Today we are going to take a look at how to access a Synology NAS remotely using DDNS.
DDNS stands for Dynamic DNS and it’s a way to automatically update a domain name with an external IP address. Most users have a dynamic external IP address that changes, and that’s where this DDNS hostname will become very valuable. If your ISP gives you a static IP address, this becomes less valuable, but it can still be used to access your NAS remotely, and we will take a look at that later.
Synology will give you a free DDNS hostname, and that’s what we will be looking at in this tutorial.
While DDNS is a great option, please keep in mind that there are other options you can use as well. If you aren’t sure which option to use, please watch this video, then consider using a VPN (like OpenVPN), Reverse Proxy, or Synology QuickConnect.
1. How to Access a Synology NAS Remotely with DDNS
1. First, ensure that you have a Synology Account. We will need this to get our free DDNS hostname. Open the Control Panel, go to Synology Account, then Sign in to or sign up for a Synology Account.
2. After your account has been created, select External Access, DDNS, then Add.
3. Select the service provider as Synology, then select a Hostname that you’d like to use. This must be unique and is what you’ll use moving forward. In the drop-down menu, you will see a bunch of domains (synology.me, DiskStation.me, myDS.me, etc.). Select whichever you’d like to use, then select Test Connection. The test should report back as Normal.
4. If you’d like to get a certificate from Let’s Encrypt, you can select that checkbox. This will fetch a new certificate and set it as the default. I prefer getting the certificate at this step, as DNS will be used moving forward for this certificate renewal. This means that ports 80/443 will not have to be open to renew the certificate.
5. If you keep the Enable Heartbeat checkbox selected, you will receive emails informing you when the DDNS connection is lost. Select OK to continue the creation.
If you enabled the Let’s Encrypt certificate checkbox, you will get a message stating that services that have used the existing default certificate might have to be updated. Select OK.
This is an example email you will receive if you keep the Enable Heartbeat checkbox selected.
If you need to update the services to use your new certificate, select Control Panel -> Security -> Certificate -> Settings. You can then go in and modify your services to use the correct certificate.
6. DDNS is now properly configured! At this point, the domain name you selected will ALWAYS be updated with your home’s external IP address as long as the Synology NAS is on and connected to the internet.
2. How to Access a Synology NAS Remotely with OpenVPN
With DDNS, there are now two main ways (and a third, shown in the security video below using a reverse proxy) that you can connect to your Synology NAS remotely. The first is by using a VPN that can be set up on your Synology NAS, which is what I consider the safest, and best way to access it remotely.
The second is by port forwarding the DSM port on your router and accessing the NAS that way. My recommended approach is by utilizing a VPN, though every scenario is slightly different. With either approach, I highly suggest that you check out my article on Synology NAS security so you’re a little more comfortable with your decision after fully understanding all options. If you’d rather watch a video, it’s discussed here:
3. Conclusion – How to Access a Synology NAS Remotely
This tutorial looked at how to access a Synology NAS remotely. Setting up DDNS on your Synology NAS is the first step if you’d like to access it remotely. If you’re lucky enough to have a static IP address, you can skip these steps if you intend on using a VPN. However, if you intend on accessing it through port forwarding, you will need some sort of a domain for the SSL certificate, so this is a great option.
Thanks for checking out the tutorial on how to access a Synology NAS remotely. If you have any questions on how to access a Synology NAS remotely, feel free to leave them in the comments!