Synology creates network attached storage, IP surveillance solutions, and network equipment that transform the way users manage data, conduct surveillance, and manage network in the cloud era

How Synology is using AI to change photo management with Moments

In the era of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), more and more major tech brands are being caught out when it comes to cloud-based storage solutions – and their customers are paying the price.

In the era of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), more and more major tech brands are being caught out when it comes to cloud-based storage solutions – and their customers are paying the price. As a result, consumer demand for Network-Attached Storage (NAS) products is on the rise and veterans of the category such as Synology are poised to reap the biggest benefits of this trend.

Part of the core appeal of network-attached storage products, like those made and sold by Synology, has always been tied to way they enable users to take control of the manner and the way in which their data is stored. That appeal has only widened over time.

Of course, once your images, documents and other files are safely stored on your NAS, you need an easy way to access that data. That’s where Synology’s Moments steps in. With Moments, backing up your photos is only the first step. Through 2018 and beyond, Synology will leverage new advances in AI-acceleration and machine learning to empower Moments users with an experience that safely stores their photo collection and also enriches it.

Synology Moments

What is Synology Moments?

Synology Moments is a personal photo backup and photo management solution for NAS users. Where other services might allow you to rent a slice of a larger public cloud, Moments is about providing an engaging and modern way to access the photos and videos stored in your private cloud.

Why should you use Synology Moments?

There are several core benefits from opting for a NAS storage solution running Synology’s Moments software. For instance, the cost per/GB of storage on a NAS is significantly lower compared to that offered by existing online cloud storage options.

There is also the extra peace-of-mind. You always know exactly where your data is physically located. Network-attached storage allows users to take responsibility for their own data. If data ownership is a question, NAS is the obvious answer.

And that’s just the start. Synology Moments also comes integrated with specialised features on supported models that ensure users can access an experience that is every bit as smart as that offered by the competition.

The latest version of Synology Moments uses deep-learning algorithms to automatically group your photo collection according to similar faces, subjects, and places. Meanwhile, Moments’ Shared Photo Library mode allows you – and authorised users – to collaboratively edit photos and albums together, while also keeping personal photos private in My Photo Library.

Finally, Synology Moments also supports 360-degree photos and videos and leverages super-resolution tech to ensure images can be viewed remotely in the best possible quality even under unstable network conditions.

Synology Moments

Comparison: What are the key differences between Photo Station and Moments?

Moments isn’t the only photo management software Synology offers. Here’s a quick run-down of the differences between Moments and Photo Station.

Folder-based v Auto-sorted

Where Moments is positioned as the ideal software for users looking to save time, Synology Photo Station is a more advanced solution for professional users that need more granular control.

Moments uses AI to automatically sort photos while Photo Station places the onus of organisation on the user.

Mobile-first v Open Ecosystem

Synology Moments is also designed for mobile-first users. It’s available on both Android and iOS and uses super-resolution technology to make reviewing a photo collection as easy as possible.

By comparison, Photo Station can be accessed using a wider spectrum of operating systems, including Windows, Android, iOS, Apple TV, Android TV.

Synology Moments

A full summary of the differences between the two photo management software packages can be seen below:



Photo Station

Target User

Individual users who want to save time.

  • AI/ deep learning auto-categorisation
  • Locate your photos more easily
  • Super-resolution technology built for mobile phones

Professional photographers.

  • Access permission management
  • Customised photo album
  • And many more advanced features

Automated Backups

Backs up your phone photos automatically.

Backs up your phone photos automatically.


Smart photo categorisations for flexible and space saving usage.

Create customised albums that can be managed right on File Station.


Search photos by keywords, dates, tags, and smart albums that categorise photos into people/subject/location.

Search photos by keywords, dates, metadata, and tags including XMP/Exif/IPTC

Shared Albums

Visitors can view your photos.

Yes. Guests can access, upload and comment on photos. Permission period and password protection available.


Separate Albums For Individual Accounts




Very high

Very high

 Synology Moments

What new features are coming in 2018 and beyond?

While Synology is already using deep learning and other techniques to enhance the experience offered by Moments, the current stable of AI-powered features in Moments is just the start.

Speaking to PC World Australia at this year’s Computex, Synology CTO, Allen Kao, said, “We believe that video and photo taken by users will have more benefits when stored in the NAS.”

In addition to further improving the facial recognition tech already in Moments, Kao said a suite of auto-optimisation features is also on the way. These additions promise to optimise brightness, exposure, saturation and image rotation using post-processing techniques.

He said, “Of course, I believe that, in terms of AI, Google is quite strong - but if users want to choose NAS as their form of primary storage, they must have some concern for their data.

“If we provide a similar feature in our private cloud, I think users will be more willing to put their data in our storage solutions.”

What Synology NAS hardware options are best with Moments

Synology DS218j


The Synology DS218j is a powerful 2-bay NAS with rapid data transmission and low power consumption.

It has been designed for home users looking to back-up their digital assets and supports people and places auto-categorisation in Synology Moments.

Synology DS218+


The Synology DS218+ is equipped to deliver exceptional file transfer speeds, thanks to a dual-core processor and AES-NI hardware encryption engine.

With fully-fledged support for real-time 4K video streaming, Synology says the DS218+ is ideal not only for protecting critical data but also for storing and streaming ultra-high definition media within the home.

Synology DS418play


The Synology DS418play is designed to be a perfect centralised multimedia hub with more than 40TB of raw storage capacity.

It features a powerful built-in AES-NI hardware encryption engine and is capable of transcoding two channels of H.265/H.264 4K video simultaneously.

The DS218+ and DS418play both support people, subjects, and places auto-categorisation in Moments.


As many users desiring the convenience of cloud-based storage but prefer the privacy of NAS, new apps such as Moments are making the latter a more compelling option than ever.

You can find more information about Synology’s Moments software solution and compatible NAS hardware by clicking this link. 

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Tags mobilePhotostoragehardwaredownloadssynologyPhoto Sharingphoto storageMoments

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IDG Online Staff

PC World
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