A network-attached storage (NAS) enclosure is a small server that allows you to do some incredible things at home and in the office. Whether you plan on creating and running a media server using Plex Media Server or manage a file storage solution, a NAS enclosure is precisely what you require. The thing is it's easy to buy the wrong NAS.
There are so many models to choose from, and multiple vendors offer similar enclosures at varying price points. This does mean you can score some deals on new enclosures, especially as we move towards the end of the year. We're here to help you make the right decision and save some money in the process.
The DiskStation DS220+ has it all for home use. You've got two drive bays, an Intel Celeron processor, 2GB DDR4 RAM (upgradable), and two 1Gb ports. It's perfect for your first NAS at home or in a small office.
Choosing the best NAS involves a few factors, namely price, processor, and the number of drive bays. The better the processor, the more drive bays available, and advanced features like 10Gb networking can inflate prices quickly. Whatever you happen to be looking for in a NAS, we've rounded up some of the best enclosures available on offer right now.
Today's Best NAS Deals
- Asustor AS1002T v2 — $150 (Was $200)
- Synology DiskStation DS220j — $170 (Was $180)
- Synology DiskStation DS920+ — $440 (Was $560)
- BUFFALO LinkStation SoHo 2-Bay — $258 (Was $278)
Best NAS deals for Home
The best NAS for Home starts off as the most affordable NAS you can buy. The more budget-friendly enclosures aren't anything special but do allow you to configure everything to your liking and have a NAS up and running. More pricey NAS options here come rocking faster processors, more RAM, and drive bays.
The Synology DiskStation DS220j is a cracking little enclosure. It's not the most capable, rocking an ARM processor, but it does come with two bays and is perfect for file storage and backups.
ASUSTOR's AS1002T isn't a very powerful NAS, hence the price, but it does allow you to set up a file storage server and save money on your new NAS, as well as canceling any cloud storage subscriptions you may have.
Synology's DiskStation DS220+ is our favorite NAS for the home for one good reason: it offers tremendous value. Even at full price, this enclosure is well worth the money, sporting an Intel processor, support for so many third-party apps, as well as an excellent OS.
Best NAS deals for Plex
Choosing the best NAS for Plex is a little more tricky since the processor becomes a vastly more important, if not the most important, deciding factor. If you plan on storing and streaming 4K content, you'll need to make sure your recipient devices (TV, consoles, PCs, etc.) support the same format your media is saved in. If not, the NAS will need to transcode it, which requires considerable performance. These NAS will be able to handle 4K transcoding.
Getting the Best NAS Deal for you
Scoring the best deal is one thing, but getting the right deal for you is incredibly important. We want you to spend your money wisely. There's no point buying a NAS that won't be able to do what you need it to, just because it's the enclosure with the steepest price drop. This is why we recommend NAS enclosures based on specs and then price.
It's important to decide what you want to use the NAS enclosure for. Once you've got that sorted, price is then a factor to consider, allowing you to stick to a limit. If you're not comfortable paying out for a more expensive NAS at full price, there's no reason why you should pay a similar amount for one that's discounted.
NAS enclosures are usually priced well, depending on the processor, drive bays, and other specifications. But when we're enjoying big events like Black Friday or Amazon Prime Day, retailers will use all kinds of tactics to make you think a deal is better than it is. Be wary of prices that are inflated to appear like deals. We use tools like CamelCamelCamel that help us spot great deals, and you should use it too.
Best Prime Day NAS Hard Drives Deals
You could install some old desktop-class hard drives inside a NAS enclosure and call it a day, but that wouldn't work well. Hard drives used in desktop PCs simply aren't designed to run continuously and be hammered by countless users. It could work, but you'll likely run into reliability issues.
Hard drives designed specifically for NAS come rocking some advanced features, which is reflected in the price. These drives come rocking advanced features like vibration protection and better components that can withstand lots of data being read and written. Since it's Prime Day, you can find some of these drives on sale right now, like the massive 6TB Seagate IronWolf for $156. There are yet more advanced NAS drives, like the Western Digital Red Pro series, which cost more but come with faster motors and additional features.
The Western Digital Red Pro series comes rocking 7200RPM motors for faster data transfer speeds and is available in capacities ranging from 2TB to 14TB with support for up to 24 bays.
Toshiba's NAS drive range is pricey, but well worth the investment. These drives are built with NAS in mind and are perfect for 24/7 operation. They have a reliability rating of 180TB per year and sport 7200RPM motors. If you want among the best drives, this is one of them.
Seagate IronWolf is one of our favorite range of NAS drives, rocking slightly slower 5600RPM motors, but comes with 256MB of cache and is rated to run continuously. They're also pretty affordable with this 6TB capacity drive coming in at $156.
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