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What to Look for When Choosing a NAS Drive

 A Network Attached Storage (NAS) drive is like a hard drive, but it has been specially designed to handle network storage systems. NAS drives have been specifically engineered to operate within the unique environments that NAS systems can provide.

If you have been in the market for a new NAS drive, it is important to know what to look for. Here are a few key factors worth considering when looking for a new NAS drive.


Though drive type is certainly important, another major factor when choosing aNAS drive is storage capacity. For some, capacity is the primary concern that needs to be addressed. The right NAS drive comes down to what your current requirements for data storage are and what they could be based on your anticipated needs.

The good thing is that NAS drives come in a huge range of sizes. The smaller ones are a few TB with some getting into the teens. Buying larger drives is actually more cost effective because it allows for expansion without having to immediately replace the drive. Just remember that larger drives can equate to a longer RAID configuration rebuild time. Finding a balance is critical when choosing NAS drives.

Drive Type

When looking for a new NAS drive fromthis site, there are any number of specs worth considering. That said, like choosingthe right piece of technology in any setting, there are certain specifications that take prevalence over everything else. Drive type is one of the most important things you need to consider when choosing a new NAS drive.

Nas drives, as opposed to standard desktop drives, are used for specific purposes. Each of the unique NAS drives out there has been designed to specifically handle the demands that NAS systems present. NAS drives are also built to run in 24/7 environments, which makes them far more reliable when it comes to network storage use. They even have firmware on them that has been optimized for NAS usage.

Durability and Reliability

In the 24/7 environment that NAS drives perform in, reliability is critical. Drives that have a low annual failure rate (AFR) are typically the best, as are the ones that have stronger load/unload cycles. NAS drive manufacturers will typically provide reliability ratings, including things like Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF).

The higher the MTBF rating, the longer the expected lifespan. Drives with those ratings typically have things like vibration tolerance and are built to hold up to running in a 24/7 environment. Finding one with a good warranty (in the 3-5 year range) is another good idea considering the fact that anything can happen at any time.

Performance and Speed

When talking about the speed of a NAS drive, you’ll refer to RPM (revolutions per minute). The most common speeds are 5400 RPM and 7200 RPM. It should be no surprise that drives with higher RPM rates can transfer data far faster than a drive with a lesser capacity. That said, they also generate a lot more noise and heat, which should definitely be considered for NAS locations.

Another thing to check out is the cache size. Cache size can wind up having an impact on the overall performance of the device. Having a larger cache (256MB, for instance) provides quicker access to data that is used more frequently. As is the case with RPM rate, it is important to find a balance between performance and other factors like heat and noise. The good news is that NAS drives are versatile enough to handle the demands of most 24/7 environments.