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Google Drive alternative: Synology Drive

To have your own cloud storage is the great vision, and pre-built solutions like Synology DiskStations make it simple to get started. While Synology is best known for its hardware, the company has recently improved its software offerings. Synology Drive – Google Drive alternative, for example, competes with Google Drive with a simple interface and a slew of current features, persuading many to abandon Google’s service. You’ve come to the right place if you’re seeking for a way to set up Synology Drive as a Google Drive alternative.

How to manage files on Synology NAS

Synology has a couple of file management methods in place, and they can be perplexing if you’re not familiar with them. Please bear with me while I attempt to deconstruct what works best according to how you want to use your network drive.

Map your Synology NAS to Finder/File Explorer

  • Both Mac and Windows file managers may connect to your Synology network drive, letting you to access your data exactly like you would from internal storage. This method is appropriate for single users who don’t mind working directly inside Synology folders that don’t take up any storage space on your computer. This is how you can go about doing it:
  • In a web browser, go to your Synology DSM, pick Control Panel, and then File Services. Enable the SMB and WS-Discovery services under the SMB menu, then click Apply. On this page, you can experiment with some advanced options, although the defaults should suffice.
  • Secondly, go to the top menu bar of your Mac’s Finder and select Connect to Server, or use the Cmd+K shortcut to input your NAS’s local address. This address could be a custom name you’ve given the NAS, such as smb:/xyz.local, or a local IP address issued to the NAS by your router, often in the 192.168.X.XXX format.

To map a network drive on Windows, right-click on This PC in the File Explorer side panel and select Map network drive. Select the drive label and browse to your Synology NAS. If you enabled WS-Discovery in the previous step, your NAS will appear in this list.

  • Your Synology NAS should now be displayed in Finder or File Explorer after entering your login credentials.

If you’ve made your whole folder directory visible to your Synology Drive user account, pinning the folders you use regularly to the sidebar for quick access is a smart idea. However, because you’ve mounted a local network drive, you’ll only be able to access the files when you’re connected to your home network.

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Allow Synology to automatically sync/backup your folders

Synology’s own alternative — aptly titled Drive — appears to have taken a lot of inspiration from Google Drive. Synology provides a syncing and backup solution for your computer, identical to what Google Drive has been delivering for a long, save from the name and a few smart features. This is especially useful if you wish to sync certain of your folders across various devices and/or users on your network. To get Synology Drive up and running, follow these simple steps:

  • In a web browser, go to your Synology’s DSM, open Package Center, and look for Synology Drive Server. Underneath it, press the install button and wait for the procedure to complete. The Drive app, as well as the admin panel, will be installed as a result of this. You can now begin utilising Drive’s online app and transferring files from other directories to it. But we’ll go a step farther and set up file sync and backup on your pc.

Allow Synology to automatically syncbackup your folders

  • After entering the needed information about your NAS model and OS version, you may download the Drive Client for your PC from Synology’s website. As indicated in the previous section, follow the standard installation procedure and provide Synology’s location as well as your login credentials.
  • You’ll be asked to set up sync or backup tasks on the next screen, both of which are self-explanatory. Select the folders you want Synology to maintain a backup of and hit Backup Task.
  • To sync, open the Drive app on your computer, create a new Sync Task, pick the folders you wish to keep in sync on both your NAS and your PC, and you’re done. To fine-tune the sync behaviour, you can add various restrictions, such as size or file type filters.

What you get and lose with Synology Drive

Here’s what you gain or lose while leaning over Synology drive.

Connecting to your Synology NAS over the internet

One of the reasons cloud storage apps like Google Drive have become so popular is that you can view your data from almost anywhere with an internet connection. It’s also feasible to do so with your NAS, and the simplest option is to use Synology’s own QuickConnect solution.

Control Panel > External Access > QuickConnect > Enable QuickConnect will turn it on. For the feature to work, you must have a Synology account (not your NAS user account) linked to your NAS. You’ll obtain a unique web address that you can use to log into your NAS from anywhere in the globe. It also saves you the trouble of fiddling with your router’s port forwarding settings, which isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.

Connecting to your Synology NAS over the internet

Synology Drive for Android

Synology Drive looks and performs much more modern than the previous DS File app on Android (though not as good as Google Drive). Despite the fact that most of its features were adapted from Google Drive, they function flawlessly. There are a variety of options to organise your files, such as tagging or staring them, and the search engine is both powerful and fast. Offline access is also available in the Drive app, and you can generate private and public share links directly from the app. Even so, the web app offers more extensive options for managing your files in Drive.

Synology Drive for Android

Synology Drive for Android (2)

Team sharing

Setting up sync across various devices and users so that everyone on the network has an updated copy of the shared files and folders is a huge advantage of using Synology Drive. Synology Drive Admin Console > Team Folder allows you to activate team sharing. When you’re there, click Enable on one of the shared folders.

Repeat steps 2–4 on the second (or additional) computer where you wish the synced folders and files to appear. Remember that only existing Synology Shared Folders may be added to the Team Folder, so make sure the indented users have read/write access to that folder for the sync to work effectively. Control Panel > Shared Folder > choose the folder > Edit > Permissions to modify this.

Using the context menu, you may easily share links to files with your network colleagues. If you have QuickConnect set up, you can even publish public links (expirable and password secured) enabling anyone outside your network to access your files.

Synology Office

Synology has also replicated Google’s productivity programmes, as if Drive wasn’t enough. Simply install the Synology Office package on your DSM, and the Drive app on the web will automatically integrate. Drive will now be able to open MS Office files natively, albeit you’ll need to convert them to Synology’s proprietary formats to edit them. While simple text-only files convert without any formatting issues, more complicated documents may be difficult to convert.

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Things you’ll miss while switching from Google Drive

Synology has done a good job of porting across the majority of Google Drive’s critical features. You won’t miss any specific feature of Synology Drive as a result of this, but you will miss the tight-knit nature of Google services as a whole. Synology Drive can’t compete with Google’s ubiquity and widespread acceptability across a wide range of third-party tools and services, not to mention its own services, which are used by billions of people.

Google Drive’s strongest asset is its convenience. All you need is a Gmail account (which almost everyone who uses the internet has) and you’ll be up and running in seconds. That’s not something you can count on from Synology, especially in the early stages of setup. However, you should be OK after that.

How to move files from Google Drive to Synology Drive

Go to app options and under Google Drive, select Mirror files, then confirm the save location using the Google Drive widget on your computer (download the desktop software if you don’t already have it). This will download all of the files from the cloud to your computer, so make sure you have enough space on your hard drive or use an external hard drive. Once the synced folder is full, just upload the contents to your Synology NAS using one of the two methods described previously.

That concludes our discussion. The process may take a few hours to complete, and it isn’t for everyone, but having a mirror of your hard drive, or even just syncing a few essential files, to a backup source that’s safely situated in your home and accessible from anywhere might be a huge benefit.

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