NAS Network Attached Storage - 5 Reasons NAS is Better Than Just An External Hard Drive
If you need extra data storage and have considered an external hard drive then you need to know what you are missing by not looking at NAS network attached storage devices. Make data secure, redundant and available to many computers whether running Windows, Mac or Linux.
Whether you are looking for data storage for home, home office, small office or even certain aspects of an enterprise, NAS devices from companies like Netgear offer varying feature sets in a wide range of prices.
First lets look, though, at the advantages of network attached storage solutions over just an external hard drive.
1) Network is more than just part of the name. While access to the data on these servers is done by way of network cable, these little linux servers can actually replace a full fledged Microsoft server and run your network.
2) Gigabit networking is faster than local USB 2.0. Depending on the model, you normally get a gigabit network port to access your data. This is faster than accessing data via a USB port, but in addition, some units like a Netgear ReadyNAS NVX have two network ports for purposes of redundancy or advanced network configurations.
3) Data reliability and redundancy. High quality NAS devices use enterprise level hard drives instead of the "what's the cheapest we can get today" hard drive you find in most external hard drive offerings. Enterprise drives are a little faster, have longer warranties, and are less likely to fail in the first place.
More than that, RAID technology is usually offered, if not implemented, in any respectable network attached storage product. RAID allows one or perhaps two hard drives to fail without data loss. The server then sends you a message to let you know that you must replace the failed drive as soon as possible to prevent data loss.
4) Backup options are built in. An external hard drive is just a backup drive for most people, and while a NAS device can perform that purpose, an external drive can be used to backup the data on the network attached storage unit.
With Netgear ReadyNAS units, not only can you backup to an attached external hard drive, but you can backup to another ReadyNAS unit - possibly at another location - and you can use Netgears "vault" online backup server, for separate cost, but the functionality is built right into the ReadyNAS device.
5) Data can be easily shared between multiple computers, even Macs and Linux computers. Some NAS servers can have a USB printer attached and share that also. Security is built into the unit and user configurable.
So as you can see, NAS network attached storage is far more than just an external hard drive. You really can run a modest sized network with the NAS server as the "hub" and "brains". Forget paying Microsoft $700 for just a server license, hardware extra.
See the network attached storage reviews at http://www.1NAS.com.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Learn how you can benefit from NAS network attached storage servers. They are much, much more than just another external hard drive. Read reviews on popular units and watch some informational videos. The website address is http://www.1NAS.com.