Prime Day is in full swing, and as we kick off day two of savings, there are a lot of great deals.
Between Synology, ASUSTOR, WD, and Buffalo, you have plenty of choices 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.
A network attached storage (NAS) server 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.
So let's take a look at all the deals currently available, and what NAS server to buy.
- See all the Prime Day deals: USA (opens in new tab) | UK (opens in new tab) | Canada (opens in new tab) | India (opens in new tab)
Best Synology NAS deals
Synology is the largest manufacturer of NAS servers, 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 models is the software, with the web-based DiskStation Manager setting the standard for this category.
The 4-bay DiskStation DS920+ is back down to $450 (opens in new tab), the lowest we've seen for this model. The DS220+ is discounted to $245 (opens in new tab), $55 off its usual asking price. The budget DS220j is down to $189 (opens in new tab), making it a good choice if you're just getting started.
Synology DiskStation DS220j:
$219 $189 at Amazon (opens in new tab)
The DiskStation DS220j is the ideal budget NAS server if you're just starting out. It lets you try out all the software features on offer, and does a good job streaming your local media collection.
Synology DiskStation DS220+:
$300 $255 at Amazon (opens in new tab)
The DiskStation DS220+ continues to be the best overall NAS server for home use. That's down to its combination of hardware, dual Ethernet connectivity, and stellar software features. If you're building a Plex server, this is the one to get.
Synology DiskStation DS920+:
$550 $450 at Amazon (opens in new tab)
The DiskStation DS920+ takes the best features of the DS220+ and gives you a little bit more. You get four drive bays, faster internal hardware, and the ability to add more drives down the line. This is my choice if you want to build a 4K Plex media server.
Best Buffalo NAS deals
Buffalo is a manufacturer that delivers budget-focused NAS servers aimed at first-time buyers. Its NAS servers come with bundled hard drives, so you get an all-in-one solution that's ready to use out of the box.
Buffalo's NAS servers miss out on some of the more advanced features that you'll find with other brands, but if you want the basics — backing up data, streaming your local music and video library — they're a good alternative.
Buffalo LinkStation 220 8TB:
$342 $309 at Amazon (opens in new tab)
The LinkStation 220 is a two-bay NAS server that comes with two drive bays with 4TB drives in each. It has Gigabit connectivity and easily lets you back up data from various devices in your home.
Best NAS hard drive deals
Now that you have a decent selection of NAS servers 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. These are the best Prime Day NAS hard drive deals currently available.
The Red Pro is among the best NAS hard drives you can get today. This 18TB drive has WD's custom NASware 3.0 tech that ensures it works reliably in a 24/7 NAS environment, spins at 7200rpm, and comes with a five-year warranty as standard.
This 20TB drive is the latest addition to WD's NAS portfolio, and it has the same feature-set as the 18TB option but with added storage. If you're short on drive bays and need to maximize storage, this is the one to get.
The IronWolf Pro is the best NAS hard drive you'll find today. The drive spins at 7200rpm, goes up to 210MB/s for file transfers, has vibration resistance built-in, and is designed to work 24/7 in a NAS server. Best of all, you get a five-year warranty as standard.
Which NAS should you buy on Prime Day?
I'm currently running a 150TB 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 NAS 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 4K Plex streaming is the DiskStation DS920+; you're getting four drive bays that can hold a total of 64TB of storage, 4GB 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 DS220+ 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 20TB, there's no shortage of options available across either product line.
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 nearly $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 $400. The cost per gigabyte is $0.03 for the hard drive, but goes up to $0.10 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.
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.
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