A Network Attached Storage (NAS) system is a device that sits on your network and provides storage capabilities for all types of files (including music) that you wish to store.
These NAS systems are not just for the storage of music, you can store any files that you would normally store on your PC / Laptop / Mac on to a NAS system. The main benefit of a NAS system is the ability to then access the data stored on it from any network attached device.
The following Network Attached Storage Diagram shows how the NAS server can be connected to your home network and then used by various wireless devices around your home.,
There are a wide range of NAS systems available from various manufacturers including Synology, Qnapp & Netgear.
Do I need a Fault Tolerant NAS?
The most reliable way to store your valuable music collection is on a Network Attached Storage device that supports RAID 1 or above, to provide fault tolerant redundant storage. It is also beneficial to pick a NAS device that provides backup capabilities.
A Network Attached Storage device that supports fault tolerant redundant storage, provides the benefit that should a drive fail the NAS device will continue working, allowing you to replace the failed drive. This is a superb reason to purchase this type of system as it provides extra protection for your music collection.
Although you could purchase a cheaper Network Attached Storage system, that contains a single drive, should that drive fail you could lose your music collection unless you have a backup, it would also mean you would be without an operating NAS system until you replace the drive.
How Many Bays does my NAS need?
One of the big decisions to make when purchasing a NAS system is how many Bays does your NAS need. Network Attached Storage devices are available with 1 Bay, 2 Bays, 4 Bays, 6 Bays and more, the most common NAS systems for Home use are the 2 Bay and 4 Bay systems.
The Single Bay NAS systems don’t offer any fault tolerance, so we would not recommend these devices for the storage of your valuable music collection unless you maintain an up-to-date copy of your music elsewhere.
The 2 bay systems are probably the most popular as these can house two drives with typical storage of 1TB or 2TB drives, that will provide a great deal of music storage.
Depending on the size of your music collection, it may be wise to consider a 4 Bay system as this will provide even greater storage capacities, allowing up to four drives, and with typical drive storage of 1TB or 2TB per drive.
Remember if you wish to take advantage of fault tolerance, one of the drives in your system will become redundant, thus reducing your storage capabilities, but allowing for the fault tolerant operation.
Should I purchase a NAS that supports 2.5″ or 3.5″ Drives?
Another of the big decisions to make when purchasing a Network Attached Storage system is the physical drive size. The main choice is 2.5″ or 3.5″ drives.
The 3.5″ drives are the drives that are used in the majority of desktop PC’s, these drives are the most popular, the cheapest and available with larger capacities (typically 1TB and 2TB).
The 2.5″ drives are the drives that are used in the majority of laptop computers, these drives are normally a little more expensive than the 3.5″ drives and the capacities are usually lower (typically 500GB and 1TB).
The main benefit of the 2.5″ drives over the 3.5″ drives is the reduced amount of cooling required to keep the drives cool. This not only reduces the energy consumption but helps to keep noise levels down, so if you are thinking of keeping the NAS system in a room where noise level is important it would be wise to invest in a NAS with 2.5″ drives.
Do NAS systems come with drives?
Normally Network Attached Storage systems come without any drives, and the drives have to be purchased separately. However quite often some retailers will offer bundles that include a NAS system and drives. So ensure you take notice of what is included with your NAS system when making a purchase.
What brands of Network Attached Storage are available?
There are many different brands of NAS devices currently available, we have chosen a selection of Network Attached Storage devices to feature. The reason we have chosen these devices is that we believe these offer great reliability, top quality, excellent support and good value for money: