Most Americans have more devices than ever: desktops, laptops, smartphones and tablets clutter our workspace and our lives. Along with all of those devices, we have an ever increasing number of files we have to manage as well. The question that arises when considering this avalanche of files is one of storage. Where is the best place to keep all of these images and documents, etc? One option that many people may not have considered is network attached storage.
Typically, people have thought to take advantage of other storage options, like a portable hard drive. Many users plug a separate hard drive into the USB slot on their computers and back up all of their files this way. But this option is not always the most convenient. Other options that people might use include converting an old computer into a storage device using Linux, getting a wireless hard disk drive, or using a wireless router with a USB port.
These options fit under the banner of network attached storage. NAS simply refers to a storage solution, typically a hard disk, which connects to your home network. It allows you to access files from any device on your network, from a set top box to a desktop computer to a tablet and more.
One major benefit of network attached storage is sharability. If you want sharable storage, NAS is the way to go. It can work as a stand-alone file server and allow you to stream content to all of your devices. You can also backup your files automatically in case of a disaster. Many NAS solutions come with USB ports so you can expand them by adding further portable drives. Still others have RAID features, which lets you have your hard disks mirror each other, which is another layer of security in the event of a hardware failure.
One company that provide open-source, software only network attached storage solutions is Red Hat (News - Alert). For more information on its NAS solutions, click here.
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Edited by Brooke Neuman