What Is an NAS Drive?

by Andrea Stein

Computer data storage refers to computer components and devices that hold the data necessary to perform computing and execute programs. NAS, or networked-attached storage, is a kind of computer network data storage system.

Data Access

NAS drives are file-level computer memory storage systems that link to a computer network. NAS drives enable heterogeneous clients to access data on a network. Heterogeneous clients, or computer systems or programs, refer to systems that use different types of processors.


NAS drives enable convenient file sharing between a variety of connected clients, as well as faster data access compared to file servers. NAS drives also provide easier administration and a more basic and straightforward configuration than file servers.


NAS systems are hardware devices containing one or multiple hard drives. These hard drives take the form of RAID arrays. RAID (redundant arrays of inexpensive disks) arrays arrange multiple hard drive components into a unit where each drive is independent. NAS systems handle file serving, as opposed to allowing networked servers perform this function. NAS systems enable access to networked files via a number of network file-sharing protocols, or established guidelines used to facilitate data transfer in networks.

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