Synology DS920+ NAS

What Is a NAS? Do I Need to Buy One? YES!

July 6, 2022 0 By Madole Labs

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If you’re asking yourself, “what is a NAS?” you’re not alone. Unfortunately, many people don’t understand this vital piece of technology. NAS devices connect to a network and are essentially mini-servers. Whether you use one for personal or small business use, you’re about to learn more about a device that provides centralized file management for a group of people.

NAS Stands For Network Attached Storage

A Network Attached Storage device can perform many different functions. It is a network storage system that connects to a computer network and provides computer file access services. They are also commonly used to store home movies, emails, and other data. The benefits of NAS systems are vast. For example, it is possible to access these files from your phone while you’re away from home, as long as you have an internet connection. Further, they are an excellent solution for small businesses and individuals that want to expand their storage capabilities.

NAS Devices Act as Mini Servers

Though consumer NAS devices are primarily storage devices, many of them are also capable of hosting virtual machines, Docker containers, and even websites. While they are still network-attached storage devices, they should be considered mini servers because they share the same virtual infrastructure, user accounts, permissions, and configurations.

NAS devices can also serve as media players and backup computers as they offer extra layers of data security and the ability to stream media. Some also come with the option of hot-swappable HDDs. Their price range starts at $200 and increases as the capacity and RAM increase. Depending on the size of your data library, a smaller NAS can work just fine. But a larger device may be necessary if you want to do more than simply back up your laptop overnight.

What Is a NAS

NAS devices come compatible with DLNA and UPnP standards. If you’re using Apple devices, check if the device will support the iTunes server, as some are indeed capable through software.

Typically, a NAS drive will use two or more hard drives. In its most straightforward configuration, one hard drive will store data, and the other will mirror the first drive providing data redundancy. In addition, they have their power source and some essential onboard components such as a processor and RAM. Typically, the device will also have a proprietary operating system specially designed to operate the NAS efficiently.

They Are Affordable

NAS systems are typically more cost-effective than full-blown file servers. For example, a typical business scenario might involve backing up office devices and sharing files among users. A NAS is an ideal storage solution for this scenario as it can add additional layers of security to the data while also being affordable. Moreover, it is more flexible and customizable, allowing you to use it in multiple ways.

Different vendors offer NAS units, ranging from personal use to industrial settings. When selecting a NAS there is a lot to consider. Although price is a significant concern, they are available for any budget. Some manufacturers will mix and match components to achieve a lower price point. For example, a cheaper model might have two drive bays instead of four. The cheaper ones may also feature an older processor or less RAM. Check out our article where we conduct a review on the DS220+ VS DS920+. Nevertheless, most NAS units have an adequate spec to meet a home’s or small office’s demands.

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