If you plan on filling up your NAS with hard drives then we would definitely recommend looking at hard drives that have been specifically optimised to run inside of a network storage box.
Both Seagate and Western Digital make NAS hard drives in various capacities that range from 1TB through to 4TB's. Western Digital has also just released 2.5-inch hard drives which are designed for smaller NAS units.
So what benefits do you get in springing for a NAS optimised HDD over regular ones?
- NAS drives come equipped with specific firmware such as Seagate's NASWorks or WD's NASware that improves the reliability of the drive by incorporating features such as extended error recovery.
- Multi-drive NAS boxes have a higher vibration environment which can shorten the life of the hard drive. The firmware minimises the vibration effects and as a result, extends the life of the drive.
- Lower operating temperatures than regular HDD which means less wear on the drive and less electricity consumption for 24x7 running NAS boxes
- Covered by a longer warranty of three years with 24x7 dedicated phone support compared with regular HDD's which usually come with only 12 months
- Better performance - NAS optimised drives are designed to work together in a RAID environment and generally produce better read and write speeds than pairing regular 3.5-inch HDDs
- Better compatibility - both Seagate NAS drives and WD Red drives have been tested against number of today's NAS boxes
Seagate NAS drive or WD Red drives don't cost much more than regular drives either with a 1TB 3.5-inch variant costing about $20 more than a regular HDD.