Creative Professionals - Do We Need a Home Cloud (NAS)?


As a creative professional or freelancer in general, having all of your project files safely stored and saved in really important. Lately, I have been conducting personal research - on how to store my files and projects for the long term. The ultimate choice comes down between two choices. Most of the professionals say that setting up NAS is a long term solution, however, some argue that NAS (Network Attached Storage) is expensive and that we should stick to external hard drives.

I have an idea to set up my own NAS server to store all of my project files. Along with photos and videos that I take during my trips. This would allow me to store all of my files in one place, my own personal home cloud server. While the NAS drive would stick to one place, I can use all of my files from all of the devices that are connected to my network. It has a lot of benefits. The only thing that makes me think is just the price of setting up such a device.

My calculation is that this sort of thing would cost me around $400 (maybe more if I buy high-quality hard drives which are specialized for 24/7 use). However, I am not quite sure if setting up a NAS device would be really needed. Currently, I use an external hard drive, on which all of my files are stored - and that allows me to have my files on both my PC and laptop. This isn’t a long term solution as the external hard drives are fragile, you move them everywhere, and etc.

My budget option would be to buy one more external hard drive just as a backup device for all of my projects and store it somewhere. I might use those $$$ I save for buying better lens for my DSLR.

Yep, you would say that it would be better if I buy dropbox subscription, however, my upload speed is so slow that Dropbox wouldn’t really be from big help from me.

How do you store all of your files for the long term? Do you think that a NAS would be worth it?


I have mine in three places: cloud, computer hard drive and a thumb drive (yup the old fashion flash is still my choice).

Whatever I save automatically saves to the cloud and I manually transfer once every one to two weeks, depending how many info I saved that week.

I admit I’ve been a bit leary of the cloud ever since the hacking incident, though it didn’t happen to me. I’ve heard people were blackmailed for several hundred $$$ to unlock it. That itself is not the biggest concern, it’s what did they copy from the files.

If it’s only $400 and you got the time, I say go for it. When you say $400, I don’t know if you mean in USD or in another currency. I always have to check since all of us are in different regions around the world.


Just for security and convenience, I’d say stick with a couple of reliable portable hard drives. Keep one at home and sync all your data to your portable one whenever you plan a trip etc.

I did used to be a networking freak. However, what you ideally need to do before you network anything like your life’s work, is learn how to use network traffic monitoring software like Wireshark or Backtrack. Hacking into home networks is extraordinarily easy. :frowning:

Another option would be to simply buy a 3G or 4G mifi device which supports a hefty size micro SD card. You can use those just like a wireless portable HD and if you are on the go, you have Internet access too.


Interesting. Gina is a right about the cloud, nobody knows how safe our data is stored, and they always have breaches of some sort.

@RegiAdd - I always use USD for convenience so everybody can understand the currencies. :blush:

I assume investing in a high quality portable drive which can stand a lot of writing and deleting would be awesome.

I do have a high-end Asus router that has a tons of security features that I honestly don’t know how to use. I got this router to have quick streaming and some wifi boost that covers my entire yard. Although, yep home networks are vulnerable.

NAS is cool that I can use it as a media server too. Plus, I assume there are additional security features which you can add to the device. I plan to use it locally only. :sweat_smile:


I have bought an external hard drive, a higher quality one made by western digital. It’s a budget option but would do the job just fine at the moment. Plus, I get to save $350 which I can use for doing different stuff. Perhaps, in the future I would invest in a NAS, prior that I should learn how to secure my network, secure the NAS device and similar stuff.


You can always hook your new HD up to your router and create a NAS-like storage system. :slight_smile:

I think you have done the right thing. I have a 1TB HD which is barely ever hooked up to my laptop. I just use it for backups of important things like photos and media. I also have my 3g mifi device which can be used as a portable HD as well when on the move. It actually works out very convenient. However, I do rely on Kodi for most of my media consumption needs and I’m not really into gaming.

If I were you, I’d put the $350 you’ve saved aside for a rainy day. This years economic outlook is bleak to say the least. :frowning: