Synology Running Roon & Using VPN

It took a while and a little tinkering but I’ve finally been able to successfully setup my Synology to host the Roon Server database, store my ripped CDs in FLAC format, and use VPN to access the server both at work and using my mobile phone. This won’t be an EXACT step by step, but it should point you in the right direction. My Synology is a model DS218+.

  1. Store your ripped media (MP3s, FLACs, etc.) on the Synology in a shared folder named RoonServer.
  2. Follow the instructions at https://roononnas.org/en/synology/ to download and install the Roon Server software on your Synology.
  3. At this point you should be able to connect/see the Roon Server on your device, after installing the Roon software on your Android or iPhone mobile device, Windows or Mac PC.
  4. Next you’ll want to make sure that you can “see” your Synology outside of your local network. Using the built-in tools available on the Synology, go to Control Panel, QuickConnect and setup a unique ID for your Synology server. This will be the server name you’ll enter when setting up the VPN client on your mobile device, work PC, remote laptop, etc.
  5. Next you’ll want to install the VPN Server package on your Synology.
  6. I selected the PPTP VPN option and left the defaults (which admittedly is less than secure other VPN technologies). On the other hand, Windows 10 has a built-in PPTP client and most Android phones have a built-in PPTP client too so this was the easiest VPN technology to get up an drunning.
  7. Note at this point, you may need to open up a port or ports on your router to see the Synology outside of your network. This is probably the most technical part of the setup, and each router is different. In most cases you may want to setup the Synology in the DMZ of your router, so all Synology features/services are available when you are outside your network. Or you may instead chose to open up certain ports. For the Synology PPTP VPN Server it requires that port 1723 be open by default.
  8. Now for Windows I went to Control Panel, typed VPN and entered the following information…
    • The name of the connection (I just used my Synology name)
    • The server name ********.synology.me (what you setup in step 4)
    • Your Synology account user name and password
  9. Once setup you can then go to your network/wifi settings in the taskbar and choose the VPN connection.
  10. Upon making a successful connection, my locally installed Roon software “found” the Synology Core and I could use Roon, just as I could locally, on my network at home after setting up the output to my work computer.
  11. As I mentioned, at least most Android phones often include a PPTP VPN client as well. Again I entered the synology server name, user name and password, and again the Roon android software then found the Core. One last step was to setup the output to my phone.

Hope this at least points you folks in the right direction. Sure you’ll need a pretty decent and stable internet connection (and note that since you’re streaming directly from the Synology on your network, upstream bandwidth, which is usually considerably less than download bandwidth may not be fast enough to stream your music to you) and a little technical know how, particularly when it comes to routers, port forwarding or setting up the Synology in the DMZ, you too can have the benefits of Roon outside your local network.

7 Likes

Ive moved this to the Tinkering section.

I want to add that using Roon in this way is not officially supported.

Hi, Thanks for this Michael. I just wanted to add that I’ve set my VPN using the OpenVPN option of the Synology VPN Server package, and it also works fine. My understanding is that the OpenVPN is more secure, and the use of a configuration file makes it quite simple to set up the client side.

Given there are so many threads outlining difficulties of getting VPN to work, I was surprised to discover how easy it was just following the Synology instructions and FAQ. The one slightly fiddly part getting it to work on my Android phone was realising I needed to edit the VPNConfig.ovpn file before sending that file to my phone. But again, the Synology Help was very explicit:

The redirect-gateway def1 instruction is an essential part of making the Roon server discoverable. This instructs the OpenVPN app running on my phone to send all network traffic to the Synology VPN. The good news is that this enable the Roon app on my phone to find and connect to the core. The other consequence is that while the VPN client on my phone is active, all my phone’s internet traffic will go through my Synology VPN too. There are more sophisticated ways to “split tunnel” different traffic along different routes, but since that’s not an issue for me, I’ve not investigated that greater complexity.

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Ooooh thanks !

Somehow I never came across this thread … tried to make it work using openvpn on my router, then SoftEther on a RaspberryPI … and fixed it in 5mn on my Synology thanks to you guys !!!

I got it working thanks to these instructions, but I can’t find a way to select the iPhone itself as audio output.

Any idea how to do this?