NAS (Network Attached Storage) devices are becoming quite popular inside the office and out. Over the past year or so, these devices have also become far more advanced than they ever were before. Most electronics stores and online shops carry more than one NAS device, though choosing the right one can be a bit tricky. The main purpose of a NAS device is to store data that can be shared through a network, but some of these devices can now do many additional things like work with iTunes. So, how do you buy a NAS device that will provide everything you need? Take a look at this buying guide before you head to the store!
User-Friendliness – Really Important!
Just a few years ago, the only people messing around with NAS devices were highly skilled technicians. Today, NAS devices have hit the mainstream, which often means that many of these storage systems are easy to set up. Since you can’t test a NAS device before you buy it, look for one that has some kind of setup guide (like a Wizard); adequate user support (an extensive Help file, technical service line, or website full of problem shooting answers and questions); and settings that are easy to configure.
As a general rule of thumb, any interface that includes large and colorful icons, simple dropdown menus, and plenty of instruction is an interface that’s also user-friendly. If the device you’re considering has none of the aforementioned things, you could be setting yourself up for hours full of frustration. By looking at the box that a NAS device comes in, you should be able to determine just how user-friendly a device is.
Features: Find What You Want
That really expensive and super shiny NAS device that a store salesman has been pitching for hours might sound like just the thing – but is it? If you don’t need all of those features (and you’ll never use them), there’s really no need to purchase a NAS device that has it all. What features should you look for? Consider the following possible features, and then determine if you actually need all of these things.
Some popular NAS features include: complete backup capabilities on all types of machines including Mac, Windows, and even Linux (if used); cloud backup and storage; and file sharing capabilities. If you find a NAS device that doesn’t have Linux support and you’ll never actually need this type of support, go ahead and purchase the one that works with Mac and Windows – or just Windows or just Mac. Keep in mind that the more features a device has, the more expensive that device will be.
Security Is Vital
Where there’s a network, there’s a way for a hacker to break into that network. Rarely do NAS devices not include some type of security, but, just in case, do make sure that any device you are considering has encryption options in addition to complete user control (both encryption features and user control is optimal here!).
What You Can Expect to Pay
For Consumer-based NAS devices, you can expect to pay anywhere from $60 to over $400. Again, the price that you pay will depend on the features and options included, which is why it’s important to know what you want before you step in that store. Keeping these basic NAS shopping tips in mind will help you get the best device for your network without breaking the bank!