Best answer: Yes, you can use a Synology NAS for backing up your Mac with Time Machine. Using a NAS also opens up the door to additional features like file storage, setting up a media server, and much more.

Amazon: Synology DS218+ ($298)

Backing up a Mac with Synology

You could pick up an Airport Time Capsule and call it a day for backing up your Mac hardware, but if you already own a Synology NAS or are thinking about buying one, it's possible to use Time Machine to back up your Mac. But what's the difference? The best part about using a Synology NAS is you're able to use it for other uses, including file storage, creating a media server, and much more.

All you need to do is set up a shared folder on the Synology NAS (you can even encrypt this shared folder), set up a user for folder access on your connected Macs, configure the DSM OS to enable Bonjour connection support, connect to the server on your Mac, and set up Time Machine to save everything on the NAS.

Once that's done, you can use the Synology NAS as a backup destination, much as you would the Airport Time Capsule or other Apple product that provides similar functionality. Luckily, it's not that difficult and Synology has a solid step-by-step guide on how to get all this done.

As a bonus, using a Synology NAS ensures you have full support for Windows 10 backups too, not to mention access from a variety of devices, regardless of the OS. Why you'd want to go with NAS, which is essentially a super-smart hard drive, is the additional features supported by the OS. Simply connecting a drive to your Mac doesn't offer anything but backup functionality, while a NAS opens the door to so much more.

The same goes for the Airport Time Capsule, which is rather limited in what you can do with it, especially compared to NAS. The price is about the same between the two, but a NAS comes rocking far more features and is better suited for a cross-platform household or office.

Our pick

Synology DS218+

Backup on a budget

The Synology DS218+ is the company's flagship NAS for consumers, offering support for services including Plex, as well as support for Apple Time Machine.

Apple backups

Apple AirPort Time Capsule

Pricey storage for your Mac

The Apple AirPort Time Capsule is one of Apple's backup solutions for Mac, but if you want a device that does Time Machine backups and a whole lot more, get yourself a Synology NAS.

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