This post was brought to you by Synology.
Go back in time just a decade or two, and you’ll probably remember those bulky CD and DVD albums for all the totally legal copies of movies and music your family had laying around. The family computer meanwhile was the hub for kids to do their schoolwork, where mum got her recipes and where dad read his emails.
These days though, pretty much everyone has their own device in the house, each with their own numerous files and folders of photos, videos, music and documents. And DVDs have fallen out of fashion too as many now prefer to either stream their content or download it directly to your device. However, while this all seems pretty fine and dandy, there’s still an actual limit on how much you can keep on your devices based on the storage on it.
If you’re a gamer for example, your computer’s hard drive might be full of video games instead, with no extra space for precious memories. Or maybe you’re sharing your main computer with others in the house, and so storage space has to be split among the users. Or maybe you live alone, but you’re also simply a data hoarder who saves and backs up each and every mildly important file. Well in this case, you’re going to want to consider a network attached storage (NAS).
But what’s a NAS in the first place?
First off, no we’re not referring to the rapper for all you 90s kids out there. We’re talking about a network attached storage, which is a smart storage connected to your local network whose sole purpose is to store your data. They contain a number of hard drives and can be accessed by its users over the internet. You can think of it like a warehouse for all your data, where you and your loved ones can use to keep their files into one secure and centralised storage space.
You might be thinking to yourself though, “Why would I need it? Can’t I just use Google Drive? Or even a USB drive?” Well for a start, compared to cloud storage the biggest benefit of a NAS is that you physically own it. This means that no one else could get hold of your files, ever, unless you let them.
Security aside though, a NAS typically offers much more storage than a free cloud storage solution would—unless of course you’re willing to pay monthly subscription fees for. Then there’s also the possibility of the cloud storage provider being down when you need it. USB drives meanwhile may offer more portability, but a lack of off-site access and ease of losing it means it shouldn’t be your main backup option either.
With a NAS, you’ll be able to let your family upload their respective photos into a single, central storage space. Just back from a vacation? Each family member can upload them to a NAS. Missed out on a family occasion? Watch the birthday video straight off your NAS. The best NAS machines from Synology even automatically groups images together based on similar faces and places, thanks to AI technology. There are also NAS options with an SSD cache together with old school hard drives, allowing for speeding data requests while having large storage configurations.
What if my NAS gets damaged?
It should perhaps first be pointed out that there isn’t really too much to worry when it comes to data loss—assuming you’ve done the necessary prevention work such as having backups elsewhere. Synology themselves recommend a 3-2-1 solution to steer clear of data loss: have 3 copies of your files, store them on two different media, and have one off-site.
Also, Synology NAS machines feature multiple license-free backup software that can help you with the process; simply head over to the Synology NAS Package Center and you can find everything you need there. You’ll be able to do everything from make copies of your data to another medium, or make multiple copies of your files on the NAS itself. Of course, drive failures can still occur anytime even in your NAS, but there are things you can do to avoid it.
With Synology NAS devices for instance, you can use the Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology (SMART) to detect mechanical and electrical issues on your NAS’ drives. This lets you diagnose your NAS’ overall health status, ensuring a quick and easy way to ensure your files are safe and secured. Alternatively, you can also configure your Synology NAS to alert you whenever it detects any errors. This is all on top of the fact that NAS hard drives are specially designed to handle 24/7 operation and take the vibration and heat generated from such use. These numerous fail safes all work to ensure your NAS keeps your data secure and safe.
That being said, these are all with the caveat that there’s actually still power to keep the NAS running. If you ever had your electricity trip at home during a thunderstorm, you’d know the importance of using a Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) for your computers. In this case, Synology too recommends a UPS for your NAS. Your data likely won’t be gone, but with a UPS in place it’s extra security for something as vital as your data.
Where do I get a NAS?
Let’s face it though, a NAS is not something that everyone should be getting. If all you do is watch YouTube videos and work on the occasional Excel sheet, you probably won’t see the need for a NAS device. However, if you’re a data hoarder who needs more than 256GB of space for critical data (not counting video games and the like), then you should definitely consider investing in a NAS.
On top of that, you could also get a NAS for your household. This allows everyone to dump their photos, music, videos and documents into a single, easy to access location without worry of losing that USB drive or getting locked out of your cloud storage account. Or perhaps you simply value the idea of privacy over data, in which case you’d rather have everything consolidated in your own home or office rather than on the cloud.
All of these are valid concerns and reasons to get a NAS. If you’re thinking of getting one then look no further than Synology. They’re one of the top names when it comes to NAS machines, and users often appreciate their user-friendly interface with lots of built-in software according to your needs. Synology offers a wide range of NAS configurations for everyone, be it for your house or a small office to a business or enterprise too. For those interested, you can head over to their website where they also have a NAS selector tool to help guide you through the configuration process.
Want to use your NAS as a multimedia and productivity hub while hosting multiple virtual machines on it? Take a look at the Synology DiskStation DS920+, with its quad-core Intel CPU, space for up to nine drives and two built-in SSD slots too for cache acceleration. Need a simpler NAS for your own personal multimedia library? Synology’s got you covered too with the DiskStation DS220+, a compact NAS for easy data sharing, video streaming and photo indexing.
For more information on Synology and their NAS solutions, feel free to check out their where to buy page on their website and get a NAS for your home or business today.