In the days before digital cameras, most photographers had to rely on the services of a third party to get their film developed. Music was dubbed from record players to tape, so that you could listen to a wide range of your favorite tunes in the car. And watching a Super 8 film at home or at a friend’s place was a cause for celebration. All this changed with the introduction of digital media into our everyday lives.
Today, processing digital video on tape is just as much second-nature as post-processing photographs and publishing them on the Internet. A home theater PC in the living room can play the results of creative editing on common commodity hardware, and also let us listen to music in .mp3 format. At the click of a button, a selection of music can be transferred to a digital music player, which can then ensure the right background is available for a trip to work.
Your Data Requires Increasing Digital Storage Space
But the introduction of digital devices into our everyday lives didn’t just bring benefits. Alongside the usual trials and tribulations caused by cutting-edge technology—complicated menu systems, incompatibility between files and players, or computers that no longer respond—one aspect is usually swept under the carpet: the secure storage of data.
Programs and files, whether they be created by the user or purchased online, require ever-increasing amounts of storage space. Digital .mp3 collections, pictures, and home-recorded videos from digital cameras can add up to a considerable volume of data over time. You don’t just want to archive this data. You want it to be available at all times, and if possible, made available for use on the widest possible range of players and computers.
This is where Network Attached Storage (NAS) units come into their own. These devices can make several terabytes of storage space available within a network, independent of any one computer. This is made possible through a lightweight embedded operating system, generally based on Linux, and stored on a flash storage module in the NAS unit.
Fitted with a Gigabit Ethernet interface and USB ports, these NAS units are designed to have low power consumption. Many NAS models, however, aren't just limited to making data available in a Windows network. They can also act as media servers in the home and provide a download manager able to retrieve files from the Internet. A NAS unit can be set up in just a few minutes, and is generally designed to be operated by less technically-minded users.
NAS Units Are Increasing In Popularity
With this in mind, it is hardly surprising that NAS units are moving from being solely the domain of professional user within companies to becoming more and more popular with home users. In the past we have introduced, among others, the QNAP TS409 Pro Turbo NAS, the Maxtor Shared Storage II, and the Vox Blackbox. The following pages will show you what you can expect from the Promise NS4300N. As we’ll see for starters, the unit makes a very good first impression.