Best home network storage mac

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The other drive is in a sense invisible, as it's used to make a second copy of all the files from the other drive in the background. Usually, the user has the option to reconfigure the drives to gain the capacity of the second drive, if desired. One way you can do this is via "striping," in which the data will span both drives. Striping by itself is chancy; under some circumstances, it enhances the speed of reads and writes, since you're accessing two drives at once.

But if either disk fails, it's possible that all your data will be lost, so we don't recommend this approach. It essentially doubles the failure risk. This is marginally safer than just basic striping, but any data you save to a given drive is still vulnerable to the failure of that specific mechanism. It's also possible to combine striping and mirroring across three or more drives for enhanced speed and data security.

In such an arrangement, the NAS would copy the data across the drive array in such a way that the failure of one of the drives would allow the NAS to reconstruct the array and thus save your data if you swap in a replacement drive. This is mainly of interest to business users that need to maximize both redundancy and data transfer rates.

If you think a NAS drive will let you stream any type of media you have to any device or TV, keep in mind certain devices will only play certain types of files, and you'll need to get software and hardware to work together to make this happen. It needs to be in MP4 format to be recognized. It can be complicated, though, to guarantee that a specific file or file type will play on a given device, so look at the specs of the NAS closely to determine its capabilities.

A late development in NAS circles is special kinds of support for streaming 4K video, and the spec sheet is your friend in these cases. Some NAS with 4K acceleration will convert this high-resolution video on the fly to formats better suited to the bit rates of devices, such as smartphones, that are requesting it.

This is an esoteric need at the moment, but know that some NAS makers will charge a premium for some of these features. It's also possible to get such on-the-fly transcoding for other, lesser resolutions. Once they are plugged in, just like everything else on the NAS, they can be shared with all the connected users. A frequent arrangement: USB 2. Some NAS units also have a "copy" button on the front panel designed to make copying the contents of an external drive, such as a flash drive, to the NAS a one-button-press affair.

You just connect the drive and tap the button, and everything on the external drive is safely copied to the NAS to a predesignated location. NAS drives, by definition, will come with an Ethernet port, possibly two for redundancy or channel-bonding essentially, using two Ethernet connections to enhance speed with very high-end business models.

Recent high-end models may also offer the option for gigabit Ethernet, for screaming data transfer rates, though the throughput of platter hard drives makes this moot for most consumer and SOHO usage cases. That said, a few models come with a PCI slot that may let you install an enhanced network card. In addition to the above sharing features, most NAS drives let you send web links to people to allow them to access remotely certain files or folders located on your NAS.

Your NAS can thus serve like your own private Dropbox or Google Drive , but with way more storage capacity—and no monthly bill.


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Many NAS makers tout this. Look for the much-bandied term "personal cloud" around this kind of feature.

NAS roundup: Best network attached storage options for Mac, iPhone, and iPad users

With this functionality, you can also access the NAS itself from any internet connection, not just via your local network. As a result, you can download files you need on the road, or stream a movie or music files resident on your home NAS to your laptop in a hotel across the country or the world, network bandwidth permitting. Most, but not all, NAS drives offer this kind of feature, so be sure to do your research before you pull the trigger if it's a must-have. We wouldn't get a NAS without it. Below are the top NAS devices we've recently tested, ranging from simple home-oriented models to multiple-drive arrays that can serve dozens of users in an office environment.

Whether you want to serve media files to the rest of the house, keep office documents in a single, accessible repository, or simply back up your digital life from your PCs , tablets , and mobile phones, there's a drive here for you. For more storage options, take a look at our lists of the best external hard drives and the top SSDs , as well as our top-rated cloud storage services.

Speedy performance. Easy setup. Lots of ports. Generous selection of apps. Easy to install. Offers 4K video transcoding. Supports numerous RAID configurations. Generous port selection. Loads of apps. Does not come with hard drives. Easy to configure. Fast performance. Tool-free drive installation.

NAS roundup: Best network attached storage options for Mac, iPhone, and iPad users

Massive app catalog. Drobo 5N2 http: Even if a natural disaster fries or drowns the electronics, the hard drives are deeply buried and protected, so data retrieval is always possible. WD My Cloud Mirror https: It sports a slimmed down form factor with a white shell, and looks at home next to any Apple device. While it cannot back itself up, there are other options for NAS device backup through cloud and third-party providers, such as Acronis. Issues can arise when leveraging the convenience, ease-of-use, and user preference of Mac computers with NAS in Windows-based network environments.

Best NAS Storage for Mac - QNAP TVS-472XT First Impressions

NAS devices often work in conjunction with Windows Servers and DFS for a single namespace for all shares, for example, and enterprise admins increasingly look to Windows-based environments for a cost effective and scalable network solution. Heterogeneous environments in which Mac users work alongside Windows network servers and Windows users are plagued by compatibility issues. These include data loss, file corruption, loss of essential Mac features Spotlight search etc. Mac users can turn to NAS for huge cost and convenience benefits.

Unfettered File Access From Anywhere

Acronis Files Connect is a better, alternate solution to this, however — and removes the need for AFP support. All rights reserved. Acronis Files Connect. Learn more Try now. Back to basics: Storage for small and medium businesses Suffice to say that strong networks are essential in business — but equally essential is their ability to grow and scale, and scaling is as much to do with the security of data as it is total terabytes on a network. Network Attached Storage NAS is your central storage system with multiple hard drives and is constantly connected to the network.

Your QNAP NAS is your customizable personal server with a comprehensive range of solutions including a very capable file manager, backup manager, download manager, access permissions, multimedia center, web server, video surveillance system, a virtualization center, a containerization center, and a lot more! The QTS intelligent desktop is specifically architected to support and enable your workflow. QTS is designed and built with your work in mind, to help you increase your productivity from anywhere at any time. QTS is simply designed to meet all your needs for storage, management, backup, virtualization, multimedia, and surveillance.

Configuring has never been so simple. Now you can access your files anytime, anywhere from any device, securely. Never run out of capacity! QNAP offers expansion units that enable you to expand as you go. No more dedicating external hard drives for your Time Machine backups. It does not get easier.