Network-Attached Storage (NAS) provides a way to store files remotely and to back up files on your computer, protecting you from loss of data due to a damaged hard drive among other things. A NAS is a computer that is attached to a network with the sole purpose of providing storage to other devise that might be attached to the network.
A NAS is usually dedicated and set aside only for use as a storage device even though it can often potentially be used as a normal computer and perform other tasks. NAS devices are usually controlled through the network using remote access or they can usually have a keyboard attached to them. When fully utilized, they ensure that you will not lose data even if your computer breaks down beyond repair.
The concept of NAS was originally developed for the business/work environment, however increasingly people are making more use of the technology in their homes as part of their home networks. There are all types of reasons that a person might want to use a NAS device as a part of their home network set up. Home movies, films, music and family photographs that are in electronic/digital format can all take up a huge amount of space on personal hard drives. When your files are placed on a NAS, you have the option of accessing any of these files from any computer on your home network. This can provide you with a huge amount of convenience and entertainment at your fingertips.
NETGEAR currently offers the ReadyNAS N+ series of storage devices. Each of these offers continuous monitoring of your computers and they are capable of backing up your files on a regular schedule. NETGEAR describes this technology as providing home users with enterprise level technology in their own homes. Your NAS can connect to several computers on your home network simultaneously, and devices like digital cameras can be plugged directly into a NAS for the quick download and storage of photos.
A NAS works perfectly for the increasingly popular netbook computers that are more popular than ever. Netbooks contain very little storage space because they are designed to connect with the Internet and other WANs rather than store data. Connecting a netbook to a NAS enables you to make full use of any resources stored on the NAS using your netbook as the interface (keyboard and monitor) to the stored files.