Cloud Vs NAS | Best Storage For You

Cloud Vs NAS Best Storage Solution For You

Cloud and NAS Storage are both very popular ways to back up your data. Here are the Pros and Cons of each and the different features they provide for your needs.

Cloud Based Storage

Storing data in the cloud has become very popular these days. Especially with many providers offering free basic storage with no monthly fees. These are great as long as you don't hit their limit.

Easy to Use

Online cloud storage hosting is very easy to use. They provide their users with software that integrates into their computers, tablets and phones. Adding data to your cloud account is as easy as dragging and dropping a file from your web browser.

More Costly Over Time

While Cloud Providers offer Free accounts which work fine for smaller size storage backup needs. Should you ever need to store large amounts of data on their servers it will start costing you a monthly fee.

The more you use the more it costs and soon Cloud storage monthly fees can begin to add up real fast.  For simple online storage solutions they are great. But when you need something to store a large volume of files, a NAS is a much better option. It gives you a lot of flexibility plus more features at a lower cost over time.

Popular Cloud Based Providers

Two of the more popular Cloud Providers are DropBox and Google Drive. They both offer Free storage which may be more than enough for simple storage needs.


Dropbox is a popular online storage service that offers both free and paid Cloud Storage. Their software is easy to use and they will even bump up your free storage a little if you register and install their software.

Free Dropbox accounts provide limited storage of only 2GB. File sharing can be tricky, if they determine a file is not something they want shared, they turn off file sharing for this file. Directly accessing some files for playback may also be restricted.

Sign up for Dropbox Plus which costs $10/month or $99 a year and they bump up your storage space to 1TB. Dropbox Plus accounts provide easy to use file sharing and remote file wiping capabilities.

Google Drive

Google Drive is another nice alternative online cloud storage service. It also offers free storage up to 15 GB. While this is much larger than Drop box, there is a catch. Their space includes storage of all Google products combined. So if you store a lot of content on Gmail or Google Plus Photos, it won't take long to fill up.

They also offer a paid Cloud service which starts as low as $1.99/month for 100 GB, $9.99/month for 1 TB or  $99/month for 10 TB.

You can see once you have a lot of media to back up and store, Cloud Storage can quickly become extremely costly.

Network Attached Storage (NAS)

A NAS is simple a small computer that hooks up to your Network Router. It lets you access your files either over your network or remotely depending on how you set it up. Some NAS models now come with HDMI outputs so they can be hooked directly to your television and easily used as a media server.

Once it is on and running, your NAS will appear just like another drive or folder on your desktop. You can drag and drop files easily in seconds to have them backed up and secure.

A NAS can also be used as a media source for apps like Kodi, Plex or even channels like Roku.

Is A NAS Better Than the Cloud?

Many people choose to buy their own NAS for several reasons. One of the biggest factors is cost. If you need to store a lot of data, there is simply no better way to go than using your own NAS. The costs alone will quickly be recouped in a couple years. Not to mention many of the other great features you get by owning your own NAS.

It comes down to this, would you rather store your data on your computer or someone else's?

NAS Build Quality

Not all NAS manufactures are the same. Two of the industry leaders are Synology and QNAP. Both are known for making exceptional hardware and software that will give you many years of reliable and trouble free service.

Stay away from single drive cheaper NAS boxes you find at Retail stores. These typically only last a couple years and can fail at the worst possible time. The ones that come with a only a single drive offer no redundancy and this will put your data at risk should the disk fail.

A good NAS should always contain drives in pairs so half of the drives serve as a working copy of the other half. The more hard drives you add the more storage you will get. A 4 drive NAS can technically give you double the data storage of a two drive NAS and half as much as an 8 drive NAS.

NAS or Cloud - Which One Should You Go With?

We already showed you the costs associated with Cloud based backup solutions.  Here are some more things to be aware of to help make your decision.

File Backup of Sensitive Files

Cloud Storage does not come without risks. Your data is being stored on someone else's computer. If you have content you would not want anyone to ever see, a NAS is a much better back up solution. 

You always have complete control over who can access your data on a NAS and can even choose to encrypt it allowing only individuals with a password to gain access. 

Many Uses 

Cloud providers sometimes limit the files you can share especially on free accounts. A NAS has no such limitations.

A NAS offers many different uses with additional packages or add-ons. This gives your NAS the flexibility to become a media server, web server or file backup solution and much more all from one easy to use interface.

Best For Security

You can directly access media files or music from any device, anywhere from your NAS. Only those users you give access to can access your files. You will never need to share your data with a snoopy admin or employees that work for a Cloud provider.

Since your data is always under your direct control it will still be there when a Cloud provider suddenly decides to go out of business taking all your data with them.

NAS Vs Cloud Best For Performance

A better quality NAS will give you excellent data transfer rates across your network. Cloud solutions are dependent on your Internet speed and can even count against data caps if you move large amounts of data.

Since a NAS sits right on your local network, no Internet data is used when transferring or streaming media files in your Network.

If you choose to transfer files remotely, then it would still count against your data caps.

Network performance is always much faster than moving data across the Internet. This is where a NAS also has a big advantage in their favor.

Which Should You Buy

For limited file storage, a Cloud Based Storage Solution like Google Drive or Dropbox makes total sense. Once you begin paying a monthly fee, you should really look at getting an affordable NAS instead from a reputable NAS manufacturer.

Based on your needs, a basic 2 drive NAS can be bought fairly inexpensively. Start adding more drives and faster processors and the price can jump up considerably.

NAS storage does require a little extra work on your part, but by using quality NAS boxes and hard drives that are rated for long life this will be minimal.


-  DIRECT LINK GENERATOR for Google Drive and Dropbox

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