Source: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central
NAS for Home
The best network attached storage (NAS) for home is one that lets you stream your media collection and back up all the devices on your network seamlessly. A NAS essentially lets you create your private Netflix or Spotify, and most models on this list let you access your media over the internet. If you're looking to build your own media server or need a NAS for backing up data, these are the best NAS enclosures for your home in 2020.
- Best Overall: Synology DiskStation DS220+
- Best Budget NAS: Synology DiskStation DS220j
- Best All-In-One NAS: WD 4TB My Cloud
- Best Entry-Level NAS: Synology DiskStation DS120j
- Best 4-Bay NAS: QNAP TS-451+
- Best NAS for Plex: Synology DiskStation DS920+
- Best For $200: Buffalo LinkStation 210 4TB
- Best NAS for Content Creators: Asustor AS5202T
1. Synology DiskStation DS220+: Best Overall
The DiskStation 220+ is a standout option that gives you everything you're looking for in a home NAS. The two drive bays can hold 16TB of storage each, meaning you can slot in a total of 32TB of storage. The upgraded Intel Celeron J4025 chipset handles everything you throw at it with ease, and there's 2GB of RAM installed as standard. You can add another 4GB if you need more memory.
The DS220+ has two Gigabit Ethernet ports at the back, and you can use Link Aggregation to bridge the ports and double the data transfer rates when sending or receiving files from the NAS. You get two USB 3.0 ports as well, and you can plug in a USB drive or an external drive and easily transfer its contents over to the NAS.
One of the best parts about the DS220+ is the software on offer. You can host your own email server, audio and media streaming services, and even your own VPN server on the NAS. A great use case for the NAS is 4K Plex streaming, and if you have a decent local library of media content at 4K resolution, the NAS does a fantastic job streaming the content to all devices on your home network. You can also easily back up all the devices on your home network.
- Ideal for 4K Plex streaming
- Up to 32TB of storage across two bays
- Two Gigabit Ethernet ports
- Versatile software with plenty of features
- Powerful internal hardware
- No M.2 caching
- No eSATA port
The best NAS for home in 2020
With upgraded internals, outstanding software features, and 4K video transcoding, the DS220+ is the perfect 2-bay NAS for your home.
2. Synology DiskStation DS220j: Best Budget NAS
If you like what the DiskStation DS220+ has to offer but don't want to spend that much money on a NAS, the DS220j is the ideal best cheap NAS. You get the ability to slot in up to 32TB of storage across two drive bays and two USB 3.0 ports, but there's a single Gigabit Ethernet port at the back and 512GB of RAM as standard.
But the single biggest reason for getting the DS220j is the software. You get a similar set of software features as the DS220+, making the DS220j a fantastic choice if you're in the market for a budget-focused NAS. Sure, you may not be able to transcode 4K videos, but if you just need to stream 4K content to all devices on your home network, there should be no issues whatsoever.
- Excellent value
- Same great software feature
- Gigabit Ethernet port
- Runs quiet
- Two bays with up to 32TB of storage
- Not particularly great with 4K transcodes
- Limited memory
Best Budget NAS
A great budget media server
The DS220j is a great choice if you need a budget media server that streams 4K content to your devices and backs up files seamlessly.
3. WD 4TB My Cloud: Best All-In-One NAS
Source: Western Digital
Unlike the DiskStation NAS models — where you'll need to buy a hard drive in addition to the enclosure — here you get a 4TB hard drive out of the box. WD's My Cloud series is targeted at first-time NAS buyers, and while the model doesn't have as many software features as Synology, it is easier to get started off with.
You still get the ability to stream locally-stored files across your home network, and the NAS has robust tools that let you back up data with ease. The best part is the fact that you can access the files stored on the NAS over the internet, just like with DiskStation models.
If you're looking to get a NAS for streaming your media collection and backing up data, the My Cloud is a great option. Sure, you may not get as many software features, but the overall value on offer here is outstanding.
- Outstanding value
- 4TB hard drive included
- Easy-to-use software features
- Gigabit Ethernet connectivity
- USB 3.0 port
- Not upgradeable
Best All-In-One NAS
A standout all-in-one choice
The WD My Cloud comes with a 4TB hard drive and makes it easier for first-time NAS buyers to acquaint themselves with the category.
4. Synology DiskStation DS120j: Best Entry-Level NAS
The DiskStation DS120j is the most affordable way to get into Synology's extensive NAS portfolio. The single-bay NAS holds up to 16TB, you get Gigabit Ethernet connectivity, a USB 2.0 port for plugging in a USB drive, and it runs quiet.
The main reason you're buying this NAS is for the software. You get the same great options to stream locally-stored audio and video files across all devices on your home network — and over the internet — and that makes the DS120j a particularly great choice if you're buying a NAS for the first time.
Sure, the hardware on offer isn't groundbreaking, but the NAS delivers great value, and you get most of the standout features that make Synology the go-to brand in this segment. As for a hard drive to pair with the DS120j, I recommend the 4TB IronWolf.
- Great value for your money
- Can accommodate up to 16TB of storage
- Gigabit Ethernet connectivity
- Great software features
- Runs quiet
- Limited to USB 2.0
- Single drive doesn't allow for data protection
Best Entry-Level NAS
Lowering the battery to entry
The DS120j is a stellar option if you're looking to get started with a NAS. For what you're paying here, this is an absolute steal.
5. QNAP TS-451+: Best 4-Bay NAS
Looking for a 4-bay NAS? The QNAP TS-451+ is a decent choice that gives you a lot of features for not a whole lot of money. The 4-bay NAS comes with an HDMI port, giving you the ability to connect it to a TV directly. It is also one of the few NAS enclosures I've come across that has a remote.
The TS-451+ is powered by an Intel Celeron J1900 chipset, and you get 2GB of RAM out of the box. The NAS is a fantastic choice for Plex streaming, and you get a huge list of software features, including media streaming and backing up data, and the ability to run virtual machines on the NAS. You also get four USB 3.0 ports in total and two Gigabit Ethernet ports.
Overall, the TS-451+ has a lot to offer if you're in the market for a 4-bay NAS.
- HDMI port lets you connect to a TV
- Great for Plex streaming
- Excellent software features
- Four USB 3.0 ports
- Amazing value
- Limited RAM out of the box
- Software not as polished as rivals
Best 4-Bay NAS
The ideal 4-bay NAS for home
With an HDMI port and powerful hardware with Plex transcoding, the TS-451+ is a stellar choice if you want a 4-bay NAS enclosure.
6. Synology DiskStation DS920+: Best NAS for Plex
If you want a robust 4-bay NAS that's designed for Plex, the DiskStation DS920+ should be your go-to option. The NAS is powered by an Intel Celeron J4125 chipset, and comes with 4GB of RAM as standard — you get the option of adding another 4GB of memory.
You can add up to 64TB of storage via the four drive bays, and the DS920+ excels at 4K transcoding. It will stream 4K content to all devices on your home network without breaking a sweat, and it has an exhaustive list of software features that include running Docker containers, your own email or VPN server, iTunes server, and so much more. There are M.2 slots for SSD caching as well, and the DS920+ has two Gigabit Ethernet ports as well as two USB 3.0 ports.
If you're not content with just 64TB of storage, you can hook up a DX517 expansion unit, giving you the ability to add up to 80TB of extra storage to the NAS. If you don't want to fill up the NAS just yet, the ideal drive option for the DS920+ is the 8TB IronWolf.
- Powerful Plex 4K media server
- Robust internal hardware
- Outstanding software features
- Up to 64TB of storage
- M.2 SSD caching
- No 10GbE (10 Gigabit Ethernet) ports
Best NAS for Plex
The ideal media server
With 4K video transcoding and four drive bays and 64TB of storage, the DS920+ has everything you're looking for in a media server.
Buffalo's LinkStation 210 is a very interesting option as it comes with a 4TB hard drive included in the box. The bundled package makes the NAS a more attractive option for first-time buyers, and the value on offer here is fantastic.
The LinkStation 210 misses out on some of the more robust features that you see on DiskStation models, but it has the basics covered. You get the ability to automatically back up data from all the devices on your network. use the NAS as your own media server, and it also lets you access your files over the internet.
You get Gigabit Ethernet connectivity along with a USB 2.0 port for transferring data from a USB drive or external hard disk with ease. If you want a hassle-free NAS that comes with a hard drive out of the box, the LinkStation 210 is a great choice.
- Comes with a 4TB hard drive out of the box
- Gigabit Ethernet connectivity
- Great value
- Offers a decent set of software features
- USB 2.0 port
- Limited upgrade options
Best For $200
Standout value in this segment
If you want an easy-to-use NAS that comes with a hard drive out of the box, the LinkStation 210 should be at the top of your list.
8. Asustor AS5202T: Best NAS for Content Creators
Asustor's AS5202T could just be one of the best options if you're looking for next-gen connectivity. The NAS comes with two 2.5Gbps ports, and you also get an HDMI port, giving you the ability to plug the NAS into your TV.
The two-bay model lets you slot in up to 32TB of storage, it is powered by the Celeron J4005 chipset and has 2GB of RAM installed out of the box. The hardware offer makes the NAS a great option for a 4K media server running Plex, and it also has a robust set of software features that let you back up data, run Docker containers, and so much more.
The connectivity makes the NAS an ideal option for content creators looking to offload video projects to an external storage device. Asustor aalso touts the AS5202T as a streaming-oriented NAS, and you get a decent set of features that let you stream directly to Twitch or YouTube.
- Comes with a HDMI port
- Two 2.5Gbps ports deliver next-gen connectivity
- Great for 4K Plex streaming
- Decent set of software features
- USB 3.0 port
- Gets pretty loud
Best NAS for Content Creators
The ideal NAS for gamers
With dual 2.5Gbps ports and an HDMI 2.0 port, this is the NAS to buy if you're looking for an enclosure with next-gen connectivity.
What's the best NAS for your home in 2020?
If you're looking for the best NAS to pick up for home use in 2020, the DiskStation DS220+ is the best overall pick. The upgraded hardware makes it an ideal option for 4K Plex streaming, and with DiskStation Manager, you get the most polished software interface of any brand in this segment.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
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