Do you know what network drives are and why they are beneficial? Continue reading to learn about network drives.
What is a Network Drive?
Network drives are entire hard drives that are directly hard-connected to the network through the Ethernet. Network users with authorization or appropriate credentials can use it for storing data. Here, you can use an external hard drive by plugging it into a modem.
Network drives are typically thought of as Network Attached Storage (NAS) drives. NAS drives have a series of drives connected to a network hub.
How to Map a Network Drive?
Network drive mapping means configuring a folder on a computer to share folders or files over LAN (local area network). This is usually configured on devices that want to access a Network Attached Storage (NAS) or a USB storage device connected to a router.
On Windows, you can map network drive by typing File Explorer in the search field to open it and then choose This PC. Choose Map Network Drive under the Computer tab and select a drive letter in the Drive list. Type the path of the computer or folder in the Folder box or choose Browse to find the computer or folder. If you want to connect whenever you log into your computer, choose the Reconnect at Sign-in option. Once you are done, select Finish.
Mac users do not have to worry about mapping network drives because the process is straightforward. Suppose you are working on a document in your office and remember you have to add something when you reach home. You can make the addition from your home Mac computer if you can obtain network drive access. So, how to add network drive on Mac? These are the steps:
- Press Command + K in Finder to bring up Connect to Server. Alternatively, click Go > Connect to Server.
- Type the path of the network drive you want to map
- Enter the login details and password
- Click OK to mount the network drive
Now, the relevant drive can be accessed via the sidebar in Finder windows or your desktop.
What are the Advantages of Network Drive?
- SAN and NAS solutions make it easier to add storage.
- Network drives and files can be easily shared with multiple people.
- You can give permission to specific people to authorize them to edit or view files.
- Network drives are a central storage location, and they’re easy to mirror and back up.
What are the Disadvantages of Network Drives?
- Network drives require a network, which means if the network fails, you will be unable to access the files on the network drive.
- Users with access to the drive can move or copy the data to another location. This may make users worry about their privacy and the security of their data.
- The network drive is a central location, and the saved data can be accessed by multiple users. This enhances the possibility of accidental modification, deletion, infection, and hacking.
How are Network Drives Useful?
Network storage is completely under your control or your company’s control, depending on whether you are using it for personal or business purposes. It is your drive on your network, and you do not need to worry about subscription costs, vendor outages, or contracts. The primary cost is upfront in setup and hardware. Then, there are no other payments.
Once you have set up the network drive, you can start storing data and files. According to the permission and access you have given to users, they will be able to edit or view the data stored in the drive. There is no need to copy the files from the drive to your device. Since the file is saved on the network drive, users can directly open the files on the device, which can be modified as required. The modified file can be saved.
What are the Applications of a Network Drive?
There’s competition between cloud file storage, network drives, and sharing programs. Network drives are much more useful in business and home environments. The applications of network drives are mentioned below:
- Home users
Network drives can be thought of as cloud storage, and the data can be saved in a single network. If you have folders and files saved on your device at home, but you want to access them on your partner’s tablet or desktop, you can save the files to a network drive. All the devices on the same network will be able to access the saved files. This functions as a large media library.
- Business users
Companies using a single network in one location can use network storage to simplify the process of storing and accessing data. The downside of this is that the drive might fail, and this will create bottlenecks in the workflow. Hence, you must prepare a backup.
The Bottom Line
Here is all the basic information about network drives that you must know. Use it for your personal or business purposes.