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These NAS mistakes can cost you your data

Here are tips to help keep your data safe.

You know you need to back up your data, so you get a NAS (Network Attached Storage) box. Hook it up to your network and start backing up to it.

You're data's safe, right?

Wrong.

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Your data is vulnerable to all sorts of issues that could leave you without your important data.

But the kind folks at Toshiba Electronics Europe have come up with some simple (yet so often overlooked) tips for keeping your data safe.

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"Many private users buy a NAS and assume that their valuable data is automatically protected against loss. But it's not quite that simple," says Rainer W. Kaese, Senior Manager, HDD Business Development at Toshiba Electronics Europe. "To prevent data loss, users must configure the NAS correctly and back up their data to another storage device regularly. In addition, they should have detailed knowledge about the NAS system – not only deal with it when there is a problem. Then the stress is usually high, and the inexperienced user easily makes mistakes that can prevent the data rescue."

Here are the tips:

  • Make sure you use at least two drive days in your NAS - One hard drive means a single point of failure. Two drives are a minimum, but if your data is important to you, I recommend a 4-bay system.
  • Don't put your NAS in the most obvious spot - The most obvious spot is right next to the computer, right? Well, if you are unlucky enough to suffer a break-in, then this puts your data in a good spot for burglars. Find a more hidden or inaccessible spot, such as in a cupboard or cabinet.
  • Use NAS drives - NAS boxes put a massive workload on the hard drives, so you need drives that are designed and built for that workload. Therefore, you should always fit your NAS box out with NAS-compatible drives. They're a bit more expensive, but it's a price worth paying.
  • Use RAID 1 or higher - You need the data mirrored across at least two disks. Yes, that means you get half as much storage space, but again, this is your data we're talking about.
  • Backup - It's a really good idea to have a separate backup, such as an off-site solution, to protect against things like fire or ransomware attacks.
  • Get your NAS to notify you of problems - Things can go wrong with NAS boxes, so getting an early heads-up on that can prevent something small turning into some big. Getting notifications if there are drive issues or other problems (such as overheating) is a good thing.
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