Your NAS isn’t enough – you still need to back up your data!

Some users trust their data to powerful file servers that advertise enterprise data protection, but your Network Attached Storage system might not be as safe as you think it is.

There is a point in the life of a compulsive data hoarder when a regular computer is not enough to contain a burgeoning file collection. Upon the relentless expansion of a massive data compilation, the first step a home user takes to extend the storage capacity is to purchase an external USB hard drive. The hard drive will buy the user some time, but eventually this solution will fall short. A data hoarder who is dedicated enough will eventually have to invest in a Network Attached Storage (NAS) server.

A NAS is a dedicated server optimized to store large amounts of information. NAS servers are commonly available as commercial appliances, but many power users prefer to build their own from spare parts. Serious NAS servers are scalable and allowed to increase their capacity by adding hard drives as needed. Better yet, they often offer enterprise features that come in very handy, and they promise mitigations to the most common threats against the long term survival of your files.

NAS vendors often advertise fault tolerance and profess the immunity of their systems from disaster, which causes users to treat this sort of storage as bulletproof, dumping their data and then skipping the step of making backups. But rarely do these consumer-grade storage systems provide a complete solution. This article describes some of the things that can go wrong – and why you still need to perform backups to ensure that your data is safe.

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