NAS vs Cloud: When purchasing a central storage location, it is often considered whether a NAS system or a cloud application is the method of choice. In this practical tip you will find out what differences exist and what makes sense for you.
NAS Server VS Cloud Server – these are the differences
- A NAS is a ” Network Attached Storage “, i.e. a storage device that is connected to your home network and is located directly at your home.
- A cloud storage space is actually just a rented storage space on a third-party server. Simply put, in this case you save your data on another computer.
- You have direct access to the hardware of your NAS, which can be both good and bad. The positive thing about it is that you know yourself where your data is stored – namely at home. On the other hand, you are also responsible for maintenance and security, for example for installing software updates. You also bear the risk if a hard drive in the NAS fails. Of course, you can reduce the risk of data loss with mirrored hard drives , but if a hard drive dies, the financial damage will stick with you.
- All you can do to keep your cloud storage secure is to choose your password securely and keep it secret. Your provider will take care of everything else. Defective hard drives are also no problem for you: the cloud provider should generally have several backup copies of your data and you won’t even notice a hard drive failure at your host. However, you are not completely protected against data loss: Most cloud providers do not guarantee that your data will not be lost.
- A NAS makes sense if you want to save your data in a central location in your home network. This is useful, for example, if you want to access the same files with several devices within the home network. The speed is usually only slowed down by the transfer rate of your home network. You can find out how to test these in another article. Many manufacturers of NAS solutions also offer access to your files via the Internet. The speed of this depends on the upload speed of your Internet connection at home.
- Since your files are stored in the cloud outside of your home network, they are usually stored on your hard drive and synchronized as soon as changes occur. However, this entails higher data consumption. This means that there is actually only a backup copy of your data in the cloud. This has the disadvantage that the data also takes up space on your hard drive. Another option is to access your files through a website. This, too, is associated with high data consumption and is usually rather impractical.
- Should you need more storage than your NAS system can provide, you can upgrade it with larger hard drives. This is of course associated with costs, so you should consider how much storage space you will need when purchasing your NAS.
- If you cannot manage with your cloud storage space, there is simply the possibility of ordering a larger storage contingent. Of course, this means additional monthly costs, but there is no other effort involved.
NAS or Cloud – it depends the needs
- A key difference between NAS and cloud is as follows: A NAS device is a device with hard drives that is attached to your network. Therefore, the data is also stored at home and therefore does not end up in the wrong hands. Cloud providers, on the other hand, save the data on servers whose exact location is sometimes not known.
- The purchase of a NAS system is usually associated with only one-time costs, while a monthly fee has to be paid for storage space in the cloud. Therefore, the question arises: what is cheaper? The lifespan of NAS systems is difficult to predict, but is usually estimated at three to five years. So calculate the costs for the same capacity in the cloud over a period of around three years and compare this with the acquisition costs of a NAS. With larger amounts of data, however, buying a NAS usually pays off.
- The right choice of storage solution also depends on your planned use: If you have large amounts of data and want to access them with multiple devices from the same network, you are certainly better off with a NAS. A NAS is also better suited for streaming films in the home network. However, storage in the cloud offers the advantage that you can access your files from anywhere at the same speed and are not limited to your home network.
- If the security of your data is important to you, both alternatives are the same. When purchasing a NAS, however, you should make sure to buy a device with at least two hard drives that can be mirrored.
- For more information on NAS systems and product comparisons, check our another posts.