What is the Best and Safest External Storage Setup?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by xmichaelp, Jun 17, 2015.

  1. xmichaelp macrumors 68000

    xmichaelp

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2012
    #1
    I want to have an multi-drive external storage setup for files, projects, etc.

    My plan was to buy one or two 2-bay external enclosures, like this:

    http://www.amazon.com/Aukey-SuperSp...93&sr=8-6&keywords=2+bay+hard+drive+enclosure

    I wanted to put them in a software RAID 1 setup for safety. So I would put two identical drives in one of the enclosures so all my files were copied on two drives.

    Is this safe? I would have them hooked to a power surge if it matters. The though process is that this would be a headache free setup and I wouldn't need to unplug external or anything and keep track of backups. Anything I add to the drive enclosure would be doubled and it one of the drive dies I would still have the other and I could just buy a new one to double it again.

    If this is no good, then I would like to hear other opinions on the best way to store your files externally and keep them doubled for safety.
     
  2. tomnavratil macrumors 6502a

    tomnavratil

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2013
    Location:
    Litovel, Czech Republic
    #2
    Just thinking about the bigger picture, you should still have two backups of those drives - one on location to another (larger) disk / array of disk and a second backup off-site - Crash plan / Cloud or a regular drive backup somewhere safe.
     
  3. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #3
    RAID 1 mirror mode is about data availability if one drive dies. It is never a backup method. Use Time Machine or CCC or other app to backup the entire file system to designated backup drives. If you want to take the next step, periodically swap the backup drive to an offsite location with a bank lockbox probably being the most secure. In parallel sellect an online backup company and do backups with them. But never totally depend on an online company. They could be out of business tomorrow or have a massive server outage....etc.
     
  4. mic j macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2012
    #4
    Agree with MCAsan's approach. Spot on. I keep my latest monthly SuperDuper backup at home and the next oldest in a bank lockbox. I also use TM for emergency access (like retrieving an accidentally deleted a file). Have not seriously moved to any cloud type backup. I do keep a few critical files on my iCloud drive, but that's all.

    I lost a lot of data one time and have become very serious about backing up everything multiple times in multiple places so as to minimize the damage if it happens again....of course, since doing this, I have not had to tap into any of these backups. lol
     
  5. funintehmud macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2015
    Location:
    Tx
    #5
    I just went with the Qnap TS-213 bought from Amazon http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00O3Y7F02?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00 , This thing is amazing in the option it has I would follow there instruction on what type of HD to use I just ordered a WD Red Drive for mine I have been testing it with a old spare drive just to learn it I'm going to use mine for file and photo sharing along with an iTunes server, I can remote into it add files from my phone ect..
     
  6. xmichaelp thread starter macrumors 68000

    xmichaelp

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2012
    #6
    Thanks for all the replies everyone!

    I'm not interested in a cloud based backup or a monthly fee that comes with it. I'm also not really interested in a wireless NAS solution, unless someone wants to sell me on it as I'm not that educated about it.

    At the moment I'm thinking of ditching the USB 3 two bay enclosure because the speeds probably wouldn't be as good as two separate USB 3 drives.

    I'll probably just go with two USB3 4 TB drives, one for files and ones for backups. My only concern now is that I will eventually run out of space and need more drives.. Can I configure Time Machine to backup to two different drives at once? If I have two file drives and two backup drives how would I deal with that? Then again by that time they will probably have 8-10 TB drives to upgrade to...
     
  7. tomnavratil macrumors 6502a

    tomnavratil

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2013
    Location:
    Litovel, Czech Republic
    #7
    As far as I know, you can backup to two drives using Time Machine - never tried that myself though. Also your Time Machine drive should be larger than the data one due to the fact it creates incremental backups. When it runs out of space, it simply starts deleting the oldest backups you have. Thus if there are any files you want to archive and not just back up, you should keep them separately as well just in case.

    Here's Apple's guide to using more than one drive with Time Machine - https://support.apple.com/kb/PH18863?locale=en_GB.

    However as I said, this is still just a single layer of backup and if you have really important files you should consider a second layer - off-site. Doesn't need to be a cloud solution. Maybe a flash disk / drive with your files at a bank or at relatives etc.
     
  8. Verki macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2015
    #8
    In my opinion, you should backup files with Aomei Backupper, which can promise that it will ensure the data safe. actually, when you do the backup, you can put a description for it so that you can recognize the file, and you can setup a schedule backup including incremental backup, thus, the image will save a lot if storage space to put more picture or files.
     
  9. tomnavratil macrumors 6502a

    tomnavratil

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2013
    Location:
    Litovel, Czech Republic
    #9
    I'm just wondering what is a benefit of using a third party software like that instead of Time Machine for the OP as Time Machine does a really good job and you don't have to worry about it once it's setup and it uses incremental backups as well.
     
  10. xmichaelp thread starter macrumors 68000

    xmichaelp

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2012
    #10
    Hmm, that link seems to be talking about backing up the same files to two different disks in different locations. What I was wondering is if you could have 2 external drives of files backed up to two time machine disks simultaneously as it they were one large time machine disk.

    I do already have another smaller external which I would use for the most important files in a separate location.s
    Thanks again for the help.
     
  11. chabig macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2002
    #11
     
  12. funintehmud macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2015
    Location:
    Tx
    #12
    Thats why i went with the Qnap it is totally up to you how you want to set it up if you don't want ro use the cloud feature than don't activate it you have two hot swappable drives and two usb an one sata connection on the back if tou need to add more drives than you can
     
  13. xmichaelp thread starter macrumors 68000

    xmichaelp

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2012
    #13
    I'm not sure how else I can explain it. In my hypothetical situation I have two identical drives, one for files and one for time machine to backup those files. After those drives fill up I would then buy two more identical drives for the same purpose. I would then have 2 drives for files and 2 drives for time machine. I'm wondering if Time Machine could back up both those file drives to two separate drives. I'm not looking for 2 redundant backups, just one backup for each external drive of files.

    Hope this makes sense.
     
  14. glenthompson macrumors 68000

    glenthompson

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2011
    Location:
    Virginia
    #14
    Time Machine cannot span a backup over multiple drives. It's recommended that the TM drive be about double the size of the source drive yo provide versioning. Disk drives are dirt cheap compared to the cost recreating the data stored on them.

    It's likely that larger drives will be available when your current drives fill up. Just take advantage of the technology improvements.
     
  15. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #15
    No good. RAID 1 protects against drive failure only. But any mistake you make or malware that screws up data on one drive will simultaneously mirror the same destruction to the other.

    Two external drives is fine, but just use one for your data and the other (twice as big) as a periodic Time Machine backup.

    That is probably enough for most people but if your data is SUPER important, keep the backup drive offsite, in the cloud, or at least in a fire safe.
     

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