September 13 2017
Choosing between Network Attached Storage (NAS) and cloud storage can be a difficult decision. In order to choose the most effective solution, it is necessary to have a clear understanding of both backup solutions.
The questions: What is NAS? What are the benefits of NAS? Or what is cloud storage? Will not be answered in this article; rather, the article will compare the two solutions based on the following characteristics:
NAS backup appliance and cloud storage are the same when it comes to gaining access to files or streaming them over media (like browsers, applications, consoles). The rate of access, in both cases, depends on your internet speed. If it’s an in-house NAS appliance then it can bypass the need for internet access; as long as it’s being accessed locally. The difference begins when you consider which devices can access certain files. In NAS, any network enabled device can access those files. It can be a television, a console; any network enabled device. This isn’t the case for cloud storage.
For cloud storage, you can have various applications accessing those files but it’s generally a more web browser based access. To access any cloud storage provider, you are limited to web browser applications. There are other applications out there but they are simply the glorified versions of browser based applications.
Most NAS appliances come with the ability to connect with the cloud and use different cloud backup services. So you can gain the benefits of the appliance and the reliability of the cloud.
Both NAS and cloud storage are utilizing the latest encryption methodology to secure your data. There’s very little difference in terms of security acquired via encryption. When comparing the redundancy of cloud storage and a NAS appliance that isn’t connected to the cloud; cloud storage takes the cake on redundancy. There are data centers that mirror/replicate your data over other data centers; this ensures that your data is never lost and always available. While NAS does offer redundancy it isn’t as limitless as the redundancy offered by cloud storage.
If we are to compare the two on data ownership and data removal/deletion; you can easily remove your account and have your data removed. However, with people who are paranoid about some special force out to get them; this can be a bit problematic. As they may doubt that the service provider hasn’t deleted their data. In this case, a NAS backup appliance is preferable because you can physically disconnect the NAS or destroy it yourself.
Both file sharing and backup solutions have their perks and challenges. By reading the above comparison, it is evident that it is your requirement that determines which backup appliance or backup solution is the best choice for you. For instance, cloud storage is the best for the simple purpose of file sharing but if you require secure file sharing, that needs to be accessed on different devices over a network; then a NAS appliance is more suitable.
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