The 7 Best Network-Attached Storage Systems
This wiki has been updated 20 times since it was first published in February of 2018. Whether you're moving stacks of photos off your phone or backing up half the internet, having a few terabytes of extra space will help. Any network storage device can hold a handful of personal files, but with one of these NAS systems attached to your setup, you can do a whole lot more — from direct-streaming movies in 4K to safeguarding even the largest video and music collections. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
January 08, 2021:
A good NAS system can be a blessing for a home entertainment system or even a a necessity for a business. The Synology DiskStation DS220+ and QNAP TS-251D are both compact and reasonably priced, and the DiskStation DS220j just a little more costly. Any of these would be good choices if all you need is common backup functions and video streaming; in fact, they can all transcode 4K difficulty relatively easily. The TerraMaster F2-422, on the other hand, packs enough power to decode two 4K videos at once, so its 4- or 5-bay would be suitable for a multi-room media setup.
Also keep in mind that all of these are limited to wired connectivity. If you want to add wireless access to any of these models that have PCIe expansion slots, we recommend this QNAP PCIe Wi-Fi expansion card.
October 27, 2019:
There are quite a few reasons why you might need self-contained network storage, for either business or personal use. You can find some configured specifically for installation in a professional server room and others that are proven to work well for common home theater streaming endeavors. There are a few brands that are commonly found near the top of all these categories; for example, the Synology DS1019+ and Synology 2-Bay DS281+ are excellent mid-range options, while the Synology FlashStation is worth considering if you need a seriously high-performing unit in your startup company. The Netgear ReadyNAS and QNAP TS-251B are two more that come up quite frequently -- in fact, almost anything by QNAP is worth looking at, and they offer a wide range of varying NAS systems.
There are also some slightly more specialty-oriented options like the Asustor NAS, which is aimed specifically at multimedia such as movies and music, and the Asustor AS5202T, which claims to be one of the best around for centralized video game streaming. And if reliability is what you're after, check out the Drobo 5N2, which incorporates a number of failsafes to ensure that your data is protected and the unit itself stays on, or turns back on right away, in the event of a brown- or blackout.