Summary

This article is a very brief summary on the steps to get started with the Synology DS220+ Network Attached Storage (NAS).  If there is an embedded video, it has the same information as the article below but less details.

 

Installing the Drives

There are two plastic drive holders that can be removed by pressing down on the clip at the top of the unit.  The unit's front cover is held in place by pressure only, so it is easily removed.  For a traditional disc drive, both of the side clips are removed.  They snap on and off with pressure only.

Synology drive holder

For a mechanical drive, snap off both of the side clips, insert the drive to align with the holes on the side and clip the sides back on with hand pressure.  There are pins in the clips that align with the screw holes on the side of the drive.  For an SSD drive, remove the bottom clip so that the drive lies flat against the sides.  Use the screws provided to secure the SSD by aligning holes on the bottom of the drive with holes in the bottom of the plastic holder.  The top of the drives face the readout lights when inserting the holder.

Note:  The drive bay on the left will be listed as "Drive 1" and the bay closest to the readout lights as "Drive 2".  It may be beneficial to keep the "Volume" numbers the same for easy reference.

 

Access the DS220+ NAS Using a Web Browser

Although there are client programs for the Synology NAS released by Synology, the simplest way to access the NAS is with a web browser.   Synology provides a service to locate the NAS the first time at

find.synology.com

You will be directed to a web page where you will create and admin account for your machine.  Then you can create a bookmark for the Synology DS220+.  The interface looks like a normal computer "desktop" with a limited program menu and a place to get more apps called the Package Center.  Note that all of the apps in the Package Center are not alphabetical.  All of the Synology apps are listed first, and then after that there is a section for 3rd Party apps. If you need an app, go to the Package Center for an easy one-touch install.

Synology NAS Web Access

 

Create Storage Volumes with Disk Station Manager

The Storage Manager program / app needs to be used before accessing any of your drives.  After the initial drive setup, you probably will not have to use this program very often.  It is like partitioning and formatting a drive on a desktop, if you know what that is.  In any case, you need to create what Synology calls "Storage Volumes" before you can transfer and files to your drives.  There is a Volume Creation Wizard that has enough choices to confuse you, but after you name the drive, most home users can safely accept the defaults.

Synology Disk Manager

Note:  When I set up one drive a time the default was for an option that gave me full use of all the drives for storage, which is what I wanted.  If you want a RAID system that provides drive recover, then you need to do further research.  Everything on one drive is duplicated on another drive for recovery purposes.  Your storage will be reduced by half.

 

Create A Shared Folder Using the File Station App

On the Synology NAS, the name of the file browser is called "File Station".  You'll find it on the desktop of the web interface and you can use it to create folders and transfer files between your computer and the Synology DS220+.  If you have a lot of files to load, the easiest way to do it is to use a USB stick.  A cheap SD card can hold many gigabytes of files and make the transfer faster than over the network.  In my case, a USB stick automatically showed up in the left-hand column as "USBshare".  During the creation of a new shared folder, you will have the option to set the permissions.  The defaults may be good enough, but I always add Read/Write permissions to my user and to the Plex user (the program I use to access my media).

Synology File Browser 

   

Notes

  • If you are not using the RAID system that gives you backup options and/or you want to include a cloud backup solution, there are many services that provide an app for the Synology DS220+.  I used iDrive and it works so far but nothing special about it.  The Synology app "Cloud Sync" has options for Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, and more.
  • To make your media files more easily accessible, Synology offers software that can server up your photo, audio, and video files.  Audio Station and Video Station let you browse and play audio and video files over the web interface.  There are two options for photos.  Synology says the Photos Station is for more serious photographers who want to organize their own photos, where folders are turned into albums but you have more control.   The app called Moments uses AI to organize photos for you and is branded as more consumer friendly.
  • While the Synology software is not bad and does give you a nice graphic interface, I use Plex as a media server and think it is far superior.  For both music and video, I think the display and choice of options are better by a large margin.  I did buy a Lifetime Plex Pass, so I don't really know how many features come with the free Plex version and what options are only paid.  The Plex software is available in the 3rd Party section of Package Center.  It is worth giving it a try.