You are not alone if you’re often thinking about network attached storage vs home server. Many people often confuse the two terms or use them interchangeably. While in fact, they are two different things with sometimes overlapping usage.

It’s time to settle the dispute and figure out which device works for you. But the first thing is, you need to understand why you need one. It doesn’t matter if you’re managing a business or simply needing extra storage space for your computers at home, you need to know the differences between them.

What Are The Differences Between NAS And Server?

It is easy to understand why people often confuse those two. Both have storage capability and are common in the home or small business settings that require several computers in one network. They are also quite similar in the price range.

However, they are two different devices. Network-attached storage (NAS) is a device with a separate operating system that you can use to store and access your data. In short, it’s similar to an external hard drive that all users in the network can access. But that is the old definition and expectations from a NAS. These days, the expectations on NAS are only getting higher. Many people expect their storage space to have the same capability as a server.

A home server is a standalone PC with a 100% uptime guarantee. As the name suggests, it has a separate OS with a storage system that you can access anytime and anywhere you want. It’s more versatile than a simple NAS because it is scalable and can work with larger data.

Both devices can run on Open source software. But NAS doesn’t need regular security checking, a server needs top-notch protection to keep the data. Its main purpose is only for data storage, and nothing more.

On the other hand, a server has a multitude of functions. It supports multiple file types, and it can run videos. To some people, this can be a reason why they choose a server instead of a NAS. They want to have a storage device that can play videos and is compatible with various file types.

Which One Should I Get?

Network-attached storage works best for simple data retrieval and storage. You can use it to store your files and other data for your business, where everyone who has access to them can do the same. However, it can be slow when it comes to processing ability. A NAS only has the minimum processing speed you need to retrieve and store data.

A server has a higher processor and RAM to give a faster performance on storing and processing the data. It’s closer to a regular PC but without a graphic card. And just like a PC, your server also requires a regular security check. You need to install a firewall on your server and do a regular update. And sometimes, you may need to renew the server license for the OS to keep everything smooth and running.

A NAS may not need a lot of maintenance. The limited capability secures them from having an attack on the data. Unfortunately, that’s not the same case with a server. You need to be adept and knowledgeable on maintaining one.

You should get a server only if you’re confident with your skill. Keep in mind that a server can be expensive as well. Surely you don’t want to waste hundreds of dollars on a server that you barely use.

Who Is The Winner Between Network Attached Storage Vs Home Server?

When it comes to the battle of network attached storage vs home server, you need to ask yourself if you need to do an upgrade in less than five years. A server can be a more obvious choice if you’re focusing on expanding your business. You can expand the storage on your server and do all of the necessary updates.

If you only need storage that all computers in your network can access, then a NAS may be enough. The only drawback is that you have a limited amount of files types to store and other limited capabilities.

Small enterprises can use Network attached storage as their local data backup. This can save them a lot of money from using cloud storage and constantly expanding them. As you know, it’s always a good idea to have multiple data backups.

A server can be quite expensive to have. A low-end server still will cost you at least $100 more than your NAS. And that only counts the hardware cost. To keep the cost low, you can choose to install Linux as the OS. But you need to have even better programming skills to maintain the server.

A server has a higher processor and RAM to give a faster performance on storing and processing the data. | Photo: Canva


When it comes to accessing file storage, there are several things that you need to pay attention to. If you only intend to have a storage that everyone in the same line can access, then NAS is the one for you. Especially if you don’t have much knowledge of computers and only have a limited budget for remote storage space.

The drawback is when you need to have bigger storage space. You need to fork out more money to buy a new NAS. Even though the installation process is quick and easy. But it can be tiring if you have to do it every year.

But if you aim to have something more powerful that is also upgradeable, then a home server is the answer. The initial cost can be pricey, but you can upgrade them anytime you want. As you know, only upgrading RAM or storage won’t cost you as much as getting a new server altogether.

In short, it depends on your budget and your IT skill. A home server requires more knowledge and routine maintenance compared to a NAS. But if you only need to do small business accounting that doesn’t rely on big data pull too much, a NAS may work better for your setting. If you like our article and find it useful, please comment and share. 🙂

Network Attached Storage VS Home Server – Who Is The Winner

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