Synology Active Backup for Business: How to Create Encrypted Backups

Synology Active Backup for Business: How to Create Encrypted Backups

Recently I invested a significant upgrade to my home Synology NAS, a DS1019+. I was previously running three 8TB disks in Synology Hybrid Raid (SHR) for my data and with the old EXT4 format. I replaced those with three 14 TB disks and now leverage the newer disk format, btrfs. If you are familiar with these formats and setups at all, you likely already know what a pain it was to move from EXT4 to btrfs, but in the end I am glad I did it as it opens a number of current as well as future functionality options on my NAS.

One of the current benefits of using btrfs is Synology’s Active Backup for Business package. This horribly-named software is one of the most powerful and amazing packages available from Synology. The “for Business” part threw me off initially, but as I started to research, I discovered it really is just a poor marketing name. You can use this software to back up pretty much any of your devices, be they Windows PCs, servers, Linux, file servers, and even Macs.

Active Backup for Business has become my single choice for backing up my Windows 11 desktop, Windows 11 laptop, and my MacBook Pro. After the initial setups, it is very seamless, quickly running in the background of both the NAS and the client devices.

Previously, I was only backing up my desktop with software from Acronis. While Acronis did help me out immensely with accidentally deleted and corrupted folders, it never scaled well once my data was over a half terabyte. And I was monthly fiddling with the backup rotations and backup failures. Time will tell if Synology’s Active Backup for Business is superior on these points.

There was one glitch in the initial setup of Active Backup for Business, which is the purpose of this article. When creating a backup task for one of your devices, you have the option to encrypt and compress the backups. This, of course, is great. But when you get to the setup screen to select a destination for the backup, amazingly you cannot use Active Backup for Business’s default Shared Folder. It supports neither encryption nor compression!

The solution is easy, but you need to take a few actions. First, create a new unencrypted Shared Folder. You can name the Shared Folder whatever you want. I named mine ActiveBackupEncrypted.

When you are going through the Shared Folder setup setups, make sure to Skip the option for additional security measures.

On the next setup screen, do not check “Enable data checksum for advanced data integrity.” You may set a Shared Folder quota, but that is a decision specific to your own disk capacity and other NAS needs. You can go back later and add or modify the quota (you cannot later change the checksum option).

Once your new Shared Folder is created, the last step is to enable read/write for Active Backup’s internal system ID for the new Shared Folder you just created. Go to Control Panel -> Shared Folders -> select your new Shared Folder and click Edit. Then, go the Advanced Permissions tab and check the box next to “Enable advanced share permissions.”

Click the Advanced Share Permissions button. Next, click the Permissions dropdown and select System internal user. In the list of users find ActiveBackup and check its box for Read/Write. Then finally click Save and exit the Control Panel.

Note: you may get a popup when saving/applying about the permissions setups across basic and advanced. This is fine.

Go into Active Backup for Business and create a new backup task. When you reach the Backup Destination page, you should now see that your new Shared Folder (in my case, ActiveBackupEncrypt) is “Available” for both compression and encryption (column next to Compression, the text is cut off). Also note how the default Shared Folder, ActiveBackupforBusiness, is not available for either compression or encryption.

When I connect my client devices via the Active Backup for Business client, I only use my named user account and not the NAS’s admin account. I did not set any special permissions for my user account related to Active Backup for Business, and it works fine. As a general rule I try to avoid leaving persistent client connections with the admin account unless I absolutely must. Synology Drive is another example where I use my normal user account over the admin account.

Thank you for taking the time to read my article. I hope you found it useful. I would love to hear about how you use Active Backup for Business; leave a Reply below!



I write frequently about astrophotography, technology advice, and my other interests like science fiction. I have over 30 years of experience in computer programming, information technology, and project management.

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