Follow Us

We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message


Group Review

Find the best barebones NAS box

Article comments

Network-attached storage boxes are commonly sold already pre-configured with drives, but many companies offer the option for you to build your NAS up yourself. These storage manufacturers sell their NAS devices bare, so you can populate them with the capacity and types of hard drives you prefer.

Adding your own drives sometimes requires a modicum of skill with a screwdriver, but it also allows you to put to good use any SATA hard drives you may have lying around, to go with a brand or model of hard drive of your choosing, or to take advantage of the current lowest prices on hard drives. Typically, rolling your own will save some dough over buying a box pre-configured.

All current and recent NAS enclosures use SATA. You can still find the odd plain-ATA unit, but they're increasingly rare, and we recommend avoiding them. Most NAS boxes offer USB 2.0 ports for transferring data from flash or external hard drives, or for sharing printers across the network. More expensive units offer eSATA and dual ethernet connections to increase speed and provide access if one connection fails, as well as faster CPUs and better performance. USB 3.0 is just now starting to hit NAS enclosures. The Iomega StorCenter px6-300d was the first to offer this feature.

Software is another major differentiator among NAS boxes. NAS boxes run a version of Linux that you access and administrate via a Web browser. How much functionality is built into the software on the NAS varies dramatically from company to company. Products from manufacturers such as QNAP and Synology are closer in capability to a small business server than to a simple storage device, with built-in memory and a dedicated CPU.

They offer website hosting, HTML-based multimedia access across the web, video surveillance, syncing with other NAS boxes across the Internet and a number of additional advanced capabilities. Many small businesses would be far better served by a top notch NAS box than by a full Windows PC-based server. Meanwhile, remote access is a common capability among NAS boxes for home and office, as is media streaming (including the ability to act as an iTunes server).



Send to a friend

Email this article to a friend or colleague:

PLEASE NOTE: Your name is used only to let the recipient know who sent the story, and in case of transmission error. Both your name and the recipient's name and address will not be used for any other purpose.

Techworld White Papers

Choose – and Choose Wisely – the Right MSP for Your SMB

End users need a technology partner that provides transparency, enables productivity, delivers...

Download Whitepaper

10 Effective Habits of Indispensable IT Departments

It’s no secret that responsibilities are growing while budgets continue to shrink. Download this...

Download Whitepaper

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Information Archiving

Enterprise information archiving is contributing to organisational needs for e-discovery and...

Download Whitepaper

Advancing the state of virtualised backups

Dell Software’s vRanger is a veteran of the virtualisation specific backup market. It was the...

Download Whitepaper

Techworld UK - Technology - Business

Innovation, productivity, agility and profit

Watch this on demand webinar which explores IT innovation, managed print services and business agility.

Techworld Mobile Site

Access Techworld's content on the move

Get the latest news, product reviews and downloads on your mobile device with Techworld's mobile site.

Find out more...

From Wow to How : Making mobile and cloud work for you

On demand Biztech Briefing - Learn how to effectively deliver mobile work styles and cloud services together.

Watch now...

Site Map

* *