NAS devices are good for backups because they can be accessed not only from the local network, but also from the internet.
This means you can do your backups with ease from anywhere as long as you have a good internet connection. However, not all NAS are the same.
Here we look at the best NAS for backup. Such a device is supposed to check all the bells and whistles for having the right storage capacity, network speed, and various other features to make a user’s work much easier. Convenience and ease of use are required.
List of Best NAS for Backup in 2021
The following are some of the most popular NAS drives with disks and without disk for a good backup solution.
- Synology DiskStation DS220j – Affordable 2-bay diskless NAS
- Synology DiskStation DS920+ – High performance and 4 drive bays
- WD My Cloud Home Duo – Personal and convenient cloud storage
- Synology DiskStation DS2419+ – Expensive, ideal for large backups
- WD My Cloud EX4100 – Time Machine support for Mac Users
1. Synology DiskStation DS220j – Affordable 2-bay diskless NAS
The DS220j is built to withstand long operations, and can easily run 24/7 with minimal interruptions and downtimes. Furthermore, it allows people to conveniently store and share files, making it the best NAS for backup.
It uses the DiskStation Manager (DSM) operating system which is very easy to use and features lots of useful applications that make file access and data backups easy to carry out.
With the additional support for mobile devices with the use of Apple and Android apps, users get an extra layer of convenience. This also lets users back up the files on their phones directly to the NAS.
To assist in performance, the device comes loaded with 512MB of DDR4 RAM. This might be little for intensive workloads, but it is sufficient enough for file backups and access.
2. Synology DiskStation DS920+ – High performance and 4 drive bays
This is the best NAS for backup because of the performance benefits it offers users. It comes with 4GB of RAM which can be upgraded to 8GB if need be. This allows for better multitasking which is ideal if the NAS will be used by several people for backups.
It comes with 4 drive bays that can support up to 64GB of storage which is great for people with large volumes of files. Furthermore, the drives can be hot-swappable which adds up to high availability as you can have minimal interruptions.
The unit has support for both SATA and SSD Drives, and with SATA, it can load up to the large 3.5-inch drives.
To offer good performance, the unit has two M.2 slots for SSDs. These can be set up as hard drive cache to allow faster file reads and writes which will make backing up files more convenient.
3. WD My Cloud Home Duo – Personal and convenient cloud storage
It features an easy setup process and once connected to the internet, backing up your files from multiple devices including your phone will be a piece of cake.
The unit ships with two drives pre-installed. As such, users can get to use their NAS immediately after setting up and connecting to their routers.
With the two drives, the NAS can operate in what is known as Mirror mode. In this configuration, every file loaded into the NAS gets saved on a drive, and the entire content of one drive gets cloned onto the other drive.
This ensures that you don’t lose files if one drive ends up failing. Instead, you will have all your files on the second drive, making it the best NAS for backup.
4. Synology DiskStation DS2419+ – Expensive, ideal for large backups
It comes with a 2.1GHz CPU which offers fast speeds even when serving data to multiple devices simultaneously, also thanks to the 4GB of DDR4 memory. This can be upgraded to 32GB.
What makes this the best NAS for backup is its 12 drive bays. Having this any drive bays means you can have a lot of storage for backups.
Furthermore, users can use the DX1215 expansion kit that will increase the number of drive bays to 24 further increasing the supported storage capacity up to 336TB.
4 Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports support link aggregation for higher bandwidths. If this is not enough, there’s an option to install an expansion card for networking which will offer up to 10Gb/s.
5. WD My Cloud EX4100 – Time Machine support for Mac Users
This unit bears the option to either buy diskless or have it sent with disks already installed. The diskless option gives you control over the hard drives you use while having disks installed lets you quickly get up and running. The setup process is straightforward.
It has 4 drive bays that combined give a total of 24TB, enough storage to back up a lot of files, and countless photos.
Furthermore, the device offers the convenience of access, with apps for mobile devices like phones and tablets, users can have an easy portal to their files from anywhere.
What makes this the best NAS for backup is its inclusion of integrated backup software. This takes care of the user’s needs by letting them schedule automatic backups.
It also has support for Time Machine. Hence, Mac users will be able to back up their files, settings, and even entire systems with ease.
Powering this NAS is a dual-core Armada processor with a 1.6GHz clock speed. It’s also equipped with 2GB of DDR3 RAM, but this isn’t upgradable.
How to Choose the Right NAS for Backup?
NAS devices are unlike any other storage device. While they do allow you to store your files in a central location, they are more of computers.
They come with a processor, have an OS that runs and controls everything, and some even feature large amounts of RAM and allow you to carry out heavy workloads from the NAS itself.
Different brands of NAS are suited for backing up files depending on the features they offer.
Single vs Multiple Drives
Some NAS systems come in a single-drive configuration. This is okay for people who are just getting into the NAS sphere for personal cloud storage.
However, this is not safe for backups. Instead, opting for a NAS with two or more drives will be a better option.
With multiple drives, you can implement a backup strategy to mirror the files on one drive onto another for redundancy. Therefore, if one disk fails, you do not end up losing all your files.
Ease of Use
NAS systems will have an OS that lets you carry out management processes on the device. Things like setting up your backup schedule and the likes.
It helps to have a NAS that has a simple and intuitive UI. This makes the device easier to use and lets users focus on other important tasks.
NAS vs Cloud Services
There are numerous cloud service providers. The offering is usually the same, personal space on the cloud where you can store your files at a fee.
With these services, you pay a subscription to use the space depending on the amount of storage you are using and with large volumes of files, it can be expensive.
Furthermore, many have limitations as to what you can store or do with space.
However, with a NAS, you have a personal cloud storage device. This can be used to securely store your files and access them over the internet. Also, you are at liberty to do whatever you want with the system, and you don’t need to pay a recurring price for the storage.
The last thing you’d want when backing up your files is to see all your work land in the wrong hands.
Because the NAS can be accessed over the internet, having good security with file encryption is paramount to operations. Many NAS offer this and it’s a good way to keep users’ files safe.
The size and features of the best NAS for backup for you depends upon the amount of Data you want to store, what kind of RAID configuration you want the disks to be in (if any), and generally the size of your overall enterprise.
Here we talked about budget as well as somewhat expensive NAS storage drives for basic and medium sized enterprises.