Network Attached Storage (NAS) is a great and affordable method for small businesses to use when backing up their data. Using a NAS is a way to connect all the computers on a network together and easily share all your files. Whereas using something like an external hard drive would mean that only the computer it’s plugged into can access the files, a NAS allows anyone on the network to do so.
This means that using a NAS can be great as a backup solution. Everyone’s data is linked and backup can be performed in unison across the network, rather than on one computer at a time – a potentially cumbersome and time consuming approach that isn’t great.
Consider having to buy an external drive for every computer. Depending on how many systems you have, that’d be an expensive procedure. However, NAS devices are highly cost effective and allow you to do so much more than just backup your files. They are structured and configured to get the most out of the storage, much more than a single hard drive. We won’t cover all the benefits of using NAS here, but the ability to quickly access other user’s files is efficient and effective.
With the NAS, you can perform backup across all the systems simultaneously. NAS boxes are designed as a local storage device, but it is possible to store it offsite. This page offers instructions on how to do so. Some argue that if your backup is kept onsite then it can hardly be considered a true backup. This is because if something like a natural disaster happens then it’ll likely damage the original data and the backup data at the same time.
It can lead to increased costs storing your NAS offsite, for the storage and the maintenance, but it highly advisable over keeping everything onsite.
Some companies will offer free cloud backup along with your NAS devices. Synology is one example. However, you must always be careful when it comes to storing data in the cloud. It’s never truly safe and doesn’t offer the same control as it would storing it offline on a NAS.
You can get a decent NAS for a low three figure dollar sum. When looking for a NAS it should be easy to setup and have good read/write performance. When looking for a NAS specifically for backup, you’ll want one that offers data redundancy and encryption.
There are some NAS devices out there that are advertised as being a backup NAS, rather than just a generic device. These companies have built specific features into the NAS that make it easier to use as a dedicated backup solution. For example, High Reliable System offers NAS devices that have built in monitoring, drive compatibility, protected hard drives, removable trays, automatic mirroring and offsite replication.
Bear in mind that although using a NAS is affordable and easy as a backup solution, it should never be the only option. Consider periodically backing everything up onto other media, just to make sure that you’re totally protected should the NAS fail.
NAS Devices as an Affordable Backup Solution for Small Businesses
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