Storing your family´s files: Why a wireless external drive or NAS drive could be right for you
Looking for the best way to store everyone´s data so it´s safe and easy to access wherever you are?
These days we're all storing more and more photos, videos, documents and music on our computers. This is great for when you're at home, but what happens if you want to show some photos to a friend you're visiting? Or maybe everyone in the house has their own computer and you want to set up some central folders you can all save and backup to.
One option would be to save online using "cloud storage". This is like having an online vault for all of your files and folders that can be accessed using a username and password. Cloud drives are completely secure, and allow you to access your files from anywhere in the world. You do have to be connected to the internet to use the service, even at home.
Another option would be to use a wireless external drive or a NAS drive.
What are wireless external drives?
A wireless external drive is a hard drive that creates its own Wi-Fi signal to connect to your Smartphone, tablet or laptop. It's called "external" because it's not built into any of your computers. They're very portable, so you can take them with you when you're out and about. You can then access your data wherever you are. You can also set these up to automatically back up your Smartphone or tablet, so you never have to worry about losing your favourite photos.
What are NAS drives?
NAS drives are "Network Attached Storage" drives, which connect to your Wi-Fi router. You'll then be able to access the drive from all the computers connected to your network. You can also access your data and save files when you're out and about through the internet. We often think of them as "access anywhere drives" that you can save to from your PC, Apple Mac, Smartphone or tablet.
I want a central drive my family can back up their computers to that I can also access when I am out
NAS drive would probably be best. Ideal for backing up all your files, and saving your music and movie library so you can access it from any of your connected devices, be that a Smart TV, wireless music player, tablet, laptop or Smartphone.
I want extra storage for my Smartphone or tablet that I can take with me
A wireless external drive is the best for this. Because these drives create their own wireless network, you can connect to the device wherever you are.
I just want extra storage for my laptop
If you don't need wireless connection and your laptop has a USB then the cheapest way to get extra storage is with a USB or external hard drive.