Ask Ausdroid: NAS versus external hard drive – Which one should I choose?

The second is that your knowledge is barely accessible on a single drive, that must be plugged into the machine you’re utilizing. So in case you go away the drive at house while you want it, then you definitely’re in a spot of trouble.

From an information distribution perspective, storage on exterior drives is ok in case you’re on the identical PC or laptop computer more often than not. But it surely does make sharing knowledge between individuals or, even your individual machines clumsy and laborious which might additionally introduce dangers akin to model management issues if a number of individuals have copies.

That’s to not say that exterior drives are “flawed” or a foul answer by any means. Fairly the other in truth, as a consumer of NAS for a few years, I nonetheless make use of exterior drives recurrently for the comfort of offloading knowledge rapidly, sharing knowledge simply or transporting — avoiding the necessity to anticipate the add or obtain of enormous information — knowledge simply.

Community Connected Storage

That is the place it will get fairly funky for first time customers as a result of there’s a lot about using a NAS you don’t instantly take into consideration or realise. The reliability of entry, scalability of storage and knowledge safety are simply beginning factors.

There are such a lot of manufacturers and choices accessible nowadays that the choice can develop into fairly overwhelming. However hopefully, with a little bit of forethought, you’ll get previous this rapidly.

NAS choices are available a wide range of sizes and choices from two drives to rack-mounted choices with dozens of drives. Relying in your knowledge storage wants and options you might have considered trying, you may make the choice on what you buy.

Information redundancy is likely one of the key options of a NAS is the flexibility to reflect drives for knowledge safety. Because of this if one of many drives fails, all your knowledge is secure and you’ll proceed to make use of your NAS. It’s essential although, to interchange the failed drive ASAP in case the functioning drive fails too.

Then we get into the information entry realm the place all gadgets in your community from laptops, to PCs, cellular gadgets and sport consoles can entry your knowledge concurrently from inside your community. You’ve additionally acquired the aptitude on a NAS to entry your knowledge from outdoors your property community, in essence, you’ve created your individual non-public cloud storage.

It’s not simply gadgets that entry knowledge the place a NAS may be helpful, gadgets like safety cameras can feed knowledge to and retailer it in your NAS. This requires the digicam and the NAS to be suitable with one another, typically, ONVIF compliance of the digicam is all you want; nevertheless it’s value checking your digicam and NAS compliance.

That is all earlier than beginning to discover a number of the different options and choices which are accessible on many NAS gadgets. This consists of the aptitude to:

  • Present automated backup on your desktop PC or laptop computer
  • Change into an automatic backup answer on your photographs
  • Retailer and stream all your private media assortment
  • Change into a personal chat server
  • Function as your individual electronic mail server
  • Be a substitute for the likes of Google Maintain, Evenote and OneNote
  • Sync your Google Drive, Dropbox or different cloud storage domestically

Then — I’m positive the image is changing into clearer already — you’ll be able to take a look at third-party set up packages to show your NAS into an online server, Plex Server, PiHole DNS server or simply about every other service you’ll be able to consider. They’re massively purposeful and (significantly in case you select to put in docker) solely restricted in what you’ll be able to obtain by your creativeness.

A NAS provides some brains, processing energy and an enormous quantity of performance to your storage. An exterior arduous drive is strictly that, a drive…

Is one “higher” than the opposite?

Offered you could have the price range and a few fundamental technical information, then a NAS is mostly going to be a greater answer for many individuals. The info safety, scalability, broad connectivity and total flexibility of your NAS for knowledge entry are overwhelmingly optimistic for the expertise.

One of many largest obstacles to customers investing in a NAS is value. With cloud storage comparatively low cost, it may well look like prohibitive to put money into a self-storage answer. It’s worthwhile to buy your NAS and the arduous drives which might rapidly add as much as $800.00 for a relative entry-level answer with two 6TB drives. Much more, in fact, in case you’re buying a extra feature-rich machine and better capability drives. In distinction, a 6TB desktop exterior drive is often underneath $250.00

The opposite purpose some customers nonetheless have and carry exterior drives is the pace of entry. Your entry to your knowledge. Should you’re inside your premises, you’re golden however outdoors the constructing, you’re very a lot restricted to the add pace of your Web. An exterior drive is barely restricted by the pace of the drive itself and connectivity (USB or Thunderbolt) to your desktop or laptop computer.

So to try to reply the query: Is one higher than the opposite from a performance perspective, sure, the NAS wins. Exterior drives nonetheless have their place although, for anybody who works on the go, doubtlessly with out connectivity, an exterior drive nonetheless has a spot available in the market.

You’ll must make an informed choice primarily based in your price range, what you’re searching for from the drive and weigh up the dangers vs rewards of the accessible choices.

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