Synology NAS Instructions

Tested on a Synology DS216j in Summer 2016.  Should apply to all Synology Products that use DSM 6.0.  Updated 4/2018. 

Setup Instructions

  1. Make sure you have a Philips screw driver available.  Open package and slide off cover to reveal hard drive trays
  2. Gently slide hard drive into place, making sure that the data connectors are lined up.  Secure with four screws.
  3. Repeat for all other drives, replace cover and secure with two of the smaller screws (should be in a separate package)
  4. Get a hostname or static IP address for the NAS.  While there are other ways of connecting, a static IP is the easiest.  The MAC address for the device is printed on a sticker near the Ethernet port.  If your department runs its own network, contact them and provide the MAC address for your new device.  If IMSS is responsible for your network, you'll want to make up a name for your device like "".  Check to see whether your name is currently in use by someone else by following the instructions at  Then make your request at (request type IMSS-->Network, Wireless & Remote Access-->Host and Address Requests) and provide the contact information for the individual responsible for the NAS, the building and room of the NAS, and the desired hostname.  Remember that the address must be used every two months or IMSS can take it back.
  5. Once you have a static IP address, power on the NAS and connect it to the campus network.  Access the NAS by going to a web browser and typing, where name is the specific hostname you requested.  You can also type the specific IP address (eg.  If this doesn't work, you might have to connect to your NAS using the Synology Assistant application.  Download tha application from on a computer that is connected to the same local network as the NAS.  You can then find and connect to your NAS.  Once you complete setup steps 6-10, you'll need to manually assign the correct IP address.  Go to Control Panel/Network and select Network Interface in the top menu.  Then click LAN, click the Edit button at the top, select manual configuration, and enter the correct IP Address.
  6. Follow the prompts to install the DiskStation software and set up your new disks.  
  7. Set up your administrator account.  It's best set the server name to the name you selected in step 4.  Make sure the password you select is strong (long, with letters numbers, and special characters).  I choose not to share the location of my NAS with Synology
  8. Skip setting up an account with Synology.  It's not really useful in this setup.
  9. You can install the recommended packages now or not, you can always do this later on.
  10. Set up automated updates.  This is the best way to stay on top of security patches.

You should now be in the main control panel of your NAS.  You're ready to administer your NAS.  A few things you might want to set up are below.


  1. Folders are where you store data and help organize and control access to data.  Click on Control Panel and Shared Folder.
  2. Click Create
  3. Pick a name for the folder.  I generally leave the other options unchecked, but you can consider these features depending on your specific needs
  4. Set user permissions for the folder.   If you don't have users yet, just click OK


  1. Groups are useful if you want to allow access to files or folders for a specific set of users or control how much of the storage space a bunch of users can access.  Click on Control Panel and Group.
  2. Click Create
  3. Make a group name
  4. Set the shared folders that this group will have access to
  5. Set the total amount of storage space the group will be able to use.  Clicking next will allow the group to use the entire NAS
  6. Set any specific applications that the group can access.  The defaults here are usually good.
  7. Assign upload speed limits.  Don't worry about this unless you've got a lot of users and bandwidth constraints.
  8. Confirm the settings and click Apply

User Accounts

  1. Click on Control Panel and User.  
  2. Click Create
  3. Enter a Name and pick a strong password (long, with letters numbers, and special characters).
  4. Select the groups the user will be part of (users is the required default group)
  5. Select the folders the user has should have access to.  If the group selected in step 4 already has access to folders, this will be noted in the second column.
  6. Set the storage quota for the user.  Setting group quotas generally works better.  Just click Next to give the user an unlimited quota.
  7. Assign permissions for applications.  The defaults will typically be correct in most cases.  Click Next
  8. Assign upload speed limits.  Don't worry about this unless you've got a lot of users and bandwidth constraints.  Click Next
  9. Check to make sure the settings look good and click Apply

Accessing the NAS from a Windows Computer

  1. Click on Control Panel and File Services
  2. The Enable Windows file service box should already be checked.  If not, check it
  3. Look in the Blue box for your connection information.  It should be \\hostname from step 7 in the setup instructions.

Accessing the NAS from a Mac Computer

  1. Click on Control Panel and File Services
  2. The Enable Mac file service box should already be checked.  If not, check it
  3. Look in the Blue box for your connection information.  It should be afp://hostname from step 7 under the instructions.  If you want to access a specific shared folder, your address will be afp://hostname/folder
  4. On your mac click on Finder, Go, and Connect to Server
  5. Paste the address from Step 3. into the address box and click connect
  6. Enter your username and password
  7. The shared folder now appears under "Shared" in finder.  You can save files to this location like any other location on your computer. Integration

  1. If you're a faculty or staff member, request unlimited storage by going to (request type IMSS > Data Storage & Backup > Request Additional File Storage > Box)
  2. On the NAS, go to Package Center
  3. Find "Cloud Sync" and install the package
  4. Follow the instructions to link your Caltech account
  5. You'll want to connect your shared folder with a folder on Box.  By default, if you create a new folder it won't sync with your desktop client, so you can store both research data and personal data.  You can set up the syncing direction.  Bidirectional means you can modify research data on or upload local changes only where new files on the NAS get copied to Box.  Upload only is the safest option.  


Do you have saved credentials that your Mac is using?  Explicitly include your username by connecting to afp://name:*@