A few weeks ago I was looking for a Network Attached Storage device.

My search criteria was pretty basic:

  • 1TB or better storage
  • cost less than $150
  • works with Windows
  • works with Macs

Initially the NAS 110 seemed to fit the bill until I tried to use it in practice.  After some trial and error I resolved the issues and now have a usable backup system.

Some gotchas I hadn’t thought about before.

  • Compatibility with Mac’s Time Machine software.
    • I found this article on how to convince TimeMachine to use the NAS drive – how to enable time machine on unsupported volumes.
    • After running the magical incantation I was able to mount the drive using smb://IPaddress/TimeMachine
    • That was half the battle, the backup failed because it couldn’t create a sparse bundle file
    • I found another article that help me create the sparse bundle file that helped convince the Time Machine software that it could continue time machine on nas
  • Compatibility with other backup software
    • It had issues with the Windows XP Backup software
    • I ended up using the BlackArmor Backup Software for Windows OS.  Fortunately, I only needed to use 2 windows machines.  By default the NAS 110 gives you 5 licenses.

Some Final Notes:

  • Setup separate shared folders for each computer you plan on backing up.
  • Setup your NAS device with a Static IP not a Dynamic IP
    • Your automatic backup software depends on your drive being at the same address every time.
    • If your NAS has DHCP enabled, you never know when its IP address might change.
    • When the IP address changes, the backup software cannot find the drive and will not be able to continue the backup operation.
  • If you have a mixed computer environment Windows/Mac you might want to Google the drive you’re considering to see if it’s compatible with the backup software you intend to use.
  • In future posts, I plan to review various networked backup solutions