One of the best things about having a network attached storage device is not just having all of your files available anywhere on your network but, depending on the make an model of your device, you can setup an automatic cloud backup of all your files to keep them all safe up in the cloud and available in the event your NAS is destroyed, stolen or has some other catastrophe upon it. There are two ways that you can backup your NAS, one is to purchase a service that supports backing up network attached drives, the second is to purchase a service that supports running directly on your NAS. For this post I am going to focus on the services that run directly on your NAS.
If you want to run a cloud backup service directly on your NAS these are your current options that I know of and what NAS devices they currently run on.
I would call ElephantDrive the leader in NAS to cloud backup. They run on more devices than all the other services. They currently come pre-installed as the ReadyNAS Vault on nearly all of NETGEAR’s storage products, pre-installed on nearly all of QNAP’s storage products, Drobo 5N devices and nearly all Thecus storage products.
CrashPlan can backup NAS drives as a network attached drive on Mac, Linux and Solaris but Windows machines are not as easy. On Windows network drives are mounted as the user and CrashPlan as a system user. CrashPlan can also run as a headless client directly on Synology NAS, NETGEAR ReadyNAS and QNAP NAS but the setup is not as easy as ElephantDrive would be. You will probably want to take a look at some of these guides (Synology, NETGEAR ReadyNAS, QNAP) to give you a hand setting it up. That being said CrashPlan is the only unlimited cloud backup option in the category.
IDrive is the new service that just announced yesterday that they can backup Synology NAS devices directly to the cloud. IDrive can also backup network drives as well but installing it on your Synology NAS directly will allow you to backup your NAS directly to the cloud without leaving your computer on 24 hours a day.
Certainly one of the benefits of having a NAS on your network is to have it perform your cloud backup automatically. NAS devices have in some cases replaced the need to have a dedicated file server in the home or business and connecting it directly to your cloud backup is simply icing on the cake to make it even more useful. Of course if you do have a network attached storage device and your favorite cloud backup service does not run directly on the device there can be other ways to protect that data from choosing a service that can backup a network drive to even mirroring the NAS data on a computer that can run your cloud backup service. While those might not be ideal those solutions can also provide you with an additional local copy of your data, which you should have anyways. Remember it will always be faster to restore from your local backup than the cloud. The cloud backup is your extra data insurance policy.
If you have a network attached storage device what is your preferred cloud backup method?