Synology DS218+Source: Windows Central

Best NAS for Home Surveillance Windows Central 2020

Setting up your own surveillance system is a great way to protect your home or office. All you need is a NAS enclosure, some hard drives, and IP cameras. Choosing the best NAS for home surveillance is actually pretty straight forward. The more you spend, the more cameras it'll be able to handle for live viewing and more. I've rounded up some recommended picks right here to get you started on the right track.

Best Overall: Synology DiskStation DS220+

Synology DiskStation DS220+Source: Rich Edmonds / Windows Central

There's a NAS that can do it all and it's the Synology DiskStation DS220+. If you're looking to set up your first few cameras at home, the DS220 is a great NAS to start with. It has support for up to 25 connected cameras, so you know you have room for expansion at a later date, and it can even have its 2GB of DDR4 RAM upgraded.

What makes this NAS so versatile is the Intel Celeron J4025 CPU, making it suitable for even the busiest of homes with numerous simultaneous connections. Want to enjoy some movies through Plex? You could even do that here. But for home surveillance, Synology boasts excellent performance with the DS220+.

Pros:

  • Can support up to 25 cameras
  • Includes two free camera licenses
  • Supports a wide range of cameras
  • Intel Celeron processor
  • Upgradable DDR4 RAM

Cons:

  • Additional camera licenses sold separately
  • No M.2 slots
  • Limited capacity with RAID
  • No HDMI output

Best Overall

Synology DiskStation DS220+

The best all-round NAS

The DiskStation DS220+ has great performance for the price and has enough expandability to keep it current.

Runner-up: ASUSTOR AS3102T v2

ASUSTOR AS3102T v2Source: ASUSTOR

The ASUSTOR AS3102T v2 is one of the company's more affordable home NAS enclosures, but the company still managed to pack it full of capable internal components that make it a compelling choice for home surveillance. Firstly, we have an Intel Celeron processor, which is more than enough for up to 25 cameras.

Secondly, there are two drive bays for RAID configurations (with the potential for further bays with expansion units), and even an HDMI output for a connected display. This makes the AS3102T v2 ideal for surveillance and as a workstation for quickly viewing feeds. The best part is ASUSTOR manages to one up Synology by including an additional two free camera licenses. You can use up to four cameras with this NAS enclosures before needing to buy more licenses.

There's plenty of support here for all the popular camera brands and you'll have no issue setting them up with the ASUSTOR ADM OS. The only drawback with the AS3102T v2 is the DDR3 RAM, which is also non-upgradable. Having the two hard drive bays mirror saved footage also restricts overall capacity.

Pros:

  • Can support up to 25 cameras
  • Includes four free camera licenses
  • Supports a wide range of cameras
  • Intel Celeron processor
  • HDMI output

Cons:

  • Additional camera licenses sold separately
  • 2GB DDR3L RAM non-upgradable
  • Limited capacity with RAID

Runner-up

ASUSTOR AS3102T v2

A little more affordable

Just because ASUSTOR's AS3102T v2 is slightly cheaper than our top pick doesn't mean it's not quite as good.

Best Budget: Synology DiskStation DS120j

Synology DS220jSource: Rich Edmonds / Windows Central

In order to make the DS120j as affordable as possible, Synology had to cut corners with what it could install inside the white chassis. This means there's no Intel processor, but you do get a Marvell Armada 3700 88F3720 CPU, which is more than adequate for file storage and using a few security cameras.

So long as you don't need to do anything demanding with your NAS, the DiskStation DS120j will be more than happy to power through. It only has 512MB of DDR3L RAM and a single drive bay, but you do get a server enclosure that can be connected online and provide a single location for storing recorded footage.

Unfortunately, it's not possible to connect an expansion unit to the DS120j, which would cement this NAS as the best option for your very first NAS for the home. Still, if you're on a tighter budget, it's a solid NAS enclosure for getting started.

Pros:

  • Can support up to 5 cameras
  • Includes two free camera licenses
  • Supports a wide range of cameras
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Additional camera licenses sold separately
  • 512MB DDR4 RAM non-upgradable
  • Limited capacity with RAID
  • No HDMI output

Best Budget

Synology DiskStation DS120j

Most affordable surveillance NAS

While it may be a less powerful NAS, the DS120j can handle up to 12 security cameras and still comes with two free licenses.

Best Value: QNAP TS-251D

QNAP TS-251DSource: QNAP

QNAP's TS-251D is the company's NAS for those seeking excellent value. Youll get an Intel Celeron J4005 processor, 2GB of RAM that can be bumped to 8GB, and two drive bays. Everything is cooled with a single 70mm fan, but you could easily do some more advanced tasks on this enclosure.

The NAS supports up to 32TB of local capacity. It's suitable for home file storage, a means to back up all your devices, and home surveillance. Even the base configuration with just 2GB of RAM will be more than enough for what you would likely use this NAS for.

There are a few drawbacks to this NAS enclosure, which include the single 1Gb LAN port, no M.2 slots, and no 2.5Gb ports. These aren't deal-killers unless you have a 2.5Gb network and need the additional speed, but worth bearing in mind. For home surveillance, however, it's a great value NAS.

Pros:

  • Can support up to 12 cameras
  • Includes eight free camera licenses
  • Supports a wide range of cameras
  • Great value
  • Upgradable 2GB DDR4 RAM

Cons:

  • Additional camera licenses sold separately
  • Limited capacity with RAID

Best Value

QNAP TS-251D

Great value gaming

The QNAP TS-251 has plenty going for it, allowing you to secure the entire home for much less.

Best Capacity: QNAP TVS-672N

QNAP TVS-672NSource: QNAP

The QNAP TVS-672-i3 is one of the best best NAS for Plex, but it's also great at home surveillance. First off, it houses a capable processor, the Intel Core i3-8100T. This is more powerful than any other processor in this collection, making the TVS-672 one of the best options for homes with numerous security cameras.

Having better integrated graphics, it's possible to use this NAS as a security workstation for viewing direct camera live feeds. With the included HDMI and USB ports, you don't even need an additional PC to do so. The 4GB of DDR4 RAM is more than enough for adding a few cameras and drives, but if you want to use Plex and other services simultaneously, you can upgrade it to up to 32GB.

And because this is a QNAP NAS, you get eight licenses for free before having to purchase additional licenses for more cameras.

Pros:

  • Can support up to 24 cameras
  • Includes eight free camera licenses
  • Supports a wide range of cameras
  • Powerful Core i3 CPU
  • Upgradable 4GB DDR4 RAM

Cons:

  • Additional camera licenses sold separately
  • Pricey

Best Capacity

QNAP TVS-672N

For a little more storage

The TVS-672N from QNAP is incredibly powerful, letting you use this NAS for other functions as well as surveillance.

Choosing the best NAS for surveillance

The best NAS enclosure for home surveillance and setting up some cameras to protect your property is the Synology DiskStation DS220+. It has mostly everything you need to get the job done, including two drive bays, an Intel processor, somewhat affordable price tag, and a fantastic OS to boot. It even comes with two camera licenses for free, allowing you to install your favorite two cameras and get started immediately.

If the DS220+ isn't quite what you're after, there's always the ASUSTOR AS3102T v2, which is similar in many ways. Then you have other NAS enclosures like the QNAP TS-251D, which offer immense value at a slightly lower price.

What about all other NAS enclosures?

There are plenty of NAS enclosures to pick from. It's much easier to make a good choice than buying a NAS for Plex use. We weren't able to include all our favorite surveillance NAS enclosures in this round-up, but so long as the enclosure you buy supports IP cameras and has enough performance to handle more than a single stream, you're good to go.

It's possible to choose a NAS enclosure that doesn't come from QNAP or Synology too. We've simply picked these brands since they offer the best support for IP cameras.

What makes a good NAS enclosure for surveillance?

Most modern NAS enclosures will have some support for IP cameras, especially if you're going with a brand like Synology or QNAP. Really, it comes down to how many cameras you plan on using, how long you need to store saved footage, and if you plan on doing anything else with the NAS aside from recording.

The processor isn't massively important here since viewing camera feeds and playback recorded footage isn't as demanding as media transcoding. You could pick up the most affordable Synology or QNAP NAS enclosure today and call it a day with support for up to two or so cameras. That's likely perfect for most households that only require coverage for the front and rear of the property.

Hard drives are important since they'll be storing all your footage. It's best to go with NAS drives that are specifically designed for this use. We rounded up some of the best hard drives for NAS that should work just fine with cameras, but if you really want to enjoy maximum performance, there are specific surveillance drives available.

The network connection, on the other hand, isn't too important. Even a single Gigabit port will work just fine with a handful of cameras. RAM is just the same — the more the better but only upgrade if you find system performance a little sluggish. Synology even has a website tool to help you pick the best NAS enclosure for your surveillance needs. Same goes for ASUSTOR and QNAP.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Rich Edmonds is a staff reviewer at Windows Central, which means he tests out more software and hardware than he cares to remember. Joining Mobile Nations in 2010, you can usually find him inside a PC case tinkering around when not at a screen fighting with Grammarly to use British words. Hit him up on Twitter: @RichEdmonds.

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