Network storage drives are a great addition to any home office, home based business, or high end computer setup. Functioning as both a place to store important information and an external, high capacity hard drive, these network storage drives can provide a secure way to archive, share and store oodles and oodles of data and information. Network storage drives are named that for a specific reason, as they act as an integrated part of your network that sole purpose is to store information. Many higher end models can actually double as data servers, allowing users to access information remotely from just about everywhere. These pricier models usually allow users to customize a variety of features and add additional drives on the fly (letting users access upwards to a terabyte of information) Just as there are many factors to keep in mind when purchasing a computer, there are also quite a few that should dictate your decision when purchasing a network server. Below is a list of things to look for before you swipe the old credit card.
1. Storage capacity: This is an obvious factor and should be one of the top deciding factors in your purchase. If you are purchasing a model specifically for data storage, then consider models with a hard drive at least triple the size of your own PC. If you are looking at purchasing a high end server, make sure that the unit is scalable to your specifications and that it can expand and contract to meet your needs.
2. Operating Systems: Determining what operating system that you and your network cohorts are running should whittle down the number of choices available to you. Not all storage systems support all types of operating systems, this being especially true for Mac users.
3. Transfer Speeds: The faster the transfer speed, the quicker you will be able to access and archive data. Most newer models feature respectable transfer speeds of at least 60 MBps, although the effectiveness of this is based not only on the machine, but also the speed of your network. I would recommend nothing less then 50 MBps, as you may begin to notice significant lag at slower speeds.
All in all, there is very little reason to use a network storage device unless you are looking to archive tons of data, or set up a home network. For the novice, using a true, dedicated PC might be an easier way to go, but for experts, there is no better way to store and access data then a network storage device.
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