A Synology NAS drive is the missing link in your home security system

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Security camera footage is as good as you can get. Most cloud-connected cameras offer motion-based clips and, in some cases, a few extra days of recording locked behind a subscription service. Usually, if you need additional functionality or long-term video retention, the best solution is an IP camera paired with a network video recorder to store video on a hard drive. However, there is a better way to do it.

We’ve already talked about NAS drives and how some of the best network-attached storage devices on the market go beyond simple storage-related use cases. Synology offers some of the most feature-rich consumer and business NAS solutions on the market. Most of them also come with a built-in security package that can match most entry to medium levels. NVRs options.

A few months ago, I switched to a Ubiquiti mesh Wi-Fi solution. I even documented my journey of creating a complete home wireless solution with its own integrated security solution based on Unifi Protect. However, a few months later and a few street robberies later, I started to find Ubiquiti Dream Machine Pro’s security solution a bit limiting. So, as a resident nerd, I did the obvious thing – I looked for another more nerdy solution.

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The problem: storing footage from security cameras

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The Ubiquiti Dream Machine Pro includes a single hard drive slot for storing video footage. Although this should suffice for most users, accidents can happen. I was recently surprised that my security system’s hard drive had crashed and the system was not recording any video. As I was hoping to catch a license plate on the street, dropped frames were a serious concern. Losing footage in a security camera system was an absolute no-no for me.

Your security system is only as strong as its weakest link.

While replacing the hard drive would have been the easiest option, I wanted to avoid the situation in the future and decided to transfer camera feeds to my Synology NAS drive. Luckily, I had a spare NAS drive with a duo of eight terabyte drives ready to go.

The solution: Synology Surveillance Station

Synology DS420j with open back to access drive bays

My choice of software solution for managing the hundreds of gigabytes of video footage was Synology Monitoring Stationand getting started was a breeze.

Synology Surveillance Station can extract camera feeds from the most popular IP security cameras on the market.

The Security Suite lets you plug cameras from a wide range of brands into the recording app, but takes it a step further by allowing ONVIF-compliant cameras and even RTSP streams to connect to the Security Suite. This ensures that unless you’re completely locked into a proprietary ecosystem like Google Nest or Arlo, chances are your camera is compatible. If you’re familiar with BlueIris on Windows, Synology’s Surveillance Station will sound familiar.

synology surveillance station camera

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In the case of Ubiquiti’s cameras, I had to connect to each camera on my network and switch modes so that the cameras could output a password-protected RTSP stream. Getting started with Synology Surveillance Station is extremely simple, requiring you to select your camera brand, enter essential information such as IP addresses, username, and password, and you’re done.

synology monitoring station recordings 1

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Things get a lot more interesting from there. For me, the biggest benefit was having all my security images on a RAID array which provides a bit of redundancy against hard drive failures. However, I also back up encrypted footage files to cloud storage as an added security measure. If you want a more hands-on approach, Synology Surveillance Station can integrate with the company’s own system. C2 cloud backup offer with payment plans starting with camera.

Read also : Here’s how I consolidated my smart home using Home Assistant

As someone who increasingly aims for local control of my connected home, the idea of ​​transmitting security camera feeds as plain video from my home to an unknown server has always been a pain. Using Synology NAS as a storage option ensures that no one else has access to these images. In fact, paranoid users also have the option to encrypt locally stored images for more privacy. (And they might back them up to a trusted cloud service later, like I did.)

synology surveillance station 1 camera options

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Synology covers all the essentials of a modern security camera suite, including timed and motion-trigger-based recordings, privacy masks, watermarking, and the basics like easy timeline scrolling and directional controls to cameras or microphones.

However, using a Synology NAS as your camera’s security suite makes perfect sense thanks to the App Store and additional software additions. For example, Synology lets you control your camera using a video game joystick if that’s what you prefer. Are your cameras constantly pointed at pets? You can live stream your security camera directly to YouTube. The monitoring suite will even let you save a second or third set of recordings to another network destination if you wish.

synology surveillance station app store

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All features are neatly integrated into a beautiful and easy-to-use interface that follows the same desktop-like user experience as Synology’s Diskstation Management software. Of course, you also have the option of using mobile apps to access the video stream.

synology surveillance station home screen

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Over the weeks that I’ve used the Synology Surveillance Station suite as my network video recording solution, the software has been rock solid and has given me the peace of mind of knowing that security footage is backed up. safe if I ever need it.

Synology Surveillance Station is the middle ground between a dedicated NVR and Internet-connected cameras.

Is this an overkill solution for most regular consumers? Absolutely. However, if you, like me, need granular control over your hardware and don’t want to rely on cloud solutions for an essential part of your home security solution, Synology Surveillance Station on a NAS is the perfect compromise. at an affordable price. between your camera’s built-in storage and a more professional dedicated network video recorder.

Related: How to turn your old phone into a security camera

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