Synology has put its experience in file management on a new product, a backup solution created to keep your files and memories safe.
The BeeDrive is a small solid-state drive with 1 TB and 2 TB capacities that plug into your computer with a USB-C cable (an adapter is provided just in case your computer doesn’t have USB-C ports) and uses special software to manage an always-on backup approach.
The software also allows synchronisation from a folder to the data stored on the device, so BeeDrive can be plugged into different computers to keep the data in sync without using (and paying) for a cloud service.
This means you have the whole backup and sync solution without the need to be online all the time.
Like other Windows applications, the software installation is very simple. Once installed, select which folders on your computer should be copied or synchronised to your BeeDrive. And that’s pretty much it. By default, it will synchronise your documents folder, but you can select from any folder on your computer for your backup or sync task.
The software has other advanced options. For example, you can keep up to five versions of a file on BeeDrive, so if you are working on a document, you can always find a previous version. Similarly, if a file is deleted it will be moved to an archive folder, so restoring it is always possible.
The Windows integration is slick, and you can find older versions of your file by opening the original folder where your file is stored, finding it using Explorer and selecting the option “Browser previous version” from the right-click menu options. You then will see a list of older versions with the date and time they were copied to BeeDrive.
The application also shows a breakdown of your files, with a chart showing approximately how many documents, images, videos, compressed files, etc are on the BeeDrive.
But it doesn’t stop there. If you want you can also install a mobile app on your phone and link the phone to your BeeDrive app so that all your photos are automatically copied to your BeeDrive when you are at home. This works automatically if your phone is connected to the same Wi-Fi network as the computer your BeeDrive is connected to, and the computer must be running the BeeDrive software.
The Android app is smart to find which user folders contain photos and images and you can then select which ones you want to keep.
Another mobile app feature is sending files from your phone to BeeDrive. This is useful if you create documents on your device and want to transfer them to your computer, which can be done wirelessly.
BeeDrive stores your files in the original format, so you don’t need the software installed to browse the data on your device. It can backup data from up to five different computers, each with its own folder and a copy of your selected folders.
This makes things easier, but I worried about the data being on a removable drive, so I encrypted the BeeDrive using Windows BitLocker for extra data security – you don’t want your files and photos getting out there if someone else gets hold of your BeeDrive, right?
The backup is fast and runs in the background, so you don’t know it’s happening. I have about 400 GB currently stored on a BeeDrive, and I didn’t even notice it happening or when it finished. It does give you some notifications such as “One new file was copied to BeeDrive”, but I disabled that because it is not something I need coming up every time a new file is copied over. Depending on your Internet connection the local backup to BeeDrive is also much faster than a backup to a cloud service.
The BeeDrive is very small (65 mm x 65 mm x 15 mm) and weighs only 40g. You can plug it into the back of your computer and forget it.
Synology made it easy for people to protect their data and memories. If you don’t need a network-attached storage (NAS) device's sophistication, BeeDrive can easily give you peace of mind.