The previous few years have seen a lower in inner storage on the Mac, as SSDs have gained prominence. A method to prolong that’s with a community connected storage gadget —and the Synology D1019+ is a superb alternative for the workplace or the house.The Synology DS1019+ in its pure setting.We’ve written concerning the idea of a house server and why you’d need one. The makes use of we lined up to now embody serving up music to iTunes, video transcoding and streaming, private file cloud, and the flexibleness house server utilizing an actual pc can supply. But what if you’d like one thing that is a bit extra prepared out of the field?What is a DS1019+ community connected storage gadget, anyway?The DS1019+ is a Network Attached Storage (NAS) gadget. Putting one in your community is the fundamental equal to having a tough drive on the community any pc you want can entry. You can use it to interchange dropbox sync, exchange iCloud capabilities like shared calendars, host media for iTunes and AppleTV, and even exchange Google Docs when you had been so inclined. The DS1019+ ships with 8GB of DDR3L RAM in two 4GB modules that may be upgraded. There are two M.2 NVMe SSD slots, permitting you to construct NVMe SSD cache with out occupying any of the drive trays. The processor is an Intel Celeron J3455 1.5GHz, which can appear low powered for a desktop system, however is certainly as much as the duty for doc collaboration, media streaming, and community storage duties. It could also be a bit gentle when operating digital machines —we aren’t kidding, Synology means that you can run digital machines with virtualized working programs over the community —however it’s potential.For connectivity, there are two Ethernet ports, two USB 3.x ports, and an eSATA port. That eSATA port means that you can join an extra five-bay enlargement unit, the DX517. Networking choices are a bit extra attention-grabbing to elucidate. USB can be utilized for storage, with duties that may be set to run each time USB storage gadgets are detected. The Ethernet ports can be utilized in hyperlink aggregation mode with a managed swap to be able to double the bandwidth. Or, you’ll be able to arrange the ports to behave as a router, giving out IP addresses to the LAN utilizing DHCP. We aren’t positive we’d be snug placing the storage instantly related to the WAN aspect of the Internet, however Synology appears to be snug with it.The management panel additionally means that you can join a USB Wireless adapter, and use the DS1019+ as a wi-fi entry level, a wi-fi router, or a wi-fi shopper. Again, we would not advise making the storage a wi-fi shopper, as knowledge strikes slower over wi-fi than wired connections, though if all of your shopper gadgets are wi-fi, it could be much less of a problem, and is good that the gadget is as versatile as it’s.The use caseMuch of the makes use of we had been utilizing had been centered round media and file storage. That makes a Network Attached Storage gadget (NAS) just like the Synology DS1019+ ideally suited. We’ve had one in our house lab for long run testing, and located it to solely change into extra helpful over time.Because all of Synology’s NAS merchandise run the identical software program, known as DSM, most of what we write right here is relevant to different fashions, which we’ll cowl briefly on the finish. Product naming is fairly easy: DS is DiskStation, 10 is the utmost variety of drive bays that may be connected (5 plus an add-on 5 bay exterior unit), 19 is the 12 months it was launched, 2019. Plus tends to imply that the processor is an Intel-based x86 versus an ARM primarily based processor (the Play line). DSM and the Package Center app ‘retailer’DSM is sort of like an working system with a desktop metaphor, seen by an internet browser. You can click on on icons on the desktop-in-the-browser to view assets, change settings, or open file supervisor home windows that are not too totally different from Finder on Mac. Music sharing to iTunesIn our earlier article on house servers, we wrote concerning the significance of iTunes sharing. In that instance, we saved all of our music on the house server in iTunes and broadcast it to different machines within the house by way of iTunes sharing or broadcasting utilizing Audio Hijack Pro, since NiceCast was discontinued.Audio Station by SynologySynology ships the NAS with a Package Center utility, which lets you set up plenty of different purposes on the NAS. One of those we put in instantly is iTunes Server. Setup is straightforward, requiring making a share identify, and optionally, a password and good playlists, whose choices work similar to they do in iTunes. It’s crucial to speak about storing music. Initially, you could need to arrange a share on the DS1019+ to robotically mount on the Mac after which level the iTunes library to it in iTunes’ preferences. This is a really unhealthy thought. Whenever the community share is not current, iTunes will reset its library to the native drive. You may create a disk picture on the NAS after which mount that and retailer the iTunes library inside it. You may even transfer the iTunes utility over and create a symlink to it, which might assist as a result of it will not lose monitor of the library. But that is a really ugly resolution. What we have arrived at is simply placing music within the music share folder on the NAS and letting Audio Station and iTunes sharing type it out. It works, besides not very effectively to AppleTV, as a result of AppleTV expects iTunes and Home Sharing.In order to hearken to the music on the NAS on iOS, we use an utility known as Simple DAAP Client, which is a bit ugly, however finds the NAS robotically over Bonjour, streams from it, and is ready to use iOS to ship the audio to AirPlay audio system. Separately, opening the appliance AudioStation from the NAS’s internet administration permits you to broadcast to a number of AirPlay audio system and DLNA targets. AudioStation is a bit of a ache, in that it’s important to choose the speaker you need the output to broadcast to first, after which press play. If you press play first after which try to change speaker as is regular with AirPlay, what occurs is, audio will play by the default chosen gadget (most likely a Mac), and once you swap speaker settings, it retains enjoying whereas letting you choose new media for the newly chosen speaker. It’s not apparent what’s enjoying the place, and it’s important to swap speaker settings to regulate all of them. It’s a wierd workflow.We additionally used Synology’s DS Audio app, which allowed us to assign totally different audio to totally different AirPlay, Chromecast, and DLNA gadgets across the house. It’s terribly complicated, similar to AudioStation however worse as a result of the interface is tougher to navigate. Where Simple DAAP Client is quick at discovering sources, displaying a listing of music, after which enjoying rapidly, leaving AirPlay output targets to iOS to handle, DS Audio tries to do the whole lot. DSAudio needs to allow you to choose songs to create playlists, and play totally different audio to totally different audio system all on the identical time. Where it breaks down is once you try to change track, it is simple to depart a track enjoying on a unique AirPlay speaker, which disappoints the entire household. There’s no simple method to inform if audio has been left enjoying on one other speaker, or what’s enjoying the place at any given second. We cannot emphasize sufficient how irritating this was. DS AudioSynology has a web page suggesting that you just mount the NAS in Finder after which create the iTunes library within the folder mounted from the NAS. In observe, we discovered that this did not work reliably. When we had been copying massive numbers of enormous information to it, the NAS choked and gave up. From time to time, iTunes would have points and transfer the library again to our native Mac drive, moderately than the NAS share. On the entire, utilizing a folder for music on the NAS and iTunes Sharing to carry the music to iTunes labored much more reliably.Notice the NAS library up on the high – that is the place it is bringing the audio from on this case.The DS1019+ additionally makes it potential to make use of Amazon Alexa to play music saved on the NAS, courtesy of a ability and a few settings within the Audio Station utility. It’s loads of hoops for most individuals to leap by, however is feasible to challenge a command like, “Hey Alexa, ask Audio Station to play Bad Reputation by Joan Jett” and have it work. If you needed to maintain all of your music regionally, moderately than use a service like Apple Music, however nonetheless needed to make use of voice audio system to play it, that is potential. Of course, you find yourself having to make selections about sound high quality of Alexa audio system, connecting them to higher audio system, and different choices. But Synology, on the entire, is about offering choices, and for customers who aren’t all in on Apple Music or HomePod, this appears fairly helpful.Note in the midst of this picture, it is potential to make use of Audio Station with Amazon Alexa.VideoOne other use of the Home Server from our previous article was storing and enjoying again video. Previously, we talked about utilizing Handbrake and MakeMKV to get DVD and Blu-Ray media on a Mac. With a NAS, you may copy it to the NAS out of your Mac, right into a video listing, after which share it on the community utilizing Synology’s VideoStation utility on the NAS. Synology’s VideoStation permits you to play again video within the browser, or utilizing DS Video apps on AppleTV and iOS. It conveniently has settings to transcode video, in addition to robotically obtain subtitles utilizing opensubtitles.org or subscene, two suppliers of subtitles for films and tv applications. When utilizing DS Video on AppleTV, the films take about 7-15 seconds to start out from the time that the distant is clicked, which does not sound like a lot, however feels fairly lengthy in observe. This is an artifact of transcoding, the NAS’s CPU and RAM and what file format the file was saved in. The DS1019+ shipped with 8GB of RAM, and it spikes as much as 30% CPU utilization at occasions when video is enjoying. Video Station helps playback by way of internet, Roku, Android TV, Android telephones, iOS, Apple TV, Windows 10 gadgets, and extra. It’s potential to run Plex on the Synology NAS and AppleTV. Of course, when you’re conversant in Plex, it is able to this, too, and with a Plex move license, can reap the benefits of transcoding. Honestly, we choose the auto-download subtitles habits of Video Station/DS Video and the shortage of complexity that DS Video, VideoStation, and Firecore’s Infuse Pro (which works fantastically with the DS1019+) have. PhotosThe NAS comes with a Photo Station utility, which lets you set up your pictures in albums. It’s meant to be an expert instrument, the place you’ll be able to share and entry information on the go, and get shopper suggestions about pictures. It additionally works with DS Photo on iOS and AppleTV. DS Photo on iOS can again up the digital camera library to the NAS, which is a handy characteristic. Moments is a NAS utility in Package Center that organizes your pictures by topic, particular person, location, and so forth. As Mac customers, we’re most likely higher served utilizing the photograph recognition that is constructed into Photos, however it’s handy, particularly after backing the pictures as much as the NAS. DS Photo and DS Files iOS apps each permit photograph backup to the NAS. We’d advise choosing one and never utilizing each, which might be redundant.DS Photos gives plenty of choices, together with Photo backup, geolocation and conversionRemote AccessUsing the EZ-Internet utility on the NAS units up the NAS to be used on the Internet. It configures the router, firewall, and Dynamic DNS, in order that the router has a site identify you’ll be able to attain from the skin world. In our Home Server article, we used no-ip.org for this. Here, we get to make use of Synology’s DDNS service, and assign a reputation like myname.synology.com. It’s potential to attach the NAS on to an ISP and use it because the router, however it’s extra widespread to attach it behind a router. EZ-Internet detects the community setup, the router, configures the firewall, and guides by establishing DDNS. It makes it simple to make the NAS accessible outdoors of your private home or workplace with out loads of work, and have it stay comparatively safe. Synology’s DDNS setup wizard makes it simple to get the gadget on the Internet to be used with apps and pc entry remotely.Office applicationsUsing Synology Drive for iOS means having the ability to entry the NAS like your personal personal DropBox, or maybe extra aptly, a personal Google Drive. Synology has outfitted the NAS with plenty of purposes: Drive, Office, Chat, Note Station, Calendar, MailPlus, and MailPlus Server. Office appears and works similar to Google Docs, with paperwork, sheet, and slides as internet apps. There’s additionally a desktop utility which syncs information on the NAS to the Mac, similar to Dropbox does with their app. We do not generally advise individuals to run their very own e-mail server, however you may, and it will work equally to Gmail, with e-mail accessible within the browser along with widespread mail purposes.File Management: Files? Drive?Synology has two file administration apps for iOS: DS file and Drive. Both work with Apple’s Files app as Locations you’ll be able to add and use in Apple’s Files app. Both have been just lately up to date, in April 2019. Why on earth would you need two? What are the variations between them? DS File works with out putting in something additional on the NAS. Drive requires putting in Drive on the NAS. DS File allows photograph backup, however with out the Geofencing choices of DS Photo. Drive permits you to create folders, add out of your iOS gadget, choose a number of pictures from albums to add, or use the digital camera to take an image and reserve it on to the NAS. Both DS File and Drive have an choice to auto-convert HEIF to JPEG once you add pictures. Files, versus Drive choicesDrive helps Office 365 on iOS, in order that customers can save information in Microsoft Office purposes to Synology Drive. You may open Synology Office doc, spreadsheets and slides within the user-friendly viewer offered by Drive. You can search information on the NAS, share, transfer and apply labels to information, making it actually helpful for on the go file administration. It’s not fairly as helpful as a full Google Docs alternative, as a result of you’ll be able to’t edit the information from inside Drive app. But, it really works for viewing, sharing, offline entry, and so forth. Drive and DS File can be found as Locations to open from or save information to in Microsoft Word’s app, for instance, however Word does not deal with the .odoc format that Synology Drive’s Docs editor makes use of to create information. You can obtain information created in Drive’s docs editor on the Mac as MS phrase .docx, however you then’d must add that again to the NAS for it to be accessible to cell in a means that Word may edit it, which looks as if a bothersome spherical journey – principally, it’s important to select one editor and keep it up. Not that it is a comfort, however the save file for offline entry characteristic on iOS could be very good to have. Surveillance StationThe DS1019+ can act as part of a video safety system. It helps a variety of IP cameras, and might document footage as an NVR, or community video recorder. The Surveillance Station utility can document occasions, stream reside, and even be monitored by an iOS app, DS Cam or Live Cam. It does require a license so as to add extra cameras, however works effectively with the iOS apps to stream cameras, or by the online browser. By default, it helps licenses for two cameras, however you should buy further licenses so as to add extra cameras.Surveillance StationThe 1019+ particularlyThe DS1019+ is a 5 drive bay, Intel Celeron-based NAS. Synology additionally makes ARM-based NAS merchandise, together with the one drive DS119j. The DS1019+ helps streaming your 4K content material with 4K H.265 transcoding. The change notes for Video Station state: “Added support for HEVC hardware transcoding on Synology DiskStation DS716+, DS716+ll, DS1019+, and DS916+.” That could also be true, however it’s not with out some caveats. We had been unable to stream some 10-bit 4k HEVC H.265 information. We had been capable of stream some 1080P HEVC H.265 video. The terminal command FFmpeg -I on a file reported hevc (Main), yuv420p(television, unknown/bt709/unknown), 1920×1080 [SAR 1:1 DAR 16:9], 23.98 fps, 23.98 tbr, 1k tbn, 23.98 tbc (default) for the video profile, and it did work simply fantastic streaming H.265 to a 4th technology AppleTV utilizing Synology’s DS Video app.Ports on the DS1019+We discovered that we had significantly better luck simply utilizing h.264 1080p, each with a Mac operating Mojave, an Apple TV 4th gen and an Apple TV 4K because the receiving gadgets. With Video Station and DS video, it’s best to be capable of convert and play 4K movies to media gamers that do not assist Ultra HD codecs, however Synology’s copy on this characteristic is actually inconsistent: Some locations, it says it has assist, some locations, it signifies that 4K content material will probably be transcoded all the way down to 1080p, which might be fascinating for gadgets that do not assist 4K. We suspect that the latter is true, and that Synology must introduce some readability round this. We would love some extra documentation round what containers and encoding Synology helps in order that we will higher perceive what 4K information are going to play, and what if something we have to do with Handbrake to ensure information are appropriate. 4K video and H.265 are at present not effectively documented by Synology.It’s time for an area cloud, you probably have loads of gadgetsAs we have stated, an area retailer of your necessary information is superb, and has advantages for a household or workplace. It’s simply the way you do it that varies.The best, quickest method to get house server operating is with a Synology NAS. You will not get the folder group on your music library that iTunes imposes, however some individuals have all the time been disenchanted with iTunes group anyway. The greatest let-downs for us had been that there is no DS Audio app for AppleTV as there are DS Video apps for Video Station on the DS1019+, and the shortage of readability round 4K streaming and transcoding. We additionally want that there have been higher consumer interfaces for managing the place music is enjoying or being despatched in DS Audio and AudioStation.We just like the Synology DSM working system for the NAS, the gathering of iOS and AppleTV apps which are accessible, and the sturdy good thing about Time Machine backups now that Time Capsule has gone away. The Synology DS1019+ is accessible for $640 with out disks from Amazon.com.Score: 4.5 out of 5.