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Can you use a wireless dongle with Synology NAS?

Synology DiskStation DS1621+
Synology DiskStation DS1621+ (Image credit: Rich Edmonds / Windows Central)

Can you use a wireless dongle with Synology NAS?

Best answer: No. Synology ended support for third-party wireless dongles and other USB devices with the most recent versions of DSM 6. DSM 7.0 continues this push with the complete removal of wireless networking.

Support already ended with DSM 6

Synology quietly ceased to update its wireless dongle support page, which led many to believe support would be ending. We had some readers reach out to complain the dongles they purchased for their NAS didn't work as directed. We reached out to Synology and were told that it was, unfortunately, the case that wireless USB dongle support had ended.

This all occurred through the latter versions of DSM 6. With DSM 7, some still held out hope that some sort of support would be passed on to allow the use of these accessories.

No wireless dongle support in DSM 7.0

Synology DSM 7.0

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Synology announced many improvements with the substantial 7.0 update to DSM. The company also shared numerous changes that would also occur, one being the removal of any wireless dongle support. The reason? Drivers. Synology shared the following with Windows Central:

DSM 7 is one of our largest updates yet, and required a complete overhaul of many subsystems and software. As a result, many of the things that are able to work in DSM 6 won't be able to transfer over to DSM 7. For these drivers to work within DSM 7.0, the third-party providers will need to rewrite and update the drivers for the individual products and must be tested for official compatibility and to ensure there are no security risks to Synology users.

Drive support can be patchy, even on an OS as popular as Windows, which led Synology to consider canning the feature to protect NAS enclosures. No one wants to be using an outdated driver that could have a security flaw. Synology decided to protect its customers and remove the functionality altogether in DSM 7.0.

In order to connect your best NAS for home to the outside world, you're going to need some network cables. Luckily, Synology includes CAT5 cabling with each of its NAS enclosures.

Mediabridge CAT6 cable (50 feet) (opens in new tab)

Network cable

Cables are the blood vessels of any network. This CAT6 50-foot solution from Mediabridge can handle speeds of up 10Gbps, which is more than what most Synology NAS and PCs can handle. This provides room to grow the network with faster network interfaces to allow for faster transfer speeds.

TP-Link TL-SG108E (opens in new tab)

Network switch

This is a great value switch with plenty of features. It has eight Gigabit ports (perfect for Synology NAS), network monitoring, loop prevention, cable diagnostics, QoS, and more. There's also a limited lifetime warranty. This is a solid foundation for creating a smarter home network.

Rich Edmonds
Rich Edmonds

Rich Edmonds is Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.