Not everyone knows about NAS technology, but it is actually a great solution not just for businesses and professionals, but for personal use. We’ll get into what NAS is, and what it’s good for. If you start to think that a NAS device might be worth buying, check out our brief list of devices that are worth looking at in 2022.
What are NAS devices?
NAS stands for Network-attached Storage. As the name suggests, it is a form of storage that can be accessed over a network. The network could be your home Wi-Fi, for example, or an company’s office network – one business we spoke to, TechQuarters, who provide IT support financial services organisations rely on, confirmed that NAS is a superb solution for convenient and secure access to storage in the office.
There are lots of uses for a NAS. In an office, it’s great for storing shared resources. In your home, it could be for storing media like music or movies; or it could be for storing important sensitive information (although this use-case requires excellent security as well). It’s also a great resource for video editors, as they can store their dailies and transcode the footage wirelessly from the device (this is a very intensive task, however).
What to look for with NAS devices?
Some NAS devices are capable of providing as much as 56 TB of storage (an unfathomable amount for most people), whereas other devices may only support up to 1 or 2 TB of storage. It all depends on how many bays the device have – each bay is a slot for a hard drive to be inserted.
Just like any other computer (which is what a NAS device essentially is), the device you choose will have a CPU, RAM, and potentially a cache drive. The better those hardware components are, the more complex work your device will be able to perform.
With some NAS devices, you will be able to upgrade some of the hardware components, such as the RAM, and possible the cache drive. If your device comes pre-populated with hard drives, you may also be able to replace them with higher capacity drives – thus drastically increasing the storage capacity.
- Software support
NAS drives require their own unique type of operating system to function. Additionally, there are other types of applications that people often install on their devices, depending on what they are using it for. Some NAS devices support only select types of software, whereas others support nearly all kinds. Be sure to check before you buy.
What Devices To Look At in 2022
If by now you are thinking that you would like to invest in a NAS drive, here are a few different choices available in 2022. Each one listed is geared towards a specific use-case:
Best Overall: Asustor Drivestor 2 AS1102T
This two-bay device has superb connectivity (in the GB/s range), and supports a wide range of apps. For the price, the performance you get is hard to beat.
Best for a Budget: TerraMaster F4-210
This 4-bay NAS devices is in roughly the same price category as most 2-bay NAS devices – meaning the value for money as perhaps twice that of other comparable models. The RAM is very respectable, resulting in a snappy experience.
Best for Organisations: Synology DiskStation DS920+
If you’re looking for a device to support an small business or organisation, this device is an excellent choice. It’s a 4-bay device, meaning it can support a very large storage capacity. It’s also very easy to install, and features a large catalog of available apps. The only thing to bear in mind is that this is a diskless device, so you will need to purchase the hard drives yourself.
Best for Home Use: QNAP TS-233
Another affordably price NAS device, this model is best suited for home use. It is very easy to install, and has solid performance – therefore it’s great for people who are new to the technology. It also has a good selection of apps available.