Backing up Media from Android to Synology NAS using BitTorrent Sync

BitTorrent Sync is an application based around the peer-to-peer protocol. You can use it to share files between friends and family or simply use it as an efficient way to transfer files within a LAN.

In this article I will briefly go over the steps I went through to Sync my camera photos and WhatsApp media folders from my Android smartphone to my Synology DS215j NAS.

The below guide should also help to get it working on an iOS device. I believe iOS also supports auto syncing just as the Android app does (i.e., you don’t need to have the app open for it to sync).

Rough Guide

  • Firstly, don’t bother using the Synocommunity source to download the BitTorrent Sync package as it is out of date and just won’t work when trying to pair devices – I spent a good 15-30 minutes trying to figure out why the app wasn’t working before I realised it was very out of date.
  • Download the latest BitTorrent Sync package for your Synology device by following these instructions
  • Download the Sync app on your phone. Android users click here.
  • Link the device to the BT Sync app running on the Synology – you’ll need to scan the QR code (or you can manually enter the key if you’re bored)
  • Set up a ‘New backup’ on the mobile app – select ‘custom location’ and pick the folders you want to backup. I chose the following:
    DCIM, Pictures and WhatsApp media foldersObviously you can choose any folder you like but in my case I just wanted to backup my media.

That’s pretty much all there is to it. It’s very straight forward.

You probably want to check out the Sync app settings on your mobile device to make sure everything is as you like it – for example the notification and auto-sync settings.

Synchronising multiple devices to the Synology

If you want to backup the same folders on two different devices (for example the DCIM folders on your tablet and smartphone) AND you want to save them in different directories on the NAS (for example \\nas\photos\tablet and \\nas\photos\smartphone) then you need to do the following:

  • Launch the Sync app admin GUI on the Synology NAS.
  • Click Settings –> Preferences and change the ‘Default folder location’ when you want to backup the new device.

The reason you have to do this is because the Sync app on the NAS does not prompt you for a location for the folder. It will take whatever location is in the setting above which means your DCIM on your smart phone and tablet will save to the same place which may not be what you wanted.

That’s all for today – if you have any comments, feel free to leave them below.