Cloud Storage vs. NAS: Which is Better?

Cloud Storage and NAS are two of the leading storage solutions for many homes and companies. In this article, we'll explore the key features in both and understand which one is better - followed by an important tip for backing up either.

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Jane Zhou

Updated on Nov 17, 2023

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Free cloud storage is one of the premier solutions for storage today. Whether you use an iPhone or an Android, you get free storage from Google/Apple. But, on an organizational level, these minuscule storages don't cut it. That's why they have in-house NAS systems that allow them to store data on a cross-company server. However, some businesses are bent on using the cloud, while others deem NAS the more favorable option.

Now, there's no denying that each one has its own merits and demerits—and that's why we're here. However, it's important to understand each storage solution and its features so we can compare it in a fair setting. Therefore, we'll pit them against one another properly—thus, let's keep digging to settle the cloud storage vs. NAS debate. 

Overview of NAS

What is a NAS storage? NAS, or a Network Attached Storage Device, is a server-based storage device that allows the owner to share files with their client computers. The main device is a physical server with a lot of storage devices in it. This file-level computer data storage server is connected to the client PCs through a specific and controlled network. This remote and network-based storage is often physically connected through cables, i.e., LAN.

While there are wireless solutions, many companies and organizations prefer to provide them through cables to ensure speed and security. So, what components does a NAS have? Here are the four main components of any NAS device:

Basic Computer/Mainframe:  This part is like any other PC, with an operating system that allows the administrator to set up a password, storage limits, and other factors.

Storage: Depending on the organizational requirement, a NAS can be in Petabytes or Exabytes. Thus, it has a lot of storage devices, which look like this:


Networking Framework: This part of your NAS device connects to the local network via a network switch or Wi-Fi connection. This allows it to distribute the data across your network.

While some NAS devices have dedicated operating systems, most come with a basic OS that allows them to distribute files—as that's the only purpose of this small computer-like device. Before moving to the next one, let's discuss the Benefits and Drawbacks.


  • Very easy to use and set up
  • It doesn't cost as much as one might think
  • Very handy in data backup, recovery, and restoration
  • Ideal for important data


  • Performance is bottlenecked by the network speed
  • Requires continuous upkeep and maintenance
  • A lot of limits in terms of scalability

Overview of Cloud Storage

Cloud storage is a mode of storage that allows users or organizations to store files in online storage, and you can easily find 100GB cloud storage, 200GB cloud storage, 2TB cloud storage, and even more on the internet. This online storage is usually in the shape of a server—however, instead of connecting to the computer as another computer/storage device, it acts as an online storage service.

This mode of storage requires the cloud provider to host files in a specific storage. After that, the files are made available to the user through specific credentials—i.e., username and password or other modes of access.

And, since the data is put into logical pools, it's called cloud storage, as it can be accessed through any network and by any device anywhere in the world. One example is Google Drive on an Android or iCloud on an iPhone. Here are the three main aspects of cloud storage:

Networking: Networking is the key aspect of any cloud storage, as it needs to be accessible through the internet - and not a controlled networking environment.

Data Storage: This part works just like any other PC, Server, or NAS storage—where a lot of computers host a plethora of storage to store the files.

Servers: These servers provide access to the user who accesses their designated part of the cloud storage through given credentials.

So, what are the benefits and drawbacks of cloud storage? Here are a few:


  • Easy disaster recovery
  • Higher/better security than most NAS devices
  • Low cost and maintenance compared to NAS
  • Higher scalability and easier to extend (depending on the service)
  • Best in terms of accessibility


  • You do not have total control
  • It can be difficult to migrate
  • Requires access to the internet at all times
  • Not all providers are safe and secure

NAS Vs. Cloud Storage: Which is Better for You

Now that the overview of both these storage modes is out of the way, let's talk about comparing Cloud Storage vs. NAS head-to-head. While we know their basic features and drawbacks, it's imperative to talk about leniency and affordability to have a clear winner.

So, let's put what we know into a table:

Cloud Storage Features NAS
Yes Requires Internet No
Slower Backup Speed Faster
Difficult Migration Ease Easy
Good Security Good
Very Cost-Effective Moderate
Very High Reliability Very High
Always accessible with a working internet Accessibility Very accessible(unless damaged or broken)
A little less control than NAS Control and Ownership Best in terms of ownership

Here you can see that both are evenly matched in some aspects, whereas NAS clearly has better control and security. On the other hand, cloud storage is much more affordable and accessible—but loses by a great margin in terms of speed and migration flexibility.

But, if you can handle all that, cloud storage is the preferred option as it requires significantly less money and maintenance.

Pro Tip: Best Backup Software to Back up NAS/Cloud Storage

Before we sign off, we have an additional tip for you. If you wish to create a backup of either your NAS or Cloud Storage, then it's imperative that you use the best backup software today. This software is called EaseUS Todo Backup - and it's the most lenient and flexible option you have for creating backups.

EaseUS Todo Backup

  • Provides in-built cloud storage of 250-GB
  • Allows you to create a backup system in either NAS or Cloud storage
  • Help create a security zone to protect data from viruses such as malware or ransomware
  • Easy recovery environment that allows you to pick the specific files that you need to restore

Cloud Storage Vs. NAS FAQs

You will find answers to any further questions here.

1. Is NAS better than cloud storage?

It depends on your requirement type because, in most cases, cloud storage is a lot more accessible. However, a lot of organizations deem NAS to be a lot safer, more accessible and provide higher speeds in terms of performance.

2. Is NAS faster than the cloud?

Yes, it is. Since it's based in your local network, it's easy to access and provides much higher transfer speeds than the cloud. Besides, you don't need internet access to copy files from NAS storage.

3. Can a NAS be used as a cloud?

Yes, it can be. There are service providers who offer NAS storage as a cloud backup. However, the speed restrictions of common cloud storage do come into play.

4. What is the disadvantage of NAS?

Maintenance of NAS can be difficult on large scales. However, in a home or small organization, it won't be that difficult. Whereas major corporations and companies have to spend a lot of money to ensure their upkeep.


These are the key aspects of cloud vs. NAS. While NAS is clearly the winner in many cases, cloud storage does have its advantages over NAS. In the future, when cloud storage uses more bandwidth and offers higher speed, it's likely that NAS servers will become obsolete.

However, the security and safety provided by NAS will always keep them a better option for home users and organizations.  

EaseUS Todo Backup

EaseUS Todo Backup is a dependable and professional data backup solution capable of backing up files, folders, drives, APP data and creating a system image. It also makes it easy to clone HDD/SSD, transfer the system to different hardware, and create bootable WinPE bootable disks.

  • Updated by

    Jane Zhou

    Jane is an experienced editor for EaseUS focused on tech blog writing. Familiar with all kinds of video editing and screen recording software on the market, she specializes in composing posts about recording and editing videos. All the topics she chooses are aimed at providing more instructive information to users.…
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