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Best Storage Crates 2018 – [Buyer’s Guide]Last Updated December 1, 2018
Best Storage Crates of 2018
If you’re reading this, it is very likely that you’re scouting for the best storage crates. I must say I am quite a fan of storage crates, so when the question “What are the best storage crates available on the market?” came to my mind, I excitedly started gathering information together with personal experience to write this article in the hope that it may help you find the suitable storage crates. The “Total” indicates the overall value of the product. The above tidbits will bring you closer to selecting storage crates that best serves your needs and as per your budget.
Test Results and Ratings
|Ease of use||
Why did this storage crates win the first place?
I really enjoy the design. It is compact, comfortable and reliable. And it looks amazing! The product is very strong. Its material is stable and doesn’t crack. I was completely satisfied with the price. Its counterparts in this price range are way worse. I don’t know anything about other models from this brand, but I am fully satisfied with this product.
Why did this storage crates come in second place?
The design quality is top notch and the color is nice. The material is pretty strong and easy to wash if needed. I like this product. For such a low price, I didn’t even hope it to be any better. It’s decently made. Managers explained me all the details about the product range, price, and delivery.
Why did this storage crates take third place?
This price is appropriate since the product is very well built. It doesn’t squeaks nor bents. Looks great in my apartment. I liked the design. We’ve been using it for 2 months and it still looks like brand new. I hope that the good reputation of the manufacturer will guarantee a long-term work.
Storage Crates Buyer’s Guide
Stones Throw 4Crate
Stones Throw know how to treat their own. For a label so deeply embedded in LA’s hip hop and crate digging scene, a custom 7”s crate seems like a no brainer. This 6-ply alder crate is the result, capable of holding about 80 7”s in your home or on the go. Madlib’s probably got one, so you should too.
Peaches Record Crates
At its ‘70s peak, there were over 4Peaches record stores across America. Inspired by California’s sunny fruit groves, the stores used to sell LP crates that looked like old peach crates. An icon of that era, these classic crates are still available to buy via Peaches. On offer in rough cut pine, smooth finish pine or furniture quality oak, they’re stackable and ready to be used as side-loaders if you prefer.
Airwood Record Crates
Whether storing new finds or favourite titles in rotation, these Airwood crates are a solid bet. They’re all modular, with a cube-shaped design that allows for easy stacking in a number of crate and/or bookshelf orientations. We particular like the ‘Deep Groove’ crate which has a deeper inner dimension for added protection, plus the option for divider cards. Each crate holds up to 70 records.
Assess Your Needs
Narrowing down what you need can help ensure you get the right food storage containers for your kitchen. Below are some of the questions you may wish to consider:
What are you storing? Dry ingredients generally fare better in a round container, as there are no corners for the food to get stuck in. However, round containers take up more space than square and rectangular ones, due to their curved sides not allowing them to sit flush next to each other..
How much are you storing? Storage containers start at sizes as small as a few ounces for items like spices to larger containers that can hold more than 20 gallons.
Where will you store the containers? While large ingredient bins often have casters that raise the bottom of the bin several inches off the ground, most other food storage containers will need to be stored on shelves, as health regulations do not allow them to be stored on the floor. Whether they’ll be kept in cold or dry storage, the clearance available between shelves may dictate the upper end of sizes you will be able to consider. If your height clearance allows it, purchasing stackable containers can also help you maximize your space.
How can you implement FIFO procedures? Making sure your kitchen staff uses the oldest ingredients first reduces product loss and ensures food quality by reducing the likelihood of ingredients being used past their expiration dates. Some ingredient bins have FIFO barriers that allow you to add more product without mixing it with what’s already in it. Food storage labels can also help maintain the organization this system needs.
Can your food storage containers multitask? If you are storing food that will be used on a salad bar or buffet, you may wish to consider salad bar crocks. These have lids so they can be used for storage, but can also be set down into a food bar to display vegetables, salad dressing, or soup. Having the food stored and displayed in the same container can save space and labor.
The material a food container is made of will determine how you are able to use it and how durable it is. Plastic is the most common container material, but the type of plastic will determine its clarity, as well as whether it is microwavable.
Polycarbonate is a plastic prized for its clarity. While tinted polycarbonate containers are available, they’re more often perfectly clear to allow you to see what is inside them. Certain polycarbonate is microwave safe, but because it contains BPA, some experts recommend not using this type of plastic in the microwave. However, this is one of the most durable types of plastic and it’s nearly unbreakable.
Polyethylene is the most common plastic in the world. This plastic type is generally at least partially opaque, often to the point that it makes the contents of a polyethylene container impossible to see without removing the lid. Polyethylene is BPA-free, usually microwave safe, and more flexible than polycarbonate. Of the plastic types available, polyethylene is usually the most economical option.
Polypropylene cannot offer the clarity of polycarbonate, but it is more translucent than polyethylene. This plastic is BPA-free and suitable for use in freezers and microwaves.
Styrene acrylonitrile (SAN) is break-resistant and safe for use in microwaves. This plastic is usually clear with excellent clarity, often with a glass-like glossy finish.
Aluminum, as a metal, is not microwave safe. This material is often used for dough pans and salad bar crocks. While this metal is notorious for discoloring, it is also known for heating and cooling quickly. These should always be dried before being stored, as they are not as corrosion-resistant as stainless steel.
Square containers are ideal for conserving space, as they can sit directly next to each other with no empty space in between. Because dry ingredients can get stuck in the corners, these are more suitable for use for liquids such as soups or sauces.
If you need to store dry ingredients in more bulk than is convenient in a round container, an ingredient bin may be what you need. Some have FIFO barriers, and some allow access to the contents even with additional bins stacked on top. The largest bins often come on casters to make transportation simple and to help comply with health codes. These are often used in bakeries and pizzerias to store flour, sugar, oats, and other bulk dry ingredients.
Salad Bar Crocks
Salad bar crocks are made to fit into a food bar, allowing you to offer customers salad dressings and toppings. These crocks pull double duty, as they also have lids, which are sometimes sold separately, that allow you to use them for storage..to 10.3qts.
Food Storage Accessories
Once you have found the right food storage containers, you can decide which accessories you need to help keep your kitchen organized. When it comes to keeping food organized and complying with HACCP data collection guidelines, food storage labels are indispensable. These allow you to label what each container holds, when it was placed there, when it should be used by, and any other relevant information. If you are storing dry ingredients, a scoop can help dispense the ingredients quickly and easily. These are available in stainless steel, aluminum, and polycarbonate.
To help your business comply with health codes, you may need wire or polymer shelving to store your food storage containers on. Most of these have adjustable shelves, allowing you to customize your setup to meet your local health regulations and allow enough room for your largest containers.
What We Don’t Like
4. Bankers Box R-Kive Heavy-Duty Storage Boxes, Letter/Legal
Bankers Box R-Kive Heavy-Duty Storage boxes offer you another variety with their triple end, double side, double bottom boxes made of highly corrugated cardboard. Don’t let name deceive you. Though made from cardboard, it is corrugated to improve its strength and make it able to withstand stress, frequent handling, and wear and tear.
Aesthetically, the Bankers Box is a beauty to behold. With it, your files are secure.
Though made from recycled materials, standard manufacturing procedure has been followed to ensure that quality is not compromised. This is why the product is durable, and it’s trusted by buyers. The reinforced tear-resistant hand holes make it easy to lift without any tears.
The lift up lids provide some level of security for the content. This prevents spillage of content and easy contamination.
Serves only a single purpose
Are you planning to buy the any of the best storage baskets, container, tote, box, tub or bin soon? Well, it’s a good dream. But before going ahead to make a buy, you may want to know the kind of product that is right for you.
Here’s where our buying guide comes in. you do not need to do all the research work before you can buy a product as simple as a storage container. You don’t want to lose your hard-earned money either.
You don’t want to buy a product that would break your back, do you? When shopping, you must put the weight of the product into consideration because they add up with your items to give extra load.
The product needs to be highly portable. The weight shouldn’t be more than pound when empty. Some of the plastic, PU leather and 600D Oxford cloth we have on this list meet this requirement.
You need to be sure the item possesses a lid that is easy to close. If you are buying the box or container for your office files or important valuables, they need to be able to protect their contents against household pests, rodents, dust and moisture.
If there is no lid, the purpose is defeated. Sometimes you may not need the ones with lid though, but be sure that you actually get what is right for you. Beauty, space, sturdiness, durability and portability alone cannot make a good buy. The lid plays a vital role and so, it must not be neglected while making a buying decision.
Since storage containers are supposed to be lifted, they need to have handles for that purpose. They make it easier for the container and the items they contain to be moved from one place to the other. Remember that some of these materials are quite heavy and weight over 20 pounds.
If they have no handles, they are going to give you extra burden and even make you susceptible to back injuries and the rest. If you can’t lift them alone, there should be handles that make it easy for two or more persons to jointly lift it. Don’t ignore this.
Variety Does the product give you a choice in terms of color, design and use? You may need to use a stone to kill two birds by purchasing a container that performs dual or more purposes.
For instance, some of the container can serve as benches, tables, stools, etc. If you are on a lean budget, it may be wise to get something that can serve multiple purposes for you.
The Dorel Living Chevron Storage Ottoman and the Convenience Concepts Designs-4-Comfort 5th Avenue Storage Ottoman are good examples of a storage containers that serve multiple purposes.
Some items would certainly need to be protected from moisture. This is why you need to consider whether or not the container you are about to buy is moisture-proof.
You may need it for storing flour or other items that can easily be destroyed by moisture. Such container must have a tight fitting lid. So, ability to protect your materials from moisture or water is a feature you have to watch out for.
Some pests like ants, cockroaches, spiders and termites can be nasty sometimes. They can destroy your books, toys, shoes, pencils, rulers, clothes and other important household item in a matter of weeks.
When buying a storage container, therefore, it is good to be sure that they are pest-proof if they are to be used for storing items that are liable to be destroyed by pests or insects.
When it comes to Android tablets, you have no shortage of options — both in terms of hardware and software.
You also have a plethora of hardware options, too — from the aforementioned Fire tablets to Samsung’s wide-ranging offerings to the Asus ZenPad series, to name just a few.
Windows 10, the newest version of Windows, builds upon the foundation Microsoft laid in Windows and 8.The new OS is easier to use on traditional PCs than Windows was, and it makes using Windows on a tablet much more seamless than before. Windows offers several concessions to tablet users, such as large, touch-friendly window controls and buttons, a Tablet Mode (which expands the Start menu to fill the whole screen) and various touch-screen gestures.
Windows remains heavily oriented around the keyboard and mouse, though, so some apps and features may be awkward to use via a touch screen. It makes sense, then, that many Windows tablets are of the convertible kind.
What about Windows-based convertible tablets? Since these devices run full-fledged Windows, you can play a good many PC games on them. They won’t keep up with high-end gaming rigs, but many are more than suitable for more casual PC gaming.
Android tablets pack processors from a variety of manufacturers. Samsung’s Exynos chips and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processors are the most common: Look for the Snapdragon 800 series and Exynos processors for better performance. Nvidia’s Tegra processors are found on Nvidia tablets, and you’ll find some Android machines with Rockchip CPUs.
On the Windows front, you’ll find mainly Intel processors, including the Core m3, iand iprocessors. Tablets based on Intel Core processors tend to be higher-end devices, and will generally cost you more. Lower-cost Windows tablets and convertibles often use Intel Atom processors.
Disks for NAS drives
When you choose your disks, look for ones that have been designed to work specifically with NAS boxes. NAS-optimised features include more secure construction providing more resistance to vibration, which makes a lot of sense for a drive that’s designed to be on the whole time. They also offer power management so they can adjust performance based on their temperature.
These drives also offer special features in firmware known by WD as TLER (Time-Limited Error Recovery) and by Samsung and Hitachi as command completion time limit (CCTL). This optimises the error correction for drives when they are installed in a RAID array (explained below) as is usually the case with NAS drives.
The five golden rules
We have written this guide and are sending it to you absolutely free of charge because – you guessed it – we believe that if you are in posession of all the facts you will understand why Admiral’s Yard Self Storage is probably the best choice for you – assuming that we have one of our storage facilities in your area.
Now established for over ten years, we have served and gained the loyalty of thousands of customers who are themselves the best advert for our business – some have been with us for years, some just a few months and many we know well use us again and again – we must be doing something right!
How to get the most for your money
The fact is that most of the time when people start using self storage, they find it so good that they rent their unit for longer than they expected to. This means that when you make your initial choice of which company to use, you need to remember that your total cost of storage might be more than you expect – price is therefore very very important. Make sure that unless you already know the company, get more than one price.
Avoid the loading bay rules
If you are using a professional removal company they will probably be charging a minimum of £4per hour. Loading an average 80 sq ft self storage unit via a loading bay – unloading the van, filling a trolley, probably using a lift and then a walk to your own unit can take up to hrs – that’s a minimum of £90 and that assumes that trolleys are available and that the lifts are not busy, under maintenance or even worse out of action.
At Admiral’s Yard Self Storage you can unload your van directly into your own unit in a maximum of 30 minutes and usually a lot less.
Avoid flashy showrooms and overpriced boxes and packing materials
Everyone who has even vaguely considered using self storage will have noticed the large number of expensive looking self storage buildings which have sprung up in our towns and cities over the last few years. It does not take much thought to realise that these companies are backed by big business and making huge profits from your pockets.
Some companies make a very substantial part of their profits from selling cardboard boxes and packaging materials at hugely inflated prices
At Admiral’s Yard Self Storage we recognise that packaging materials can be very useful and although we advise customers to try to source their boxes free from supermarkets or electronics retailers, we try to keep the cost of our materials to a minimum as a service to our customers.
How self storage works
Self storage is an easy way for people to store their belongings in a clean and secure environment. It can normally be taken either long term or short term dependant on your needs. Many people use self storage for a variety of reasons. Some people want to simply reduce the amount of clutter at home; others might be moving house and can’t take all their belongings, while other people might use the storage as part of their business needs. The number of applications for self storage is extensive. The customer is normally responsible for moving in and locking their own unit. In general you will supply your own padlock and keep all the keys. This way only you will have access to the unit. Access to your belongings will vary from company to company with some offering 24/access.
Why you should listen to us
During my seven years as a managing editor at Apartment Therapy, a home decor and lifestyle site, I specialized in advising countless readers (and friends) about room and storage optimization when square footage was at a premium. My wife and I even appeared on shelter network HGTV’s now defunct series, Small Space, Big Style, with our 191Los Angeles studio apartment highlighted as an example of efficient use of space.
Before that, I spent several years as an industrial designer, working on children’s toys and lifestyle products for the likes of Little Tikes, Shrek, and The Simpsons. That means I’ve long been acquainted with the design details of injection-molded plastic products. Durability, ergonomics, and safety were just a few of the things I kept in mind when looking over these polypropylene containers.
Beyond this experience, I needed the expertise of those who live and breathe home organization every single day. So, to figure out what products I should be testing, I turned to professional organizers Beth Zeigker of BNeato (three consecutive years nominated as the Most Innovative Organizer at the Organizing Awards), John Trosko of OrganizingLA (two-term past president of the Los Angeles Chapter, National Association of Professional Organizers), Dr. Regina F. Lark, Ph.D. of
A Clear Path (current president of the Los Angeles Chapter, National Association of Professional Organizers), and Nina Smith, marketing coordinator for The Container Store. Their professional perspective was crucial in finding which plastic bins were at the top of the market and essential to our story.
These bins give you exactly what you’d expect at this price, with no major disappointments.
The smaller 30-quart size won’t hold as much as the bigger bins we tested—measuring 1by 1by 1inches, it maxed out at 1hardback books. If you’re looking for something similar but bigger, our runner-up pick is a larger version of the same bin.
There are other advantages to the smaller size, too: Even when packed to capacity with heavy books, the 30-quart bin is still easy for an average person to lift and move around. The deep, curved hand grips were big enough (but a little rough) for carrying around a full load without much trouble.
A smaller size also gives you more storage flexibility, as these can fit easily on garage shelves, stacked on a closet floor, under a desk, or even in the back of a car trunk (they’re great for keeping reusable grocery tote bags all in one place). The two latches attached to this Sterilite are not heavy duty—if you really stuff a lot of contents inside, the upward pressure can produce a visible gap between tub and lid (if this is a concern, go for our upgrade pick). Nevertheless, the lids don’t unexpectedly detach, as the flip-up and lock grips held tight while lifting, shaking, and after being dropped six feet onto hard concrete. The lid reminded us a bit of the tops on food storage containers—it kind of wants to stick on there, and removing it feels like peeling it free.
Flaws but not dealbreakers
The grips on the Sterilite Ultra Latching Box feel fine when the bin is empty, but once it’s loaded with heavier items and lifted, your fingers press in more deeply and suddenly meet a sharper edge. This may be a rough seam in the plastic. It’s a minor annoyance, but over the span of carrying dozens of storage bins from room to room, garage to moving van, or from the basement upstairs, it gets painful. You could wear gloves, but then your hands may be too bulky to fit in the grips.
Speaking of edges, that peeling feeling you get when removing a lid has a downside—a sharp edge along the lip of the lid has a habit of catching annoyingly while opening. It’s nice in that it stays shut when you want it to, but feeling like you’re fighting the bin when you want it open isn’t fun.
The smooth bottom of the Sterilite is also prone to slide, so we wouldn’t recommend these stacked higher than two to three at a time, unless you want to play human-scale Jenga with a tower of your personal property.
Compared with the tougher bins we tested, the Sterilite Ultra Latching Box has a slightly thinner polypropylene wall construction. It flexes visibly outward on the side (but holds) when overstuffed, as we did with a pair of pillows. This can be an issue when stacking multiple boxes, but then again, you’re getting a lot of them to work with, so you may be able to divide up the contents to avoid overstuffing a single bin.
Last, a common complaint among the handful of negative reviews is a tendency to have bins arrived with cracked lids, broken latches, or other kinds of damage done in transit. This is more often a problem in the larger sizes of this bin, but reviews online say it happens with these too. So if you’re in a hurry to pack or just want to save a potential hassle, see if you can pick them up in a store nearby.
Long-term test notes
I kept most every review unit except for ones which broke during testing. I had some ideal conditions to further test each of the models after making our pick six moths ago: During our move we used the storage bins to pack books, dishes, home office supplies, tech hardware, and anything else requiring a little more protection.
The Ziploc 60 Qt remains the favorite. I have to climb 4steep stairs from the bottom of the curb to our front door and the Ziploc/Iris design was by far the most comfortable to hold and lift under this sort of duress.
The Rubbermaid Actionpacker was a pain to carry during the move-in, but its capacity during the process made it invaluable. As mentioned earlier, the shallow grips are a weak point in the design, and I wish they offered deeper finger wells for a secure hold.
How we picked what to test
Despite their presence in nearly every American home, plastic storage bins get surprisingly little attention in terms of professional reviews. But our experts overwhelmingly steered us toward Sterilite, noting the brand’s easy availability and their affordable bulk prices, followed by Rubbermaid and The Container Store bins as other options. Additionally, we visited Home Depot, Lowe’s, Bed Bath & Beyond, The Container Store, Target, Walmart, and a local hardware store in person to inspect a selection of models firsthand to become acquainted with materials, ergonomics, and feature quality beyond online and interview recommendations. This research proved extremely important since some of features noted by organizers—sliding doors, flap door lids, drawers, and wheels—felt cheap and prone to breakage when inspected in person. We eliminated almost all models with any of these add-on features, believing the convenience did not make up for their potential to break easily. We also passed on models designed for food storage, and under-bed storage designs. The bins we chose to test are your basic two-piece combos: the tub, lid, latches, and not much else.
There seems to be a plastic storage bin designed to hold just about anything you can imagine. But take heed: Avoid the temptation to automatically assume a “bigger is better” strategy. Sure, it seems more efficient to load up a few large capacity plastic bins instead of using numerous smaller models. But the truth is it’s all too easy to lose your grip or pull a back muscle while straining to lift and carry a fully loaded bin, something I unfortunately experienced firsthand while repeatedly lifting and carrying our largest 140-quart Rubbermaid ActionPacker during testing.
Our upgrade pick’s larger version, the 74-quart Iris Weathertight Box, is about the largest size and capacity I’d recommend if you plan to single-handedly load, carry, and store heavy items like books. Measuring 23.by 17.by 14.inches, the Iris is impressively capacious; in our tests, it held a full payload of 1medium-size cookbooks, seven graphic novels, four field guides, 1DVDs, and one small stuffed animal. Picking up the load was possible, but doing so required careful attention to form, like I was deadlifting at the gym. I found myself requiring a breather after carrying the Iris up and down a flight of stairs, but it was just the right size to always maintain a steady grip. Any larger, and I think I would have needed help or lightened the load.
You probably wouldn’t want to go much smaller than the 30-quart size, like our Sterilite pick. We edited out models below 2quarts, because these smaller models tended to use thinner plastic, and they usually lacked locking latches, which we felt were essential to keeping contents secure (and, obviously, they can’t fit much). With its manageable dimensions of 18.1by 11.by 12.2inches, our 30-quart pick never felt challenging to hold, lift, or carry, even when filled to the max. And still, there was enough room inside to pack a pretty good bit away—1large-size hardback books could easily fit inside. Plus, this size could easily fit stacked in most closets (even, possibly, on an overhead shelf), whereas the larger 74-quart bins would be better suited to storage in an open corner of a basement, garage, or attic. In the end, the most important thing is to consider your own strength, and what you intend to keep inside, when figuring out where your needs fall in this basic 30- to 74-quart range.
Storage bins often end up in semi-outdoor or uninsulated spaces, like garages, attics, and basements, where they’re subjected to less than ideal temperature, humidity, and air quality. They need to stay sealed shut, so we paid special attention to the fit and finish of their lid and latch locks. We looked for both tactile and auditory cues indicating a seal was properly made, along with extra foam or rubber gasket to help secure a seal. The best plastic storage bins, which are ready long-term storage and require infrequent access, usually have thicker polypropylene or polyethylene walls, with tub bottoms and lids designed to interlock for vertical stacking. We chose to test both clear and opaque models, because there are circumstances when content visibility would (and also would not) be desirable. Good products can have additional material added to stress points, like honeycomb or diamond patterns reinforcing the lid and bottom sides.
Taking all these features into consideration, we had an initial selection of 2candidates. After weeding out bins with immediate and obvious durability issues, our test lineup was reduced to the 1models listed below. The first four are middleweight contenders, the last seven are our heavy-duty picks:
Hey, proper storage is no laughing matter. I have had my fair share of spilled foods, leaky lids, microwave meltdowns, and other food-related tragedies that I’d now rather avoid, and you probably have too. You might be tempted to use any ol’ container—maybe even reuse an old cottage-cheese container—but a proper food-storage container helps reduce spoilage by keeping air out and preventing fridge smells from permeating your goods.
There are a few ways to test your lids
A winning lid and accompanying container should survive at least two of those tests without a problem. Even if you’re unlikely to bring liquid meals with you on the go, having a firm-fitting lid will save your bags from accidents.
It’s a cold world out there.
Freezing your food can ensure its longevity, but this also subjects it to the harshness of sub-zero temperatures, resulting in freezer burn—you know, those nasty white splotches on food that make it taste like something you’d find at a wax museum. Worse, improperly frozen foods can absorb other smells and flavors.
Here’s where freezer-friendly containers can protect the flavor, texture, and color of the food. They help reduce the food’s exposure to air, which is responsible for many of the unwanted side effects of freezing. Proper freezer-friendly containers should be sealable and rigid; some glass ones, like Mason jars, can work, but make sure to give your food some room to crystallize and expand. Plastic freezer Ziploc bags can be awesome alternatives as well.
Freezer-friendly containers won’t prevent freezer burn entirely, but they do go a long way in helping to preserve your food.
Reminder: The amount of time individual foods can be stored before their flavors and texture deteriorate can vary. Uncooked meat, for example, tends to store longer than cooked meat. Just make sure you label and rotate through your frozen foods in a timely manner.
Containers that don’t break the bank.
With most of us preparing meals 1-weeks in advance and sometimes eating 3-times a day, it takes a truckload of storage containers to accommodate all of that food. The cost can add up!
Buy one set to get started. Beware that some sets will advertise having a certain number of pieces, but often this number includes the lids, meaning you’re probably getting fewer actual containers. If you’re willing to splurge, glass sets are really worth the purchase.
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The Whats & Whys of NAS
First off: What is a network attached storage, or NAS, device? In its simplest form, it’s a hard drive or hard drives in a box, connected to your router. Inside the chassis is a small motherboard, with a CPU and some memory to control its functions, plus a power supply. That’s all there is to it—like we said, a simple concept wrapped in opaque terminology.
The main benefit of a NAS drive is that anyone who is connected to the router for his or her Internet connection, either wired or wirelessly, can access the hard drive. As a result, the NAS can act as a central, local repository for files, media, and anything else that needs to be shared by multiple folks all using the same network. Advanced features in today’s routers also let you extend that file-sharing access to people outside your local network, in essence letting you host your own “personal cloud.” (That’s a term NAS makers throw around—a lot.)
The much cheaper alternative to installing a NAS is to set up file sharing directly on an individual’s computer, then configure the settings to allow other people to connect to those files or folders. File sharing in that way presents several issues and limitations, though. First, it’s possible that either the person sharing the files or the person wanting to connect to his or her computer will not understand how to do this—setting up file sharing under Windows or macOS can be cumbersome. Second, if the person sharing the files has his or her computer powered off, then nobody can access the file content on it. Third, the entire arrangement is limited by the amount of storage space the hosting party has on his or her computer.
NAS-optimized Seagate IronWolf hard drive…
WHICH DRIVES TO USE? NAS makers that sell diskless NAS drives recommend certain drive models or families that have been tested for use with their NAS drives. This might coincide with the hard drives they actually manufacture, or not. Take a look at these drive-compatibility lists before you buy. If you already own a bank of hard drives you intend to install, you’ll want to look for such validation. If yours are not on the list, it doesn’t mean they won’t work, but if you’re buying drives new, it’s best to stick with the NAS maker’s recommendations. Most “NAS certified” hard drives have been tested to run 24/7/365, which is a bit much for regular, consumer-level drives. Seagate and Western Digital are the two drive makers that specifically offer drives meant for NAS use by homes and businesses.
The designations for these drives have changed a bit in the last year. Seagate has rolled out fresh branding for some of its bare drives, and Western Digital has simplified the “colors” that distinguish the drives in its line. The drives you’ll likely want to be using in an always-on NAS unit are the ones designated for NAS use, or for “surveillance” use, if you’ll be using your NAS as a recorder for home cameras. (Surveillance-class drives are expected to be churning constantly, recording data from networked cameras, oftentimes to a NAS device.)…and Western Digital’s equivalent, the WD Red
If you are looking at Seagate drives, the NAS-class drives are called the “IronWolf” and “IronWolf Pro” lines, while the surveillance drives (available in capacities from 1TB to 10TB) are the “SkyHawk” drive series. Straight IronWolf drives are what you’re after for outfitting a NAS drive in a home or SOHO scenario; they come in 1TB to 10TB capacities, as well. IronWolf Pro drives are rated for service in enterprise or commercial situations.
On the Western Digital side, the NAS-specific drives are the “WD Red” (at this writing, available in 2TB to 8TB sizes), with the “WD Red Pro” series meant for enterprise use. The surveillance-minded designs are the “WD Purple” drives, which come in 1TB to 8TB sizes.
EDUNDANCY OR NO? As we mentioned earlier, NAS units that have more than one drive are built to offer the option for redundancy, so in two- and four-drive configurations the extra disks can simply mirror the contents of the other drive. Example: A two-bay unit with two 4TB drives would offer only 4TB of usable storage if you leave it in mirror mode, as the other drive is “invisible,” copying all the files from the other drive in the background.
Usually, the user has the option to reconfigure the drives in order to gain the capacity of the second drive, if desired. But since the data will span both drives (if configured in striping-only mode), if either disk fails all the data will be lost, so we don’t recommend this approach. It essentially doubles the failure risk. Many NAS units also support a JBOD mode (“Just a Bunch of Disks”), which lets you address each drive as a separate drive letter and save data to discrete drives within the NAS box. This is marginally safer than just basic striping, but any data you save to a given drive is still vulnerable to the failure of that specific mechanism.
NAS OPERATING SYSTEMS. Since all NAS units use roughly similar hard drives and enclosures, what really differentiates them is the operating system that controls everything.
This OS ships with the drive, and is generally accessed via a Web browser when you set everything up. Most NAS OSs are Linux-based, and are vendor-specific. For example, Synology’s consumer/SOHO NAS units use what it calls “DiskStation Manager” (DSM), which gets periodic updates. Likewise, NAS maker Thecus employs ThecusOS, QNAP employs its own software environment (“QTS”), and so on.
USB-drive copy port on QNAP’s TS-469L.
USB PORTS. Most NAS drives have one or two USB ports that you can use to connect a printer or external storage drives, letting you add those to your network. Once they are plugged in, just like everything else on the NAS, they can be shared with all the connected users. A frequent arrangement: A NAS drive will have one USB 2.0 port that is usually used for printer sharing, and a USB 3.0 port that can be used for external storage. (USB 2.0 is much, much slower than USB 3.0, but a printer doesn’t need the fast pipe, so a USB 2.0 port is just fine.)
Some NAS units also have a “copy” button on the front panel designed to make copying the contents of an external drive, such as a flash drive, to the NAS a one-button-press affair. You just connect the drive and tap the button, and everything on the external drive is safely copied to the NAS to a pre-designated location.
REMOTE ACCESS/”PERSONAL CLOUD” FEATURES. We discussed the concept of the “personal cloud” earlier. In addition to the above sharing features, most NAS drives let you send Web links to people to allow them to access remotely certain files or folders located on your NAS, making your NAS serve like your own Dropbox or Google Drive, but with way more storage capacity—and no monthly bill. Many NAS makers tout this.
IME MACHINE SUPPORT. Got Mac users on your network? Look for this. Support for the Apple spec is almost universal across NAS drives these days, but it’s best to make it a checklist item in your buy. NAS units from Synology, QNAP, Netgear, WD, and Seagate all support it, but it’s something you should specifically look for if you’re buying any NAS, as there might be specific requirements for it to work.
Dimension is important because it decides the volume of the crate that is the storage limit.
Color of a crate determines its usage and coding as per different colors to make storage more efficient.
Design is important as the same helps in determining the specific purpose or application to which the particular crate is best suitable for.
Crates nowadays are mainly designed to meet industry-specific requirements with features that include ease of handling, increased efficiency in transportation and help to extend the life of goods stored.
Horticulture Crates : With the help of plastic crates, fresh fruits and vegetables are transported throughout the world! The main properties of these crates are easy handling and the ability to accommodate temperature sensitive perishables. They should be nestable and stackable to help save floor space.
Grocery Crates : These crates can further be classified as Milk crates and bottle crates. Dairy crates easily house in the pouched milk which is delicate to handle whereas bottle crates ensure ease of loading, stacking and storage.
Pharmaceutical Crates : Emission free crates and insulated containers for temperature-sensitive medicines, as well as autoclavable crates for tablet punch comes under the range of pharmaceutical crates.
Automobile Crates : These crates hugely supplement the automotive supply chain efficiency and performance by avoiding damage to automotive parts during transportation.
Size of the plastic crate
This is a very important factor that is necessary for you in order to avoid cases where you will buy a plastic crate which will not serve you well. The appropriate sizes and dimension need to be figured out well before purchase.
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your Storage Crates wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of Storage Crates
- №1 — Orolay Storage Bench with 3 Crates Shoe Cabinet Soft Seat Cushion ZHXD23 Natural
- №2 — Christmas Lights Storage Crate / Organizer Bag
- №3 — Sterilite 16928006 Storage Crate