Dropbox and Synology NAS

Picked up a topic in one of the last MPU episodes of syncing Dropbox with a Synology NAS. This intrigued me as I am looking for ways to get the Dropbox app off my computer. It is way too resource hungry and also I cannot opt-out on functionality/Intrusion I don’t want.

I can’t let go of Dropbox altogether as I have many shared folders for work and hobbies that I cannot conveniently recreate in an alternative solution.

So here is what I would like to do:
Use Synology Cloudsync to synchronise Dropbox with NAS and use Synology Drive to map that Dropbox shared folder on my NAS.

This way I can keep Dropbox as a service, but don’t need the app installed on my computer. At the same time, all files I put in the folders will sync to NAS and Dropbox and I can use it both at home as well as on-the-go in real-time. Synology Drive will also give me an extra file management option on the iPad.

Think this will work, though can imagine some app sync functionality (Airmail, Devonthink, Keyboard Maestro, Hazel, Alfred) to be impacted.

Anyone runs this setup successfully? Any other risks or pitfalls that I will encounter?


I’ve been contemplating this too so I can get a new Mac mini with a smaller internal drive but still have access to my ~1 TB Dropbox files. (They warn against having on an external, so my current is an older mini with a 1 TB SSD and 1TB HDD internal).

I’ve done similar, the only thing I don’t do is sync the Mac with the Synology, I just mount the folder via SMB and that works perfectly fine.

I’ve had no issues so far, but I generally moved syncing items to iCloud instead. Exception would be Forklift 3, but that does it via the Dropbox API anyhow, so doesn’t need Dropbox to be installed.

I cant see issues with using the Cloud Sync folder being the same as a Synology Drive folder but I’ve never tried it.

I’ve done similar with Onedrive, but have gone back to installing that on the Mac, as then it allows Word/Excel/PowerPoint to auto save and doesn’t effect others editing the file at the same time.

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I went ahead and took the plunge.

Moved all App sync to iCloud and Cloud Sync Dropbox to the Synology and use Synology Drive to sync select folders with my PC at home as well as the hosted mini at MacStadium.

All works like a charm, is near instant and no more FTP to the hosted machine. Just drop the files in the right folder and automagically they appear on the hosted machine v.v.


This is the way!

I got rid of dropbox earlier this year as well.

Put your feet up and open a cold one, you earned it.

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7 days in and works flawlessly. No issues to report so far. Have copied and synced files >15Gb without trouble.

The only downside is when you sync from the remote computer to the NAS only (so no share on home Mac) you can’t see progress in the form of green ticks. I solved that by monitoring network traffic on the NAS itself.

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So i’ve been trying this workflow (Synology w/cloudSync > Dropbox) because I have about 4TB of files i need to keep in sync at home and on the road - and my first upload is taking FOREVER. I’m talking at this rate it will take several weeks to sync. Has anyone ran into this issue? Any other options besides CloudSync for keeping my Synology in line with Dropbox so i can just use my laptop as a “dumb client” so to speak?

4TB is a lot and I am not at all surprised CloudSync and Dropbox takes a long time. Both apps have throttles on them so as to not affect overall performance of the devices involved. Do you really need all that data online like that?

Can you make a local copy to NAS first before you setup the sync?

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I think it’ll also depend on what model Synology you have. It may be trying to index the files and the cheaper models may struggle with that.

I’m not aware of any other solutions - though there may be a Docker solution or virtual machine solution available (I believe both of these require an Intel based NAS, rather than an ARM based one).

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Hey @simonsmark
can I ask how you did that?
For me, CloudSync syncs my (private) Dropbox to /homes/andy/ and I can’t add it to drive, because drive syncs to /home/drive/… Did you use symlinks or did you sync Dropbox to your drive-folder?
Any hint appreciated!

First set up the Synology Drive Server on the NAS and Synology Drive app on the Mac. Do not yet link Mac to Synology Drive server. Ensure you create a folder called Dropbox in /homes/andy.

Then setup Cloudsync and point your Dropbox to the Dropbox folder you just created and magic will happen. Your dropbox will start syncing with the NAS. To avoid any issues let it sync completely. The icon in top right DSM will tell you when its ready.

Now set up selective syncs in Synology Drive by linking to the Dropbox folder on your NAS and the stuff you need will replicate to your PC. After that changes will replicate seamlessly between Mac, NAS and Dropbox.

I only use select folders to actually sync. If I need something more I either mount the NAS folder or use Filestation in DSM. Alternatively, I log into Dropbox on the web.

Can you please give an update on your thoughts about this process that you implemented? I would like to do the same the same functionality for a 15 person Branding Company in the US, I would have each Mac sync to the Synology NAS Dropbox Folder using the Synology Sync and then Cloudsync to synchronize with Dropbox. This would allow each user to sync to the NAS locally and still update the Dropbox in the cloud. Currently they have all come back to the office but when they collaborate, each user is syncing back to Dropbox only so it slower due to WAN vs. LAN speeds and 15 individual Dropbox accounts each syncing independent to the Cloud. My concern is comments in the Dropbox Community about synchronization issues, specifically that the Synology Sync App is not reliable.

I have my setup running on 2 Macs in one location and it works well. NAS is in the same location.

By using Synology Drive, it also works on my laptop as it syncs with Synology Drive at home. A remote Mac Mini in MacStadium does the same.

For the type of use case you have, I would probably cut the Dropbox middle man and go all-in on Synology Drive. If you set up user accounts and authorisations well you can just use the NAS to achieve what you need both in the office and remote with Synology Drive.

The only restriction would be i/o and network connection on the NAS. 15 users can generate a lot of traffic. If you have it connected to a 10GBe network and a gigabit internet it should be no problem


Thank you for your feedback and suggestions.