The Best NAS Hard Drives in 2021

A NAS is a great storage solution that gives you all the benefits of cloud storage but with immediate access on any device. However, a NAS is only as good as the drives within it. The best NAS hard drives are those that aren’t going to slow you down or limit the power of your network.

A NAS has bigger needs than just storage. You need really fast read and write speeds if you want that seamless access to big files that most users do.

If you’re running a NAS as a home security network or a media server, there are even greater demands on your storage. The best hard drive for NAS has to be built to meet these needs.

If you’re running a media server, a NAS hard drive needs to be able to read and write large files like 4k video, all without slowing you down. The same applies to camera networks that you depend upon for security. Although there, a NAS comes with the added benefit of being a lot safer than internet-ran smart cameras.

The best NAS hard drive can really make a difference to the performance of your NAS. There is one here to suit the needs of anyone looking to set-up a fast and secure network.

seagate ironwolf 125 nas ssd
  • Capacities: 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2Tb, 4TB
  • Optimized For Multi-User NAS Setups
  • Five-Year Warranty And Three Years For Seagate Data Recovery Service
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The new Seagate IronWolf 125 NAS SSD brings better performance for a lower price. This is an excellent NAS SSD for users on a budget looking for a fast, capable, and reliable NAS drive that won’t break the bank. The drive comes with a five-year warranty and three years of Seagate Rescue Data Recovery Service.

The IronWolf 125 uses TLC memory and while it has slightly lower endurance than its predecessor, the IronWolf 110, you do get a performance bump. Tests show excellent speeds for a regular SATA SSD and the multi-user optimizations allow the IronWolf 125 to be used both in home offices and small businesses.

The IronWolf 125 is available in capacities ranging from 250GB to 4TB, offering something for everyone. If it weren’t for lower endurance compared to its predecessor the IronWolf 125 would be a perfect NAS SSD for virtually everyone.

Pros:
  • Competitive Price
  • Wide Range Of Capacities
  • Excellent Performance
  • Can Work Great Both At Home Office Or Small Company
Cons:
  • Lower Endurance Compared To Its Predecessor

WD Red Pro NAS Internal Hard Drive

The Best NAS Hard Drive for Failure-Prevention

wd red pro nas internal hard drive
  • Compatible with SD NASs
  • Offers Protections Against Loss
  • Available 2TB, 4TB, 6TB, 8TB, 10TB, 12TB, 14TB
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Setting up a NAS gives you a place to back everything up and protect important files from any losses. However, it isn’t immune to failure itself. NAS failure can be costly since it is itself the back-up and most files won’t be backed up twice. This is one of the best hard drives for NAS since it avoids this pretty well.

This hard drive comes with 3D active Balance technology. This should help to prevent any failures or errors. There is also included recovery controls and error avoidance technology. With these protections, it is one of the best hard drives for Synology NASs.

Outside of the hard drive, this WD NAS drive is protected against shocks and vibrations and comes with a 5-year warranty. All of this gives you a lot of protection against any accidents that occur. This can go a long way towards making your NAS secure.

This is one of the best NAS hard drives for preventing failure and data loss, but it also offers great speeds and storage sizes.

Pros:
  • Failure Protections
  • Good Speeds and Compatibility
  • Good Price for Larger Sizes
Cons:
  • Built for Large Bay NASs

Seagate IronWolf Pro NAS 3D HDD

The Best NAS Hard Drive for Home Use

seagate ironwolf pro nas hdd
  • Available in 2TB, 4TB, 6TB, 8TB, 10TB, 12TB, 14TB, and 16TB Sizes
  • Fast Speeds
  • Performance Enhancing Features
  • Data Recovery Services Included
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This NAS Hard drive offers great speeds and compatibility, but what is really impressive is the smaller optimization touches. The combination of quality of life features come together to make one of the best NASs for demanding personal or home use.

This hard drive has great speeds and comes with some inclusive data recovery features. You get a two-year rescue data service and five-year access to a more limited service. If your drive is beginning to feel a little worse for wear, integrated health management systems give you full access to your drive’s health.

These features go a long way toward preventing failure. This is particularly helpful with a NAS hard drive like this which is built for high-intensity uses. With fast speeds, it would make a great addition to a hard drive for gaming to speed up your home PC.

Another quality of life feature is the noise and speed of this drive. It is built to consume less power, which helps with data protection but also helps your NAS run at a low volume, with little vibration or whirring sounds going on. This is definitely one of the best hard drives for home NAS use, no matter what your needs are.

Pros:
  • Low Noise
  • Low Power Consumption
  • Hard Drive Health Monitoring
  • Great Speeds
  • Available in Plenty of Sizes
Cons:
  • Large Sizes are Quite Expensive
  • 5-Year Limited Recovery Services Not Much Protection After the First Two

WD Red SA500 NAS 3D NAND Internal Drive

The Best NAS Hard Drive for a Home Office

wd red sa500 nas 3d nand internal ssd
  • Available in 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB Sizes
  • Uses 3D NAND Technology
  • 5-Year Warranty
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A NAS can be used as a home media server or to stream, but it can also be used for something just a bit duller than all that; working. This is one of the best NAS hard drives for those purposes, to keep a home office functioning as well it can.

This NAS does a great job at more professional functions. It reduces the lag and latency of a NAS compared to others. This has a lot of advantages, but it is really important when it comes to multiple users working on the same files.

This makes it ideal for use on large project files like videos or photos. It also has great speeds for accessing your files from anywhere. This is one of the best NAS hard drives for getting work done fast and without any problems with your file hosting.

Pros:
  • Great for Low Latency File Access
  • Optimized for a NAS system
  • Great Price
Cons:
  • Lacks Some Security Features of Others

Toshiba N300 NAS Internal Hard Drive

The Most Reliable NAS Hard Drive

toshiba n300 nas internal hard drive
  • Available in 4TB, 6TB, 8TB, 10TB, 12TB, and 14TB
  • High Performance 7200 RPM Drive
  • 3-Year Warranty
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When you’re looking for the best NAS hard drive, you need to know it is built to last. Many of the options on this list have a great MTBF, but this Toshiba hard drive is specifically built for constant high-level performance.

It is tested for a 180TB/year workload. This is a serious amount of data to be passing through it, and even the heaviest users of their NAS will struggle to hit these numbers!

On top of this, it has RV sensors that compensate for any rotational vibrations that might occur while it is running. It even comes with a 3-year warranty.

While this NAS hard drive has everything where you need it, you can also be sure that it is going to last quite a long time.

Pros:
  • Built to Last with Protections Against Failure
  • Great Speeds
  • Optimized Specifically for Use in a NAS
Cons:
  • More Expensive than Comparable Models

Seagate IronWolf Pro 125 NAS SSD

The Best SSD NAS Hard Drive

seagate ironwolf pro 125 nas ssd
  • Capacities: 240GB, 480GB, 960GB, 1,92Tb, 3,84TB
  • Optimized For Multi-User NAS Setups
  • Five-Year Warranty And Three Years For Seagate Data Recovery Service
CHECK PRICES

The IronWolf Pro 125 NAS SSD from Seagate is the company’s premium NAS SSD model that comes with extreme endurance, a five-year warranty period, three years of Seagate data recovery service, a wide range of capacities, and excellent performance.

This SSD is optimized for multi-user NAS setups and it can go through one DWPD (drive writes per day), which brings the total endurance of the 960GB model to almost 1.8 petabytes if we take into account the five-year warranty period. Impressive endurance but also impressive speeds.

The IronWolf Pro 125 offers some of the best read and write speeds for a SATA SSD. This, combined with excellent endurance and multi-user optimization makes this SSD a perfect choice for users and companies who tend to deal with huge files and can properly abuse their NAS drives on a daily basis but who also need speed and don’t care about the price.

Pros:
  • Extreme Endurance
  • Excellent Read And Write Speeds
  • Perfect For NAS Setups Dealing With Huge Files On A Daily Basis
  • Wide Range Of Capacities
Cons:
  • Pricey, Especially For A SATA SSD

How to Chose a NAS Hard Drive

Front panel storage device a hard disk

These are the best NAS Hard Drives available at the moment, but which one is specifically for you is another question; Each person is going to have different needs from a NAS hard drive, depending on their equipment, price range, and what they’re going to use it for. This guide covers everything you need to know to find which NAS hard drive is the right one for you.

What You Need to Know

A NAS hard drive is going to be a permanent part of your set-up, so you need to make sure you’re getting the right one. If you’re confused by anything being offered by the best NAS hard drives out there, then there are some things you need to know before you make your decision. These are some of the things you need to know before deciding:

  • These Drives Are Optimized for a NAS – This doesn’t mean they won’t function outside of one. However, they have been specifically built to work in a bay NAS, so if you’re looking for an SSD for your gaming PC there are better options than these.
  • A NAS Takes Multiple Hard Drives – A NAS is built to house quite a few Hard Drives, with most having between 2 and 8 bays. This means you’ll be using a few of these in conjunction.
  • A NAS Doesn’t Need the Fast Speeds of an Internal Hard Drive – A NAS might be streaming 4K video, but it doesn’t need the same level of read and write speeds that you’d want from an integrated hard drive. The hardware facilitates the NAS doing its job without the same speeds.
  • Security and Encryption – The majority of your security and encryption is going to come through the NAS and not the hard drive, so this isn’t a major concern.

What to Consider Before the Purchase

If you’re looking for the best NAS hard drive you need one that is going to fulfill all of your needs. A NAS with the right hard drives inside can make things considerably easier, whether you’re setting up a media server or running a home business. These are the things you need to consider to find the best NAS hard drive for you.

  • What are Your Storage Needs? – NAS hard drives go up to some impressive sizes. However, it might not be necessary to fill an 8-bay NAS with 14TB hard drives. Not everyone needs 112TB of storage! Consider what your actual storage needs are before picking a hard drive.
  • Compatibility – These NAS hard drives are ecosystem agnostic! They work the exact same if your PC is a MAC, Linux or anything. Since they connect to your NAS, the model of your home PC is irrelevant.
  • Reliability – This is probably the most important factor in choosing the right NAS hard drive. A NAS is going to be running an awful lot and rarely be taken down for repairs! You need a hard drive that can survive this kind of pressure. Outside of what specifics you need, reliability is definitely the most important factor.

About The Author

XbitLabs Team

We are a team of enthusiasts thriving to provide you with helpful advice on buying tech.

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