Synology DSM – the perfect companion for your Mac and iPhone

Macworld Australia Staff
26 April, 2017
View more articles fromthe author

Storage – you can never have enough. Even if you buy a new Mac, iPad or iPhone with more storage than you’re currently using, there will come a time when you’ll take more photos or buy more music or movies than the device can handle.

And, as well as storing all that data, you need a way to share it and back it up. That’s where a NAS can be a great investment.

Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices have come a long way in recent years. They now add a range of apps and services that let you take advantage of secure, centralised storage whether you’re a home user, small business or large enterprise.

Synology’s Disk Management System (DSM) not only manages storage but allows you to carry out a number of other important functions.

Backup for your Mac

Mac users have been able to take advantage of Apple’s Time Machine backup system since it was introduced in 2013. But did you know it can be used with network drives that support the Time Machine protocol as well as with local hard drives?

Synology NAS is an ideal backup vault for Apple users

DSM supports Bonjour, AFP and SMB (Apple’s local networking protocols). Once enabled through DSM, you can go to Time Machine’s preferences and you’ll find your Synology NAS listed as a Time Machine destination. Select the NAS in the preferences and relax as all your precious data is automatically backed up across your network.

Recovering your data is also easy, using Time Machine’s intuitive macOS interface.

What about my USB drives?

We all know our computers aren’t the only place we store data. External hard drives and memory sticks have become an important tool for storing data and sharing files in many situations.

Synology has updated their USB Copy application. Version 2 allows you to trigger a transfer by either pushing the hardware copy button, running the application manually via DSM, or initiating a copy by simply hot plugging a device into a USB port. You can also individually map devices to different tasks.

For example, if you have a USB drive that is being used for a project, you can configure USB Copy 2 to automatically copy all the data from the drive to a folder on your Synology NAS. Or perhaps you have a USB stick that has a folder for personal files and another for work. USB Copy 2 can be used to copy the work data to one location and the personal information to another.

If the drive contains photos or videos, USB Copy 2 can be used to copy those files to a specific location.

Protecting and sharing your photos

Now that we’re all equipped with a multi-megapixel camera that can shoot great pictures and high-definition video, we need a place to easily store and share those precious memories.

Synology’s approach includes Photo Station and DS Photo.

Photo Station is an application that runs on your Synology NAS. It is an online photo album with a blog owned and managed by a DSM user. The system will create index thumbnails of your photos and videos that can be viewed by anyone you allow using a web browser.


Photo Station and DS photo allows you to backup, store, and share valuable moments on multiple platforms


That access isn’t limited to your local network. External access can be easily configured in DSM and you can control not just who sees your photos but where they are kept as you’re in control of the NAS location. This is a great way to protect your privacy as you’re not trusting an external service provider with your personal photos and videos.

For mobile users, Synology has created the DS Photo app. Once a friend, family member or colleague logs in using the app, they can view photos easily. And once photos are stored in Photo Station, you can remove them from your iPhone, recovering lots of precious storage space.

One Comment

One person was compelled to have their say. We encourage you to do the same..

  1. Steve says:

    Have you ever tried to recover from a Time Machine backup from the Synology?

Leave a Comment

Please keep your comments friendly on the topic.

Contact us