Turn your NAS into a backup server

Backing up private data on your Windows PC is not exactly the best job, but it must be done regularly. You should therefore set up automatic backups. By writing the backups to a NAS you opt for extra security. How do you configure your NAS as a backup server?

As a Windows user you have a choice of different options to automatically write back-ups to your NAS. Unlike some predecessors, every edition of Windows 10 can make backups to a NAS. Also read: The 19 best NAS devices you can buy.

In addition, many NAS manufacturers also provide suitable programs for Windows to do this job. Owners of a Synology NAS rely on Cloud Station, while QNAP has developed the NetBak Replicator and Qsync applications for this. In this basic course we deal with the different programs with which you set up a NAS as a backup server for your Windows PC.

Part 1 Backup on every NAS

01 Windows Backup

With earlier versions of Windows it is not always possible to write back-ups to a network location. For example, with Windows 7 Starter and Home Premium, this feature is not included as standard. Fortunately, Microsoft also realizes that more and more individuals are using a NAS. With Windows 10 you can handle all editions. Turn on your NAS and create a shared folder where you want to keep the backup. Navigate on your PC to Start / Settings / Update and security / Backup and click Add a station. Windows now shows a number of network locations. Is the desired destination folder not yet on the screen? Then click View all network locations and point to the correct folder.

01 You decide in which network folder you want to save the files.

02 Personal files

Once you have selected the correct network folder, activate the slider under the option Automatically back up my files. Of course you decide yourself which data you want to back up and when you want to perform this task. Click on this More options. By default, Windows 10 writes copies to your NAS every hour. You can easily adjust the frequency, whereby you set for example that you want to make a copy of your personal files every ten minutes or once a day.

You can also set how long you want to keep the data on the NAS. The option for storing personal files lies Forever obvious. Scroll down a bit to see which source folders are included as standard in the backup. You may not want to save everything. In that case, click on a folder and choose remove. Through Add a folder identify all file locations that you want to include in the backup. You can also optionally exclude folders. Handy in case, for example, you don’t want to copy the contents of a subfolder to your NAS. click on Back up now if you want to perform the task immediately.

02 Set the desired frequency for your automatic backup.


Do you use a NAS with two or more disks? You can then easily protect your files against data loss. The RAID (Redundant Array or Independent Disks) technique saves copies of all data across multiple disks. RAID itself is not a backup, because it concerns copying on the same device. The big advantage is that you don’t have to copy all your data to the NAS again after crashing a disk. If a hard disk fails, all data is still on the other disk or disks. For a NAS with two disks, RAID1, for example, has mirrored storage, the second hard disk being an exact copy of the first. The disadvantage of this method is that there is less storage capacity available, with RAID1 even only half. You can easily activate RAID while creating a volume on your NAS.

Part 2 Backup on Synology NAS

03 Synology Cloud Station

The automatic backup function of Windows 10 is very simple and, moreover, only suitable for one-way traffic. Users of a Synology NAS who want more options would do well to use Synology’s own Cloud Station backup program. Log in to your NAS and go to Package Center / Backup. Select at Cloud station in front of to install. Before you start using the backup tool, you must first activate another setting. Navigate to Control panel / User / Advanced and activate the option Enable basic directory service user. Confirm with To apply. Then open the Cloud Station app from the main menu and click if necessary Resume Cloud Station.

03 Cloud Station will not work if the User home service service option is not activated.

04 Select target location

Before you set up a backup task on your Windows PC, it is first necessary to configure Cloud Station on your NAS. Through Rights you determine which users are authorized to use Cloud Station. You check the correct accounts for this and then confirm with Save. Then you set the target location on your NAS. We hereby assume that you are using Control panel / Shared folder Have already created a target location with read and write access for the correct user account.

Go to Cloud Station to Settings and select the desired folder. After a click Switch the shared folder for backups is available. Your Synology NAS remembers multiple versions of a file. This is useful, for example, when you want to retrieve an old version of a document or edited photo. Creating a version history, on the other hand, costs a lot of extra disk space. By default, Cloud Station saves the last 32 versions of each file, but you can reduce that. Open the tab Others and set back Maximum number of versions the desired value. Then confirm with To apply.

04 You can easily assign shared folder (s) that serve as a backup location to Cloud Station.


With a user synchronization profile you can easily exclude certain files from the backup. This is useful, for example, if you only want to backup photos from your PC and not so much documents, videos and other files. Open Cloud Station on your NAS and go to Settings / User synchronization profiles. Through To make opens a new dialog.

Give the synchronization profile a name and set the intended filters. For example, you choose a maximum file size and remove the check marks for media types that you do not want to back up. You can also choose to include specific file extensions in the backup. Go to the tab Applied user and select the correct user account. Finally click twice To apply.

Cloud Station contains a function to not include specific files in the backup.

05 Connecting a Windows client

Now that Cloud Station is installed and configured on the Synology NAS, you still need a client for Windows. To do this, open a download link from the Cloud Station app. click on Overview and get via Download / Download Cloud Station for Windows the required installation file. After completing the installation wizard, open Synology Cloud Station on the PC. Through Start now click on the magnifying glass icon to connect to your NAS. Then enter the username and password. If you want a secure connection, check the box Enable SSL data transfer encryption. click on Next one. Is the connection not established? Delete the word DiskStation after the IP address or create a QuickConnect ID (see box).

QuickConnect ID

Sometimes the Synology client software on your PC has trouble connecting to the NAS. A possible solution is to set up a QuickConnect ID. The advantage of this is that instead of an IP address, you connect to your NAS using a unique identification code. This also allows you to access the network device outdoors. Open the Control Panel and click on the item Connectivity on QuickConnect. You then put a check mark in front Enable QuickConnect and creates a Synology account if necessary. Agree to the privacy policy and click OK. You will receive an email with an activation link that you must click. After you have created an account, you make up a QuickConnect ID. Accept the conditions and finally click To apply. Then use the newly created access code to log in to Cloud Station.

Creating a QuickConnect ID is useful when you want quick access to your Synology NAS anytime and anywhere.


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