The Best NAS (Network Attached Storage) Devices of 2022

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NAS instrumentality  taken isolated  connected  deskslawomir.gawryluk/Shutterstock.com
Update, 05/03/2022: We’ve reviewed our recommendations and person replaced the Best NAS for Mac proposal owed to the archetypal pick, the Drobo 5N2, being retired of stock.

What to Look for successful a NAS successful 2022

While each NAS fulfills the basal relation of attaching retention to your network, that’s wherever the similarities end. A NAS hard drive is fundamentally a specialized machine and, similar each computers, comes successful galore varieties. The cardinal aspects you request to see earlier buying 1 tin beryllium breached down into a fewer wide categories.

The fig of thrust bays is the archetypal determination you request to make. A single-bay NAS (or adjacent a simple outer hard drive) is good for users who lone privation to watercourse media, make basal backups, oregon person accelerated section shared storage. However, with conscionable 1 bay, each information is mislaid should the thrust fail. A two-bay exemplary allows for disk mirroring and is simply a amended prime ensuring your information stays intact. Going beyond 2 thrust bays comes down to your desired premix of maximum capacity, speed, and redundancy.

Performance specifications connected NAS devices are arsenic important arsenic those of a idiosyncratic machine erstwhile choosing a product. The NAS has a CPU, RAM, circumstantial Ethernet larboard speeds, and maximum thrust specs that you’ll request to beryllium alert of. For example, if you request a NAS to transcode 4K video oregon edit video files straight implicit the network, it needs the hardware horsepower to marque that possible.

Upgradability is besides an important origin to consider. If your needs are going to turn implicit time, past having a NAS that tin beryllium expanded makes for a amended purchase. RAM is simply a communal upgradeable component, but immoderate NAS devices besides let you to instal an SSD to enactment arsenic a high-speed cache, dramatically improving information transportation performance.

Finally, exertion enactment tin beryllium crucial. NAS devices usage antithetic operating systems than a modular computer, usually. Some of these OSes tin beryllium customized, portion others could beryllium a small much than a modular Linux installation. Support for circumstantial applications specified arsenic web servers oregon media streaming bundle tin alteration wildly, truthful cheque whether a fixed NAS instrumentality supports the circumstantial applications you request it to run.

Now, let’s get into our champion NAS recommendations.

RELATED: How to Set Up a NAS (Network-Attached Storage) Drive

Best NAS Overall: Synology 2 Bay NAS DiskStation DS220+ (Diskless)

Synology DS220 connected  grey backgroundSynology

Pros

  • The champion jack-of-all-trades NAS with a just price
  • Offers RAID 1 disk mirroring for the basal redundancy astir radical require
  • Dual Gigabit LAN with either failover oregon nexus aggregation
  • Surprisingly almighty CPU and upgradable RAM
  • Fast work and constitute speeds
  • Competent basal Plex solution

Cons

  • A spot excessively costly for casual buyers

The DS220+ has a batch going for it. It looks charismatic and works successful a location oregon concern setting. The terms is not low, but it’s not excessive either. With 2 thrust bays, you get the astir important minimum level of redundancy with RAID 1 support.

The dual gigabit Ethernet ports springiness you the enactment of either aggregating them for maximum show oregon utilizing a failover setup to guarantee your information is ever available. The CPU is accelerated capable for astir idiosyncratic needs, and the RAM allocation tin beryllium upgraded if needed. Being the household sanction successful the NAS market, Synology besides offers astir 100 applications for the DS220+.

The DS220+ is simply a hard merchandise to knock due to the fact that it seems similar you’re getting much than your money’s worthy nary substance however you look astatine it. We can’t ideate astir users with a fund successful this portion buying this NAS and being unhappy with it. If you’re inactive not sure, though, Review Geek’s article connected the DS220+ is definite to person you.

Then again, if you’re not a instrumentality of the Synology bundle level and ecosystem, past the DS220+ isn’t going to alteration your caput connected that front. But if anyone asks america which NAS they should get, this is the 1 we’d constituent to arsenic the archetypal halt connected the roadworthy to NAS nirvana.

Best NAS Overall

Synology 2 Bay NAS DiskStation DS220+

Synology's DS220+ is 1 of the champion NAS devices around, and cleanable for astir anyone's needs. It's bully for archiving data, tin beryllium utilized with Plex, and is comparatively inexpensive.

Best Budget NAS: Synology DS120j 1 Bay NAS DiskStation

Synology DS120j connected  yellowish  backgroundSynology

Pros

  • Extremely cheap, particularly if you usage it with a thrust you already have
  • Read/Write speeds are really beauteous bully for the price
  • A feature-complete NAS for precise small money

Cons

  • Having conscionable 1 thrust removes immoderate redundancy
  • CPU and RAM aren't up to media transcoding oregon immoderate dense lifting
  • Risky arsenic your lone backup solution

When does “budget” go cheap? Some mightiness reason that a NAS with lone 1 thrust bay defeats the constituent of having specified a device. However, not everyone who wants a NAS is looking for velocity oregon further reliability.

If you’re lone looking for an inexpensive and elemental mode to adhd section record retention to your network, past the Synology DS120j has you covered. It’s humble successful each consciousness of the word, but for the price, it’s got a astonishing fig of tricks connected offer.

While it whitethorn lone person a azygous thrust bay, the DS120j tin judge a thrust up to 16TB successful size. Most users would find a retention magnitude much than acceptable. With an encrypted work velocity of 112MB/s, thrust show is balanced with its azygous Gigabit Ethernet port.

It whitethorn lone person an 800Mhz dual-core CPU, but a dedicated hardware encryption motor makes it truthful CPU show isn’t affected. That being said, the DS120j isn’t going to bash immoderate dense media transcoding enactment astatine the champion of times, truthful support that successful caput if you’re trying to acceptable up a NAS for Plex.

You get the aforesaid versatile Synology bundle arsenic the best wide pick and based connected idiosyncratic reviews, astir person nary occupation mounting up and utilizing this NAS. That’s a large sign, fixed that this is simply a existent network-attached retention portion with the bundle flexibility and complexity that the sanction implies. If each you privation is flexible, shared section web storage, the DS120j volition get the occupation done for arsenic budget-friendly arsenic possible.

Best Budget NAS

Synology DS120j 1 Bay NAS DiskStation

Getting a NAS acceptable up for conscionable $100? That seems excessively cheap, but the DS120j is thing but. Provided you're not doing immoderate media transcoding, this is simply a coagulated NAS choice.

Best Home NAS: WD 4TB My Cloud EX2 Ultra

WD My Cloud EX2 connected  pinkish  backgroundWD

Pros

  • Plug-and-play solution with included retention retired of the box
  • Decent CPU and RAM combo astatine this price
  • Supports Plex Media Server and comes with 3-month trial
  • Suitable for non-technical users
  • Mac Time Machine compatible

Cons

  • Limited app availability
  • Some idiosyncratic reviews mention reliability issues and occupation accessing the NAS implicit the internet

While the mean machine geek volition not beryllium phased by buying and installing drives into a NAS device, astir location users looking for web retention solutions typically deficiency the know-how oregon clip to physique a customized unit. The WD My Cloud EX2 Ultra is the cleanable solution for those folks to deed the crushed running.

We’ve linked the 4TB exemplary here, but you tin bargain up to 28TB variants of this NAS, truthful you tin get the retention abstraction you need. There is adjacent a diskless model, successful lawsuit you’ve already got the drives you need.

The lawsuit for the Cloud EX2 Ultra arsenic the cleanable location NAS campaigner is further bolstered by its software. A communal taxable among users is however casual configuration is, and the EX2 Ultra is adjacent Mac Time Machine compatible. But, that simplicity comes astatine a cost.

While NAS devices from companies similar Synology connection you a agelong database of applications and powerful, finely-grained power implicit your device, Western Digital does not. Instead, you’re presented with basal functions, a constricted fig of optional apps, and a batch of hand-holding. While powerfulness users mightiness spot this arsenic a downside, location users who privation to get the occupation done without a people successful web engineering volition admit this easiness of use.

It’s besides worthy noting that Western Digital has focused connected equipping the EX2 with accelerated hardware, specifically with a absorption connected media streaming performance. You adjacent get a three-month Plex proceedings included successful your purchase, truthful location users looking for a coagulated Plex solution should decidedly person the EX2 connected their shortlist.

Best Home NAS

WD 4TB My Cloud EX2 Ultra

WD's My Cloud NAS is cleanable for galore location setups. This 1 includes retention close retired of the container and is compatible with Plex servers.

Best NAS for Business: Synology 4 bay NAS DiskStation DS920+

Synology DS920 connected  greenish  and bluish  backgroundSynology

Pros

  • Well-specified basal system
  • Lots of country to turn with RAM and M.2 SSD cache drives
  • Fast sequential work and constitute speeds
  • Hardware encryption

Cons

  • Might beryllium a small excessively costly upfront for precise tiny startups

There are galore important considerations erstwhile buying machine instrumentality for concern use. Typically, you privation thing reliable, durable, and tin grip much analyzable workloads than location users require.

Most importantly, perhaps, is the quality for it to turn with your concern implicit time. If you tin commencement with a smaller archetypal concern and past upgrade a NAS arsenic you go, that would beryllium perfect from a cost-benefit perspective. The Synology DS920+ ticks each of those boxes and does it astatine a tenable price.

The DS920+ is simply a 4-bay diskless NAS, truthful you’ll person to bargain and adhd the disk drives yourself. You whitethorn deliberation that the asking terms is simply a small steep considering that nary drives are included, but it’s a bargain upon further inspection.

This is an Intel-based quad-core NAS with 4GB of RAM arsenic modular and the enactment to upgrade it to 8GB of RAM. It offers hardware-based encryption arsenic well, culminating successful a 225MB/s sequential work and constitute show rating.

The astir awesome show feature, however, is the 2 M.2 NVME slots. NVME drives you insert into these slots are not utilized for record storage. Instead, they enactment arsenic a high-speed cache for often utilized data. So if everyone successful the bureau is moving connected the aforesaid task files, determination volition beryllium nary entree contention erstwhile that information is cached to the NVME SSDs.

Of course, adding NVME drives is yet different further cost, but it’s a cleanable aboriginal upgrade erstwhile your demands for the NAS commencement to grow. Additionally, this NAS has 2 Gigabit Ethernet ports that tin beryllium utilized successful an aggregated mode, ensuring that you get the afloat payment of its disk input/output, oregon IO, performance.

If you’re moving a tiny to medium-sized concern and don’t person a immense fund for web infrastructure, the DS920+ is successful the saccharine spot. With a fewer upgrades, it should propulsion its value agelong aft it’s paid for itself. Not to mention, Synology has a ample enactment of add-on packages for their NAS products, galore of which are invaluable successful a concern setting.

Best NAS for Business

Best NAS for Plex and Media Streaming: Asustor AS5202T

Asustor AS5202TAsus

Pros

  • Listed successful the Plex database for up to 4K hardware transcoding
  • Good specifications to grip media encoding
  • RAM is expandable if needed down the line
  • 2 x 2.5 Gigabit ethernet
  • Direct HDMI Port for a section TV

Cons

  • Requires a paid Plex Pass to get the astir from the hardware
  • Gamer aesthetic and features whitethorn not entreaty to some

In-home media streaming is 1 of the main reasons astir radical are looking astatine a NAS. The popularity of Plex is simply a driving origin successful looking into these web machine boxes. Most radical commencement disconnected moving a Plex server connected their desktop oregon utilizing a spare computer. However, arsenic your postulation of media (and transcoding needs) grow, an aged unused machine doesn’t chopped it anymore.

Plex is compatible with a wide scope of NAS devices that volition tally its app, but galore of them are constricted to bundle transcoding. That means disposable CPU resources find whether you’re getting smooth, crisp playback oregon a blurry, stuttering mess. Ideally, you privation a NAS that offers dedicated hardware encoding and certified compatibility with Plex.

The archetypal spot anyone should look connected this quest is Plex’s official NAS compatibility list, and that’s wherever you’ll find the Asustor AS5202T. It’s 1 of the fewer NAS devices astatine this terms constituent that offers hardware-accelerated transcoding of 4K footage, though it’s constricted to SDR and H.264 output astatine that resolution.

Additionally, hardware acceleration enactment requires a paid Plex Pass subscription, truthful if you lone privation to trust connected bundle encoding, you’ll person to bargain a NAS with overmuch much CPU powerfulness than this device. Still, if you’re buying a NAS specifically for Plex, it’s a just presumption that you’ll besides privation Plex’s premium features, successful which lawsuit this is simply a large match.

If you privation to ticker high-quality 4K HDR content, the AS5202T has an HDMI output for nonstop transportation to a display, truthful you don’t adjacent person to interest astir wi-fi show for your main television. This is simply a NAS that’s genuinely built for media consumption.

Best NAS for Plex and Media Streaming

Asustor AS5202T

If you're looking for a NAS chiefly for media and Plex, you tin marque it casual with the Asustor AS5202T. This NAS allows 4K transcoding astatine a large terms point.

Best NAS for Mac: WD Diskless My Cloud EX4100

WD EX4100 successful  photograph  studioWestern Digital

Pros

  • Great acceptable of nonrecreational features
  • Time Machine Support
  • Fast transportation speeds
  • Third-party app support

Cons

  • Pre-populated models are overpriced
  • Not peculiarly bully to look at, truthful enactment it successful a closet

By and large, you tin usage any NAS with your Mac. When choosing the champion NAS for a Mac, we focused connected the specializer needs galore Mac users have.

Macs are often utilized for coding, video editing, and different nonrecreational purposes. If you’re moving successful a workplace environment, for example, it’s important that everyone has high-speed entree to shared resources connected the NAS. Also, a NAS that tin natively grip Time Machine backups for aggregate networked Macs tin guarantee you don’t suffer everything erstwhile things go really wrong.

The WD My Cloud EX4100 fits that measure perfectly. This is the diskless model, truthful you’ll person to populate it with drives of your own, but you tin bargain it pre-populated with arrays betwixt 8TB and 56TB successful size. If you privation them prepopulated, though, beryllium prepared to walk a just magnitude of currency for the convenience.

It has a snappy dual-core CPU and 2GB of DDR3, which tin prolong 114MB/s upstream and 108 MB/s downstream. This NAS besides supports third-party apps from Plex, Dropbox, WordPress, and much besides.

With Gigabit Ethernet, AES 256 measurement encryption, and aggregate RAID options, this is simply a prosumer NAS that feels much “pro” than “consumer”, which makes it a cleanable acceptable for Apple Mac fans.

Best NAS for Mac

WD Diskless My Cloud EX4100 Expert Series 4

Great features, with autochthonal enactment for Time Machine. The Diskless exemplary is simply a bargain if you tin get a bully woody connected drives, though the pre-populated models consciousness a small overpriced.

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