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Sunday, September 23, 2012

Connecting a DS212j NAS Directly to a Computer Without Using a Router

Background

I had the problem that I wanted to transfer about 100 GB of video files from my old Windows XP PC to my new Synology DS212j NAS (Networked Attached Storage). The network environment consisted of the DS as NAS, connected via cable to an airplay express wlan router (connected to a cable modem) and the PC connected via wlan to the network. One complication concerning this set-up was that the PC is quite far away from the airport express, resulting in a quite low bandwidth resulting in transfer times for the data of several ten hours.
My goal was to connect the Disk Station directly via cable to the ethernet port of the PC to benefit from the 1 GBit transfer rates of the cable connection.

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Realization

Before you start to move your NAS to the PC direct "network", you have to note the network settings of the NAS in the standard network with the router. IN case of the Synology DS212j do the following:

1. Open the DSM - Disk Station Management Console. This can either be done by using the Synology "Assistant" program (needs to be downloaded from the Synology website) or you can open the DSM by typing <ip address of your DS>:5000.  
2. In DSM start the Control Panel and click in section "System" on "Network":


3. In the network settings go to the tab "Network Interface":


Make sure that your network configuration is set to manual. If not done already, choose an appropriate IP address for your DS together with a subnet mask that fits to your wlan router setup. Note the IP address, you will need it to do the proper configuration of the network settings of your PC as soon as the NAS is connected directly to it. Save this configuration. and shut down the NAS.

You have to connect the DS212j - and any NAS having an ethernet port - directly to the PC by using a crossed (this is important) ethernet cable not a standard one. After having realized the hardware set-up (PC + NAS) you have to play a bit with the network settings of the PC.
In the windows control panel start the network setting tool. Quite likely, the network settings of your PC are set to wlan. Disable the wireless connection - and don't forget to switch it on again if you are done with your work ;). Now go to the network settings of the ethernet LAN and there configure the TCP/IP settings. Similar to the NAS set the network address configuration to "manual". Now you have to choose an ip address for your computer which is differing only in the last number from those of the NAS (in my example I choose 10.0.1.1) and choose an appropriate subnet mask (255.255.0.0 worked for me). Save your changes.
You can check if your changes work by using the ping command. To use it open a console in Windows (programs --> run --> type in "cmd"), then type in: ping <ip number of NAS> (in my example "ping 10.0.1.5). If the PC and the NAS are connected properly, the system will respond to the ping command with something like:
"64 bytes from 10.0.1.5: icmp_seq=35 ttl=64 time=3.856 ms"

Now you can open the NAS drives like any other. However, it will not be available by standard in the explorer of Windows. You have to open the drive via "programs" --> "run" and typing in the drive/path of the folder you want to open. The only problem I encountered was that the drive could not be opened by its name, but I had to use the ip of the drive. Meaning I had to type:
<ip of NAS>∕<directory> (example: "10.0.1.5∕video")

Now it was time to copy my video data and it worked like a fly.

I hope you got something out of this blog and you enjoyed.