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If you are thinking of acquiring a hard drive for NAS, we propose this guide so that you can acquire the best of the options and we also propose a list with the best brands and models that you can acquire, so that you do not get lost even if you do not have technical knowledge. In other words, everything you need to know about the NAS world gathered in a single article…

And if you still do not know what NAS (Network Attached Storage) technology is, we will also explain everything you should know, with the possibilities and comforts that this type of device allows us, and thus you can assess whether you need a NAS to your needs or not.

What is NAS?

NAS (Network Attached Storage) is a technology that allows us to have a storage device with an integrated network adapter so that it can be connected by cable or WiFi to our LAN or the Internet and thus have it simply by connecting to this network from anywhere. That is, it is storage connected to the network through protocols such as TCP / IP.

These devices can be purchased already complete, that is, a casing that integrates a hard disk or several inside it, and also the power supply and the network adapter to provide it with a link to our network, or we can also buy casings for NAS and ourselves purchase the hard drive or hard drives separately. This gives us more flexibility when choosing the hardware, just like the hard drive enclosures that we can buy. We can even mount a NAS server to connect through any client and use this “home cloud” service.

What does a NAS allow me?

With the previous definition, it will have already given you many clues of the possibilities that a NAS allows you, such as having your private storage cloud at home. That is, connect a hard drive to the network and from anywhere on the planet, be able to store what you want or access content. For what? Well…

Backup: Allows you to make backup copies of your PCs and mobile devices (smartphones, tablets, …) when you need it on a private storage medium that you manage yourself, so you do not have to pay for a cloud service or worry about privacy and others that we have when we leave our private data in the hands of cloud services.

Multimedia: imagine you store music, images, or videos on the NAS, this way; you could access them from anywhere. For example, imagine you have movies on your NAS and want to watch them with a friend at home. You will simply access the NAS connected to the network from your friend’s smartTV, and you can watch the movie as if you had it locally.

Sharing: you can use the NAS as a private server and with it share data between several clients. These clients can be your own devices (laptop, desktop, smartphones, game consoles, network printers, …) or other third parties, that is, open it and give third parties access so that friends, employees of your company, or whomever you want can also have access to content to read and write, facilitating data sharing.

NAS server: similar to the previous example, but on a larger scale, that is, if your bandwidth and demand allow it, you could use it to open it to the public and give access to anyone who wants to connect to the Internet to store and read / download data.

SAN: A SAN is a Storage Area Network that is, connecting several NAS to the same network to form a storage network with more capacities. That allows having a local network with multiple NAS devices that operate in blocks and not separately…

Video surveillance: If you use IP cameras, you could also mount a video surveillance system and that the recordings can be stored on your NAS.

As you can see, the possibilities are quite wide.

Considerations for choosing the best NAS hard drive

To choose a good NAS, you not only need to choose any NAS casing and a hard drive, but you will have to take into account some other considerations. It is not so simple as to create an external hard drive with a casing and an internal hard drive. In the case of the NAS, the housings are not only simple plastic or metal protections as in the case of conventional hard drives, but they contain circuitry and electronics to be monitored.

A NAS is a tiny computer with a large storage device, colloquially said. It contains a CPU, which will be an ARM-based SoC (normally) and with an operating system that can be Linux in most cases for its management (although the operating system is transparent to the end-user), a RAM, etc., as well as a network adapter or integrated network card.

All this hardware is important since its performance and fluidity will depend on the CPU, as well as RAM, as well as the performance of the network connection will depend on the adapter. Therefore, especially if it is a wireless or wireless technology, it is interesting that it is as stable and fast as possible as we describe in our article on the best network cards. Saimdeals is a place where to find a best reviews related to technology so visit it and get the best information before buying anything.

But there is something even more important than all that, and it is the hard disk or hard disks that you keep inside since it will also depend on the latency for access (read and write) and something as important as the storage capacity. Therefore, it is especially to choose a good hard drive with high performance. Even manufacturers of mechanical/magnetic storage media (HDDs) have thought about it and have released editions or versions of their special NAS discs.

We also will serve the SSD, which can be used to get a faster NAS advantage of these benefits, and even SSHDD hybrids already discussed. Remember that in any case, whatever the type, the brand is important to achieve a lower failure rate, that is, greater reliability. No one wants their data to be corrupted or lost due to failure, right?

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Therefore, we recommend the same brands that we recommended in our articles to choose the best hard drives. That is to say, for HDDs Western Digital or WD, HGST, and Toshiba, avoiding the Seagate that have the highest failure rates lately, although in the past they came to reign. Of course, choose the NAS-branded editions of these brands, as regular hard drives aren’t specially designed for use on NAS and won’t be as optimal.

In addition to the consumption, reliability, and possibilities offered by these special hard drives for NAS, you should know, that the manufacturers of cases or complete NAS devices, also usually have products that allow the use of one or more hard drives as I said. And if there are several, many have the possibility of using different RAID configurations, that is, for redundant storage that in principle provides much greater security for our data by making copies on several hard drives … or adding the capacities of several hard drives to have much bigger storage space.

Finally, I would say that you also monitor consumption, since they are devices that are going to be permanently connected to power and the network to be able to access them at any time. If your consumption is high, you may notice it on the electricity bill.

Our recommendation with the best NAS hard drives:

As we always do, we will include our recommendation with the best NAS hard drives you can buy on the market, in case you do not have the technical knowledge and you get a little lost with everything discussed above. Taking all this into account, the list of the best models is:

HDD NAS Hard Drives

The Western Digital firm offers very good quality and reliability, as well as highly innovative technology. The WD Red range is specially designed for NAS and are valid for both a NAS intended for home use, as well as professional NAS used in small, medium and large companies, as their features are extremely good for any job, although the RED series PRO is better for professional use and also have better performance and reliability, among other things due to their 128MB buffer or cache (double the normal range).

The network has been designed to meet the needs sought in a network storage medium, with capacities up to 10TB. The difference with other WD models is that these hard drives have been tested to work properly on a NAS, something that is not the case on the other models. Besides, they are compatible with NASware 3.0 technology that allows balancing performance and extending life (reliability when working as NAS and RAID).