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NETGEAR ReadyNAS 424 4-bay Network Attached Storage Diskless (RN42400-100NES)
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Netgear ReadyNAS RR2304 1U Rackmount 4-Bay Diskless Network Attached Storage ...
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Buffalo TeraStation 3410DN Desktop 4TB NAS Hard Drives Included (2 x 2TB, 4-bay)
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Synology DiskStation DS2419+ (Diskless) Network Storage
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Asustor AS3204T, 4-Bay NAS (Diskless), Intel Celeron 1.6 GHz Quad-Core, 2GB RAM
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What is a Network Attached Storage Device?

Introduction

A network attached storage (NAS) device is a centralized file storage solution that is similar to an external hard drive, except that it connects to a network instead of directly to any one computer. It is a way for your staff to share files, stream media content, and back up documents. If you wish to learn more about NAS storage boxes and how they can benefit your organization, NeweggBusiness explains below.

What is a network attached storage device?

A NAS device is more like a file server with web management functionality rather than just a storage drive. In a NAS box, you will find a processormemory, and an operating system. So when shopping for NAS storage, your considerations should include processor speed, amount and speed of memory, operating system compatibility, the number of expandable hard drive bays (if any), and more.

For organizations, a NAS box is an excellent way to provide additional storage, while requiring less setup and administration than servers. In addition, some network attached storage devices have audio and video streaming functionality so that they can double as media hubs. If your organization can benefit from a NAS box, then there are a few key points that you should consider for when shopping one.

Considerations

Capacity

While some NAS boxes have built-in hard drives, others will require you to purchase the drives separately. One advantage of a NAS box that requires you to purchase the drives separately is that you can customize the capacity of the network attached storage device to your organization’s needs.

Connectivity (Wired or wireless)

Wired NAS storage drives utilize gigabit Ethernet ports for network connectivity, with some having several Ethernet ports. The reason for having more than one Ethernet port is two-fold. First, the redundancy can come in handy if a port ever fails, and secondly, using multiple ports can increase data bandwidth.

Wireless network attached storage drives are not as common as wired variants for a two reasons. One, most wireless NAS drives utilize the 802.11n standard, which is slower than gigabit Ethernet. Two, a wired NAS can still be accessed wirelessly if it is connected to a wireless router.

Performance

The performance of a NAS is determined by the speed of its processor and the amount of memory onboard. With a network attached storage drive, better hardware means that it can support more users reading and writing data at the same time. However, a faster processor and more memory usually mean a higher price tag.

Operating system compatibility

When purchasing NAS storage devices, you will want to make sure that they are compatible with your organization’s operating systems. Mac and Windows support is fairly common, with some network storage devices supporting both. Support for computers running Linux® however, is not as common. 

Security

Security can come in the form of file encryption, user authentication, firewalls, and Kensington® security slots (K-slots). For maximum protection, you will want a NAS that is secure on the software level as well as physical.

What NAS should you get?

When shopping for a NAS, your top concerns should be those listed above. They determine how fast the NAS will be, how much storage capacity it will have, and how secure it will be. After taking into account those factors, then you should consider features such as media streaming, cloud storage, remote access, and YouTube™ integration. With those additional features, a network attached storage drive can be more than just a file server for a local network.