Synology backup – The different solutions

What can Synology backup & cloud services help me with? Do they have the packages and function that I need? With all the new solutions from Synology, things can be complicated. Major releases like DMS6 is both a welcoming update and can also confuse. In this article, I will explain all the backup and cloud software the NAS diskstation provide us.

Map of Synology Diskstation Cloud Station backup solutions

Synology Diskstations with DSM 6 has several ways to do backups. At first, it can be a bit confusing, but every Synology backup and sync solution have its purpose and its uses. I have listed all the backup and sync solutions below and how it works.

Hyper Backup – The main Synology backup solution

Hyper Backup icon

First is the new backup solution named Hyper Backup.  This is the primary backup for the diskstation. You can backup important configuration files, application configuration files and other folders you chose with both compression and client-side encryption if you wish.

The backup destination can be on the same diskstation (the same or on a different volume) or another diskstation.

Backup to another diskstation is, of course, the best solutions and especially if stored at a remote location. This backup can be scheduled and you can also run in rotation with up to 254 versions. To schedule the backup with versions is the preferred solution.

Hyper Backup Vault Icon

Hyper Backup Vault is an application that let other diskstation’s backup to your diskstation with Hyper Backup.

Snapshot Replication

Snapshot Replication icon

Snapshot Replication is a backup tool for your diskstation that take snapshots of your chosen folders and replicate it to a remote diskstation on a chosen schedule. You can also take a snapshot replication of the backup diskstation so you have multiple copies. I think this is more for companies to use.

Cloud Station Sharesync

Cloud Station Sharesync icon

Cloud Station Sharesync is an application that syncs your chosen shared folders with other diskstations. With this method, you have the same content in the shared folders on all the selected diskstation. This is a great application if you have friends with a diskstation and you want to sync the content with them. This can also work as a slave server in case of hard disk failure. If one diskstation have a failure, you can connect with the slave (spare).

Cloud Station Server

Cloud Station Server

Cloud Station Server is an application that has an overview of the different cloud applications below and their settings. Here you can easily download the software needed to your PC, Mac or smartphone. You see the different clients in the client list and have logs. You can also enable up to 32 versions of the altered files and folders. Cloud Station Server is the mastermind in your cloud.

Cloud Station Backup

Cloud Station Backup is a backup solution for your computer. You can backup almost all of your hard drives and the data will be stored on the diskstation with up to 32 versions. You can transfer the files with SSL encryption but the files will be stored unencrypted in your home folder on the Diskstation.

Cloud Station Drive

Cloud Station Drive is a sync application and works similar to Dropbox except the data will be stored on your Diskstation and not on a remote unknown server. It let you make your own private cloud and will sync data between multiple computers you choose and multiple Diskstations with up to 32 versions of your files like Cloud Station Backup. You also have access to your cloud with DS cloud from smartphones or tablets.

Cloud Sync

Cloud Sync Icon

Cloud Sync let your diskstation connect and backup to cloud providers like Dropbox and Google Drive. You can connect to the cloud provider and set the behavior of your diskstaion.

If a file is deleted on your diskstation, do you want to delete the file in the cloud or do you want to download the missing file? I have chosen to download since I use it as a backup of important files like photos and documents. I work with Dropbox on my own computer and not on the diskstation so if some files are missing, something is wrong.

You can connect to many public clouds but I connect to the two above only. The one I’m missing and that’s ICloud. I have an Ipad so I miss ICloud support and hope Synology will add it in the future l

Backup to public providers

Glacier Backup Icon

You also have the ability to backup to Glacier Backup and IDrive Backup to mention some of them. More are added on a regular basis.  If you have some computer skills you can also backup to other services that are not directly supported by Synology. It can be some work to install and maintain solutions not supported and is something I don’t want to do.

Backup to USB drive

You can also backup to an external USB drive you have connected to your Diskstation. I have not tested this solution myself since I see some complaints about slow transfer speed. You use Hyper Backup as an application. We have so many other remote and cloud-based solutions that work great. This is nice to have, but not something I want to do.

What is your experience with Synology Backup and sync applications?

20 thoughts on “Synology backup – The different solutions

  1. Thanks you for bringing us some info about all these apps… !

    I was kind of lost… Now it’s clearer but i don’t really see the point of such cloud apps if our Nas are already a “cloud” (Sharing files, accessible from anywhere…). Maybe you can clarify me this point….

    Just a remarks/question : For a personal user in home use, Nas backups aren’t so useful…

    I have a Mac and I think I will do my backup with Time machine linked to a nas folder. Do you think it is the right choice or I should use Cloud Station Backup ?

    Thanks again!

  2. It’s really a cool and useful piece of information.
    I am happy that you simply shared this helpful info with us.

    Please keep us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Hi,

    How does this change with the introduction of the Synology Drive app? Is asks to uninstall Cloud Station Server, but I cannot seem to replicate the functionality of Cloud Station Backup…

    Where am I going wrong?!

  4. Thank you for this overview. I think it’s a bit misleading, for me anyway. I want to backup about 10 PCs that use something like Cobian backup to copy data to the single server in a folder for each user. I was using Hyper Backup for this until today. My USB drive is out of space and I cannot remove anything from the backup file. Also, I cannot browse the backup from my Windows based PCs without more software.

    I just tried USB Copy. I created a backup job and it allowed me to choose any user folder on the NAS, but I could only choose 1 and I could not add another job for other folders!?? I need to backup about 10 folders. Is Synology trying to be difficult? One folder?

    From my vantage point, Synology does not provide an adequate backup solution for small business users any more. I think they used to have one. I’ve been wrestling with this problem for some time, and now I think I’ll just use a Windows PC to backup the Synology. This is embarrassing. I have access to a few QNAP devices. I’ll have to see if they offer a solution. No backup is a deal breaker. So is a bad backup.

  5. Thank you for your post. All the backup solutions have confused me, but this article explained them all for me.

    I now know what to use.

  6. wow. After reading your post, I now understand the different backup solutions. The new hyper backup really confused me!

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  10. Good day! Do you know if they make any plugins to safeguard against hackers? I’m kinda paranoid about losing everything I’ve worked hard on. Any tips?

    1. They have antivirus and backup plugins. They also have some software in the system settings that are made to prevent hacking.

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  13. Thanks!
    An update on Hyper Backup:
    – The destination may also be on cloud services such as DropBox, GoogleDrive and others.

  14. Is it only me who thinks that Synology NAS is almost useless piece of software and hardware. Nothing seems to work properly.
    Spending two weeks trying to setup a backup, I’ve decided to ask for my money back.

    1. Hi Richard. I’m sorry you are not happy with your NAS. I have two Synology NAS and am very happy with them. I have an older junior model that I have placed to my father and one at my home. I do backup to one I have home, and then it will do a backup to the one I have placed to my father. It works great for backup, even for files I have in the cloud.

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