8 reasons to buy a Synology NAS if you’re an Android user | #android | #security

Picking up a NAS can be a big investment move, but it usually pays for itself — especially for businesses — if you account for various monthly subscriptions you’ll be saving on. Pre-built NAS devices from Synology come bundled with a bunch of handy apps and features that match wits with some of the most used Google services. Here are a few ways a Synology NAS can make your life easier if you use an Android phone.

Synology Photos

It’s hard to rival something as feature-rich as Google Photos, but Synology’s alternative comes as close as it can get. The redesigned Synology Photos app mimics Google Photos in more than one way, and that’s a good thing for end-users. You get face detection to automatically club together your photos based on the people in them, making scanning through your years of collection much easier. The Android app also has the cast function, so you can easily share photos with your family on a big screen.


While the app lacks any kind of editing options, the NAS at least has the advantage of your personal photos and videos never leaving your home. And neither do you need a monthly subscription to keep your media in original quality. If sharing photos with your friends and family is important to you, you can choose to give access to other users on your network access from within the app or even add them as collaborators.

These handy features are the reason why Synology Photos is among our favorite choices for those looking for a Google Photos alternative, and moving all your photos to a NAS isn’t all that difficult either.

Synology Drive

When you’ve got several hundred gigabytes of data, using Google Drive can slow down your entire workflow and can even burn a hole in your pocket. With Synology Drive, you can reduce the latency, with your files readily available on the home network, and save the monthly fee in the process.

Alongside the Photos app, Synology also revamped its Drive service to give it a modern interface and some added features that you won’t find in File Station. It makes it easier to share files and folders with your team on the home network as well as anyone on the internet using a direct link. Synology Drive’s Android app brings all those things to your phone, including the support for offline access.

If you’re thinking of moving away from Google Drive to a self-hosted solution, Synology Drive is a well-rounded package, and it won’t take a lot of your time to move your files over to your own NAS.

Synology Office

Google Drive is incomplete without Google’s productivity apps for managing your documents, presentations, and spreadsheets. Just so that you don’t miss any of these Google apps, Synology includes its own suite — called Synology Office — with Synology Drive. With a top ribbon, the interface looks and feels similar to other similar apps, so you won’t be lost when trying out Synology’s alternative for the first time. And like Google Docs, you can also collaborate with other users and keep track of the changes.

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One big downside of Synology Office is that it isn’t available on Android— neither as standalone apps nor integrated into the Synology Drive app — so you’ll always need a computer to use it. Apart from that, you must convert your files to Synology’s format to be able to edit them, though you always have the option to export them in more widely accepted formats like .docx.

DS Audio

Many of us found ourselves scrambling for a way to move our uploaded music from Play Music to YouTube Music last year. While Google’s solution is good enough for most users, those with a NAS can instead use Synology’s DS Audio app. The Android app can not only stream straight from the NAS but also allows offline access to your music for when you’re away.

Sure, DS Audio won’t win any design awards, and nor is its queue management particularly elegant, but it does get you a few useful features. The app lets you cast your music to a Chromecast-enabled screen or speaker, and Synology even offers an Alexa skill for DS Audio for those into the Amazon ecosystem. On a computer, though, you can access the player only through the DSM, which does add a few extra steps.

One of the primary reasons home users pick up a NAS is to use it as a personal media center for their (legitimately acquired) library of movies, TV shows, and even home videos. Even a more beginner-grade NAS like the DiskStation DS220+ can transcode and stream 4K videos along with multi-channel audio. And since the Plex package is easy to set up on a Synology NAS, you can have the titles organized and your progress tracked in a polished interface.

In case you don’t wish to pay Plex to stream your movies on a phone or tablet, you can use Synology’s own DS Video instead. It’s completely free and can even work over the internet when you’re outside your home network using QuickConnect, though you lose out on Plex’s richer interface and experience.

Surveillance Station

Modern security cameras from brands like Nest and Ring require a monthly subscription to store recordings in the cloud. But with a Synology NAS, you can use the available hard disk space to keep as much footage as you need, using the built-in service called Surveillance Station. With Synology’s DS Cam and LiveCam Android apps, you can take control of your security cameras from your phone itself.

However, you will have to use one of the IP cameras that integrate with your Synology, though you’ve got plenty of options as over 7000 cameras are supported. One big downside of this is that you only get two free licenses with most consumer-grade Synology NAS units, and purchasing additional licenses can get a tad pricey.

Synology Chat

Instead of relying on apps like Slack and Microsoft Teams, you can use Synology Chat for your team if you don’t want your communications to leave your network. Staying on top of your messages is easy with channels, groups, and threads — things you usually find on business communication platforms. And not just for work, Synology Chat can as easily be used for your personal chats with your friends and family added to your NAS.

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For those de-Googling their Android phones, Synology Calendar and Contacts could be the more private solution they’ve been looking for. Both these services run natively on a Synology NAS and have a nice interface for you to work on the desktop, but neither has a dedicated Android app. Thankfully, they support CalDAV and CardDAV, so you’re free to use any Android app of your choice.

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A Synology NAS can offer a ton of value depending on what you’re looking to get out of it. For small businesses, the ability to store data on-site and easily share it with teammates is invaluable, while home users will appreciate the convenience of all the first-party Synology apps that easily serve as fitting alternatives to some of Google’s offerings. In either case, starting your NAS journey with something budget-oriented (but capable) like the DiskStation DS220+ makes a lot of sense.

Buy Synology DiskStation DS220+

$300 at Amazon

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