If you’re looking for a home for your digital music library you’ve probably had thoughts on using a NAS drive. Oh, and don’t forget to backup your files.
Nas – why? For a modest price you have the chance to share music and other files around your home, without needing to have your computer switched on all the time. That means you can switch off what can be a noisy PC box, and maybe if your computer is your main work tool and you need to take it with you when you leave the house. If you have a NAS people at home can still listen to music or access photo, video, documents, spreadsheets, from that drive when you’re out. Now you can get hold of a NAS drive for a relatively small sum over the cost of a “normal” USB drive which you have to plug into your computer.
The range we’ve been suggesting to people lately is Western Digital. The white unit to the right in the image is a 2 Tb drive which is a penny or so under £100. It will safely store and share a huge music library. It’s a relatively slim unit and inside you’ll find a single hard drive, similar to the unit you’ll find in any PC.
Lets’ get pessimistic. What do you do when / if that drive fails? As I said before, how have you backed up your files?
One way is to plug a simple, basic hard drive into the USB 3 port in the rear of the white unit. Your files can then be copied from the main drive to the secondary unit, indeed WD have an app for that. You’re covered if the worst happens.
Let me introduce you to the white units fat brother, the black drive on the left. This too is a NAS so it functions in the same way, but this includes two hard drives. Both are silent and neither is unbearably huge. Having two physical drives gives you more storage capacity – this could be configured to 6 Tb – and the option to configure this as a RAID drive.
RAID is a system that can create an automatic duplicate / backup of the files you send to the drive. If disaster does strike and one hard drive fails you simply get another drive, pop a clip in the lid of the unit, pull out the failed drive and replace it. Reassemble in reverse order. When the new drive is detected the onboard computer starts to copy files onto the fresh unit so pretty quickly you’re protected.
That’s a pretty simple overview of RAID. If you dig around there’s much more to RAID but the key takeaway (I hope) is that you need to backup your data, and this is one way in which it can be done automatically. Say NAS, think RAID.