Information for Business from Lenovo
Contributor: Andrew Storrier
Five things businesses need to know about network-attached storage

You can think of NAS as similar to having a private cloud in the office – only it's cheaper, faster and gives you complete control.

A network-attached storage (NAS) device is a dedicated file storage device that allows storage and retrieval of data from a centralised location for authorised users. Most of these devices are scalable, meaning you can add more storage as you need it.

Here are five top reasons why your business needs to consider a NAS solution.

1. Lets employees be productive

NAS solutions allow your employees to collaborate, respond to customers quicker or follow up on sales leads because all necessary information is in one easy-to-find location. Furthermore, staff can access the NAS remotely if you set it up that way, meaning they can work anytime and anyplace. Obviously, putting your network on the public internet presents some security issues, however some NAS providers offer two-factor authentication, just like Dropbox or Google Drive – making them on par with public cloud services.

2. Performance

Your network’s speed can slow down processes in your organisation, reducing productivity. For example, saving files to the cloud means the transfer speed can only be as fast as the upload speed of your internet connection, which in Australia is quite slow. Cloud services also rarely use the maximum bandwidth so they don’t clog up your internet connection entirely. A NAS drive can connect to your computer over Wi-Fi, or a wired connection, such as Ethernet, meaning your upload speeds will be much faster.

3. Cost

One of the greatest features of NAS solutions is just how cost-effective they are compared to cloud services. These services usually offer only a few gigabytes for free, then you’ll need to pay for extra storage and costs can quickly add up thereafter. For example, Google Drive costs around $120 a year indefinitely to store one terabyte of data. Accordingly, you can get a NAS device that scales with your business’s needs and only has one-off costs attached to the initial purchase and for replacement hard drives.

4. Usability

With the growing importance of the user experience and interface, more NAS providers are investing in ease-of-use. As a result, the products are much more user-friendly, requiring less set-up and configuration.

5. Connectivity

NAS devices with USB ports can hook up to USB printers and provide a quick, easy-to-install network printer for all connected computers. People can also share files through drag-and-drop interfaces even if they aren't in the same physical location, enabling workflow improvements.

NAS devices provide cost-effective solutions for businesses that aren’t yet ready for private or public cloud storage.

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