So the time has come, and you want to buy some network attached storage (NAS). The question is how do you decide what you need in a NAS? Here are some basic criteria you can use to decide:
The most important factor is the amount of storage you need. This alone will determine the kind of device. The more storage you need, the larger the device. With modern 6TB drives, an 8-bay NAS will hold 40TB of data and can handle a single drive failure. The budget will also play a part since the larger drives are quite expensive.
The safety of that data also plays a part in the decision. A RAID 5 array can handle the failure of a single drive. You can increase this by committing more drives to the pool, but that reduces the amount of storage. Also, you can add spare drives that only activate when another drive fails. Once a drive fails, it will need a replacement quickly.
A higher-end NAS is a mini computer and can run applications. These applications are specific to the device and come from the vendor. These devices can run the backup software and use cloud services like Google Drive and Dropbox as targets.
There are usually three options when it comes to network speed. There are 100mbit ports, Gigabit ports and an aggregation of several of the same ports. If there are a lot of people accessing large amounts of data from the same device, then invest in a device with multiple gigabit ports.