A Network Attached Storage is a device that protects, shares, and stores your important data. Before you buy a NAS unit, you should consider whether the device comes with a capacious storage, decent connectivity options, ideal build, and impressive specifications.
If you want to invest in a NAS that you can use for a long time, the feature you should avoid is a low storage space that will be filled completely in less than a year. To determine the capacity of a NAS model, check the number of drive bays. Basically, the more drive bays in a NAS unit, the more data it can hold. For instance, if a NAS contains a memory of 6 TB and has 3 bays, then it’s maximum capacity is 18 TB (just multiply the memory by the number of bays the NAS has).
Another important feature of a NAS is its network connectivity options that determine how easily you can acquire data on and off the device. Although 802.11 ac WiFi is the standard these days, it’s not fast enough to move files from a SATA hard drive, which is why many NAS models don’t come with WiFi. So, you need your NAS to at least wield a pair of Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) ports to stay connected within the network if a port malfunctions. Aside from that, you should also check the number and the kind of USB ports a NAS model has. Typical NAS devices sport at least three USB 2.0 ports but if you want something better, then go for one that offers USB 3.0 ports. They are 10 times quicker, allowing you to transfer to/from your external storage quickly.
NAS servers come in various forms. There are cube-shaped variants which are designed to complement with desktops that sit neatly on a desk. They are the most common build you’ll find on the market. There are also rack-mounted designs that are generally costlier than their desktop variants. They are often used in businesses who place them into server cabinets along with other networking equipment.
Like many storage devices such as external storage HDD, NAS units are integrated with a processor, memory, and RAM. Since most models come with a built-in processor that cannot be upgraded, you should get one that has enough horsepower. Inexpensive variants of NAS devices run on a single 1 GHz processor, while high-end units run on multiple processors. Basically, the more processors, the better the performance. This includes quicker speeds, better responsiveness, and having the ability to carry heavier workloads. However, keep in mind that more processing power can lead to bigger power consumption. So, if energy costs matter to you, then find a unit that offers a balance between performance and power.