So, you have your Synology NAS up and running and can’t wait to start browsing the storage shares as you would any hard drive attached to your PC, Mac, or Linux computer. You then hit a snag upon realizing the network drive doesn’t show up on your file browser.
Don’t worry. If you don’t map it, accessing your Synology NAS network drive is only convoluted. Mapping allows you to browse your NAS from other devices in the local network without going through the official Synology software (DSM) and logging into the NAS.
This is quite a handy trick, especially if you want to share storage with other people who don’t want the extra hassle and just need a simple experience they’re already used to.
Prerequisites Before Mapping
To avoid any accessibility issues after mapping your network drive, ensure you implement the following in your NAS before proceeding.
- Enable SMB service on the NAS. It should be under Control Panel> File Service > SMB > SMB if your Synology NAS is running DSM 7.0
- Go to Control Panel> Security> Firewall> Edit Rules check the rules to ensure network ports used by Windows, Mac, or Linux file servers aren’t blocked ( ports 137,138, 139, 445)
- Ensure the account you’ll be using has the right permissions. Read/Write or just Read if you don’t want the user to modify anything on the server
- Ensure that the router assigns your server a static IP address
How to Map a Network Drive from Windows Explorer
Windows OS has a simple Network Drive mapping menu that works for any server storage regardless of the brand name. This will work for Synology too. Here is how to do it on Windows 10 using Windows Explorer.
- Open Windows Explorer by opening any folder (or Pressing Windows Key + E combination)
- Click on ‘This PC’ in the left column menu
- In the Main Horizontal menu at the Top, click on the ‘Computer’ tab
- Select the ‘Map Network Drive’ option
- Select a drive letter from the dropdown menu
- Enter the NAS IP address and shared folder name in the format in the folder field. \\SERVER\SHARE. Where Server is your NAS IP address and Share is the name of the shared folder.
- Click on finish
- A Windows Credentials window shall pop up. Enter the Synology NAS username and password and enter to finish the mapping
The newly mapped network drive will appear in your Windows Explorer as any other hard drive partition you have in the computer. You can use it as if it were an installed drive.
How to Map a Network Drive Using the Synology Assistant
The other way to map a Network Drive in Windows is by using the Synology Assistant. Here is how to do it.
- Launch Synology Assistant
- Select your Synology NAS and click on Map Drive
- Enter the Username and Password for your user
- Select the shared folder you want to map from the ensuing list and click next
- Select a drive letter for the Network Drive and select ‘Reconnect at Logon so that the network drive automatically loads when you log into your PC. Click next
- Click Finish
You can now access the newly mapped drive from your Windows File Explorer. You will have to repeat the process on any other computer you want to access the shared folder.
How to Map a Synology Shared Folder on Linux
Mapping isn’t really a thing here since Linux doesn’t use drive letters. The operating system uses mount points, meaning you have to specify a mount point to access the network drive as you would any other local drive.
To effectively mount a share, you will have to enable NFS on the Synology NAS and do some command prompt configurations on your Linux computer.
If this sounds like too much work, scroll to the end to check how you can still access your shares from Linux using Samba. If you don’t mind, here’s a look at what you should do.
Step 1: Enable NFS
Network File System (NFS) is an old file-sharing protocol many people shun because of its unprotected approach. Though prone to eavesdropping and imposter attacks, some people still use it with the correct precautions.
Here are the steps to follow when enabling NFS
- Open your Synology Control Panel app and click on File Services.
- Select the NFS tab on recent DSMs or the SMB/AFP/NFS if your Synology NAS is running an OS older than 7.0
- In the NFS section, click on the ‘Enable NFS’ option. You can also enable NFSv4.1 if you please, but NFS is the bare minimum.
Step 2: Configure Shared Folders to Accommodate NFS Sharing
Once NFS is active, you can go on and configure your shared folders for access via NFS.
- Go to the control panel and select Shared Folder.
- Select the folder you want to configure in the ensuing menu and click on Edit at the top Menu
- Select the NFS Permissions tab from the pop-up window
- Click on Create to make a new NFS share rule
- Under the Hostname, IP, enter the IP address of the computer you want to access the share (or a network subnet if you want multiple computers in your home network to access or you have dynamic IPs)
- Assign the correct privileges
- Under Squash, leave it to No Mapping
- Enable Asynchronous checkbox. This will boost the connection’s performance
- Check allow connections from non-privilege ports
- Check allow users to access mounted subfolders
- Click OK to finish
- Click OK again to finalize the configuration
After now, you should access the files from your Linux client. If you are on a GNOME 3 desktop environment or have the Nautilus File Manager installed, you can use its ‘Other Locations’ section to access your NFS share.
Otherwise, proceed to step 3
Step 3: Installing nfs-common
Launch your terminal and type the following command
Sudo apt install nfs-common
Enter your root password when prompted and wait for the installation to complete if you did not have it already installed
Step 4: Mounting the share
First, create a mount directory in your computer (any) before executing the following on the terminal.
Sudo mount 192.168.100.5:/volume1/SweetPics /media/NAS/SweetPics
Replace the IP address with your NAS’ address and the paths with the respective paths to your shared folder on the NAS and the path to the mount directory you just created on your Linux computer
You can now launch your file manager and see the location (SweetPics in my case) on the left menu of your file manager with the rest of the local locations.
Step 5: Making the mounting automatic
If you don’t want to launch the Terminal every time you start your computer and mount the location, you can add an instruction to the /etc/fstab file that will make it persistent on reboot or shutdown.
192.168.100.5:/volume1/SweetPics /media/NAS/SweetPics nfs rsize=8192,wsize=8192,timeo=14,intr
The Simple Way: Install Samba
If the above procedure is too complex for you or doesn’t want to enable NFS, you can install Samba and access SMB shares from your Linux profile.
Check this too: How to Update Plex on Synology
How to Map a Network Drive on Mac OS
Again, Mac OS won’t let you Map as you do on Windows, but the process is simpler than Linux.
- Right Click the Finder Icon on Dock and select the ‘Connect to Server Option.’
- Enter smb:// followed by Synology hostname or IP address, e.g., smb://192.168.100.1 or smb://Tenagra
- Click on connect
- When the server is found, you will receive a prompt to connect as a guest or a registered user.
- Select Guest if the guest privileges are what you want, else stick to registered and enter your credentials
- Click connect
- The shared Drive will now be persistent on your Finder, and you can find it under the Locations menu.
With the above tricks, you should easily access your network shares. It will be easier to onboard.