Among all digital gadgets that you can have at home these days, there is one that I like and that I recommend to everyone: the NAS, to centralize (and secure) your data. Also referred to as network attached server devices or serveur nas, these devices have been on the rise over the past decade !
What is a NAS?
NAS stands for Network-Attached Storage. It is a volume – like a hard disk – network, which can be accessible by everyone in your home or even outside. It is a mini-server.
You can then create users and user groups. You can configure different shares, volumes, which will be network disks, to limit access to specific data for individual users. Thus, the child will not have access to videos shot with mom, and mom will not have access to your collection of personal movies.
Beyond this “access security” aspect, a NAS very often has the advantage of having several hard drives, and of providing redundancy for your data. It is not a backup solution as such, but significant protection against hardware failures.
Why do you need it?
As mentioned above, the centralization and security of data are the biggest arguments for buying a NAS. Beyond that, since a NAS is a tiny server, you can do a lot of things.
The first of these is to outsource the downloading of your files to the NAS, instead of doing it on your computer.
For your collection of movies, you can use an application like Plex to play your media on TV. You can even play them on a smartphone away from home as long as you have an internet connection. Quite honestly, it’s part of the uses that have changed my digital life, and I won’t go back for anything in the world.
You can use your NAS server as a camera surveillance server, publish web content, print files from your tablet. It’s a new world that you will discover
Which NAS to buy?
I can’t advise you to buy a single bay model, which won’t protect you against hardware failures (no RAID). I would recommend the Synology or Qnap brand, for the power of their solutions, their beautiful design, and their regular updates.
I hope I’ve covered the subject of NAS servers and their use-cases as well as usefulness. I do not deliberately go into the details of everything that can be done, but you can find more on the web learn more about this technology.