To choose the correct option for storing information that is convenient for you, you have to know for sure which amount of data you have, what type of data it is, do you want to share it with outer world or is it only for personal and family use. Having answered all these questions and understood all the pros and cons of NAS and cloud storage, you will be able to make a reasonable choice. And our article is aimed to help you.
Similarities and Differences
NAS is a «network storage», that is connected to your home network and is placed at your home or office.
Cloud storage is a rented space on another server. To put it simply, you store your data on another computer.
You have direct access to your NAS, which has both advantages and disadvantages. The good thing is that you know for sure where your data is stored – in your room. On the other hand, you have to deal with safety and maintenance issues yourself – in particular, you bear responsibility for software updates and all kinds of breakdowns. Of course, the risks of data loss can be prevented with duplicate disks, but if the NAS hard drive will break down, you will suffer losses.
The only thing you can do to protect cloud storage is to choose a safe password and keep it secret. Everything else is the responsibility of your provider. Even broken hard disks won’t be your problem, as the cloud’s provider must have several backup copies of data. You most likely won’t even notice that your hoster had any problems. But you are still not fully protected from data loss: the majority of cloud services providers can’t guarantee that your data won’t ever be lost.
Using NAS is rational if you want to store the data in your home network so that you can access the same files from several devices. Connection and transfer speed depend only on the speed inside the home network. Many NAS manufacturers also provide access to files via the Internet. In this case, the speed depends on the characteristics of the home Internet.
In the cloud, the data is stored outside the home network, but it is usually also stored in parallel on the hard drive of your home computer and is synchronized during the change processes. But that leads to a higher level of resources consumption. In particular, it means that the cloud contains an only a backup copy of the data which takes up space on the home computer’s hard drive. The advantages of the cloud usually include access to files via the Internet, but it is also connected to high resource consumption.
If you suddenly need more space than the NAS home system can provide, you can buy a more spacious hard drive. It may cost more expensive than purchasing an additional storage space in the cloud, where you won’t have to do anything except for paying money – everything happens automatically, you won’t have to go to the store.
Some Important Notes
The correct choice of storage options is also based on the reason of using this or that option: if you have a large amount of data and you want to access it from several devices of one network, then it is definitely better to purchase NAS. According to PrizedReviews.com, this storage option is also the best choice for streaming movies on your home network.
One of the most popular services for streaming movies is Plex. And a lot of NAS manufacturers produce devices that are optimal for this exact task. Renown leaders in this sphere are QNAP and Synology companies. Their storages have a whole range of advantages in comparison with cloud hosting. Here you can learn the details and check the best models of NAS for Plex.
Cloud storage, in its turn, has its own advantage – you can have access and provide access to your files from any spot with the same speed, not being limited to your home network.
The key difference between NAS and cloud is the following: NAS is physical storage with hard drives, connected to your network. The data is stored in your home, and the chance that it might fall into the wrong hands is low. But the cloud storage providers store the data on servers, the exact location of which is unknown. Apart from that, usually this data is divided between different servers.
Purchasing the NAS system usually means one-time expenses, while storing data in the cloud can have a subscription fee. Therefore, the question arises: what is cheaper? It is difficult to predict NAS system lifespan, but usually, it is estimated in 3-5 years. So, calculate the price of the same power in the cloud for about three years and compare it to the cost of NAS. Usually purchasing NAS is more profitable for storing large amounts of data.
If the security of your data is important for you, both options are more or less reliable. When purchasing NAS it is worthy to pay attention to buying a device with at least two hard drives, that can be mirrored.