Synology expands its 'portable cloud' BeeDrive brand

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When you hear the word Synology, you'd be right to think of a high quality NAS backup / archive hardware system with multiple hard drives, that usually sits working safely away in a cupboard or parked on your desktop.

On average, they are the size of a brick, and anywhere from 500g to a couple of kilograms in weight – not something you'd want to casually throw in your camera bag.

So it was a bit of a surprise when Synology released the tiny, 140g BeeDrive SSD around the middle of last year, which is basically a 1TB or 2TB hard drive that also has the ability to share or backup your work via wifi – using a shared folder system on other computers.

The advantages of using a BeeDrive
The advantages of using a BeeDrive.

This week Synology has expanded their super portable 'personal backup hub' to include a desktop version called the BeeStation, which is in essence, a simplified NAS unit that will appeal to less tech-savvy users who would like to have their own personal cloud (with no subscription fees).

Of course, there are cloud subscriptions out there that require no hardware, though fees do add up and on average they are around $180 per year for 2TB and up to $540 per year for 6TB.

The new BeeStation is priced at $420-$430 for a 4TB unit. So if you used it for say 5 years, you'd be saving $1,600 to $2200+ over using a typical cloud subscription. And, you'd have more data privacy and arguably more personal control over your content and sharing abilities.

The new BeeStation.

Interestingly, with Synology – it isn't just the hardware. Their NAS software AKA DiskStation Manager (DSM) is regarded as the top tier system to which others are judged. So it's definitely a good thing that Synology is bringing that software expertise to the 'Bee' line of products to help simplify the NAS / cloud experience.

In terms of software control with the BeeDrive, with File Syncing you can create a folder on your Beedrive and your computer. Within this, you can set parameters so that only specific files are synced – such as only JPGs of your finished work, thus keeping the original RAW files only on the Beedrive.

As for the BeeStation, an interesting feature is you can share your work via a secure link which is great for sharing super large folders such video (often problematic with online sending services). Or you can use the BeePhotos app on your phone to backup all your images onto the BeeStation. 

Sharing made easy on the BeeDrive
Sharing made easy on the BeeDrive.

The BeeDrive is currently retailing for $279 for 1TB and $439 for 2TB, while the BeeStation is around $430 for 4TB.

You can find out more about the BeeDrive and BeeStation on the Synology website.

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