Thursday, January 1, 2015


This post is for the techies in the family.  It's not a travel post.

For the past few years I have had a NAS on our home network that has been used for local backups.  Although I also have Mozy cloud backups set up for all three computers, the desktop, my laptop and Dianna's, I just like the extra security and flexibility that local backups provide.  There are also some large files that don't seem to lend themselves well to cloud backup, like .iso files.

A few months ago I began to have problems with my desktop computer which was still running XP.   After many weeks of trying to get it to work right, including a stint at "Daryl's Computer Repair", it just became more trouble than it was worth.  I made the decision to shut it down permanently except for rare instances when I needed some old physical interface that only existed on it.  We didn't really use it much anymore anyway, except that I did keep some large archival files on it because it had dual 250G drives configured as RAID 1. This has always provided good local security for my data.  I had a drive failure a couple years ago and simply replaced the failed drive and kept on running.  That's the beauty of RAID.   I decided to just leave the desktop sitting here in case I needed an aforementioned interface, but I also replaced the 250G hard drive in my laptop with a 500G Samsung SSD and copied all the important files from the desktop to my laptop just in case.

All was well until about a week ago when the drive in the NAS failed.  Fortunately there was nothing on it that was not also on one of my other systems, but still.....    I decided to replace it with what I should have purchased in the first place for backups.  I purchased a new NAS with RAID 1.  Fortunately, the prices have really come down so it is much more reasonable than it would have been back when I purchased my first NAS.

I purchased a Buffalo Linkstation 220 with dual 1T drives.  Although my previous NAS was 2T, I was only using about 600G of it so having only 1T is plenty.  If I ever do want to upgrade I only need to purchase larger drives and install them in the enclosure.

I read many reviews and decided this will work well for me.  Most of the reservations pointed out by reviewers had to do with using the NAS in a small office environment, and with features that I just don't plan to ever use.   So far it seems to be working fine.


  1. One of these days I need to do something similar, again.

    I have an Iomega NAS (500 GB) that I purchased quite a few years ago. It worked fine for a while but then started overheating and shutting itself off. It contains 2 500 GB drives in a adjustable RAID.

    I've always liked Buffalo devices. I have some Buffalo routers at work. The main reason I like them is they use DD-WRT.

    What are you using now for backup software? I'm still using Cobian at work for copying my local My Documents to the *Real* NAS in the computer room. We have both a NetApp and a NetGear for the company. I love the fact they can do hourly snapshots and other nifty stuff like that but of course they aren't cheap and you probably wouldn't use one at home. I think we paid close to $4000 for the NetGear but more like $15k for the NetApp. But when you absolutely positively want to be sure it's backed up you should use something like that.

    Although your Mozy is extremely good for the smaller files.

    1. Don, I'm still using Cobian as well. I like the fact that you can read or restore the data without any special software. I do Full backups every 7 days with differentials in between. I keep two full backups. I also run a full backup on the first of each month that I keep permanently.

      As I mentioned in the post, this NAS has a lot of features that I won't use. They include using an external drive connected via USB to copy data directly to and from the NAS.

  2. I have been using SOS Online Backup for a couple of years now. It has worked well for me and I like having everything backed up offsite so neither fire nor theft will affect my data. Richard I understand you have that too with Mozy and that the NAS is a local option for convenience.

    And that's an important point. I lost my hard drive a few years ago when I was backing up online only (Mozy at that time), and all my data was saved but it took a couple of days to get it all back. A minor inconvenience when it's all your data!

    I also don't back up all my downloaded music or videos -- files that can be replaced if I lose them -- because of the cost and time of upload. A local backup would resolve that minor issue too.

    Since I converted my main hard drive to an SSD I worry less about drive failure, but it can still happen and there's also the threat of fire, theft, or a virus infection. Worst of all would be ransomware that encrypted all my files and demanded payment to recover them. I don't know if that kind of malware has the capability of acting on files on the local network, but I think for absolute certainty you need off-site backup.