5 Best NAS Drives (Network Attached Storage) of 2017 | Buyer’s Guide

Best NAS DrivesOne of the major activities that you most likely do in your network is sharing of files or media to users within or outside your network. It is essential to have a device that will make the sharing a breeze.

Are you familiar with network attached devices? Whether you are conversant or not this information is crucial for better understanding of these appliances.

Let’s start by looking at what NAS is and how it functions.

 

5 Best NAS Drives Comparison Guide

NameGigabit Ethernet PortsUSB ports CapacityPriceCheck Now!
#1
AmpliFi HD (High-Density) Home Wi-Fi System
QNAP TS-251 2-Bay Personal Cloud NAS

 
4.4 Stars (4.4 / 5)
 
2x Ethernet
 
2x 3.0 USB
 
48 GB
 
$$$
 

#2
WD 4TB My Cloud NAS
WD 4TB My Cloud NAS

 
3.7 Stars (3.7 / 5)
 
1x Ethernet
 
1x 3.0 USB
 
4 TB
 
$$$
 

#3
Synology NAS DiskStation (DS216j)
Synology NAS DiskStation (DS216j)

 
4.4 Stars (4.4 / 5)
 
1x Ethernet
 
2x 3.0 USB
 
16TB
 
$$$
 

#4
NETGEAR ReadyNAS NAS
NETGEAR ReadyNAS NAS

 
4.1 Stars (4.1 / 5)
 
2x Ethernet
 
1x 3.0 USB
 
Diskless
 
$$$
 
#5
Synology 2-Bay 16 TB/ 20 TB Network Attached Storage (DS216play)
Synology Network Attached Storage

 
4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)
 
1x Ethernet
 
1x 3.0 USB, 1x 2.0
 
20 TB
 
$$$
 

 

What is NAS and how does it work?

Network-attached storage is a hard drive or multiple hard drives which are inserted in chassis’ bays and enclosed in a casing attached to a router. The storage device has a central processing unit and a memory which controls its activities. This device enables users sharing a single router for internet access to view and use the files media and anything else that is stored in the network storage.

With advanced NAS you don’t have to download your preferred content for you to view or play it; you can do so directly from your network storage device without any fuss or hassle.

Why You Should Buy?

You should consider buying a network storage device for your home or office network for centralized file access and sharing. Unlike local PC storage which has limited storage capacity, NAS can hold large files which can be accessed by all authorized users within your network anytime.

Besides, if with time you find the space in your NAS insufficient, you can add more storage capacity to upgrade your NAS by simply inserting additional hard drives on it vacant chassis’ bays.

Besides, NASA makes some activities like media streaming extremely easy since you can stream video directly from your network storage device to your wireless or wired device without having to download the content. You can also use network storage as a backup in case your system drives become faulty or interfered with.

 

What To Know Before Buying?

  • One, Two, Or Four Bays?: The number of bays that network storage has determines its storage capacity. The more the bays the larger the capacity. NAS with a single or double bay is ideal for home networks while those having three or four bays are mostly suitable for office networking. However, you should consider buying NAS with one bay if only you intend to use it as a backup for data that will also be stored on the PCs on your network.
  • Populated Or Diskless: While some drives used by NASA have preconfigured disks out of the box, others don’t come with any disk, depending on their respective vendors. Some of the manufacturers who make NAS devices also manufacture hard drives and in pursuit of closing more sales they restrict their network storage devices to their hard drive brands which are preconfigured in the devices. Therefore, before buying a repopulated NAS device, ensure that its cost is worth by comparing the costs of the device and the drive with the others in the market. If you find it expensive, you can buy the NAS device and the hard drives separately.
  • Which Drives To Use: Manufacturers who make NAS devices usually recommend the models of drives you should use on their storage devices. They may or may not be the manufacturer of these drives but the bottom-line is that any drive that is included in the approved list works incredibly well with the corresponding NAS device. However, if you have existing hard drives, you don’t have to throw them away; you can still use them although they may not be as effective as the listed ones.
  • Redundancy Or No: NAS systems with multiple hard drives are designed to provide redundancy alternative. While in mirror mode, additional “invisible” disks in network storage devices configured to support two of four disks are meant to copy files from other drives as backups. However, you can change the configurations to remove the redundancy and make all the drives user-accessible, but that is a risky option since your data become more vulnerable to loss in case of system failure.
  • Media-Streaming: A network attached storage drive may not be able to stream all media types to your Smartphone, tablet TV or any other network device. You may need to install a specific software such as VLC or get a device that is compatible with your NAS system to enable the streaming of certain media format. Therefore, it is important to ensure that the NAS system you intend to buy is compatible with your existing devices for trouble-free streaming of media.
  • USB ports: The majority drives used in NAS units have a single or two USB ports for printers’ or external storage devices’ connection for easy access and sharing by the network users. USB 2.0 port is used to share printers while external storage devices are connected via USB 3.0 port. Additionally, a copy button is present in some NAS’ front panel to make copying of content from an external drive to the NAS a snap by simply pressing the button.
  • Remote Access: Some NAS have links which you can use to access data stored in the storage devices remotely just like you would do from a Google Drive or Dropbox without incurring any monthly charges. You can also access your NAS using any other network thus enabling you to transfer any file that you need while on the go. Check out if the NAS you intend to buy has this feature if you need it.

 

5 Best NAS Drives Of 2017 | Review

QNAP TS-251 2-Bay – Best NAS to buy in 2017

QNAP TS-251 2-Bay Personal Cloud NAS,Stream your favorite videos directly from -251-US to your Smartphone HDTV, tablet or any other network device without having to download the file.

If you travel frequently, you shouldn’t worry about accessing your network’s files. Store them in your TS-251 and access them with the help of myQNAPcloud which is a free mobile application or via a web browser.With TS-251 installed in your network, every file that you upload on the storage will be availed to every device that is connected to your network, thanks to Qsync. This convenience is essential to people who travel a lot to help them manage files and ensure that various devices in their networks have the most recent files.

 

WD 4TB My Cloud Personal NAS – Under Budget

WD 4TB My Cloud Personal Network Attached Storage Your problems regarding limited storage capacity are sorted out by WD 4TB NAS since it has a storage capacity of 4TB which is ideal for backing up all your computer files. Connect your external storage device such as a flash drive to the NAS via USB 3.0 for super-fast transfer of files.

If you are a regular traveler, things have been made unbelievably easy for you by WD 4TB’S personal cloud storage which enables you to access your stored files remotely through a mobile app or web browser. After buying this NAS, you won’t be stranded while setting it up since it has a simple guide which will help you install the storage unit within a few minutes. Connect all your MAC or Windows devices and make the sharing of hardware and files a piece of cake.

 

Synology NAS DiskStation (DS216j) – Best For Home use

Synology NAS DiskStation (DS216j)The access sharing of files across your network has never been easier than with Synology NAS DiskStation. Install the NAS’s app on your Windows, iOS or Android device and access your stored data remotely while on the go. This advanced network storage device backs up all the important files on your connected computers to an external device, cloud, additional NAS, among other destinations to help relieve you worries when your computer drives fail.

Stream that video that you love from the storage unit to a big screen as Cloud Sync and Cloud Station update connected devices and cloud storages with the recently uploaded files in your network.

 

NETGEAR ReadyNAS Storage – Best NAS for office purpose

NETGEAR ReadyNAS 212 2-Bay Network Attached Storage Watch your favorite video from whichever the location as long as you have Netgear NAS installed within your network with no transcoding issues. Worry no more about your data security since the robust inbuilt antivirus of the network storage assures you almost 100% throughput.

With 1.4GHz processor having 2GB random access memory together with read and write speeds up to 200MB/s and 160MB/s respectively, this NAS assures you effortless printer sharing as well as ultra fast file transfer. The set-up instructions of the unit are so simple that you will be able to install it effortlessly and have it up and running within a very short time.

 

Synology Network Attached Storage

Synology 2-Bay 16 TB/ 20 TB Network Attached Storage (DS216play)No more transcoding issues with this powerful NAS. You will be able to stream your favorite HD videos to a big TV screen with no hassle or fuss as you connect your external device to Synology NAS via USB 3.0 port for lightning-fast throughput rates. Use Cloud Station Backup to back up all your files from your network’s Mac or Windows devices to Synology NAS’s large storage space.

You can remotely access your stored files at any time and from any place with no hassle, thanks to the cloud service. When you edit or add a new file to this NAS, all the connected devices will be automatically updated with the changes.

 

Final Words

  • Hopefully, you have now gained a deeper understanding of network attached storages and seen how important they are. You don’t want to keep on wasting your precious time while sending a simple file from one device to another, do you? It is paramount to get a top-notch NAS drive that will guarantee you fast throughput besides data security.