You’re one of those power users who likes to tinker and improve your hardware and software. You’re satisfied with your home backup, but you want to add one or more NAS devices to it. Selecting online backup can be difficult, but we’ve got your back. In this article, we’re going to give you a list of the best online backup for NAS, so you can complete your setup.
Network-attached storage is a mini-server with a network that other devices can access provided they have the credentials. It’s a great way to create a personal, cloud-based media system or backup your hard drive. If you want to learn more, read our what is NAS article.
If you’ve stumbled on to online backup and are wondering why should you do it, the answer is easy: to protect your data. You can’t be sure how long your hard drive will last before it crashes or malfunctions. Solid-state drives have a rate of failure that’s lower than 1 percent, but experience more data errors. Your laptop or Western Digital My Passport are easy to steal, too.
It’s better to rely on the cloud, as well as local backup. That’s the 3-2-1 rule, anyway. You can access your data remotely, set up automatic backup and do it in increments to speed up the process.
In this article, we’re going to look at cloud backup that supports NAS. If you’re looking for storage and don’t know the difference between it and cloud backup, read the explanation here. Before we start our online backup rankings, let’s look at the criteria we used to make our picks.
Best Online Backup for NAS 2018
What Makes the Best Online Backup for NAS
We all want to backup more and pay less, so that’s what we looked for from these services. On top of that, the more plans the service has the better because it gives you a better chance of finding one that fits you. It’s good if the service has a free plan or trial, too. There are also services that offer plans with unlimited backup space.
When you send your data to the cloud, you want it to be safe, so security is our next criterion. It should have in-transit and at-rest encryption, two-factor authentication, a TLS/SSL protocol to protect your data during transfer, strong data centers with redundant server architecture and zero-knowledge encryption.
The user experience should be straightforward. The better it is the more you can focus on your work and not worry about your data. To ensure that, the desktop client should work on most operating systems and their interfaces, along with those of the web and mobile apps, should be pleasant and intuitive to use.
Finally, initial backups take a long time to complete, but they shouldn’t take more time than necessary. The connection shouldn’t hang, drag or fail. That depends on the infrastructure of the backup service, as well as your internet service provider and how close you are to the servers.
With our criteria laid out, let’s take a look at our top pick for external drive backup.
Best Online Backup for NAS: IDrive
IDrive is based in the San Fernando Valley in California. The company was launched in 1995, which makes it a true veteran. Its age doesn’t show, though, only its rich experience. In fact, it sits near the top of our best online backup list.
IDrive doesn’t offer unlimited backup, but it does let you backup unlimited devices, including NAS. There are two annual personal plans to choose from: 2TB and 5TB. The 2TB plan will set you back just over $50, while the 5TB plan costs around $75.
On top of that storage, you get 2TB or 5TB of sync space, depending on the plan, which amounts to 4TB or 10TB of actual space. If you pay for two years in advance, you get an additional discount. Both plans are for a single user and unlimited devices. To test the service, IDrive offers a free plan with 5GB of backup space, too.
Business users can choose from several plans that don’t limit the number of user or computers they can backup. The plans start at 250GB for $99.50 and go up to 12.5TB for $2,999.50. Business plans get the same discounts as the personal ones. You can pay per month for plans that offer 2.5TB or more of storage, but doing so is more expensive.
IDrive uses the AES 256-bit algorithm to encrypt your data at-rest and in-transit. It keeps the key to decrypt your data, but you can retain it if you wish to ensure you have private encryption. You need to opt in to it prior to running your first backup, though.
It’s surprising that there’s no two-factor authentication in addition to those strong security measures. Because it’s not available to protect your credentials, you need to make sure your password is strong. Learn more about these security features in our IDrive review.
IDrive keeps its servers in secure data centers in the U.S. They can withstand disasters, such as earthquakes, floods and fires. Alarms, surveillance and motion sensors protect your data against intruders, too.
Other Reasons We Like IDrive
It’s more complicated to work with IDrive because it doesn’t offer unlimited backup. You have to pick and choose the files you want to backup. You can do so based on location, but not on file type. Plus, IDrive has many options for settings, so you have to get used to that. Still, it shouldn’t be a problem for most people.
You can use IDrive on Windows, macOS and Linux. There are smartphone apps for Android or iOS, too.
IDrive can drag on initial uploads. Unfortunately, there’s no setting to initiate multi-threaded backup to speed it up. That said, IDrive does have a free courier backup service, called IDrive Express, that can help. It’s free once a year for personal users and three times a year for business users. You can use it for downloads, as well.
On top of that, there’s block-level file copying, which uploads only the portions of files that have been changed since the last backup, to speed up the transfer.IDrive has great value and strong security, with encryptions at-rest and in-transit and an optional private encryption to protect your privacy. It’s not lightning fast, but it has IDrive Express and block-level copying to compensate. That’s enough to make it our top pick for this list.
- Unlimited devices
- Strong security
- IDrive Express
- Great value
- Slow initial upload
- No two-factor authentication
Acronis has been in the backup business since 2003 and its rich experience is evident in its latest release, Acronis True Image 2018.
You can get a lifetime license for Acronis True Image. It doesn’t allow you to backup your data to the cloud, though, only to local storage. That’s why we recommend getting an annual plan. There are two to choose from: Advanced and Premium.
Advanced costs $4.16 per month, or $49.99 a year, for 250GB. It includes full image backup, active disk cloning, universal restore and social media backup. Premium costs $8.33 a month, $99.99 a year, for 1TB. It adds blockchain certification for files and electronic signatures to the list of features.
If you pay to increase the storage size, you’ll get it at a reduced price. That’s also true for the number of computers included in the plan.
Acronis True Image uses AES 256-bit encryption and the TLS/SSL protocol to protect your data during transfer. You can encrypt files before sending them to Acronis’s servers, too. That requires you to enter your password, which only you know. The files will remain encrypted in the cloud until you decrypt them. That makes Acronis True Image zero-knowledge.
There’s also a novel feature called Acronis Active Protection, which helps against ransomware attacks. If it fails, you can rely on versioning to retrieve your files. Unfortunately, there’s no two-factor authentication.
Acronis’s data centers use biometric scanning, key cards, patrols and monitoring to ensure there are no breaches. Your data is also stored on multiple servers that are protected against natural disasters and fires.
Other Reasons We Like Acronis True Image
The desktop client is intuitive and easy to navigate, but its text should be bigger. There’s a menu on the left for navigating the app.
You can use it to backup everything, rather than having to select specific files. That takes more space, but it makes creating a backup plan easier. If you choose to do it that way, you can exclude files that you don’t want to backup. Plus, its notifications are useful and will keep you updated.
It works on Windows and macOS. If you’re a Linux user, refer to our best online backup for Linux article to find a suitable service.
You can use the online dashboard to execute manual backups and recover files. That makes it useful for remote management. The online interface is clear and won’t confuse you.
The service doesn’t struggle with initial uploads. In fact, it surprised us with its speed because it only took 15 minutes for backup and recovery of a 1GB folder. We used the “optimal” setting for downloading, but there’s also a “maximum” one that is, presumably, even faster. You can find the table with the test results in our Acronis True Image review.Acronis True Image is fast, has good security and offers a better user experience than IDrive, but it can’t match its value or backup unlimited device. That makes it number two on our list.
- Good user experience
- Strong security
- Private encryption
- Limited number of devices
BigMIND Home is an online backup service from the company that created Zoolz Home Backup. It’s not surprising that they are similar, but BigMIND Home has novel features that Zoolz Home doesn’t.
BigMIND Home’s Personal plan costs $2.99 per month, but it’s paid annually and gives a meager 100GB of backup space for one user and three computers.
The Family plan costs $6.99 a month and gives you 500GB of storage space for three users, nine computers and six mobile devices. It’s a better deal, but it’s probably not enough space for that many users.
You can get 1TB of cloud backup space for $12.99 by subscribing to the Family Plus plan. That’s a decent amount of space, but it’s not the best deal for it. The plan lets you share with four more users across 15 computers and unlimited mobile devices.
You can test the service by using the free plan, which gives you 5GB of backup space for one user. It lets you backup one computer, one external drive and two mobile devices.
BigMIND Home encrypts files on servers using the AES 256-bit algorithm. The service manages your encryption key by default. To avoid that, you can opt for private encryption while setting up your backup plan, but you can’t do it afterward. The trade-off is that BigMIND Home won’t be able to retrieve your password if you do.
Files are protected by the SSL protocol in-transit, but, curiously, you have to enable it. BigMIND provides two-factor authentication to protect your credentials.
Other Reasons We Like BigMIND Home
The desktop client is useful because it shows your backup status, when the last backup was, how many files are backed up and how many are pending. That information is helpful and the interface is attractive and clear.
You can choose to backup by file type or location. Offering a choice is a nice touch, considering other services only use one method.
The web interface, which displays file categories and devices, is more colorful and enables you to easily browse your content in the cloud. Its dashboard shows you how many devices are connected to BigMIND Home and how many are backing up. There’s also a graph that shows your backup activity over time and a pie chart that presents an overview of your file types.
BigMIND Home is available for Windows, macOS, Android and iOS.
Your initial upload should be fast and your downloads slow because BigMIND Home uses Amazon Glacier, a cold storage designed for long-term archiving, for backup. If that sounds like your cup of tea, read our Amazon Glacier review. The average upload time for 1GB of data should be about 30 minutes. Read more about the service in our BigMIND Home review.
- Fast data uploads
- Private encryption
- Backup by file type
- Could offer better value
- Slow data recovery
Carbonite is one of the oldest backup services. It has two solutions: Carbonite Safe and Carbonite Safe Backup Pro. The former is suitable for a single computer, while the latter offers NAS backup.
Carbonite Safe Backup Pro offers three plans to choose from: Core, Power and Ultimate.
Core costs $24 per month, but it’s paid for annually. If you pay two or three years in advance, you get a 20 or 30 percent discount. It gives you 250GB of backup space for up to 25 computers.
You also get external hard drive and automatic video backup, centralized account management and admin consoles and the option to receive a recovery hard drive by mail.
The Power plan will set you back $66.67 per month, billed annually (it’s $50 for a limited time, though), for 500GB of backup space and the ability to backup as many as 25 computers and one server.
Ultimate adds backing up unlimited servers to the previous plan for $108.34. Currently, the price is $83.34 for a limited time.
Carbonite Safe Backup Pro uses AES 128-bit encryption to scramble your files. You can switch to AES 256-bit if you choose to enable private encryption and manage the key yourself. If you do that, you won’t be able to access your data if you lose it.
You can protect the key with a password, but Carbonite won’t be able to reset it if you forget it. It won’t be able to reset your account password, either. That makes Carbonite Safe Backup Pro zero-knowledge. Make sure not to forget your passwords and make them strong. You can enhance your account security by enabling two-factor authentication, too.
Other Reasons We Like Carbonite Safe Backup Pro
Carbonite Safe Backup Pro’s desktop client is easy to install. Once you’ve done so, you only need to perform one step to complete the backup process because most of it works automatically. It excludes some files and extensions, though, and doesn’t backup files larger than 4GB by default. You need to tag them manually if you want to include them.
The client also color codes your files, so you can easily see their status during backup, but you have to enable that feature because it’s not on by default.
There’s an attractive web interface, as well, that you can use to check the status of your backup, access files and manage your account.
The mobile app has the same features packed in a clear and minimalist interface. Besides storing files, you can use the app to automatically backup photos on your phone. You can’t do that with other file types, but unlimited photo backup is still a great deal. To learn more, read our Carbonite review.Carbonite Safe Backup Pro’s initial backup process is slow and doesn’t come close to those of its competitors. Subsequent backups will be much faster, though, thanks to its block-level transfer algorithm.
- Backup by file type
- Unlimited backup
- Private encryption
- No monthly subscriptions
MozyPro is a versatile backup service that is good for businesses looking to backup multiple computers.
Its plans provide backup space that you can share between computers and servers. You can pay on a per-month, annual or biennial basis. Plans start at 10GB and go up to 4TB, but Mozy only quotes prices up to 250GB on its website. If you need more than that, you have to request pricing. There are also plans without servers that are cheaper than their counterparts.
It’s nice that there’s flexibility, but the problem is MozyPro starts at 10GB. That isn’t enough to backup a computer, let alone a server. If you have several servers, 4TB might not even suffice. The biggest issue, though, is how expensive it is. MozyPro charges a ludicrous price of $850 per year for 250GB of backup. Other services provide much better value.
MozyPro takes good care of its security. It invites third-party audits to ensure its data centers are up to the task of keeping your data safe. The facilities can withstand natural disasters, virus attacks and other unwelcome events that can jeopardize your data. Security staff is on site 24/7 and data centers are protected by closed circuit TV cameras, gates and electronic key access.
Your files are encrypted on Mozy’s servers. In fact, they are encrypted before they leave your computer and are protected in transit with a TLS connection. MozyPro keeps your key by default and uses 448-bit Blowfish encryption.
You can opt for private encryption, though, which switches the encryption algorithm to AES 256-bit.
The drawback is MozyPro won’t be able to reset your password and file preview and image thumbnails won’t show on the web. You won’t be able to upload files from the web browser, either.
Unfortunately, MozyPro doesn’t provide two-factor authentication.
Other Reasons We Like MozyPro
MozyPro requires more work than other online backups before you can start to backup your data. That said, once you set it up, it has interesting features that ease the process going forward. For an explanation of the steps you need to complete, read our MozyPro review.
It’s straightforward to download the desktop client and the installation doesn’t take long. You don’t have to do much to set up your backup because MozyPro scans your file system and selects the most common file types for backup. It doesn’t have the most efficient interface we’ve ever seen, but the wizard helps get the job done. It works on Windows, macOS and Linux.
The web interface has an admin console with handy features that make it easy to handle account administration. You can search the connections to your account by user or device and see how much data is backed up and when the last backup was run. The “graphs and reports” section displays backup history and health and lets you set email alerts.MozyPro’s smartphone apps can’t backup your data, but they let you access it. They are available for Android and iOS.
Our tests showed that MozyPro needs about an hour to backup a 1GB compressed folder to the cloud. We ran our tests from Bangkok, Thailand over a WiFi connection with 55 megabits per second download and 22 Mbps upload speeds. Still, an hour for 1GB is too long. The problem might be that MozyPro doesn’t compress data.
Subsequent backups will run much faster with the help of a block-level file copying algorithm, though.
- Backup unlimited devices
- Good admin features
- Private encryption option
- No two-factor authentication
- No file compression
Your NAS might be the backup for your hard drive, but you need to protect it, too. We’ve addressed that in this article by providing you with our list of the best online backup for NAS.IDrive is our top pick because it has great value, strong security, lets you backup unlimited devices and allows you to use IDrive Express for free once per year.
We can’t recommend MozyPro because it’s expensive and doesn’t offer much storage on top of being slow and not providing two-factor authentication. BigMIND Home makes it easy to create a backup plan and uploads your files fast. Its file recovery is slow, though, and it could offer better deals.
Acronis True Image 2018 also provides a good user experience, but suffers from a high price tag. Plus, the number of devices you can backup with it is limited. Carbonite Safe Backup Pro offers unlimited storage, but it’s slow and doesn’t offer monthly subscriptions.
Do you use another service to backup your NAS devices? What do you think about our choices? Tell us about it in the comments below. Thank you for reading.