This is the third post in a series of posts describing a variety of home backup strategies and options.Now things start to get more interesting and viable. External drive backup has been the primary method used for proper backups for the past two decades.
This type of backup involves one or more hard drives which are independent of your primary operating system or boot drive.
This is the least recommended solution as the backup disk is physically connected to the motherboard inside of your computer.
This prevents you from easily moving the backup disk, and should a disaster occur, you'll lose the backup disk as well as your computer. The only component that is required for your home network is a router.The big benefit to a NAS device is that it's accessible to all of the machines on your network so you get a common location for the whole family to backup their computers to.

It also allows you to stash the drive away somewhere out of sight as long as it's connected to the network. There are several RAID configurations but for most home backup purposes the RAID 1 (mirroring) configuration is appropriate. It doubles as a media server and includes backup software as well as nice extras such as mobile apps and data encryption.
At $199 without disks, it's not exactly the cheapest option but it will definitely make your life easier when it comes to automated backups of all the computers in your house.For a less expensive alternative that gives up the RAID capabilities, see the Synology 1-Bay NAS Server.
Back 8 years ago I used to do this on magnetic tape, i'd back up everything onto 8 tapes, one for each day of the week plus 1 weekly archive.
Every day I would take home yesterdays tape (away from the office) and the next day I would bring it back and take the following day's tape and do the same.

Periodically swap them out to keep each close to synchronized.Another more convenient option is a service called Sneaker Backup. You make a backup of your system and send the encrypted disk back to them for storage off-site.
If you need your backup data it can be downloaded from their servers or they will overnight you a hard drive with your backup on it.
Use one of these options either with the devices included backup software or using one of the backup programs outlined in Part 2 of this series.Next up I'll talk about cloud backup options.

Natural disaster preparedness kit
Emergency survival kit items
Business plan risks and contingencies


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