In the blog post QNAP QTS 4.0 Desktop and Qsync Review I discussed using Qsync to synchronize files between a desktop computer and the QNAP TS-269L NAS located on my LAN. At the end of the post I mentioned that Qsync is able to synchronize files from a PC on an external network using the QNAP NAS as the cloud storage site. This post will discuss how I was able to demonstrate this function with the help of a fellow Home Server Show writer John Stutsman.
In order to allow access to the NAS from outside the local area network the myQNAPcloud service must be turned on and configured. The myQNAPcloud service is a function which provides host name registration, dynamic NAS IP mapping to domain name, and automatic configuration of a UPnP router on the local network. For those who feel UPnP routers are a security risk you can still manually configure all the ports yourself.
The first time you select the myQNAPcloud application it is recommended you use the wizard to complete the settings.
Click the Get Started button at the top-center to use the wizard.
Select Start to begin the setup.
Fill in the registration information to create your myQNAPcloud account.
On this screen you enter the name of the NAS that will be used for remote access. Once you have selected a name that is not in use by another user you will have an Internet Address assigned to your name in the format myNAS.myqnapcloud.com where myNAS would be the name you selected.
If you have a compatible router with UPnP enabled the wizard will automatically configure all the necessary port forwarding configuration settings for you. Also, if you do not have a compatible router or you choose to keep UPnP disabled then you have the option to configure the port forwarding for your setup manually. I will not cover the manual setup since that is done on each individuals router.
In the myQNAPcloud application under Remote Access Services is the Auto Router Configuration screen where you can unselect the Enable UPnP Port forwarding.
Once completed you get the summary confirmation screen notifying you if everything was setup and configured correctly.
After validating your account via email the myQNAPcloud screen contains all the necessary information for the external access to the NAS. Note that this service also establishes the ability to use a VPN connection with the NAS. The My DDNS/Cloud Portal allows publishing of various application services at the myQNAPcloud portal and will be covered in a subsequent article.
At this point the NAS is now able to be accessed (with the proper username and password) from the internet using the internet address format myNAS.myQNAPcloud.com.
Qsync Part 2 – Remote Access Sync
Now that the NAS has remote internet access we can try setting up Qsync to synchronize files to and from a PC in a remote location. In order to try this out I sent the Internet Address for my QNAP NAS along with a username and a password I had created on the NAS to John Stutsman. John lives in central Illinois while I am in Wisconsin so this distance allows us to test out the remote sync ability of this program.
John went to the QNAP utility site and downloaded the Qsync software to his PC. He ran through the install and then started configuring the Qsync software.
The primary difference now is instead of selecting Search to try and find the NAS on the local network the internet address for the NAS (ie, myNAS.myQNAPcloud.com) is entered into the box to the right of the Search button.
The user name John entered was the same one I used on my PC. This allowed us to see the files we were each placing into our sync folder and then comparing if the files ended up on each others PC. After entering the username and password the final steps are to fill in name for the PC and determine the location for the sync folder.
John has created a video run through of the install on his desktop PC.
If you watched the video you will see that it worked very well. All the files that I had placed in my Qsync folder showed up in John’s Qsync folder within a few minutes of completing the configuration.
I should note that during the configuration the user has the option of selecting to use a Secure login connection (HTTPS) for connecting the remote PC to the NAS. John tested out the service with and without using the secure connection and the sync service worked correctly each time.
From the admin account on the NAS I can keep an eye on what is happening with Qsync. In the Qsync application window under devices I am able to see which devices are syncing to the NAS. The screen capture above shows 2 computers are connecting using myQNAPcloud while 1 is located on the LAN.
If you are sitting at your PC when new files are synchronized you may see a notification balloon appear in your system tray.
You can also right click on the Qsync application running in the system tray and access the file update center.
This screen shows you new files that have been added and sync’d with your PC.
There is a lot of other functionality included in Qsync including the ability for keeping files on the NAS even after they are deleted from the PC folder. Many of the advanced options would not be touched by the basic user as the standard function of keeping files sync’d between all connected computers works very well.
Another way of sharing files between users on the NAS is to use Team Folder sharing. In this scenario John and I would each use a separate account to sync our computers with the NAS. We would no longer be able to see the files that we were each syncing unless we decided to share the folder using Team Folder sharing.
To enable this one of the users selects a folder on their PC in the Qsync folder that they want to share with other users on the NAS.
Right click on the folder, go to Qsync and then select Share this folder as team folder.
A window opens with the list of all available users on the NAS and each user can be selected to share the folder.
Once this is completed the other users that have been selected to share the team folder still need to accept or reject the invitation.
The other user now right clicks on the Qsync application in the system tray on their PC and selects Sharing & File Update Center. If the user accepts the invitation then the team folder is added to their Qsync folder and all the files are synchronized between all users and the NAS.
Conclusion – Qsync
Overall I am very impressed with how easy it was to setup myQNAPcloud and then configure Qsync to allow computers on my LAN and on the internet to synchronize files using the QNAP NAS as the cloud storage location. I am really just touching on the tip of the iceberg on the functionality of this program.
I would also like to thank John Stutsman for his help in evaluating the remote Qsync functionality of the QNAP TS-269L NAS.
If you would like to learn more about the QNAP TS-269L NAS, ask questions about Qsync or have any other questions feel free to post in the QNAP subforum on the HSS forums.
If you are interested in learning more about the QNAP TS-269L be sure to read my QNAP TS-269L Review and News post.