A Comprehensive Guide To Selecting The Best NAS

A Comprehensive Guide To Selecting The Best NAS

Over the course of the past couple of years, there is no question that a majority of people moved on from traditional hardware storage devices to using convenient and cutting-edge, but simple cloud storage techniques. We have tapped into the curious world of cloud computing – however, it does beg the question – is local storage that bad?

Well, this really doesn’t mean you jump right back to using floppy disks, but there can be another simpler way to enjoying similar cloud storage benefits without having to put 100% faith in third-party vendors that offer cloud storage systems.

NAS device.

If you have given up looking for ways, then don’t despair as there is a new, advanced and relatively cheaper one that provided significantly more storage. NAS stands for Network Attached Storage. There are quite a lot of reasons why you should buy the best NAS for home and the best NAS hard drive this very instant.

Our Top 5 Recommendations In NAS Technologies

WD 4TB My Cloud Personal Network Attached Storage - NAS

Priced competitively, the WD 4TB Cloud Personal NAS device comes with a ton of features and specifications. The innovative devices has 4 TB worth of storage, which means backing your files and other data is simple and hassle-free.

WD 4TB My Cloud Personal Network Attached Storage - NAS - WDBCTL0040HWT-NESN

Plus, the device also comes with a 3.0 USB and Gigabit Ethernet, which means you can enjoy lighting fast data transfer regardless of wherever you are. Other features include:

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    Automatic discovery of network
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    Compatibility with Macintosh and Windows
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    DLNA Compliance device – you can connect the device with your smart TV and Playstation for added streaming pleasure.

Synology NAS DiskStation (DS216j)

The Synology DiskStation is a powerhouse NAS component that features a 2-year company warranty and comes with an incredible palate of specifications and features.

Synology 2 bay NAS DiskStation, DS216J

The DS216j comes with cutting-edge features such as multimedia and cloud synchronization and DLNA compliance allowing you to connect it to your smart devices for added streaming benefits. Some of the best specification offered by the DS216j include:

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    Streamlined hardware encryption
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    Dual Core CPU
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    LED indicators at the front – and can be adjusted for brightness
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    Simple to use OS
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    Ready mobile applications for quick and unprecedented access via iOS, Android and Windows technology

QNAP TS-251 2-Bay Personal Cloud NAS

The QNAP TS-451 NAS is another amazing component that boasts a diverse range of some of the most powerful features you can get your hands on.

QNAP TS-251 2-Bay Personal Cloud NAS

Using the QNAP, you will be able to high resolution videos (1080-p) with an impressive 7.1 channel surround sound. Some of the major features of this device include:

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    Linux based
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    Intel Celeron D processor with 2.41 GHz
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    Videos on the fly (also features an offline video viewing mode)
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    DLNA compliance – you can create your own personal cloud

Seagate NAS 4-Bay Diskless Network Attached Storage Drive

The NAS 4-Bay by Seagate is an excellent attached storage device that combines a full array of diverse and excellent features. The storage device is easy to install boasts a user-friendly interface.

Seagate NAS 4-Bay Diskless Network Attached Storage Drive (STCU100)

On top of that, the NAS 4-Bay is also designed to provide you with seamless connectivity with all the drives working together for streamlined performance. Other features include:

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    Centralized data storage compatible with Mac and Windows for efficient data and file sharing
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    Time Machine software integration and support
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    100 Megabytes per second file and data transfer

ZyXEL Personal Cloud Storage Server

The ZyXEL Personal Cloud NAS is the perfect devices to seamless remain connected to the online world. The NAS devices offers streamlined and safe access to all your data and is compatible with all types of mobile devices.

Zyxel Personal Cloud Storage Server

It is a one-stop-solution for your entire data. Some of its best features include:

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    Dual Core Processor 1.2 GHz
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    USB 3.0
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    SDXC Memory slot
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    No bolts – enables easy installation
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    Easy remote linking via personalized sub domain

What Is A NSA System Exactly?

Whereas many data storage devices are designed for local use (which refers to devices that are more tangible and external to use for example a external memory drive) or a cloud device (which refers devices that use other resources to store your data for example on another computer authorized by a third-party vendor for example Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.), the best Network Attached Storage for Mac is a combination of a cloud storage and external/local storage.

In simpler terms, you can think of a NAS system as physical hard drive that can be easily connected to any network for enhanced storage and accessibility to data.

While it is true that using a storage device that is meant for external usage connects to a network on your PC can increase its overall storage capacity and it is not bad alternative to a cloud system, it is important to understand that that a network attached storage hard drive will specifically be connected and accessed to one computer instead of all computers.

However, a network attached storage system that is configured and connected to a whole network is another story. Connecting a NAS device to the whole computer network can enable quick access from numerous of computers at the same time.  However, the computer you use to access the devices must all be connected to network that is configured with the NAS device.

Network attached storage illustrated.

Unlike conventional external storage devices, network attached storage traditionally has a specific built-in interface that is actually the device’s operating system that enables users to add numerous software functionalities that may include the following:

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    printer streaming functionalities
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    native media streaming
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    remote accessibility

Without this exception, NAS drives function in the same manner for example; they are quite similar to a number of different hard drives that you and other people may have used.

Cloud storage solution for example, Google Drive or Dropbox efficiently enables you rent storage space on particular drives that are configured with network connectivity, which isn't yours.

This allows you gain an advantage and access all your data regardless of wherever you connect to the internet from. You can access your data from any part of the world if you have internet connectivity.

A NAS devices offer the same functionality - however, you using cheap NAS, you will not be required to hand over your data to the company that offers cloud options and features. This guarantees data protection and you don’t have to worry about any privacy issues.  

A NAS device also ensures data protection of all the data that is saved on the device. It does this through streamlined configuration to support RAID, which stands for Redundant Array of Independent Disks.  

So, what is a RAID setup? Well, it is a setup of two or more hard drives connected together on a network that enables users more redundancy or in other words, it stores data simultaneously on the drives that are configured to be operated on the NAS network.

The RAID system acts as an important backup option if one hard drives crashes or fails to perform and you don’t have to worry about losing any data.  

Important Benefits Of Implementing A NAS System On Your Network

Therefore, now you have a good understanding of how NAS essential operates and how NAS is different from a traditional or conventional hard drive – mentioned below are some really important reasons you should invest in a QNAP turbo NAS ts-251:

More Storage Space

The fundamental reason why so many people opt for NAS technology is seek additional space – adding it to their computer. As both PCs and laptops have considerably reduced in terms of design as a whole, the same is true for the size of the storage they come configured with. Moreover, this is especially true when you talk about the popular use of cloud technologies.

Big NAS device.

The best and most budget-friendly method of opting for more storage is to buy a NAS device. Rather than allocating a fixed volume of space to a separate user, you will be able to amalgamate space and utilize all that you need. This helps freeing more space, especially when it comes to data-hungry people.

While hard drives come in a variety of storage limits from 256 GB and 500 GB hard drives that come with 1 TB to 2 TBs worth of space; you have the luxury to keep on increasing the total size of your network attached storage device by attaching extra hard drives instead of changing or upgrading your entire system.  

Simpler Collaboration, Reduced Mess

Remember the times you had no option than to email certain documents whenever you needed to work together on a project file or any other document with your friends or co-worker – which essentially led to the creation of hundreds of annoying email copies of the initial project file or document used?

Well, the best NAS for small business devices can help reduce this unwanted hindrance. In addition, it can do that by enabling you and other users to gain quick and unhindered access to these types of documents via a singular location.

NAS devices configured to a network can even enable you to edit the document; moreover, it enables other member to edit the same file as well. This feature is similar to that provided in Google Docs or Office 365.

You Can Own Your Personal Cloud System For Storage

There is no question that cloud technologies for storage are designed for added convenience. Well, that is certainly the reason why so many people use them. However, you can’t deny that at the back of your mind you are always worried about other entities that can truly access your documents.

This is especially true in the case of people who store confidential information for example bank account numbers, social security documents, etc.

Do you want to leverage the advantages of cloud data protection and storage technology without constantly thinking about who can access your data or snoop around? This is where synology NAS disk station trumps cloud storage. A majority of NAS drives have software features, which can help you configure options for remote accessibility.

Synology NAS.

In other words, it will help you access your data beyond your local network thus mimicking the very functionality of a cloud system. This way you will be able to retrieve any type of data. You can access and retrieve your files anytime you want irrespective of your location. You can be anywhere across the globe and access your files safely.

Moreover, on simpler terms, you will have developed your personal cloud storage.

However, if this alone is your primary reason to opt for a network attached storage device it is important to keep looking for NAS technology that are designed to provide you with streamlined mobile apps. This will require a bit of research. And these devices are worth it if you are looking for a cloud experience.

Instant And Automated Backup Functionalities To Protect Your Data

One cannot overemphasize the importance the best NAS. Why? Well, that is because it is important to keep your files and documents and all other data stored safely and with daily backups is important.

Backing up your data regularly is important; however, manually conducting all the storage procedures is something frustrating and physically and mentally daunting. It’s simple to procrastinate and get lazy – which leads to skipping a day at first than two days then three and so on.

And before you know it, you will realize you haven’t made any backups and when your hard drive crashes you are left feeling powerless and angry.

Utilizing a NAS device, it is easy to configure the device for automatic backups. The best home NAS can mirror all every change that is made locally on the drive changes made locally on your PC. As soon you make a change or make new data, this new change will automatically be added to the NAS device immediately.

For more reassurance, regarding the security of your data and that it is stored safely and reliably, you can implement a Raid 1 storage system mentioned earlier.

Network attached storage.

A network attached storage device with Raid 1 integration means if you make any change on your PC, it is instantly stored/mirrored in the backup file created in the NAS device. The change is then immediately copied to both the hard drives. This ensures multiple backups storage options in case one drive fails to function or if it crashes and you need to reboot it.

The best thing about Qnap cloud is the fact it can be easily be used to create backups on both Windows and Macintosh operating systems. The configuration on both these OS is increasingly simple.

Reinforced Data Security And Protection

There is no question that a majority of people have gone mobile in this robust and fast-paced world. This means the risk damaging our smart devices or notebooks are pretty high. You have to admit that you have too spilled coffee over the keyboard of your PC or accidentally do something to ruin everything. This is where WD NAS comes in.

Rather than storing your data on individual PCs, using NAS technology and configuring a server dedicated for NAS, you can put save all your data on a protected, reliable and secure network, which is also attached to the drive.

This drive cannot be affected by any other independent hardware component, which means it cannot be affected if any of those components fail to function.  

Why? Well that is because network attached storage devices are sometimes designed with their very own OS. But this depends on the type of NAS technology that you buy. For example, depending on the device you buy it might provide you with features like security encryption options. ​

This feature can protect your files from users with mal-intent that are outside your NAS configured network. This helps protect you from of you from unauthorized users.

Simple And Convenient Server Configuration And Setup

The greatest advantages of network attached storage devices is the fact that they are not complex to configure and setup.  

Intalling NAs device at home.

A lot of these devices for example, qnap vs. synology integrate convenient set up features and have a user-friendly interface, which is web based and enables you to conveniently configure the setup of the best NAS technology and  access all its settings right off the bat.

If you’ve ever messed with the configuration of your wireless router to learn new features and whatnot then there is no question that you feel right at home setting up a personal NAS device. Honestly, setting up a NAS devices is not complicated in the least.  

The devices come with an interface that is mostly web based and many manufacturers also offer mobile applications with the device to make your experience smooth and easy. Configuring the best NAS is quite similar to setting up a conventional cloud setup.

Establish Your Personal Media Server

It is true that you will not be able to utilize third-party systems such as Dropbox when it comes to using a media server, you don’t have to worry about the same thing happening with the best NAS device. It won’t take you a lot of time to find out that quite a lot of traditional best NAS devices are integrated with different types of media servers.

If you are seeking interoperability when it comes to efficient and effective media streaming it is important to look for the best NAS component that are designed to be DLNA compliant. DLNA compliant devices can help you stream right on your smart television, your Playstation 3 or 4, a normal LCD television and other devices.

However, it is important that the dev ices you use are DLNA compliant.

Important Factors That Go Into Helping Your Select The Right NAS Device

It is important to understand that when you start looking for NAS devices you will come across a plethora of NAS companies and brands – which will without a doubt, overwhelm you.

A majority of manufacturers, as a marketing stunt, flood the retail markets with numerous NAS models and brands that cater to a multitude of different users, have different specifications and features, etc.

Different NAS devices.

When it comes to the best NAS and WD my cloud vs. Seagate personal cloud, you need to ensure that you get the right thing. To make your decision easier and to help you find the best NAS, mentioned below are a couple of pointers to remember:

  • The form of the device
  • The different specifications and features of the device
  • The level of external connectivity the device offers
  • Bay count
  • Features opted by the average consumer
  • Features opt for by business users

There are two types of NAS device categories you should look for, which include:

NAS Devices Basic Categories

The best NAS devices that are made with basic specifications and designs offer a few options and features however; you have to understand that they aren't designed to provide a whole lot of power.

The specifications of these devices aren't cutting-edge and they are specifically manufactured to cater basic sharing, which includes files, folders and documents. And that too among a handful of network users.

However, the good thing about basic models is the fact that they are cheap NAS. You can get a basic model in the $100 and $200 range. But budget-friendly NAS devices do not come with a disk. Yes, they are diskless.

A majority of cost-effective devices do not come with a storage option, which means you will have to buy the hard drive separately and then have the NAS system installed. 

Moreover, there quite a lot of retailer also offer a premium service – which is to provide you with a NAS devices along with a storage device, this is usually a bundle offer. This way you can rely on more storage without having to spend a lot of money buying it separately.

Network Attached Storage Models That Are Mainstream

So, if you increase your range to about $400 or $600, you will be able to lay your hands on some of the most widely used NAS devices in the market. The price range can cover a majority of mainstream NAS brands. The mainstream NAS components combine cutting-edge features and specifications with a good design and a lot of storage.

Some of the best and most enhanced specifications for higher-end models can include top quality ARM central processing unit, a generous amount of upgradable RAM, increased storage, etc.

When Should You Use NAS Devices?

It is important to consider the use of a streamlined and top performing NAS devices with you are building an environment where you will be connecting with more than just one or two computer or smart devices.

Three NAS devices.

NAS devices usage is important to be utilized when you want to transfer data and important files between those computers safely and without being compromised.

One of the best things about NAS devices is the very fact that they come with multi-drive specifications along with multi-bay configurations.

This is what gives the people sharing data the edge to mirror the entire data shared and instantly or better yet, automatically create a secure backup. What this does is eliminate the risk of data being lost in case one drive loses its functionality.  

If you are new to NAS then you may have to purchase a NAS server, but if you don’t mind trying it yourself, you can easily configure and establish a server yourself. The process is simple, but does you will have to plan and invest a bit of time in it.

You can customize the server – specifically making it to cater your own requirements. But honesty creating a server isn't a walk in the park for everybody who uses a computer.

Bottom Line

So, there you go everything you need to know about the importance of NAS devices and how to select the best NAS components for everyday use.

Resources:
Wikipedia
Quora

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