How to backup a NAS

Supporting a NAS is complicated, and it’s not as simple as just booting up an external drive and backing up your data.

If you have a NAS, then you have been using it to store all kinds of important things. Maybe you have a large collection of movies and TV shows, or something like NextCloud set up as an alternative to Google Photos. No matter what, though, you’ll want to make sure that data is backed up, which is why you need to protect your data by backing up your NAS.

Technically, due to the redundancy in the NAS, you should already be protected against drive failure. Redundancy in a NAS means having multiple drives that hold the same data. For example, a 3TB NAS should have two 3TB drives, both containing home data. If one fails, the system can warn you, and you can delete your data safely, although not everyone has a setup like this. If you don’t, you should look into selling a few extra drives, and it may be a better investment than just backing up your entire NAS to external storage.

If, however, you still want to store important data on your NAS, then the best option for you is a cloud service. Generally, those who use NAS use the 3-2-1 rule to back up data.

The 3-2-1 rule for data processing

The 3-2-1 rule for backup is as follows:

  • There should be three copies of the data
  • On two different media
  • One of them has no place
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So, for example, a NAS that uses two different drives for redundancy is already fulfilling steps 2 and 3. You have three copies of the data, one for each drive and another from the original device. If you want to be more careful (as some would argue that the data stored in RAID does not create two separate copies), then you can also buy an external hard drive and store your files.

However, dealing with the need for on-premise backups is very difficult, and for many people, this means using a cloud service.

How to backup your NAS to the cloud

If you want to save money, then the best way to store your NAS in the cloud is to test what you care about and make sure it’s what you save. For example, many people are very reluctant to watch TV shows and programs, but they are not attracted to images and videos.

The best and cheapest option for most people will be Azure Archive. It costs about $1 per month per terabyte, and the only downside is that you can access the data stored there very often. But it will be good for backup. AWS Glacier is a similar solution that offers a lot of low-cost storage, as, like with Azure Archive, you only access data on a regular basis. You must pay to download your files, which may vary by service.

Another option with easy-to-follow instructions if you use TrueNAS is the Backblaze B2, which has TrueNAS integration instructions, but can be more expensive at $5 per terabyte. You’ll also have to pay to pull these files onto the server if you want to download backups, which comes in at $10 per terabyte downloaded.

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Backing up your NAS is important

It’s fine to back up your NAS data, but make sure you do it in a way that makes sense, doesn’t cost you too much, and is easy to maintain. An automated system that connects to a cloud service may be one of the easiest things possible, but you need to choose the service that seems right for you and find the storage price you’re looking for. about.

If you really want to go with local backups, then any external hard drive will do for long-term storage, or if you want it to be accessed quickly, then any of the best SSDs will do.

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