Reasonable Options for Backing Up A NAS in 2021

What are your reasonable options for backing up a 16TB NAS in 2021?

External Hard Drive?


  • Interface Portability. You do not need any new software or hardware.
  • Ability to reuse older hardware: Assuming you have a used drive large enough to hold all your backups.


  • Interface instability: USB3 drives especially are bad at this. The adapters are usually not designed to handle the multiple hours of uptime necessary to complete backing up multiple terabytes of data.
  • Transfer speeds: Most USB3 drives are not designed for performance. Even custom enclosures with reasonable drives in them usually struggle to keep a sustained write speed of 100MB/s.



  • Very reliable: Most tapes will probably outlast the drives that created them.


  • Expensive: LTO-4 drives are several grand apiece, including used models. LTO-5 or LTO-6 is even more expensive, and LTO-5 or LTO-6 will be needed for most users with a NAS.

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