Review: Can a NAS box run your entire SMB?

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It's a good thing storage keeps getting less expensive because we keep needing more of it. And if you're looking for a desktop network-attached storage (NAS) device, the current crop of appliances should make you happy. Every box we tested worked well, provided boatloads of storage and many cost less today per terabyte than they did just a few years ago.

One trend in NAS appliances is to push the boundary and try to become application servers, not just storage devices. Four of these seven units come with enough software, mostly free open source applications, to run a complete small business and provide Web hosting besides. Software options include multiple versions of popular programs like CRMs, Web servers, content management systems for those Web services, and even full accounting and HR packages. Two of them include Asterisk, so your storage box can also host VoIP server software.

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