Newbie NAS question

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by c.greene914, Jan 3, 2010.

  1. c.greene914 macrumors regular


    Jun 3, 2007
    So, my current setup is a Mac Mini with external 2TB drive attached through USB. This is used as my Media Server. All my music, movies, pictures, TV shows, etc. are stored remotely on the 2TB drive in my iTunes library.

    I also have a 1TB drive connected directly to my Airport Extreme for use with Time Capsule.

    Would these both be considered NAS? From my limited understanding of NAS, it is just a drive that is accessible from multiple computers/points on a LAN. Is this correct?

    If neither of these would be considered NAS, could someone please help me understand exactly what NAS is? I am currently doing research to upgrade my home theater system and on several of the forums I browse NAS is a popular option but it always sounds like they are referring to something more complex than the system I have.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Tomorrow macrumors 604


    Mar 2, 2008
    Always a day away
    Not really.

    A NAS is Network Attached Storage; generally, it's one or more storage volumes connected to hardware that allows networking (including FTP, Web access, media streaming, and/or other communications protocols) and not much else. Typically you administer it from another computer on the network.

    Your first example is more like a file server, not a NAS.

    Your second example comes close, depending on how you access your Airport Extreme to administer the functions on your drive and how you map a computer to that drive.

    In some ways a NAS is more complex but in ways it's much simpler.

    A NAS doesn't run a software OS per se. You can't really use it to execute commands like you do with a server or a workstation. Take a look at some NAS products out there to see what they do and how they're different from your setup.

    I don't see why either of your solutions wouldn't work just fine as a media server, though.

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