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The Bright Future of Network Attached Storage

Network Attached Storage (NAS) is one of the most rapidly evolving categories in the technology world, and already offers huge benefits to consumers looking to simplify, secure, and speed up data access in the household. But it’s now shifting, from a position as an oft-forgotten utility to an essential player in the high-tech home. As NAS makes its epic transformation, here are five major changes you can expect to see – and sooner than you think.

1. NAS as the Hub for Entertainment and Media

DVDs, Blu-rays, and other optical media are on their way out. Just as you replaced your collection of records, tapes, and CDs with digital files, you’ll soon start doing the same with movies and television shows. And you won’t need to carry them around on your laptop, portable media player, or flash drive either. Instead, you’ll choose a NAS device that stays at home where they can be archived and queued up for instant viewing on any device in the house including a smart TV. In addition, a modern NAS like a QNAP NAS can even connect directly to your television via an HDMI cable, letting you play back media in full HD.

2. NAS as Essential for Digital Asset Protection

Hard drive crashes are a frightening reality that can happen to anyone, yet many still refuse to back up their data. NAS systems shield you from data loss, as redundant, RAID-configured hard drives and automated backup systems ensure every photo, video, and document on the network gets immediately backed up for safe keeping. NAS is inherently safer than data stored on individual hard drives or PCs, where an accidental drop can render the device useless. With a RAID solution on a NAS device, there’s no worry about data abruptly vanishing. In the event of hardware failure, it can be quickly and easily replaced with zero downtime.

3. Faster Speeds Improve Performance for Multiple Users

Faster network speeds are just around the corner; data and video files are growing larger and more complex, and both wired (Ethernet) and wireless Internet connections will be stressed to keep up. As standards evolve, NAS devices will work with the acceleration of Internet connections, helping you stream high-definition video to and from your network, and share large data sets (like full hard drive images) with greater speed than ever before. NAS will even be able support multiple users (i.e v  ideo editors, graphic designers, etc) accessing data on the NAS simultaneously, helping you harness the projected 10 gigabit-per-second connection speed. And as new standards like 802.11ax push Wi-Fi speed beyond one-gigabit-per-second, NAS devices will keep pace, helping keep your data safe and accessible.

4. App Stores Unlock an Exciting Future for NAS

The old hardware model allowed you to buy a device with a specific purpose, which you’d then live with in perpetuity. The advent of the app store – ubiquitous in today’s mobile devices – changed all that, letting manufacturers open the door to developers who want to expand the capabilities of their devices. Now, NAS is also getting in on the app action. QNAP’s App Center is already up and running with over 130 apps that let you boost your NAS experience with extra media server features, surveillance functions, advanced backup tools, and much more.

5. NAS Becomes a Key Player in the Internet of Things

Your phone’s on the Internet. Your thermostat may be on the Internet. Heck, your washing machine may even be on the Internet by now. “The Internet of Things” refers to the connection of everyday items like these to the web, and your NAS is poised to be at the center of it all. NAS isn’t just going to be the repository for logs, files, and other data your home needs; Through the App Center, NAS will thrive to be an open platform and central storage for IoT segments such as home automation. In fact, QNAP is the first NAS manufacturer that is fully compatible with Control4, a leading home automation solution provider.

Facebook alone sees 350 million photos uploaded to the service every day. Digital media is exploding, as are our storage needs. At the center of this universe is NAS, which is becoming an increasingly key player in the way data is stored, managed, and accessed. Watch for even bigger news down the road as the NAS market continues to reach new, exciting heights.

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