Network-attached storage (NAS) is an intelligent storage device that connects directly to your internet router or WiFi network. A home NAS typically has between one and four bays, but small businesses may choose to install a system with eight bays.
NAS is useful because it creates a personal cloud where you can backup data in a safe and accessible place that provides super-fast access to your data. Both individuals and businesses use NAS to automatically backup sensitive files that they can’t afford to lose to a disk error.
NAS boxes may also be set up to automatically back up onto the cloud so that you can sync your data to services like Dropbox, Google Drive, and Box. This ensures that your data remains consistent across platforms. For NAS users with no time to spare, we’ve come up with this handy list of the 5 best NAS backups for 2018.
The list below is primarily concerned with backup providers that have native apps for commercial NAS devices by industry giants QNAP, Synology, and Netgear. However, we have also included info about providers that let you run NAS backups using a more DIY approach.
ElephantDrive is our top recommendation because it is dedicated to NAS. In addition to providing a full range of backup features including sync and share options, automatic backups, and archiving, ElephantDrive provides everything you need for NAS backups.
ElephantDrive apps are available from QNAP, Netgear, and Synology, but also Western Digital, Drobo, D-Link Vault, Thecus, and Seagate – and ElephantDrive provides support for all of them. This makes ElephantDrive one of the most user-friendly providers for NAS backups. And it is ideal for beginners because everything is automated and it has great customer support ready to help you sort out any problems.
It’s also compatible with a large range of home devices meaning you can use it to backup from home NAS as well as for business backups. ElephantDrive has subscription plans starting at $9.95 per month for 1TB of storage, and there’s a free trial available for anyone who wants to give it a trial run.
CloudBerry is slightly different from the other services in this article because it does not actually provide cloud storage services itself. Instead, it is a service for managing backups onto existing cloud services like Amazon S3, Google Drive, OneDrive, Oracle Cloud, Rackspace, and Microsoft Azure. However, we decided to include it because it is extremely well rounded when it comes not only to NAS but other useful backup features.
CloudBerry comes with free apps for popular NAS providers QNAP and Synology. Those apps permit users to back up data from their NAS storage box to a cloud storage service of their choice. It also permits them to restore NAS files using the CloudBerry desktop client.
In addition, CloudBerry has a mix of useful features including Cloud to Cloud backup, unlimited file versioning, compression, and optional 256-bit AES encryption. This is impressive considering that it starts at just $10.00 per month. Ideal if you already have cloud storage space that you want to sync your NAS to.
IDrive is one of our favorite cloud backup services, and it is actually pretty awesome for NAS users. This fully-featured service allows users to back up from mapped drives, and also provides apps for Synology, QNAP and Netgear ReadyNAS. IDrive has superb customer support that is always ready to help your with NAS related queries, and it also provides guides in its FAQ to help you get everything set up.
IDrive also offers value for money. 1TB of online storage space costs just $3.71 per month (paid on a yearly basis in one go). However, it is worth noting that the price jumps to $4.95 per month when you reach your second year.
Subscribers also get flexible backup and restore options thrown in, in addition to sync and share features, and the ability to back up from an unlimited number of devices. And thanks to its 5GB free account you can give this service a test run to see what it is like.
Dropbox isn’t exactly comparable with the backup providers mentioned above. Rather than being a traditional online backup service that focuses on storing your data for restoration during emergencies, it is a Cloud storage service that also permits file sharing and remote file access.
So how does this work with NAS? Dropbox provides apps that let you sync the files saved on your NAS to its Cloud storage servers. Thus, you end up with something like a Cloud storage manager – a centralized service that keeps all of your files organized and up to date. As a result, Dropbox is a great option that can be used to keep your data safe and secure both locally and online.
CrashPlan is a superb backup service that provides unlimited storage space and robust security at an extremely affordable price point. However, while it does have good software that is fun to use, its NAS options are a touch shakey (compared to the options higher in this list).
QNAP users will probably get along with it best because it functions well with a dedicated third-party app (that is provided). Mac and Linux should also get along fine because it is possible to easily back up from mounted drives.
Windows users, on the other hand, may want to shop elsewhere. Limitations built into Windows mean that CrashPlan doesn’t support backups from mounted drives.
However, it does provide a useful list of unofficial mounting methods for techy users who are willing to learn. And it is one of the most affordable options on the market; it is a good option for those who can be bothered to learn.
Business & Enterprise Users
NAS is a massively popular storage solution for small businesses. As a result, you will find QNAP, Synology, and Netgear offering plenty of apps for NAS backups aimed at popular enterprise storage solutions.
Microsoft Azure, Amazon Glacier, Google Cloud Storage, and Symform are all compatible with NAS providers – making it simple for firms to backup their data safely both locally and online.
DIY NAS Backups
Anybody who wants to create their own NAS rather than paying for a NAS box needs to be aware that they will not have access to apps. However, there are still plenty of methods for storing your data online.
Providers such as SOS, Acronis, JustCloud, BackupGenie, and ZipCloud all let you backup from a NAS device simply by selecting it as a file location. However, some providers may charge you annually for the privilege.
Furthermore, you can also create backups of network drives using SpiderOak, Memopal, and LiveDrive– all of which let you map the drive so that it can be recognized. Fortunately, this process is simple and there are walkthrough guides available with those services that will help you get it setup.
NAS Backups Conclusion
NAS backups are a superb way to ensure that your data is protected not only on your local cloud but also online. Whether you’d like a dedicated app that does the hard work for you - or you prefer to set up a NAS yourself, there’s an online backup provider in this article that is perfect for you.