Backup laptops, macbook, iphones to a NAS

At this stage, I’m thinking a 2-bay NAS would work and I’m tossing up between the Synology DS218+ and QNAP TS-251A but would like to get your advice on which you think would be more suitable, either out of these or other Synology/QNAPs.

Below are the things I want the NAS for:
backup 2 x MacBook Pros (512G each) via Time Machine (or other back up solution)
– back up 2 iPhones (128G) – preferably complete iPhone backup but at least photos
– backup 2 laptops (~500G total)
– misc – photos, documents, movies, music (1-3G)
– watch movies over the NAS via Plex, preferably with HW transcoding, and preferably 4K but not critical
– I’m thinking 2 x 6-8TB drives in RAID 1 – I’m assuming if one fails the NAS will allow “hot swapping” the failed drive with a new one

Regarding the “or other backup solutions” – happy to get any advice on PC/mobile backup solutions you have tried and can recommend for Mac, Windows, and iPhone.

Regarding the drives, I got the impression that buying 2 drives that are exactly the same, at the same time, might not be a good idea because they might both fail around the same time, so it may be best to choose 2 drives from different manufacturers, or at least different batches of the same drive – do you have any thoughts on this?

Ideally, I’d also like to use a cloud-based backup (ie, Dropbox, Box, etc) for particular directories on the NAS – if one of the NAS’s works particularly better with one/some of the cloud providers that would be great to know too.

I would try to convince you to buy DS718+ as it comes with dual LAN and amazing multimedia apps, but DS218+ will do the same things just not as fast. The TS-251A is a very good NAS as well and probably beats Synology from money/hardware aspect. But when you are mentioning Apple products- Synology will have better apps available for mobile devices. And also you will want a simple and yet reliable solution which Synology can provide.

The 4K transcoding will not be possible on Plex using any of these NAS. It requires minimum i3 processor (x82 series Qnap). But you can easily transcode and watch 4K movies remotely using DS Video app which consumes much less processing power. Full HD movies can be streamed and transcoded on the Plex with no problems though.

Theoretically, you are right about buying hard drives from a different batch. But in reality, I have seen thousands of NAS sold and haven’t heard issue about two drives failing at the same time.

For a cloud backup, I prefer Blackblaze and Acronis for mobile backups and image backups. You can also use free apps like Moments and Drive app for backing up all images and videos to a NAS., but it will not backup everything. Also built in icloud will backup system data and related files for free.


For backing up your NAS do consider BackBlaze. You can try it for 15 days free if you don't believe its good. But the main reason is unlimited backup size. Everyone else like Dropbox, Amazon, and others charge per gigabyte. But  with this one there is no price difference either you backup 2 bay or 8 bay NAS. The other great feature is version control. So even if you get hit by ransomware type of virus or simply deleted or mistakenly changed few files. You can restore your data from historical backup versions and get all data back.
You can get it for free here and try:
Comparison with other service providers:


Acronis True Image is a backup software which will let you backup Computers, Android Phones or Apple iPhones to your NAS. It is an incredible app because not only it can backup few folders, but also an entire image of your computer. This is super important if you need to get your computer restored ASAP after a massive system crash, virus or other disasters (Manual to set up NAS as backup destination). Backing up a mobile device means capturing all of the data – including contacts, calendar, photos, videos and other files – so you still have them if something happens to your smartphone or tablet.
Backup software for mobile devices makes sure you are saving copies frequently, reliably and safely. It automatically produces a backup and makes it easy to restore your files.
Link to Acronis True Image=


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