Originally Posted by FreeElectron
Originally Posted by Lady Fitzgerald
You can safely backup to a NAS as long as you disconnect it from the computer and keep it disconnected from the mains except when updating the backup. If the NAS stays connected to the computer at all times (such as for automatic backups), it will not be a good backup (click on the first link in my sig to see why). The only problem with using a NAS for a backup is you would need another one for your offsite backup and lugging it around and storing it offsite would be problematic. That could be overcome by using a good, paid, cloud backup, such as Carbonite, Crashplan, or Backblaze for your offsite backup (stay away from cloud storage; they are rarely secure and the free ones are notorious for disappearing with little or no warning.
Frankly, if all you need in your computer is a couple of 2TB drives, you would be better off replacing the one that died with one the same size (or a 4TB to replace both drives, worth considering if the other 2TB you have has a lot of miles on it; I recommend the WD Blacks although the HGSTs are also good). Then get a couple same size 5400 rpm WD Blues for each drive you have in your computer to use for backups; one for onsite and one for offsite. The offsite backup can be stored at a trusted relative's, friend's, or neighbor's home, in a locked drawer or locker at work, or in a bank safe deposit box. As mentioned before, you could use a cloud backup service instead for the offsite backup.
I was actually thinking about making the NAS both for storage and backup. is this a good practice?
I am thinking to have all of my stored data on a NAS and only use DAS (Will mostly be ssds and hopefully ssds only in the future) for frequently used applications, workspaces and games.
Also, as much as i would like to consider using cloud backup for offsite backup, my Internet's bandwidth will simply not be able to handle that. Ill probably have some manual important-only offsite backup.
But all of this raises a number of questions. for example.
What are the known reliable solutions when it comes hard disk drives?
Should i encrypt off-site backups? If so, How should this process go?
What is a good and seemless backup solutions (Hardware or software or both) that are also reliable?
Anyways, In the meanwhile Ill be reading some of the stickies (The ones about NAS and backup).
Combining storage and backups is a very bad idea. Your backups need to be kept separate from your storage to be safe. Otherwise, whatever may take out your storage can take out your backup.
Drive failure isn't the only reason for data loss. Viruses and other malware, PSU failure, power line spikes and surges, weather, fire, theft, human error, etc. are other way your data can be compromised or lost. If you have your backup in the same machine as your storage and good ol' light finger Louie drops by and applies a five finger discount to your machine, all your data will go with him. If your backup is connected to your storage all the time or is in the same machine and a crypto virus slips into your machine, your backup will get locked along with your stored data; a lot of good your backup will do you then. To be fully effective, your backups MUST be kept disconnected from your computer and kept out of sight of the computer except when updating the backup. Since even backup drives can fail and an onsite backup can be damaged or destroyed along with your computer in a fire or due to bad weather, having a second backup that is kept offsite is also essential.
Frankly, based on what you have told us, using a NAS for storage or a backup is unnecessary overkill so I strongly recommend you forget using a NAS. It will cost more and will take up more room. You already have room for at least two drives in your computer already. Just get another WD Black to replace the one that died. If you need more than 4TB storage capacity, either get a third drive or replace the dead one with a larger drive (just avoid the 3TB drives; for some inexplicable reason, they get poorer reviews, no matter what the brand may be). Since a cloud backup is not an option, for each drive you have in service you need to have two backup drives, one kept onsite, preferably in another room than the one the computer is in (no point in making it too easy for our friend Louie), and one kept offsite as I already mentioned. Both the onsite and offsite backups will need to be updated frequently but must never be connected to the computer except when updating the backup. You can either use external drives for your backups or use internal type drives in a dock (the latter is more cost effective).
I have only four drives in my computer: a 128GB Samsung 840 Pro SSD for my OS and programs, and two 2TB WD Blacks and one 4TB WD Black for data. I image my SSD periodically and before making any changes to it, such as installing a program or updates. I do save my images to one of my internal HDDs for convenience but that drive gets backed up externally so the images also get backed up externally. I use a file syncing program to backup my data drives (far more efficient than imaging for data).
Each HDD in my computer gets backed up to a set of four internal type HDDs (a total of 12) that I plug into a built-in dock in my computer when updating the backup. Two of the HDDs in each set are kept at home in a drawer and the other two are kept in my safe deposit box at my credit union. I swap out the offsite HDDs with the onsite ones at least once a month; more often if I've added a lot of data. Since the offsite backup will not have any data added or changed since the HDDs were put in the safe deposit box, I also have a basic Carbonite account to fill that gap. If I were to lose both my data and onsite backups, I could recover all my data from Carbonite but it would take several weeks to several months (not to mention annoy the snot out of my ISP) but I can recover most of my data in just a day or two from my offsite HDDs and getting the rest from Carbonite in only a day or two.
I will admit my backup scheme is very redundant and most people will do just fine with one onsite and one offsite backup of each of their drives. However, I have data that is not only expensive to replace but, in many cases, is irreplaceable, so, for me, the extra measures are worthwhile.