Network Storage Buying Guide
Purchasing NAS storage
There are a number of considerations that can identify whether you would benefit from purchasing Network Attached Storage.
- Do you need access to large amounts of storage or do you expect to in the future?
- Do you share files with multiple users? Could these users be working on the same document simultaneously?
- Do you or your family enjoy your media library on different devices at the same time? Do you currently share one or more hard drives to facilitate this?
- Do you like to make videos or take pictures?
- Do you need to access data remotely?
- Are you seeking a more effective way to back up your data?
If the answer to these questions is yes, then a networked hard drive could be ideal for you.
Key Benefits of Networked Storage
Network data transfer
Network Attached Storage allows multiple users across multiple devices to store files on, and access files from, one centralised location. This creates a much more user-friendly and flexible system than using several hard drives attached to each computer.
- Data transfer from devices can be achieved wirelessly or through an Ethernet connection. Wireless transfer is subject to network speed.
- Saving data can be simple as dragging and dropping files to the server’s location.
- A reliable network ensures other devices can always access files even if one of the computers dies
Many NAS solutions offer a Personal Cloud service which allows users to access their hard drive from anywhere in the world so long as they have an Internet connection.
- Personal Cloud storage works in much the same way as services such as Dropbox and OneDrive except for the fact that files are stored on your physical hard drive and not on a secure server.
- Personal Cloud storage also means you can access your hard drive on your mobile devices when you are away from your desk for increased versatility and flexibility.
- Certain models also offer Cloud file mirroring and full Cloud back up, so your system and files will always be safe and available.
Most network hard drives offer expandable storage meaning your NAS can continue to meet your family’s or your business’ needs for years to come.
- NAS can allow users to add as little as 100GB or as much as 16TB to the storage space of connected devices on the network.
- Expandable storage means your network hard drive can grow with your needs, so hiring a new staff member, for example, does not mean you have to replace the system and transfer the data.
- Adding two or more hard disks to your NAS also allows users to create a more effective and efficient RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) backup system for your data.
Data sharing is perhaps the most easily recognisable benefit of NAS storage. By creating a centralised storage location, multiple users have access to data across numerous devices.
- Ideal for families that have a large media library, NAS allows users to stream different music and shows to different devices simultaneously.
- NAS solutions also promote collaborative work. Users can adapt and work on the same document at the same time so everyone can have their input.
- Personal Cloud storage also allows users to share specific documents or photo albums by creating a link that will allow the recipient to view only that folder.
NAS servers often feature built-in security features that can protect small networks of data to a higher standard than the average computer.
- NAS storage is generally harder to breach than most computers. Easy-to-establish password encryption helps protect files from outside attacks. User privileges can also be established to protect data internally.
- Network hard drives will, in most cases, allow for the simple set up of firewalls to provide your data with as much protection as possible.
- NAS also adds an extra layer of protection for your files. Storing files on the server means they are safe and accessible even if the computer terminal becomes corrupted.
Network Attached Storage is also ideal for regularly backing up connected devices. Depending on the NAS system, this can include smartphones as well as laptops and desktops computers
- NAS Servers can be used to create automatic backups of all your files for total peace of mind. This feature also allows you to access your computer settings on a particular day in the past.
- Your network hard drive can also be set to automatically update edited files that are saved on both the computer and the NAS for greatly reduced file maintenance.
- Because NAS allows users to connect two or more external hard drives, users can employ RAID backups (Redundant Array of Independent Disks). This method pairs multiple drives together to provide an added level of security in the event of a system failure and improves NAS performance.
NAS Data replication allows users to copy files and folders and send them to a nominated target. This feature could be of considerable user for small sub-branches reporting to a head office.
- Data replication or remote replication allows users to quickly copy a folder and replicate it onto a target server. The replica will invariably be a read-only file.
- All data changes at the source are also replicated to a continually updating folder, making it ideal for reporting.
- Data replication can also serve as an ongoing (and more current) backup to another location for increased file security.
Most Internet enabled or networked devices including smartphones, Smart TVs and printers can be connected to your NAS, so you can make use of your files from any room within your home or office. Your NAS can even be used to back up data from your mobile devices.
- In the broadest terms, any DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) device can be connected to your NAS. This means you can stream movies to a networked media player or Smart TV, read saved documents on your tablet and play music through your home theatre system via a networked AV receiver.
- By connecting a networked printer to your NAS, multiple users can print files saved on the server at the push of a button.
- Similarly, many DLNA devices can be backed up onto your NAS. Backing up laptops and computers can be relatively straightforward. However, in the case of mobile devices, the installation of additional software or apps may be necessary.
In world over-populated with media content across multiple devices, network storage offers a convenient hub and media centre for your computers, tablets and mobile phones.
Network storage is ideal for home and business by allowing multiple users to access, stream and save content including movies, photos, music, games and more.