When should you use a NAS instead of the cloud?
NAS perform exactly the same function as public cloud storage services, that is, store the files and folders that we want, and even allow us to have a history with all the changes we have made in recent weeks or months. However, there are many users who prefer to have a NAS instead of a cloud storage service, because we have the files ourselves, and they are not on “other” servers. The cloud is still using another’s server to store our data. Next, we explain when it is better to use a NAS and not the public cloud.
Very large backups
If you are going to make complete backups of your PC, surely this backup will occupy approximately 100GB. Generally the servers are connected to the local network at a speed of at least 1Gbps, since you may have a 2.5G Multigigabit network at home, so the speed increases to the actual 2.5Gbps speed. A 100GB backup at a speed of about 110MB/s (Gigabit Ethernet) will take approximately 15 minutes, in the case of having a connection to the local network of 2.5Gbps, the speed that we will achieve is around 290MB/s. s approximately, so it will take approximately 6 minutes.
Currently there is no public cloud that allows us to upload files or folders at a speed of 110MB/s (1Gbps). Depending on our operator and peering agreements, we can have speeds between 30MB/s to 60MB/s in the best case, so in the best case, it will take us more than twice as long to perform the backup .
If we are going to make incremental backups, the first copy will take the longest, and the following ones will take less because only the data that changes in the system is uploaded, however, it will always be faster to do a local backup than do not upload it to the public cloud.
Very large file transfers
We are in the same case as before, if you want to share very large files, such as 4K movies, ISO images and even virtual machines already created to other computers on your network, it is best to do it through a centralized server, because the performance you will get in most cases will be the maximum of the local network. In the case of having to share them with other Internet users, then we would be in a case similar to the public cloud, because all the traffic will have to go out to the Internet, either to a central server (a pCloud, for example) or download it directly from our NAS remotely.
If you do video or photo editing and handle very large files, it is clearly worth having everything locally to get the best possible performance. In fact, there are more powerful models that allow us to edit directly on the local network, as long as you have a good 10G network to avoid bottlenecks. In this way, you could edit directly from the data storage without having it on your own PC.
Data privacy is becoming more and more important for users, this is one of the reasons why they want to store their own files at home, without going out to the Internet or sharing them with cloud storage services. Although when we upload files and folders to platforms such as Dropbox, OneDrive or Google Drive, among other services, our data is always encrypted on the server side, the truth is that when we upload it we lose control of our data. If you are going to use cloud storage services, our recommendation is that you encrypt everything first on the client side, so that both the data transfer and the cloud storage are fully encrypted.
If you store your own data, you will not depend on third parties, in addition, in the NAS itself you could also encrypt all the content in the volumes, in order to have even greater data privacy. Without this access password we cannot decrypt the volume and access all its files.
There are also other uses that we can give to a NAS server that we cannot do with the public cloud, here are some of these uses:
- Mount our own multimedia system as if it were Netflix or Spotify.
- Configure VPN server
- download manager
- Host our website locally
- Video surveillance with IP cameras centrally.
- Virtualize operating systems
- Use Docker containers to enjoy dozens of additional services.
As you can see, NAS have a large number of uses and in many cases they clearly outperform storage services. However, you could use the public cloud to make backups from the server that is always on, so you don’t have to always leave your PC on. In this way, we could make local backups and also in the cloud, to have the best of both “worlds”.
We recommend you visit our list with the best NAS servers for home and officeyou can find models of all ranges.