Small, Mighty, and Safe: We Review the Synology 1 TB BeeDrive
Jun 01, 2023
Backup and storage solutions are 10 a penny these days, and with so much choice, knowing which ones to choose becomes increasingly more difficult. Each of these solutions has its own advantages and disadvantages. Whether that's cost, security, compatibility, or capacity, these solutions can range in price from free to hundreds of dollars per year.
The best backup and storage solution will depend on your own preferences and individual needs. We all probably use Google Drive, just to name one, as it's been around for so long, but what happens when that's full? Well, again, this also depends on the intended use and budget. Hard drives can fail, and RAID drives can be expensive, plus you've got to factor in if this is your professional career or a safety net for your images.
Most of the projects I do for clients are fleeting, and once the final image(s) are agreed, I'll store them in the cloud and delete any drafts from my hard drives. Over the past couple of months, I have been using a 1 TB BeeDrive from Synology, which has provided me with peace of mind when working on projects or personal work. That is simply because of the ease of use, storage, and backup it provides. Admittedly I am probably not using it to its full potential, as I'm mainly using it as a project hub, but it has provided me with access to my files and automatic backups for these projects where ever I am working.
One of the first things you will notice about the BeeDrive is the size. It's totally inconspicuous, so much so that I have put a line of 5 mm orange tape around it so that I can pinpoint it straight away. Now, this is not a bad thing or a critique of the drive; it's probably more of a comment on my eyesight. The drive is small, sleek, and portable, and that's just one of the features that make it great.
Encased within this tiny drive is a 1 TB SSD, with a 2 TB option also available. There's a USB Type-C port (10 Gbps) for plug-and-play automatic backup from your PC, and the casing can withstand up to a 2 m drop. I cannot confirm this, however, and had no wish to even test if this was true, but in saying that, the BeeDrive does come with a three-year warranty should you need it.
Your BeeDrive can be connected via USB Type-C or, if you prefer, using the additional USB Type-C adapter, which I found very useful, as my USB Type-C port is taken up with another peripheral. An addition I've not seen before is the design of the two lugs at the adapter, which enable it to lock in place securely.
Once plugged into your computer, the setup process is relatively quick and simple, with a few different screens to enter your information. It takes less than three minutes to complete. With various options to choose from, you can start straight away to sync and backup your files via the USB Type-C, and it backs them up quickly.
In my time so far with the BeeDrive, I've mainly had it plugged into my PC, where each time I power up the PC, it automatically updates the files I have selected. Any changes I make to these files are updated as soon as I make them, plus it also retains up to five past versions in case of any accidental overwrites.
Another time-saving feature of the BeeDrive is the wireless transfer of photos from your iOS/Android devices, which is done via the BeeDrop app. No more Dropbox or emails are required to send the photos. Simply send via Wi-Fi, and you are done. Admittedly, when I first tried this, there was a small network issue, but the app provided the solution, and it has worked flawlessly ever since.
Sure, that may seem a silly question, as we all want to store and backup files securely, so what exactly are the benefits of the BeeDrive in the real world? Although I am using it to back up certain computer files and photos of my children in the first instance, I have been setting up to save new project folders when I am doing client work so that I cannot lose any of the images or files created while working on them. I haven't needed to go into previous versions or save them as final.psd, final 2.psd, or definitely ultimate final.psd, because the BeeDrive automatically takes care of this for me via the advanced settings.
The compact design of the Synology 1 TB Beedrive combines a sleek, portable, and compact design with an intuitive user interface to deliver an exceptional storage solution. The mobile app and web-based file station allow for complete freedom when accessing your files, which I found particularly useful when traveling, as I couldn't access some of my files via Google at the time for some reason.
We've all had the opportunity to test out and use different storage and backup solutions to see which one's fit our needs as photographers, and perhaps you already have different configurations set up for your own files; a backup of a backup so to speak. I know that in the time that I have used the Synology BeeDrive (which is for a while now), it has become an important part of my storage/backup setup, especially for projects. I've had more time to get used to it and the storage capacity has increased since the first screengrabs used here in this article. Admittedly I did hold off a little when reviewing the BeeDrive in that I wanted to be sure it met all the criteria it promised, in connecting and backing up my files, in accessing and protecting and I haven't had one issue or complication with it. The BeeDrive has worked as promised.
There are two storage backup solutions available for the BeeDrive, 1 TB and 2 TB. Currently, the BeeDrive is only available for PC, with a macOS version coming very soon. You can purchase your own peace of mind here.
Gary McIntyre is a landscape photographer and digital artist based on the west coast of Scotland. As well as running photography workshops in the Glencoe region, providing online editing workshops, Gary also teaches photography and image editing at Ayrshire college.