The best NAS devices, or network-attached storage for those who don't pay much attention to storage acronyms, are those that have enough speed and space to store everything you want to keep forever. While some prefer easy access to their storage by opting for cloud-based options like OneDrive, for a lot of us, physical storage is just more reliable in the long term.
NAS devices are one of the best options for at-home storage because they're sturdy, you can connect them to your router to make them easier to access, and you can choose who can access them as well. It's a bit like buying your own cloud storage, albeit with a little more work.
While a lot of people tend to grab a NAS device to store things like work documents, thereby making it easier to work from home or at the office, there's no reason why you can't use them to store family photos and videos too, or even treat them as a multi-media server to access films and TV shows you own easily wherever you are.
Therefore, if you're looking for the best NAS devices, one of the most important aspects you'll want to consider is a large capacity, but connectivity and other features are crucial too. If you're looking for guidance on the best NAS for you, then good news, because you can read on to find out.
Best NAS devices
- Synology DiskStation DS1522+
- WD My Cloud EX2 Ultra
- Asustor Lockerstore 2 Gen 2 AS6702T
- QNAP TS-464
- TerraMaster F5-422
1. Synology DiskStation DS1522+
Best NAS drive overall
RAID: 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, and JBOD
Ports: USB 3.0, eSATA, Gigabit Ethernet
Other Features: Expandable Storage
Over time, Synology has manufactured some of the most commonly used NAS devices, and the Synology DiskStation DS1522+ sits among the best of them. With a massive storage capacity of up to 80TB across five bays, this NAS is suitable for private as well as business use.
Under the hood, the device sports a quad-core Intel Xeon D-1527 processor and 8GB of DDR4 memory, which you can expand up to 32GB. It's also pretty zippy, so you can expect incredible data transfer speeds and quick streaming. And for a high-performance NAS, it's surprisingly user-friendly.
To deal with the cache, the NAS device has dual M.2 NVMe SSD slots - this makes accessing frequently used data easier and quicker. And, as far as RAID support is concerned, the DS1522+ supports several configurations - RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, and JBOD - so you don’t have to worry about data security in case the drive fails.
Connectivity-wise, the DiskStation DS1522+ offers 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports, 2 USB 3.0 ports, and an eSATA port, providing total flexibility over how you connect.
So, if you’re looking for reliable all-around Network Attached Storage, then the Synology DiskStation DS1522+ is something you should be looking at.
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2. WD My Cloud EX2 Ultra
The best budget NAS drive.
Storage: Up to 28GB
Ports: USB 3.0, Gigabit Ethernet
Other Features: Compact Build
Not all NAS devices come with a big price tag. Some are, by comparison, rather budget-friendly. Take the WD Diskless My Cloud EX2 Ultra, for instance, which strikes a nice balance between affordability and performance.
To start with, you get a read and write speed of 117 MB/s and 112 MB/s, which is incredibly fast and will transfer your data in a flash. It also comes with multiple RAID options, including AES 256-bit encryption, to shield your data from nosy intruders.
Another noteworthy feature of WD’s NAS is that it is compact and sleek, making it suitable for those who have little space to spare at home or in their office. Furthermore, it’s easy to set up, so even non-techie people can get it working without much effort.
Okay, the WD Diskless My Cloud EX2 Ultra may lack all the bells and whistles of some of our other entries, but it doesn’t compromise performance or security. So, if you’re looking for a no-nonsense storage solution with a reasonable price tag, this device is worth considering.
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3. Asustor Lockerstore 2 Gen 2 AS6702T
The best 2-bay NAS drive.
RAID: 0, 1, JBOD, Single Disk
Ports: 2.5 GbE, Gigabit Ethernet, USB 3.2
Other Features: Compact Build
Saving money comes with a couple of sacrifices, such as fewer bays and accompanying hard drives. Less is more when it comes to value, though, as two bays still gives you plenty of storage space and the ability to use a RAID setup. Enter the Asustor Lockerstore 2 Gen 2 AS6702T.
To start with, it features an Intel Celeron J4125 processor, which delivers excellent performance. With the two 2.5GbE ports, you can expect lightning-fast transfers when hooking it up via Ethernet.
As far as data security is concerned, you get RAID support for RAID0, RAID1, JBOD, and Single Disk, which enables greater flexibility. And, for connectivity, you get dual Gigabit Ethernet ports for faster connections.
Another quick thing to note - the Asustor Lockerstore 2 Gen 2 AS6702T looks great and has a sleek body, which would blend in with your home or work setup. Therefore, if you happen to be shopping for a 2-bay NAS device, make sure you consider this Asustor bit of kit.
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4. QNAP TS-464
The best 4-bay NAS drive.
RAID: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Other Features: N/A
Upping the ante now to a four-bay system in the QNAP TS-464. Along with some advanced features, like the Virtualization Station, QNAP’s NAS comes at a reasonable price, making it a strong contender on this list.
Its specs sheet makes for good reading, especially as it's packed with a quad-core processor that runs at 2.0GHz, as well as 4GB of DDR3 RAM, which can be expanded up to 8GB. Plus, the four bays can hold HDDs and SSDs up to 16TB for all your storage needs.
Another noteworthy highlight is that the NAS features Virtualization Station where you can run virtual machines. If you want to run software tests or work with multiple operating systems, then this feature enables you to create isolated environments for it.
Coming to the RAID configurations, QNAP TS-464 supports a lot of them, including RAID 5, so you don’t have to worry about drive failures. To add to that, RAID 5 can withstand two drive failures, which is some additional relief.
If you're looking for a 4-bay NAS solution with some advanced features like virtualization capabilities, then the QNAP TS-464 is a great fit.
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5. TerraMaster F5-422
The best 5-bay NAS drive.
RAID: 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, JBOD, Single
Ports: 10GbE, 1GbE, USB 3.0
Other Features: Data transfers up to 1000MB/s
Now, TerraMaster’s F5-422 is very similar to the F4-422, with the major difference being that extra bay in the former. And, of course, there are a few other differences that make it one of the best NAS devices around. For example, it comes packed with the Intel Celeron J3455 quad-core CPU, which clocks at a speed of 1.5GHz and tops at 2.3GHz - pretty snappy for home as well as office use.
Talking about the performance, the highlight of this NAS device is the 10GbE port, which can handle data transfers up to 1000MB/s. You also get two 1GbE ports, which you can combine to achieve a speed of 2000Mbit/s.
With the specs out of the way, let’s look at the appearance. By no means is the F5-422 sleek or compact - you can clearly see that TerraMaster has focused more on functionality and practicality over looks. It's not in any way ugly though with its all-white finish, and its larger size is necessary due to the five bays this thing has in its locker
Overall, we'd say that if you're looking five-bay NAS device that delivers performance at a reasonable price, then TerraMaster F5-422 is definitely worth looking into.
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