Articles: Networking

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Basic Functionality

The DS411 has a Gigabit Ethernet controller with Jumbo Frames. It has an integrated PPPoE client and supports IPv6 tunnels. You can plug a wireless USB adapter into the NAS to connect the latter to a Wi-Fi network. The DSM 4.0 firmware also allows using the NAS as a wireless access point for up to three client devices which are assigned IP addresses and can access both the local network and the internet (if the NAS itself has an internet connection).

One more new feature is the integrated VPN client for PPTP and OpenVPN. You can use it to establish secure links to remote sites for backup copying or data exchange. Up to 16 profiles can be defined but only one VPN connection can be active at any given time.

The DS411 has an integrated DDNS client for remote access. About a dozen different DDNS services can be used, including Synology’s own. The NAS can automatically set up your home router to translate ports for necessary services.

DSM 4.0 has greatly improved in terms of remote access and cloud computing features. For example, the QuickConnect component of the ezCloud feature saves you the trouble of setting up your router, DDNS and other options manually. When using it for mobile access (via the DS file utility) and the Synology Cloud Station client, you can just enter your ID instead of the NAS’s network address.

The MyDS Center service helps you monitor your NAS remotely. Having registered at, you can add several Synology NASes to your account and keep track of their status from that website.

The integrated firewall can help protect the NAS on public or large networks. Password-guessing attempts can be blocked automatically.

The new firmware doesn’t bring about many changes in terms of disk management. One such change is that you can now program a schedule for S.M.A.R.T. tests to run. In the power management section you can make the HDDs shut down when not active. The NAS supports the following disk configurations: JBOD, RAID0, RAID1, RAID5, RAID6, and RAID10. Synology offers flexible migration opportunities in terms of changing or expanding your RAID without losing data. Particularly, you can add disks to your RAID or replace them with larger-capacity ones. Refer to the manufacturer’s website for details on specific migration scenarios. The new firmware supports iSCSI volumes which can be created as files on existing disk volumes or take up entire partitions. In either case you will be able to implement fault tolerance. New in DSM 4.0, you can back up your iSCSI LUN to a local or network destination.

Three partitions are created on hard disks when you install them into the NAS: system, swap and data. The first two partitions are mirrored across all the disks, so the failure or removal of one disk won’t affect the whole system. They take about 2.5 gigabytes of disk space. The rest is allotted for user data. The default file system of the data partition is EXT4 and you can’t change that.

The DS411 provides data access via every popular networking protocol: SMB/CIFS, AFP, FTP, NFS, FTP/HTTP, and WebDAV. You can enable such features as a network recycle bin, local Master Browser, and logging of all file operations for SMB/CIFS. The AFP support allows using the backup tool Time Machine from Mac OS X.

FTP traditionally has the most setup options: port numbers, Unicode support, encryption, and limits on the number of concurrent connections and speeds. Access control is enforced through a standard username/password system. You can create user accounts on the NAS, integrate the latter into a Windows domain or enable its LDAP client. Users can be combined into groups for easier management. You can specify disk quotas for each disk volume in each user’s settings.

The option of limiting access to extra services for specific users can also be useful. For example, you can allow a user to access the FTP server but not the file download service.

User files are stored in shared folders which are created on the NAS’s disk volumes. You can enable encryption in a folder’s properties (such folders won’t work via NFS) or allow its contents to be indexed for quick search in the integrated file manager. Windows ACL can be enabled, too.

Access rights (no access, read only, read & write) are assigned to users or user groups. For NFS you specify client IP addresses (or a range of IP addresses) instead of user accounts. There are additional options for FTP and WebDAV: you can prohibit to view, change or download files.

As this description shows, the DS411 can do everything an honest NAS is expected to do as regards its basic file storage duties.

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