Please help me with my backup plan :)

I’ve spent the last few weeks learning about and testing Duplicati. I’ve never had a ‘proper’ backup plan, relying on manually running Robocopy in Windows for a few years. About a year ago i switched to Linux and started using TimeShift, which is really designed for OS rollbacks rather than backing up data per se.

The recent spates of cryptolocker type attacks has me worried about my parents (Windows) and my wife (Windows). My inexperience with Linux also has me worried about accidentally destroying data. I also will have a File Server i’d like to back up.

I was thinking of utilising Duplicati and Backblaze B2 as their prices seem competitive and people seem fairly happy with their offerings. I just wish they had an unlimited single-device Linux plan. I fail to see why someone can upload 10TB from a Windows box but that’s totally no-no for Linux.

Here’s my gear:
1 Laptop - Windows 10.
1 PC - Linux (dual-boot Windows 7, but i doubt i’d bother backing up Win7 - it’s 99% for games).
1 unRAID server (i don’t actually have this yet, but will hopefully early next year)
1 Synology NAS (currently my ‘server’ but old and underpowered).
Approx 1.5TB i’d send to the cloud, about 3TB more i wouldn’t.

My parents also have perhaps 500gb of photos to backup (a different site).

I was looking at re-purposing my aging and under-powered Synology NAS as my new backup server, but looking at cloud storage pricing maybe it’s better value to run a bloody Windows machine as a backup server (i have no other use for this device that i can think of) and use Backblaze’s unlimited size single-machine account. All my backups would go to Windows, and then from it to the cloud. The problem there is i’d have to set my parents up separately (as it is per device). I’d love to set up a tunnel between my parents and myself but i simply don’t have the skills, and keeping security up to date and tight would trouble me. Basically i’m not sure i’d trust myself to build a robust and secure system. Plus my parents have a very limited data cap.

Frankly, i’d rather avoid Windows - i’d much rather a Pi or my old Synology than something rather running Win7 24x7.

I’m trying to get the best value, whilst avoiding making noob mistakes and getting in way over my head.

Thanks for any advice you may have. :sunny:

You could run minio on your windows machine (Here’s a setup guide). Then setup Duplicati on your parents’ machine to back up their data to your machine. Now everyone’s data is on your machine which can then be backed up using Backblaze.

Although, you are right in noting that this will require you to keep your system up to date in order to maintain security. But it’s better you do it than leave it to your folks.

I forgot to mention - Backblaze Personal Backup does not allow you to backup NAS. There may be workarounds, so do look into that before committing to Backblaze. Alternatively, you could connect your NAS directly to your windows machine via USB.

  1. Are you wanting to back up to your NAS, from your NAS, or both?

  2. Do you want your parents backups to go to you, the cloud, or both?

  3. To avoid the data hit on your parents first backup you could set up their backup to a local USB drive and run it once to create a “seed”. Then you can sneaker-net the drive to your place and put the files where you want the backup to ultimately live. And finally re-point their backup job to the final destination.

Oh, and if you want to back up the contents of the NAS itself Duplicati can run on Synology (requires DSM 6?) and on UnRAID (I use a Docker image).

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When you get your unRAID system up you can move your Minio to a Docker container there. You might also want to look at something like a NextCloud Docker which could provide a WebDAV destination for Duplicati as well as a place to share family files and photos

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If you find that a destination provider isn’t working out as well as you had hoped (or a new one comes along with better/cheaper features), note that you can move your existing backup files to another provider (including local or LAN drives) and point the existing backup jobs to the new provider.

Sure it may take a while to move all the archive files but unlike switching between some tools (such as CrashPlan to, well, anything) you won’t lose anything (including historical file versions, if used).

That’s one of the benefits of Duplicati’s “dumb destination” design.

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Certainly a great plus point of using duplicati. I was actually advising in the context of Backblaze’s Personal backup solution which doesn’t have the option of switching backends. :slight_smile: I should clarify that in my post.

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Hello again :slight_smile:

  1. The plan was to backup all of MY devices to the Synology (which will be repurposed to be pretty much exclusively a backup server after i build my unRAID server). That gives me an on-site backup with multiple file-sets if we just need to restore something we accidentally deleted or became corrupted. Included in that is my wife’s Win10 machines which has most of it’s important data synced to Google Drive (my limited research into this says that if she’s hit with a crypto she’s in trouble with that arrangement!). The NAS will not be on 24x7, but will fire up by itself at intervals i set, reducing the likelihood (small to be sure) that it will be up if/when crypto or such takes place. My unRAID server will also backup to this newly repurposed NAS.

The BackupNAS will then upload to the cloud.

  1. For my parents, i figured i’d just plug in a USB HDD for a local multi-set backup device - to cover for accidental deletions and such. It’d probably run once a week. If there’s a really cheap NAS (which shutsdown/starts up) i can get them to buy, that would be awesome. Then, from time to time upload that data to the cloud using my account or a free/cheap account somewhere. They need less than 500gb atm - most of which is photos, but as their photo collection grows it may increase very slowly. If somewhere has a super-cheap/free 1TB plan that would be ample… anyone used Flickr for backups before as probably 90% of their bulk is photos/family videos? Though as a ‘sync’ service, i think it’s too risky unless they have an excellent ‘historical recovery’ set up like DropBox has (What to do if your files were corrupted or renamed by ransomware – Dropbox). Anyone know for Flickr? I haven’t found any info on it.

  2. A good idea, yes - i think i’ll do just that (i don’t really have a choice - they’ve got 50gb/month split into peak and offpeak(!!!)).

I just don’t trust myself to do this. I’ve got a friend who runs a small IT business and he can’t keep up with all that stuff, one of his sites was hacked probably because he didn’t keep Joomla up to date quickly enough. I already have enough IT headaches :slight_smile:

I did consider NextCloud but decided against it as we just don’t have a need - anything we need we can just grab it from the file server… though i suppose the advantage of it is that we don’t need to use SAMBA/SMB to access files? Would this reduce the likelihood of Crypto or other malware getting to the data on unRAID fileserver? I should probably put more consideration into this… i have two kids (7, 8) who will no doubt soon be experiencing computers more - so i need to look further than my current use-case.

SO complicated!

I remember backing up games and documents on my Amiga. 3.5" floppys in: XCopy. Done. :slight_smile:

Thanks, i’ve just become aware of some of the limitations to the BackBlaze Personal Backup thanks to another conversation i’ve stumbled upon. In some ways this thread is a quasi duplicate of the evolving discussion there.

My parents were on CrashPlan backing up to a CrashPlan computer running in my house. Worked great and was completely free for them.

With CP going away, I switched them over to Duplicati and they back up to my Synology NAS (1517+) via WebDAV. Also completely free for them. I am currently having an issue with this working reliably with SSL though… so SSL is turned off. Otherwise it works GREAT. I was able to “seed” their backup data by first telling Duplicati to back up to a USB drive. I copied the backup data to the NAS then repointed the backups on my parents’ computers to my NAS. Worked perfectly.

I am also using Duplicati on my Synology NAS itself and it works great. The NAS backs up to Backblaze B2. My other Windows computers are running Duplicati and back up to Amazon S3. (I may end up moving those backups over to Backblaze B2…)

At this point I’ve basically migrated all my CP computers over to Duplicati. I will keep my CP subscription around on my main PC until it expires so I can still restore older file versions, if needed. (I was a CP user since 2014.)

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I have never done anything with WebDAV before. What’s the security implications/risks and how complicated is it to set up/maintain?


I have never used it before now either. And I’m not sure it’s the best protocol to use to back up to my NAS over the internet, but it’s working.

On my NAS I configured a specific username/password that has access to WebDAV service and the specific backup folders. That user/pw won’t have access to anything else on my NAS. With SSL/TLS I think this should be pretty secure.

Like I said I was having issues with SSL so I ended up turning it off for now. I don’t want to keep it this way since I’m sure the password is probably sent in cleartext or in hashed form. To mitigate this risk my firewall only forwards WebDAV traffic from my parents’ IP address to my NAS. Backup traffic is already encrypted with a custom key so I’m not worried about that. Once the SSL issue is fixed I’ll re-enable it in Duplicati and probably change that user password on my NAS, just in case someone saw the plaintext/hashed pw.

WebDAV is an extension to HTTP, so it works pretty much like a normal webserver with security being the same. The only downside to WebDAV as Duplicati uses it, is that the list of files is returned in XML which is quite verbose, and thus can take a while to get for a directory with many files.

In a more paranoid way, having a webserver that is also write-able requires some attention to the setup. At least if parts of the webserver is publicly accessible.

Hi Derek, have you managed to put in place your backup plan using Duplicati?
I’m thinking about doing exactly the same as you thought about it.

if you can share your experience with that, it would help a lot.


Sadly i have not made any progress on this (which is why i have yet to donate incidently). My time has been hijacked and this remains on my ToDo list :frowning:

Part of my excuse is i haven’t bought my ‘server’ yet (just a PC that will be a fileserver/plex/docker etc). The purchase of which has been delayed by other expenses.

I was hoping to return to it during the Xmas break, but i don’t have much of a break, and the time i have has been ‘allocated’. I probably won’t get back to this until March.

If you proceed, i’d love to hear your story also :slight_smile:

I know others are doing something similar to this, and I personally am running an unRAID server (NOT free) on old desktop hardware my workplace was getting rid of (free) with file shares/Plex/Docker (all free) running on it. The reason I paid for unRAID is because it allows addition and upgrading of mismatched sized dives letting me start small / free with drives from old hardware and slowly build up my storage as machines retired or funds because available to buy new drives (there was an 8TB external USB drive on sale here just a few weeks ago!).

Oh, and all this has to do with Duplicati because it’s not just a server (SFTP, WebDAV, Minio) but also a client (Duplicati running in a Docker container). :slight_smile: