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When you use a NAS, your data remains in your home and does not go to the cloud unless you tell it to do so. Many NAS devices have even added photo-management tools and file-syncing services that attempt to replicate various cloud storage offerings. A NAS is a computer, so it can do almost anything a Linux computer can do.

While that flexibility is great, it can also make some NAS devices confusing to use. Each NAS has its own manufacturer-specific version of Linux, and some are more approachable than others. If you want to share and store data on your network, you may not need a NAS. Windows, macOS, and Linux also have built-in file-sharing features that make using your computer as a file server easy.

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But that approach takes up disk space on your computer and is more difficult to manage securely, and your computer has to be on all the time, which consumes more power than a NAS and might make the data inaccessible when your computer goes to sleep. Websites focused on enterprise network storage, such as Computer Weekly and StorageReview. Many NAS devices can also manage decent on-the-fly transcoding with their own apps, but Plex transcoding currently requires a lot of CPU power, and none of the models we tested were able to handle transcoding in Plex reliably.

You could make your own NAS with old computer hardware and free software such as FreeNAS or XigmaNAS , but a dedicated NAS device uses far less power usually about as much as a couple of LED light bulbs , has a better interface and more apps, and comes with a manufacturer warranty and technical support. Back in , we surveyed 1, Wirecutter readers on what they wanted in a home NAS, and most of those requirements still hold true.

When deciding which models to test, we paid attention to a number of key features that most home users needed:. First we set up each NAS following its included install guide, if it had one. We tested ease of use by configuring user and group accounts, as well as file and folder access permissions. We checked to see if the NAS offered a secure cloud service for remote access, which would avoid having to mess with port forwarding and static IP addresses.

We ran each test nine times in each direction: To simulate drive failure, we pulled a drive from the NAS while it was running. A NAS should beep or flash an LED to alert you that something is wrong, and the interface should show a drive-failure notification.

The Best NAS for Most Home Users

Next we replaced the pulled drive with one of equal or greater capacity. A NAS should detect a new drive and automatically re-create the mirrored array. A good NAS has drive trays or slots that make the drives easy to remove but are sturdy enough to ensure that the drives fit tightly and securely, with no chance of getting disconnected by a random bump. We also connected a flash drive to one of the USB ports. A NAS interface should recognize a connected drive and display its make, model, and file system.

The Best NAS (Network Attached Storage) Devices for | rarogosbe.tk

All our NAS picks have some sort of energy-saving feature. We used a Kill A Watt EZ to test the power consumption on each NAS when it was performing a task such as a file copy , when it was idle, and with its energy-saving options enabled. The playing field was much more level when we tested using our folder containing two large files: Btrfs also features near-instant server-side copying, data integrity checks, and metadata mirroring, which supposedly helps with data recovery in the case of hard-drive damage.

Thorin Klosowski. The interface in DiskStation Manager offers an overlay for system health as well as easy access to all the settings you need.

Back to basics: what is NAS?

You can quickly find and install new applications in Package Center. In our tests, file transfer in encrypted folders was around 60 percent of the speed of transfer in non-encrypted folders. DSM has a toolbar on the top where you can access the main menu, notifications, and login options, search for files, and check on system health. Below that toolbar, you have a desktop where you can access Package Center a store of sorts filled with add-on software , the file browser, the control panel which includes all your settings , and a support area offering video tutorials, FAQs, and more.

Optimise your storage

You can customize the dashboard to include storage, connected users, and more. DSM also includes handy features for novices. While these commands may be familiar to veteran systems administrators, new users or anyone who has forgotten the server name will welcome the embedded tip. DSM has an optional cloud service called Cloud Station Server that allows you to access your files remotely.

Top 3 Cheap NAS of 2018

You can set those backups to happen on a schedule and optionally encrypt them before you upload them to another service. DSM packs in numerous security measures. For better or worse, instead of having one big app with tons of features, Synology takes a piecemeal approach to its mobile apps. We also had issues with any 4K video using the DTS audio codec, in which no sound would play. We recommend transcoding your video files ahead of time if you plan on using your NAS as a media server.

The best NAS drives 2018: backup, store and access your data from anywhere

You can do this with the Offline Transcoding feature in Video Station , though unfortunately you need to manually choose individual videos to convert. Logging in to DSM, we found another notification as well as instructions for how to rebuild the drive array in the Storage Manager once we replaced it. You can adjust the LED brightness or set it up on a schedule so the lights dim at night.

Or you can set it to export, say, only video files from a specific folder. This unit also supports more than 5, different IP cameras and has special configuration settings for uninterruptible power supplies. Unlike our main pick, the TSB can encrypt whole volumes, not just folders. Design-wise, QTS takes at least some of its inspiration from iOS, loading up all your add-on packages as icons on a desktop.

When we pulled out a drive and inserted a fresh one to simulate replacing a failed drive, it rebuilt its array without trouble. QNAP provides a two-year warranty and excellent support both over the phone and via an online forum, plus a knowledge base and tutorials. A two-bay NAS is the best option for most people who want to use theirs for home backup, but if you need more capacity or data protection, get the Synology DiskStation DSplay.

For starters, you can opt for RAID 5, 6, or 10; those data storage configurations require three or more disks but provide better data protection and depending on which RAID configuration you choose can offer better performance. A four-bay NAS also lets you expand your storage capacity more easily since you can start with two drives and add more as needed, whereas the only way to expand the storage space on a two-bay NAS is to replace first one drive and then the other with higher-capacity drives.

Four-drive NAS devices are typically more suited to professional settings—and if you want to use one, having a good understanding of RAID storage management will help. Very few NAS devices prompt you to change or reset the admin password—doing so, however, is a crucial security step, because the NAS connects to the Internet and is thus a ripe target for threats.

So the first thing to do with any new NAS is to change the password on the admin account both Synology and QNAP prompt you to do this during the initial setup. Creating a unique user account for each person who accesses your NAS is a good idea.

You can do so on any of the NAS devices we tested by going into the user settings in the interface. If you want to give someone the ability to upload files to the NAS, give that user write permissions as well as read permissions. If someone should only download files, make them a read-only user. When something goes wrong with a NAS, the culprit is usually drive failure, and according to this infographic from Seagate , temperature extremes are one of the top five causes of hard-drive failure.

Data corruption is another big issue with hard drives. Otherwise, if something goes wrong with the NAS, you may have problems getting customer support—or worse, you may discover that you voided the warranty. The same rule applies to memory: WD engineers designed these drives to tolerate heat and vibration better than typical hard drives though not as much as enterprise-server drives , so these drives are ideal for multidrive NAS setups.

The My Cloud Home Duo needs to be connected to the Internet if you want to use all its features, even within your home network. And in our tests, reading and writing to a user folder was far slower than using the Public one: The TSP2 lagged the TSB on our read-and-write tests, and includes hot-swappable drives and hardware encryption.

In fact, user-friendliness is one of the unit's key strengths, so it's worth a look if you're just getting started with networked storage. You get two 3. Around the back are two USB 3.

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Allowing access to different users is a breeze, transfer speeds are quick, and it looks quite nice too, which helps. It's not always easy trying to find a decent NAS down at the budget end of the scale but the single-bay TS does the job and brings you all the benefits of a QNAP drive that we mentioned above: You're essentially buying an external hard drive with the added bonus of network connectivity - there's no data redundancy so make sure you have copies of your files somewhere else. It's a great 'starter' NAS with plenty of easy-to-use software for synchronising files and streaming media to other devices.

Netgear is another hardware maker with a strong track record in consumer NAS drives, and the ReadyNAS is a solid choice if you've looking for extra capacity - it has four drive bays rather than two, and the disks you install can be set up in a variety of ways. It doesn't have quite the power of some other similarly priced NAS units, so you may not be able to get as many types of media transcoded to as many types of devices, but it does all the basics well Plex support is particularly good , and we like the look of the sturdy metal finish too.

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T3 is part of Future plc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. Visit our corporate site. All rights reserved. England and Wales company registration number T3 Smarter Living. Sign up to our newsletter Newsletter. Basically, having a NAS drive rocks!

The 7 best NAS drives you can buy today 1. Specifications Bays: Marvell Armada 88F dual-core 1.

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Reasons to avoid - Not for advanced users. Alpine AL quad-core 1. Reasons to avoid - Too many features for beginners.