NAS or DAS, which one should I buy?

One of the most frequently asked questions that we have been hearing lately has been whether to purchase a DAS (direct attached storage) or NAS (network attached storage). Most people realize that NAS is the way of the future, but feel that they really only need a DAS right now. Well, what are the features and benefits of each?

DAS units are much simpler, and normally are enclosures that just need to be connected to a computer via a USB, eSATA or Firewire cable. They sometimes come with AC adapters and sometimes do not, depending on the size of the hard drives installed and which type of cable is used to connect to a computer. If the unit has a USB3.0, eSATA or any other type of fast interface, then transferring files can be done rather quickly. DAS units basically provide a simple method of increasing the storage capacity of your computer. If you want access to any of the files stored on the DAS, then you need to carry it with you wherever you go.

NAS units, on the other hand, are usually a bit more complicated to set up. You need to connect the unit to your home network, and then plug in the AC adapter to an outlet. NAS units can be a bit scary to set up and some people that do not know that much about computers can be scared off just by the fact that they need to connect it to the internet and that they may need to make some network adjustments. The advantages of a NAS are that you can access and share the content stored on the NAS hard drives from any of the computers on your home network. You can also access the content remotely through the internet, thus eliminating the need to carry your hard drives with you.

So, which is better? Which do you prefer? You can probably see that the choice is not an easy one, and the answer often depends on the individual user’s needs and computer skills. The simple answer used to be, “If you need to transfer files quickly, then perhaps a DAS is better for you, but if you want shared or remote access to files, then a NAS would be the better choice.”

That was our answer, but not anymore, thanks to a new product that is a hybrid of both. inXtron’s CloudSync Plus has USB 3.0 for extremely fast direct transfers, but is also a NAS device with its own free iPhone, iPad and Android apps that make remote access extremely easy. CloudSync Plus is super simple to setup and is without a doubt the best possible device for anyone trying to choose between the simplicity of a DAS and the remote accessibility of a NAS. Those not familiar with how a NAS works can simply use it as a DAS, while learning the basics of a NAS. The iOS and Android apps are extremely simple to use and allow for remote access without needing to know much about how a NAS works. We like to call the CloudSync Plus a hybrid of an “Advanced DAS” and a “Beginner’s NAS”, but we only say “Beginner’s NAS” because it is so easy to use. The CloudSync Plus still has all of the features, and even a few more, that you would expect from traditional NAS units. So, if you are asking yourself whether you should get a DAS or a NAS, we would say, “Get both”, but get them both in one unit!

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