Learn & Compare
What is Network Attached Storage (NAS)
What do you do when you've outgrown your desktop data storage and want shared access to files and media from multiple computers, mobile phones and tablets? For prosumers, creative professionals, small businesses, and families, the solution is a network attached storage (NAS) device, the easiest to set up and most affordable option for shared storage.
Instead of plugging a device directly into your computer via a USB cable, NAS systems are connected to the Ethernet port on your Wifi router or network. This enables multiple computers and mobile devices on a network to wirelessly share and access files, stream video and audio, and backup computers and mobile devices from one central device. A NAS solution is comprised of several elements, including the hardware – one or more hard drives housed in an enclosure, a processor, and RAM – and the software comprised of an Operating System (OS) that manages access and the network connection.
WD offers My Cloud™ NAS solutions that are ideal for home and small business use, available with one, two, or four hard drives dedicated to storage ranging in capacity from 4TB to 28TB1.
NETWORK ATTACHED STORAGE
NAS systems are available in many different sizes; they act as a family's central media hub and scale up to the largest datacenters. NAS systems can be offered preconfigured with drives or an unpopulated enclosure with open bays where hard-disk drives can be inserted to add to the total storage capacity or replace drives.
Network storage systems are useful in multiple operating system environments, letting several devices access files regardless of their OS. Normally NAS operates on IP/TCP Ethernet networks and easily provide controlled access to your data over Wifi and the Internet.
NAS devices with more than one hard drive often have RAID capabilities for data redundancy and are the most reliable backup solution. RAID stands for “Redundant Array of Independent Disks” and with this feature enabled your data is duplicated across multiple hard drives; if something were to go wrong with one drive you can simply replace it and your content would repopulate the new drive automatically.
NETWORK ATTACHED STORAGE
Since NAS systems can store, manage and access content locally or remotely from all your devices – NAS is a secure personal cloud for your data and is the best solution for users who are looking for:
Understanding your storage needs can help you select the best network attached storage solution for your family, home office, or small business. Ask yourself:
When making a NAS system decision, consider not only today's needs but what your storage demands look like 6, 12, and 24 months out. It may be more cost effective to consider an expandable option.
NAS systems can be the right solution for needs both small and large, from home media libraries to multi-user small businesses. The right solution is a balance between storage capacity, number of users, and cost.
WD provides support during setup with WD Concierge service. In addition, our website has extensive support resources, including an online Learning Center with detailed lessons and videos.
Like PCs, NAS units perform better with faster processors and increased memory. The better the processor and the more installed memory, the higher the performance. Single-drive NAS devices can cost less than $200 and robust small business options are available under $2,000.
One thing to be aware of is that NAS solutions are limited in the number of users or devices that can access them at the same time; be aware of the connectivity limitations when making a decision about which system is best for you.
NAS products can have sophisticated management options to configure redundancy (RAID), as well as built-in monitoring system that can alert you of impending drive failure and other problems. If your data is important, you'll want to consider a device with two or more drives with RAID integration.
There’s a WD Red drive for every compatible NAS system to help fulfill your data storage needs. With drives up to 6TB, WD Red offers a wide array of solutions for customers looking to build a high performing NAS storage solution. With WD Red, you’re ready for what’s next.
My Cloud Expert Series is a NAS for expert users with large files and a need to keep them safe. The My Cloud Expert Series was designed with best-in-class read/write speeds, including HD media streaming with up to 28TB1 in a single box.
Get up and running in minutes with the intuitive, web-guided setup. WD's software will auto-detect your drive to get you going quickly. The web-based interface enables easy file sharing, access management, and a beautiful photo gallery view. During setup, easily and quickly move all your files to your My Cloud device. Start, pause and stop file transfers for a rich management experience. With a mycloud.com account and the suite of mobile applications, you get access to your My Cloud device that is safe at home, from anywhere in the world.
The Plex application that can be installed on the My Cloud OS organizes your entire collection of music and movies with one simple interface. Plex automatically includes content descriptions, plot summaries, posters and album covers before streaming to other devices within your home.