Just for kicks, I rebooted the router

November 8, 2015

Do you remember how I talked about upgrading my storage solution at home?

So it’s been working exceptionally well, until earlier this week. I was going to edit a couple of images, when to my surprise, I couldn’t connect to the NAS. I was fairly confident that my disks were still working, based on the fact that all the led indicators on the device itself said that everything was in order. Figured that a quick reboot would solve whatever problem the NAS was having.

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System rebooted. Still no go, I rebooted my computer, still no go. I replaced the network cable, didn’t help. Started removing items from the network, if something else was the culprit. At the end, the only things left on my network was my computer, my router, and the NAS, still couldn’t connect to it. I started scanning the network with nmap in hope that the device had changed IP, I couldn’t find anything but the router and the computer.

By this point, I was getting a bit worried, mostly because I didn’t have a backup for the last couple of months. I read through the manual and found that you could reset the networks settings (and administration accounts) by holding the reset button for 4 seconds. The NAS just didn’t want to be found. Finally, just for kicks, I rebooted the router.

The NAS recovered and I found it on the network, so what I guess had happened was that the DHCP server on the router had died, but all other devices’ lease time had been long enough to not drop off the network.

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Anyway, this ordeal made me realize that I can’t keep going without a more stable backup plan. The next day I went and picked up a large external drive, hooked it up to the NAS and spent a couple of hours configuring and testing different ways of backing up the data.

My photo-archive is now backed up every day (or changes are). I’ll still continue with my manual backup of the data every couple of months, just so I have an offline backup of the data as well, but it won’t be as up to date as the continuous backup.

And then the news hit, Microsoft was going to reduce the usefulness of onedrive, making the free plan only contain 5GB of space. In essence, I’d get by with 5GB for syncing documents, but the fact that they changed their plans overnight made me worry.

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I started playing around with the sync functionality on the NAS, it has something called “cloudstation”, which basically acts and works like any other cloud storage solution (onedrive, icloud, google drive, dropbox, etc.), the biggest difference is that you own, and store, all of the data yourself. Synology has added a shit load of different things that will help you make the drive easily accessible from outside of the network (basically connect through Synology’s servers to your NAS, which kind of defeats the point of owning your own data). I turned off all of the extra features.

A couple of weeks back I set up a VPN server on my network, and I decided that the best, or safest way to sync with my NAS would be through that VPN. After another evening of testing I had everything set up. So I moved my data off of onedrive to my own network, and so far everything has worked well.

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The one thing that I still need to figure out is how to create a secure off-site backup, and I don’t want to pay a fortune for it (a VPS with lots of storage is just going to be too expensive), nor do I want to store my data, encrypted or not, outside of Europe. My current plan is to build off of a Raspberry PI with an external drive, and then place it somewhere, making it connect through the VPN, but there’s still some things I need to figure out with that plan.

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