[NAS] short for Network Attached Storage: Local hard drive storage, that can attach itself to your home or business network. Then access that data from “pick your poison” mac-pc-tablet or smart phone. They range wildly in prices depending on the needs of your network use and reliability needs.
Cloud Storage: Everyone by now has heard of online backup’s they are nothing new but they are more popular than ever. There is a large trend within the last 5 years or so now that is driving the masses to use some kind of remote storage. Here’s how I lay out my pros and cons of both sides showing no mercy to either.
Trying to explain in full detail to someone new to online or local backups can make your head spin. I know I have seen people’s heads do a full 360 and pea soup shoots out of their mouths, “I am joking” but choosing the right product for your needs can mean the difference of losing some, all, or none of your data so make the right choice. The most popular choice I have seen in the last few years has been FREE online backup solutions. I have my favorite as do most, but my choice is based on reliability and ease of use to my customers.
So what do you store on your hard drives? Better yet what are you willing to “put out there” on the internet? Now here is something I will say but I will not preach. If you put something on the internet, it will live there longer than you will be alive… PERIOD! That is the question I tell everyone, and that will make anyone think twice before trusting your 2-5-10 years of pictures, home movies personal data, etc “out there”. Well there is a solution for that, your very own PRIVATE cloud storage. This is no longer a free option anymore this is serious I want protection for my data attitude! If you have ability to setup your very own private cloud storage “with redundancy” DO IT! For a home user who would like to be completely mobile but be in complete control of their data. Using a simple $300 NAS backup you can do just about everything you would ever want. The problems associated with local storage are dependency of your electric, internet, drive reliability, and power backup devices.
Living in Cape Coral, Florida being the 2nd in lightning strikes of the world power IS an issue. The foundation of local backups is uptime. Start with a simple UPS backup with ONLY your modem-router and backup device hooked up to it. These devices don’t draw a ton of power and should last substantially on a good size battery. Choose a highly recommended product and do lots of research on the device. Don’t just allow your technical advisor to push one blindly on you. The more informed you are the happier you will be with your product. Once your new local backup is setup the way you like it get familiar with the manual “it will save you headaches later”.
Last but certainly not least forgoing any type of major upfront financial cost you can setup an online backup. I will recommend a few here, but again do your own research to see what fits your budget and needs. Products like Google Drive-Live Drive-Carbonite-Sugar Sync and many many more are all very low priced monthly pay options. If you need help setting up a new account try the free help offered by almost all sites. It will save you some time and money if you do it yourself but ask a professional if you have ANY questions or doubts. The major benefits are close to 100% uptime, plenty of redundancy and some even offer the use of free applications. Creating online documents and excel sheets are just the tip of the iceberg. You can setup account shares for guests and family members and never worry about them not being able to access it. I highly recommend using free storage at first to “get a feel” of the product before committing to anything long term. If you don’t like the interface there are 20 more sites willing to show you theirs believe me. Aside from a monthly fee ranging from a few dollars to a few hundred per month, there are few arguments to be made against using a service that has come a long way in such a short time.