If you own a lightweight device like a MacBook Air or Ultrabook, you may be well aware that reducing physical size sometimes comes with a trade off for less digital storage. To offset this reduced capacity, you can use a NAS (short for Network Attached Storage) device on your network to bolster your capacity. These devices are small computers which make their hard drives available to other computers on your network. So while your small laptop may only have a small fraction of a terabyte, your NAS will typically have a couple terabytes to spare.
Once you have a NAS, you can create an always-available personal cloud by running Sync on your NAS.
You can offload all of your larger files – high bitrate home movies, RAW format pictures, and folders with hundreds of documents – to your NAS. With Sync running on your NAS, you’ll be able to access the data on your NAS from anywhere, including mobile.
For files that you keep in Sync on both your NAS and your laptop, you gain redundancy and have a backup of this data on your NAS should your laptop be stolen, lost, or broken.
Here’s a quick walkthrough for getting Sync on your NAS:
(1) If you have a recent Netgear, Seagate, or QNAP device, Sync is already available in your NAS App Store. If you don’t have one of these recent NAS devices, you can seek out a community build or instructions on our forums.
(2) Configure a Sync folder on the NAS for your files.
Pro Tip: If someone sends you a Sync link (or key), simply copy and paste it into the Web UI.
(3) When you need to access the files in your NAS box, you can treat it the same way you do any network available hard drive. You should be able to browse the contents of your NAS through the network devices section of your file browser.
On a Mac, you’d use either Samba or AFP. Once you locate your NAS, view all the files contained and consume only the ones you need onto your local drive:
On a PC, go to “Network” and under “Computer”, locate the NAS device:
The changes to the files made through your file browser will be sent over your local network to your NAS. Sync running on your NAS will then update any of your other Sync clients with the changes.
With this setup, your laptop with minimal storage can still access your larger collection – and your larger collection is now available to all your other devices running Sync.