Can A NAS Drive Be Used Like A Regular Drive?

There are many different kinds of hard disk drives, each with its properties and functions. There is the desktop drive, the enterprise drive, the surveillance drive, and NAS drives. Each of these drives is designed to fulfill a particular purpose. This article will look at whether NAS drives can be used in the stead of regular drives. But before that, we will analyze the various types of drives available.

NAS drives

Developed in the early 1980s, the term NAS in NAS drives means Network Attached Storage. It is a data storage server linked to a single computer network that provides data access to multiple users. 

It only offers file storage services for data. The server is designed to push huge amounts of data. As such, they are very powerful devices that can operate for 24 hours, 7 days a week. 

NAS drives are also heat resistant and can withstand more vibration. You can, therefore, have multiple NAS drives placed next to each other, working simultaneously, without affecting each other’s performance.

Though good devices, NAS drives are noisy and a little bit more expensive than your other drives.

Enterprise drives

These are drives designed for use in huge storage systems and servers. Their performance is high. The drives respond very quickly and transfer data very rapidly as well. Since enterprise devices are used in storage systems, they are designed with multiple safety features to ensure the security of the data. In case of a drive failure, the enterprise’s drive can still easily retrieve data.

Surveillances drives

As their name suggests, these drives are used in the surveillance sector. They are used to receive and process data from surveillance videos. They go through mounds of data a day. As such they need to be powerful enough to process all these data without slowing down, overheating, or losing capacity. 

Moreover, these devices are designed to work 24/7 processing all the surveillance data coming through. As compared to other drives, these use up less power.

Desktop drives

This is a drive designed for general use in a system not meant to operate 24/7. It is programmed to facilitate random data and data streaming.  This is what enables the loading of media and computer programs. 

Desktop drives are very affordable and thus very common. They are however not made for processing or storing large amounts of information. Their life expectancy is low and they do tend to ‘crash’ very often.

Using NAS drives like a regular drive

NAS drives are powerful hard disk drives. Though designed to facilitate data sharing among multiple computers in a network they can also be used as any other regular drive. This means that you can copy and paste data onto it as long as the interfaces line up. The drive connects to a computer just like any other drive does.

Using a NAS drive as a conventional drive has many advantages. NAS drives are designed to work on huge amounts of data at a time. A Seagate Barracuda drive, for example, can process 55 terabytes of data annually. A Seagate IronWolf drive can process 180 terabytes while a Seagate Ironwolf pro can handle about 300 terabytes of data every year. Such a capacity will increase your computer’s processing power. Additionally, NAS drives come with warranties that are as long as five years. These periods are longer than what you would get after acquiring a conventional drive.

NAS drives have been made to specifically cope with more vibrations than the regular desktop hard drives. The reason why this is so is to prevent hard drives placed close to one another from affecting each other’s performance. Regular hard drives vibrate so intensely that if placed close to each other, they can beat up against each other. This can cause performance issues. The firmware for NSA drives has been designed to reduce vibrations, protect the drive from issues, and account for vibrations. Some drives are equipped with rotational vibration sensors. These sensors are installed to monitor and reduce vibrations.

Drawbacks

Loud

NAS drives are generally good devices. They are fast and will generally make using your computer much easier. However, if you are on the lookout for a quiet drive, this might not be for you. NAS drives are very noisy, especially any that can process 8 terabytes of data and above. The more platters it has, the louder the drive gets.

Expensive

Compared to your conventional drives, NAS drives cost a bit more. An 8 terabyte IronWolf drive will set you back about 300 dollars. A 4 terabyte Barracuda costs about 130 bucks! The purchase is however very worthwhile. The drive will serve its use for a considerable length of time.

You cannot boot your computer from it

Booting your computer from a NAS drive is difficult and requires a lot of skill. You will need other equipment and setup. This feature is therefore not readily accessible to end-users.

Have TLER technology

This technology allows a drive to label certain sectors of information as bad when it (the drive) has failed to access them after trying for three to four seconds. The NAS drive was designed this way to dramatically reduce the failure rate and enhance reliability, efficiency, and stability. 

If using the drive as a conventional drive, be assured that some sectors will be labeled incorrectly. This is because normal hard drives that lack TLER technology will usually label sectors as bad when they fail to access them after attempting for a continuous 30 second or 1-minute period. 

Quick summary

In conclusion, the following is a summary of the good and bad sides of using Network Attached Storage drives in the stead of regular desktop drives

Advantages

They are fast.

They can handle tons of data at once.

They do not vibrate as much.

They are accompanied by warranties that are as long as five years.

Disadvantages

Compared to regular desktop hard drives, NAS drives can be expensive.

They are very loud which can be annoying and even sometimes distracting.

The TLER technology installed within them may affect their effectiveness in the data processing.

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