Information Technology Reference
All that said, with the right hardware and software, NAS could make
a perfectly good storage medium for versioned backups of several
computers' files. If you buy a model that supports a secondary,
external drive, I strongly recommend using one (or two) to rotate
copies of your backups offsite. Because a NAS drive can serve many
other useful purposes in your home or office, I wouldn't discourage
you from buying one. But if you need shared storage only for backups,
a Time Capsule or conventional hard drive (attached to a computer
that functions as a backup server) is a better bet.
Is There a Transporter in Your Future?
The Transporter is a device that combines aspects of a NAS with
an interface that resembles cloud-based services like Dropbox. One
of its most interesting features is that multiple Transporters logged
in to the same account can automatically replicate their data to
each other, regardless of where they're located. In some cases,
a Transporter (or, more likely, a pair of them) might be good for
backups, but it depends on your needs and situation. You can use
it along with versioned backup software to back up and sync data,
but it's not a good fit for Time Machine backups; it won't work
if the total amount of data you want to back up (including older
versions of files) is over 2 TB; and you can't use a Transporter for
Local Network Servers
If, in your home or office, a computer is functioning as a file server, it's
certainly worth considering whether you could use a network volume
(AFP, SMB, or other) as a backup destination. In general, if you have
control over the server yourself, I recommend adding a separate
physical hard drive and either using Time Machine or installing client-
server backup software (see Network Backup Approaches , earlier).
Otherwise, your backups will be commingled with other files, making
it difficult to store them offsite and potentially creating a security risk.
If you do not personally have control over the server (e.g., if it's a
shared company server), be circumspect about using it for backups.
You could easily use up more space than you should, and you risk
incurring the wrath of your IT manager. Even if she's willing to give