Introduction & Our Setup
We've all been there, something has happened to our HDD, or our NAS, or you've accidentally wiped a folder from your cloud storage account. Well, for those who have multiple forms of backup, having your cloud storage backed up onto your local network attached storage (NAS) device, is definitely the best, and most secure way of having your precious data stored.
Google Drive is a great point to start with, and while there are plenty of other cloud storage services available, I choose to use Google Drive for its robust set of features, ease of access across virtually every desktop and mobile operating system, and much more. I own a QNAP TS-639PRO NAS, which is getting really quite old now, but it still does the job. I'm going to replace it in the new year, but for now, I thought I would backup my precious data from my Google Drive account, back down to my NAS.
Until now, I had everything stored on my NAS. I run a 6-bay NAS with two different HDD setups. I have four Western Digital 1TB Green HDDs (they're quite old now) which run in a RAID5 array. This provides me with around 3TB of usable space, which is more than enough for my various files, video backups, important photo backups, work content, and more.
My spare two drive bays, one of them recently died, so I now have a single 1.5TB drive on its own, which is just a dump drive. I'm not going to store anything on this drive as I fear it will die soon, so it sits there on its own. I have two external USB drives plugged into the NAS, one is a 2TB drive, the other is a bigger 4TB drive. On these drives, I have even more content that I host for the entire house, as well as more backups again.
I recently moved house, and now have proper, world-class 100/40Mbps Internet access. The second I moved in and was connected to the Internet, I increased my Google Drive storage from 100GB to 1TB, and began the process of backing everything I held precious on my NAS, to the cloud. But, I wanted to keep a local presence of this data, so it had stayed on my QNAP NAS until just recently when I deleted it all. But now that I'm living fully within the confines of Google Drive, I wanted to have that localized backup, and here we are today.
QNAP offers an incredibly feature-rich App system within its QNAP NAS systems, even older ones like my TS-639PRO can enjoy the massive array of applications and features that the latest ones possess. The only problem is that it is a heck of a lot slower on the older NAS systems, and I'm really hitting the boundaries of what mine can do. This is going to be the last big project I do to my NAS before I upgrade, so let's get right into it.
What You'll Need
You will need a few things to complete this task, with the most obvious things being a QNAP NAS of some sort, and a Google Drive account. If you have these two things, which I'm presuming you would by clicking into this Tweakipedia article, then the third thing you'll need is time.
Downloading the Google Drive Sync App from the QNAP App Center
You'll need to open up your QNAP NAS administration page, which will be whatever local IP you've got it set to, and its specific port. I've got mine set to 192.168.1.103:8256 (my NAS is called NAS256), so you would navigate to http://192.168.1.103:8256. When you're there, and signed in, you'll be greeted with the following screen.
You can see the App Center icon, which you'll need to click, and then you'll be welcomed by the App Center and all of its weird, wonderful, mostly useful applications you can download, update, and configure for your QNAP NAS.
Once you're in the App Center, on the left you'll find all of the different categories of applications you can choose from. The first one is Backup/Sync, which is where you'll find the Google Drive Sync application.
As you can see from the above image, this is where you'll find it, on the left. You'll need to click the "+ Add To QTS" button, and let it download.
You'll be warned about QNAP not being responsible for the download, but you are already aware of this, so click OK to continue.
It'll download the Google Drive Sync application, and then install it for you.
Once it's downloaded, you'll see in the top left hand corner that a shortcut for the Google Drive Sync app has been added to your Main Menu.
Here you can see the Google Drive Sync App. Let's take it for a spin.
Using the Google Drive Sync App
Once you've downloaded and installed the Google Drive Sync App, you're going to want to get into it and perform your backup. This will take a considerable amount of time depending on both your Internet connection, internal HDD, and the QNAP NAS you have and the internal HDDs inside of your QNAP NAS.
We can see that the Google Drive Sync App is "based on Grive, the open-source Linux client for Google Drive. You will need to sign into your QNAP NAS to continue.
Once you've signed in using your QNAP admin details, you'll need to sign into your Google account.
Type in your Google account details, and then you'll have to secure and enter in your Authorization code.
This is the screen you'll be prompted with once you've signed into your Google account. You can choose multiple backup and synchronization options. From left to right in the Synchronization Settings: Scheduled Sync, Manual Sync, Maintenance and Logs.
Backing Up Your Data!
You can choose a local sync folder, a synchronization method, and a schedule. Hourly, daily, weekly and monthly backups can be activated, which is great. You get a big choice of how to back up your NAS to Drive, or the other way around.
From here, you can backup your entire QNAP NAS to your Google Drive account, and with Google offering 1TB for just $9.99 per month. This is ultra cheap, allowing you to backup super-important folders in your NAS (such as precious pictures of your loved ones), or your work, documents, and more.
I have multiple folders from my NAS backed up onto my Google Drive account, so that I have a cloud-based backup of that folder, and a local backup. For an additional layer of backup, you could have a third backup to an external USB HDD, that is connected to your QNAP NAS. This ensures that you have data that is close to 99.9% safe from error, or destruction from a random event like someone breaking in and stealing your QNAP NAS, or an unfortunate and tragic event like your house burning down.
Backing up your data is something that is very important, you can never get it back - but using these methods, you're pretty secure, which is better than not being secure at all.