NAS drive for backup at different location


I’m looking to backup my home pc to a hard drive that’s stored at a different location.

I’m looking to do daily backups of important documents, probably about 20 gigs worth and monthly backups of the whole system.

I think that a NAS drive at a family members house could possibly be the way to go and transfer files to the drive online. I’d like transfer to be set and forget as the liklihood is I’ll not keep up with it manually.

Does anybody have any experience of this or know the best way to go about it.


I personally bought a couple of Buffalo LinkStation Pros for this purpose couple with CrashPlan. I installed the NAS at my parents house and another friends house, created a mapped network drive on their computer to the NAS, then installed CrashPlan.

I setup CrashPlan to backup their important documents onto their NAS as well as the off-site locations. I also then installed another LinkStation Pro at my place to do the same thing (so each of us is backing up our documents to 3 separate NAS (2 off-site, 1 on-site). I’ve had this setup running for a few years now, and no issues to date. Restoring was easy when needed, I’ve had plenty of room on the devices for now (so long as they remember to NOT backup their DVDs that they copied to take with them on trips).

Downsides to this setup:

  1. They need to keep their computer on so the mapped drive is available to CrashPlan
  2. If they go on trips and only have a laptop, that off-site location will be unavailable for backup until they return.

However, CrashPlan will catch up the location when it becomes available as a backup location again, so the downsides are really small.

Thanks, that is really useful info. I may well go with your model.

Have you noticed any performance issues (with Internet speed etc) when a backup is being carried out?

Do you schedule backups to take place when a machine is likely to be on (daytime) or do you leave your machines on overnight?

Do you think buffalo is the way to go?

Yes, I have especially with the initial backups (since it has to do everything). So I usually schedule them for a specific range of hours (when I know I won’t be using my PC much), once it is backed up entirely, I remove the restriction.

Sort of goes with the above statement, one thing to keep note, CrashPlan (while using the free version) only backs up your data every 24 hours (or during your specific time range). If you upgrade to the paid plan (you get cloud storage too, and it will backup as files are changed allowing for better restoration of important in progress documents).

You can actually go with whatever brand you want for a NAS with this model. I just personally have had major success with Buffalo products (they seem to be built to last). My initial investment with them has lasted over 5 years. I’ve just recently bought 2 more (the PRO models this time). They too are running solid. Granted I haven’t used anything but Buffalo products, so I’m definitely biased about them.

Thanks for the info - this is great!

I think I’m going to go with a similar setup but maybe with different software to Crashplan as there is little chance of the person I’m leaving the drive with having their computer on very often - do you know of any options that don’t require a computer to be on and can work straight off the NAS drive?

Another issue I may have is that they can sometimes be away for weeks at a time - I can see that you have gotten around this problem by having multiple locations and drives so it is unlikely that everyone will be away at once. That might be the way to go for me too but it will get expensive quite quickly so if I can find a solution with just one off-site location! I can imagine that they will probably be be happy to leave their router on so maybe a NAS drive that can be started up remotely would be a good solution - do these even exist???

I know that the Buffalo systems can be “rooted” so you can install third party software on it, but even so, it’d be hard to use Crashplan without getting the Enterprise version (which can run headless). Other NAS may give you that option, but none that I’ve come across permit it.

The other alternative is to purely go with CrashPlan’s cloud offering ( There is a single user plan and a family plan, the family plan requires using the same CrashPlan account for all computers involved, so you can theoretically restore files from any of the computers associated to that account from any of the computers. That would get you the off-site storage without the need of a NAS or their computer on all of the time.

I’m trying to avoid cloud storage for privacy reasons - maybe I’m too easily influenced by what I hear in the press but I don’t like the NSA/GCHQ having access to all my personal data!

I know a friend of mine has managed to use a Raspberry Pi to turn operate his desktop device remotely so I will have a chat to him about using this as a possible solution to turning things on/off remotely.

Thanks for the info on your setup, it’s been great to get an idea of what my options are!

I can’t speak for all products but CrashPlan uses a 4096 encryption with a passphrase (of your choosing), so all data passed back and forth is well protected. There are other products (for NAS) out there, Drobo, ReadyNAS, FreeBSD (if you want to build one) that may allow you to have a dedicated backup machine sitting on the network (I just haven’t done a build like that, so I can’t really tell you if it worked out or not).

Just found this too: and
So if you are comfortable with telnet, ssh, etc, you may be able to setup a ReadyNAS with a headless Crashplan (or Buffalo related nas).

For LinkStation:

I’m pretty sure the QNAP NAS enclosures can do this kind of thing without any computers remaining switched on. I’ve generally had good experiences with their products.

So you could backup from your computer to a remote NAS.

Or… backup from your computer to a local NAS. And then let the local NAS backup to a remote NAS another time, with no computers staying on. This also lets you take advantage of times when your internet connection might not be monitored for usage, i.e. overnight.

QNAP have their own forum too here -

Hope this helps.