With Prime Day now live, it's time to start looking at tech upgrades. A network attached storage (NAS) enclosure is a great option as it lets you stream your locally-stored media on all devices in your home network using a service like Plex. You also get the ability to back up files automatically, host your own audio and video streaming server, and so much more.
Between Synology, Asustor, QNAP, WD, and Buffalo, you have plenty of choice when it comes to selecting a new NAS enclosure, and with budget models starting off from as low as $100, you don't need to spend a lot of money to get started with a home media server. There are a lot of enticing deals in this category, so let's take a look at the best NAS deals for Prime Day.
The DiskStation DS220j is the ideal budget NAS enclosure in 2020. You get decent hardware, the ability to run Plex media server, two drive bays that hold a total of 32TB of storage, and excellent software features. The NAS is available for 20% off, making it an unmissable Prime Day deal.
Best Prime Day Synology NAS Deals
Synology is the largest manufacturer of NAS enclosures, and it sells dozens of products across various categories. Synology is known for its high-quality offerings, and its products are built to last. But the defining feature of Synology's NAS enclosures is the software, with the web-based DiskStation Manager setting the standard for this category.
For Prime Day, Synology is selling its budget DiskStation DS220j for 20% off, bringing the NAS down to just $136. That is outstanding value when you consider what you're getting here, and is an easy recommendation if you're looking for a new NAS.
Then there's the DiskStation DS920+, which was unveiled just a few months ago. The 4-bay NAS has powerful hardware and retails for $550, but for Prime Day it is getting a 20% discount and is on sale for just $440. Now, that might seem like a lot of money for a NAS enclosure, but the DS920+ is one of the most powerful NAS systems around, and at $440 it is a downright steal.
These are the best Prime Day NAS deals on Synology's enclosures.
The DiskStation DS220j offers crazy affordability and value, and you get two drive bays that can hold a total of 32TB of storage along with more powerful hardware. This is the ideal NAS if you want an affordable Plex media server.
The DiskStation DS920+, is one of the most powerful NAS enclosures money can buy today — and an incredible deal for Prime Day. With four bays that can hold 64TB of storage, simultaneous 4K streaming over Plex, M.2 slots for SSD caching, and a wealth of software features, the DS920+ is in a league of its own.
Best Prime Day Budget NAS Deals
Western Digital and Buffalo also make a lot of NAS enclosures, and some of these products come with an integrated hard drive, allowing you to use the NAS straight out of the box. Having a hard drive built in makes it easier for first-time users to get started with a NAS, and it delivers better value for money. So let's take a look at some of the best budget-focused models available, and highlight affordable picks from the likes of Asustor, TerraMaster, QNAP, and others.
The F2-210 is a decent budget NAS enclosure that's designed for Emby and Plex media streaming. The 2-bay NAS holds up to 16TB of storage, lets you run Docker containers, and is a decent overall value considering how much it costs.
Western Digital's 4TB My Cloud Home is an all-in-one NAS solution that comes with a 4TB hard drive out of the box. It is extremely easy to set up and use, and offers decent mobile apps that let you stream content and back up data from your devices.
The QNAP TS-451+ is an outstanding 4-bay NAS enclosure. It offers standout performance for Plex 4K streaming, has an HDMI port that lets you connect the NAS directly to the TV, two Gigabit Ethernet ports, and great software features. If you're looking for value, there's a lot to like here.
Best Prime Day NAS Hard Drives Deals
Now that you have a decent selection of NAS enclosures to choose from, the other factor to consider is hard drives. Picking the right hard drive for your NAS is vital as these enclosures are designed to run 24/7. Regular consumer hard drives aren't ideally suited for a NAS environment, but there are plenty of NAS-focused models that offer vibration resistance and are tailored for NAS systems.
A particularly interesting deal for Prime Day is Western Digital's 10TB Red Plus HDD, which is available for just $189. That's a 43% discount from its regular retail price, and is an easy recommendation if you're looking to buy a NAS hard drive. The 6TB Red Plus usually sells for $190, so you're basically getting 4TB of storage for free. Don't need 10TB? WD's Red Plus starts off at just $60 for the 1TB model.
Western Digital's Red Pro series is aimed at enthusiast users, and the 12TB Red Pro is down to $294 from $416, a full 36% discount from its retail price. The Red Pro drives spin at 7200rpm, include a five-year warranty, and are reliable to run 24/7 for an extended duration without any issues.
These are the best Prime Day NAS hard drive deals currently available.
The WD Red Pro is aimed at enthusiasts and delivers blistering performance. The NAS drive spins at 7200rpm, is based on CMR tech, and comes with a five-year warranty and vibration resistance.
All models in the Red Plus series are based on CMR tech, are designed for NAS environments, and should hold up just fine for several years without any issues. The 14TB model is getting a 25% discount for Prime Day, making it an obvious choice.
Which NAS should you buy on Prime Day?
I'm currently running a 120TB media server and have used dozens of NAS enclosures over the last decade, so I have a decent idea when it comes to picking a media server that fits your needs (and budget). The first question you have to ask yourself is how much storage you're going to need. That sets the basis for whether you should get a two-bay, four-bay, or a larger NAS enclosure.
The best NAS for home users looking to build a Plex server for media streaming is the DiskStation DS920+, and it is available for just $440 on Prime Day. You are paying a lot of money here, but you're getting four drive bays that can hold a total of 64TB of storage, 8GB of RAM, robust internal hardware, a ton of software features, and the ability to add more drive bays should you need to do so in the future.
If this is the first time you're buying a NAS and you don't want to invest a lot of money into an enclosure, then the DiskStation DS220j is available for just $136 and is a fantastic choice. You're still getting all the best software features that Synology has to offer, and while the hardware isn't quite as robust as the DS920+, it is a great choice for first-time buyers.
How to pick the right hard drive for your NAS
Choosing the right hard drive for your NAS is just as vital as selecting the right enclosure. Because NAS enclosures are designed to run 24/7, there are NAS-focused hard drives available in the market. These models feature vibration resistance and are designed to handle the stresses of a 24/7 environment, and differ from your regular hard drives.
Another factor to consider when choosing a NAS hard drive is the speed. HDDs are usually available in either 5400rpm or 7200rpm, and the latter delivers better performance because the spindle moves at 7,200 rounds per minute. I've used 5400rpm drives in NAS enclosures tailored for media streaming for years without any issues, but if you're building a more enthusiast-focused NAS and are looking for better performance, pick a model with a 7200rpm.
There are several NAS-focused hard drive product lines, with WD Red Plus and Seagate IronWolf dominating the sales charts. With drives starting out at 1TB and going all the way to 16TB, there's no shortage of options available across either product line. One final point to note is that WD was recently embroiled in a controversy where it was passing off slower drives in its NAS-branded series, so if you are interested in buying a WD Red NAS hard drive, make sure it says CMR. The product is identifiable by Red Plus branding, so make sure you get the Red Plus drives with CMR and avoid the regular Red drives for now.
Do you need to buy an SSD for your NAS?
There is always the option of adding SSDs to your NAS instead of mechanical hard drives, but cost is a limiting factor. A 2TB IronWolf hard drive costs $80, but if you want to buy a 2TB SSD, you will have to shell out at least $200. The cost per gigabyte is $0.04 with the hard drive, and $0.09 if you go with an SSD.
That cost goes up exponentially at higher storage volumes. A 4TB IronWolf Pro is $140, whereas a 4TB Samsung 870 QVO SSD is $470. The cost per gigabyte is still $0.03 for the hard drive, but goes up to $0.11 for the SSD if you go with the 4TB option.
Then there's the fact that an SSD doesn't actually deliver better performance. If your primary use case is building a Plex media server, going with a traditional NAS hard drive will give you the same level of performance as an SSD. So unless you're looking at hosting your own website or running virtual machines on the NAS, you're better off with a traditional HDD.
Prime Day 2020 NAS deals I'm most excited about
Synology introduced the DS920+ a few months ago, and so it's exciting to see the I'm excited to see the NAS already on sale for 20% off. A brand new DS920+ for $440 is one of the best Prime Day deals around, and if you're looking to upgrade, it is a no-brainer.
As someone that is constantly running out of storage, I am also looking forward to picking up a few 4TB WD Red Pro NAS hard drives or 14TB Seagate IronWolf Pro drives. There's not much to differentiate the IronWolf Pro from WD's Red Pro series, and it comes down to the value on offer.
What were the best Prime Day 2019 NAS deals?
Synology had a lot of great deals for Prime Day 2019, with the last-gen DiskStation DS918+ available for $468, down from its $550 retail price. The 2-bay DiskStation DS218j also hit an all-time low for Prime Day 2019, going for just $120. WD Red hard drives were also discounted by at least $40 during Prime Day 2019.
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