If you work for a large company, you undoubtedly have access to a corporate file server. But if you work for a small business or you’re working from home, your file server is likely to be in the cloud, probably something offered by Dropbox, AWS, Google, or Microsoft. Cloud-based servers are good (here I talk about how one saved my bacon), but for full-time work-at-home folks, cloud-based servers don’t always cut the mustard.
Cloud-based servers are terrible for video editing, as it takes forever to upload and download video to the cloud (even if you have a fast pipe). If you’re doing anything with video (or other large files), you’re unlikely to find cloud storage practical except, maybe, for backup. Second, cloud servers can get kind of expensive. Sure, if you’re equipping a NAS, you’re paying for drives, but once you pay out the expense for the NAS and drives, you’re done. You don’t have to pay for it month after month after month.
Don’t get me wrong. I strongly recommend cloud storage as one leg in a 3-2-1 backup strategy, but for home and small office use, a NAS can be invaluable. It’s fast, it’s easy to get to, you can segment shares for family members or workgroups, and many NASes offer a wide range of additional applications that turn your box into a local, private, on-premises general-purpose business server.
Let’s dive in. I’m showing you seven machines that I am sure will serve you well over the years.
So, there you go. Let us know what you’re doing for file sharing, local storage, and NAS options in the comments below.
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