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My Backup Strategies - Part 4: Mobile Backups

The last piece I wanted to put in place for my overall backup strategy was backing up files (pictures and videos, mainly) on my family's mobile devices. My wife and I both have iPhones, and while we could just use the iCloud solution, we're capped at 5 GB without paying extra, and I really didn't want to worry about managing backed up photos in yet another location.

My process used to involve plugging our phones into my PC every few weeks and manually copying and pasting files into specified folders on my old external drives.

After I set up my NAS, though, things got a whole lot easier, as I was able to scrap my old, manual processes.

Synology offers free mobile apps that allow you to store files from your phone on your NAS or even download files from your NAS to your phone if you'd like:

Even better, the DS Photo app allows you to automatically upload any photos on your phone to your NAS while you're connected to the same network, or if you open up access to your DiskStation over the internet.

Being that I have locked down access to my NAS so that it can only be accessed on my local network, our phones will only backup the photos automatically when they're on my home WiFi, which is a pretty frequent thing, so it's a non-issue, really.

The DS Photo app runs in the background on our phones and pumps any new photos to specified folders on my NAS periodically. Occasionally, the app gets hung up due to restrictions iOS places on background tasks, so every once in a while we have to manually restart the backup process.

One of the nice things about the app, too, is that it will display a little badge on top of the app's icon indicating how many photos have not yet been backed up. That way, you can easily tell if you need to kick off the process again.

And that's it. No more cables, no more sitting and sifting through photos every few weeks, no more waiting to get a hold of my wife's phone to be able to back up her files, no more frustration. Just smooth, automatic backups of our precious memories.

Well, this wraps up the series on "My Backup Strategies". I know I didn't go too in-depth in any of the posts, so if you'd like more information on any of my processes or the tools that I use, feel free to hit me up.

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About Tony Thorsen

Father of two, husband of one, Maker of many things. Tinkerer, dreamer, pixel nudger.