The Best NAS (Network-attached Storage) in 2022

NAS can give you great network-supported storage. This has a lot of uses, it can be helpful as a media server, encrypting and backing up files, or even as a catch-all solution for a home business.

A NAS can do great things, and there are a lot of options on the market. Some NASs are built for one specific purpose over another. While one device might be great at creating automatic backups, it might not allow access to media from any device.

If you want a NAS that is specifically suited to your needs, you’ve got to find the right one for you. Among the market, there are some clear standouts. The Best NAS can fulfill any storage and access needs you have for your files or media, and do so in a secure way.

High-quality photos, videos, 3D files, or any other demanding file formats can be a bit much. Even with external SSDs and external hard drives, storing, working on them, and sharing between multiple people gets complicated. A NAS solves all of these problems.

When you use a NAS, you can unshackle yourself from the constant dongles and cables that come with further storage. No matter searching out a cable for an old hard drive an important file is stuck on.

A NAS is effectively your own cloud storage. There are lots of advantages of this, but a big one is knowing your files will always be there, irrelevant of if Dropbox stays in business or if Google doesn’t ramp up their pricing.

With your own NAS, you also have the peace of mind of knowing everything is backed up locally. No outages or changes to user agreements are going to leave you forfeiting your data, or have your prices jacked up to maintain access.

The best home NAS can do a lot of different things. You can have instant access to files and share with others, creating automatic back-ups, store things safely, and even set-up a media server. Finding the right one can be tricky though.

These are some of the best picks on the market at the moment, for any purpose:

synology 2 bay nas diskstation ds220 plus
  • Up To 32GB Of Storage
  • Intel Celeron J4205 Dual-Core CPU
  • 2GB Of RAM

The Synology 2 Bay NAS DiskStation DS220+ is an excellent entry-level NAS for your home. It comes with two bays and thanks to high capacity NAS hard drives it can store up to 32 TB of data. This is more than enough for home use and thanks to the upgraded Intel Celeron J4205 CPU the NAS can transcode 4K video while allowing other users to access stored files at the same time.

The included 2 GB of memory can be expanded up to 6 gigs, which can be handy if you plan on using this NAS for a Plex server setup. Performance-wise you get a max sequential read speed of 225 MB/s and max sequential write speed of 192MB/s, which is an excellent result for a budget NAS. The device is equipped with dual 1Gb LAN ports as well as two USB 3.2 ports.

While the NAS comes with dual gigabit LAN ports it’s a shame there isn’t any 2.5Gb or 10Gb ports, which would make this NAS better suited for high-speed home networks. Also, the lack of M.2 ports means there’s no way to install cache so you’re limited to HD-like transfer speeds. But considering its price, this is an excellent NAS for home use and a solid buy for people who need a basic NAS that can fit lots of storage.

Pros:
  • Very Simple To Set Up
  • Solid Specs For The Price
  • Dual Gigabit LAN Ports
  • RAM Can Be Expanded Up To 6GB
  • Suitable As A Base For Plex Server
Cons:
  • Doesn’t Have 2.5Gb Or 10Gb LAN Ports
  • Doesn’t Support SSD Cache

QNAP TS-251D-4G

Great Basic NAS

qnap ts-251d-4g
  • Intel Celeron J4005 dual-core 2.0 GHz processor
  • 4 GB SO-DIMM DDR4 (Max 8GB)
  • Can use 2 X 3.5-inch SATA 6Gb/s, 3Gb/s HDDs
  • 1 X Gigabit Ethernet Port (RJ45)

If you are looking for a basic NAS to be used as your media storage device then the QNAP TS-251D-4G would be a great choice for you. This device can use 2 X 3.5-inch SATA 6Gb/s, 3Gb/s, and also has PCI-E expandability for different storage configurations.

This device uses an Intel Celeron J4005 dual-core 2.0 GHz processor and has 4GB of SO-DIMM DDR4 RAM. For connectivity, you can use a single gigabit Ethernet port and 3 X USB 2.0 ports/2 X USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports.

Overall this device is pretty limited in terms of what kind of storage it can use and how fast it can operate but if you need a simple solution for network-attached storage, then this is it.

Pros:
  • A simple device that can be used as a solid media storage
  • Good enough performance for home use
  • HDDs are pretty cheap and easy to obtain
Cons:
  • This device lacks upgradability and future-proofing
  • Only 2 drive bays
  • No SSD upgradability

WD My Cloud EX2

The Best NAS for Security

wd my cloud ex2
  • 4 Bays
  • Volume Encryption and Password Protection
  • Automatic Backup Options Available

WD is a big name in storage, particularly external hard drives. However, this NAS takes some of the same qualities of their best storage devices and applies it to the home network storage.

This NAS is capable of holding up to 20TB (0TB/Diskless, 4TB, 8TB, 12TB, 16TB, 20TB), more than enough for very high-quality video or games. You can extend the NAS and add more NAS hard drives, but it is nice to have a decent amount of space to get started.

On top of this, it has 1GB of memory for fast file access to enable media streaming seamlessly at a high quality.

This is a great NAS for its encryption. It enables volume encryption and password protection. With this, you have the convenience of accessible files anywhere and the protection you need to keep things safe.

There are automatic backup options available here and 1GB of memory for media playback even in high quality. This is the best NAS for security, but it also has the specs to fulfill fast media streaming wants too.

Pros:
  • Quickly Syncs Files and Backups Across Devices
  • Fast Media Playback
  • Great Security Options
Cons:
  • Not the Same Level of Included Software as Others

Synology DS1520+

Professional Grade NAS

synology ds1520
  • New CPU 4-core 2.0 (base) / 2.7 (burst) GHz
  • 2x M.2 NVMe SSD slots
  • Two USB 3.0 ports
  • 5 to 15 drive slots with the expansion pack

The new Synology DS1520+ is a step in the right direction compared to its predecessors since the new variant is a lot more capable and up to date with newer hardware. The new NAS is compatible with 3.5″ SATA HDD, 2.5″ SATA HDD, 2.5″ SATA SSD, and even M.2 2280 NVMe SSDs.

The main thing to note is that it has 2 internal M.2 drives allowing you to have cache acceleration without occupying storage bay space. Talking about the storage bay the new Synology DS1520+ has 5 spots for your storage devices. If you so desire you also have the option to expand your storage to 15 drives if you really need the extra storage capacity.

The new device also comes with a newer CPU that allows you to speed up intensive tasks and applications (4-core 2.0 (base) / 2.7 (burst) GHz). You can easily share files and sync them together or you can use this NAS as your multimedia server that will allow you to stream 4K videos and other digital media.

Pros:
  • Great device with a lot of possible storage configuration
  • Can be used both for work or as a streaming device
  • Strong performance with new CPU and cache acceleration through the M.2 SSD drives
  • Great backup options
Cons:
  • This device is quite expensive but it does have a lot of potential in terms of what kinds of storage devices you can use

BUFFALO LinkStation SoHo 720

Ready-To-Go NAS Solution

buffalo linkstation soho 720
  • Pre-installed HDDs
  • Pre-configured RAID
  • Native 2.5GbE Multi-Gigabit Ethernet
  • 4 TB Total capacity

If you do not want to bother much while setting up your NAS solution for your office then you can simply buy the BUFFALO LinkStation SoHo 720. The main reason for this choice is the fact that the SoHo 720 comes pre-installed with hard drives and already has a pre-configured raid solution for a great out-of-the-box experience. All you have to do is to plug the NAS into your router and you are ready to go.

On that note, this device has Native 2.5GbE Multi-Gigabit Ethernet so the process of transferring and backing up files is extremely fast. The device comes with a 4 TB total capacity, one 2TB drive in each slot which should satisfy the needs of most office spaces.

This device also makes it easy to sync all of your files with Dropbox, OneDrive, or any other cloud storage service with an automatic sync feature. Your security is guaranteed as well since you are dealing with a closed system which is a strong deterrent for hacking and provides encrypted access to users that actually should have access to the device.

Pros:
  • A great device for someone who just wants to plug in the NAS and use it
  • Multi-Gigabit Ethernet
  • HDDs are pre-installed so you do not need to worry about compatibility or installing them
Cons:
  • Limited storage options
  • No possibility to connect SSD devices
  • No cache acceleration
  • Not exactly the best solution for professional use

Asustor AS5304T

The Best NAS For Home Security

asustor as5304t
  • 4 Free Camera Licenses
  • Back-Up Software
  • 4GB RAM

This NAS is particularly great if you’re looking to set-up a camera network. Licenses and devices can get expensive when doing this, so a NAS set-up for it is going to make things a lot easier.

You get 4 free camera licenses with this NAS. Between four cameras, you can easily set-up a home camera network. From here, you can record or check in on video footage from anywhere, with backs up always available.

Outside of cameras, this drive can work on PC and Mac. It has good speeds and comes with backup software to automatically collect the data from your PC.

This is a great NAS for anyone looking for something simple or trying to set-up a camera network.

Pros:
  • User-Friendly
  • Automates Backups with Software
  • Free Camera Licenses
Cons:
  • Not as Versatile as Others

TerraMaster F2-210

The Best NAS for Personal Use

terramaster f2-210
  • 4-Bay
  • 4GB RAM
  • Includes Backup Plan to schedule Backups Automatically

The TerraMaster NAS comes in at a price point that is perfect for personal use. The addition of a NAS to a gaming set-up or other home computer network can make things substantially easier.

This is a 4BAY NAS with 4GB of ram for speedy connections. This makes accessing your files or creating backups a quick and simple process. There are 200+ free apps available for this NAS to facilitate using it for any purpose.

This is one of the best choices if you’re looking for something simple to use to augment your home equipment. You can use it for backups, with automatically created snapshots, as a media server, or even as all of these in one if you have space for all of that.

This is definitely a great choice if you’re looking for a NAS for Plex too, being compatible with the service automatically.

Pros:
  • Great Compatibility as a Media Server
  • Simple to Use
  • Quite Small and Compact
Cons:
  • Needs Some Set-Up

How to Chose a NAS

how to choose nas

Those are the best NASs on the market at the moment, with one to suit a lot of different needs. However, when purchasing a NAS you’re making quite a commitment to one device for backups and a media server for quite a while. Essentially, at this price point, you want to be sure it is going to last. This guide covers everything you need to know to make the right decision.

What You Need to Know

A NAS is quite a big purchase. This is going to be a part of your set-up for a while, so you need to know what you’re getting. If you’re a little confused by the various options or just what the specs actually mean in terms what your NAS can do, this is everything you need to know:

  • What is a NAS? – A NAS is network-attached storage. This is file storage that can work within a local network. Your files (and anything else you store) is stored within the NAS, this can be accessed by anyone given permission, and anywhere.
  • What Can a NAS Do? – You can use a NAS for a lot of different purposes. The main ones are file storage and back-up, running a media server, creating encrypted and up to date copies of any iterations of work, and even running a security network to record cameras.
  • Failure – With all of your data backed up in one bit of cloud storage, failure is a concern. This is why most of the best NASs have built-in raid configurations, this gives them great protection against any possible failure.
  • They Can Scale – As your storage needs to grow, so can your NAS. NASs can be expanded upon, and their hard drives can be replaced or switched out with those of a higher capacity.

What to Consider Before the Purchase

There are plenty of great NAS options on the market, but you need the one that specifically caters to your needs. You need to consider some things before purchase to make sure you’ve found the right NAS for you:

  • How Much Storage Do You Need? – Not everyone’s storage needs are the same. If you only need to store files and backups, you won’t need as many bays as you would if you were running a media server. Take this into consideration when buying a NAS.
  • Are You Streaming Video? – If you’re streaming video, then you might want to look into getting a NAS that is specifically designed for that, or at least one that is compatible with video streaming in high quality.
  • Do You Need Hard Drives? – The Best NASs have space for quite a few hard drives, but only some of them come with them pre-installed. Make sure you consider which hard drives are compatible and which you need to buy before deciding on a NAS to purchase.
  • Camera Licenses – If you’re using a NAS to run a camera network, you can both record the cameras and watch them live with the right software. Some NASs come with camera licenses bundled in to make it easy to set-up a small network. For more cameras, you will need to purchase more.
  • Speeds and Quality – The more RAM a NAS has, the faster it can go. However, speeds are also limited by the infrastructure for your local network. It will be much faster if you have faster local speeds. If you need your NAS to run at a particularly high speed, check that you’re getting the right NAS for this.
  • What Do You Need to Set Up a Media Server? – If you’re looking to set up a video server with a NAS, there are some extras concerns. Deepened on what program you use for this, there are some different requirements. To be on the safe side, you will want a NAS that will be able to transcode your video at their full quality, live. The majority of NASs on this list are capable of this, so it shouldn’t be a problem.

About The Author

XbitLabs Team

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

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments