Can A NAS Drive Be Used Like A Regular Drive?

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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 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 Network Attached Storage 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. These 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, they 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 Network Attached Storage 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. The 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.

Seagate Ironwolf Review


Not a lot of time has passed since small capacity storage devices like floppy disks and compact disks were in vogue. These devices would only give you megabytes worth of storage space.

We would carry Mbs of vital information around in them and be very content, yet only a few years later, here we are, reviewing a hard drive with about 10 terabytes worth of storage space. It is impressive to see how tech has evolved in such a short time.


Having a hard drive with ten terabytes worth of space might sound overboard. It is almost impossible to think of anyone who would need that amount of space on their computers. But with evolving times, file sizes have gradually become much larger, and this is a trend that is likely to continue.

Hence devices with much bigger storage space for your data, like the Seagate Ironwolf regular and Ironwolf Pro, have been developed to meet this need. They have been designed to process, back-up, and store terabytes worth of data with ease and finesse.


Additionally, the Seagate Ironwolf is a hard drive created for use in a NAS system. This is a system of computers put together to operate in a network. In such a system, you need a hard drive that can store plenty of information and keep a back-up of files. Your home or office network is set to run smoothly on one of these drives.


This drive offers oodles of space, allowing you to save and back-up tonnes of data and even speeds up the processing pace of your computers. It is a drive focused on reliability, steady performance, and maximum storage space. 


However, if the space provided by this device still sounds excessive, Seagate offers other hard drives with less space.


What is the Ironwolf drive?


This is one of the professional drives manufactured and sold by Seagate. It is a product designed for businesses and persons who require space, capacity, speed, and reliability in their data storage solutions.

All the drives designed by Seagate are meant for use in NAS systems but can still be used by anyone who wishes to have a reliable data storage space on their computer.


These drives are designed to run for seven days per week, for twenty-four hours every single day; reading, copying, and writing data. They are thus very powerful devices. To ensure that they never get too warm, they have a rotation speed that changes automatically to keep temperatures in check. This also goes a long way in conserving electrical energy used.

Ironwolf drive vs Ironwolf Pro


Seagate has designed the Ironwolf Pro range for those who want more. The Ironwolf drive is good but the Ironwolf Pro is better, faster, and also more expensive.


Features


The Seagate Ironwolf regular and Ironwolf Pro are hard drives designed to operate in a NAS system. NAS is a shortened version of Network Attached Storage. It means that the hard drive is made specifically to provide storage to a network of computers.

This could be at home or in the office. It thus has extra features that you would not find in any ordinary hard disk drive.


Both drives are designed with AgileArray firmware installed.

The drives are therefore better at RAID arrays, recognizing and correcting errors much faster. Because of Ironwolf health management, it is also possible to keep tabs on the health of your drive.


The hard drives are fitted with vibration sensors designed to reduce vibration. Normal hard drives vibrate immensely. Thus, when many of them are put close together, the strong vibrations tend to affect performance. Ironwolf hard drives do not suffer from this problem. The sensors within reduce vibrations in multi-drive devices.


The Ironwolf drive can handle a whopping 180 terabytes worth of data every single year. This is a huge amount of data. As such, this is an ideal product for small and medium businesses and organizations. If using this device at home, it is highly unlikely that you will ever move that kind of data even over a decade.


Performance


This drive has some pretty impressive features and specs. But how does this device perform?
Both Ironwolf regular and Ironwolf Pro drives are impressive devices, with the ability to process at least 180 terabytes of data a year. The former drive can transfer up to 180 megabytes of data per second, which is itself very impressive. The latter can transfer 40 more megabytes of data at the same time.

Both the Ironwolf regular and Ironwolf Pro have a capacity of at least 60 megabytes of cache. This means that you get to enjoy faster access to data on your network, and faster data back- up to speeds. The transfer of data and information from a computer to the next is easier and simpler.


To make the deal even sweeter, Seagate offers its clients a 5-year long warranty on their hard drives. Whatever fault your drive may have, the Seagate customer care service will correct it for free. They will also assist you in recovering data lost because of a malfunctioning drive.


Verdict


Ironwolf drives are the “regular” or “Pro” version, are beautiful, and quite impressive drives to choose if in need of immense storage space for your data. The drives are built to be fast, perform better than other competitor’s drives, last much longer, and are priced very competitively.  The fact that their performance is impeccable and that they last a pretty long time makes them ideal for incremental NAS usage.

As your storage demands increase, the system can handle any additional stress.
If using the drive like an in-system drive for professional use, it is possible to rely on it all by itself.

You will need a faster drive from where your software and operating system can run from. For instance, the NVME drive can process data 20 times faster than the Ironwolf could. It, however, lacks the storage capacity and longevity the Ironwolf provides.

Pairing these two will increase your computer’s data processing capabilities to a new high. The Ironwolf drive provides the space while the NVME provides the speed.

How To Format DVR Drive For PC

Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc, or its affiliates.