I got my hands on a Synology DS920+ a couple of years ago. It has two Seagate Ironwolf 4TB drives in it meaning I have a few TB of backup space sitting on my desk in the basement. But besides backing up your files, photos or computers, what else is a Synology good for?
- Plex Server - I run a Plex home media server on my Synology along with Sonarr and Deluge (in Docker to pull down shows automatically). I generally use this to run a home PVR, downloading mostly stuff I could already get with my cable package. The downloads are nice though because there are no commercials.
- Homebridge - I also have a Homebridge server running that bridges my non-HomeKit smart home devices over to the HomeKit world. You can read more about my Homebridge and HomeKit setup if you want.
- OpenVPN - one of the best uses for a home server is running your own VPN. With OpenVPN, I can connect back to my home network (and internet connection) from virtually anywhere in the world. That means secure connections on public wifi and also access to shows and services like Bell Fibe TV from outside Canada since the data actually flows through my home internet IP.
- Photo backup - I have my entire Lightroom library of photos backed up to my Synology in addition to being in Adobe Creative Cloud. It gives me some peace of mind in case something were to go badly with the cloud service.
Some other uses for a Synology include acting as a Apple Time Machine backup destination. Since the Synology is networked, it can be a great solution for providing storage for multiple computers in the household.
It's also possible to run your own Dropbox-type solution via apps like OwnCloud. You can even host a WordPress blog and your own email server if that's your thing.