The best NAS devices ensure that your irreplaceable files and folders are stored safely away - and can be easily accessed whenever you need them - no matter where you are in the world.
NAS (or Network Attached Storage) devices differ from the best external hard drives and external portable SSDs, due to their ability to connect to the internet, as well as be accessed by other devices on a local network.
So, a NAS can sit in the center of your work or home network, and act as centralised storage. Every PC on the network can use it as if it was an internal hard drive, and if one PC fails, you know that all the data is safely secured in the NAS drive.
Meanwhile, that internet connection allows you to securely access the files on the drive from any internet-connected device. It's quick and convenient, and it's also a heck of a lot safer than lugging an external hard drive or USB memory stick around.
When choosing the best NAS device for you, consider the amount of storage space you need now and in the future, as well as your backup and redundancy needs. Many of the best NAS drives are able to hold more than one hard drive and can mirror that hard drive in case of failure. So, if one hard drive does go, your files are still intact on another. Since price is also a factor, know that some hold multiple hard drives that you can buy separately. This doesn’t just give you more flexibility, but can also potentially save you money if you bargain hunt.
The best NAS devices are your ideal storage solutions if you want access to your files when you need them, wherever you are, while keeping them secure. Take a look at our picks.
- Take a look at the best mesh Wi-Fi systems if you need to update your network
Best NAS devices at a glance
WD has attained quite significant success with its unashamedly consumer-friendly My Cloud products, which can stream to any DLNA-compliant device and be accessed via mobile apps for iOS and Android.
Advertised as a 'personal cloud,' this WD is one of the best NAS drives by any other name and starts at 2TB of storage (you can also get it in 3 or 4TB). Because it's a one-bay unit, it can't back itself up since there's only one drive. However, it can back up to an external hard drive thanks to a USB port on the back.
Read the full review: WD My Cloud Personal
The Synology DS720+ is a great solution for home users looking to get their first ever NAS. There’s enough here to keep advanced users busy as well, and M.2 cache upgrades are also a welcome addition for increased performance. If your storage needs are in the realm of 4TB or less, then this NAS will fit the bill. You can slot in larger drives at a later date, or even splurge for Synology’s drive expansion module if you’re setting this NAS up for business use.
Read the full review: Synology DS720+
The TerraMaster F5-422 works best as a simple place to back up your data and forget about it. For more advanced uses such as aggressive file copying, media streaming, or running virtual machines, the F5-422 falls short, making it a less than ideal choice than other market offerings. The F5-422 is still considerably cheaper than other manufacturers on the market, if all you’re looking for is a straightforward network storage point.
Read the full review: TerraMaster F5-422