More Mobile: NAS No More (Premium)

A few weeks ago, I received an email I had been expecting for some time: my Western Digital NAS will soon exit support and will no longer receive security updates. By the time the April 2022 expiration date arrives, we will have had a good, seven-year run, so I guess I can’t complain too much. And for whatever it’s worth, the NAS was always a sort of secondary backup anyway, as I found it easier to find content on OneDrive, and the local network performance has never been all that great. Regardless, I was going to have to figure something out, given my desire to move to a more mobile lifestyle. So let me briefly ponder what (might) be next in this department.

As you may remember, I purchased the WD My Cloud EX2 in early 2015, a few months after moving to As I wrote at the time, my goal was to implement a local backup to supplement my cloud-based data sync and backup. In a What I Use article about a month later, I noted that this prosumer NAS was replacing a long line of local storage solutions that ranged from several actual Windows Server-based servers to various external hard drives. And at the time I was pretty impressed with its simplicity and performance. (I find that latter praise far-fetched today, given how bad the performance is now.)

The NAS has been running without issue---other than that performance thing---since I got it. In Dedham, where the house was partially wired for Ethernet, I kept it on a shelf in the unfinished part of the cellar. But here in Lower Macungie, PA, it’s sitting on the floor next to the entertainment system in the living room because that’s where the router is. It’s turned sideways so its blue status lights don’t light up the room while we’re watching TV, and the only issue with this location is minor: when I’m copying a lot of files to/from it, you can sort of hear the drives churning. For example, my wife thought it was raining the other day.

So. How do I use this thing? Honestly, I don’t use it interactively that much. I’ve got a variety of content spread across its 6 TB of storage---using two 6 TB drives mirrored with RAID 1---and there is currently about 1.25 TB of free space. Videos, mostly ripped DVDs of middling quality, take up 2.69 TB, with other (software and documents) (1 TB), photos (783 GB), and music (163 GB) taking up the rest.

The only important things on there are the photos and the documents, but neither is a primary source.

Whenever I configure a new phone, I configure it so that any photos I take with the device are automatically backed up to both Google Photos and OneDrive. But when I decommission a phone, to trade it in, sell it, or give it away, I copy its entire DCIM (camera) folder to whatever PC I’m using and then move that folder to the NAS as an alternate (and local) backup.

The documents are mostly work-related, and older, from 2012 or older, because I’ve used OneDrive replication since then. (Newer documents are onl...

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