11 Best NAS Devices in 2018

Best NAS devices
NAS (“Network Attached Storage”) is all about keeping your data safe and secure, no matter where you go or what devices you use. NAS is attached to the network at your home or office, which allows multiple network users to store data in one safe place.

In the world of PC technology, NAS doesn’t get a whole lot of attention. However, NAS is something that becomes a big deal when you need it; therefore, it’s important to familiarize yourself with NAS features and specifications so that you can purchase the best NAS with confidence.

Best NAS:

*Please note: product prices, ratings and availability that are shown above are applicable for Amazon.com Marketplace only! Any prices, ratings and product availability from other Amazon local marketplaces such as Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, Amazon.in and others may be different from the ones shown in this table.

How to Choose the Best NAS

Why You May Need NAS And How It Can Be Used

Why get a NAS when you can just use an external hard drive to store your data? A NAS connects to a network, not a computer; this means that you have much more options for what you can do with the stored data. If something happens to your computer, you might lose that data forever. With NAS, your data is still safe within the connected network. Additionally, you can also use NAS to stream content, such as music and videos, anywhere you go.

Here are a few reasons why you might need NAS at your home or office:

  • Everyone using the network can access the data
  • Passwords can be set up for certain devices to keep things private, while still storing the data in a safe place
  • NAS has its own operating system, so you don’t have to rely on a monthly subscription service to store your data; you have full control and you only have to make one purchase
  • NAS is scalable, meaning that you can add more storage options, such as hard drives and additional NAS units, as your needs change over time
  • Depending on the configurations, NAS is versatile and can come with several additional features, such as the ability to download large amounts of internet data even during travel
  • NAS units are usually more reliable than other storage options because they are built to run at lower temperatures with a specific focus on data storage

Understanding NAS units and their specifications can be a challenge. If you’re thinking about getting the best NAS for your needs, it’s important to research how to setup your NAS in the way that works best for you.

NAS Capacity

A NAS holds hard drives within it. These hard can have different storage capacities.

Depending on the size of your family, business or data usage, the size of NAS you need will vary. Here are some things to consider when choosing a NAS based on capacity:

  • Documents: Word documents typically don’t take up much space, so if you may not need to spend more on a larger capacity NAS if you’re just storing these types of files, such as in an office.
  • Media (music, movies and images): If you’re an avid media user, editor or photographer, you’re going to need lots of space to store those files. The higher quality media you use (such as HD videos), the more storage you’ll need. This is especially true if you live or work in a place where multiple users are accessing and sharing very large data files.
  • Do you use RAID? RAID (“Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks”) is something that you enable in a system, such as a NAS unit, that provides fault tolerance and performance optimization. Essentially, RAID provides added protection for your data and helps your NAS run as best as it can. If you use RAID, it will take up more space within the NAS, so keep this in mind when looking at capacity.

Disks or No Disks?

Some NAS come with hard drive disks, while others do not.

  • The Pros of No Disks: You have the freedom to add your own hard drives based on the size and brand that you prefer.
  • The Cons of No Disks: You’ll need to buy extra hard drives and spend more time setting the NAS up.
  • The Pros of Disks: A NAS with preinstalled disks is convenient because those disks are already configured for that NAS drive. You can set up your NAS quickly and easily (in comparison to diskless).
  • The Cons of Disks: The disk that the NAS comes with may not be best quality based on your needs for space and features.

Connectivity

NAS connects through the network at your home or office via a Wi-Fi network or your router. Most NAS units typically connect using a Gigabit Ethernet cable. In order to get the most out of your NAS, it’s important to have a high-quality router and a strong internet connection.

Remote Access

Whether you own your own business or live in a household with various devices, you might come into a situation where multiple users need to access a large chunk of data. That’s exactly what a NAS does; it makes it so that everybody can store and access data through the NAS server, without worrying about losing or misplacing files.

NAS can give you remote access so that you can view and manage your files wherever you are on whichever device you choose. This can be achieved by making an account with the NAS manufacturer and using your login to access your files.

Security

As previously mentioned, RAID means “Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks” and it’s designed to provide a safety net for the data on your NAS unit. There are different types of RAIDS. The type of RAID you need will depend on the drive capacity of your NAS unit. Hard drives can break down, and that is why NAS has fault tolerance so that you can save your data even if you lose a hard drive.
For more tips on NAS security, check out this guide.

11 Best Network Attached Storages in 2018

Qnap TS-831X

The Best NAS Drive for Speed

Qnap TS-831X
The Qnap TS-831X is a business-optimized NAS with 8 bays and integrated dual 10GbE SFP+ ports. This NAS is designed for high-speed networks with lots of bandwidth, making it a great choice for growing businesses and professionals.

Specs

  • Drive Bays: 8
  • Max Capacity: N/A
  • Ethernet Ports: 2x 10GbE (SFP+), 2x GbE LAN
  • USB Ports: 2 USB 3.0s
Pros:

  • Lots of storage
  • Great for professionals and growing businesses
  • Easily scalable
Cons:

  • Very expensive
  • CPU could be better
  • Construction is lacking

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Drobo 5N2 DRDS5A21

The Best Network Attached Storage with 5-Bay Array

Drobo 5N2 DRDS5A21
The Drobo 5N2 DRDS5A21 is an affordable NAS unit that can hold up to 5x 3.5” SATA HDDs. It also has an optional mSATA SSD as well as Beyond RAID protection; this NAS is excellent for home because it’s easy to use and it can be personalized to fit your needs.

Specs

  • Drive Bays: 5
  • Max Capacity: 64TB
  • Ethernet Ports: 2x GbE LAN
  • USB Ports: 0
Pros:

  • User-friendly interface
  • Expandable storage
  • No tools required to setup
Cons:

  • Slow performance
  • No USB port

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Synology DiskStation DS1817+

The Best NAS Hard Drive Space Option

Synology DiskStation DS1817+
The Synology DiskStation DS1817+ is a diskless 8-bay NAS with an upgradable dual channel design. This NAS unit comes with a quad-core 2.4GHz CPU and plenty of security features, making it a fast and safe NAS for your home or office.

Specs

  • Drive Bays: 8
  • Max Capacity: 80TB
  • Ethernet Ports: 4x GbE LAN
  • USB Ports: 4x USB 3.0, 2x eSATA
Pros:

  • Great for Mac users
  • Fast performance
  • Excellent security
Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Only DDR3 memory
  • Lacking in features for the price

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Western Digital My Cloud EX4100

The Best NAS for Plex

Western Digital My Cloud EX4100
The Western Digital My Cloud EX4100 is a diskless 4-bay NAS with integrated WD Red NAS drives for increased performance. This simple, efficient NAS is great for home users looking to stream media files with anywhere access.

Specs

  • Drive Bays: 4
  • Max Capacity: 40TB
  • Ethernet Ports: 2x GbE LAN
  • USB Ports: 3x USB 3.0
Pros:

  • Simple user interface
  • Many accessibility options
  • Great for media lovers
Cons:

  • Slow backup speeds
  • Not ideal for professional use

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Asustor AS1004T

The Best Home NAS with 4-Bay

Asustor AS1004T
The Asustor AS1004T is a small, quiet 4-bay NAS with easy installation and cross-platform compatibility. If you’re in search of something simple and affordable, this NAS can hold up to four 10 TB hard disks but won’t break the bank.

Specs

  • Drive Bays: 4
  • Max Capacity: 40TB
  • Ethernet Ports: 1x GbE LAN
  • USB Ports: 2x USB 3.0
Pros:

  • Runs quiet
  • Lots of app features
  • Very affordable for the quality
Cons:

  • Limited drive compatibility
  • Lacks expandable RAM

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Synology DiskStation DS216j

The Best NAS Drive for the Money

Synology DiskStation DS216j
The Synology DiskStation DS216j is a 2-bay NAS with a maximum single volume size of 16 TB. It’s a great casual storage option for media that also comes with security features and backup solutions.

Specs

  • Drive Bays: 2
  • Max Capacity: 24TB
  • Ethernet Ports: 1x GbE LAN
  • USB Ports: 2x USB 3.0
Pros:

  • Easy remote access
  • Includes dual USB 3.0 ports
  • Advanced operating system
Cons:

  • Configuration/settings can get confusing
  • Tools required for drive access

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Netgear ReadyNAS RN212

The Best NAS Storage with Automatic RAID

Netgear ReadyNAS RN212
The Netgear Ready NAS RN212 is a diskless 2-bay personal NAS with 2GB of RAM and a 1.4GHz quad-core processor. If you’re looking for a high performance mid-range NAS for streaming with the automatic RAID, you might consider this unit.

Specs

  • Drive Bays: 2
  • Max Capacity: 12TB
  • Ethernet Ports: 2x GbE LAN
  • USB Ports: 3x USB 3.0, 1x eSATA
Pros:

  • Fast performance
  • Advanced safety features
  • Tool-less hard drive insertion
Cons:

  • Expensive for a personal NAS
  • Large body
  • Initial setup can be a challenge

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Qnap TS-251A

The Best NAS for Home and 4K Viewing

Qnap TS-251A
The Qnap TS-251A is a 2-bay, 2 GB RAM NAS with USB direct access and optimized file synchronization. This NAS includes several features for file backup, technical support, email management and more.

Specs

  • Drive Bays: 2
  • Max Capacity: 16TB
  • Ethernet Ports: 2x GbE LAN
  • USB Ports: 3x USB 3.0, 1x micro-USB 3.0
Pros:

  • Supports 4K playback
  • Flexible features
  • Simple setup
Cons:

  • Some software issues
  • Plastic build

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WD My Cloud EX2 Ultra

The Best NAS Hard Drive with Multiple RAID Configurations

WD My Cloud EX2 Ultra
The WB My Cloud EX2 Ultra is a 2-bay NAS that comes with 4TB attached storage and multiple RAID configurations for increased data guarding. If you’re looking for simplified file sharing and extra security, this unit might be a good pick.

Specs

  • Drive Bays: 2
  • Max Capacity: 20TB
  • Ethernet Ports: 1x GbE LAN
  • USB Ports: 2x USB 3.0
Pros:

  • Reliable file backup
  • Strong security features
  • Excellent cooling
Cons:

  • Prone to connectivity issues
  • Hard drives can be expensive
  • No power off button

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Seagate Personal Cloud

The Best Home NAS for Budgets

Seagate Personal Cloud
The Seagate Personal Cloud is a 1-bay personal NAS that works great for streaming media and personalized social media enjoyment. If you’re looking for a cheap and small capacity personal NAS, this unit could be a decent choice.

Specs

  • Drive Bays: 1
  • Max Capacity: 5TB
  • Ethernet Ports: 1x GbE LAN
  • USB Ports: 1x USB 3.0, 1x USB 2.0
Pros:

  • Lots of app features
  • Meets basic needs at an affordable price
  • Easy configuration
Cons:

  • Mobile app can be difficult to navigate/has bloatware
  • Performance not ideal for professionals
  • Requires Seagate software installation

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Synology DiskStation DS416+

The Best NAS Storage with 4-Bay

Synology DiskStation DS416+
The Synology DiskStation DS416+ is a 4-bay diskless NAS with 1.4 GHz CPU with several supported RAID types. If you want to pay a little more for lots of storage, RAID protection and quality performance, consider this unit.

Specs

  • Drive Bays: 4
  • Max Capacity: 48TB
  • Ethernet Ports: 1x GBE LAN
  • USB Ports: 3x USB 3.0
Pros:

  • Tool-less drive trays
  • Great performance
  • Easy access USB ports
Cons:

  • Plastic build
  • Slow file transfer
  • Poor instruction manual

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Give Your Lifetime Memories and Professional Data Complete Protection with the Best NAS for your Lifestyle

If you’re someone who creates, uses and manages large amounts of data using a computer, laptop or tablet, you might need a NAS. If you’ve been hunting for the best SSD for gaming, the best external hard drive options, the best gaming PC and computer cases, you might also be interested in finding the best NAS so you can be sure that all your games and multimedia files are safe and accessible.

With the best NAS, you can ensure long-term protection of your important data and personal files. NAS leads to security, and security leads to peace of mind!

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