mobile phone when you are on the go. There’s no more tunneling into the network via VPN or accessing a website remotely to download your work and later uploading an updated copy. And finally, your data is no longer constrained by the limitations of Google Drive, DropBox, and or Microsoft OneDrive.
Cloudstation Drive Setup for Mac
The first step for setting Cloudstation Drive for Mac is to download and the dmg file.
You will now see a cloud icon on the top of the screen called “the menu bar”. Go hard and click on it if a setup window for CloudStation Drive does not pop up.
Cloud Station Drive Setup Screen
We use DDNS FQDN “SynologyUnitName.Synology.me” to find our Synology unit on the interwebs. Proceed with entering the DDNS name followed by your user name and password.
In our scenario, we are using DDNS not QuickConnect. QuickConnect is less secure. Click “No” to proceed.
At this time, we do not have a certificate. While this could potentially create a man in the middle attack, the likelihood of that happening is incredibly small. Make sure SSL is enabled and click “proceed anyway” to bypass the certificate issues.
This is where things get somewhat tricky. There are default sections or locations to be synced that can edited:
- /home/CloudStation/Drive à Change the Synology share to the department share you are looking for. In this example it is: Synology.me
- /users/UserName/CloudStation à Change to a more ideal location to find the synced folders on your Mac
- /users/UserName/Documents (as illustrated below)
Edit first section to “Sales” share
After a couple edits, the CloudStation Drive should look like the illustration below…
Make sure you add the “CloudStation” synced folder to “Favorites” for easy accessibility.
Cloud Drive Setup for the PC
In this scenario, we choose “client” or the “M drive” to sync with Cloud Station Drive.
Get Going! – Download Cloud Station Drive
Once download, run the install and follow the pics below. It is important to know before getting start how you authenticate to your Synology NAS. Please grab those credentials before proceeding. The typical DDNS used for server connection ends in Synology.me
Credentials: UserName\Password (User name is usually first name)
Cloud Station Credentials
Don’t select QuickConnect unless you absolutely have to. It is not as secure as the other methods for authenticating with the Synology.
Say no to QuickConnect
This may be an issue if you don’t have an SSL cert. In my case, we do not have an SSL certificate. So click “proceed anyway” to co
SSL Certificate Prompt
The Selected folder on your PC and NAS will be Syncronized.
Here’s the interesting part. There are two sections to edit from.
- I would leave the bottom one as the default location and it will end up as an additional folder to your window library and a shortcut will be placed on your desktop for accessing the synced data.
- Referring back to what share we chose to sync, we chose “client” and you select the top section to edit and select “client” to sync. Alternately, we could have chosen something like your home drive. In that case, we select “CloudStation (home)”
Select Share to Sync
Add to Recents
Select “Finish” once complete and add “cloudstation” under c:\users\username\ to “quick access” when in File Explore of Windows.
Adding additional Shares to Sync
There’s a little unfortunate and undesirable affect when adding more than one CloudStation Drive “Sync Task” to the application. Quick Access pins look the same as you add more tasks as displayed on the pic to right. You will not be able to change the name of the folders as this will break the file path and the sync will fail. I would recommend creating the sync tasks from cloud station drive and unticking “create an empty CloudStation folder”. By doing this the folder will retain the original folder name you will no longer need to rename it. Follow the steps below to proceed:
- Select Cloudstation Drive application from the system tray or under program files\synology
- Click “create” and connect to the existing Synology NAS or enter the credentials like in the initial the setup documented up top.
- Click the Synology to edit and share to sync
Select Share to Sync
4. Then select the computer to edit. Reference the above picture of the “E5570-PC”. Edit your computer
5. Uncheck “create an empty CloudStation folder” like reference below. Make sure you create an appropriate folder name usually under Documents or Desktop to sync the task to as displayed in the photo on the right and find “task” or whatever you named it to sync to it. The picture on the left we found the path for the “sync test” folder we created. Basically, name it whatever you want as long as it make sense for when you pin it for Quick Access.
6. Pin sync folder to Quick Access
Cloud Station Drive Troubleshooting
The unfortunate side of Cloud Station Drive is when it breaks. Sometimes the Cloud Station agent on users workstation stops syncing for no apparent reason. You have to “delete tasks” and recreate them but I highly recommend documenting the location of the workstation’s local path Cloud Station syncs from before proceeding. Also, two way syncing will overwrite some data that’s newer. You will have to figure out the file conflicts sooner than later.
My documented sync paths…
c:\users\User_Name\documents\sales – marketing
Need to report issues to Synology Support? Try proving the daemon log…
- Windows: C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\SynologyDrive\log
- Windows XP, C:\Documents and Settings\<user_name>\Local Settings\Application Data\SynologyDrive\log
- W10, C:\Users\User_Name\AppData\Local\SynologyDrive\log
- Mac: /Users/<user_name>/.SynologyDrive/log
- Linux: $HOME/.SynologyDrive/log
Synology Cloud Station Mobile App Support – DS Cloud
PLEASE UNCHECK “INTERNAL STORAGE” FOR ANDROID
Step 1) Login Screen
Step 2) Select Folder to Sync
Step 4 ) Download Only
*** Very Important Step
Let us know if you are still struggling with the setup for the Synology Cloud Station. We provide remote and on-site support for all NAS products.