Cloud storage is on the rise and the only closest idea to a network based storage solution is a NAS (Network Attached Storage). Network attached storage is a device which is essential for external drive that connects to the internet in order to share files amongst the network. Here’s a look at choosing between the two and what strengths they have over each other.
Having your data linked to the internet allows for many things. For one it allows your storage not to be in a centralized location rather many different locations. This is useful for sharing files, moving them across devices and so on. Overall the importance of backing up your data into a system is that it allows your files to be accessed whenever and wherever you want to. External drives limit you to physical access. NAS’s are bit better than external drives but still rely on a physical drive aspect.
Cloud vs NAS
Cloud storage allows all of your data pictures, documents, videos and so on be stored in the internet and accessible across all machines or devices that have an internet connection. This means that you can restore anywhere in the world the files you need whenever you need them.
A NAS involves you possessing physical drives. Some support only one drive while others can fit multiple. However the point of failure still relies on the drive which can be damaged at any time. However with cloud storage your point of failure doesn’t exist in one drive rather a series of hardware that is always being backed up and is always accessible. You don’t have to worry about any physical media. With cloud storage you are essentially renting drive space based on your subscription plan to a specific provider. This also means the scaling storage is available when it comes to cloud just as well as it is with a NAS.
NAS however get costly when you have to upgrade the physical drives to increase storage or just fixed old ones. With cloud storage you can just add more via the providers with no hassle and typically much cheaper.
Thought it is worth noting if you are willing to spend a bit more money on a NAS you can get some specialized hardware like a Drobo. These specializes hardware works more efficiently and allows for easier swapping of storage. For some users there is a time and place for physical storage, certain jobs may require this while others would benefit much more highly from cloud based solutions. A NAS solution also offers higher end storage capacity when it gets to the 3TB+ scenarios. Some cloud services can shoulder this storage plan however typically cost much more monthly or annually. Whereas NAS require smaller drives combining to make up larger amount of storage.
In the end, for 1TB and below or just personal backup solutions, cloud storage proves to be more convenient and easy to access. This also provides a system that is much more reliable and doesn’t depend on physical drives that can die out. However NAS storage has its advantages in certain use cases as well. It all comes down to your preferences and environment that you will be using each in.