Synology Sync with Dropbox and Google Drive

Synology just released their latest update for their network attached storage drives.1 DSM 5 provides a significant improvement to the UI of the management console but it also brings some new tricks the my all-around favorite piece of hardware, such as Cloud Sync for automatic syncing with Goolge Drive and Dropbox.

After installing the Clound Sync application from the Synology drive’s Package Center, create a new sync end-point. The options are Google Drive, Dropbox and Baidu Cloud. Synology makes setup fairly easy. There is a one click option to select Google drive, then subsequently point the application at a folder on the Synology backup drive. During the initial sync the Synology drive will download all Google documents to the local folder. Authentication for the Google drive account takes place through the browser. this means that you can log out of one Google account and log into another create additional sync in points. In my testing I was able to point the Synology drive at two different Google Drive accounts for Syncing without any issues.

There’s a global setting to determine what should happen if files are deleted from the Synology drive. The two options are either, delete the file from the remote sync location or to re-download to the Synology drive from the remote location.

Once the syncing is set up, while changes appear to be recognized very quickly. I added a 1.2GB file file to the Synology drive and the Google drive web application showed it as being uploaded within a few seconds. The upload still took a little while but no longer than a typical Google Drive upload.

The cloud sync applet running in Synology management interface also provides a nice visual indication of the process. It will even show the most recently modified files identified on all of the remote sync locations.

I think this new option in the Synology drive is really nice. What’s the use case? Well it’s a really easy way to create a backup of a Dropbox or Google Drive account. In my case, I don’t have Google Drive installed on my Mac. This means that if I want local file access I have to copy down all of my files form Google manually. Instead, I have the Synology drive take care of the syncing and mount it on my Mac as a network volume.

I also think this could be an alternative cloud backup for a Synology drive, given the recent Google Drive price drop. It’s certainly cheaper than the Glacier option previously available for Synology.

  1. I currently use, and love, an 1812+ model. The replacement appears to be a minor upgrade to the 1813+ model. My plan is to buy a second drive and I’d choose the DS412+ 4-disk model↩︎