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Is NAS the best Storage for Photographers? - A beginners guide to Network Attached Storage and if it's right for you!

17th September 2020

What is a NAS?

NAS (Network Attached Storage), a storage device which connects to your office or home network and can be accessed through several devices. NAS uses its own memory and CPU to manage its storage, due to the device not being directly connected to a computer it is able to run autonomously.

For photographers often sorting and storing the immense amount of files accumulated can be daunting especially with advancements in camera sensors, computers lack the capacity to store all required images.

A simple to solution to this could be the purchase of an external hard drive however, this is often only a temporary fix. Often files need to be stored for a long period of time which consequently results in a mass amount of external hard drives often disregard or lost. Easily manage, share and import files without the need of messy wires. 

Photographers and a NAS

There are countless advantages of having a NAS storage device in your set up. For photographer it's arguably the best device to purchase for your work. 

Here are just some of the advantages a NAS will bring to your set up:

  • ·         A NAS can store Millions of files by simply combining several drives
  • ·         These drives are fairly inexpensive to purchase
  • ·         Access your data through the internet from anywhere even from your phone or from multiple computers
  • ·         Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks (RAID) reassures you that your data is secure even if a drive is to fail
  • ·         Store and back-up your RAW files
  • ·         Access a multitude of apps to help boost your productivity
  • ·         Turn your NAS into your very own multimedia entertainment hub where you can stream your favourite movies and songs
  • ·         Centralization, all your files in one place without the need for external hard drives

Is a NAS for me?

Besides the NAS there are other back up storage solutions such as cloud storage or Direct Attached Storage (DAS). Comparing your options is essential in deciding if a NAS will work for you.

Cloud Storage - For most photographers cloud storage is not a convenient option. Although it offers reduced risk of system failure due to your data being backed up and stored on external devices it unfortunately means you are not in control of customising your storage data set up. Furthermore, you are also often confined to one cloud provider also known as 'vendor lock-in', if a copy stores an immense amount with one cloud provider then transferring this data becomes very complicated. Often photographers will choose to store their RAW files although if you do not have a fairly fast internet speed this shall be a lengthy waiting game. If your internet connection fails then so does your ability to access your cloud storage.  

Direct Attached Storage (DAS) - Unlike cloud storage there is no need for a network connection, making it a very secure option when hosting sensitive data. Although this means that different users are not able to access the data, it is only directly accessible from the applications running in the individual server or desktop machine. A DAS is often preferable to smaller organizations where less number of servers/hosts are required due to a DAS not being scalable meaning to expand storage an external hard drive would be needed. 

Down sides of a NAS

As mentioned above it's crucial to take into account the cons of your chosen data storage method. So let's have a look at some of the downsides to a NAS:

  • ·         As NAS is very dependent on bandwidth if your connection drops then will your access.
  • ·         NAS uses Linux operating and file system which makes it challenging to recover data from another operating system if a system failure was to occur, in such a case professional help would be needed but, could be a costly service.
  • ·         To use a NAS effectively you will need to have some basic knowledge of computer networks
  • ·         File transfer speeds are not as fast as DAS

With all this taken into consideration then, if you have decided a NAS would be best suited to you then let's have a look at what NAS's to suit your needs.

Your perfect NAS

A NAS is essentially a hollow component with the capacity to house multiple drives, some NAS's come pre-populated with drives whilst others do not. The storage capacity of a NAS is determined by the amount of bays it contains. Typically NAS's that feature 1-2 bays are for domestic use and NAS's that feature four or more bays are often favoured for commercial use. Simple file sharing between colleagues is a breeze for the NAS along with backing up your computer. Whereas if you are looking to store a vast amount of HD videos or files to your NAS then one with higher memory or processor specifications is a must especially for them RAWS! 

1-2 Bay NAS's Recommended by BOX


DS120j is a centralised storage solution that allows you to share family photos and videos to all household devices, such as computers and mobile phones.


The Synology DS220j is an entry-level NAS for your household to store and share photos, videos, documents, and all types of personal data. The 2-bay private cloud solution provide complete and intuitive data protection approaches for you to easily back up computer data and mobile photos, with just a few clicks.

4+ Bays NAS's Recommended by BOX



Terramaster f4-210 functions include file storage, multimedia management, data backup, cloud synchronisation, remote access, 4K HD video transcoding, and many more, the device is suitable for applications ranging from home multimedia entertainment to small office and home office (SOHO) settings.

Powered by an 8th generation Intel® Core™ processor, the high-performance TVS-672XT NAS features both 10GBASE-T and Thunderbolt™ 3 high-bandwidth connectivity for tackling heavy workloads and smoothly transferring, displaying and editing 4K videos in real-time.


For NAS's that are not pre-populated with drives it's important to refer to your NAS's drive-compatibility. Often your NAS's maker offers recommendations on what drives will best suit that specific NAS.

Drives from Seagate, WD, Synology and Toshiba are specifically designed for use with a NAS.

Hopefully we have provided you with enough informative information to help you choose the perfect storage device for your needs! If you have any further questions or would like some guidance on the best NAS for your needs then don't hesitate to contact us!

Call us: 0121 202 0000


Send us an email at salesteam@box.co.uk

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