Mention the word “Backup” and immediately people roll their eyes. And yet, this is such a critical part of our digital lives. If you are tired of using external hard drives to back up your computer’s data and want a much more reliable system to keep your data safe, then its time to get a NAS.
What is a NAS?
NAS stands for Network Attached Storage. Essentially it’s an external hard drive that is permanently connected to the network and this is where Synology DS218+ comes in that was sent for me.
The Synology DS218+ is a small black box that contains two bays that house a hard drive. You can start with just one hard drive and add another as your storage needs grow. If you want to be extra cautious, you can install two hard drives in the DS218+ and have each drive mirror the other. Its a backup for your backup.
How to set up the DS218+
Setting up the DS218+ on the network was as simple as accessing a web browser. You simply attach the network cable and connect it to your Internet router, and power up the DS218+. Then, simply open the web browser on your computer and follow the instruction supplied.
It’s so simple, I was up and working within 8 minutes.
The next step is to set up the various computer to automatically have their data backed up. To do that, simply head over to the Synology DS218+ with the browser and select Package Center. Here you will find a host of services that are ready for you to install if you need that functionality.
Want to set up the DS218+ as a media station so you can stream your own video to any device? no problem. Want to set it up as a photo station too to centralize all your photos? Done. I was impressed by how simple all these functions were to set up.
No complicated settings to grapple with – it was just select, follow the prompts and install.
Synology Automatic Backups
I installed the Cloud Station Server so that I could automate my backups. After following those prompts, I was ready to set up each office computer so it could send its data to my NAS.
For that to happen, I downloaded the Cloud Station Sync app onto each desktop and connected to the NAS and that’s it. Done. Now all the data is backed up and synchronized automatically without me having to do a thing.
That is peace-of-mind right there!
Synology Cloud Storage Sync
Another cool package to install is the Cloud Sync. This allows you to seamlessly share files and folders between your various cloud storage services such as Google Drive, Dropbox, and One Drive.
now THAT is handy. I have various cloud storage services and I am constantly logging in and out of each one looking for a particular file. Now I don’t have to as everything is wonderfully stored in one place and all the changes I make are automatically sent back to the cloud for me to access.
My own Cloud
The final bit that is super handy is being able to create my own cloud storage which is what the DS218+ allows you to do. So now when I am out of the office, I can still access my confidential files from my own system without having to first move them into Google Drive. This is really game-changing as I no longer worry about being on the road and needing that one file which I didn’t take with me.
So in summary:
Backup is like car insurance. You don’t want to pay for it, but when something goes wrong with your car- boy are you glad you did!
I love the simplicity of the Synology system and how complicated tasks of the past, are now just a click away. Having set up Enterprise networks for large corporates, these services were always a pain to configure and were definitely the realm of only big corporates. Well, not anymore with this DS218+. I must mention that if you still want to have that level of tech control to configure your own DMZ, VPN, SSL Certificates, etc. you are still able to do that too.
Putting this much control means that anyone can set up their own NAS, own backups, own cloud without calling their tech friend for help!