If you are looking for the best home NAS to consolidate your data, music and media files then you want to buy the best home network storage you can for the money. A home NAS device is an investment that should last you quite a few years if you buy the right one.
The right buying guidance will help you determine what features and benefits are important to you and will actually be useful in your home.
Some people want a home NAS solely for the purpose of backing up their individual computers. For that you may not be interested in NAS RAID to protect your data from a hard drive failure since it is only serving as a backup to other hard drives. Sooner or later, though, you will find yourself storing something on there that is NOT just a backup file and ultimately can lead to heartache when the inevitable crash occurs.
All hard disks will eventually fail. No exceptions. Any hard drive that does not fail on you is a hard drive you did not own long enough. Hard drives are like light bulbs, they can last a week or a decade. Most, though, fail somewhere in between.
My guess is that once you see how much you can really do with the best home NAS devices out there you will want to start taking advantage of those features.
If you are like most people and are using your new home network storage device to consolidate all of your music, movie and data files from all of your computers you may decide that the ability of the better NAS devices to automatically copy your files to an online backup service with a reasonable annual fee is a great option.
Let’s face it, most backups just do not happen unless they are setup to work automatically.
Another really cool feature is that you can download movies, which are usually pretty large, straight to your home NAS that is connected to the home network and then stream that movie to your PlayStation, XBox or even right to your new HDTV to watch.
Many cheap NAS devices available do not have the ability for media streaming and other cool multimedia functions like the best home NAS devices will.
Another item that you will want to take into consideration is how many hard drives you want the home network storage device to contain. Most will hold at least two and offer to “mirror” those in a RAID1 array.
Larger units of four or even six hard drive bays give you the option of starting out with only a couple of hard drives and then expanding later on. It is best to ensure that the NAS device you buy is able to expand the storage area without having to backup your data, reconfigure the unit with the new or larger drives and then restore your data back onto it.