Hard Drive Enclosure vs NAS — What is The Best Choice for You

No matter whether in your professional or personal life, you must have accumulated thousands of data in various forms. Some of them must be essential for future use purposes, while others are pointless. Hence, to store them efficiently and safely, you require an appropriate form of backup strategy.

Although a majority of offices and homes have USB key collections, for a more long-term storage solution and more integral data storage, most digital data users favor the application of cloud storage, network-attached Storage and large hard drive enclosure. Both hard drive enclosure and NAS can be good, but which would be suitable for you? Read on to find out more.

Hard Drive Enclosure vs Network-Attached Storage

Internal Storage and memory in smart tech devices today can be constricted for storing a large amount of data over their capacity. Over-feeding data to your phones or computers would slow down their functionality and operation, and there is a risk of losing data due to device crashes. If you don’t want to store data on the cloud and access it whenever and wherever without the internet, then the two main types of external storage device options you have for extending your data storage capacity are direct-attached hard drive storage and network-attached Storage. Before learning about the differences, you need to understand their similarities and common factors.

Hard Drive Enclosure

External hard drives are the direct-attached Storage, a digital storage system connected directly to your personal computers, any other form of server or your workstation; however, they are not attached to any network. Hence, the hard drive enclosure is not accessible to any other device or computer if that’s not connected through the host computer or server.

So external hard drives can only be connected to only one server or computer. Users don’t require any network connection to attach the external hard drives to the host computer or server, and it can be used through USB, SAS, SATA or SCSI. If you want a simple and budget-friendly storage solution, buying a hard drive enclosure can be a great choice without a complex setup procedure and enjoy high performance.

Network-Attached Storage

Network Attached Storage, or NAS, involves a dedicated file storage system that enables multiple users and heterogeneous user devices at a time to retrieve data from centralized disk capacity. Users can access the shared Storage through an Ethernet connection when in a local area network. Typically, NAS devices don’t have a keyboard or display configured and managed through a browser-based utility.

NAS serves as an independent network node on LAN recognized through its unique IP address. This storage system is ideal for handling unstructured data like text files, audio, websites, videos, etc. The principal purpose of using NAS is to collaborate and share data through multiple devices effectively connected through a wireless router for easy data distribution.

Compare Hard Drive Enclosure and Network from a different aspect

Both systems use similar methods for combining the drive’s storage space and can be used to save documents, media files, and other types of data files you deal with. But not the same all the way. Let’s compare and learn about their differences.

  • Portability

External hard drive disks are designed to offer the flexibility of being extremely portable, So users can take them along wherever they go. Hard drive enclosures can be used for any computer system to have all your files and data handy everywhere you go and easily plug in the drive to your PC for accessing files. But in the case of NAS, they are not very portable storage devices, and you require a dedicated space for them, so you can’t really use them on the go. Moreover, the bulky size of the NAS devices is the biggest disadvantage to have over external HDDs.

  • Accessibility

When it comes to easy accessibility, both NAS and external hard drive enclosures can be great options. External hard drives can be quickly plugged into the computer system to access the files without an internet connection. But if you forget to carry it, you may lose all your data. The big disadvantage over network attached Storage as it offers access from any computer, even remotely, if you are not there were NAS is installed and also works with the cloud.

  • Capacity

Since NAS can be connected to multiple devices together, they offer more storage capacity. External hard drive enclosures offer static storage capacity, as they can be connected to one device at a time. Once it’s full, you either have to delete some files or buy new ones.

How to Buy a Hard Drive Enclosure?

Hard drive enclosures may come in various forms of connections like SSD, SATA, IDE, and USB. So when you are buying an external hard drive enclosure to expand your computer memory, decide on the type of connection you want to use. Next, you need to match your enclosure interface to your disk interface to avoid requirements for modification. Other major factors for choosing the right gadget are:

  • Capacity: You can get capacity limitations ranging from 4T to 8T.
  • Mobility:The weight and dimension of the drive casing and material would determine the ease of portability.
  • Price:Higher prices don’t always offer higher quality. So consider the brand reliability and reviews for choosing the drive as per your budget and Storage need capacity.
  • Cooling:Hard drives may require cooling air, so choose an enclosure with a premounted fan.

If you are looking for the high-level performance of external hard drives and configuration for data redundancy, use RAID enclosures. One of the best items in the market is UGREEN 2 Bay RAID Enclosure to hold multiple drives. The top features of this version of Ugreen hard drive enclosure RAID are:

Key Features of Ugreen Hard Drive Enclosure

  • Offering amazing speed transfer of files from drives, an average of 1G data in 3 seconds.
  • Support up to 5 Gbps transfer from the 2-day hard drive docking station
  • Features USB 3.0 SATA hard drive enclosure designed with 40mm silent fan

ugreen 2 bay rapid enclosure


Final Words

From hard drive enclosure vs NAS, you can note that while hard drives offer more portability, NAS offers more advanced options and flexibility with accessibility. But there is the risk of losing the data you save on both storage platforms. But as per your requirement and capacity requirement and working setting, select the one that matches your view of convenience.

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