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Local Backups over USB-C or Thunderbolt via expansion card

Western Digital Drives - The Preferred Drives of FreeNAS and TrueNAS CORE


Feb 10, 2021
Hello, I am currently speccing out a TrueNAS system to replace my aging ReadyNAS, and would like to look into options before I take the plunge, so I know what I am getting into. My current setup at home is a ReadyNAS, with two external backups - one is a USB drive I keep onsite and connected at all times, and backs up nightly. The other is a USB drive that stays offsite, and I bring home once a month to run a full backup, then take back offsite (learned to do that the hard way...). Both drives are USB 3.0, but I run into limitations based off ports on the back of the ReadyNAS - there's only two, and one of them is needed for the UPS.

In looking at the TrueNAS Mini X, I can see it has a single USB 3.0 port on the back, and two USB 2.0 ports on the front. So far, so good. I'd like to add more ports to the back - either 3.0, or USB-C / Thunderbolt, if possible, to speed up backups and minimize the time needed to keep an offsite drive onsite.

Are there add-in cards that would be supported, and fit this need? I did search on the forums first, but it seems a lot of the posts are older, and may not be relevant at this time.

Thank you for your help and input!


Neophyte Sage
Mar 30, 2014
The best way to confirm that an add-in card will work for you is to find out the chipset being used on the card, then verify whether or not that chipset is supported by FreeBSD. If you plan to install TrueNAS 12.0-u2 (the currently released version), then it runs on FreeBSD 12.2. This is really not a difficult task, but will require some patience and some internet searching skills.

I had to do this a few years ago when I added USB3 to my FreeNAS system. If you do the homework and come up with a USB-C card that looks like it ought to work, post it here as a favor to others who might want to do the same.

Good luck.