MacBook Pro, iPhone 12 and iPad backup/sync via cable to Synology NAS

Having chosen NAS over cloud backup I now need help with the finer detail of my nas setup. My Mac has relatively small SSD so wherever possible I want data stored on my nas. I do a lot of video work hence huge data load. Everything is in my office so a prefer to cable between devices rather than wifi or cloud connections. I am ontop of Synology Drive Client which I am using in conjunction with Time Machine. Initially I would have used only Time Machine because I’ve been using it fir years and it’s saved my bacon big time, but I could not get it to backup my 1TB ext-SSD connected to my Mac. I could see it but it was greyed out. So I got around this issue by using Synology Drive Client in conjunction with Time Machine.

I’d like to read how you’ve configured (using cable) all your various Apple devices to either back-up or sync to your nas.

thanks Gaz

If I understand what you mean by “cable”, you can backup
your iOS devices to your Mac. (Formerly with iTunes, now
with Finder; you know the drill)

They are stored in ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup/
You can then copy that folder over to your NAS or set it up to sync.

Hi csf111, Lan or USB cable why? because it’s faster and does not use cloud. My config - 5 port non-maintained switch with the following items connected to the switch: netgear nighthawk wi-fi router; 2015+ synology nas; macbook pro. 1TB SSD conected via USB to mac. I also have iPad and iPhone 12 that I want to backup to my nas. I dont want to fill the ssd on my mac nor do I want to use cloud storage. If I start using cloud storage it defeats the purpose of having a nas.

Ahh ok, I see what you mean. Yes you could backup iPad/iPhone
to Mac and then copy the folder over, OR sync it depending on
your preference

My setup is this:

  • MBP
  • External Hard Drive 1
  • iphone


  • Time Machine - because it’s seamless
  • Arq - I personally use for a better backup experience and fewer issues than Time Machine
  • iMazing - for iphone backups
  • Backblaze - for cloud backup

Backup locations:

  • External Hard Drive 2
  • Synology

Here’s an article about using time machine to backup from an external hard drive.

Thanks r2d2, Looks like we have a similar setup. I’ve taken a screenshot of your suggestions (3rd party apps etc) which I’ll look into. The interesting thing is that I had already done exactly as per the instructions from Macworld article, however no matter what I’ve done the ext-HDs, though I can see tyhem, remained greyed out and are therefore unaccessible to have time machine back them up. Any suggestions? Garry

I wonder if it matters what format your external hard drive needs to be? Like Mac OS Extended or APFS?

I would also try reformating your time machine drive.

I ran into time machine issues on the synology and that’s why I went to Arq.

Are you booting off the external drive?

/* brief explanation */

TM is not a general purpose backup utility.
You can use an external drive as a TM target.

TM will backup your “booted mac” drive if it is
external, but it will not back up an external
drive connected to your mac.

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