Best NAS for Home Android Central 2021
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 solution for backing up data, these are the best NAS enclosures for your home in 2020, although if you were to start somewhere, we'd recommend the Synology DiskStation DS220+.
1. Synology DiskStation DS220+
Best Overall$300 at Amazon
Bottom line: The DiskStation DS220+ ticks all the right boxes: it has robust internals, making it ideal for Plex 4K streaming, two Gigabit ports, and versatile software that offers a ton of features.
- 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 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, including the latest Android phones, iPhones, MacBooks or Windows computers, and just about any device.
2. Synology DiskStation DS220j
Best Budget NAS$170 at Amazon
Bottom line: The DiskStation Ds220j delivers incredible value, and if you're looking for a first-time NAS buyer looking for an affordable option, this is the model to get.
- Excellent value
- Same great software features
- Gigabit Ethernet port
- Runs quiet
- Two bays with up to 32TB of storage
- Not particularly great with 4K transcodes
- Limited memory
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.
3. WD 4TB My Cloud
Best All-In-One NAS$160 at B&H Photo
Bottom line: If you want an all-in-one NAS that comes with a built-in hard drive, the WD My Cloud is a great choice. You don't get as many features as other enclosures on this list, but you don't have to deal with the hassle of buying a hard drive.
- Outstanding value
- 4TB hard drive included
- Easy-to-use software features
- Gigabit Ethernet connectivity
- USB 3.0 port
- Not upgradeable
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.
4. Synology DiskStation DS120j
Best Entry-Level NAS$100 at Amazon
Bottom line: If you want to see if a NAS enclosure makes sense for your home, the DiskStation DS120j is a great starting point. The single-bay enclosure has decent hardware and lets you access Synology's excellent software features on a budget.
- 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
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 quietly.
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.
5. QNAP TS-451+
Best 4-Bay NAS$363 at Amazon
Bottom line: The QNAP TS-451+ is a fantastic four-bay NAS that offers powerful hardware, an HDMI port that lets you connect it directly to the TV, and robust software. If you want to get started with a Plex server, this is a great option.
- 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
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.
6. Synology DiskStation DS920+
Best NAS for Plex$550 at Amazon
Bottom line: The DiskStation DS920+ is one of the best NAS enclosures money can buy today. The four-bay NAS is the ideal Plex server for 4K streaming, and the sheer number of features on offer here make it a fantastic choice for power users.
- 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
If you want the best NAS 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.
7. Buffalo LinkStation 210 4TB
Best For Under $200$154 at Amazon
Bottom line: The LinkStation 210 has Gigabit Ethernet connectivity and decent features, but it stands out in this segment for its inclusion of a 4TB hard drive.
- 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
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.
8. Asustor AS5202T
Best NAS for Content Creators$300 at Amazon
Bottom line: The AS5202T is a stellar option for content creators. It has powerful hardware for Plex streaming, two 2.5Gbps ports, an HDMI port, and decent software features.
- Comes with an 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
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 also 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.
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.
If you want a NAS with an HDMI port that you can connect directly to your TV, the QNAP TS-451+ is a fantastic choice. The 4-bay NAS has powerful hardware and gives you great value for your money.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Harish Jonnalagadda is the Asia Editor of Android Central. A reformed hardware modder, he now spends his time writing about India's burgeoning phone market. Previously, he used to ponder the meaning of life at IBM. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.
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