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Synology Diskstation DS416j NAS Review

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Synology DiskStation DS416j NAS Closer Look:

Surprisingly, the initial setup of the Synology DiskStation DS416j was very easy and painless, just as with other Synology NAS units. Unlike most NAS units, which have a hard-coded static IP address that you need to hook a machine up to and do the initial tasks before adding it to your network, Synology has taken the steps to make it seamless to the users. You just plug in your NAS to an outlet and then connect NIC Port 1 to the network. It will go out and grab a DHCP-assigned address on your current network so no changes are needed to access it. Then you load up //find.synology.com and your desktop machine will be instructed to start broadcasting over NBNS and LLMNR to find where the Synology NAS is.

In case you are not familiar with these protocols, NBNS is NetBIOS, which sends the packet out over IPv4 to solicit a name resolution just like DNS, but without a DNS server. LLMNR, which stands for Link-Local Multicast Name Resolution, is newer and can operate over IPv4 as well as IPv6, and runs the same way as NetBIOS, where it sends out queries for the device that owns that name to respond back to. Synology queries all the preconfigured names that its devices use, such as synologyrouter, rackstation, beyondcloud, and more. Once the NAS sees the multicast query, it sends a response with its MAC and IP addresses. Then the Web Assistant provides that information to you as shown below and allows you to connect to it with one button. Once connected, you are at the login screen that has a default username "admin" with no password; you enter that and you are presented with the initial configuration wizard.

 

 

 

The initial configuration wizard takes you through a few brief steps to get you set up and beginning to use the Synology NAS. The DiskStation Manager (DSM) is very intuitive, as you can see below, and is designed to get you using the NAS very quickly and efficiently. The wizard has you create your administrator account that overwrites the "admin" account so you can choose your own login. Then you are prompted to update to the latest DSM and set up automatic updates should you choose. One great feature of Synology DSM is QuickConnect, which you will be prompted to set up. I recommend setting this feature up as it allows you to share files from your NAS via the Internet, giving you external access on the go. This is done without port forwarding, as the NAS is connected out to Synology for you to access in a sort of reverse shell method. You even have your own custom URL you can set up.

 

 

 

Finally, as part of the initial configuration wizard, you are prompted to install Synology's recommended packages to get you started. These packages are installed on the Synology NAS and give you additional functionality, such as having a built-in audio server, media server, photo stream, web server, and more. Once they are completed, you will see the "installed" option shown under the names and you will be presented with a popup completing the installation. Then you are all done, the wizard will end, and you drop onto the desktop-looking interface that is the Synology DiskStation Manager UI.

 

Now that the initial configuration is done, we can take a better look at the web-based UI and the control panel.




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