How to configure a NAS to share files securely

NAS drives are also capable of running their own apps, so you can have one NAS connected to your Dropbox account, or one that runs a custom VPN (virtual private network) for you. Another popular option for NAS drives is Plex, which allows you to store audio, video, and images on your storage and stream it to where you need it. (It’s kind of like having your own private Spotify or Netflix service.)

If you’re convinced that a NAS drive is right for you, whether it’s backing up key files, streaming movies around the house, or whatever, then there are plenty of models to choose from, at all kinds of prices. . While this kind of network storage management might seem daunting to a beginner, modern NAS drives aren’t at all difficult to set up or use, and you can be up and running in just a few minutes.

Configuring a NAS drive

We cannot give you detailed instructions on how to configure every NAS drive on the market, but we can give you an example of how to configure a NAS to give you an idea of ​​what is involved, especially the Synology DiskStation DS220 +. The two-bay drive is ideal for users who need an affordable, simple, and versatile NAS. Other NAS drives will have similar setup processes, especially other Synology models, of course.

Depending on where you buy your NAS, it may already ship with hard drives installed, but if not, this is your first job: the NAS specs should tell you which hard drives are compatible, then you can go out and buy. as much storage as you want. Most modern NAS units have hard drive bays that are easy to access and use, and in most cases you won’t even need a screwdriver to insert your drives.

Setting up a NAS drive on your network doesn’t take long.

Screenshot: David Nield via Synology

With that done, it’s time to initialize the NAS: this is usually done through a web interface on a desktop or laptop computer connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your NAS. In the case of Synology DS220 +, once the drive is detected, you will need to download and install DiskStation Manager software, which handles formatting, file transfers, and other disk operations on Synology NAS drives.

Before you can start transferring files between the NAS and your other devices, you need to choose a disk configuration. This is where you get options like RAID. Do your research ahead of time to make sure you choose the right setup for you (although in the case of Synology drives, each option is fully explained to you through the interface). You will also need to provide a username and password to restrict access to key settings on the NAS drive.

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