Last updated: August 19, 2021

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Do you work with computers? Then you know how important backups are to protect your digital data from accidents. Having a NAS connected to your computer will take care of your files at all times. It is also known as a Network Attached Storage System.

Basically, it saves maintenance costs and improves productivity. This small block-shaped home or professional server gives you your own private cloud connection. The best part? It takes the fall out of common operating systems. In short, with such a central device you don't have to contract expensive third-party services. What's more, it allows private queries on websites at high speed. Want to know more? 




Summary

  • It is a storage technology that stores files shared on a network with several computers, so it is designed to manage large amounts of information, as if it were a server. It does not require interaction with screens or keyboards, but simply requires a connection to the web interface.
  • It is useful to distinguish between products made for home use only, and other models that are also suitable for the office. You will find material related to these variables below, which will help you determine which of the two suits your requirements.
  • Do you know which comparative factors will define your purchase? In the last section of our text on cloud storage we looked at four criteria. Take a good look at the argument that each of them encompasses and, based on this, make your final decision.

The best NAS: Our Picks

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Buying Guide

Do you want the freedom to store, view and access your data? There's no doubt that a NAS can be the solution to your computing needs. So we've put together a buying guide where you'll find the nitty-gritty details of this increasingly popular accessory. Take a look at the following and clear all your doubts.

Get a high-performance NAS that you can use to network all your computers. (Photo: Dolgachov/123rf.com)

What is a NAS and what are its advantages?

We are talking about a mechanism that runs on its own operating system, designed to centralise all data in an easy way. At the same time, it allows the distribution, viewing and backup of files by networking with different Windows, Android and iOS units. At first glance, you will notice that it is a computer. However, it does not require a screen, keyboard or mouse to perform its activities. Rather, it is made up of one or more hard drives, a processor and internal RAM that provide speed. The latter are essential to give you a satisfactory experience. Each device can be equipped with 8, 16 and 32 TB disks, depending on the user's needs and the amount of material he or she will accumulate in a few years. After all, it is up to you to decide how to use it, as it also adapts to the requirements of an office with many computers.

Advantages
  • Large storage capacity
  • Generates backups
  • Secure access at all times
  • Integrates with the cloud
  • USB connection
  • Can be expanded
Disadvantages
  • Focused on a limited market
  • Speed-constrained access
  • Requires internet to log in
  • High initial price
  • Possible misconfiguration

Home or Advanced NAS - What should you look out for?

Fortunately, you will find different purchasing alternatives on the market. But first you need to define the areas where you will use your NAS server. Why? Well, there are medium and high-capacity designs that are suitable for specific environments. Read on and learn more about both alternatives in this segment.

Home. Let's say it's one of the common devices. That is, this product makes it easy to control your content from the comfort of your home. To make it clear: it comes in a small, compact, easy-to-carry package that connects to computers and mobile devices such as your mobile phone. As you can see, it is built around the needs that a typical consumer might have. Each brand runs a particular operating system, and comes with its own instructions and applications. For all practical purposes, its performance is similar to that of an external hard drive, but in this case you are responsible for controlling it yourself.

Professional. Using a NAS system in the office has considerable advantages for your IT administration. Business managers take advantage of its benefits so that everyone on the network, such as managers, employees and third parties, can access the same files in a simple and monitored manner. But that is not all. At the same time it potentially influences the speed of computers. This is without losing sight of the fact that it is programmed to relieve the load on the usual servers. Either way, it represents a solution when it comes to improving the overall productivity of the company.

Home Professional
Storage Photos, music, movies Computer data
Hard disk 8, 16 TB 32 TB
Price Medium Medium High
Connection PC, Mobile Computers, servers
Network Devices Employees

A NAS supports the number of hard drives allowed by its design. (Photo: Sooniospro/123rf.com)

Buying criteria: factors that allow you to buy and rate different NAS models

We are pleased to welcome you to the last segment of our review. Here you will have the opportunity to delve into the fantastic world of computing factors. Studying them in detail will help you define which is the perfect product for you. Read on and choose the most suitable unit.

  • Number of bays
  • Hard disk capacity
  • Structure
  • Operating system

Number of bays

It is essential to consider this aspect because the selling price is established, among other things, according to how many bedrooms the NAS has. On the other hand, a person who will use it at home demands an item with different features than a computer company needs, right? Let's look at the following.

Two. Are you aiming to get a NAS for home use? Then we recommend a device with only two hard drive bays. For example, you'll be able to back up to one, while using the other to store the rest of your photos, music or movies.

Four. When the purpose of the device is professional, it is best to buy one with this amount of space. You must take into account the price of the unit, as they are more expensive as they offer more storage capacity. On the other hand, we suggest you make an effective distribution of its functions in each slot.

Hard disk capacity

At first glance, you can see three disks with different capacities. That is, the elements that are in charge of storing your information inside the NAS. The power of these add-ons must support the data you want to put on them. Here are some common options, all functional and assertive.

8TB. If you want to store your various material in different formats, we suggest you get a NAS with two bays made up of 8T drives. They are designed for home use, as they offer more than enough space for domestic matters. So dare to take advantage of its benefits.

16TB. This alternative is made for professional computing purposes. It is an ideal recommendation for small or medium-sized businesses that require a NAS with plenty of room to store data of all kinds, or to relieve the load of the traditional servers to which they are connected.

32TB. Of all the options, this is one of the most expensive. Please keep an eye on its price when budgeting for it. On the other hand, we advise you to take one or more of these if you provide dedicated IT services to a large company or have an institution that requires a lot of network storage.

Structure

are adapted to the investment and requests of the buyer.

The market promises a wide choice when it comes to buying these electronic devices. Fortunately, they adapt to the investment and requests of the buyer. This is undoubtedly a benefit for you, so it is in your best interest to evaluate the alternatives that are for sale.

Complete. Let's say you just want a NAS computer to make your computing easier, is that it? Then go for a full-featured one that comes with two or four hard drives in addition to the case. This applies for home and professional use alike.

Partial. The hard drives are not included, only the NAS shell is sold. If you are an engineer or have a lot of knowledge in the field, this is the perfect option. Note that they are usually much cheaper than the above and give you the freedom to tailor the storage system to the desired amount.

Operating system

Basically this factor defines how comfortable it will be to work with. Again, there are designs for well-defined audiences, which makes it easy to purchase. You just have to select the right one taking into account what is most practical in the short, medium and long term. We will now show you two options.

My Cloud OS. Don't have extensive computer skills? Check the product description to see if it comes with this system. Why? It will make your life easier, as it has a consumer friendly interface, you can access it from wherever you are and it is an excellent recommendation for photographers and producers.

FreeNAS. We advise you to buy a NAS with this software if your computer skills are estimated to be medium to high. In short, it is only suggested for people with a technical understanding of the subject. However, it could be expensive as it requires a lot of power to operate

(Featured image photo: Slawomir Gawryluk/123rf.com)

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