NAS to supercharge your home-sharing, storage and backup

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A NAS or Networked Attached Storage is a ‘box’ you attach to your home network that provides file storage. You can share these with multiple PC’s on your home network or via the internet for authorised users.

It is a great way to back up your PC, tablet, or smartphone for the home user. It can also store movies or audio and is a great alternative to storing photo’s on the cloud, especially if you have a lot of them.

Our sister publication, Small business Answers, has written a guide to explain what a NAS is and what you should consider when buying one.

In research for this story, we tested a Synology DiskStation DS420+. This appliance device has 4 drive bays and can support up to 108TB of storage, and is ideal for a home or small business network at an affordable price. It does not come with any hard drives which you will need to buy based on your needs.  You can add extra drives and memory as your needs grow to meet future usage.

This NAS solution come with software that includes:

  • Google G Suite replacement (Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Chat, Mail) that integrates with Android and iOS
  • Backup support (Apple Time Machine, cloud, replication to other NAS, including off-site NAS, G Suite, Office 365 backup)
  • Moments is similar to Google Photos, but not on the cloud. It organises your personal photos intelligently. It works with the Synology Moments smartphone app.
  • Video and AudioStation are web apps for viewing movies and playing audio stored on your NAS. They work with the Synology DS Video and DS Audio smartphone Apps.
  • Media Server is a DLNA server for serving to DLNA receivers. Some TVs have DLNA built-in, such as Samsung’s branded Allshare Play.
  • Download station is an application that lets you download from BitTorrent, FTP, HTTP, and more. You can add RSS feeds for it to download as additional files are added. It has a search function built-in to make finding what to download easier.

Suppose you want to remove Google from your life and rely on having everything locally on your network. In that case, Synology’s applications go a long way to let you do this.

File storage and media serving are pretty obvious. Less obvious is that Synology provides applications to keep files in sync across Windows, Mac and iOS, Linux Android, and Contacts and Calendar applications.

If you are worried about keeping data in the cloud (someone else’s storage), this is one way to avoid it.

You can read more GadgetGuy Synology news and reviews here.