How do you back up a NAS drive?

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  • How do you back up a NAS drive?
  • Premier Icon seven

    I have a NAS that has 2 disks. It can be set up to do RAID0 giving a full 2Tb of storage. Or you can set it as RAID1 giving instant back up of data (but only 1Tb). If one disk fails just swap it out.

    If this is an option with your’s I’d suggest easiest way is to add extra disk. Or just buy one with 2 disks that is RAID1 capable


    I have a synology 212j. You can plug a usb drive in to back up to so they do exist. Its not a cheap option but I have learned not to buy cheap when it comes to data backup.


    4 bay QNAP here in a raid5 setup. happy with the redundancy that gives me for general media but pictures and documents also live on the peecee and any really important stuff gets automatically chucked upto the amazon cloud (QNAP does that)

    Premier Icon phiiiiil

    Even though I’m a techie myself, I’m confused.

    I’m trying to put everything currently on a computer’s internal drive on a NAS instead. Everything is currently backed up onto an external USB drive, and obviously I’d like to automate backing up the NAS once everything is on there. But I can’t find a decent way to do it! All the blurb on the internet goes on about using a NAS as a backup itself, or using one to store all your stuff but then is suspiciously silent about how to back it up then…

    After doing a bit of research I bought a Buffalo Linkstation Live because it seemed to have a USB port that would take my existing external drive and could backup onto it automatically. All well and good, until the thing turns up and turns out to be a new version that doesn’t have a USB port so that plan goes out of the window.

    The blurb says it can still back itself up over a network to another linkstation, so I could do that, but it means buying another one and wasting the current external drive. Or I could send it back and start again…

    Are there any relatively inexpensive NAS devices that can do an automatic backup onto a USB drive? I can’t be the first one to have this problem… how does everyone else do it?

    Yours in limbo,



    Dull but relevant thread on “RAID is not backup” –

    Premier Icon mikey-simmo

    Oh I had one of those. Watch out for the password and log in settings. Ours went badly wrong and we were unable to change anything inside. Ended up junking the whole thing and reusing the drive elsewhere. Sorry better to be forwarned.

    Premier Icon stabilizers
    There’s pretty musch the same conversation here from a few days ago.

    Premier Icon Cougar

    Any reason why you can’t just run Windows Backup as a Scheduled Task?

    I have a NAS that has 2 disks. It can be set up to do RAID0 giving a full 2Tb of storage.

    Yay, RAID0, all the fun of regular disks only with a 100% increase in likelyhood of catastrophic failure (and higher still if you factor in failure of the controller / enclosure).

    RAID is not backup


    I’ve said this before, but for general use there’s little or no need for RAID (especially the shitty consumer-grade FakeRAID) in home environments. You’re almost certainly better off with single simple disks and a good backup policy. There are exceptions of course, but mostly it seems to be a marketing ploy.


    How to backup a NAS drive ?

    Buy a 2nd NAS drive, keep it connected to the internets in another location. Keep a copy of the contents of NAS_1 on NAS_2.


    How about setting up a git repository and a cron job? Or if you don’t want to be able to roll back rsync on a cron job.

    Premier Icon phiiiiil

    I would prefer stuff to get backed up automatically without needing a computer on to do it, so scheduled tasks, cron jobs etcetera aren’t really an option (it would be easy otherwise, I could just backup the NAS onto the existing external disk). I did briefly toy with whether this could be a job for a raspberry pi or one of those plug computers, but I think I’d rather stick with something off the peg!

    The above seems to suggest the only NASes that take USB drives are rather pricier than I had in mind… I might as well just get another of the same (or, preferably, something different for a bit of variety if it’ll work) and get it to back itself up onto that, as that still works out significantly cheaper than one of the larger enclosures plus drives.

    I had no intention of doing anything RAIDy… I wouldn’t trust two drives in the same box, having recently seen a power supply take out both drives in a two drive device. Ouch.

    Premier Icon nickdavies

    Has your router got a USB in? My WD NAS will backup to my ext hard drive when I plug it into my router.


    Only true back up is off site, ie cloud storage, in case of theft or fire.
    Dull answer I know.

    Good backup solutions require human intervention. Mirrored usb external drives and dvds work for me. The dvds are the braces in the belt and braces part of the equation.

    I had a call from a 2006 bride who had lost her DVD containing her wedding photos last year. My external drive for that year refused to start up but the DVD worked fine. Charged her a £50 search fee which is fair, I think.

    Premier Icon phiiiiil

    Good idea about the router; ours is just a cheapy thing that doesn’t, but if a router upgrade would mean a better router and the ability to plug in a USB drive that could work.

    I’d argue that backup solutions that require no human intervention at all are better… I don’t want nothing to get backed up just because I’m elsewhere / busy / forgetful etcetera. I do keep a little hard drive with the most important stuff in my drawer at work, but I’m rubbish at keeping it even vaguely up to date.


    backblaze or other cloud backup provider?


    set up a cron job to rsync to a usb drive plugged into the nas?

    works for me.

    Premier Icon ir_bandito

    Simpleton system:

    I use a Buffalo Linkstation as a NAS. I backup to it from the laptop using Microsoft synctoy, tend to do it manually once a month or so. I need to find a similar app to backup my android tablet.

    I also have an external USB hard-drive. Every couple of months or so, I run synctoy between the NAS and that and it backs everything else up.

    External drive is kept “somewhere safe”, but should really store it in a fireproof safe or something.

    Buy another NAS. Then backup everything off that onto another. And another. And another x infinity.

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