12 best NAS devices for home and business

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12 best NAS devices for home and business
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From home offices to server rooms, we select the best network attached storage devices for every need.

Online services like Dropbox and are a great way to access files from anywhere, but they have their limitations. Imagine if you could build your own cloud, with instant access wherever you are to all the media and files you already have on your hard drive. That’s where network-assisted storage (NAS) appliances come in.

They’re basically internet-connected drives that users can access securely via web connections from anywhere in the world. While similar in function to cloud-based services, they have a couple of advantages, such as greater control, higher storage capacity and a cheaper long-term price point.

If you’re purchasing your first NAS appliance, our NAS buyer’s guide is an ideal primer – and here we have selected the best NAS device for every use-case, from home office devices, all the way up to rack-mounted offerings for those businesses with server rooms.

Let’s start at the budget end, because not everyone needs the mammoth storage capacity and advanced management features of business-grade NAS devices. If you're self-employed, have a micro business or need centralised storage for your home office, chances are one of the more consumer-friendly appliances will be perfectly sufficient for your needs.

WD My Cloud Mirror Gen 2

If you’re looking for seamless syncing features, quick performance and good value, WD’s second-generation My Cloud Mirror is hard to beat. To top it all off, it's also wrapped in an aesthetically pleasing package that won’t make your home or office look like a server farm.

Read our WD My Cloud Mirror Gen 2 review for more information.

  • Price: $499 (4TB)
  • Specs: 2 x hot-swappable drive bays; 1.3GHz dual-core Marvell Armada processor; 512MB RAM; RAID 0, 1 and JBOD options; 1 x Gigabit Ethernet, 2 x USB 3.0 ports.

Synology DS216+II

We were fans of its predecessor, the DS216+, and with the DS216+II, Synology has stuck with much the same specs and successful design – with the key difference being a minor processor upgrade to an Intel Celeron N3060. As such, the DS216+II is good performer for its sub-$500 price.

Its connectivity options are a bit light on, with one Gigabit Ethernet, one eSATA, one USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 ports – but Synology’s DiskStation Manager OS strikes a nice balance between powerful features and ease-of-use. It also offers an excellent app ecosystem, so it’s easy to add features.

If you’re looking to run a media server, automate backups, create your own email server or even build your own CRM solution, the DS216+II has you covered.

  • Price: $410 (without disks) or around $605 with 2 x Seagate 1TB IronWolf NAS drives
  • Specs: 2 x hot-swappable drive bays (3.5/2.5in SATA III/II HDD/SSD); 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Celeron N3060 processor; 1GB RAM; RAID 0, 1 and JBOD options; 1 x Gigabit Ethernet, 1 x USB 3.0, 2 x USB 2.0 and 1 x eSATA ports.

Qnap TS-451+

Many NAS appliances are suitable for novices, but Qnap’s TS-451+ is not one of them. You’ll need to have a bit of experience to properly set it up, though once you get it going, the TS-451+ rewards the tech-savvy with prodigious power and shedloads of apps and features.

Read our full Qnap TS-451+ review for more information.

  • Price: $765 (without disks) or around $1,160 with 4 x Seagate 1TB IronWolf NAS drives
  • Specs: 4 x hot-swappable drive bays (3.5/2.5in SATA III/II HDD/SSD), 2GHz quad-core Intel Celeron J1900 processor; 2GB RAM; 0, 1, 5, 6, 10 and JBOD RAID options; 2 x Gigabit Ethernet, 2 x USB 3.0 and 2 x USB 2.0 ports.

Next: Best higher-end desktop NAS appliances

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