Buying a NAS (Network Attached Storage)

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Buying a NAS or External Hard Drive - Part 2

Server.[1][2]

In simple terms, a server is very much like a homebuilt NAS. It just tends to be bigger and runs different software. Mainly used by large businesses that process a lot of data. A NAS tends to be for home or office use.

So taking the information above, which storage device you need will come down to:

Here’s a table below to use as a guide.

Storage Type

Storage Size TB (Total)

Connect to multiple devices[1]

Central Storage[2]

Cost

1

2

3

4

5

6

8

10

10+

Internal hard drive (disk size: 3.5", 2.5" or SSD)

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

     

Low

An external hard drive (disk size: 3.5").

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

         

Low

Portable external hard drive. (disk size: 2.5" or SSD)

Y

Y

                 

Low

Network Attached Storage or NAS

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Med

Homebuilt NAS (or homebuilt server).

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Low to High

Server.

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Med to High

[1] The storage is accessed by more than one network device at the same time.

[2] Keep all your files in one place, so that you always have the latest copy - Access your files from your PC, laptop, tablet, phone, network streaming device, or any device connected to your network, even away from home.

The future, is it SSD ?

Yes...   Eventually SSD's (Solid State Drives) will replace the spinning hard drives, but it will take a few years before prices become comparable. SSD’s will still work in a current NAS box as the connections are still the same. The next generation of NAS boxes containing SSD’s will just be smaller.

NAS Calculator

The image below shows a handy free NAS Calculator which will easily calculate the cost of buying a NAS and the total cost of any drives you may want. Just enter the cost of the NAS and any storage / hard drives you're thinking of in the yellow boxes and it will calculate the cost of the different combinations. Enter the cost of a second NAS and you can see the difference in price between the two systems. It's in xls format so will work in Excel 97 onwards.


Download the NAS Calculator.      For info - This spreadsheet does not use any macro's


NAS Calculator