The following are 3 different ways to setup a network attached storage on your home network. A network attached storage is technically a storage area which is available on the network. A network attached storage is required when you need to transfer and store files on your network. Based on your budget, the following options can be used.

The article explains 3 methods by which you can have a storage on your network. This include a FTP Server, wireless router with USB port and a network attached storage device.

Do you really need a NAS drive

This would depend on your requirement and budget. The 3 different options will help you understand if you really need a NAS drive or a low budget option like setting up of a FTP server would suffice.

Option 1 – FTP Server

If your budget is low, you can setup a FTP server. FTP which stands for file transfer protocol is used for storing files on the network. For example, if you have a website, you can use FTP for uploading and downloading files. FTP uses a client server architecture. FTP is available on almost all operating systems.

If you have a windows or linux system, you can setup a FTP server on it. Filezilla is a free Windows based FTP server . This can be downloaded here

Filezilla has also a FTP client , which can be used to connect to the FTP server for uploading and downloading files.

The Filezilla server can be installed on a Windows system and connected to the network. All systems, which need to access and upload files, is installed with the Filezilla client.

If you have a linux system, instead of Windows, FTP server applications like vsftpd, Proftpd can be used. These can be downloaded using the synaptic package manager available on Linux.

Option 2 – Wireless router with USB ports

This would require upgrading your wireless router. Wireless routers comes with USB ports. USB drives can be connected to the USB ports on the router and can be accessed on the network. Files , which needs to be accessed on the network can be stored on the USB drive , and accessed using appropriate application.

The budget would be higher than option 2, since you may need to purchase an additional router. A USB drive should also be purchased if it is not available.

Check out wireless routers with USB ports

Option 3 – Network attached storage

This would require buying a network attached storage device. A network attached storage is like a hard disk which would have a network port for access. Comparing with option 1 and option 2, the budget would be higher. Having a network attached storage would be the best option if the budget is not a constraint , since it would be robust and provide better performance as compared with the other two options.

Network attached storage – Click Here

Pros & Cons

Setting up a FTP server could be technically challenging if you are not a tech savvy person. Also if case you run into issues, troubleshooting could take time. The second option of buying a wireless router with USB port would be recommended if you have a small network , and it may not matter upgrading the wifi router.

But if you are using a powerful router to cover your home or office, then this may not be a good choice. Option 3 would be the best choice, since neither it is technically challenging nor does it require purchasing an additional wifi router. If you have the budget, this would be the best choice.

From a security perspective the FTP server and NAS would be a better option compared with a wireless router with USB port. The FTP sever can be configured with appropriate username and password for the users. The NAS can also be configured with user name and password. This would ensure that only authorized personal can access the data.

When a wireless router with USB port is used, the USB drive can be tampered or stolen, since it is removable.

So if you are a home user and you are well aware of the users on your network, then a wireless router with USB port may not be an issue. But if the NAS has to be setup in an office, where there are many users, either a FTP server or a network attached storage device is recommended.


1. I have decided to buy a NAS. There is a wireless router at home. Do I need anything else to set it up

You just need a network cable. One end of the cable would connect to the NAS device and other end to any switch port (LAN) on the wireless router

2. Should the IP address of NAS be static or dynamic

The NAS should be configured with a static IP address since all devices on the network would connect to it for which the IP address has to be known.

3. What criterion should be used to buy a NAS device

This would depend on the size. Think of it as buying a hard disk for your PC, where you select based on the storage size.

Network attached storage – Click Here


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