So I personally love using Google apps like Google Drive, Google Photos, and Google Docs/Sheet/etc. They are super easy to use and have a ton of features I like, like auto-sorting in the photos, for example, that works really well, etc.
But, what if you like these features but you don’t want to use Google for these things for whatever reason. Well, I stumbled upon a pretty interesting replacement that you can use to get similar functionality but have all the data secured in your own home or office on a local drive.
Well, turns out I was using my own NAS, network attached storage, that I use for my video files and found some pretty familiar looking apps.
Synology, the manufacturer of the NAS I use and a lot of editors use that I know, added some apps to the own proprietary OS that runs on their storage units, that add the same functionality as some popular Google cloud apps and figured there might be someone out there that would want to know about these apps because they want the Google equivalents but don’t trust Google, want to put things on the web in general, want to have everything on your own drives that you can then store locally or whatever other reason.
If you don’t have a Synology Drive, I’ve linked to them here (honestly, I use them because they’re inexpensive, have serious processing power for my video editing, are upgradeable, and, more pertinent to this video, they have some awesome software that’s included with every drive that’s more useful than just some simple backup application–and they have simple backup applications).
And if you’re curious here at the drives I use in them.
So, first up, let’s talk about the first app I found called Drive. Can you guess what Google service it resembles?
To install it on any Synology NAS, you first log in to DSM via the URL you have set up (I made mine my own personal one but by default its an IP address).
Click on the Package Center.
Search for and install Drive.
Once installed, don’t click open there as it’ll open the settings. Instead, click on the app drawer icon at the top left of DSM then click on Drive in there.
Once opened, you’ll be greeted by a familiar interface that instead of showing you all the files on the NAS (like the normal File Station app does), it simplifies things to only show what’s in your Drive folder.
You can add new folders or upload files using the plus button at the top, add labels to things to keep them organized, share them via a link with various permissions, etc. And if you download the Drive desktop app you can even set it up to sync folders on your computer to the drive in two-way sync automatically (again like that other company’s app does).
Also, you need to install Drive on the NAS in order to use the other two programs that I found and think are clever…
The first is called Moments.
You install it by clicking on the Package Center.
Search for and install Moments.
Once installed, click on the app drawer icon at the top left of DSM then click on Moments in there.
You can click the plus sign to create albums or upload photos/videos, and it’ll even put them into its own albums, like Googe Photos does, based on subjects, places, tags you create, and even people. The latter of which you can attach names to and it’ll try and group them into albums of those specific people like Google does too which is impressive. Now, it’s not as good as Google at it, but that’s too be expected when you have as much data as Google has versus a NAS company, but still, it works.
Also like Google Drive, you can click on any of the photos/videos (and yes it looks strikingly similar) and have a couple of very basic editing tools for now but also the ability to share them with various permission levels like you could with the Drive app (and the receiving party doesn’t need an account if you select public link, by the way).
Lastly, the other app I noticed was called Office.
You install it by clicking on the Package Center.
Search for and Install Office.
Once installed, click on the app drawer icon at the top left of DSM then click on Drive in there (it doesn’t have its own app it just works within Drive).
Now, you can select the new Document, Spreadsheet, and Slides options from the plus button to create any of those types of files and you’ll be able to work on them within the browser window (again, think Google Docs).
Once in the document/spreadsheet/slide, you can edit it like you would any web-based file complete with the usual formatting options, fonts, etc.
You can also add labels to the file to find it in Drive easier, share it like you can any file in Drive or photo/video in Moments, encrypt it to require a password to open it, etc.
And there you go, quick video on something I recently discovered, apparently it has been available for some time, but I just found it so it’s new to me and thought maybe some of you out there might like to know something like this exists if you didn’t already.
Let me know what you guys think though in the comments below, like this video and subscribe if you enjoyed it, and don’t forget to sign up for my weekly email newsletter for more videos, but also tips, tricks, tech news, etc that I do on my site that doesn’t necessarily make it into a video.
As always though, thanks for watching.