Is NAS (Network Area Storage) Ready for mass Market?
The Network Area Storage (NAS) is a simple solution to share data on a local network between several users. Although the concept is far from being new, in the past years NAS manufacturers have released new models featuring several enhancements and new functions. Most consumer-dedicated NAS devices are based on one or two SATA HDs installed in a case including components to host an embedded Linux OS used to manage the NAS setup, administration and working functions. The main revolution for consumer-dedicated NAS devices was the use of a web interface to setup and control the network storage unit; it also allowed Mac users to gain access to more options while making the storage solution independent of previous Windows-based models. Today, high-end consumer NAS devices can be used as a FTP, web or bittorrent server without any problems and without requiring strong network knowledge.
However, one will need to choose a NAS according to their needs, and then know what to expect performance-wise from such network storage solution. To illustrate the options, we have tested three popular NAS models.