It’s a process to attach a hard drive to your network and make it accessible to all of your devices for centralized file-sharing and backups.
You could just use your NAS ( Network Attached Storage ) to make your files available to you over the Internet while using it as a remote file server you can access from anywhere possible.
A NAS device is a storage device that is connected to a network that allows the storage and retrieval of data from a central location for authorized network users and varied clients.
NAS devices are flexible and scale-out devices, which means that as you need additional storage, you can just add to what you have.
NAS is like having a private cloud in the office, it is faster, cheaper, and offers all the benefits of a public cloud on-site, which gives you complete control.
The Dedicated NAS Devices
This is most obvious, though it is not necessarily the best way to get a NAS is just to buy a ready-made, ready to use NAS device.
Just go to a website such as Amazon and perform a search for “NAS” and you will find some devices which are marketed as a home file or media servers.
These devices have a built-in hard drive and some of the basic server software which can easily connect to your Wi-Fi or wired network and offer you a NAS file server.
They are all in one solution so you can just grab a box, plug it in, and start using it.
Normally, these devices can be controlled via a web interface, such as your router can be.
You can then easily access the files using a variety of different applications and even run different bits of software on the NAS itself, as such media server solutions for streaming media and BitTorrent clients for downloading directly on these devices.
Many types of backup software can back up directly to the network storage.
Router including USB Ports
Many of the routers do not include a built-in hard drive, but they do provide you with something which is almost as good. Very few of the routers, especially the higher-end ones, include a USB port.
Just plug an external hard drive or even a USB flash drive ( It is preferred not to use a flash drive if you intend on using it heavily ) into the USB port.
The router which has built-in NAS software can do all of the rest, which exposes it to the network as a NAS. You can then enable the NAS server from your router’s web interface and set everything.
Now for the Apple users, the standard AirPort Extreme wireless router also works that way, which offers a USB port so you can connect external drives to you.
Many of the routers, especially the high-end ones, as well as the low end, also the bottom of the barrel ones do not want to overdo USB hardware and the extra software which includes USB ports so they can easily function as a NAS in this way.
This is mostly a very good and smart option, even though it may be a bit slow if you are using a 2.0 USB drives which is especially compared to internal drives.
You can get a much faster speed if you will use a USB 3.0 external drive along with a router with a USB 3.0 port, nonetheless.
External hard drives can offer a much larger speed improvement from a USB 3.0 as compared to a typical USB flash drive can.
Network Attached Drive Enclosures
Other than buying a pre-made NAS or wanting to use your router as a NAS, you will always have to buy a network-attached drive enclosure.
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