Synology’s Peculiar New Storage Product: The BeeDrive

My latest video is a review of Synology’s new storage product called the BeeDrive.

At first glance, it might seem like any other external solid-state drive. However, it’s the software layer that sets it apart. This drive and software combination offers data synchronization, backup capabilities, and even a feature that allows you to transfer files from mobile devices, similar to how AirDrop works on the Mac.

The BeeDrive is priced at around $120 for the one terabyte version and $199 for the two terabyte. From a hardware perspective, it’s straightforward with a single USB type-C connector. It operates at 3.1 Gen 2 speeds similar to other drives in this space.

The backup feature is quite simple. It monitors specified folders and updates the backup almost in real-time whenever a file changes. There’s also an option to keep file versions, so if a file changes, it will update the backup and store the previous version. It works with multiple computers, storing the backups in separate folders on the drive.

It also has a synchronization feature that allows for a two-way sync between the BeeDrive and a folder stored locally on the computer. It’s essentially a “sneakernet” DropBox that can keep files in sync on multiple computers with the BeeDrive acting as the master device. Syncing happens only when the drive is physically connected to the computer with the software running.

One of the standout features of the BeeDrive is its mobile transfer capability. With the BeeDrive app, available for both Android and iPhone, you can back up your photo library, including videos automatically whenever the BeeDrive is connected to a host PC on the same network as the phone.

There’s also the BeeDrop feature, which lets you quickly transfer files and photos from your phone to your computer similar to how AirDrop works on the Mac. This feature works remarkably well, even over the Internet. Unfortunately it’s only a one-way trip at the time of this review. Files can’t be transferred back to the phone.

Beyond the software features it’ll also work as a regular external hard drive provided files are stored outside of the folders the BeeDrive software uses for backups and syncs. When I ran a CrystalDiskMark test, the BeeDrive’s performance was adequate but not groundbreaking.

Like most new products there’s a lot missing here that will hopefully be added later in future software updates. The first is a lack of hardware encryption on the drive, a feature that’s found on most name brand external solid state drives these days. And although its backup feature is super simple to use there currently isn’t a restoration feature to put files back in place. That has to be done manually.

Mac users can use the drive to store files but the BeeDrive software was not yet available for the Mac at the time of my review. Synology does have plans for a Mac client shortly.

The BeeDrive offers a unique blend of hardware and software features. It’s worth keeping an eye on this product line, as I anticipate more software updates and improvements in the future.

Disclosure: Synology sent the BeeDrive to the channel free of charge, however they did not sponsor this review, provide any additional compensation, or review or approve this review before it was posted. Synology is also an occasional sponsor here on the channel but is not sponsoring this video.