As we are at the start of a new year, we will be taking a short break to recharge our batteries and plan the new content that we will be creating. This will in turn help us to maintain a steady output throughout the rest of the year.
This means that we will start posting again in February, by finishing off our series regarding using Linux Development Environment on a Google Chromebook. While this series has not been as successful as we would have liked. We feel that its important to try and document this feature as well as we can.
Then for the rest of the year we want to primarily focus on Synology products. This will mean that we will be continuing our beginners guide on setting up a Synology NAS, but we will also be starting a beginners guide on setting up a Synology router.
However as these types of videos are taking us more time to complete, and we want to maintain a steady flow of content. We will be introducing short supplementary videos relating to specific topics as we go. So for example we will be creating multiple videos on the different ways you can map an network drive in Windows and macOS.
Framework Video delayed
As to our Framework laptop video, things have not gone to plan. Originally we intended to post a video where we run through the purchase and building of our new Windows 11 Framework computer.
However, due to us underestimating how much work was actually involved, and because at the end of the year we were just mentally exhausted. We have decided to delay the release of this video for a month.
Also because this video is far longer than anything we have ever done before. We might break it up into three parts, with the full length video remaining exclusive for our members.
Problems with Synology VPN server
Recently while working remotely, we found that both our computer and smartphone were unable to make a VPN connection to our home network. While in this instance it was not a major issue, and we were able to have documents emailed to us. Upon our return home we began to investigate the problem.
From experience, we have found that often it’s best to start troubleshooting with the simplest solutions. So we started by rebooting our NAS and our router. Unfortunately, after the reboot we still could not connect to our VPN server. So we reverted to testing where our VPN traffic was being blocked and came to the conclusion that it was either the Firewall on our Synology NAS or an issue with VPN server.
It made the most sense to start with our firewall, so we disabled it and tried to establish a VPN connection through our local network, and then directly to our VPN server. However, as this also failed we decided that there must be something wrong with the VPN server, or we have an issue with Disk Station Manager.
As it’s easier to deal with problems on the VPN server, we triple checked our settings and reviewed our VPN logs. Unfortunately, as our NAS was still not reporting any connection attempts. We felt we were back a square one, as it appeared that our NAS was some how still blocking our VPN traffic.
Fixing the problem
If you work long enough with IT you start to realise there are a couple of basic rules regarding troubleshooting. The first is, “do not expect a different result after trying the same solution three times”. While the second is “be slow and methodical, as you often can’t undo rash or impulsive actions”. So we decided to have a break and then re-review the situation.
As far as we could tell we had a problem with either Disk Station Manager, or the VPN server software. So because reinstalling the VPN server was the least invasive course of action. We decided to try uninstalling VPN server, deleting its firewall rules, rebooting our NAS and then installing VPN server.
After taking screenshots of all our settings, we deleted VPN server from our NAS, uninstalled the VPN firewall rules we were using, rebooted our NAS and then reinstall VPN server. Then after adding our VPN rules back into our Firewall we tried to make a VPN connection and found that everything worked.
As far as we can work out, the last VPN server update we did, did not install correctly. So the VPN ports needed to connect to our VPN server were not reopened, which in turn prevented our VPN traffic from reaching our VPN server.
So the moral of this story is that after updating software packages on your Synology NAS, you should always test that all of the services on your NAS are still working.
While we will be taking time off this month, we have a number of videos scheduled for posting to YouTube. So we will start the new year with a video on how you can easily unlock the drive bays on a Synology NAS if you have lost the keys.
We will then demonstrate how you install the Thunderbird email client onto a Chromebook. Followed by a video on how from the Finder in macOS you can quickly display a file path. Finally at the end of the month we will be posting the next video in our Beginners guide to setting up a Sinology NAS by looking at how you install Disk Station Manager.
As we will be taking a break to recharge and prepare for the new year. This month we will only be posting the long form video on how we purchased and setup our Framework laptop. While initially this video will be a timed exclusive for our members, we will be releasing this video in episodes over the coming months.
Happy new year!