USB External Drive to NAS

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The Best NAS (Network Attached Storage) Devices of 2018
Message 6 of Sign In Sign Up. This post is part of an ongoing series. This can be extremely useful if you have multiple computers within a household that need to share or store data externally. Then a changed the switch settings in the enclosure to do the above. Lacks on-board LCD panel. If you're using the NAS to back up your laptops overnight, that's pretty straightforward as well.

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Do You Need Network Attached Storage (NAS)?

Adding additional features such as multiple drive enclosures, RAID, VPN, media file server can drive the cost up to that of a low cost desktop computer system which can be configured to do just about the same thing and more albeit with higher power consumption.

Even though NAS devices can be accessed over a local area network, they are still restricted generally to just that network. This means that if you are way from the network the devices is attached to, you will not be able to access your files.

Now some more expensive models do offer some VPN access but most home network connections will not allow such a tunnel for them to be used. They are of course vulnerable to a catastrophic event such as a file in a home because they are in the same location. This is where cloud storage has an advantage. Not all NAS devices can be easily accessed from all kinds of devices. Devices such as tablets, smart phones or even certain operating systems may have difficulty connecting and accessing the files without a lot of setup work.

This can make them much more difficult than just using a couple of external USB devices. This of course goes back to how much you spend on a device as more expensive NAS devices will often have better support for devices and operating systems.

The majority of consumers probably do not need a network attached storage device specifically. They are really useful only if you have a large amount of data that needs to be shared between multiple computers. If you happen to have just one or two computers around the house, it is generally easier to use standard USB drives for backups and using the network sharing features in the computers rather than getting an NAS. Alternatively, you can just add an external hard drive to your network router if it has the capability.

There are two cases where I think an NAS device is advisable. The first is if you have a large amount of data that you need to store in a central external location. If you are looking at having around 6TB or more of data that needs to be accessible between multiple computers, than an NAS with multiple drives or expansion space is probably a good idea.

This is especially true if you want your data in a single location and not having to deal with multiple external drives. The other option is if you want to have a central server for hosting all of your media files that can then be used with things beyond just computers. This could include streaming movies or audio to home theater systems or mobile devices. These are often referred to as media server specific devices but they are essentially just NAS with added features to support some of the standard media streaming formats on the market.

For this though, you have to investigate product compatibility with the devices you want to stream as not all media servers will support specific devices or even file formats. Thanks for sharing such a nice info… Was a bit doubtful about Network Attached Storage as i want it. A debt of gratitude is in order for sharing such a decent information… Was somewhat far fetched about Network Attached Storage as i need it.

A NAS well some actually can be setup to share outside the network, but requires a bit more setup to do so. The router usb option is appealing and the function is getting there for home users. How do you back up the router usb drive itself? My NAS automates a usb backup weekly and I take it offsite every month. External drives are also versatile and come in many different capacities, shapes, and sizes.

They are the best way to carry data with you or to quickly make backups of your important data. Cons of external drives The main disadvantage of external drives is their inability to share data or unused storage space with other computers or devices, other than the one to which it's connected.

Portable drives are also prone to data loss because they can be dropped, get lost, or even get stolen. No matter how big or small, external drives use one of the following four peripheral standards to connect to a host. USB or universal serial bus Living up to its name, USB is by far the most universally used peripheral standard among computers and electronic devices. There are now two main USB standards: The former is available in virtually all computers made in the last decade, while the latter has gained popularity in just the past three years.

For best performance, however, both the host and the external drive need to support USB 3. The easiest way to tell which USB standard a device supports is via the color of the port or the connector: On the host, the USB port remains physically the same this port is called A-female , which allows it to host USB devices of any standard. A USB cable comes with two connector ends. The end that goes into a host called A-male remains the same regardless of USB standards. The other end called B-male varies depending on the type of B-female port the device has.

This is the standard cable used for most printers and USB 2. This is a standard USB 2. Older portable drives and smartphones use this type of cable. This is the most popular USB 2. This is the regular-size USB 3. Both of its connector ends are blue. This is the cable used in most portable USB 3. Generally, only the the A-male connector of this cable is blue. All USB storage devices come with their own cables. But should you lose that cable, don't worry; you're not out of luck.

You can use USB cables interchangeably among devices that share that particular type of cable. You can also buy standard cables on the market; they don't cost very much. Just make sure you buy the right type for your device. It comes in two speed standards, FireWire and FireWire , that offer speeds of Mbps and Mbps, respectively.

FireWire lets you daisy-chain multiple storage devices together, so you can add more storage to a host that has only one FireWire port. FireWire and FireWire use a cable type of their own and also come in regular and mini sizes. FireWire, however, is becoming obsolete and isn't supported by newer computers. Though it's very fast, eSATA is not universally available; most of the time you'll need an add-in card to support this standard.

There's only one type of eSATA cable, with both of its ends the same. Thunderbolt Thunderbolt is the latest and the fastest peripheral connection to date. Introduced back in January and initially made available to Macs only, the new Thunderbolt standard allows for speeds of up to 10Gbps twice that of SATA 3. On top of that, up to seven devices can be daisy chained to one another without degrading the connection speed.

Thunderbolt supports more than just storage; it also can deliver audio and video signals, making it the most versatile and powerful peripheral standard thus far. Thunderbolt is not perfect, however. For now it's still mostly used in Macs, and it's also very expensive. The Thunderbolt cable, however, is the first active cable, which means that it's a device all by itself, which allows for consistency in performance and other features.

There's currently only one standard Thunderbolt cable and port type. A NAS solution negates the biggest drawback of external drives: For home and small-business users, there are two main types of NAS: A NAS server generally connects directly to a router, or a switch, using a network cable. It's similar to a real server that hosts lots of storage space, except it doesn't have a mouse, keyboard, or a display.

Instead it can be controlled via a Web interface. To take advantage of a NAS server, you need to connect it to the network using a Gigabit wired connection. Depending on the configuration, a NAS server can do a lot more than just provide storage. It can work as a streaming server, broadcasting digital content to network media players, host storage for remote users to access via the Internet, and even run apps designed for NAS servers.

Currently Synology offers by far the most robust NAS servers on the market that offers pretty much everything you'd expect from a storage device and more. NAS-enabled routers These are routers that comes with USB ports, built-in storage, or a drive bay to host a hard drive. Currently most high-end Wi-Fi routers come with one or two USB ports that you can connect an external drive to. This type of router generally offers two main network storage features: They provide the NAS feature as an option for those who just want to use network storage casually.

Compared with dedicated NAS servers, these routers offer fewer features and much slower data rates. Pros of NAS NAS solutions offer a lot more features than external drives and allow multiple clients to access its storage and resources at a time. For those that come with Internet-based features, the data is also available to remote users without the risk of losing it or hardware damage caused by travel.

For many tasks, such as downloading a huge amount of data from the Internet, a NAS server lets you do so without needing to have your computer on. In the best-case scenario, MBps is the fastest data connection you can get from a NAS server, but most servers are slower. Note that MBps is in no way slow; in fact it's very fast, even faster than the real-world speed of many internal drives.

However, having that speed ceiling means that for now you can't use NAS for heavy-duty applications such as HD movie editing. On top of this, NAS is generally harder to set up than an external drive and is more suitable for advanced or professional users than for novices. That's it for now.

Understanding the common terms

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