Web Servers 101
March 5, 2012 12:36 PM   Subscribe

Which services do I need to enable on my NAS to access the files over the web?

I'd like to be able to stream content from my NAS to:

1. My iPhone when it's on the same network
2. My laptop from anywhere in the world

I would not like haxxors to have any access to my files. I do not know my WebDAV from my WebELBOW. Which services do I need to enable to safely access my files, and how do I find them when I am away from my network? Will there be an IP address just for my NAS? The NAS is a Synology ds211.
posted by roofus to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Poking a hole in your firewall is not without risk. Personally, I'd recommend syncing the files to Amazon S3, Dropbox or where ever to get online access to them. The security to open your home network is not rocket science, However, in this age of cheap cloud storage, if you don't know what you are doing the risk outweighs the benefit, IMHO of course.

If you choose to ignore my advice, check the documentation for your NAS. It might have some sort of built-in web accessibility that when enabled, would be reasonably secure.
posted by COD at 12:44 PM on March 5, 2012

Will there be an IP address just for my NAS?

Almost certainly not. You'll probably need to set up some kind of port forwarding on your router (assuming that it's plugged into a router) for the services you make available. It's also worth your while to use one of the free dynamic DNS providers to give your home IP a name; most modern routers have some built-in capability to manage this, so that if your ISP updates your lease and changes your IP, you won't lose access.

Here's the official writeup: it offers the option of setting the NAS as the DMZ -- the outward face of that IP -- if you can't get port forwarding working, but that's to be avoided if at all possible.
posted by holgate at 12:44 PM on March 5, 2012

Set up a dynamic dns. There are free options,
Next step is to make sure your ports are directed to the server from the router.
As far as security goes, use only secure protocols such as ssh, or sftp.
I have this setup on my freenas server with no problems, and haven't had any security issues at all. Wouldn't hurt if yoou can set up logs to double check traffic to and from your server.
posted by handbanana at 1:08 PM on March 5, 2012

Another option is to setup a VPN connection that will let you access your local network from the Internet. The main benefit of that is you can also use it to do things like securely browse the web when you are on public wifi networks, and access any other stuff on your network. As others have mentioned, you'll want a dynamic DNS host name for your home network. I use a DD-WRT firmware router, which can both update your IP with your dynamic DNS service whenever your IP address changes, and run the VPN gateway. Both of them are relatively easy to setup. Once you log into your VPN, it's just like being on your local network normally, so you don't have to deal with port forwarding or making sure that your local services are secure against outside access.
posted by burnmp3s at 1:24 PM on March 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

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