What is the difference between HD drive and a NAS drive

I am confused as to the differences between an internal HD and a NAS drive or my WDMyCloud.

While I understand that internals are sata or IDE and attached are USB or RSJ11 connections, and data transfer speeds are diffent, BUT are the actual functionalities different?  Other than transfer speeds are a NAS drive the same as a HD?  I guess I don’t understand why a HD can be indexed but my WMyCloud can not.

The functionalites are VERY different.

A USB drive can only be accessed by one computer at a time.

A NAS drive can be accessed by many simultaneously.

A USB drive is formatted specifically for the operating system using the drive.

A NAS drive’s formatting is hidden from the client.

… and the list goes on.


The best way to think of a NAS is a hard drive (which is the same hard drive as your internal hard drive) except that this one is mounted with another computer that usually runs linux.  Basically this computer shares the drive with everyone in your home network. So once you have uploaded your movie to the NAS, everyone in your house can watch it from their own computer.

In the old days a NAS is usually combined with RAID which combines several hard drives together to give you a bigger capactity as well as duplication of your data so you have some protection in case one of the drives fails.

Today, we are seeing single drives mounted on a computer board without the data duplication (redundancy) to provide people with the Cloud capability which is really a NAS with additional software that can deliver music, movies and other media to your smartphone. 

For more info, see Tony’s post :stuck_out_tongue:

Okay, I am beginning to understand a little better, now I understand why it can’t be indexed for adding to Windows Libraries, and I would presume even though it can be a mapped network drive, because it isn’t really on a windows machine, again, it can’t be added to windows libraries.

Thankyou for responses

You can add a network share to a Windows Library. If you add it "straight’, Windows Explorer will tell you it is not an indexed location. If you add it through other software like Photo Gallery, Windows will start synching the content as an offline folder, and it takes away from the benefit of not having to keep a local copy…

So here is the workaround. Let’s imagine your NAS is call “MYNAS”, that you have a “PicturesShare” on that NAS that you want to add to the “Pictures” library of user “Fred”

  • Create an empty folder using Windows explorer in the location where you would like to access your share. For the benefit of simplicity at this point, think about the location where you want to have a shortcut to the network share. For example, you’d add a “NAS Pictures” folder in the “Documents” or the “Pictures” folder of Fred (not the library).

  • Add this empty folder to the Pictures library

  • Delete the original empty folder. Do not remove it from the library

  • Launch an elevated command prompt. Type this command

mkling /d “C:\Users\Fred\Pictures\NAS Pictures” “\MYNAS\PicturesShare”

  • That’s it! You created something that is not a shortcut: it is a symbolic link.


  • Some experts recommend you create a dedicate library for this case.

  • If you share your library through Windows homegroup, for example, verify that the experience of accessing the library from another computer is what you want