Handling the Dreaded Synology DSM “Cannot Connect To The Internet” Error

I finally had a couple of seconds to rub together to try out the mixed-environment Synology backup workflow that I’ve been meaning to get around to, but needed to do some quick updates to some boxes that I have not used in a while. Little did I know that I’d have to postpone it, yet again.

[Update 2017.06.13. For this exercise I’m assuming you have your Synology connected to a router/switch, not directly attached to a computer. If you attach the Synology directly to a computer that is not running DHCP you will get a 169.254.X.Y address, it will not connect to the Internet and these instructions won’t work, I’m afraid.]

When you log into the DSM Control Panel, you’ll see a familiar flag connected to the icon, letting you know that there is an update to be made:

You've got updates!

You’ve got updates!

When you click on the update, the control panel will open up and you can see the little flag bounce at you:

Pick me!

Pick me!

When you click on the Update and Restore icon, what you should see is this:

screen-shot-2016-09-30-at-4-29-25-pm

Update at will, ensign.

Instead, sometimes you can get this:

Ah, crap. Now what?!

Ah, crap. Now what?!

(Eagle-eyed readers will notice that these last two screenshots are from two different machines. Fear not: it happened with both of them).

Ah, yes. The evil, “Connection failed. Please check your Internet Connection” error. This problem has confounded many a poor soul. Rumor has it that the only people to have successfully beaten this devilish problem are the Ancient Mayans, who also were able to count to 2012 and start over without panicking about the end of the world.

Now before you run screaming to the streets or try to wipe your Synology clean, here are a couple of things you can try.

First, navigate to the control panel if it’s not already showing (that’s the icon I showed up above). Then you want to find the icon labeled “Network.” It looks like a little house sitting on top of a sewer line (and if you know anything about networking, you’ll realize just how appropriate that is):

screen-shot-2016-09-30-at-4-44-55-pm

The screen that pops up will tell you what your network settings are. Most of these should be filled in for you. There is, however, two lines that you need to look at: The Default Gateway and the IPv6 Default Gateway.

Look at the pretty circles.

Look at the pretty circles.

You’ll notice a couple of things. First, there is no Default Gateway listed. This is bad. We’ll get to what these things mean in just a moment. For now, let’s fix this.

Default Gateways

Click on the “Edit” button next to the Default Gateway. It should look something like this:

I see you now!

I see you now!

Once the LAN configuration is populated (i.e., it shows up), you can click on OK. The Network control panel should now have this value next to it:

Where you been all my life?

Where you been all my life?

But what happens if it’s not there? Everybody panic!!

Wait, wait. No, that’s not right. Let’s try this instead. Click on the next tab over, the “Network Interface” tab. You’ll see at least one connection listed.

Getting closer...

Getting closer…

Go ahead and click on “Edit” with the interface highlighted, as it is in the picture above. Here is where your mileage may vary. If you have your Synology Diskstation set up to get its network configuration from your router, it will have “Get network configuration automatically (DHCP) chosen for you. Personally, I like to have my devices on static IP addresses, so I use the manual configuration option:

Why do it the easy way? Manual config all the way!

Why do it the easy way? Manual config all the way!

If you didn’t see the default gateway in the previous step, you may want to check to make sure that the checkbox is selected to “set as default gateway.”

One word of caution: Do not put in arbitrary numbers here. These numbers mean something, so if this is all Greek to you then simply keep the “Get network configuration automatically (DHCP)” checked and don’t worry about this stuff.

While we’re on this screen, however, we need to make some changes to the IPv6 settings as well. Fortunately, it’s just one tab over. There’s only one change you have to make here, and it’s an easy one:

IPv6 is a big bowl of "nope"... for now.

IPv6 is a big bowl of “nope”… for now.

Yup. Just turn IPv6 off.

So what does this stuff mean? The Synology needs to know where to find its way out of the network to see the world (fly! Be free, little Synology!). The Default Gateway is just that – it’s the gateway to the world (online, at least), and the “default” part of it means that this is where the Synology should look if it wants to communicate with the outside world. Since we want to know if Synology has an update that we need, and Synology is in the outside world, this Synology does not know where to go.

The second thing you’ll see is that the IPv6 default gateway does have an address listed. Yes, it’s the fe80::5a6d:8fff:fef6:a226 gibberish that’s next to the words “IPv6 default gateway.” Nifty how that works, eh?

When you turn it off, this default gateway should disappear, and it should look something like this:

Which way did he go, George?

Which way did he go, George?

DNS Servers

So, we figured out how to tell the Synology to find devices outside of our home network. This is the “if you don’t know where to go, go here” setting. But once the Synology goes there, then what?

The DNS Server is the place to do that. It’s a server that keeps track of what all these strange numbers mean. They’re the devices that you can ask to find out how to turn google.com into an address that the computers understand, and vice versa.

Speaking of Google, Synology recommends using their DNS server address as the “Preferred DNS Server,” so you should make your system look like this:

The Goobles to the rescue!

The Goobles to the rescue!

Now, in this case, you want to make sure that the numbers match exactly. The periods (full stops) and all. No spaces. You do not have to have an alternative DNS Server, but I put my default gateway as my alternative if, for whatever reason, Google’s DNS server doesn’t respond.

Here Goes Nothing

When I updated my two boxes, I had very different reactions from them. They both gave me the “Could not connect” error. What was even stranger was that on one of the boxes, I did not have to remove the IPv6 setting for it to work – a simple restart after fixing the default gateway and DNS server gave me complete connectivity. The other one, though, was a true PITA.

I tried using Synology’s QuickConnect, and it didn’t work either. Then, I had a bit of a minor success. I was able to turn on the NTP server (that’s the service that lets the Synology know what time it is, according to the US Government’s NIST time servers). Then, miraculously, QuickConnect worked. However, the DSM update continued to give me that error.

Then, about 5 minutes later, the DSM update was giving me what I needed to see:

Success!

Success!

My best guess is that the time it took for the routing tables to be updated took far longer than either the DSM user interface or my patience expected. I had restarted the box a couple of times in the interim, hoping that it would take, but I think I might have disrupted the population of the tables, and the DiskStation simply restarted the process again. I think that patience is far more useful a tool in this instance than I first thought.

Other Options

Update 2017.08.02. Several readers have written in to say that this has helped them figure out what’s going wrong, and others have offered suggestions for what have helped them fix the issue as well. I have not attempted these, but I’m leaving them here as a courtesy for the reader to attempt, should the above steps fail to resolve the issue.

  1. Change the admin account password. Every Synology has an “admin” account. Some people have had luck changing the password. It’s not clear why this is an issue; the best I can think of is that newer versions of DSM are requiring a stronger password for allowing incoming/outgoing traffic, but that’s just a guess. In any case, try changing the Synology “admin” account password.
  2. Modify DNS settings. I do not use the Synology’s DNS settings, so this was not an issue for me. However, another reader is using Synology’s RT1900ac router, and offered the following advice:For the DHCP server, “forward known DNS server” was disabled. Also, IPV6 was setup as AUTO in STATELESS mode. With these settings DSM update could not connect to the internet.Since the issue seems to be DNS related, I changed these two settings: a) I enabled “forward known DNS server”, and b) I changed my IPV6 setup to be stateless DHCPv6. I’m not sure which fixed the problem, but my DSM was immediately able find and install updates.
  3. Check your time zone/time server (NTP Server). If the date/time setting is out of whack, it can create issues.

As I said, I have not attempted these fixes myself (hence no screenshots), but readers were kind enough to offer additional suggestions and if it helps you in your hour of need, please let me know. YMMV.

Synology’s Take

I contacted Synology’s tech support to find out why this might be happening, since there were no reports in the logs about what had happened during the update process. Here’s what I got, verbatim:

Upon further investigation I see there were some bugs in the past with a disappearing gateway, primarily if the connections were bonded during the upgrade. It was a bug that should be resolved now and should not typically happen.

Now, it is true that one of the Synology DiskStations I was updating had bonded network interfaces, but that was also the one that fixed itself faster. True, I was updating to DSM 6.0 so perhaps the fix was already being applied at that point too. The device that I have been using as an example, however, only had one network interface so there was no link aggregation (or “bonding”) going on.

Even so, after I run the backup tests in a mixed DSM 5.2/6.0 environment, I’ll be needing to update this box to 6.0, so I’m fully expecting to need to refer back to this blog again if/when I lose network connectivity!

Conclusion

I did read some additional messages in the user forums that permissions problems could be to blame for this issue, but it was not so in my case. My gut tells me that is a different issue – the problem here is connecting to the Synology servers in order to determine whether there is an update, and if so which one. Permissions issues would likely only result once it has been determined that an update exists and then issues would arise when trying to save it to a local directory on the Synology. That’s my gut take on it, however, and certainly not something I’d defend to the death.

In any case, I hope that this is somewhat helpful to people (including myself). If this works – or if it doesn’t work – please feel free to leave a comment and let me know. Anything I missed? Please feel free to offer another solution to help out. 🙂

P.S.

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63 Comments

  • Zortapa August 2, 2017 at 19:59

    After many months of frustration, I found this page which helped me find my solution.

    I have a Synology RT1900ac router configured as a DHCP server. For the DHCP server, “forward known DNS server” was disabled. Also, IPV6 was setup as AUTO in STATELESS mode. With these settings DSM update could not connect to the internet.

    Since the issue seems to be DNS related, I changed these two settings: a) I enabled “forward known DNS server”, and b) I changed my IPV6 setup to be stateless DHCPv6. I’m not sure which fixed the problem, but my DSM was immediately able find and install updates.

    Thank you for the insights!

    Reply
    • J Michel Metz August 3, 2017 at 06:32

      It sounds like there are a few other possibilities of what might be going on. Thanks for writing in and possibly helping someone else!

      Reply
  • hazzman August 3, 2017 at 04:22

    I can confirm that only changing the password for the Diskstation admin account solved the issue! Thanks for the info, I would have never figured it out.

    Reply
    • J Michel Metz August 3, 2017 at 06:32

      Excellent. Do you think it might have been a password strength issue? That is, it needed to be a stronger password in order to accept incoming/outgoing traffic?

      Reply
      • Hazzman August 3, 2017 at 16:36

        I don’t think so – I use a complex random password (about 25 chars long), and I only changed one of the numbers as a test. I am starting to think it’s one of those really weird bugs!

        Reply
  • Satisfied customer August 5, 2017 at 02:50

    DNS was the culprit after changing internet service providers. Well done and good tips.

    Reply
    • J Michel Metz August 5, 2017 at 13:41

      Thanks, and thanks for confirming the DNS situation.

      Reply
  • Greg August 10, 2017 at 14:47

    Hi all,

    If you encounter this error check the time of your synology.
    I change it manually to current time (according with my time zone) and problem is resolved.

    Reply
    • J Michel Metz August 10, 2017 at 17:12

      Thanks. I will update the main blog as well.

      Reply
  • New Patreon – How To Sponsor Storage Content – J Metz's Blog August 17, 2017 at 13:52

    […] of the content that I have created has become extremely useful for a lot of people. My post on the Synology DNS Error – a troubleshooting blog – gets over 100 hits a day. The comments in that post alone […]

    Reply
  • marius August 20, 2017 at 12:50

    Great solution, thanks a lot !!!

    Reply
  • TimeNoob August 31, 2017 at 11:30

    Finally.. I read the complete item and changed everything but still nothing.. Then I got to the “Check your time zone/time server.”-part and checked the time of my Synology.. Hmm, 2011, as far as I know (at the moment) we’re living in 2017. Synced the time manually and tried to update the firmware and it worked..

    Reply
  • Omer Yehezkely September 4, 2017 at 13:18

    If none of the above solve your problem – check that your system time is properly configured – set an NTP server if needed. This can be found under the regional settings (search “time” in the control panel).

    Reply
  • markearly September 8, 2017 at 19:24

    Only my DS-215j, but not my DS-1512+ or DS-212j, were effected by the “Cannot Connect to the Internet” error as seen on the Control Panel –> “Update and Restore” interface page. All three Synology units were running DSM-v6.1.3 update 4 (2017-09-01). Only the DS-215j would not allow web interface login with latest version of Firefox (v55.03), the other two worked fine using Firefox.

    Chome browser was able to talk to my DS-215j, which I used to change the unit’s DNS server, disable IPv6, AND perhaps most importantly, correct the DSM’s idea of system time, which on some interface pages listed the year as 1999. Manually setting the date and time, fixed my DS-215j’s ability to link the DSM to the internet. Control Panel –> “Update and Restore” page now said my DSM version was up to date, confirming it was linked to internet OK. Before with the “Cannot Connect to the Internet” error the unit was able to communicate on my LAN (obviously since I could login to the web interface from my laptop with Chrome) fine, however, CP –> “Network Access” listed my unit’s “Last Updated Time = 1999-12-20” or something close to that date in December of 1999.

    I followed my normal troubleshooting procedure and rebooted after each individual settings change. What fixed the error on my box seemed to be manually fixing the system time.

    Hope this helps the next Synology user.

    Reply
    • J Michel Metz September 8, 2017 at 19:27

      Thanks for sharing that. It appears that different updates break different aspects – the latest updates appear to have impacted the time functionality more than earlier “breaks.” Your description will be very helpful to people who have similar issues with the time server.

      Reply
  • SomeDude September 18, 2017 at 01:31

    Many thanks to you. This page solved my DS415+ internet connection issue.
    I just took out the IPV6 address that wasn’t used anymore since I’m back on IPV4 again and that
    immediately solved the problem. Hit the Download button and ran the newest update.

    Reply
    • J Michel Metz September 18, 2017 at 07:28

      Thanks for sharing! I’m glad that it helped solve the problem. 🙂

      Reply
  • elvis September 20, 2017 at 05:33

    Tried everything mentioned here, but didn’t work for me. But I found, that setting up proxy in network settings fixed the problem. Still not sure why, but my ip gets blocked by synology.com, maybe it’s somehow related that I’m using theirs ddns server.

    Reply
    • J Michel Metz September 20, 2017 at 07:47

      Thanks for writing this. This is the first I’ve heard of the proxy issue being a resolution. Can you explain a bit more detail about what you had to do to get it working? If it’s a common-enough problem, I’ll add it to the main body of the article.

      Reply
  • DingoBlue September 20, 2017 at 15:28

    Excellent help & many thanks for posting an easily accessible web page. After replacing a 4TB failing HDD (Seagate) with 4TB HGST (!!!) in DS412+ & rebuilding, followed by a data scrub, the DSM was upgraded to something like ~ DSM 6.0.x.x whereupon the “dreaded cannot connect to the Internet…” displayed. Your directions were very helpful in solving our issue. The following few comments are provided for others: 1) we have 2 LAN connections and each needed to be edited as you outlined in Network Interface, 2) the IPV6 setting was manually reset to “off” after the DSM upgrade magically made an active modification; 3) the NTP server was checked to “Update Now” in the Control Panel “Regional Options” to ensure there was an Internet connection and to eliminate any timing issues. Lastly, 4) to apply all settings, a “Restart” was initiated. This last step seems obvious but is overlooked more times than not.

    Reply
    • J Michel Metz September 20, 2017 at 15:34

      Excellent advice, and thank you for the great summary. Very helpful!

      Reply
  • KieranH September 20, 2017 at 15:35

    It worked. Thank you! This issue occurred after I had upgraded my virgin media router!

    Reply
  • Kristoffer Alpsjö October 7, 2017 at 08:21

    Thanks, this article helped me get my DSM online again after almost a year of offline time.
    How can I “buy you a beer” (as opposed to becoming a monthly patron)? Cheers!

    Reply
    • J Michel Metz October 7, 2017 at 08:58

      Ha! I’m glad that it was helpful. 🙂

      Well, if you want to help, I wouldn’t say no to helping promote my work (and the patreon page) to your friends and colleagues. We can call it even. 🙂

      Thanks for writing!

      Reply
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