Why a NAS Unit Should Be Your Next Purchase, and How You Can Win One in This Giveaway

Why a NAS Unit Should Be Your Next Purchase, and How You Can Win One in This Giveaway

New lenses and cameras are always fun to purchase, but equally important is finding a way to store those photos you’re making with those cameras and lenses. Here’s why you should consider network attached storage before you spend that money on another lens.

I get it — cameras are sexy and hard drives are not, but network attached storage is much more than just a simple hard drive to store your photos on. I started using a NAS unit that uses Synology’s DSM (Disk Station Manager) a couple of years ago and it was life-changing. Instead of shuffling around external hard disks and waiting forever to make backups of backups, I had a much more reliable option that gave me a lot more flexibility to store and retrieve my photos.

Reason 1: Flexibility

With standard external hard drives, I’m limited to what I can physically plug into my computer at all times. The beauty of a network attached storage unit, such as Synology’s DS718+ or DS1618+ is the network part. Instead of plugging directly into a computer, which would need to be powered on to access files, I’m plugged into my router with a Cat 6 cable. I can then access the NAS unit directly on my home network by plugging into the same router or connecting to my wireless network. I can even access my files remotely though the DSM interface. I can’t count the number of times I’ve needed to grab an old file on the road and a NAS unit with Synology’s DSM lets me do that with ease. I’m also able to use any computer or laptop in the house without having to physically plug in or unplug drives.

When I’m transferring a massive amount of files, I can plug things directly into the NAS, set up the transfer through the DSM web interface, and walk away without worrying about my computer losing power or going to sleep and interrupting the transfer. It requires much less thought and effort.

Reason 2: Expandability

Before switching to a 2-bay NAS Unit, I would buy increasingly larger hard drives until I was hitting the limit of what’s possible in a standard external drive (which was about 10 TB when I switched over). That’s a lot of data to carry around on one platter, but more than this, it took forever to back up that drive, even with a fast USB 3.1 connection. I also finally hit a point where I hit the limit and couldn’t even fit everything on one drive anymore.

The DS718+ out of the box supports 2 hard drives (but with the DX517 expansion unit, it can go to 7) and the DS1618+ supports 6 out of the box. Depending on your needs, you can configure for maximum storage (in my case, I have 2 12TB Seagate Iron Wolf drives set up to give me 24TB) or for redundancy in case one drive fails. While this redundancy shouldn’t necessarily be considered a backup, Synology’s DSM makes it easy to seamlessly sync to another NAS Unit offsite or the cloud using Hyper Backup to offer a true backup solution.

All in all, it’s much easier than having multiple hard drives and having to separate which files are on what, and then backing that all up to another set of hard drives.

Trading in a pile of hard drives and flash drives for a NAS unit made life a lot more organized.

Trading in a pile of hard drives and flash drives for a NAS unit made life a lot more organized.

Reason 3: Hard Drives Will Fail

When you put all your eggs in one basket, you are destined to lose or break that basket. Using a NAS gives important peace of mind for photographers always worried about calamity striking their photos. A common saying among IT professionals is that there are two types of people: Those who have had a hard drive failure and those who will have a hard drive failure.

Even if a NAS is the main unit or secondary unit in a backup system that includes hard drives, it’s a valuable upgrade.


If you’re looking to get your hands on a unit yourself, Fstoppers is giving away a Synology DS718+ with two 14TB Seagate drives. Just leave a comment about something you wouldn't want to lose in a hard drive crash, and you will automatically be entered in the draw.

This giveaway is open those with a US address. Winners will be selected in one week.

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Previous comments
Karen Schou's picture

Wouldn't want to lose anything! So many photo memories of family, friends, vacations...

David Jones's picture

Clients I usually can reshoot to some degree, family not so much, I have lost both but family is what is what hurts the most when photos are gone.

Bojan Pejovic's picture

About three yars ago i had archive on one hdd, and he died... Two years of archive gone :(

Christopher Sanchez's picture

All my wedding and podcast video footage. Not to mention my graphics and client database. My wife would surely add her macro photo collection to the drive.

Ernest Lim's picture

don't wanna lose precious memories of my fam =/

Tony Yung's picture

Over a decade worth of photos!

Robert Hall's picture

Losing photos dating back to 1996? Hell no! But I don't have a NAS, which would be darned cool. Thanks for the opportunity FStoppers :D

James Sabulsky's picture

I do both graphic design and photography, so losing any of that would be devastating. But I am also President if a Non-profit historical society, so losing any of the images or data I have researched and collected would not only be a major loss to be, but a major loss to the community we serve.

Peter B.'s picture

I nearly lost most of my pics due to a hard drive crash. Could safe most of them, but not all. Would never want to lose my pics again...

john johnson's picture

Have a lot of pictures that I would hate to lose

Adam Hipps's picture

A few weeks ago i found an old sd card with old family photos. Have since put them on my hard drive but would hate to loose them. Any personal or client work i have backed up in at least 2 or 3 locations just in case something happens.

Steven R. Peter-Paul's picture

Photos and videos would be a great lose with no backup

Monda Tapp's picture

I would be afraid to lose my life stories (And my client’s stories) in photographs!! I need this backup system!

Delia Gatchalian's picture

I have some homemade Cooking show that takes around 8 hours to make ( 4 recipes ) and I cannot really lose that because it would take another effort and time to do those

David Gordineer's picture

My last hd failure, besides everything else, I lost our family photos w/ my late grandmother. I still don't have a good system I can be confident with.

Dalia Fichmann's picture

I have lost all my photos some times ago. Now I‘m working as a professionell photographer that should never happen again :-0

Joseph Lim's picture

i wouldn't want to lose all my work from the very first time i started editing. I keep these to see how i have progressed over the years.

Nitin Pawar's picture

I can loose everything but my GF's photos 😀

Wasin Silakong's picture

Do not want to lose any photos because I only have one harddrive and no backup

Mohan Rao's picture

Lots of raw and jpeg photos to be stored reliably.

Varun Jain's picture

Would hate to loose 8tb worth of my family photos , my wedding photos and clients wedding photos/videos.

David Strauss's picture

Thank you all for entering! A winner has been chosen and contacted.

Dan Grayum's picture

I'll take it if they don't want it! 😜

Bill Edwards's picture

I would not want to lose anything. From family vacation shots to scanned slides of my parents collection of “old” photos.