Synology Beedrive Review: Intelligent SSD with Wireless Magic

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In today’s digital age, safeguarding your data has become paramount, encompassing a wide range of valuable content such as photos, videos, documents, and personal files. Several innovative methods exist to ensure data protection, including replicating it across various cloud service providers, setting up NAS installations, and employing rotating cycles of external drives. While these approaches can achieve the desired outcome effectively, they often lack portability.

A significant challenge many users face revolves around the scarcity of affordable laptop storage options. This limitation hinders the seamless establishment of a comprehensive data management system. Consequently, the ability to conveniently store, transport, and manipulate large data dumps while moving emerges as a substantial advantage, granting greater flexibility and productivity in handling data-related tasks. Keeping these things in mind, Synology introduced BeeDrive which wirelessly allows you to back up your phone’s data with ease.

The BeeDrive is not your usual portable SSD, this one’s a smart cookie that can do more than just store your stuff. When you team it up with its laptop app buddy, this Synology SSD can handle wireless file transfers and might even give Google Drive’s desktop app a run for its money. But is the BeeDrive’s is worth your money? Let’s break it down.

Synology BeeDrive Review Snapshot

Editor’s rating: 4.5/5

Design

Software

Read & Write Speeds

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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Pros

  • Compact and Sleek Design
  • Quick Wireless Backups
  • Impressive Transfer Speeds
  • Cross-Device Compatibility

Cons

  • Lack of Mac App
  • No Built-in Encryption
  • One-Way Sync Delay
  • Need for Continuous Connection

SYNOLOGY BEEDRIVE REVIEW: Design and build

Unlike those old clunky drives, external SSDs are sleek and compact, perfect for lugging around heaps of data. The BeeDrive fits right in with this crowd. It’s small and light, fits comfortably in your hand, thanks to its round-ish shape. It’s thin enough to slip into your jeans without a hitch.

You’ll see a white LED light doing its thing on one corner – it blinks differently to show when stuff’s transferring or if something’s off. Now, the BeeDrive rocks only one port, a USB Type-C one, for power and all your data moves. Do note that Synology claims it’s okay to drop it from about two meters, but there’s no official water and dust resistance rating. During my time checking it out, I accidentally dropped it from about two feet, and the casing popped open just a smidge, but nothing happened to the data inside. Still, be gentle with it.

Inside the box, it’s the drive, a USB-C to USB-C cable that’s all about USB 3.2 Gen 2 speeds, and a USB-A adapter that locks onto the cable – handy if your laptop’s on the older side and doesn’t do USB-C.

SYNOLOGY BEEDRIVE REVIEW: Software and Performance

So, the Synology BeeDrive isn’t just plug and play, it’s got some slick tricks up its sleeve. It’s kinda like the Google Drive app for your desktop but on steroids. The BeeDrive can automatically back up folders from your computer, and wait for it, wirelessly back-up your pics and files from your phone to the drive. Cool, huh?

But here’s the catch, all these cool moves depend on your laptop’s Wi-Fi and its special app. Right now, the app’s only for Windows, but Mac folks, don’t fret, it’s coming by year-end. Until then, Mac users can use the BeeDrive like any other plain old portable drive.

Once you’ve got the app from the included installer file (Windows only), you’ll need to log in or create a Synology account. This is the ticket for all those cool cross-device tricks. Synology swears up and down that your data only goes on your local Wi-Fi, nothing’s sent to their servers except your IP address for QuickConnect pairing.

Now, about speed – the BeeDrive boasts it can hit transfer speeds up to 1000MB/s. In our tests, it got there when connected to a USB-C port on our Windows machine. The speed you’ll see depends on things like file size and the kind of USB your laptop’s got, so your mileage may vary.

But really, it’s the app that’s the superstar here. With “Computer Backup,” Synology aims to give the Google Drive PC app a run for its money. It automatically backs up changes between folders on your computer and the drive. Any tweak you make to your files shows up instantly on the BeeDrive, a smart way to keep your stuff safe outside your computer. It keeps older versions too, in case things go south, though it might munch up some space depending on your files.

“File Sync” does something similar, but it’s for keeping files and folders in sync between two computers. Super handy if you bounce between different PCs. I didn’t have another Windows machine to give this a whirl, but one-way syncing from the computer to the drive did take a while.

My favorite BeeDrive trick? Backing up pics wirelessly from your phone. Use the BeeDrive app on your smartphone, and you’re good to go – your pics get saved in full glory.

These backups are snappy, like I backed up over 300+ photos, about 3GB, in less than 5 minutes. Just remember, you need the BeeDrive app open on your phone to kick it off. While Synology’s NAS boxes make for killer Google Photos replacements, the BeeDrive is a smarter bet if you’re all about photo backups.

iPhone fans get a cool bonus – their HEIF pics automatically become jpegs for smooth sharing across devices. Plus, there’s a feature called “BeeDrop” – it’s like AirDrop but for the BeeDrive, perfect for zapping files from your phone.

Now, here’s the not-so-great part – to use all these tricks, the BeeDrive needs a buddy. It has to be hooked up to a computer with the app running for the magic to happen. The BeeDrive’s not a brainiac itself, it leans on your laptop’s network to move files around.

If your BeeDrive can stick to your laptop all day, no worries. But if you’re just looking for occasional phone pic backups, you’ll need to connect it to a laptop first. Just to compare, WD’s My Passport Wireless Pro, which is no longer around, was chunkier but had Wi-Fi and a battery built-in for easier wireless moves.

SYNOLOGY BEEDRIVE REVIEW: Should You Buy It?

Synology’s known more for its software game than just hardware – Synology Drive can pretty much stand in for Google Drive. The BeeDrive carries on that legacy with software that puts it a step ahead of regular portable SSDs. It can handle folder backups like a pro and keep your precious family photos and videos safe, all without a monthly fee.

If these smart features float your boat, the Synology BeeDrive could be a winner for you, even with its slightly higher price. Over time, it’ll pay for itself if the computer backup and file sync features boost your work-home hustle.

But hey, it’s not all roses. There’s no Mac app yet, no built-in file encryption and the BeeDrive needs a laptop for those wireless moves. Synology can patch the first two issues, but BeeDrive’s reliance on a computer is kinda set in stone for now. Pros who live on their work computers will find it a breeze, but if you’re eyeing it for occasional picture backups, it might feel like a bit of a hassle.

Reasons to buy

  • Compact and Sleek Design
  • Quick Wireless Backups
  • Impressive Transfer Speeds
  • Cross-Device Compatibility

Reasons to not buy

  • Lack of Mac App
  • No Built-in Encryption
  • One-Way Sync Delay
  • Need for Continuous Connection
Deepak RajawatDeepak Rajawat
Experienced technology journalist with over 7-years of experience. Before embracing online journalism, he has worked with several legacy publications including print editions at Hindustan Times and The Statesman. He also has a keen interest in Sports, which he used to cover with equal enthusiasm in his early career.

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