December 7, 2017

Backup Important Files

Backup Important Files
Hardware: $200-$1000
Consulting: $60-120

Everyone stores a lot of important information on their phones, tablets and laptops. However, it’s pretty easy to lose all that information if the device is lost, stolen, dropped or just stops working. As well, sometimes our devices get full and we want to know that we have the pictures (or other files) stored somewhere else so that we can remove them from the device.

With a NAS (network attached storage) device, you can have a system whereby important documents, pictures and more are automatically backed up from your various devices (even other computers in the home) onto the NAS device in your home. You can even take this a step further and have the NAS backup automatically to cloud storage such as Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive or a similar free service.

With files that are important to you, it’s best to have at least two copies!

Recommended Hardware
For the NAS hardware, there are many options and sizes that you can go with. Three good brands are Western Digital, Synology and QNAP. You can also build your own, using a spare computer, some hard drives and the free XigmaNAS software. Some options for these brands are listed below:

  1. QNAP Options
    Starter – QNAP TS-231P – $300
    Power User – QNAP TS-251+ – $500
    Small Business – QNAP TS-431X2 – $700
  2. Synology Options
    Starter – Synology DS216j – $350
    Power User – Synology DS218play – $400
    Small Business – Synology DS918+ – $900
  3. Western Digital Options
    Starter – Western Digital My Cloud EX2 Ultra – $230
    Power User – Western Digital My Cloud Pro Series PR2100 – $550
    Small Business – Western Digital My Cloud Pro Series PR4100 – $700
  4. Tinkerer Option
    Build or repurpose a low power computer – $500-1000
    For this type of setup, it’s best to have at least three drives. One holds the XigmaNAS software and two set up in a mirroring configuration for your data

Most NAS devices are available with several different options. We recommend one that has at least 2 hard drives and is set up in a mirroring configuration. This means that if one of the hard drives stops working, you still have a mirror copy on the second drive. Backing the NAS device up to a second location (such as a cloud storage service, which can be free) helps protect you from theft, fire or other catastrophic events.

Almost all of these options come with no hard drives preinstalled, so you must also buy drives. The Western Digital Red drives are purpose-built for the demands of a NAS system. If you are installing two drives, expect to pay about $200 for 1TB of storage, up to $1000 for 10TB of storage. When purchasing the drives, check that they are compatible with the NAS that you have purchased. One nice feature of the Western Digital drives indicated above is they often can be purchased as a package, with the drives already installed for you. Please keep in mind that if you are purchasing the Western Digital packages that the space indicated on the drive package is the maximum available space included in the package. If you set up the drives in a mirroring configuration (our recommendation), you will lose half the space indicated on the drive package due to the duplicate (mirror) copy of your data.

Optional Consulting
We can help you choose a drive option that is right for you and set the device up in your home or business. If you have special requirements, we can even build a NAS device to meet your exact needs! Typical consulting costs to help you purchase an off-the-shelf model and set it up for you are $60-120.

All costs are approximate as of the publishing of this project and are subject to change. Please contact us if you require updated pricing, alternative solutions or have any questions!