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Question: getting my apple ecosystem organized

Having a bunch of apple computers smartphones and tablets in my household, I have decided few years ago to try keeping all data in a central shared location: a NAS (Synology).

My NAS disk drive is now getting full and I am wondering what would be the perfect Apple way to address this organization issue.

It looks to me that the Apple way would be going through Time Machine individual backups for every computers. But doing so does not look good to me: I want a single repository for my tens of thousands of family photos, accessible to all computers, smartphones and tablets. I also prefer not having huge amounts of memory on each device and having data duplicated all over those devices. And is Time machine working with IOS too?

Am I missing something?

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Mar 12, 2018 10:42 AM in response to intercopter In response to intercopter

Let's start with Time Machine (TM). TM is designed to perform incremental backup (in background) for each of your Mac that it is enabled on. It can perform these backups to both locally attached and network drives, like your Synology NAS.


FWIW, I have a DS916+ Synology NAS, that I use for TM for my Macs, and use Synology's Cloud Station software to perform a similar role for my Windows PCs. Furthermore, I use this NAS for both file storage and to perform as a media server. You may just find that your Synology NAS, with all of its features, just may be all you really need to meet your storage/backup requirements for your network already.

And is Time machine working with IOS too?

No. Just for Macs running OS X or macOS.

Question marked as Helpful

Mar 12, 2018 2:24 PM in response to intercopter In response to intercopter

the Apple way

Apple is very committed to iCloud.. using all the features you can share all your files, photos etc to be fully accessible to all clients including Mac iOS (even PC to limited extent.)


They have therefore kept well out of central storage on local network and have been making it more and more difficult to do so.

So you need to either accept the Apple way.. which is fine if you have decent Internet speeds.. or like the rest of the world .. step out of the walled garden and move to Synology etc.


Don't forget to backup your NAS though. People assume data redundancy on a NAS means that it can function as a file server and backup. This is totally wrong. Once you move your files off the computers it must be backed up. And cloud services are useful if you can afford it.. cost and bandwidth. Otherwise very large USB drives are readily available and cheap.

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Question marked as Helpful

Mar 12, 2018 10:42 AM in response to intercopter In response to intercopter

Let's start with Time Machine (TM). TM is designed to perform incremental backup (in background) for each of your Mac that it is enabled on. It can perform these backups to both locally attached and network drives, like your Synology NAS.


FWIW, I have a DS916+ Synology NAS, that I use for TM for my Macs, and use Synology's Cloud Station software to perform a similar role for my Windows PCs. Furthermore, I use this NAS for both file storage and to perform as a media server. You may just find that your Synology NAS, with all of its features, just may be all you really need to meet your storage/backup requirements for your network already.

And is Time machine working with IOS too?

No. Just for Macs running OS X or macOS.

Mar 12, 2018 10:42 AM

Reply Helpful (1)
Question marked as Helpful

Mar 12, 2018 2:24 PM in response to intercopter In response to intercopter

the Apple way

Apple is very committed to iCloud.. using all the features you can share all your files, photos etc to be fully accessible to all clients including Mac iOS (even PC to limited extent.)


They have therefore kept well out of central storage on local network and have been making it more and more difficult to do so.

So you need to either accept the Apple way.. which is fine if you have decent Internet speeds.. or like the rest of the world .. step out of the walled garden and move to Synology etc.


Don't forget to backup your NAS though. People assume data redundancy on a NAS means that it can function as a file server and backup. This is totally wrong. Once you move your files off the computers it must be backed up. And cloud services are useful if you can afford it.. cost and bandwidth. Otherwise very large USB drives are readily available and cheap.

Mar 12, 2018 2:24 PM

Reply Helpful (1)
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Question: getting my apple ecosystem organized