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What is a NAS?

8th June 2020

What is a NAS?
A NAS (Network-Attached Storage) is a data storage device that allows you to keep photos, videos, music and documents, which can then be accessed via your computer or mobile device solely by yourself or by a large group of people such as family and friends or colleagues. If you've thought about getting a NAS but aren't convinced of the advantages as opposed to cloud based services, then read on to learn about the greater convenience and fun features that a NAS can provide!

Data Storage

A NAS can safely store large volumes of any type of data, whether that's photos, videos, music or documents, the total capacity of which depends on the capacity of the hard disk drives (HDD) or solid-state drives (SSD) you insert into your NAS. A NAS can potentially support huge volumes of data with no monthly fees while maintaining the same convenient data storage as cloud services.

 Backup Data

Once you have set up your NAS, your phone and computer will automatically back up all their data on to it. And if your data requires extra protection, this NAS-based backup data can then be backed up to the cloud or another NAS.

Easy Sharing

Your NAS is your private cloud. Not only can you use all of its capacity, you can also use it with others as a data server. You can easily share and sync files between various platforms, including Windows, Mac, iPhone and Android, with your family and friends or colleagues. If you want to share your music collection, or an important work document, simply give them the link to the folder and they will be able to view the contents and upload their own.

Manage all your data in one place
NAS space can be mounted on a computer. "Mounting" is where your NAS is recognised by your computer so you can easily view and access its content. When your NAS is mounted to your computer, you can view its content under, for Windows, File Explore > Network, and Mac, Finder > Places. 80% of QNAP users take advantage of this feature to provide them with a highly convenient local environment to access their files.
This doesn't mean that you can access all the data on your NAS from a remote location however. Simply open your browser and all your data is within your reach.
With QNAP's app File Station, you can also view and manage your files from a variety of other sources including USB storage, mobile devices, and optical disks (CDs).


The data on your NAS is protected by QNAP's encryption technology, preventing unauthorised access and securing your data. The built-in Security Counselor app also protects your files from viruses and malware.

What is QTS?
When you buy a QNAP NAS, you're not just getting a simple storage device.  Most QNAP NAS' come with a smart operating system (OS) called QTS, which essentially turns the NAS into a computer in its own right. QTS provides your NAS with more features than the cloud or external hard drive, and you can customise it to suit your needs. QTS is also updated regularly to provide you with cutting-edge applications and greater security.

What can a NAS do?
Photo management

Quickly free up precious space on your smartphone by saving photos to your NAS. Any photo stored on a QNAP NAS will also become available to you at any time by using a dedicated photo companion app for your phone, so you'll still be able to see your photos whenever you want. Sorting and finding your images is also greatly simplified with QNAP's AI image-recognition technology.

Video management

Watch videos on your TV or computer, and easily share them with family and friends.

 Music Management

Save and manage your music from any device or OS. Search for and categorise your music, create playlists and enter lyrics, play songs in your car*, or set alarms to wake you up.
*For cars with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto


Stream the photos, music and videos saved on your NAS straight to your TV and other devices*. For example, play videos via Amazon Fire TV, DLNA devices, Android TV, or connect to speakers using USB or Bluetooth® to play music.
*Check out the Compatibility lists on QNAP's website for more information.

 And more!

The potential uses for a NAS for endless, use it at home or at work as a surveillance solution, or as a server in an office. QNAP is a trusted NAS brand and used throughout the world because of its flexibility, extensibility, and quality.

A few more details…
Below are a couple of the important technologies that help to keep your NAS at the top of its game!

RAID Structure

RAID is a feature whereby the risk of losing data is minimised by combining multiple hard disks into one storage device. The multiple hard drives provide "redundancy" by spreading data between them, providing protection against one or two drives failing based on the RAID level used. If this sounds too technical for you, fear not, the default settings on your QNAP NAS will tell you recommended RAID structure for your device.

Remote access capabilities

Your NAS is a networked storage device, meaning it can be access from anywhere in the world as long as you have access to an internet connection. For example, listen to that perfect summer playlist whilst keeping your phone storage free for all your summer holiday pics, or access your home NAS when you're out and about and suddenly need that old file.


Why is NAS data accessible from any device? This is because QNAP NAS' support a variety of protocols including SMB, AFP etc. "Protocol" refers to the rules a computer follows to send and receive data. Data can't be forwarded or shared if its stipulated protocol is not supported.

QNAP NAS features simple but amazing technology
The three technologies presented here are not mind blowing but are unique to QNAP NAS' and provide greater value compared to similarly priced NAS' from other brands.

 4K Transcoding

This converts videos to universal video formats so you can play them back on various devices*. This allows for smooth playback of high-quality video, even on devices with smaller screens.
*Check the Compatibility lists on the QNAP website for more info.


Snapshots are a modern data protection function. Most high-level business NAS have this functionality, but QNAP features this on their entire range!
No matter which QNAP NAS you buy, you can quickly and easily backup and recover your data using snapshots.
Snapshots can be complicated, but the main advantages to snapshots over normal backup are:

 They are faster

They save space (normal backups require the same amount of space as the source data)

They protect against the impact of malware or hacking

Backups can only save one generation while snapshots can record multiple generations

Have you ever added unnecessary changes to a file and then accidentally saved it? If you had a snapshot of the file from before the changes, you can easily revert the content of the file to the snapshot's data before the changes.

Expand NAS functionality using PCIe cards

What are PCIe cards?
Simply put, PCIe cards fit into PCIe slots on your QNAP NAS to adder greater functionality or potential applications.
For example, you can add high-speed network connectivity with a 10GbE (10 Gigabit) card, Wi-Fi connectivity with a wireless card, and SSD cache support by installing a QM2 card.
The support for PCIe cards if a great benefit for those who want to futureproof their investment, as you can add additional functions to your NAS as and when you need them.

Click here to see the full list of QNAP NAS' here at Box!

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