What in the World is NAS?

I’ve worked in the halls of high tech for over 20 years. At times, I forget that some of the coolest technology today often won’t make its way to the  main streets for another year or two. Well, I’m here to let you in on a little secret. It’s called NAS and it’s time you know about it.

So what is NAS? NAS (rhymes with “jazz”) stands for Network Attached Storage, which is an apt name for hard disk storage with its own network address. How does it differ from DAS? DAS or Direct-attached storage is what you are likely more familiar with. Direct attached storage uses a USB cable, Thunderport cable, or some other direct-connect cable to connect right to a computer. But it only works on the computer that it is attached to. NAS, on the other hand, is a little different. It can essentially allow you to make a cloud storage backup out of your home computer. Let’s take a look.

Nearly every home has a network, or at least has the capability to have one set up.  Go look at your wireless router or cable modem and you’ll see open ethernet ports on the back. These ports can be used to set up a network in your home or small office which can connect to hard wired PC’s, printers, and yes, NAS devices into. The router or modem allows people within that network to access the internet and share files securely. Plug a NAS device into it and you have just installed a central backup drive that anyone with permission to the network can use or access.

So, what can you do when you add a NAS to your network?

  • Backup all the files from all the PCs in your business or home.
  • Use it as a streaming media server.
  • Access your home files when you’re out of the home, even from mobile devices.
  • Set up a home surveillance system.
  • Run a webserver and never pay monthly fees to host your website again!
  • Connect to it with both Windows or MAC (and Linux if that’s your proclivity).
  • Set it up with RAID redundancy (sorry, tech leak. Ensures you won’t lose your stuff).
  • Make a secondary, offsite copy of all the content on it with a NAS cloud backup service, such as Symform.

After all that you should be asking, “Hey, where can I get one of these gems?” The answer is almost anywhere. Check out the online resellers and search for NAS. Some of the manufacturers include Netgear, QNAP, Synology and many others.

Last words. Try NAS, you won’t be sorry.