We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

What is Network Storage?

By Shannon Kietzman
Updated: May 16, 2024

A network storage system helps organize and save critical information created on a computer in an efficient and accessible manner. The most basic form of network storage is saving a computer's content to a disk or CD-Rom and storing it somewhere safe. This method works well if the information does not need to be changed frequently, but that is rarely the case. Generally, a user needs to change and update files often. Therefore, backing up a person's computer files on disk can be time consuming and inconvenient.

Direct Attached Storage (DAS) refers to a network storage system on which data is saved to a computer's internal hard drive. These files are saved directly onto the computer's disk space and can be readily pulled up at any time. This is the most commonly used means of network storage, though it can also become the most bothersome, as disk space on the computer gets used up, slowing the computer down.

Network Attached Storage (NAS) is a type of network storage system that saves data onto another computer system attached to a group of computers through a network, or onto a special server attached to the network. In this case, a mainframe computer is usually linked to a number of other workstations. The mainframe computer is used to save all the files, and the workstations can access the mainframe through special links.

An alternative to this form of network storage is having a host computer in a remote location on which members can store their important files. Web hosting is an example of this method. A person pays to rent space on the Internet. Here, the person's website files can be saved using another company's computer space. These network storage systems tend to cost an extra 1000 US dollars (USD) to install, so they are one of the more costly options for network storage.

Special tape machines can also be purchased and added to an existing computer system as a means of network storage. These machines back up all of the computer's information on a special data cassette tape. These cassette tapes can become damaged, so proper storage of a backed up system's information is essential. At over 600 USD a system, tape storage may not be the best option for personal use.

External hard drives are another excellent network storage option. External hard drives are easily attached to an existing computer. The extra disk space provides a spot in which system information can be stored. External hard drives are affordable, usually under 250 USD, but they may not be the best option for companies that need to store large amounts of information.

EasyTechJunkie is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By anon251482 — On Mar 01, 2012

Is "Network Attached Storage" the same concept as "Network Accessible Storage"?

By dkarnowski — On Dec 06, 2010

One very odd fancy way of using network attached storage is using your mobile device as a means of backing up a small amount of data. This can be done with more advanced smart phones that will actually connect their file system to your local area network. Often this is done via a wireless network connection that the phone has capability of accessing to read by doing this you can ensure that your data if stolen or lost while you were not there is somewhat backed up on your mobile device.

Obviously mobile devices do not hold much storage to the kind of media and information that you can back up via your mobile device is somewhat limited. You will never be able to fit all of your pictures or movies onto these mobile devices, at least not in the more recent times and into the near future were stored on mobile devices is very limited. At the same time, critical information like basic documents or other kinds of text based information can be stored on your mobile device without slowing the device down by taking up too much of its memory.

By fitness234 — On Dec 03, 2010

Not all network attached storage is created equal. One thing to consider when looking into the options on the consumer market for network attached storage is actually to determine whether or not you want that storage online available to you via the Internet or if it is simply a local area network attached storage device that you wish to use. The advantage of course as a previous comments are mentioned is to use an off-site storage service but these services can be costly in addition to be either charging an annual subscription fee or a monthly subscription fee. Of course if your data is absolutely critical in these costs can be overcoming easily by the need to have this information back up. If you are looking for a more simple and less costly way of storing your data on a backup you can look at locally attached network storage. Often new hard drive enclosures will actually include an ethernet port that will allow you to plug the device in directly to your home wireless router or wired routing device.

These kinds of systems are much cheaper than online storage services although not in the initial cost. Usually a hard drive like this that will allow you to connect to your network is actually somewhat costly considering that the control board of the device must be capable of talking to a network independent of an old computer controller.

The one advantage to your local area attached network storage is the fact that it's a one-time cost and you would then after that own the equipment. This in the long run can be much cheaper than an online backup storage system but once again, it does not allow for the events of natural disaster or theft of your physical drives.

By JoseJames — On Dec 01, 2010

One of the most popular forms of network storage that is available in the consumer market today is actually offered by Apple Computer. Their mobile me service allows you to backup personal information from your Macintosh computer as well as a variety of media including pictures, movies, and documents. This service can be vital if you happen to lose a computer hard drive in your home system or are the subject in victim of theft. The ability to have off-site network storage means that you are securing your data not only from natural disaster but also from theft and other means that you can lose data.

It is important that if you have critical files that you could not do without the rest of your life that you back up this information the outside source of network storage. By using the Internet you are able to then connect to the network storage services and upload your critical information.

By spreadsheet — On Nov 28, 2010

@Kannan, I think that the role network storage place for mobile service providers has more to do with storing personal data that you would use or keep on your mobile wireless device. This concept is important to people who need to be able to backup the important information that they keep on their cellular phone. For instance, if you had a mobile phone breakdown that left you without all of your contact information for your entire phone book, you would still be lucky if your mobile service provider keeps a backup of it on their network. This very basic form of network storage is not what most people think of as network storage but is actually a way that we use network storage in our daily lives.

Sometimes mobile phone companies will charge extra for the service. Often he comes in the form of a monthly charge but some do provided for a one-time fee. Other cellular phone providers and mobile network companies will offer network storage as part of your already paid for membership subscription rates. This can reduce cost he selected plan underneath a mobile provider that already provides you with a certain amount of network storage. Often these included rates are not very extensive in the amount of data you can hold that there isn't a whole lot of data you can hold any way on a mobile wireless device. Of course there is always the traditional means of backing up your mobile device via your home computer but this is more of a direct storage attachment as opposed to network storage.

By Kannan — On Dec 31, 2008

Can you please explain me how network storage is related to cell phone service providers like NTT Docomo mobile service offerings? or what role network storage plays in offering mobile service by mobile service providers? Thank YOu

EasyTechJunkie, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

EasyTechJunkie, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.