What is the purpose of nas?

I have a wd tv live to stream my video files from my pc and it works pretty good. What would be the benefits of getting a nas? like i said my wd tv streams movies off my pc just fine but i’ve seen in this forums that a lot of people have wd tv plus nas and i was wondering why?

Here is my opinion:

NAS pros:

(1) cheaper to run than a PC (less power draw)

(2) always on for file serving and backups (kept on 24/7 due to factor 1)

(3) usually easily supports multi-disk RAID setups for more reliability against disk failure

(4) simpler interface to setup file shares, backups, etc., so good for non-technical users

(5) smaller than a PC so can easily be hidden in a closet for example

NAS cons:

(1) cost of another piece of equipment, all of whose functions can be duplicated by an existing PC

(2) much lower power processor so can be slower and supports more limited capabilities

(3) unable to use as a full computer, such as installing arbitrary software, servers, or the like

(4) yet another piece of technology to learn and get setup properly (many problem posters seem to be using an NAS)

(5) yet another device cluttering up your home

If your PC works fine and is available when you need it (and you have taken care that backups will be frequent enough to deal with the inevitable disk failure), then there is no reason you have to buy an NAS.  My problem with many of them is their cost, which frankly seems exorbitant compared with what you can get a much more functional PC for.  I bought a low cost PC for our file server and backups…  It runs Linux, with software RAID, plus runs several servers: DNS, NTP, Squeezebox, etc.  I think this is a much better solution for us, so would never consider an NAS.


All good info above, and I want to mention another option between using files from your PC to stream versus having a NAS:  And, that is to attach a hard drive or two to your WD player. 

All media runs better if directly connected to the SMP.  Many of us do this.  I have two, 2TB drives attached to my player, and they have a wide TV to hide behind, so they are out of sight.  The drives are quiet, they have their own power supply each, (no draw of power off the WD’s USB ports) and the drives go into a sleep mode after five minutes of non-use, (important feature for me).  So, the WD can be on all day to keep the drives alive, (no different than a NAS doing so – maybe even less expensive). The drives are not spinning unless they are being accessed, and other networked devices around the house can access the WD drives any time.  Many of the advantages of a NAS without some of the cons.


(6) one file library accessible by any device over network

thanks a lot everybody for the great info