NAS (Network Attached Storage) provides a way to link a storage device to a local area network such as a home / office Wi-Fi connection. NAS drives are different from external hard drives as they do not connect directly to a computer; instead they connect to a network’s router. As an alternative to buying a traditional file server, they act as a central data source for all devices connected to the network. Consequently, the question of “What is a NAS drive?” can simply be answered as a network hard drive.
Not only can a NAS device be used for file sharing over a local network and as a sound backup tool, but as a multi-media streaming device to access music & video files from desktop PCs, laptops & tablets.
For business storage, NAS backup devices can include 2-bay or 4-bay disk versions offering storage up to 20TB. Some NAS devices also offer access remotely, meaning you’ll be able to view & edit the data not just from your laptop or desktop workstation, but equally from a tablet or smartphone.
Add to this bundled NAS software which helps keep data and projects readily available, secure and running smoothly, it’s no wonder that for home office and SMB customers regard NAS not just as backup or media device, but a productivity tool as well.
RAID support ensures that even if one disk fails, you can keep access to data and some NAS drives are expandable too, meaning you can upgrade your storage space without (necessarily) having to buy a new NAS enclosure.
For further useful information see: How To Get the Most Out Of Your NAS (external link)
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