NAS stands for "Network attached storage", in German "im Netzwerk bereitgestellte Speicher" / "network storage". A NAS is primarily intended to provide large amounts of storage on the network. So you can store your files, music, videos, pictures on a NAS, which can then be accessed by all devices on your network.
- A 2-Bay-NAS is a NAS with two hard disk bays.
- A 4-bay NAS is one with four hard drive bays.
But not all of them have to be used. At least one hard disk is required.
alt="This Synology NAS with two hard disks (2-bay) is about as small as a shoebox." width="600" height="" /> This Synology NAS with two hard disks (2-bay) is about as small as a shoebox.
Setting up a NAS server: the first steps
The steps to set up a NAS are always very similar. The leading manufacturers are Synology, QNAP and Buffalo. The setup of the corresponding NAS models is always done in the same way:
- You put the hard disks into the NAS and set it up.
- You plug in the power and connect the NAS via network cable to your router.
- On the PC you log in to your NAS via certain manufacturer links or tools.
- There starts the setup of the operating system, the network settings and the software packages.
- After that you can login to your NAS (similar to a Fritzbox) via your browser in the user interface and manage the NAS, as well as configure it afterwards.
alt="Synology’s NAS operating system is DSM (DiskStation Manager)." width="600" height="" /> Synology’s NAS operating system is DSM (DiskStation Manager).
Here you can see Example, how to set up a Synology NAS.
alt="A NAS basically consists only of hard disks and some electronics." width="600" height="" /> A NAS basically consists only of hard disks and some electronics.
Setting up NAS: more than just a big hard drive
A NAS is not necessarily just a big hard drive to store data on. It can also stream your videos to your TV or serve as a cloud, VPN, WebDAV, backup, monitoring and mail server. Likewise, various programs / packages can be used with the different manufacturers, which synchronize e.g. folders and files between PC and NAS.
Our NAS recommendation for beginners
For home users with a household of up to 2 people, we recommend a 2-bay NAS, i.e. one with 2 hard drives. You should also use RAID 1, which mirrors the data from one disk to the second to protect against disk failure. Because then the data are still on the other disk. You have to keep in mind that if you get a NAS with 2 times 4 TB disks and activate RAID 1, you will only have 4 TB available:
For people who produce or copy large amounts of data every day, it should rather be a 4-Bay-NAS. This can also be operated with fewer hard disks in the beginning and can be gradually increased:
Note: If you want to run many packages and servers on your NAS at the same time, you should reach for the more powerful models of the NAS manufacturers. But these quickly cost 2 to 3 times as much as the entry-level variants.
Our hard disk recommendation
Since we have had good experience with Synology / QNAP as well as with hard disks from the Western-Digital-Red series, we recommend these systems.
How much data volume is used per month?
You don’t want to miss any more news about technology, games and pop culture? No current tests and guides? Then follow us on Facebook (GIGA Tech, GIGA Games) or Twitter (GIGA Tech, GIGA Games).