im new to this, basically i have a router and a basic wireless network at home, and a belkin router/modem.
what i want to do, is to buy a NAS hard disk drive and plug it into the router. will i be able to access the files on the hard drive when i am at my office? is there any special type of nas i need? and any special software?
It depends on what features the NAS has. For example some have built in webservers or FTP servers that allow you to access the files stored on the NAS. Others require special software and only work with Windows.
The simplest solution would probably be to get a NAS that supports FTP, then you could access your files at work using a FTP client. However, this type of access will be insecure unless you set up some type of VPN.
Before you get into this, what are the speeds of your network? 10/100 or 100/1000? Also how much are you looking to spend on a NAS? It sounds like you just want a single drive? Fred is right, you want to specifically look for a NAS that has HTTP or HTTPs and FTP or Secure FTP. You'll need to configure your router and NAS ports so it can get out over (also need a Static IP address) your ISP. You can also host your NAS via web service.
Most single drive NAS units that I have seen are 10/100. I haven't seen any that support SFTP but I haven't looked recently either. Even with a dynamic IP, you can use a service such as DynDns to access your home network just fine.
First you Belkin router is not the best, everyone I've seen and worked with are junk.
What the governing speed will be your uplink speed at home. Most are only 256k or slower.
Most router support FTP but not SFTP as prevously posted.
I am using a netgear FVS338 VPN router with a Snap 2200 NAS. I do a VPN link in to my router. This way I have full access to my complete network. All data transfer is through a 3DES with auth. Very Secure. I can even print to my network printer at home. This way my network is not exposed to the sniffers below the 1024 mark.
If you have a old pc that is running a latecy PC take a look at WarFTP it will serve your need.
You will need to do a port forward with your router to your WarFTP server. I would use a static IP for your ftp server, you do not want it jumping around. You will also need a DynDNS to keep up with your IP address, this is best done in the router. Then you will access your ftp my using the named server.