In our previous video about Synology NAS, we told you that these devices are much more than just a hard drive with a network connection. Thanks to its DSM operating system, you could bring to life an infinite number of functions, and today, we are going to introduce ourselves in one that will interest you a lot: the management of smart devices with HomeKit.
Homebridge, the solution for your home automation
If you use Apple devices and have several smart products per home, surely you will be familiar with the Home application for iOS and Mac. From there we can manage all our smart devices, however, for everything to work properly we will have to have devices and Apple HomeKit compatible accessories
But what happens when we buy a device that is not compatible with the Apple system? That is when the problems begin, since we will be forced to use its own application, and this in the end results in a bad user experience, since the user ends up dizzy between so many different applications
Well, let me tell you that Synology NAS could save you from this situation, since thanks to the Homebridge software, we will be able to create a server from which to manage and control all those devices that do not offer native HomeKit support.
In short. HomeKit compatible accessories can be controlled from the Home app. And those that are not compatible are left out, forcing us to use their own applications, which is a hassle. The idea of Homebridge is to act as a bridge, allowing all these devices to be connected with the Home application.
What do we need
- A Synology NAS with DSM 6 or higher
- Docker application
- application Homebridge
- 10 minutes to prepare for installation
First installation steps
The first thing we will have to do is download and install the Docker application on our Synology NAS. Docker is a virtualization application that allows you to run applications on the NAS in the same way that they would run on a computer. The applications remain running in the memory of the NAS, and thus we can enjoy additional functions with which to enjoy new features that did not come standard on our device.
To download Docker, we just have to go to the package center and look in the search box for the Docker application. We will select Install and wait for the download and installation process to complete.
It is the turn to download the second necessary application in the process, Homebridge, but in this case we will have to do it manually, since it will not be present in the official Synology repository. To download the package, you just have to visit the following link:
With the package downloaded to your computer, go to the Package Center and select the Manual Installation option. Upload the file you have downloaded and proceed to complete the installation. The system will notify you with a message warning you that the package is not official, but you should not worry in this regard. Complete the installation let it finish completely.
Setting up Homebridge
With everything installed it is time to open Homebridge. You can do it from the NAS start menu, by clicking on the program icon. The default access codes are admin / admin, and once logged in, you will enter the main screen with the configuration QR.
But first we must configure all the devices that we need to make compatible. To do this, we access the Plugi-ins tab and we will look for the name of the device that we need to configure. In our case we have configured a Ring smart peephole. If we search for Ring, we will obtain a result of a compatible plug-in, which we can install and configure immediately.
Once you have all your devices controlled and configured, you will only have to add the bridge to the iOS Home application.
Open the Home application, click on the “+” button and select “add new device.” The menu will activate the camera and you can scan the QR code that you will find on the Homebridge home screen. Finish the process of adding the bridge and in a few seconds all the devices that you had configured in Homebridge will immediately appear on the Home screen.
From now on you will be able to control from your iPhone all those devices that were not compatible with Homekit, and all thanks to a simple server that you have mounted on your Synology NAS.