A beginners guide to setting up a Synology NAS | Part 9 | File Services

As a Synology NAS is basically a centralised location for storing files on a network. We need to have a basic understanding of the networking protocols and settings that we can use or change. So before we start creating network shares on our NAS, we are going to review the settings in File Services.

What is SMB?

Server Message Block (SMB) is a networking protocol used to allow file sharing and access to printers. As SMB is used in Microsoft Windows, its general popularity has meant that SMB has become the de facto communication protocol for Linux and macOS. While there are multiple versions of SMB, for security reasons your NAS should be using SMB2 and SMB3.

Note: It is now considered bad practise to use SMB1 as it is no longer considered to be secure. If you find that you have a device that will not connect to your network shares using SMB 2 and 3, we recommend that you replace that device or upgrade its operating system, rather than using SMB1.

What is AFP?

Apple Filing Protocol is a proprietary networking protocol which is part of Apple File Service. However, with the introduction of OS X 10.9 Mavericks, AFP was deprecated and support removed in macOS 11 Big Sur. Current versions of macOS now by default support SMB, so there is no need to enable AFP on your Synology NAS.

What is NFS?

Network File System is a networking protocol developed by Sun Microsystem for its Unix operating system. As macOS and Linux are based on Unix, both operating systems are also able to use NFS. However like AFP, there is no need to enable NFS, as SMB is compatible with Windows, Linux or macOS computers.

What is FTP?

File Transfer Protocol or FTP, is a communications protocol that allows us to transfer computer files via a network from a server to a computer, or vice versa. Often used in conjunction with a piece of software (for example FileZilla), to facilitate the transfer of data. FTP was one of the main ways to transfer files over the internet until the advent of cloud sharing. As a number of browsers have removed FTP from their functionality, and a Synology NAS can act as a very capable cloud storage solution. FTP has become less popular to use in the last few years.

Quick reference notes:

  • Log into your NAS using your Administrators credentials 
  • Select Control Panel – File Services 

Additional resources:

Reference materials:

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