NAS vs. Cloud Storage – What Sets Them Apart?

nas-serverIf you’re the owner or manager of a small to medium business, then you probably don’t have an IT team, unless you outsource one which can be quite costly for you. As a result, making important decisions, even those that are IT related, is entirely up to you – the owner. Computer data is incredibly important in this day and age, which makes storing and protecting it as equally important as well.

There are three types of data storage popular today – local, cloud and network attached storage. There are some differences between them, and we’ll be comparing them in this article. A NAS server is a combination of the online cloud storage and the local hard drive storage. Thus, a lot of users have come up with the name “private cloud”.

A lot of debate has sparked up regarding the types of storage, and as the saying goes – every coin has two sides. This holds true for the comparison between cloud and network attached storage as well, as both have their own advantages and disadvantages. Let’s compare the cloud and a NAS server from 3 perspectives.

Data Security

If you’re using a NAS, you’re holding the data on your own, while if you’re using a cloud storage, then your data is controlled by the server provider. What this means is that you have to carefully consider how important your data is and whether you trust a third party to store it for you. Most cloud storage providers offer two-factor authentication, which offers an extra layer of protection. In comparison, only a few NAS servers support this feature.

Data Backup

A NAS can be configured to work on Redundant Array of Independent Disks (RAID) which can provide data redundancy and tolerate the failure of a drive. However, it still can’t protect data against damage done on the NAS itself. Therefore, an extra backup solution is mandatory. The cloud storage on the other hand, plays a better role in this respect – after you upload data to it, it will automatically be ensured and protected by the provider. So in the scenario where one of your local devices is damaged for whatever reason, the data won’t be hurt.


Most cloud storage providers offer a certain amount of storage for free. But if you end up using the data storage space for a long time, and if your storage needs expand, then you’ll have to pay for the extra space. In contrast, NAS comes at a fixed price and in case you need more space you can simply attach extra hard drives to it, making it the better long-term solution from a financial point of view.

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Anthony Hendriks

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