Best Network Attached Storage NAS Devices

Review & Comparison, Last Update October 20, 2017
Network-attached storage devices (NAS, for short) are commonly used to store and share data, yet top-of-the-line models can do much more. Have a look at the best network attached storage devices we’ve found and reviewed for you and see how they can benefit your home or business. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2017
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
HARD DRIVE
NUMBER OF SLOTS
CPU
RAM
INTERFACE
RAID SUPPORT
EXTRAS
 
PROS
Availability of HDMI and the remote control enables you to connect the server directly to a TV and play high-quality videos. Get real-time and offline HD video transcoding.
CONS
The setup menu is a bit complicated.
OUR VERDICT
This NAS storage is an excellent multimedia server, it can even replace your home computer. The NAS is perfect as a home network storage for film libraries and home system backups.
detailed parameters
HARD DRIVE
16 TB
NUMBER OF SLOTS
2-bay
CPU
Intel Celeron Quad-Core 2.0GHz
RAM
2 GB (max 8 GB)
INTERFACE
1 x Gigabit LAN; 2 x USB 2.0; 2 x USB 3.0; 1 x HDMI
RAID SUPPORT
RAID 0/1/JBOD
EXTRAS
QvPC Technology, Cloud service, Multi-zone multimedia control, Multimedia Hub, Virtualization Station, Cross-platform
PROS

Powered by a hardware-accelerated transcoding engine, DS216+II allows you to transcode H.264 4K videos to 1080p and stream them to high-definition TVs, digital media players, mobile handsets, and computers in the required format.

CONS

Does not come with storage drives.

OUR VERDICT

Synology DS216+ operates via a software called Disk Station Manager that is very convenient to use and offers a variety of features. With the AES-NI hardware encryption engine and Btrfs file system, this is one of the best options on the market at a considerably modest price.

detailed parameters
HARD DRIVE

20 TB (10 TB drive x 2)

NUMBER OF SLOTS

2-bay

CPU

Intel Celeron N3060 Dual-Core 1.6GHz (burst up to 2.48 GHz)

RAM

1 GB DDR3

INTERFACE

Gigabit LAN x 1, USB 2.0 x 2, USB 3.0 x 1, eSATA

RAID SUPPORT

Synology Hybrid RAID, Basic, JBOD, RAID 0, RAID 1

EXTRAS

AES-NI Hardware Encryption Engine, Btrfs File System, Cloud Station Suite, ОС Synology DiskStation Manager (DSM), QuickConnect, USB Copy

PROS
You can use the NAS storage as a regular external hard drive by connecting it directly to the computer.
CONS
Limited functionality of the remote access interface.
OUR VERDICT
The small size and the ease of use make this NAS storage perfectly suitable for storing home video and photo libraries.
detailed parameters
HARD DRIVE
3TB (up to 8 TB)
NUMBER OF SLOTS
1-bay
CPU
Comcerto Cortex-A9 Dual Core 650 MHz
RAM
256 MB
INTERFACE
1 x Gigabit LAN; 1 x USB 3.0
RAID SUPPORT
Not Supported
EXTRAS
My Cloud, WD Sync
PROS
The good set of the originally installed features allows for quick and easy setup of the network-attached storage.
CONS
The admin interface does not work in Internet Explorer 10.
OUR VERDICT
The affordable dual drive NAS is the perfect network attached storage for home use or for backing up data in small businesses.
detailed parameters
HARD DRIVE
8 TB
NUMBER OF SLOTS
2-bay
CPU
Marvell Armada Dual Core 1.2 GHz
RAM
512 MB
INTERFACE
1 x Gigabit LAN; 1 x USB 2.0
RAID SUPPORT
RAID 0/1/JBOD
EXTRAS
NovaBACKUP®, Personal Cloud; DLNA Certified, Remote and Mobile Access, BitTorrent Downloader, iTunes server
PROS
This network-attached storage features the advanced Ready NAS OS 6 operating system which ensures excellent protection against malware together with the unlimited number of snapshots for instant data protection.
CONS
Needs to be installed in server racks and cabinets.
OUR VERDICT
This network-attached storage is an optimal business solution, providing the ability to store data, client files, and virtual images, and ensuring the security of your digital assets.
detailed parameters
HARD DRIVE
16 TB
NUMBER OF SLOTS
4-bay
CPU
Marvell Armada XP Dual Core 1.6 Ghz
RAM
2 GB
INTERFACE
2 x Gigabit Lan 2 x eSata 1 x USB 2.0 2 x USB 3.0
RAID SUPPORT
RAID 0/1/5/6/10/JBOD
EXTRAS
Ready Cloud, Bit Rot Protection, XRAID2 & Instant Provisioning, iSCSI and Thin Provisioning, Anti-virus & Encryption

What Is Network Attached Storage?

Remember those situations when you were running out of space on your PC or laptop, and the tough decision of what to remove and what to leave? Or just imagine that your computer has been infected with a virus and all your important data is lost forever. Situations vary, but you certainly want your data to remain safe. To ensure this you need a secure storage, which can be accessed by any device in your house. Network Attached Storage (NAS) is exactly such kind of storage. In fact, it’s a set of hard disks connected to your LAN or the Internet. A NAS storage allows you to make backup copies of your data in case of PC failure. You won’t have to take a bunch of flash drives with photos or videos when you go to see your family or friends. Just copy the data to a NAS network storage and connect to it via the Internet. You can even create your own personal cloud storage! In our network attached storage review, we look into the five best network attached storage devices that can satisfy any needs. Purchase a network-attached storage to get your own home mini server and keep your data safe.

If you need a portable data storage device, you may also enjoy external hard drives. They help you store up to 5 TB of data and connect via USB.

What Features to Compare

Type and Capacity of a network-attached storage should be considered first when choosing the NAS, since its main function is data storage and safety. Think of what you want from a network-attached storage device. Will the NAS serve as an archive of your favorite movies and shows? Will you use it to store system backups and important documents? Single-drive NAS are perfect for storing multimedia and unimportant data. Their advantage is accessibility and portability, you can take the device with you and use it as a regular portable drive. However, they are unable to mirror the data stored on them. Dual-drive NAS storages and those with more drives allow you to combine all your disks into one RAID array. They improve data security by creating an exact copy of one drive to another, and even if one of the drives fails, the data will be saved and restored when the failed drive is replaced. The type also directly determines the maximum available amount of stored data. If you need to store small amounts of data, 4 TB will suffice. If you need a corporate NAS storage, or you want a storage for system backups, we recommend you to choose the storage capacity of 8 TB and more. If you want to increase the capacity, to use RAID for data protection and to enable hot-swapping of the disks without shutting down the storage, please pay attention to the technologies which allow you to combine several networks attached storage devices.

Performance of a network-attached storage device is worth considering once you have decided on the NAS storage type and capacity. It depends entirely on the storage components. The processor and memory determine how quickly the data will be processed and how many users can access the network-attached server simultaneously. The type and number of the LAN ports determine how fast and stable the data will be exchanged. If you need a network-attached server for use in a corporate network with a large number of users, we suggest that you choose the NAS storage with the high-performance processor and large amounts of RAM. And if you need the network attached storage for home use, it’s advantageous to choose the NAS with a less powerful processor and less RAM. You can enhance storage efficiency by connecting external devices such as external hard drives, flash drives, IP cameras or printers via additional USB ports.

Interface and Functions of a network-attached storage should also be kept in mind. Home network storage should feature a user-friendly interface and easy setup. The key features of business network-attached storages are the ease of administration and the ability to fine-tune the device. Also important are the functions the device can perform. Consider the possibility of creating your own cloud storage, organizing shared access, data protection systems, using your storage as a print server, the possibilities of streaming video playback and automatic transcoding. One more thing you can benefit of is having your own centers for applications that allow you to design the functionality of the device to fit your personal needs.

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QNAP Personal Cloud

Type and Capacity

This network-attached storage is a full-fledged multimedia station, which can be connected to your TV or monitor via the HDMI interface. You also get a remote control for your multimedia. The NAS supports two 3.5” or 2.5” SATA drives or solid state drives with hot-swap functionality. The disks can be combined into a RAID array, allowing you to securely protect your data even in case of failure of one of the disks. The maximum allowable capacity to date is 16 TB (2 x 8TB).
Review of QNAP Personal Cloud Network Attached Storage

Performance

QNAP TS-251+ Personal Cloud Network Attached Storage is a high-performance NAS based on a 64-bit quad-core Intel® Celeron® processor with a 2.0 GHz clock frequency which can accelerate to 2.4 GHz. It features 2 GB of energy-efficient DDR3L RAM memory which can be expanded to 8 GB. Dual Gigabit LAN ports provide uninterrupted data transfer rate up to 225 MBps. This NAS supports 256-bit AES encryption of folders and volumes at speed up to 205 MBps, providing security of sensitive personal data. It also has two USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 ports, allowing you to manage backups from external media, organize a print station or simply connect a keyboard or a mouse for easier control of the NAS storage.
QNAP Personal Cloud Network Attached Storage in the use

Interface and Functions

This NAS storage features, multimedia versatility. Thanks to the in-built HDMI it lets you play high-definition videos directly on your TV screen. QNAP TS-251+ Personal Cloud Network Attached Storage also supports on-the-fly transcoding of HD videos, as well as DLNA and AirPlay video streaming, allowing you to play media content with any device compliant with these standards. The storage also provides a number of players and multimedia applications for comfortable video viewing. The virtualization technology allows you to run the application you need on any platform, so you don’t need to buy any additional equipment. It’s the feature that every user, particularly small business owners will enjoy. The CloudLink feature and the myQNAPcloud service provide remote access to the NAS storage and its contents. They are easy to work with and there’s no need to configure the router and no port forwarding. This NAS storage even allows you to adjust your own user-friendly video surveillance system, it supports more than 3000 models of IP-based cameras. And thanks to the built-in App Center, you can customize the functionality of the NAS to meet all your needs.
Detailed review of QNAP Personal Cloud Network Attached Storage

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QNAP Personal Cloud
QNAP Personal Cloud
 

Synology DS216+II

Store Your Memory

Overestimating the importance of memory would be a tall order no matter how you look at it given that humans, aside from the biological characteristics, are essentially an amalgamation of their memories. And although we do have a powerful tool at our disposal that allows us to store a ridiculous amount of memory, the efficiency with which we use our brain still leaves a lot to be desired. That is one of the main reasons mankind have been looking for and inventing ways of storing and sharing information for as long as we can remember. The introduction of a written language allowed us to reach these means through a piece of paper and the developments in the world of art helped us to do so using images, objects and, a few centuries later, audio recordings.

Of course, when it comes to storing and sharing information, all of these means and tools tend pale in comparison to a modern computer that has managed to amplify and combine them all. One of the very few flaws of that device would be the fact that it can be unreliable at times and you may end up losing a portion or the entirety of your information due to a variety of potential complications. One of the better ways to avoid these types of unpleasantries would be to acquire a network-attached storage. These kinds of devices provide a convenient method of storing information and sharing it among multiple computers and include faster data access, easier administration, and simple configuration. And if you are in the market for one, the Synology DS216+II NAS DiskStation is a kind of model we would not recommend passing up.

Review of Synology DS216+II NAS DiskStation

More Than a Storage

Although the Synology DS216+II NAS DiskStation is technically classified as a network-attached storage, calling it so would do it a considerable disservice. Synology's DiskStation range can't truly be described as 'NAS' products anymore - they are full-blown servers that can handle everything, from Cloud-based storage to 4K UHD transcoding.

The DS216+II's matte black housing measures 6.4 by 4.2 by 9.1 inches (HWD) and its two front-loading drive bays are hidden behind a black plastic panel. The model is powered by a dual-core Intel Celeron N3060 CPU which runs at 1.6GHz with a burst speed of up to 2.16GHz and 1GB of DDR3 memory at its side. The device supports up to 20TB of storage (two 10TB drives) and a variety of RAID configurations including Basic, JBOD, RAID 0, RAID 1, and Synology's SHR Hybrid RAID with one-disk fault tolerance. Supported file types for internal drives include Btrfs and EXT4.

Synology DS216+II NAS DiskStation in the use

With Great Software Comes Great Convenience

The Synology DS216+ operates via a software called Disk Station Manager that offers a wide array of features like a File Station and a Photo, Video, Audio Station along with the Download, Note, and Cloud station that allows you to create your own Cloud service. As it stands, the DS216+ is the most affordable Synology NAS to feature this modern file system. The only drawback to the Synology DS216+ is that it lacks in an HDMI output. But that'd be a very small price to pay and shouldn't make you turn your back on this one of the best network-attached storages at one of the most affordable prices.

Detailed review of Synology DS216+II NAS DiskStation

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


Synology DS216+II
Synology DS216+II
 

Western Digital 3TB My Cloud Personal

Type and Capacity

Western Digital WDBCTL0040HWT-NESN 3TB My Cloud Personal Network Attached Storage is the network-attached storage for home use. Its exterior and size allow you to place it on your desktop next to the computer. The NAS storage comes with the 3 TB Red hard drive of the same company. Also, if desired, you can extend the NAS capacity up to 8 TB by replacing the HDD with a compatible drive of greater volume. This home network storage supports only one drive, so it works better as a data repository. We don’t recommend using it as a backup station since the data might be lost if the disk fails.

Review of Western Digital 3TB My Cloud Personal NAS

Performance

This network-attached storage uses a Mindspeed Comcerto C2200 processor with two Cortex A9 processing cores and ARM7 architecture, clocked at 1.2 GHz. It has 256 Mb 1600 MHz DDR RAM memory and 512 Mb flash memory module for storing the settings and operating system files. The NAS storage has a passive cooling system which makes it practically silent. The only thing making noise is the hard drive inside, but, according to the specifications, the noise level doesn’t exceed 28 dB (A). And given that some of the noise and vibration are absorbed by the housing, the storage is very comfortable to use. The NAS store also features a Gigabit LAN port providing connection to your home network and one USB 3.0 interface that lets you quickly create backups from data storage items.
Western Digital 3TB My Cloud Personal NAS in the use

Interface and Functions

My Cloud OS 3 operating system is based on Linux, namely Debian Wheezy. This means it’s not difficult at all to extend the functionality of the NAS storage. For example, you can install the Transmission torrent client and download torrent files directly to the NAS without using your PC. The NAS also allows you to create your own cloud storage, just create an account in the WD My Cloud online service. You can also work with mobile devices and make backup copies of your photos, music and videos. The NAS storage is also compatible with Apple® Time Machine®, which allows you to make backup copies of Mac devices.
Detailed review of Western Digital 3TB My Cloud Personal NAS

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Western Digital 3TB My Cloud Personal
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Buffalo LinkStation for Home/Office

Type and Capacity

Buffalo 420 4 TB LS420D0402 LinkStation for Home/Office Network Attached Storage features a great number of useful functions. It’s perfectly suited for storing, sharing and protecting the most important data. The storage has two drives, 2 TB each, and it also supports drives of up to 4 TB, so the overall data capacity can be expanded to 8 TB. This NAS storage has only two drive bays, it supports only RAID 0 or RAID 1, allowing you to combine both drives into one volume and increase the data exchange speed or make a full copy of your data from one drive to the other, which will enhance the safety of the data.
Review of Buffalo LinkStation for Home/Office NAS

Performance

This network-attached storage has a dual-core ARM processor with a clock frequency of 1.2 GHz per core and 512MB DDR3 memory, which together with a Gigabit LAN port allows for data transfer at speeds of up to 80MBps. The NAS storage also has USB 2.0 which allows you to connect USB flash drives, digital cameras, and USB-printers compatible with Buffalo devices. And by connecting a USB hard drive, you can make backup copies to the drive.
Buffalo LinkStation for Home/Office NAS in the use

Interface and Functions

This network-attached storage has a tile-based user interface, it’s simple and easy to manage. It provides you with multiple useful functions at once. “Getting Started” lets you quickly configure the NAS storage configuration. The free “WebAccess” serves for creating and setting remote access. The in-built “BitTorrent” client allows you to download torrent files directly to the storage drive. The “DLNA” allows for streaming video to compatible devices. The “USB Device Server” can be used to control external devices. Each tile has a switch for quick enabling of the service. The NAS allows you to organize your personal cloud storage for file sharing. And to get access from mobile devices, download and install the Buffalo’s WebAccess mobile app on your device. Moreover, this network-attached storage supports Time Machine® for Mac, which allows you to connect to your Mac networks and make backup copies from Apple's devices.
Detailed review of Buffalo LinkStation for Home/Office NAS

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NETGEAR RN2120 1U Rackmount 4-Bay

Type and Capacity

Thanks to its form factor, this NAS storage is suitable for mounting in server racks and cabinets. The NAS allows you to install four hard drives up to 4 GB each. The drives can be combined in an X-RAID 2 configuration, which allows you to replace the drives quickly without the need to format them to a specific file system. This technology also provides for storing data on a single disc while using the other one to protect the data. If there are four discs in the NAS system, the three are available for storage and the other one will serve for protection. The customizable backup system will save your important data from accidental damage.
Review of NETGEAR RN2120 1U Rackmount 4-Bay ReadyNAS

Performance

This network-attached storage features the dedicated Marvell Armada XP processor with a clock frequency of 1.6 GHz for each of the two cores and 2 GB memory, combined with the advanced technologies, such as the unlimited snapshots, cloud backup and dynamic memory allocation. Thanks to all these characteristics, this NETGEAR NAS is perfectly suited for high-performance backup, primary storage for virtual environments, and also serves to provide shared file access to up to 25 users simultaneously. This network-attached storage also features one USB 2.0, allowing you to backup data from flash drives, and two USB 3.0 which enable data transfer at speeds up to 5 Gbps. The NAS has a built-in 200 Watt power supply unit. It has a decent cooling system; the noise level, however, does not exceed 28 dB (A).
NETGEAR RN2120 1U Rackmount 4-Bay ReadyNAS in the use

Interface and Functions

The ReadyNAS OS operating system features an intuitive interface. The OS allows you to protect the stored data with the XRAID2 technology. It also supports SMB, providing continuous data protection with unlimited snapshots, the real-time anti-virus, and the native data encryption system. You can also determine whether the memory is allocated dynamically or a certain amount of memory is allocated to a certain user. This allows you to use memory resources more efficiently. This network-attached storage is also compatible with Apple® Time Machine®, which can be used for both allocating one shared folder and configuring access for each Mac-net user separately. The ReadyCloud function allows you to create your own cloud storage for important data. The storage can be accessed from both fixed and mobile workstations. And the dedicated application store will help you set up the exact feature set you need.
Detailed review of NETGEAR RN2120 1U Rackmount 4-Bay ReadyNAS

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NETGEAR RN2120 1U Rackmount 4-Bay
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