Cool things you can do with a NAS drive

When it comes to accessing your NAS drive through a browser, access will depend on whether the drive supports FTP only (like the LaCie Network Space) or both HTTP/HTTPS and FTP (the ReadyNAS Duo). Check your drive's manual for instructions.

Share your media

If your NAS drive comes with a built-in media server then the sky's the limit when it comes to watching movies on your TV or listening to your music collection through your home stereo.

All you need is a compatible streaming device such as Netgear's EVA700 or something from Pinnacle's ShowCenter range (you can expect to pay between £100 and £120), and it'll be able to pull media files directly from your NAS drive, enabling you to leave your PC switched off.

If you're regularly downloading files from BitTorrent then you'll find Netgear's ReadyNAS Duo drive makes life a lot simpler, particularly when you need to download large files.

Follow the final walkthrough to discover how to configure the device to get on with the job in the background without disrupting your PC or the rest of your home network.

Access a drive remotely

1.Open up FTP
We're using a LaCie drive here. Right-click the LaCie Ethernet Agent icon in the Taskbar and choose Web access. Log on, select Support from the left-hand menu and click Enable next to FTP Service.

2.Change user details
By default, a user called ftp (with the same password) is created; change this by selecting Configuration and clicking Modify. Choose a more secure username and password.

3.Remote access
Once set up (check out the quick tip if you have a router) enter your home IP address (, username and password into your FTP app or browser to connect remotely.

Synchronise data between different PCs

Synchronising files between two or more PCs just got a whole lot easier thanks to your NAS device. By using it as an intermediary, you can keep your files and documents up to date without having to connect the PCs directly to each other. And if you connect to your NAS via FTP, you can even stay up to date when you're on the road.

You'll find the perfect tool on the cover disc in the form of Allway Sync, which can be configured to check for changes at regular intervals of up to a minute, ensuring that your data is refreshed constantly.

Boost the storage capacity of your NAS device

Now that you've invested in a NAS device, make sure that you don't have to replace it a few months down the line when the drive runs out of space, by purchasing a future-proofed option.

Look for a model that has a removable enclosure, which makes it easy to upgrade the internal drive when you start to run out of storage capacity. In addition, consider a drive that comes with two drive bays fitted.

Although such as device is typically designed for RAID functionality, you can usually install a second drive as a standalone drive to boost storage.

Finally, check for a USB port or two, because at a stroke this will enable you to plug in external storage devices to further expand your NAS's capacity.

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