Backup Remote Machine to Synology NAS

For a few years now, I’ve used Syncthing to backup photographs to the NAS located on my local network and it has worked well. The NAS drive was mapped in finder and Syncthing was configured to only copy photographs TO the NAS. This means I can delete photos from my laptop, knowing they’re backed up on the NAS. This is crucial as I find a lot of default backup tasks are set up to mirror one location to another. This can lead to disappointment when you’re not expecting this behaviour!

However, I’ve recently had a new issue - how to do this same task remotely? Initially I attempted to map the remote NAS drive in Finder. It seems this is possible using a DDNS configuration, but for whatever reason, despite a few hours of faffing I was unable to get it to work. If successful, I had hoped this would have enabled Syncthing to carry on doing it’s thing. However since it was proving problematic, I discovered some Synology software that can achieve the same thing natively and thought it might be useful to document it. Synology products are good, but the documentation, configuration and setup can be confusing for non-IT professionals (e.g. me).

Synology Drive

Below are my notes on installing and configuring Synology Drive

  • Install Synology Drive client on your machine (Macbook in my case)

    • this initially only gives an option to back-up to a specific folder on the NAS used by this software. This is not what I need as I already have an existing folder structure.
    • To enable the use of pre-existing folders, Synology Drive needs to be given explicit permission to access other folders. Turns out there are three different Synology Drive related programmes and this is carried out using Synology Drive Admin Console.
  • Run Synology Drive Admin Console (on the NAS)

  • Select the ‘Team Folder’ section, the required folder and ‘Enable’.

  • Re-run Synology Drive on your machine.

  • Run a ‘Sync Task’

  • Select the ‘Folder to sync from your NAS’ (the folder you want to backup files to)

  • Select the ‘Folder location on your computer’ you’d like to backup from.

  • Now click on ‘Advanced’ and select ‘Upload data to Synology Drive Server only’.

Once running this will backup the selected laptop folder to the selected NAS folder while never deleting anything from the NAS.

I haven’t tested this at home yet, but assume it’ll work from a local network too, meaning there would be no need of Syncthing.