Network-attached storage (NAS) is centralized network storage where client devices and other users can access data. Usually, NAS devices connect to a wireless router, allowing computers to access files. Remote workers can, for example, access files from any desktop or mobile device using NAS systems.

How NAS Work

How Can NAS be Used?

Advantages and Disadvantages of NAS



NAS Components and How They Work

NAS comprises of four major components:

  1. The central processing unit (CPU): This component is responsible for powering NAS, managing data storage, running the operating system and cloud integration. Unlike general-purpose CPUs in typical computers, NAS devices often use specialized CPUs for high performance and low power consumption.
  2. Network Interface: Small NAS devices support direct computer connections, such as Wi-Fi and USB. However, business NAS systems require a physical network connection, such as a cabled Ethernet interface, to create a unique IP address for data sharing and file serving.
  3. Storage: NAS devices offer physical storage in the form of disk drives, including HDDs, SSDs, or other non-volatile memory devices. Other storage solutions supported by NAS include logical storage organization such as RAID for redundancy and performance. These are often managed by the CPU and not the disks.
  4. Operating system (OS): The OS organizes and manages the NAS hardware and provides storage to users and applications. Unlike simple NAS, which lacks a specific OS, advanced NAS systems run dedicated operating systems such as Netgear ReadyNAS, Zyxel FW, QNAP QTS, or TrueNAS Core.

Types of NAS Solutions

Various types of NAS systems as defined by user base include: