By Delia / Last update December 13, 2021

Do I need to backup Synology NAS to external hard drive?

NAS is a network connected storage device that enables multiple clients to store and share files in a central place with fast data access. Synology, as one of the most popular NAS brands, provides NAS devices for both family and office occasions. Therefore, you could say it's already an efficient backup solution, why bother to backup Synology NAS to external hard drive?

This problem is, the data stored on Synology NAS isn't always safe.

Synology Nas Backup To External Hard Drive

Accident happens at any time. You can’t be 100% sure the Synology NAS won’t suffer from inappropriate working conditions or man-made damage. And as an device with a certain service life, it may break down at times, and will fail eventually.

Therefore, it’s undoubtedly a wise decision to adopt the 3-2-1 data protection strategy, which means having at least 3 data copies - 1 is stored locally and the rest are stored on 2 different devices. Otherwise it would be a disaster if all your important files stored on Synology NAS get lost without a second copy. 

So after you backup PC to Synology NAS, it’s also a good idea to backup data from Synology NAS to other devices. In this case, a portable external hard drive with large capacity is probably the best choice - you can take it by your side easily and use the backup any time you need. Besides, the price of external hard drive is acceptable for most people.

How to backup Synology NAS to external hard drive?

As previously explained, it’s a double protection to back up Synology NAS data to external hard drive. But how can you do it exactly? Here are 2 simple and free methods.

Preparations before backup

Before starting Synology NAS backup, there are 3 things you should prepare at first:

  • A Synology NAS with available data port.

  • An external hard drive with sufficient space.

  • A powerful tool that can do the backup & restore efficiently.

Then you can choose an approach to backup Synology NAS.

Method 1. Backup Synology NAS using DiskStation Manager software

There are a few tools can do Synology NAS backup to USB or external hard drive in Synology DiskStation Manager, such as Hyper Backup, Snapshot and USB Copy. Just log into DSM and search them in Package Center, then install the one that best meets your needs and backup your NAS files following the wizard.

How to backup Synology NAS to external hard drive (take Hyper Backup as an example):

1. Usually Hyper Backup is installed by default, if not, you can download the package in Package Center and install it manually.

2. Open the tool, click the + button and then choose Data backup task > Local folder & USB (single-version).

Hyper Backup Local

 3. Follow the backup wizard to make choice of your backup destination as well as other advanced settings.

Nas Hyper Backup Settings

 4. Hit Apply to backup data on Synology NAS to destination. Once the process is completed you’ll see the success screen.

Hyper Backup Success


  • Make sure your Synology NAS is running DSM 6.0 or above. For users of older DSM versions, Hyper Backup is not supported. Instead, you can use Backup and Restore in old NAS.

  • Learn more about backup Synology NAS with DSM software.

Method 2. Backup Synology NAS to external hard drive with AOMEI Backupper

Although you are able to backup data from Synology NAS to other devices through add-ons in Synology DSM, these methods have certain limitations and sometimes won’t work properly (Hyper Backup is only supported by DSM 6.0 or above, for example). 

Therefore, I’d like to recommend you another free tool that provides powerful and reliable backup services with more advanced options and better performance, called AOMEI Backupper Standard.

>> It has complete backup features allowing you to backup NAS to external hard drive, USB drive, local disk, etc. And not only Synology NAS, this software also applies to QNAP NAS, Seagate NAS, etc. 

>> If you want to make Synology NAS backup to external hard drive automatically, you can create schedule backup. And the default incremental mode will back up only changed files at each scheduled time point.

>> What’s more, all these functions are based on a concise yet intellectual interface, so that you can operate it easily even without much computer knowledge.

Another thing I like about it is the price - FREE. The standard version already meets your need to backup NAS files. So you can simply give it a shot without any concern:

Download Freeware Win 10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

How to backup NAS to external drive:

1. Download AOMEI Backupper and install it. Insert your external hard drive into an available USB port of your computer. Also, make sure you can connect to your Synology NAS therefore get access to the source file.

2. Enter the main interface. Select File Backup under the Backup option.

File Backup

 3. Click Add Folder or Add File to specify what you want to backup.

Add Folders Files

Select Share/NAS in the popping out window. Click Add Share or NAS Devices and input the required information of Synology NAS, then select the data you want to backup. 

Select Synology Or Qnap Nas

4. Choose the external hard drive as the destination path, hit Start Backup to execute the backup.

When the process is complete, click Finish to quit the wizard. Your Synology NAS should be backed up successfully, and you can pull out the external hard drive now.

Other helpful features:

★ Scheduled backup

If you want to make Synology NAS backup to external hard drive automatically, click Schedule to make your choice among Daily/Weekly/Monthly. If you upgrade to Professional or higher editions, you can also choose Event triggers (such as startup, login and shutdown) or USB plug in. 

*To automatically backup NAS to external hard drive or suchlike removable devices on scheduled time point, you should always keep the device connected to the computer.

Schedule Settings General

★ Incremental and differential backup

Scheduled backup is running in incremenatal mode by default, which only backs up changed or newly added files to save your time and space, you can choose full backup manually in Schedule > Advanced. Note scheduled differential backup is available in advanced editions.

Schedule Backup Advanced

Backup scheme

If you are worried that the accumulated backup files will fill up your external hard drive, you could use this feature in advanced edition to auto delete older backups. You could customize the rule according to your needs.

Backup Scheme Menu


It’s always a wise decision to keep more than one copies of your important data in different media according to the 3-2-1 backup principle. Though Synology NAS is already a backup strategy, it won’t hurt to double the insurance.

Among all the software to do that, AOMEI Backupper is a powerful one enables you to backup Synology NAS to external hard drive, USB drive and local disk quickly within several simple clicks, and you don’t need to pay anything for the purpose.

But if you have multiple computers within your company to backup, you can consider AOMEI Backupper Technician for better performance. Although it’s a paid tool, the license code is valid for unlimited PCs.