Buying a NAS (Network Attached Storage)

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Buying a NAS or External Hard Drive - Part 1

Need more storage space? A NAS (Network Attached Storage) could be your answer. But what are the other solutions?

Additional Internal Hard Drive (disk size: 3.5", 2.5" or SSD).

Fairly straight forward if you have built or modified a desktop computer before - Health & Safety warning though. Disconnect the power lead before opening the case, or you may get a nasty shock / blow one of the components! Check to see if you have a spare power and data (SATA) connection for your new drive, of the right type (adapters are available).

An External Hard Drive (disk size: 3.5").

Easy – Just plug into a spare USB 2.0 or USB 3.0 connection on your laptop or computer. Usually comes with a separate power supply, as the power from the USB connection isn’t man enough.

Portable External Hard Drive. (disk size: 2.5" or SSD).

Easy – Just plug into a spare USB 2.0 or USB 3.0 connection on your laptop or computer.

Network Attached Storage Or NAS.[1][2]

Fairly Easy – Just plug into a spare Ethernet port connected to your network (internet router or network switch). The USB connections can be used for connecting your portable drives (for exchanging data). Your laptop, computer, tablet, phone, connect via the network Ethernet connection or through your internet wireless connection. A NAS usually comes with a separate power supply. Most NAS’s are supplied ‘Diskless’, but can be purchased ready built with the hard drives included.

Homebuilt NAS (Or Homebuilt Server).[1][2]

This is basically the same as the ready built ‘off the shelf’ NAS described above. The difference is:

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