The speed, affordability and storage capacity on NAS Drives these days make them a viable alternative to a file server for a home office or small businesses who need document storage and sharing ability without the other bells and whistles offered by a full server.
With NAS drives priced as low as $250, up to $1,000 for 4x4TB hard drives they can allow multiple users to access shared documents as fast as a file server. They allow RAID redundancy – this means you can have 2 hard drives storing the same data so that if one hard drive dies your data is still safe.
Compared to a standard file server which costs several thousand dollars, the savings can be significant. Setup is much simpler, with fewer things to go wrong, so IT costs are also reduced and ongoing power consumption is a fraction of that used by a traditional server. Not to mention the fact that they are small enough to fit on a shelf.
Most NAS Drives have a USB port that can be used to back up to an external hard drive, so backing up is as simple as it would be with a standard file server. Many NAS drives also have automatic cloud backup capability for real data security.
As with a server, most NAS drives offer password protection, so you can decide which employees can access certain documents. Your router firewall protects the NAS from the outside world, just as it protects the other computers on your network. The router also allows and monitors wireless access to computers on your network, so you can hook in wirelessly.
At current prices NAS drives are also a great option for the average home network. With digital photos and videos, movies, home offices etc households these days have enormous amounts of data to store – and many home users just aren’t sure how to back up that amount of data. A NAS drive can act as the hub for your home network, a central place to store and back up photos, movies and documents. The NAS drive also works fantastically as a media server – you can store your movies and iTunes music on the NAS and access them from any device on your home network.
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