I have a NAS – a network-attached-storage device. Bought to serve photos and video and music to the family and cut our reliance on cloud storage, it has of course failed to live up to its potential.

There are a few photos and songs and videos and a few documents and, well, not much else. The usable Internet speeds we have now, our Amazon Prime video subscription, and the ready availability of girl-friendly entertainment on YouTube, they all conspire against my original vision of an all-encompassing media server.

It’s appropriate to note that most of our irreplaceable files are also stored at a couple of cloud storage providers.

“…most of…”?


So, regular backups of our important stuff? Every now and then I make backups from our laptops. But, thus far, not automatically.

What I’m looking for is a program that’ll run silently on our Windows laptops*; a program that’ll take whatever exists in a user’s folders and put it somewhere safe.

Now I know this bit sounds obvious, but I don’t want to have to leave devices on and wait for a timed schedule to start the backup process. This has to happen seamlessly, in real time as the files are manipulated.

Moreover, whatever I get must not lose files deleted from a users computer from backups after 30 days. That knocks both saving stuff into Dropbox folders and making Backblaze backups from my list.

My frontrunners so far are Arq and CrashPlan. Both are probably overkill for our needs, but have solid reputations.

I’d appreciate any advice from existing users, along the lines of:

  • Which service/program is the most unobtrusive and reliable for you?
  • Which cloud storage services are easy to setup with the program, and have the ‘best’ uptime? Amazon Glacier might be cost-effective but I’m really not keen on waiting hours to get our stuff.

Of course my shortlist candidates have, or will soon have, the attraction of their own storage. 250GB right now seems right, whereas ‘unlimited’ is far, far beyond our likely needs.

Oh yes, I want to utilise the NAS too for automatic backups.

This is but the start of a journey.

*We’re not made of money; only one laptop was bought new, the rest were acquired as a result of family generosity. The new one? Sale price.

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