The Synology DS220j is the ideal NAS for newcomers in this market segment. It has a high performance-per-dollar ratio and packs lots of features thanks to the DiskStation Manager software.
The Synology DS420j is a highly affordable four-bay NAS running the fantastic DiskStation Manager (DSM) operating system. It comes with a quad-core CPU that copes well with consumer tasks, and Plex also supports it. If you are on a tight budget, you should take a look at this NAS.
The TerraMaster F5-422 is a 5-bay NAS featuring one 10 GbE and two Gigabit ports. It achieves good throughput in multi-client scenarios, but IOPS performance could be better. It still is a solid, affordable choice for users who do not need the software packages other NAS vendors provide.
The Nimbustor 4 NAS from Asustor promises high performance at a fair price. It can take up to four drives. With optional expansion boxes, you can even install up to 16 drives. One of its assets is the HDMI 2.0a port that can deliver 4K HDR content at up to 60 Hz refresh rates, making it an ideal media player.
The Synology DS620slim is one of the most compact NAS servers available today. It supports up to six HDD/SSDs for plenty of storage if you equip it with large-capacity drives. We measured power consumption to be low, and the same goes for its operating noise.
The DS2419+ is a massive NAS that offers increased reliability due to its high build quality, and vast amounts of storage. Out of the box, it supports up to twelve drives, and with the addition of the DX1215 unit, this number can be increased to 24 HDDs or 384 TB of raw storage space.
The QNAP TVS-472XT costs a bomb, but has a pair of Thunderbolt 3 ports and can take a GPU for faster media transcoding, and its operating system is probably the best in the NAS market. This NAS is mostly for video editors or small and mid-sized businesses that want a very reliable external storage device with tons of features and options.
The TerraMaster D5 has high transfer speeds and huge storage capacity of up to 60 TB, thanks to five drive slots. Two Thunderbolt 3 ports are included, which should be a blessing for video editing, and you can chain multiple TerraMaster D5 units together to further increase capacity.
The DS1819+ offers huge storage capacity potential, which can be further expanded upon with the addition of two Synology DX517 units. The big question, however, is whether it's worth the stiff price as there may be better options out there that are more affordable.
The QSAN XN3002T has a distinctive nice look and uses a promising operating system utilizing the ZFS filesystem, which is known for its increased data protection. In order to boost performance you can add an SSD-based caching layer. However, is it worth its high asking price of $499?
The QNAP TS-473 is a four-bay NAS with high performance and an affordable price for its specifications. It uses an AMD R-Series CPU, and its capabilities can be further expanded thanks to its two PCIe slots, which let you add 10 Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi or an M.2 SSD.
The Synology DS718+ is a high-end 2-bay NAS with good performance, silent operation, and low power consumption. Its strong advantage is that its storage capacity can easily be expanded with five additional drives (seven in total) since it is compatible with the optional DX513 expansion unit.
The QNAP TS-431P2 is a home NAS for demanding users, offering good performance along with increased storage capabilities. Its external looks are appealing as well due to its modern design with a white finish, so it won't look strange in a modern office or your living room.
The Synology DS918+ is the successor to the DS916+ and features a new CPU, more RAM, a pair of M.2 slots, and trays with locks. Strangely enough, the older model seems to perform better in real-life scenarios; however, the DS918+ is fast enough to still meet the increasing demands of a home user.
The TS-453B is a feature-rich four-bay NAS that includes an OLED screen, 4K playback, HDMI port, and a PCIe expansion port for QNAP's QM2 expansion boards. Using various cards, you can add up to two M.2 slots and 10 Gigabit networking to the NAS, in addition to the two 1000 Mb/s ports.
The N2810 Pro from Thecus uses an Intel Celeron N3160 Quad-Core CPU, which offers sufficient computing power for entry level users who are on a tight budget. It also supports high-speed transfers using two Gigabit Ethernet interfaces and comes with HDMI as well as DisplayPort connectivity.
The TerraMaster F2-220 is an affordable two-bay NAS featuring good performance and nice looks thanks to its aluminum enclosure. This Intel Dual-Core powered storage system uses Linux under the hood and is very energy-efficient with only 12 W power consumed in idle.
The combination of an affordable NAS like the Synology DS416j, a couple good IP cameras, and a pair of reliable HDDs can make for a nice surveillance system with enhanced surveillance capabilities. Synology's Surveillance Station software plays a key role since it is one of the most advanced surveillance apps around.
The AS6208T is a multi-bay NAS with an Intel quad-core CPU that offers good performance while consuming very little energy. An 8-bay NAS is mostly for business environments where increased storage capacity is a necessary feature.
The RackStation RS816 is a rackmount NAS for small business environments in need of a capable and highly energy efficient file server. It features four drive slots packed into a 19" rack 1U height enclosure. This Synology NAS is powered by an energy efficient Marvell ARM processor.
The TVS-682T is an incredibly high-end QNAP NAS with a fast Skylake Intel CPU and 8 GB of RAM. Its two Thunderbolt ports and two 10GBase-T ports even allow it to offer blazing fast network transfer speeds, which makes smooth 4K video transfers are a definite reality.
The DS916+ is mostly for professional users, or enthusiasts who can afford it. It is powered by a capable quad-core Intel CPU with good performance and low power consumption even when taxed heavily.
The AS3202T is equipped with a quad-core Intel CPU, which enables it to handle up to 4K resolution multimedia content playback. This means the AS3202T can also play a central role in a multimedia set-up while still acting as a regular NAS with up to 16 TB of storage capacity.
During our last stay at CES, QNAP surprised us with the TBS-453A NAS, an incredibly small NAS since it only takes M.2 SSDs. While not a NAS for the average user, it does have some really cool features we are going to explore in this review.
The DS216play is a multimedia-oriented NAS despite the fact that it doesn't feature an HDMI port. It supports 4K video transcoding, and its highly efficient SoC is crucial in reducing its overall power consumption.