A Beginner Guide to Network Attached Storage (NAS)
13 December 2016
Looking for a collective solution that stores all of your multimedia files from different devices in one place for your family? Got a headache with file backup and file share to multiple computers and mobile devices for your office? A Network-Attached Storage or NSA device is all you need to solve these problems. Either you are seeking for your family, professional career or small business needs, you will find a NAS system easy to use and convenient to share files, stream video and data backup from one central device.
This buying guide will give you an ultimate explanation about NAS and how to choose the appropriate NAS based on your personal and professional needs.
What is Network-Attached Storage (NAS)?
Network-attached storage (NAS) is a data storage device that connects to a computer network and provides data access to multiple network clients. These devices are compiled of one or more hard disks which you have to purchase separately. These hard disks are arranged into logical, redundant storage containers or RAID arrays. This technology removes the risks and responsibilities of file serving from other servers – in other words, a personalised, as well as corporate based, storage solution that is just as affordable and effective as the cloud.
Regardless of wired or wireless setup, NAS system is connected through a network or the Ethernet port of your Wifi, instead of using USB cables. This allows multiple computers and mobile devices on the network to access and wirelessly and share files, stream audio and video, restore data in one centralised device.
Check out the video from Techquickie to have an overview about NAS
Why invest in a NAS system?
Well, when you have multiple computers working on a single objective, it is important that they can access the same tools and files required to complete the task. Hence, NAS is a professional and reliable solution as it allows all the computers that are connected to the one network to access the same content from anywhere. Furthermore, they also allow the sharing of devices such as printers, scanners, and fax machines.
Other benefits of network-attached storage over public servers include faster access of data, simplified administration, and straightforward configuration.
A NAS system is also superior to the SAN (Storage Area Network) and DAS (Direct-Attached Storage) as it provides the user with a networked solution to both file systems and storage. Check out the difference between NAS, DAS and SAN.
How to choose a NAS device?
Whether it is for home or business purposes, there are some key factors you need to pay attention while choosing the right NAS.
1. Network Connectivity
Many NAS devices have the wired Ethernet network port for connectivity. This Ethernet network cable will work mostly in any technology devices like laptops, tablets and smartphones.
However, for the growing business or professional video editing, if you look for a high-bandwidth connection with fast-paced data transfer to your MAC or Windows PC, Thunderbolt 2 cable would help you to do a better job. The Thunderbolt 2 protocol can deliver more than twice the data transfer bandwidth of the first generation Thunderbolt and four times faster than USB 3.
2. Storage Capacity
The storage capacity of a NAS depends on how many hard disk drive (HDD) bays that NAS provides and the capacity of the hard drive itself.
For home users, it is quite common to use 1 or 2 HDD with up to 10GB capacity. Meanwhile, business-class NAS devices should be scalable with more HDD bays with some offering petabytes of capacity.
External HDD Recommendation
4. Desktop NAS vs Rackmount NAS
You can decide between desktop NAS and rack-mount NAS. Whereas the former is a standalone component (top choice for home users and small businesses), the latter which is a device utilised in a rack environment with multi HDD bays is more powerful and versatile – hence why they tend to be more expensive, and are more for the corporate environment.
5. Backup and Recovery
Most high-end NAS devices use RAID configuration for data backup and security management. With RAID protection and some built-in monitoring systems in security settings, the NAS offers a secure location to store mission-critical business data.
6. Personal Cloud and Remote Access
Some NAS manufacturers also use the Cloud as the backup platform for your local and physical NAS. This type of hybrid backup solution will give you the best to access your data in both worlds from anywhere and any devices.
Advanced NAS Technology
If you are a business professional or running a Small-Medium Business with a growing team, your will need a NAS with higher performance and advanced technology to catch up with the digital trend and also to increase your business efficiency.
In a nutshell, virtualization means to create a virtual version of a device or resource such as storage, server, network or operating system. Virtualization Station allows you to host virtual machine (VM) and access them via a web browser.
Virtual Reality (VR) NAS
NAS for Home Users
NAS for Small-Medium-Sized Business
NAS Supports VR