I got my Synology DS916+ 14 months ago and I loaded it with 4x3TB disks (which seemed like the best price/performance option within reasonable pricing at the time).
It was quite an investment for a home user, but I decided to do so after my TimeCapsule 2TB power supply failed for the second or third time and after I realised that throughout the past years (*) I’ve spent a good amount of money for non-reliable hard disks that eventually failed, or got full or just got outdated (for example my old firewire disks).
Like I mentioned, I got 4x2TB HDD.
I setup 3 of them as single 5.5TB volume using SHR (Synology Hybrid RAID) to increase data redundancy. This is where I save anything that’s valuable and impossible to replicate if lost.
The last HDD, I kept it as a single 2.7TB Volume. It’s where I save data that are either redundant like our TimeMachine backups, ripped music and video from physical media, etc.
Encrypted Shared Folders.
For most data (our photos, docs, etc) I use encrypted shared folders. This ensures that if the disks are stollen, the data will be inaccessible.
CloudSync to backup from Synology.
CloudSync allows you to sync data between a Synology DiskStation and cloud services. I use it in two ways.
I back up the data stored on DS916+ to Backblaze B2. This ensures that whatever I store on my DS916+, it is also backed up to Backblaze (also, encrypted). Again, I only backup the important stuff that are irreplaceable.
CloudSync to backup to Synology.
My laptop does not have enough disk space to store all my Dropbox files, so I use selective sync and as a result some of my files are only on Dropbox servers. I like Dropbox a lot, but I don’t want to trust them to hold the only copy of my files.
So, I use CloudSync to backup my Dropbox account to my Synology. This means that any file uploaded to my Dropbox account, it is automatically replicated to DS916+.
Remote access and VPN
Synology gives a couple of ways to remotely access your DiskStation, but I’m quite sceptical about exposing various services over the internet. Instead, I setup the included VPN Server and when I need to access my files remotely I connect to it through VPN. As an added bonus I can also access all my home computers remotely, and I also have my personal VPN server I can use when I travel.
Synology recently added Moments that’s supposed to be a place where you can store all your phots and videos, browse them through a browser or a mobile app, organise them either manually or automatically, etc. It is quite promising, and I’m especially interested in it as a way to a) not depend on a service by Google or Dropbox or Apple to manage my photos and b) as a way to aggregate family photos and videos from various sources (our mobile phones, cameras, etc.) in a single archive. However, I’m not still there, so I can not tell you it can replace the services or apps you may already use.
Accessing stored media from Apple TV
I use Infuse on our Apple TV to access the media stored on my Synology and it works like a charm.
DS916+ has been one of the best purchases I ever did. If it broke down, I would rush to replace it with a new one.
(*) 2008 flash back bonus for my Internet friends: πρόβλημα με το WD MyBook World II (συνέχεια) + home storage, πρόβλημα με το WD MyBook World II