Network Home Storage Devices

Digital media consumption often revolves around the computer. If you buy your music, movies, or computer games online, you might be looking for a storage solution that lets you share media with the other computers and devices in your home. There are three main ways to share files with all computers on a home network, and each way has its own advantages and disadvantages. File Server
A file server is a computer created for the purpose of sharing data with other computers on a network. Your computer can become a file server through the printer sharing feature and Microsoft Windows. If you have a large tower computer, the maximum amount of storage available is only limited by the number of hard drives that can fit into the computer. This method of networked file storage is inexpensive, assuming you already have a desktop computer and home network, you just need to buy an extra hard drive if you’re out of storage space. The biggest disadvantage is that the computer must always remain on, or the other computers in the house will not be able to access the shared files.
Network- Attached Storage (NAS)
A Network-attached Storage (NAS) is a small device with space for hard drives – usually two or more. The device has an Ethernet port on the back, allowing you to connect it directly to your network router. Most NAS devices feature RAID, a technology that protects data. With RAID enabled on a NAS, each hard drive contains a certain amount of redundant data. If a hard drive in the device fails, redundant data is used to reconstruct the missing data from the failed hard drive so that when a new drive is installed, the data is automatically copied back to it. It is also possible to configure most desktop computers with RAID, but it is technically challenging for beginners to do so, while a NAS can implement RAID automatically. An additional benefit of using a NAS is that – because it is just a storage device and not a complete computer – the power consumption is less than it would be for a file server. The downside is that a NAS can cost hundreds of dollars and hard drives usually must be purchased separately. Storage
Cloud Storage
Cloud is storage space that exists on the Internet, rather than a computer or device in your home. Typically, a company that offers cloud storage space offers an unlimited amount of storage for a monthly or yearly subscription fee. Cloud storage can cost significantly less than a NAS and has the added benefit of not adding to the energy bill. Additionally, cloud storage providers manage their own data backups and typically ensure that your data will not be lost. However, providers have their own policies, so it is important to research carefully before choosing a provider. In addition, some providers may charge additional fees if you want to access online storage space from multiple computers.


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