Since the advancement in the digital front, data storage mediums have experienced a paradigm shift. From floppy disks to external hard drives to cloud storage, data storage space has enjoyed a considerable journey. However, there is another type of storage service which is often neglected. Well! In the presence of big names in backup and sync services, such as Google Drive and Acronis True Image, neglecting Network Attached Storage (NAS) makes some sense. But facts do not justify this because the former is a cloud backup mogul whereas the latter is the offline backup software expert. But if we look at NAS, it has the features of both local as well as cloud backup services. In short, it is a local storage medium having s stacked up in a casing along with the networked access.
Pros and Cons of NAS
Pros and cons provide a brief yet insightful overview of any subjected matter. It does not only includes features but also lets readers perceive the subjected matter as per their own convenience. Following are some of the key pros and cons of the NAS:
- Primarily, NAS does not get connected to any specific system. Instead, it is connected to a router that allows all connected devices to share storage and use it as per their respective convenience.
- NAS easy to customize option makes it extremely handy for the users to simply stack more hard drives in case their storage requirements have increased. So, in much less cost, data backup storage can instantly be upgraded.
- Since being connected to a network, users can access their required data over NAS from any geographical location.
- As NAS can be configured on a local network, so it becomes extremely secure for the users to have their vulnerable data stored on-site. Simply, they do not have to trust third-party servers to handle their important data.
- NAS comes with a fully functional operating system, so users can easily integrate many applications such as disaster recovery, security, and database with their respective NAS systems.
- On-site data storage is one of the biggest pros of NAS. But it is the biggest con too, as any human or natural calamity may result in data loss within the blink of an eye.
- NAS usually has a Linux supported file system which makes it extremely difficult for the users to recover a file belonging to some other operating system. Sometimes users have to seek professional services in this regard which eventually cost them some bucks to retrieve their desired data.
- To establish and manage NAS, prior technical knowledge of computer networks is required.
- Being highly dependent on the network bandwidth, data backup and recovery processes may get slow in case of poor network bandwidth.
- NAS can hamper the speed of other connected systems, as it consumes a large amount of network bandwidth during its operation.
NAS and other Backup Mediums
Before concluding the discussion, it is very important to compare NAS with the other backup mediums. In this regard, the following is the comprehensive comparison of NAS with other popular backup mediums:
NAS v/s Cloud Backup
In general terms, both cloud and NAS provide the same features, i.e., remote access and freedom to scale up or scale down. But from the security and infrastructure point of view, cloud storage clearly outnumbers NAS. While NAS is beneficial for on-site or personalized use, cloud backup is quite broad in its application. Since cloud backup is a publicly accessed storage medium, so cloud backup service providers invest hefty amounts on their network security infrastructure. Ranging from the encryption algorithms to two-factor authentication, online backup has a lot of high-end security features. Moreover, with the off-site data storage, end-user do not have to worry about less physical space in case storage needs have been increased.
NAS v/s External Hard Drive
External hard drives have been the most common mode of data backup. Classically, it is the complete backup solution that instantly clicks in the mind whenever someone seeks to backup important data. But still, this classic mode of data backup lags in offering backup services at par with modern technology. Since NAS also employs hard drives to store user’s data over the network, so it won’t be wrong to call NAS an improvised and technologically-evolved shape of external hard drives. Due to the network access, more storage space in a confined physical space, and less cost, NAS clearly beats external hard drives on the data backup front.
NAS v/s Flash Drive
Flash drives, also known as USB drives, have become quite a popular mode of storing data in a medium which is the size of a finger or even less than that. However, with such a small size and less storage capabilities, it is not an ideal backup medium. Moreover, less data protection also restricts its usage as a backup medium. Anyone who has the USB can access what is stored in there. On the contrary, NAS requires the login credentials from anyone wishing to access files stored in it. This security feature along with less prone to theft or loss makes NAS a much better backup solution as compared to the flash drive.
For anyone looking forward to establishing a personalized yet remotely accessed storage medium, Network Attached Storage (NAS) is a great option to look at. It has a lot of exciting features that allow users to have a cloud-alike storage medium without leaving their important data to the credibility of others. While above mentioned NAS pros provide a very tempting picture but cons itself indicate the need for some alternative. By comparing NAS with the other backup mediums, the cloud-based backup is a clear winner in this combat. With features like remote access, enhanced security, unlimited storage, and mobile device access, cloud storage has a lot to offer. So, if you see that by paying a little more money, you can have data backup service with around the clock disaster recovery, then surely, the point of inclination would definitely be towards cloud storage. So, in lieu with this comparison, NAS is not a good or ideal backup solution.