How to Create Your Own Neat Cloud

 

Introduction

 

If you own a Neat scanner , you probably realize how good the hardware is. Unfortunately, Neat’s software leaves a lot to be desired. Their shift to the cloud in the past couple of years has left desktop users frustrated, since their PC software is now dead. Their big push is for users to have their data synced to the cloud, and it’s then available on all devices. One of the biggest disadvantages here is that Neat’s cloud software also sucks, and it’s almost impossible to get in touch with someone on the phone or via chat if you encounter any problems with your data not syncing. While it’s nice being able to use the scanner with multiple PCs, I have virtually no use for a mobile app. What’s more is how ridiculous the Neat cloud pricing for consumers is. Frankly, it’s just too expensive to justify the convenience. Their cheapest plans start at $80 per year.

Fortunately, there’s a simple way to sync the data yourself, thus giving you the ability to use the scanner with more than one computer. This works if you need a PC-to-PC solution and don’t want to pay to use a crappy service.


 

The Solution

 

We’re going to solve this problem using a QNAP NAS, particularly their Qsync desktop software. This is one of my favorite QNAP features, and it works remarkably well. You can use Qsync for just about anything you can think of- important documents, emulator game save files, photos, financial data files, etc. It’s similar to the Windows OneDrive folder, but in addition to automatically backing up files and folders, you can also set up paired folders so you don’t need to keep everything inside of the Qsync folder.

For Neat v5 desktop software, all data is stored in a database inĀ C:\Users\your_user_name\Documents\Neat Data. I haven’t tested this with the Neat cloud-powered desktop software, but it should be similar except the folder in Documents would be labeled NeatScan instead.

The procedure outlined below is an automatic solution using QNAP NAS software. You could also do this by copying and pasting the data in Windows manually. It would be a pain, but it would save you $80 a year. Another Windows-based idea would be to use file replication software, such as Vice Versa , to automatically copy the files to another computer.

To get started with Qsync, follow the slideshow below:


Slideshow- Tap or click to view

Next click Shared Folders.

Click Create, then Shared Folder.

Give your folder a name. Here I chose the same folder name as the Neat folder. Click Create.

Next, go back to the home screen menu and click Qsync Central.

Click Shared Folders.

Find the shared folder we just created. Put a check mark in the box in the Grant column. This allows Qsync to use the shared folder. Click Apply.

Now go to each PC you want the data to sync to and perform the following steps. Open the Qsync program. Click View and manage paired folders.

Since we granted Qsync permission to use the shared folder we just created, it’ll show up in the list. Click the + sign.

Navigate to your Neat folder. It’s located in the user’s Documents folder, then Neat Data. Click OK.

You’ll now see you’ve paired the folders. Verify your selection then click OK.

You’ll see a notification pop up letting you know it might take a few minutes. Click OK. Your Neat data will start syncing automatically!



Conclusion

 

While Neat’s cloud service provides a way to sync your data, it’s not pleasant to use. You’ll encounter random sync errors (usually server-side errors that are Neat’s fault) and their customer service is almost impossible to reach. A better (and cheaper) solution is to just do the sync yourself, making your own Neat Cloud. It’s simple and effective!

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About Adam Bollmeyer

I'm a home technology enthusiast with a penchant for home automation, networking, and computers. My goal is to help others improve their knowledge of how available technology can be used at home.