"I have multiple computers at home, and I need a shared hard drive. My friend told me about NAS hard drives and their features. It seems perfect for my situation, but I am unable to understand which one to buy."
Have you encountered the same dilemma as the above user? Unable to decide which NAS drive to buy? Don't worry. This article will introduce you to the detailed factors that you should consider while purchasing a NAS hard drive.
Moreover, you will also learn about the best NAS hard drive brands and which one suits your needs. The article will also help you learn about NAS hard drives in detail and their differences from other hard drives options.
NAS hard drive stands for Network-attached Storage hard drive. They are a file-level computer data storage server that allows data access to multiple users over a network. They provide file access on the network using network file sharing protocols such as NFS, AFP, or SMB.
Now, let's see how they are different from other hard drive storage options.
To understand which hard drive is suitable in which situation, one must know the difference between their features. Below are the few critical differences between NAS and an external hard drive.
Now let's see how a NAS hard drive is different from a standard desktop hard drive.
Apart from these significant differences, all the other discrepancies highlighted in the NAS vs. External Hard drive portion are applicable in this too.
Hopefully, you clearly understand NAS Hard drive and its difference from other hard drive options.
Before you consider selecting your NAS drives, these factors can help you make a better choice.
RAID stands for Redundant Array of Independent Disks. What RAID does is that it divides your data on multiple disks. It also stores it on one more hard drive. Whenever there is space for more than one hard drive in the NAS space, the RAID array is suitable.
There are various configuration versions for RAID. E.g., RAID 0, RAID 1, etc. But, for NAS devices, RAID 5 is the most deemed configuration. The best thing about RAID 5 is that it combines RAID 0 speed and the data protection of RAID 1.
NAS hard drive is formed by combining various hard disks inside it. If you use a SATA hard disk drive inside your NAS, you can remove it and use it separately as an internal hard drive. No extra settings, hardware, or configurations are required while using them as an internal hard drive.
Using a SATA drive gives you a significant advantage for data recovery, backup, and usage when there is a NAS failure.
Whenever you are considering NAS drives, one most important factor is saturation. Your NAS drive should be able to saturate the maximum ethernet speed. There are various Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) available out there. Depending upon your need, you can select the NAS drive accordingly.
Platters on disks are a simple circular portion on which magnetic data is stored. Each platter allows data storage on both sides. They are where the read/write heads are placed. A typical disk drive will have one to four platters.
Thermal Control and Vibration Tolerance
In NAS, many drives are working parallel. So, with their continuous operations, they make high vibrations. But, whenever you consider a NAS drive, make sure the drives are coming from a top manufacturer. These manufacturers use anti-vibration technologies that make them resistant to high vibration noise. Their technology provides better thermal control and less noise without compromising on speed.
Rotation speed is also determined by RPM (Rotation Per Minute) for a platter of a disk. The faster the RPM speed, the quicker data is read/write. While considering a NAS drive, look for the RPM speed that would satisfy your needs. The RPM speed is directly related to cost, so the higher the speed, the higher the cost.
NAS performance can be highly improved if the high-speed cache supports its drives. A Cache helps to fasten the data reading process, reduces latency, and improves overall NAS performance.
Cache provides all these features by storing the most frequently needed information inside of it. Hence, faster read operations are performed with the cache.
There are two types of magnetic recording. One is Shingled Magnetic Recording (SMR), and the second Is Conventional Magnetic Recording (CMR). When choosing a NAS drive, you have to trade-off these two magnetic recording options available.
CMR provides magnetization horizontally and vertically on the disk platters. But, SMR provides data overlapping. SMR is a better choice if they are used for a single standalone PC. CMR is ideal for NAS because of its high transfer rates.
Terabytes Written (TBW)
Terabytes Written (TBW) describes the overall write operations performing ability of your drive. It estimates the write performance lifespan of a disk drive. When it comes to NAS, you should select your NAS drive which suits your need. A higher TBW NAS drive will live longer.
Another factor to consider while buying a NAS drive is its warranty length. The warranty length ensures the guaranteed time in which your disk drive will give smoother runtime without any slowness or issues. So, you must make sure your NAS drive has a significant warranty length before buying it.
Seagate is one of the famous data storage drives manufacturers. There IronWolf series is a high-demanding NAS setup. They come with larger storage space and high operational speeds. It supports eight bays NAS drive units.
Although Seagate IronWolf provides increased supported bays, heavy workloads, it comes with a limited warranty and is slightly expensive. There are many reasons to buy Seagate IronWolf, such as its great value, high reliability, 7,200 RPM, and best because of its ability to run 24/7 without any shutdown.
Seagate IronWolf comes with a storage capacity from 1TB to 14TB ranging from $60 to $500. What's make them stand out is they are specifically designed for use inside NAS with much faster motors that support higher capacity.
More Related: Seagate Central NAS Data Recovery
A strong competitor of Seagate's IronWolf drive is Western Digital's (WD) Red. They are much more significant in value, highly reliable, and comes with vibration sensors. They aren't the fastest out there, but operating them in a RAID array can give high performance.
It comes with a 3-year limited warranty. The best thing about WD Red is that it lasts for a much longer time.
They come in various versions ranging from 1TB to 14TB. However, its limitation is that it can be deployed in NAS systems that support eight bays.
The cool thing about NAS Red is that each of its drives has vibration protection, which benefits with noise reduction but results in slower speeds. Its RPM speed is around 5,400 RPM which is low as compared to the rest. So for faster speeds, you should consider WD Red Pro. Their prices start from $60 to $470.
To cover the limitation of WD Red Plus, Western Digital has made its pro version. It has incredible workloads, extreme reliability, complete vibration sensors, high capacities, and supports up to 24 bays.
They are specifically designed for network storage and support up to 300TB per year workload. It has a 7,200 RPM speed. Not just that, it also provides anti-vibration techniques and error recovery options. It comes with a five-year warranty.
WD Red Pro is available with a version ranging from 2TB up to 18TB. The only drawback of it is its cost. They start from $95 and range up to $670.
Seagate Exos series is made to support higher capacities. They also have a fantastic workload, reliability, and vibration sensors. These devices work with helium inside technology which has further enhanced their performance and reliability. You can say that they are much more suited for big data applications.
Seagate Exos is meant to be used to satisfy the NAS storage needs. They range from 1TB up to 18TB and have a workload rate of 550TB per year. Also, they come with a five-year warranty. Their price starts from $94 to $533.
Suppose you have a high demand for storage volumes that should support the maximum level of activities. In that case, Seagate Exos is a perfect choice for you.
Toshiba has also entered into the NAS drives the market. N300 is one of their finest NAS drive releases. It's a 3.5-inch hard drive that is suitable for 24/7 high performances need for an increased storage solution.
It provides an endurance of 180TB/year workload. There is the support of multi-RAID configuration, and it works with up to 8 bays in NAS. They are available with a 6-GB SATA interface. It comes with storage capacities from 4TB to 8TB and provides a spinning rate of 7,200 RPM.
They are best known for their higher storage capacity and increased performance. However, Toshiba N300 is available in selected storage capacities with no formidable anti-vibration technology. You can buy a 6TB Toshiba N300 drive for around $249.
The Synology SAT5200 is one of the best NAS SSD devices. It has terrific speeds, extreme reliability, low noise (almost silent), and shallow power usage.
If you want to speed up your NAS to the extreme, this device is perfect for you. They provide more excellent read and write speeds of 530MB/s and 500MB/s. Although they are best known for their speed, their storage capacity is limited.
Synology SAT5200 starts with 480GB and goes up to 3.8TB. Their prices range from $177 to $1246. They are very expensive and low in terms of storage.
Handling the NAS system in a business setting is always critical. A NAS system may deal with a massive chunk of data that is crucial to your business environment. There are many safety measures to ensure your NAS systems' data safety.
These safety measures can be authenticated data access, anti-malware, regular backups, etc. Still, the possibility of losing your data can not be eliminated.
Suppose you lost your data from a NAS hard drive. You may wonder, is it possible to recover the lost data from a NAS hard drive? The answer is YES!. Read on to know what you can do if you lose data from your NAS hard drives.
In the previous sections, you read about how SATA is essential when choosing a NAS drive. SATA allows you to use your NAS drives directly with your computer. Even though your NAS drive isn't SATA, there are still other ways.
First, you need to remove your NAS hard drive from the NAS box from which you wish to recover your lost data. Then, you need to attach your NAS hard drive to your working computer through a cable. If it is a SATA hard drive, then you need no further configurations.
Once the above steps are done, it is time to use a Wondershare Recoverit data recovery tool. But why should you use this tool?
The Wondershare Recoverit Software is a three-step recovery tool. It guarantees files recovery for accidental data loss, file corruption/damages, and many other situations.
Wondershare Recoverit provides file recovery from PC, hard drives, USB devices, SD Cards, Crashed/Corrupted Devices, NAS hard drives, and many more. Also, the best thing about Wondershare Recoverit is that it comes with a free version as well.
The free version of this program helps to quickly recover deleted and lost files with up to 100 MB. The free version supports data recovery from almost all storage types. With that, the data recovery is supported even in case of damaged and formatted partitions.
Depending on your needs, you can buy the premium version of Wondershare Recoverit. With all free version-supported features, the premium version has no data limit on files recovery. It also gives free 24/7 tech support with advanced recovery options.
Let's move to steps that are required to recover data from your NAS hard drive.
Before starting with the steps, make sure you have successfully attached your NAS hard drive with your working computer.
Step 1 – Download Wondershare Recoverit Data Recovery Software
Wondershare Recoverit data recovery software is available for Windows and Mac versions. It also supports data recovery of Linux and NAS devices. You can download the software from their official website.
Step 2 – Install Wondershare Recoverit Data Recovery Software
After downloading, double click the "Recoverit_setup_full4134.exe" file that will be in your downloads folder. You will see an "Install" button on the interface screen; you can click it, and Wondershare will be installed on your computer. You can also choose the "Customize Install" option to do installation settings manually.
Step 3 – Launch Wondershare Recoverit software on your computer
Step 4 – Select Location of your NAS Hard Drive
Now from the Wondershare Recoverit interface screen, select your NAS hard drive. You will only see the hard drive if you have attached it properly to your computer.
Step 5 – Begin Scanning Your NAS Hard Drive
After selecting your NAS hard drive, click on the "Start" button, and it will start scanning for lost files. The scan process will take some time.
During the scanning process, you can apply filters that can help you save time by searching only for relevant files that you have lost.
Step 6 – Preview and Begin Recovery Process
Once the scanning process is complete, you will be able to preview the files that you lost from your NAS hard drive.
You can preview files before recovering them. Once previewed, click on the "Recover" button to recover that lost file. The preview option helps to see if you are recovering the accurate file or not.
On clicking the "Recover"button, the recovery process will begin. Recoverit will recover the file and store it on your hard drive. You can also change the location and set it to your preferred destination to store your recovered files.
Choosing a NAS hard drive in 2021 is a challenge. Suppose you are looking for ample capacity storage NAS drives; then, WD Digital red, Seagate Exos, and Toshiba N300 are better options. If speed is your priority, then Synology SAT5200, WD Red Pro, and Seagate IronWolf can work for you.
NAS drive data protection is an essential thing. Suppose you have the right NAS drive, but you don't know how to recover its lost data. In that case, you are very vulnerable to high potential risks.
Therefore, Wondershare Recoverit data recovery software is highly recommended for NAS drives. We choose Wondershare Recoverit because of its guaranteed data recovery that we have tried ourselves.