I remember, many moons ago, getting my first Iomega ZIP drive, the one that could read from and write to 100MB diskettes (if you're of the same vintage as me, then you'll also remember the revolutionary pass-through printer parallel port these drives used). I was in geek heaven, and I really did think that this would be the last storage device that I'd ever need.
I was wrong.
Over the past few years my storage needs have grown from megabytes to terabytes, and my Iomega ZIP drive has been long relegated to my personal tech museum. Also, nowadays we're not so laid back when it comes to storage, and aren't happy to have all our eggs in one basket. Instead, we want the reliability and redundancy offered by systems with multiple drives, and which connect to the cloud.
If you have serious storage requirements, and you make protecting your data a high priority, then here are six of the very best NAS (Network Attached Storage) drives for work and play.
The QNAP TS-EC880 Pro is a data monster! It features an 8-bay design powered by an Intel Xeon processor. All-in-all, it is a professional NAS solution designed for data backup, file synchronization, and remote access.
Price: Around $2,500 (diskless)
The NETGEAR ReadyNAS 700 Series 716 is a 6-bay, Intel Xeon-powered NAS that comes with 16GB of RAM and built-in support for 24TB of storage.
Price: Around $3,000 (diskless)
The Synology DS713+ NAS offers a high-performance yet easy approach to data-management and protection.
Price: Around $1,500
The WD Sentinel DX4200 Windows Storage Server is the smallest and most powerful, high performance Windows storage server that is also Microsoft certified. It runs the Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 Workgroup operating system and is kitted out with enterprise-class hard drives (8/16TB) optimized for reliability and performance, and an Intel Atom dual-core processor.
Price: Around $1,600 (8TB)
The WD My Cloud EX4 offers a great deal of flexibility, at a price point that won't make your eyes water.
Price: Starting at around $300 (diskless)
The Seagate 8-Bay Rackmount NAS is built from enterprise-class hardware and is the ideal solution for businesses with up to 250 employees that demand a higher level of performance and reliability.
Price: $3,000 (8TB) to $5,100 (32TB)