Cloud-based storage solutions are all the rage these days, but if you don't want to trust your files to a third-party data center and deal with the risk of hacker attacks and unexpected downtime, maintaining your own centralized storage platform is the way to go. This is where network attached storage (NAS) devices come into play. With hard drive prices as cheap as they are, owning your own NAS box is a totally viable option for wrangling your data, automating backup routines, and serving up files to a growing number of connected devices, including tablets, notebooks, smartphones, game consoles, set-top boxes, and more. Plus, there are no monthly or annual subscription fees to deal with.
Convincing yourself you need or could benefit from a NAS box is the easy part. The hard part is in sifting through the seemingly million-and-one options out there and picking the best one for your needs. To help you do that, we reached out to a number of NAS vendors and asked them to send us their recommended NAS device for a 3-5 bay shootout
. Three were willing to play ball.