Using a Synology NAS in an RV

by | Mar 25, 2023

Working from an RV is very similar to having a home or small office. Comfortable workspace, tools for the job, Internet, phone and a desk computer or laptop. Something often missed is the need for data storage or backup. In today’s digital world, data storage and management are crucial for both individuals and businesses. The sheer amount of data that we generate and accumulate makes it necessary to have a reliable and secure storage solution.  A Network-Attached Storage (NAS) device is a popular choice for many users because of its ease of use and functionality. We’re a using a Synology NAS in an RV to store work files and entertainment. A very cost effect solution with a wide range of features.

Why have a NAS?

If your work has important data that must be saved for future reference and you don’t have a backup plan, then you may experience a work catastrophe if you desktop PC or laptop fails and you’re unable to retrieve work files.

This is equally important for those who home school. Having backups of all of the critical student data. Much is purchased and the loss could be expensive to replicate.

Lastly is entertainment. Having the ability to access video and music when traveling is a great benefit. Many times, Joan and I are in an area where we have poor Internet and having access to a stored video library gives us a wide range of entertainment options.

We have used portable hard drives in the past for our data storage needs, but this has limitations. These drive are expensive. Then there’s storage and attempting to catalog what’s on each backup drive. It never fails, that I have to go through multiple drives to find my data. Then there access from multiple devices – various laptops, tablets, and our Roku for video files. This is where the NAS excels. A NAS provides a method to store files on a large hard drive and everyone who has access can obtain the files when needed.

Using a Synology NAS

Synology DS118The Synology DS 118 NAS is a compact, yet powerful storage device that is designed for home and small office use. It features a 64-bit quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM, which enables it to handle multiple tasks simultaneously without any lag. It also supports up to 12TB of storage, making it an ideal choice for users who need to store a large amount of data.

The Synology DS 118 NAS runs on Synology DiskStation Manager (DSM), an intuitive operating system that enables users to easily manage and access their data. DSM offers a range of features and applications, including file sharing, media streaming, backup and restore, and cloud synchronization. It also provides advanced security features, such as data encryption and two-factor authentication, to ensure data is safe and secure.

We chose the NAS 118 as a backup and storage solution. It has a single hard drive, but other models have two or more drives for redundancy. We used a 8Tb hard drive, but the Synology DS 118 can support up to a 12TB drive. To use the Synology you must have a router with Ethernet ports. We use a Cradlepoint Cellular WiFi router and there are other models by other manufacturers of varying cost and performance that can offer similar access. CLICK HERE to see our Cradlepoint installation.

One of the biggest advantages of the Synology DS 118 NAS is its ease of use. Setting up the device is a breeze, thanks to its intuitive web-based interface. Users can easily configure settings, set up shared folders, and access data from anywhere in the world using Synology’s mobile app or web interface.

Plex Media Server

Plex Media ServerWe like the benefit of having our video library stored where we don’t have the need for a DVD player or store hundreds of DVDs. We installed the Plex Media Server on our Synology and now have the ability to access our media content across multiple devices and platforms including our tablets and ROKU digital media player.

Our media files are ripped from DVDs we’ve purchased and use DVDfab to convert the video to MP4 files. Plex automatically organizes our media content, adds metadata to it, and creates a media library for easy access.

It took minutes to install, connect to our router, and configure the Synology DS 118 for our needs. Adding Plex was effortless, but uploading all of the videos can take some time. This is a cost effect solution to provide backup storage for our work, iLoveRVlife, and entertainment data files.

Synology NAS working from your RV
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Purchased use of Digital Juice BackTraxx 1 End User License Agreement for Travelin. The Music may be used, altered, or incorporated according to the guidelines described herein into any production (including but not limited to, broadcast, commercial, industrial, educational, and personal).


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