There are pros and cons of using these different types of data storage servers and it will often depend on your style and size of business on which is best for you. This article will give you a detailed look at the pros and cons of a NAS Drive and how it compares to the Cloud.
What is a cloud drive?
A cloud drive provides remote storage through a web-based service. Primarily used to back up files, it can be accessed anywhere in the world through the internet. Most cloud drives will offer a free account for limited storage, with a monthly fee for larger spaces. Some of the most popular drives right now are Google Drive and DropBox
What is a NAS drive?
Short for Network attached storage, a NAS drive is a storage device that connects to a specific network. Through this centralised connection, it is possible to both store and retrieve data. Through a local area network (LAN) points, NAS can provide filed based storage supplied by an ethernet connection.
Pros and Cons
Here’s a quick run-through of the benefits and drawbacks of both:
- There is a greater accessibility of files because they can be accessed anywhere in the world.
- Compared to other methods, cloud drives are incredibly easy to set up and to use.
- No hardware costs. Yes, there are costs associated with the size of the storage but in terms of larger setup costs with NAS drives, cloud drives are incredibly cheap.
- Another financial point is that most cloud drives operate on a monthly subscription basis, meaning that for short term use it works out much cheaper.
- Cloud drives are much more flexible. The amount of space used can be increased over time as needed, which can be correlated with cost and spending.
- One aspect that some worry about is the perceived deterioration in the performance of remote data storage. In reality, the difference is only marginal, and today the cloud offers typically excellent service.
- Lastly, it is possible to synchronize the accessibility to your data.
- Power outages can affect the access to files
- A large amount of network bandwidth is needed to store large files.
- Switching providers can at times be tricky, especially if you have a provider dependent code.
- Governments can potentially gain access to your storage in the cloud. Therefore encryption is needed beforehand if you wish to prevent this.
- Predicting costs over a long period can be difficult. Low initial costs can quickly spiral out of control if your business, and storage needs, grow rapidly.
- If your Virtual Private Server or VPS experiences significant problems it could kill your back up
- A constant internet connection is needed.
- The emphasis on providing acceptable security falls on the host, rather than you.
- A lot of companies use the cloud as a backup to NAS drives or serves, which adds to the cost.
- A NAS drive does not connect through your computer, but rather through your wireless router, meaning that multiple devices can have access to the same files at the same time.
- Greater customisation options than in other storage options. For example, you can add more hard drives when needed through configuration.
- NAS drives can connect to multiple devices, not just computers. Printers, USB cameras and tablets can also be connected.
- It also gives you the possibility to pair multiple devices together, which can greatly improve performance and efficiency
- Most NAS devices allow you to access files from anywhere, giving huge flexibility with remote access.
- Though it is more expensive than cloud options, NAS servers can be a cheap option when compared to larger servers. Entry-level NAS Drives can be found for as low as £50
- People like physicality. It is something that can be moved when needed.
- NAS drives operate through a centralised system, which enables a direct point of contact. A fact that can greatly speed up processes.
- In terms of a large amount of space for long term use, NAS Drives probably work out at the cheapest option.
- Lastly, it provides the option for multiple clients to access the same files on the same network.
- NAS Drives use the file system Linux, so after machine failure, or power outages you will need professional software for the data recovery.
- End users who need to back up their data need to do it through an installed operating system
- NAS drives are highly dependent on bandwidth available. In the wrong kind of circumstances, the whole system can run incredibly slowly.
- It also consumes a large amount of bandwidth on the network, which can hamper the performance of computers attached to it.
- While the physicality can be a plus, it does mean it lacks the physical security against theft or damage. A problem not experienced with the cloud.
- It’s only used for storage so does carry a limited use.
It only makes sense that businesses want the best storage available, but, of course, price plays a significant factor in all of this. Roughly speaking the Cloud will cost in the region on £80 per TB, while NAS Drives are more like £250. These are averages, so they could vary either way. Finally, bear in mind that a NAS Drive does not incur more long term costs after the initial set up, while the Cloud does. Making a one-off investment in a NAS Drive more attractive.
Which storage system is best for you?
Option 1 – Cloud
If a company doesn’t have a permanent base, or predominantly has employees who work remotely but all need access to the company information at the same time. This works best for small companies that are not using an enormous amount of data and who don’t want to be constrained by long term financial contracts.
Option 2 – NAS Drives
This works best when the majority of the employees are all based on the same workspace and where a central location is required for files.
NAS Drives work well for companies that have a lot of data being processed, and do not want any limitations or access issues. It works well for companies who are willing to spend more on storage than with the Cloud but do not have the finances or need, for a large server.
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