Synology’s BeeDrive Breakthrough: Worth the Price or Better Alternatives Await

I was surprised that Synology released a backup hard drive in Summer 2023. It is an external hard drive with good backup software and a mobile app. 

In this article, I talk about the features of Synology BeeDrive and present an alternative to it. 

Synology BeeDrive review title

Introduction Synology BeeDrive Review

The Beedrive is a storage device that has two capacities: 1TB and 2 TB. It provides a simple and efficient way to manage data backups and synchronization. Its sleek design and easy setup process make it a practical choice for tech-savvy users and those new to data backups.

Key Features and Specifications

  1. Storage Capacity: The Beedrive is available in two variants, 1 TB (BDS70-1T) and 2 TB (BDS70-2T), offering ample space for most backup and storage needs.
  2. Physical Design: The device is compact, lightweight, and portable, with dimensions of 2.56″ x 2.56″ x 0.59″ and a weight of only 1.52 oz. It makes the Beedrive both elegant and practical for everyday use.
  3. Connectivity and Interface: It includes a USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C port, ensuring fast data transfer speeds of up to 1050MB/s. The device also comes with a USB-C to USB-C cable and a USB-C to USB-A adapter, perfect for connecting the BeeDrive to modern desktops, laptops, or older models.
  4. Software Features: The Beedrive boasts a range of software capabilities, with dedicated apps for Windows, Android, iOS devices, and macOS. It offers three backup modes: Computer Backup, File Sync, and Mobile Transfer. These modes allow for flexible backup options, including real-time backup of essential folders, synchronization of data between computers, and mobile photo backup over Wi-Fi or cellular data.
  5. Backup and Sync Capabilities: The device can back up photos wirelessly anytime, anywhere, and allows file syncing between computers for seamless productivity. It can back up five mobile devices simultaneously and multiple computers, though not concurrently. Depending on the backup type, an Internet connection is required for the initial setup and may also be needed for ongoing operation.
  6. Additional Features: The Beedrive employs Delta Sync technology, which only backs up modified parts of a file rather than the entire file, saving time and storage space. In accidental overwrites, it can retain up to 5 past file versions. Photos taken in the proprietary HEIF format include an option to back them up in JPEG format for easy viewing on non-Apple devices.
  7. Country of Origin: The Beedrive is made in Taiwan, ensuring quality and reliability synonymous with Synology’s brand reputation.

Installation & Setup

Synology Beedrive unboxing

Setting up the Synology Beedrive is a straightforward and user-friendly process, making it accessible even to those not particularly tech-savvy. When you plug in the Beedrive to your computer using either a USB-C or USB-A connection, it’s automatically recognized by Windows File Explorer, which then prompts you with an install file. 

Once you launch the install file, follow the on-screen instructions, agree to the terms of service, and select ‘Install Now.’ The installation process itself is quick and efficient. After the installation, you must sign in with a Synology user account or create one if you don’t already have one. 

The Beedrive offers various backup options, including Computer Backup for simple file backups from your computer to the Beedrive and File Sync for synchronizing folders between your computer and the Beedrive. 

There’s also a Mobile Transfer option for backing up photos from your mobile phone, which requires the installation of the Beedrive mobile app.

The Beedrive mobile app

The Synology BeeDrive mobile app, available for Android and iOS, is a key aspect of BeeDrive’s functionality. It enables users to wirelessly back up photos from their mobile devices and utilize the BeeDrop feature for quick file transfers. The app’s straightforward interface facilitates easy setup and navigation, though it requires the BeeDrive to be connected to a computer for full functionality. This app enhances BeeDrive’s versatility, making it a convenient tool for managing data across multiple devices.

BeeDrive phone backup
mobile app
BeeDrive Beedrop
BeeDrop feature

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Pros:

  1. Compact and Sleek Design: The Beedrive is praised for its small size and lightweight, making it portable and easy to carry around.
  2. Impressive Speed and Performance: It offers remarkable read and write speeds, ensuring swift data transfers and efficient backups.
  3. User-Friendly Interface: The Beedrive app is intuitive and straightforward, allowing seamless navigation and real-time progress monitoring during data transfers.
  4. Cross-Platform Compatibility: The device supports various operating systems like Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android, facilitating hassle-free data synchronization and sharing.
  5. Quick Wireless Backups: Offers the ability to back up data wirelessly from your phone, enhancing convenience.
  6. BeeDrop Functionality: This feature enables seamless Wi-Fi data transfers, allowing users to send files, photos, and videos across different devices and operating systems.

Cons:

  1. No Built-in Encryption: The absence of 256-bit AES data encryption could be a concern for users handling sensitive data, necessitating additional security measures.
  2. One-Way Sync Delay: Some users have noted delays in one-way syncing from the computer to the drive.
  3. Need for Continuous Connection: The Beedrive requires a continuous connection to a laptop for many of its features, which may only be ideal for some users.
  4. Limited Capacity Options: Currently available in only 1TB and 2TB variants, which need to be increased for users needing larger storage capacities.

BeeDrive time backup
Computer Backup
BeeDrive sync
file sync

My Verdict

The Synology Beedrive stands out with its portability, thanks to its small size and lightweight, making it easy to carry. This device comes ready to use, with all essential accessories included. Its unique software features provide an edge over typical portable SSDs by enabling automatic real-time data backup and synchronization across various devices. 

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The Synology Beedrive is an excellent portable backup solution for users looking for a simple and user-friendly backup system. It is ideal for quickly backing up personal files, photos, and data. Its fast transfer speeds and flexible backup and file synchronization options make it an excellent alternative to a NAS setup.

However, the Beedrive has its drawbacks. It lacks built-in encryption and requires a constant laptop connection for certain features. While it’s a solid backup solution, it only partially matches the capabilities of a complete NAS system.

The Synology BeeDrive is an alternative if you prefer using a platform other than cloud services like OneDrive, Google Drive, or Dropbox.

An atlernative solution

The BeeDrive may be too expensive for individuals looking for a backup device. In that case, they could consider purchasing an external hard drive from Amazon using the free, open-source Syncthing tool. I’ve written an article that explains how to use Syncthing, and it’s still being actively developed. 

Syncthing Dashboard
Syncthing dashboard

You can install Syncthing on Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, and a Synology NAS.

Here are some recommendations for external hard drives on Amazon that you could consider.


I would love to get some feedback from you. Was this article helpful? Please share your opinion with me in the comment section below. Or, if you prefer a more personal touch, feel free to email me directly at [email protected]. Your thoughts and insights are always appreciated.

Before you go …

If you found the insights on Synology BeeDrive intriguing, you might also be interested in exploring Synology Drive. This review delves deeper into Synology’s ecosystem, offering a comprehensive look at its features and capabilities. It’s a great next step for understanding how Synology’s solutions can enhance your tech setup, especially if you’re considering a more integrated data management and collaboration approach. Dive into this review to see how Synology Drive compares and complements the BeeDrive experience.

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Please keep in mind that the quantity or price of items can change at any time.

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Tech Expert & Blogger

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