World Backup Day 2024 tips and NAS reccomendations

World Backup Day has arrived and, like every year, is reminding you that it’s time to be smarter about your data. Whether it’s beloved family photos, Time Machine backups of your Mac, or your expansive media server, having plan in place to ensure all of your data is protected is crucial. NAS plays an important role in this, and today for the occasion, we’re taking a look at what three different models from Synology bring to the table to join all of the price cuts now live on hard drives and more. Head below for all of our World Backup Day NAS recommendations, tips, and tricks.

Why consider a NAS in the first place?

World Backup Day and recommending a NAS go hand in hand. Even if you’re already rocking a hard drive setup or have a favorite cloud storage provider, there’s a few reasons why you should reconsider in favor of a network attached storage option. That’s the main takeaway I want to highlight on for World Backup Day this year.

Cost is easily one of the biggest factors in the whole equation. Paying Apple or Google every single month to back up your photos and other important documents is likely going to run you $10 a month at the very least. If you’re reading this, odds are you aren’t on the basic free tier of iCloud+ or Google Drive and likely have the $9.99 2TB plans either from Apple or Google.

With building out a NAS setup, you’re paying to own your storage. With cloud plans, you’re just renting the space. So if you stop paying, you fittingly lose access. But with a NAS, you pay upfront to have your storage locked in for years. Drives last a long time these days and the systems that run them can keep running for even longer. It may be a more expensive cost in the beginning, but it means you get to avoid any pricing markups in the future, too.

Best World Backup Day practices: 3-2-1 rules supreme

Even if you already have a standard old hard drive plugged into your machine for handling backups, there’s more to the whole game of keeping your data safe than just that. You’ll, of course, want to find the setup that works the best for you and your needs – but the most comprehensive way to keep files safe is known as the 3-2-1 plan. Adopting this strategy means you’ll need three total copies of your information, two of which are located on different mediums. That final copy should be set up offsite to ensure that even if your home floods or anything else in the realm of disaster happens, your data is safe.

Having a NAS like any of the following recommendations is a great way to kickstart that plan, be it setting one up at your house as the first line of defense or a second unit at a family member’s place. As for the other checkboxes to tick off, over at 9to5Mac we broke down some popular Mac-friendly cloud backup solutions that can certainly help complement the hardware side of your kit.

Why Synology remains my top reccomendation

All three of the NAS that I have to recommend come from Synology. There’s a reason for that, too! Easily the biggest is that these are options that I am either currently using right now or have put through the paces myself. I’ve been running Synology gear in my own personal homelab since back in 2017 when I first started writing for 9to5Toys. Now over half a decade later, it’s the one brand that I keep coming back to time and time again.

One of the bigger reasons why I love Synology is just how reliable the hardware is. I’ve tried out tons of different models, and the one thing in common is always just how good the build quality is. And not just on day one, either. The company’s releases continue working well for years on end.

They’re also incredibly easy to use, too. You’re going to need to be a little techy in order to get things set up on a Synology NAS, but the process is incredibly simple and also quick. In less than 30 minutes, you can have one of these NASs unboxed and get ready to handle your first backup.

Synology also has some of the most robust app and software support for its lineup of NAS, too. Whether you’re looking for a simple Time Machine backup server or want to roll your own local Google Photos system, there are apps up to the task of replacing the cloud services I noted above. On top of just being easy to get configured for the first time, Synology gives you the support to put it to use without jumping through tons of hoops.

Synology DS223j is perfect for first-time NAS owners: $190 or less

For years, I have been recommending the entry-level NAS from Synology to anyone in my personal life who asks for a starter option. It’s been my professional pick, as well. But compared to last year’s World Backup Day post, there’s a new model on the market that is this year’s pick – the Synology DS223j NAS.

It’s a slight upgrade from the DS220j that I had been vouching for over the past half-decade but it still delivers on everything that made the previous model so noteworthy. If you’ve never toyed around with always-on storage before and are looking for your very first experience with a NAS, this is easily one of the best ways to get into the Synology game. Plus, it has the perk of being the most affordable one, too, costing $189.99 – or less.

Ever since I got the Synology DS223j NAS for myself, I have been loving the value it offers for that price. With support for up to 16TB of storage, the is a notable solution for handling Time Machine backups and the like with support for 112MB/s transfer speeds. It’s the least capable of the NAS we’ll recommend but serves as a perfect starting point.

Entering at $189.99, it’s also quite an affordable offering for those looking to get routine backups all squared away. While you’ll have to supply your own storage via a 3.5-inch hard drive, Synology’s easy-to-use interface and overall reliability make this a more compelling option than some of the cheaper NAS out there.

Get better performance with the DS224+: $300

Just like with the entry-level model above, Synology also refreshed the mid-tier solution that I typically recommend. In my review last August, I called the new DS224+ my “top NAS recommendation.” That is still entirely true now that World Backup Day 2024 has rolled around, too. If you’re looking for something with more power than just the most affordable solution out there, then this is it.

This one is, of course, just as capable of routine backups as the DS223J, but it can also provide faster transfer speeds for taking care of backing up media files. If you’re someone who edits video, be it for simple TikToks or more professional use cases, a NAS like this is just the ticket. It can also handle serving out content to more than just one machine at time with ease, and breezes past more basic workloads in order take care of running a Plex media server – not to mention other services like Docker.

Its price makes it a solid offering for those who want a little more power than the entry-level model but aren’t in need of a more premium offering. Clocking in at the $299.99 price point, the Synology DS224+ NAS is a bit more expensive than the entry-level model highlighted above. But we found that’s more than justified by how capable the machine is in our hands-on review.

Synology DS1522+ is the perfect all-rounder for World Backup Day: $700

Climbing to a more formidable position, Synology DS1522+ is one of the brand’s most recent releases. We just took a hands-on look at this NAS last fall where I called it the “last NAS you’ll ever need.” That makes it an easy highlight to provide a bit more power to setups that need more than a two-bay configuration. Everything starts with a Ryzen 2.6GHz R1600 Dual-Core processor and comes backed by some other notable specs like 8GB of DDR4 RAM out of the box and up to 796MB/s transfer speeds. There are four Gigabit Ethernet ports which are perfect for link aggregation, as well as five hard drive bays that can hold far more storage than the other two models above.

But the real reason for bringing this machine home is its upgradability. The Synology DS1522+ is one of the brand’s most customizable NAS yet, going as far as to even let you upgrade the network interface card with a 10GbE option. The dual M.2 slots can be used to install some NVMe drives to set up hardware caching, and the RAM can also be swapped out if you need to handle more memory-intensive tasks. It has been a workhorse in my personal setup for the past several months, and I’ve recommended the NAS countless times since I got my hands on it back in August of last year.

The $699.99 price tag is going to make this one a bit tougher of a sell compared to the other options, but it has been well worth the cash to me. Throw in some extra spending to grab the 10GbE version, and you’re going to be set for ages. Sure, it might not be the last NAS ever, but it’ll continue serving you for everything from Plex to backups and more for years to come.

World Backup Day 2024 is the perfect time to switch to a NAS

All said and done, 2024 is the perfect year to make the switch. With cloud storage services becoming less reliable, the Google Photos snafu from previous years immediately comes to mind; amidst our rising data footprints from larger files and videos, having a local copy is becoming increasingly valuable. And if there’s one takeaway from World Backup Day this year, it’s that there are a series of different options to consider.

Of course, if you’re looking for storage to help kickstart your server or just expand an existing setup, there are plenty of discounts today, too. We have a roundup with all of the best deals, including options from top brands like SanDisk, Samsung, WD, Seagate, and more. There are options for your NAS, as well as standalone hard drives and SSDs – all of which are up to 50% off for the celebration today.

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