How to setup a Synology NAS Part 1: Familiarising yourself with a Synology NAS

In this series of video’s we take a look at how you perform a basic setup and configuration of a Synology, Network Attached Storage device. The aim of this series is to offer a point of reference to help you build your own home network.  

As this video is the first video in this series. We will be taking a look at the main features that can be found on a  typical model of Synology NAS. We will then briefly discussing some storage suggestions and reviewing how you physically connect the device to your home network.

Note: At this stage in the setup of our NAS. We did not fit all of the hard drives that we purchased for our NAS. Instead we only fitted a single drive, which is required in order to install Disk Station Manager. We will then be adding additional hard drives to our NAS, and create volumes with those drives in a future video. 

While a NAS is a device that has been specifically designed to allow the computers on a network to centrally share files and data. Most NAS devices are able to provide more functionality than just being a file server. So the type of storage that you fit to your NAS needs to be suitable for what you intent to use your NAS for.

It is worth noting that while you can fit Solid State Drives (SSD) to your NAS. If your NAS is only going to be used as a file and media server, you might find that there is little to no performance benefit to fitting SSD’s. As your NAS will be connected to your home network. The speed that your home network is able to transfer data, will create a bottleneck that will reduce the performance in fitting SSD’s. 

So while SSD’s consume less power and will be less noisy, SSD’s tend to be more expensive, have lower maximum capacities and have only a finite life expectancy. As far as we can work out, fitting SSD’s to a NAS is  best reserved for services like databases and creating Virtual Machines. So if you are a home user, new to working with NAS devices we recommend that initially you stick with HDD’s and not SSD’s

While you can technically use any make or model of hard drive that you like. It is recommended that you purchase drives which are rated for use in a NAS.  So when purchasing hard drives we think you should consider using the following brands:

Suggested Hard Drive Models:

Note: We currently use Seagate Iron Wolf NAS drives in our NAS. At the time of posting a Synology NAT5300 Hard Drive seems to be just a rebadged Toshiba N300 with custom Synology firmware.

Additional resources:

Reference materials:

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