Best NAS for home users and small offices

NAS is one of the most exciting technologies in the storage industry. It enables the benefits of typical external devices to be expanded through the connectivity of cloud services and access to data from a local network or from anywhere in the world via the Internet.

The amount of data to be stored on a personal and professional level continues to explode and is reflected in the growth of cloud storage services. However, some users and companies do not want to transfer all control over their data to an external company and they prefer this for reasons of data protection, security or costs Centralize your content in one place and keep it under your control like a private cloud.

This is where NAS comes in (Network attached storage), a storage and connectivity technology that uses network protocols (generally TCP / IP) to offer the advantages of both worlds and full access to data locally or online and above all any type of device regardless of the operating system used.

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NAS used

The versatility of these devices is evident in applications that can go beyond their main purpose Add storage capacity in addition to the internal teams such as

  • Move data and files.
  • Create, save and maintain automatic backups.
  • Collaborate on document editing similar to Google Docs or Office 365 cloud services.
  • Multimedia media server for transferring content to other connected computers or televisions.
  • P2P client can be used without having to turn on the computer.
  • Video recordings from IP surveillance cameras.
  • In general, you can deploy a private cloud to remotely connect from anywhere over the Internet or local network.

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To consider when choosing NAS

A peculiarity of this type of devices is that they work autonomously from the PCs or mobile devices through which they can be connected. They have theirs for that own internal hardware, connection ports, operating system and applications.

In terms of capacity, the industry offers everything from simple consumer models with one or two storage units to large data center racks that can be used by hundreds of them. They also differ in whether they contain storage units or not. Some consumer models are fully equipped, while others (most) Delivery with empty bays for the user to set up their own.

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In fact, you can use both hard drives that you have at home or in the office without using them, that you have removed from other devices, or you can purchase new special models in NAS that are optimized for lower consumption and a longer service life than in NAS Usually, they are carried out around the clock.

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As for internal hardware and just like a PC, varies enormously And it ranges from a base with a simple ARM processor for a simple home NAS to a 48-core Xeon for one of the powerful existing models for data centers.

With regard to connectivity, an important recommendation to keep in mind is that it comes with one Gigabit Ethernet connection (or a larger number of them like the more advanced models offer) and no lower connection (10/100) as this is noticeable in performance as we're talking about connectivity and network devices.

The rest of the connecting ports like USB are optionalAlthough always interesting, since you can expand the storage capacity of the same NAS with an external drive. There are other models with a microSD card slot and others offer empty modules to expand the device's memory or an M.2 port to install an SSD as a cache to speed up performance.

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NAS installation

Start a consumer or small office NAS It's easy As you may have seen in some of the analyzes we offer, such as B. the WD My Cloud Pro PR4100, the storage units to be used must be installed, connected to the local network and configured with the operating system. It contains.

For these systems the use of Hard drives instead of SSD for its larger capacity and better price per GB. The performance advantages of SSDs are not as significant here as with a personal computer if you work over the local network. If you have a free hard drive at home, a NAS is where you use it best.

It is not required that the hard drives are of the same brand, and it is not mandatory (yes recommended) that they are the same size. Depending on the RAID level used, however, you can only use the capacity of the smallest hard drives.

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Once the hard drives are mounted through their Ethernet port and connected to the local network, it's time to configure the NAS. Specialized manufacturers like Synology or QNAP offer Excellent web-based operating systemsWith installation wizards for formatting and preparing the data media, automated configuration, user-friendly user interfaces and a large number of applications to expand operations beyond simply storing data.

As mentioned at the beginning, the possibilities of a NAS go far beyond its use as a storage medium. They store our files and backups, which are provided locally or over the Internet from any device, and enable use as a multimedia media server to transfer content to other computers. or connected TV; as a P2P client; Connection with public clouds; Collaborate on editing documents or managing IP cameras to protect your home or office environment. Very. Very useful and versatile this NAS.

NAS Buying Guide (June 2020)

The range of equipment does not renew as quickly as in other segments such as smartphones or laptops. Since our last purchase guide, we haven't registered too many new releases, except for updates to existing models. It really isn't necessary since a NAS can last for many years if you are clear about what you will be using it for when you buy it. In addition, most models will allow you to expand storage capacity with larger hard drives in the future.

In any case, the industry offers solutions for all budgets and needs. Most models can be purchased with the included storage units or with free bays so that the user can install their own. We will leave you a sample of the existing offer with updated prices and the setting for use in a Computer desk, At home, small business or home officewith prices between 100 and 500 euros.

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Buffalo LinkStation 520

  • Processor: Realtek Dual-Core 1 GHz.
  • Memory: 256 MB DDR3
  • Storage capacity: Two bays to install 3.5, 2, 4, 6 or 8 TB hard drives. RAID 1.
  • Connectivity: 1 RJ-45 GbE Ethernet LAN – 1 USB 3.0.
  • Operating system and software: WebAccess. Five NovaBACKUP Buffalo Edition PC licenses
  • Price: 109 euros. (No disks)

TerraMaster F2-210

  • Processor: 1.4 GHz 4 core ARM
  • Memory: 1 GB DDR4
  • Storage capacity: Two bays with a maximum capacity of 32 TB
  • Connectivity: 1 RJ-45 GbE Ethernet LAN
  • Operating system and software: General terms and conditions
  • Price: 150 euros. It offers other versions with 4 and 5 beans.

QNAP TS-128A

  • Processor: 4-core ARM
  • Memory: 1 GB DDR3
  • Storage capacity: 1 bay
  • Connectivity: 1 RJ-45 GbE Ethernet LAN
  • Operating system and software: QTS
  • Price: 158 euros (without windows).

Western Digital My Cloud Home

  • Processor:
  • Memory:
  • Storage capacity: One bay for 3.5-inch hard drives with 2, 4, 6 or 8 TB.
  • Connectivity: 1 RJ-45 GbE Ethernet LAN – 1 USB 3.0
  • Operating system and software: My cloud operating system
  • Price: 169 euros with 3 TB diskette included. It offers other versions with 4, 6 and 8 Tbytes.

Synology DS220j

  • Processor: Realtek RTD1296, quad-core 1.4 GHz.
  • Memory: 512 MB DDR4 (expandable)
  • Storage capacity: Two bays for a maximum capacity of 32 TB. RAID 0, 1, JBOD. Synology Hybrid RAID.
  • Connectivity: 1 RJ-45 GbE Ethernet LAN – 1 USB 3.0
  • Operating system and software: DiskStation Manager (DSM).
  • Price: 193 euros (without windows).

QNAP TS-231P

  • Processor: Alpine AL-212 dual-core 1.7 GHz
  • Memory: 1 GB DDR3
  • Storage capacity: Two hard drive bays
  • Connectivity: 1 RJ-45 GbE Ethernet LAN – 3 USB 3.0
  • Operating system and software: QTS
  • Price: 246 euros (without windows).

Synology DS218

  • Processor: Realtek RTD1296, quad-core 1.4 GHz.
  • Memory: 2 GB DDR4 (expandable)
  • Storage capacity: Two bays for a maximum capacity of 28 TB. RAID 0, 1, JBOD. Synology Hybrid RAID.
  • Connectivity: 1 RJ-45 GbE Ethernet LAN – 1 USB 3.0 – 1 USB 2.0.
  • Operating system and software: DiskStation Manager (DSM). Huge number of applications and tools
  • Price: 308 euros (without windows).

WD My Cloud EX4100 expert

  • Processor: Marvell ARMADA 388 Dual-Core 1.6 GH
  • Memory: 2 GB DDR3
  • Storage capacity: Four bays for 24 TB. RAID 0, 1, 5, 10 and JBOD.
  • Connectivity: 2 RJ-45 GbE LAN – USB 3.0
  • Operating system and software: My cloud operating system
  • Price: 318 euros (without windows). Offers additional options with 8, 16, 24, 32, 40 and 56 Tbyte hard drives installed

QNAP TS-431P

  • Processor: Alpine AL-212 dual-core 1.7 GHz
  • Memory: 1 GB DDR3
  • Storage capacity: Four hard drive bays
  • Connectivity: 2 RJ-45 GbE Ethernet LAN – 3 USB 3.0
  • Operating system and software: QTS
  • Price: 331 euros (without windows).

Synology DS420J

  • Processor: Realtek RTD1296, quad-core 1.4 GHz.
  • Memory: 1 GB DDR4 (expandable)
  • Storage capacity: Four bays for a maximum capacity of 64 TB. RAID 0, 1, JBOD. Synology Hybrid RAID.
  • Connectivity: 2 RJ-45 GbE Ethernet LANs – 1 USB 3.0 – eSATA
  • Operating system and software: DiskStation Manager (DSM).
  • Price: 347 euros (without windows).

Synology DS418

  • Processor: Realtek RTD1296, quad-core 1.4 GHz.
  • Memory: 2 GB DDR4 (expandable)
  • Storage capacity: Four bays for a maximum capacity of 56 TB. RAID 0, 1, JBOD. Synology Hybrid RAID.
  • Connectivity: 2 RJ-45 GbE Ethernet LANs – 1 USB 3.0 – 1 USB 2.0.
  • Operating system and software: DiskStation Manager (DSM). Huge number of applications and tools
  • Price: 419 euros (without windows). It offers options with hard drives with a capacity of 16 or 32 TB.

QNAP TS-431X2

  • Processor: Alpine AL-314 Quad Core 1.7 GHz
  • Memory: 2 GB DDR3 (expandable to 8 GB)
  • Storage capacity: Four hard drive bays. RAID 0, 1, 5, 10 and JBOD
  • Connectivity: 2 RJ-45 GbE Ethernet LAN – 3 USB 3.0
  • Operating system and software: QTS
  • Price: 484 euros (without windows).

WD My Cloud Pro PR4100

  • Processor: Intel Pentium N3710
  • Memory: 4 GB DDR3L (expandable)
  • Storage capacity: Four slots for 40 TB. RAID 0, 1, 5, 10 and JBOD.
  • Connectivity: 2 RJ-45 GbE LANs – 1 front USB 3.0, 2 rear USB 3.0 – 2 power supplies
  • Operating system and software: My cloud operating system
  • Price: 487 euros (without windows). Various offers with included discs from 8 to 56 TB.

Specialized NAS hard drives

If you choose an "empty" NAS, you can mount hard drives that you have at home or in the office without using or purchasing new models that specialize in this use, as they work around the world Watch are optimized and lower consumption offer greater durability. As an example, we leave you two of the best series:

  • WD Digital (RED)– Internal hard drive for desktop NAS devices (Intellipower, SATA 6 Gbit / s, 64 MB cache, 3.5 inches). It offers versions of 1 TB for 66 euros and other options with 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 and 14 TB.
  • Seagate IronWolf– Internal hard drive for NAS systems (3.5 inch, 5900 rpm, up to 180 MB / s – SATA with 6 Gbit / s). It offers versions of 1 TB for 56 euros and other options with 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14 and 16 TB.
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