Network Attached Storage - The Private Cloud

How sure are you that your valuable files are safe? Do you use a service like Carbonite or Crash Plan to back up your computers? How about an Apple Time Machine drive? While all of these things are good ideas, and the theory is sound, in my opinion, there is an overlooked gap in this plan. 

When the worst happens, your computer dies, or your Time Machine backup is corrupted, you're screwed. If you haven't archived your files anywhere else, in an organized manner, your data could be lost for good. If it is on someone else's cloud service, it could also be lost. What if that service got hacked? What if their servers crash and you lose client files? These horrible happenings can be protected against with a NAS drive on your home network.

Now, you might say, "But that is just for businesses. Besides, it is expensive and just acts like a big hard drive." All three of those things are false. There are many solutions out there that are scaled for the home user. These solutions are also very cost effective, quicker to use, and just as secure as a cloud service, if not more so. Yes, a NAS looks like a big hard drive, but it is much more than that.

A NAS drive, set up properly, can act as your own personal cloud, media server, encrypted redundant RAID storage, and Time Machine disk. How many GB do you pay for on Dropbox? What does that cost a month? How about Carbonite, iCloud, and all the rest? For some, these expenses are ok, but you end up having so many services running, that it is hard to keep up with it all.

I just installed a new NAS setup for myself at home. The enclosure is an ioSafe 214, and the chipset and firmware are from Synology. This enclosure and setup is waterproof, fireproof, and provides 4TB (2 mirrored 4TB drives) of personal, encrypted cloud storage, that I can access on any device anywhere in the world. I travel often, so knowing that even if my house burns down, or another Nashville flood happens, that my data will be safe and sound, is priceless. All this cost significantly less than it would have even a few years ago. Also, with Synology's Personal Cloud set up, I can securely share many more files than I can with my puny free Dropbox account. The NAS server even turns my old inkjet printer into an AirPrint compatible one simply by plugging it into the USB ports on the back. The entire server can even be set to back itself up to another drive or a cloud service of your choice, if you so desire. That would provide triple redundancy for all your files, and peace of mind that your data can weather any storm.

At some point, a cloud service like Crash Plan will get hacked, go down, or corrupt your data. Your Time Machine will most likely have an error at some point, and require another full backup. When it does that, the timing might be incredibly unfortunate. If all your data is backed up on the Time Machine and nowhere else, you're sunk. Would it not be better to just store your files on a NAS, keep your immediate working ones on your laptop, and know that all your precious data is safe?

If you have any questions about NAS drive, setting up a personal cloud, or other solutions for your home or business ... please get in touch! NelsonWerks wants to help you stay happy and keep your data safe. And, when the bad times come, the Machine will not win ;)

- Hans