Posts Tagged 'Hardware'

Tech Spotlight on: Network Attached Storage (NAS)

 

With this Guide, I will begin a new discussion centered around the use of technology in the practice of the professional advisor.  I will cover the basics to expose some of the options available for you to run your practices more efficiently.

This Guide will focus on hardware and specifically a device called a NAS (pronounced NAZ) – Network Attached Storage or in some older circles, Network Appliance Servers.

Here is what Wikipedia says about them: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Network-attached_storage

Put simply, a NAS is a low-cost shared hard drive.  It requires NO PC.  It just plugs into a hub or switch or port on your router (could be your wireless access point).

These devices are wonderful for central file storage to be shared by staff. Any office document like a word processing file, a spreadsheet or a PDF can be saved on the NAS.  One would normally place several folders on the NAS just like a PC and then store the appropriate document in the proper folder.

You do not need a VERY tech savvy worker to set one up.  After plugging it in and turning it on, you access it through a browser and set up security/user rights for each of the folders, allowing some to be private and others to be public.

Simple drive mapping in Windows would then allow each user to attach to the device.

And then there is cost.  Well, these devices are pretty darn cheap!  Here is a link to several examples at Amazon.com http://tinyurl.com/y88khxv

Prices start under $200 and go up from there.  In my office we have used products from Linksys, Seagate, Snap and Buffalo.  Each has performed as advertised with no failures or issues.

They can be used as primary storage or backup for PC’s and servers.  They are small, light and can be carried off-site easily (good and bad news). A NAS at home is a great way to share files with your family.

Guide – A NAS is an inexpensive, easy to use, reliable way to share files on a network.

Action Item – If you currently have an office where you are emailing each other files all the time or are using peer-to-peer networking to share files, consider a NAS.

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