Cyber Monday is the ideal time to pick up a home server, with several network attached storage (NAS) models on sale at the moment. A NAS server lets you back and up store photos and videos from all the devices on your home network, and you can easily collate your media collection in a single location.
A good use case for a NAS is media streaming, and this is where Plex comes in handy. The service allows you to stream your locally-stored videos across all devices on your Wi-Fi network, and it has an exhaustive feature-set in this area.
If you're looking to get started with a NAS for Plex media streaming, my suggestion would be the DiskStation DS220+. This is a 2-bay NAS server with powerful hardware, and you get Plex hardware transcoding and an incredible suite of software features aimed at seamlessly backing up photos and videos from your phones and other devices.
The DiskStation DS220+ retailed two years ago for $299, and it is currently down to $239. Having used over two dozen NAS servers over the course of the last six years, I have a good understanding of the storage server industry, and the DS220+ is a good starter NAS for the robust hardware combined with the sheer number of software features. If you're just thinking of getting started with a home server, this is a great first choice.
The DiskStation DS220+ is a brilliant choice if you're interested in a powerful NAS server aimed at Plex media streaming. It has two drive bays, 2GB of RAM, dual Gigabit Ethernet connectivity, and a strong set of software features that make streaming media as straightforward as possible.
The DiskStation DS220j is a good alternative if you're a first-time buyer looking to see what you get with a NAS server. It isn't as powerful as the DS220+ and you only get one Gigabit port, but it has two drive bays and a good selection of software features.
You need a NAS hard drive to fill the storage of your new home server, and WD's Red Plus is a stalwart in this category. The 8TB drive is the go-to choice here as it gives you more than adequate storage for all of your media needs.
If you want a home server mostly for Plex media streaming, you should go with the DiskStation DS220+. It does a brilliant job with direct play and also handles transcodes relatively well, and it is a great all-round server. The DS220j is a good starting point if you want to see what sort of software features you get with a home server.
Sign up for Black Friday email alerts!
Get the hottest deals available in your inbox plus news, reviews, opinion, analysis and more from the Android Central team.
Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.