Best Network Storage Devices - Top Network Attached Storage

Best Network Storage Devices - Top Network Attached Storage

Last updated: 21 October, 2021

Models Considered 10 Models Considered
Hours of Research 150 Hours of Research
Experts Interviewed 20 Experts Interviewed
Reviews Analyzed 180 Reviews Analyzed
Before we start looking at the best network storage device on the market today, we need to explain exactly what a NAS is.

A network attached storage device is an external hard drive that connects to your network, rather than your PC.

A network attached storage device is a compact, always-on device used to back up computers and files on your local network.

A NAS is usually made up of at least one, but more often than not two hard drive bays that consume much less power than you might think.

Unlike a standard USB flash drive or external hard drive, a NAS can provide data redundancy for that extra peace of mind, automatically copying the contents of your drive to the other.

By connecting to the network rather than just a single device, you can access your NAS and everything stored on it from any device.

Some of the best devices on the market will allow you to remotely access your files so you can open them from all corners of the globe if needed.

Now that you know what a NAS is for, do you really need it?

A NAS is a particularly handy technology that you should use if you:

Of course, these devices aren't exactly cheap, so it's important that you consider these points and our full review before you drop a few hundred bucks.

The best NAS devices on the market today will also be agnostic, meaning you can access them from any device, regardless of your operating system.

We understand that all of these technical discussions can get a little confusing, which is why in this article we are going to break.

Everything down by taking a look at the main features of the best devices right now so you can pick the perfect choice. for your home or office.

Best Overall
Western Digital 8TB My Cloud EX2 - Network Attached Storage Device

Centralized storage allowing you to access from anywhere in the world, Upgrade for high performance

Read Our Review
10
TechscoreTM
?
Best Style
Synology DiskStation DS218 + Network Attached Storage Device

Your own personal media server, Ball safeguard for optimal protection, 24/7 intelligent security solution

Read Our Review
9.9
TechscoreTM
?
Maximum Connection
Synology 3-bay NAS DiskStation DS418 DiskStation DS418 Network Storage Device

Bulletproof backup, Simple file sharing and synchronization, 24/7 intelligent security solution

Read Our Review
9.8
TechscoreTM
?
Quad Core Processor
Netgear ReadyNAS RN214 RN214 4 Bay Diskless Personal Cloud

Quickly access your data with link aggregation, 5 levels of data protection, VPN based cloud

Read Our Review
9.7
TechscoreTM
?
Drives Included
Buffalo TeraStation 1200D Desktop 4TB Desktop NAS

Cost-effective storage solution, Multi-user access from anywhere in the world

Read Our Review
9.6
TechscoreTM
?
Backup Software Included
Buffalo TeraStation 3010 Series

NAS grade pre-tested hard drives, 3 year warranty, 24 hour online support

Read Our Review
9.5
TechscoreTM
?
Best Compatible
Promise Apollo Cloud 2 Duo Apollo 2 Duo 4 TB Personal Cloud Storage Device

Sleek and elegant design, The mirrored cloud of Apollo, Support up to 40 members

Read Our Review
9.4
TechscoreTM
?

1. Western Digital 8TB My Cloud EX2 - Network Attached Storage Device - Best Overall

Features
  • Dimensions: ‎6.1 x 3.9 x 6.75 inches
  • Weight: ‎5 pounds
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This 1.3 GHz dual-core processor provides users with high performance and lightning-fast transfer speeds. 

The simple management system gives you 16TB of centralized storage for your entire network, giving you peace of mind knowing that everything is stored in one secure place. 

With a My Cloud EX2, you'll be able to automatically sync content from your devices, share files and folders, and use multiple backup options to easily create your own personalized system. 

Also, be sure to check out our guide to the best gaming routers.

2. Synology DiskStation DS218 + Network Attached Storage Device - Best Style

Features
  • Dimensions: ‎9.14 x 4.25 x 6.5 inches
  • Weight: ‎2.87 pounds
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Synology DiskStation DS218 + dual-core processor with AES-NI encryption acceleration and transcoding engine provide.

Users with high-speed file transports and real-time 4K transcoding with just one click of a button. 

The high-speed sand storage server features a powerful dual-core processor, making it the perfect option for home or small businesses.

Looking for a compact and reliable shared storage solution that promises protection for customers critical resources and file sharing across a number of different platforms. 

Our guide to the best external hard drives has more great products like this.

3. Synology 3-bay NAS DiskStation DS418 DiskStation DS418 Network Storage Device - Maximum Connection

Features
  • Dimensions: ‎8.78 x 7.83 x 6.54 inches
  • Weight: ‎5.03 pounds
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Synology DS418 is your own private cloud, making it easy for you to maintain full control over your data. 

With massive storage capacity, work productivity tools with enhanced collaboration features, and robust backup solutions, this device is a solid option. 

The Sinology DiskStation allows users to access files over the Internet without the complicated network settings so you can have your files handy anywhere, anytime. 

If that's not enough, you can also download a mobile app so you can enjoy your media library even when you're on the go. 

It's a big tick from us! Be sure to also check out our list of the best USB drives.

4. Netgear ReadyNAS RN214 RN214 4 Bay Diskless Personal Cloud - Quad Core Processor

Features
  • Dimensions: ‎5.2 x 8 x 8.7 inches
  • Weight: ‎8.84 pounds
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Introducing the Netgear Ready NAS that delivers breakthrough performance and easy-to-use technology to make secure storage a breeze. 

The 1.4 GHz quad-core processor offers a choice of powerful platforms for a range of media servers, including iTunes and Plex.

So you can enjoy HD media streaming to multiple devices at once. In addition.

This device offers real-time 1080p transmission and transcoding to a remote device. 

If that's not enough, you get all of these key features while enjoying near-zero performance loss when running anti-virus.

So you can use 5 levels of 24-hour data protection of 24. Our handy guide to the best microSD cards features.

5. Buffalo TeraStation 1200D Desktop 4TB Desktop NAS - Drives Included

Features
  • Dimensions: ‎8.07 x 3.43 x 5.02 inches
  • Weight: ‎5.29 pounds
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The Buffalo TeraStation 1200 offers a compact, cost-effective network storage solution ideal for small businesses and home offices. 

With this device, you have access to the NovaBACKUP business essentials pack including 10 free licenses for servers and support for time machines. 

Make the most of real-time synchronous replication of your data from one NAS to another for easy, continuous data protection in no time. 

With a simple setup, free cloud access, and easy-to-use features, this is a solid option to consider. 

Do you like this product? Take a look at our review of the best USB hubs for our top picks.

6. Buffalo TeraStation 3010 Series - Backup Software Included

Features
  • Dimensions: ‎6.7 x 6.7 x 9.1 inches
  • Weight: ‎9.7 pounds
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The Buffalo TeraStation TS3010 series is designed to provide small and medium-sized businesses with premium data protection.

At affordable prices so that no one has to compromise when it comes to protecting valuable files. 

This device offers a comprehensive approach to data backup and protection combining reliable 24/7 operation.

Easy-to-use functions are accessible from anywhere and anytime, allowing users to take data seriously when it really matters. 

Data protection couldn't be simpler. Find more great products like this by checking out our guide to the best USB C cables.

7. Promise Apollo Cloud 2 Duo Apollo 2 Duo 4 TB Personal Cloud Storage Device - Best Compatible

Features
  • Dimensions: ‎5.4 x 4.8 x 8.4 inches
  • Weight: ‎5.1 pounds
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The Promise Apollo Cloud is a reimagined personal storage and sharing cloud. 

This personal device allows users to access all of their protected content from anywhere in the world with just a few mouse clicks using the convenient Apollo Cloud app.

This simple yet super secure software lets you take control of your content.

Share it privately and publicly, and create albums based on facial recognition and location, storing has never been easier. !

Be sure to also check out our guide to the best smart plugs.

Buying Guide

If one of our top picks isn't quite right for you, or you'd rather do a little more research yourself, we've laid out the top features you should look for and consider when it comes to purchasing your network storage device.

How we chose our selection of network storage devices

When it comes to choosing the best network attached storage devices currently available, we have considered a number of features that go beyond the technical capabilities of these practical data protection devices. 

Of course, as with any technology, performance is everything. But we've also factored in price, brand, reviews, ease of setup and use, and storage capacity to come up with our list of the top picks on the market right now.

Most of the NAS devices featured in our review come with hard drives already installed, making it easy to get them up and running and using them. 

Of course, with a built-in hard drive you have to consider how much storage space you will need, because in an ideal world, once you invest in a NAS, you won't buy it for a long time! 

If a built-in hard drive isn't the way you want to go, you can find options without it, giving you a bit more flexibility when it comes to storage space and speed, it can often get you. save a few extra euros too!

So, once we narrowed down our search based on overall performance, brand, price, and storage capacity, as always, we took a look at the reviews. 

As you know, reviews are important for us to create an unbiased guide so that our readers can get the best product for their money. 

You can rest assured that we have explored all the possibilities when it comes to the best network-attached storage device currently available so that you can save time and money!

Features to look for in network storage device

Drives - The number of drives on a NAS device can range from one to 16.

Essentially, the larger your storage needs, the more storage bays you will need in a NAS. For home use, two to five is usually sufficient.

A two-bay NAS is a more affordable option and can be upgraded later by replacing the drives with more powerful ones. 

For example, your original hard drives might be 2TB but you can swap them out for 4TB.

If you have a more flexible budget, we recommend going for a four or five-bay NAS, which should ensure sufficient capacity.

Connectivity - If you are already using cloud data storage, you can opt for a NAS device with cloud service connectivity, for the best of both worlds. 

This will give you access to your files in services like Google Drive, DropBox, and OneBox even if you don't have internet access.

Modes - One of the storage configuration modes supported by NAS devices is JBOD (short for 'just a bunch of disks').

Which works by combining multiple physical disks into a single logical drive and data is written sequentially to each other, without data redundancy.

Alternatively, there is RAID, short for Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks, levels. 

Different RAID levels affect performance and the number of drives that can fail without losing data. 

RAID5 or higher is the standard for three or more disks, which are sophisticated but also expensive. 

RAID1 is standard for two drives, which works in mirroring and uses more space but is cheaper.

Storage - Before you decide on the number of disk arrays and the storage configurations you need, you should determine your storage needs. 

Try to calculate your average consumption and the speed at which you would fill up the disk space. 

If you're a videographer, for example, and regularly record high-definition video over your network, you'll need more storage capacity to accomplish this.

Data backup and redundancy measures - One of the most important features to look for in a NAS device is data backup and redundancy measures. 

You want to make sure that your files are well protected. As we mentioned above, research the RAID levels and decide if you want a mirrored setup or something more complex that doesn't compromise storage usage.

Another tip is to choose a NAS device that also allows you to back up data to an external hard drive, for maximum possible protection. 

Although it is not real-time protection like RAID, backing up to external drives will protect your files in the event of theft.

Device failure or any other similar threat resulting in complete loss of data.

Media streaming capabilities - A NAS device is a great choice for storing and streaming your media, such as music, videos, and photos. 

It's faster than backing up to cloud storage, but even better, you can choose a template that will sync with templates like DropBox to add even more protection to your media collection.

If media streaming is an important feature for you, be sure to choose a NAS that has fast data transmission, as this is what determines streaming performance.

Types of NAS devices

Now we know that there are a lot of features to consider when it comes to a NAS, and it can get a bit overwhelming, but it's also worth being aware that there are in made two different types of devices to choose from.

Pre-filled - For new buyers, a pre-filled NAS device is a safe bet. They often turn out to be cheaper because you get the discs without the increased retail price that comes with purchasing them separately. 

More importantly, they are hassle free compared to NAS devices without hard drive.

The downside is that if a drive needs replacing, it will likely have to return to the manufacturer for two main reasons. 

First, they are difficult to open at home, and second, a pre-populated NAS cannot initialize a replacement drive on its own anyway. 

If this is covered by your warranty, it may not be too big a problem for you.

Diskless - You should only buy a diskless NAS device if you are fully prepared to source hard drives, assemble and prepare RAID configurations yourself. 

The advantage is that defective parts are easier to replace, and diskless devices tend to have higher quality features. 

So if you already have very good knowledge of NAS and want a high performance device, the investment might be worth it.

While there is a lot to think about while finding the best network storage device for you, you'll be happy to know that once you've made your purchase, these handy devices are actually relatively easy to use! 

If you are looking for a durable and ultra-secure storage device, it is worth investing the money in one of the options presented in our review. 

With features like additional security systems, media streaming capabilities, and access from around the world, secure file sharing and storage has never been easier! 

Whether it's for your home or office, we believe a NAS is a solid investment when it comes to protecting your data and having the

FAQ

Can I use an SSD drives in a NAS?

Although it's common to use a traditional hard drive inside a NAS box, you can use SSDs (solid state drive) in some. You might even be able to use a PCIe NVMe SSD as a cache to improve performance.

What are you using it for?

If either of the above scenarios resonates with you a NAS device may be worth considering. If you find yourself in a situation where multiple devices in your home need to access the same tools or files, a NAS device can do that. So it’s not just about storing things but accessing them too.

THE TEAM THAT WORKED ON THIS REVIEW

ADRIANA

ADRIANA

(Writer)

AMANDA

AMANDA

(EXPERT CONSULTANT)

DIANA

DIANA

(SENIOR EDITOR)

ELYSE

ELYSE

(Writer)

JENNIFER

JENNIFER

(PHOTOGRAPHER)

JOSEPH

JOSEPH

(CONTENT MANAGER)

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