Pass through authentication from Windows to DiskStation

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A common question of a lot of Windows users is how they can access the shares on their DiskStation without entering a username and a password (aka: Pass through authentication). It’s tempting to use accounts without a password, but please DO USE PASSWORDS on your accounts. Preferably a strong password. Passwords aren’t there to nag you, but to protect your precious data. Use passwords on your desktop computer and use passwords on your DiskStation. Read more about securing your data here. You’ll also learn why you should not use administrative accounts for regular daily use.

Now that has been told, we’ll now look into how to create some convenience in the use of passwords. You weren’t reading this post if you are not looking for a solution to deal with the credentials request when you want to access a share on your DiskStation. It’s assumed you have the Windows file service and the User home service are enabled on your DiskStation.


Basically this is because your DiskStation has not found the credentials of the currently logged on user of the desktop computer. Either the username isn’t found or the password is incorrect. The first time Windows tries to access a share on your DiskStation, it automatically presents the credentials of the current user. When these credentials are rejected by your DiskStation, Windows will ask for credentials to try again.

The solution for this is simple when you want to use the same username on your desktop computer as on your DiskStation: make sure the username and password for each user you want to grand access to your DiskStation are the same. (The username is not case sensitive.) If you use the same username on your DiskStation and your desktop computer, make sure the password on the DiskStation and your desktop computer are the same.

If, for any reason, your username and/or password of your DiskStation and desktop computer do not match to each other, you can use a different approach. This is where the Credential Manager of Windows helps out.


Start the Credential Manager.


Select the Windows Credentials and click Add a Windows credentials.


Enter in the address field \\{hostname} where {hostname} represents the host name of your DiskStation. In this example the host name is VIRTUALDSM51. The fields User name and Password are populated with the values of the account you’d like to use from your DiskStation. (In this example the account administrator is being used. Remember what is said about using administrative accounts earlier.) Click the OK button to store the credential in the Credential Manager. You can close the Credential Manager now.

If you choose the approach of using the same account on your desktop computer and your DiskStation or you choose to use the approach of using the Credential Manager, in either cases the result of browsing to the DiskStation in the Windows Explorer to \\{hostname} will result in showing the visible shares of your DiskStation without asking for credentials. (Depending on the credentials of your DiskStation being used.)