NAS or External Hard Drive Connected to WiFi Router

I need help deciding if a NAS or external hard drive connected to a WiFi router would be better for my situation.

I want storage that I can access over my home network from both my laptop and desktop. I don't intend on using the solution for anything other than storage. I don't need to serve multimedia files to TVs or anything else. I simply want it for storage.

With that said, are there any significant disadvantages to attaching an external drive to a WiFi router that would justify the added expense of a NAS.

The Asustor NASs look pretty neat and have good specs, but an external enclosure is obviously a fraction of the cost, even an external with two bays.

Thanks!

EDIT: Apparently NETGEAR now makes a router that includes a 3.5" bay, so that adds another option.
http://netgear.com/home/products/networking/wifi-routers/WNDR4700.aspx
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  1. amsgator said:
    I need help deciding if a NAS or external hard drive connected to a WiFi router would be better for my situation.

    I want storage that I can access over my home network from both my laptop and desktop. I don't intend on using the solution for anything other than storage. I don't need to serve multimedia files to TVs or anything else. I simply want it for storage.

    With that said, are there any significant disadvantages to attaching an external drive to a WiFi router that would justify the added expense of a NAS.

    The Asustor NASs look pretty neat and have good specs, but an external enclosure is obviously a fraction of the cost, even an external with two bays.

    Thanks!

    EDIT: Apparently NETGEAR now makes a router that includes a 3.5" bay, so that adds another option.
    http://netgear.com/home/products/networking/wifi-routers/WNDR4700.aspx


    Fundamentally, no, there's no important difference. The difference will be only performance and additional features built into modern NAS devices.
  2. Will an external hard drive spin down or will it always be active?
  3. Most externals have a built in spin down logic.
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