Best NAS devices of 2019


X Scalper

While looking for the best NAS drives may seem like a confusing process, it doesn’t have to be. We’ve put together this little guide to direct you to the best NAS device you can buy in 2019.

Of course, we should probably dig a little into what a NAS is and what makes for the best NAS drives. A network attached storage device (or NAS) is a must for anyone working off a network instead of just one computer. These devices are in essence an external hard drive that, instead of plugging into your PC, connects to your network.

Because of that, you can access the files stored on the NAS from just about any device. And the best NAS drives can even allow for you to access them remotely, so you don’t need to be in the office to get that one essential file. In addition, it doesn’t matter what OS you’re running as the best NAS devices are platform-agnostic. You’ll be able to gain access with whatever device you have available.

You’ll want to keep a few things in mind when figuring out which are the best NAS drives for you. Do you need a ton of storage space? Many of the devices listed here are already packed with hard drives, making it very easy to install and use. However, you’ll want to plan for how much space you’ll want. The best NAS drive will need to be able to not only hold all your most essential files but also possibly your backups.

Some of the devices require you to purchase the hard drives separately. This does allow for flexibility when choosing the size and speed most appropriate for your network. And if you’re willing to shop around for the hard drives separately, it might even save you some cash.

Also, what do you need in terms of backup and redundancy from your device? Some of the best NAS drives are capable of holding more than one hard drive and can mirror the data held on each drive. If one drive fails, that’s ok. You have a backup. Additionally, the best NAS drives make it so you can back up the data to an external drive, whether as an additional measure or because you need to take the data on the road.

We’ve rounded up the best NAS drives for the home and office here. And if you want more info about boosting the storage of your current NAS, you can do so by checking out our list of the best hard drives.

1. WD My Cloud Personal NAS drive

Capacity: 2TB, 3TB or 4TB | Interface: USB 3.0, Gigabit Ethernet | Features: Remote file access, DLNA, iTunes Server

Easy to set up

Good price

Setup can be fiddly

Apps not great

WD has attained quite significant success with its unashamedly consumer-friendly My Cloud products, which can stream to any DLNA-compliant device and be accessed via mobile apps for iOS and Android.

Advertised as a ‘personal cloud,’ this WD is one of the best NAS drives by any other name and starts at 2TB of storage (you can also get it in 3 or 4TB). Because it’s a one-bay unit, it can’t back itself up since there’s only one drive. However, it can back up to an external hard drive thanks to a USB port on the back.

Seagate Personal Cloud 2-Bay NAS drive

2. Seagate Personal Cloud 2-Bay NAS drive

Convenient network storage

Capacity: 4TB, 6TB or 8TB | Interface: Gigabit Ethernet | Features: Remote file access, media server software, RAID support

Easy to use

Good looking

Not that fast

Not that flexible

Continuing with the ‘personal cloud’ theme, this unit from Seagate takes its lead from My Cloud, while offering far larger capacities, along with dual bays for two hard drives. This allows the Seagate Personal Cloud 2-Bay NAS device to mirror the files from one hard drive to a second one, securing your files in case one of those drives fails.

We also appreciate the no-fuss appearance of this unit, meaning it fits easily under a router or on a shelf. Plus, it can work with cloud accounts – like Dropbox and Google Drive – and you can also use an app to share content to streamers, such as Chromecast and Roku.

QNAP TS-251A NAS drive

3. QNAP TS-251A NAS drive

Capacity: N/A | Interface: 2 x Gigabit Ethernet, USB 3.0 | Features: Remote file access, HDMI out, 4K media transcoding, DLNA

Powerful hardware

Loads of features

Expensive

Does not come with hard drives installed

The QNAP TS-251A is an extraordinary NAS device that has more features than you can shake a stick – or the included remote control – at. It includes dual Ethernet ports, an HDMI out for connecting it to a TV and respectable hardware like the dual-core 1.6GHz Intel Celeron CPU and 4GB of RAM for hardware transcoding media files.

The QTS OS also lets you effortlessly install a variety of apps, from the Plex Media Server and file sharing apps to, surprisingly, a karaoke app, as well as running Ubuntu Linux for added flexibility.

Long story, short: this is an incredible NAS device, even if you do have to purchase the hard drives separately. Just factor that in to the overall cost.

Buffalo LinkStation LS220D NAS drive

4. Buffalo LinkStation LS220D NAS drive

A decent dual-bay NAS with built-in BitTorrent

Capacity: 2TB, 4TB, 6TB, 8TB | Interface: Gigabit Ethernet, USB 2.0 | Features: Dual bay, WebAccess apps, Apple Time Machine support

Good security features

Smartphone apps for easy configuration

Lacks some advanced features

As one of the best NAS drives out there, this 2TB dual-bay unit (also available in 4, 6, and 8TB capacities) comes courtesy of Buffalo, the company that also produces the TeraStation line of advanced NAS units.

The key selling point of this model is that it can integrate directly with BitTorrent, which means that it can download files for you even when your PC is not on. You won’t need to worry as much about your downloads getting interrupted. Like many of the other devices listed, you can also stream to it via various devices, it’s platform agnostic, and you can use it as an iTunes server.

  • This product is only available in the US and UK at the time of this writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Seagate Personal Cloud 2-Bay 




Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*