Windows 10: When is an external hard drive better than a NAS due to data security?

  1.    17 Feb 2018 #1

    When is an external hard drive better than a NAS due to data security?


    Is connecting an external hard drive to my home network ever better than using a NAS (which would add about $300 to the cost of the external hard drive) due to fears of my data security?

    I'm assuming that external hard drives do not have sophisticated security measures set up to protect people's data on the hard drive. So, that people can easily look into each other's folders and people can easily hack into the hard drive itself.

    Is this true? Should I always use a NAS rather than an external hard drive?

    I ask this question because I have a computer in which I want to back up daily. I would like to back it up on an external hard drive connected to my home network. But, I don't want other people in my family to get access to my folders.

    Do I need to get an NAS instead?
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  2. Posts : 5,152
    Win10 Home and Pro, Win10 Insider Preview, WinXP Home Premium, Linux Mint
       17 Feb 2018 #2

    A NAS drive relies upon settings in the Router it is attached to while an External USB drive connected to a computer relies upon the Operating System and its programs. I find the main advantage with a NAS drive is the capability of accessing it from any computer on the Network [Wired or Wireless/Wi-Fi] can access while a USB drive has to have the computer it is connected to running, same with printer sharing [mine are connected to the Router]. Some Routers have 1 or 2 USB ports but I haven't tried mine yet.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  3. Posts : 8,115
    10 Home x64 (1803) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       17 Feb 2018 #3

    Berton said: View Post
    I find the main advantage with a NAS drive is the capability of accessing it from any computer on the Network [Wired or Wireless/Wi-Fi] can access while a USB drive has to have the computer it is connected to running....
    My router has a USB socket. I have an external 2TB HDD plugged into that and the router shares it on the network - no need for a computer.

    The advantage of a NAS over my 'cheap and cheerful' network share it that a NAS allows you to use user password protection. I don't have other users on my network so that's not a problem for me.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  4.    18 Feb 2018 #4

    I also have external drives with USB ports that I want to use and share with family members.

    I was wondering the security capabilities of these external hard drives connected directly to routers so it that anyone on the network can directly access it.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    18 Feb 2018 #5

    Hey CerebralFreeze,
    It going to depend on your router, but most routers with USB File Sharing allow you to set the r/w access on the shares you setup and you should have at least two options ...
    1. Everyone - no user/pw
    2. Admin - router admin user/pw
    This should give you a couple of options ...
    1. Setup USB HDD - 1 partition and create a share with Admin Access for your backups
    2. Setup USB HDD - 2 partitions and create a share on each ... one for Everyone (to share videos,music,etc) and one with Admin Access for your backups

    Note: Don't save the router credentials to Windows Credentials when asked or anyone with access to the PC can access the protected share.
    Note: Anyone that has the router admin user/pw can access to the protected share.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  6.    18 Feb 2018 #6

    If the external HDD is formatted as NTFS, can't you also set folder and file level permissions using the NTFS security options?
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  7. Posts : 5,152
    Win10 Home and Pro, Win10 Insider Preview, WinXP Home Premium, Linux Mint
       18 Feb 2018 #7

    NavyLCDR said: View Post
    If the external HDD is formatted as NTFS, can't you also set folder and file level permissions using the NTFS security options?
    Good question, my last USB drive came formatted as exFAT [4TB] .
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  8. Posts : 823
    Windows 10 Pro 1803 64 bit
       18 Feb 2018 #8

    I have one of these and it has built in password protection. I have used it connected to my PC but have not tried it on a router.
    Check it out.

    https://www.wdc.com/products/external-storage/my-book-new.html

    Jim
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9.    19 Feb 2018 #9

    Hi there

    With an external USB -- if you are worried about security just unplug when you don't need it online -- if it's not on the network can't be hacked.

    With a full blown NAS you can run an OS on it, you can run applications, you can back up any computer on the LAN, you can use it as an Internet gateway so you can control Internet access from within your home / office etc. If the NAS is running some type of Linux OS security will be pretty good anyway -- you are much more likely to get attacked via Windows and that's usually by opening emails with attachments, downloading software from all sorts of dubious places (in particular sites like those still flying "The skull and Cross bones" !! or opening things like .RAR,.ZIP, .EXE files without checking first what they contain.

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 

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