If you have a lot of important files—photos, videos, documents, or other precious memories you would hate to lose—you need to be using a NAS device. And you need to be backing up your NAS regularly, that’s the only way you can actually make sure that your files are safe should anything happen to your physical devices.
And there are a lot of ways that your physical devices’ (cell phone, laptop, home computer) internal drive could fail. If that happens and the only place your data lives is on that internal drive, it’s going to be hard (if not impossible) for you to recover that data. Backing up all of your device’s internal drives to an external storage device and also backing up that NAS regularly will ensure all of your precious files and memories are safe no matter what happens.
This may seem like an unnecessary extra step—after all, isn’t a NAS drive already supposed to safely store your data? Well, yes and no. A lot of NAS devices have backup capabilities (i.e. RAID). But that’s not what they’re actually made for. Essentially, your NAS is to make sharing files easy by storing them in a single location. But if that device/location is compromised in any way, your data could still be lost.
Especially if you’re using your NAS device for your home, there are lots of ways for accidents to ruin your NAS and digital devices. A spilled cup of coffee, an over-rambunctious toddler, or a drop while moving can all hurt your device’s delicate internal hardware. And even though NAS devices are built to withstand little bumps and everyday use, you should still make sure you aren’t relying on it 100 percent for data storage. Regularly backing up your NAS to the cloud or whatever data backup system you choose will give you peace of mind. Don’t let an accident derail years of memories and important information by having a solid backup plan in place before anything happens.
Hard Drives Fail All The Time
Even the most expensive, state of the art NAS or personal storage devices can fail. Over time, your computer’s internal hard drive naturally degrades. Dust build-up, the drive constantly overheating, cooling, and overheating again, and shaking and dropping can all harm your device’s internal system. While hard drives are made to be resistant to everyday wear and tear, you never know when it could fail. If all of your files are only stored on that internal drive, you run the risk of losing all of that data when it eventually dies.
Be Prepared For Natural Disasters
Fires, hurricanes, even burst pipes in the winter are all situations you have little to no control over. People prepare for natural disasters by putting together food storage or making a 72-hour kit—but how do you prepare for a digital disaster? Again, even if you think your data is safe on your NAS, it’s not. It’s still a physical device and can still be destroyed in these natural disasters.
What Backup Options Should I Consider?
When you have years of data you need to store off of your NAS and other digital devices, a thumb drive isn’t going to cut it. The cloud has become the best way to ensure your data is safe should anything happen to your physical devices. Since all of your files are stored in an offsite server, usually through trusted and secure companies like Google, you have an extra layer of data protection.
Regularly backing up your NAS to the cloud is a great way to get rid of the problem of only having your data stored in a physical location. The best part? You’re probably already using the cloud to store your data in one form or another. Google Drive uses the cloud to store an individual account’s data. And if you are a business, popular cloud storage companies like Amazon S3, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure can store your data safely offsite usually for a free or low monthly price, depending on how much data you need to store.