Lately I've been asked to give my opinion on NAS but the real question behind it typically points more towards data retention, storage or archive. As we get more savvy about computers, the internet and technology in general, there becomes a greater tendency to store more data. It becomes even more interesting if you have to account for other people like family and roommates. I like to categorize storage needs in the following categories: backups, shared storage and data archiving.
The primary purpose of backups are usually to store less frequently used data in a somewhat accessible solution. This is sometimes termed as near-line. Usually what drives this need is when your current hard disk drive is nearing capacity and you have to free some space but you
still need to access the data at some point.
Shared storage is usually when you have multiple devices that need access to the same data. Most common among those of us who have multiple computers in the house. In my case, I have my Xbox 360, my N800 and my multiple computers that need access to either shared music or shared files.
Most of us don't think of data archiving until we hit that moment where we've deleted a file that we shouldn't have. Data archiving is really multiple generations of backups. Good to have quite cumbersome to manage :D.
Depending on what you need, there are tonnes of different solutions in terms of software, hardware and online services that can meet your needs. Some broad categorizations are external disk storage, static disk NAS, dynamic disk NAS, online backup services.
Sent from my Windows Mobile® phone.