What Is NAS (Network Attached Storage)?

Network attached storage (NAS) can make your files more secure and help you share them faster.

Networks are a great way to get computers and mobile devices talking, but they may not always be the fastest way to share files. Network attached storage (NAS) provides a solution.

Most networked files live on servers that are required to do everything at once — process emails, host applications and manage any number of platforms. When you try streaming or downloading a file from one of these overburdened servers, you might find yourself wondering if it wouldn’t be faster to just walk over with a thumb drive.

A NAS is a shared volume that everyone on the network can use for uploading and downloading files. NAS systems run no software other than a lightweight file-management system. There’s no traditional operating system, no authentication software, no graphics and no interactive features. Your NAS is dedicated to storage and backup, period. As a result, it won’t get bogged down in the details of, you know, being a computer.

Types of NAS

Because network attached storage is concerned with file management alone, several configurations offer different features. Various RAID (redundant array of inexpensive/independent disks) versions can add speed to your setup. You’ll generally get a bigger bang for your buck by opting for faster processors and a greater number of internal drives.

Some intermediate/advanced users may also prefer NAS devices with plenty of extra ports and a more sophisticated, Web-based interface.

Advantages of Network Attached Storage

If all this sounds a bit technical, take heart: the advantages of NAS become clear once you set one up. Offices and small businesses that share a great number of large files will see a quantum leap in upload and download speeds — no small advantage when media files are your lifeblood.

NAS is also easy to upgrade, saving you the time and expense of buying new servers every time you require extra storage. And of course, digital backup is a widely adopted practice nowadays, and network attached storage is one of the best ways to keep everything safe and secure.

File Freedom

The laws of nature dictate that specialization is the key to survival, and network attached storage is a good example of this. If your employees have become frustrated by slow load times and subpar hosting, investing in NAS could be precisely what your company needs to thrive. Check out some of the best-reviewed NAS systems around, and you can have a system in place in a matter of days.

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