Community-attached garage (NAS) is solely the price tag for storing and streaming your individual movies, tune, and virtual footage round the home or even internationally. It may be identical to Spotify, YouTube, or Netflix, aside from with your individual media.
NAS may be immensely at hand for backing up and synchronizing the knowledge to your computer systems and cellular units. Backing as much as native garage is way sooner than depending on a cloud carrier equivalent to DropBox or OneDrive, and the similar is going for restoring an unintentionally deleted document or convalescing from a crashed device.
It’s additionally smooth to arrange a NAS field to serve as identical to the ones cloud services and products, enabling get entry to from anyplace on the earth. In reality, NAS field developers have taken to calling their merchandise “non-public clouds” as a way to make the idea that extra acquainted to shoppers.
Up to date June 19, 2019 so as to add our evaluation at the Synology DS419narrow NAS field. Being designed to house 2.Five-inch mechanisms—we examined it with SSDs—this NAS field can pack 4 drives into the footprint a 2-bay field made for three.Five-inch drives would occupy. It’s additionally significantly shorter. However up to we adore it, it doesn’t displace any of our present best alternatives on this class.
To get the most efficient of each worlds, maximum packing containers will sync with cloud garage services and products, offering some other layer of knowledge redundancy and disaster-recovery choices. If you happen to enjoy a catastrophe at domestic—a flood, fireplace, or earthquake—you’ll a minimum of have the reassurance that incorporates understanding your knowledge is safely sponsored up at some other bodily location.
A phrase on pricing: Now not all NAS field producers additionally construct demanding drives, such a lot of of them promote those packing containers “unpopulated;” i.e., with none demanding drives put in. Whilst you’re evaluating costs, be sure you know whether or not or no longer the drivers are incorporated. If you happen to’re no longer acquainted with formatting a difficult pressure or putting in place an array of drives, you may in finding it extra handy to shop for a NAS field that’s populated and able to move proper out of the field.
Best possible NAS field for media streaming and backup
The WD My Cloud EX2 Extremely is without doubt one of the least-expensive two-bay NAS packing containers you’ll in finding, however it’s nonetheless very speedy; if truth be told, it used to be just about as speedy because the business-oriented Netgear ReadyNAS 212, which prices two times as a lot. That’s a mix that’s demanding to overcome. We’ve picked the unpopulated model right here, however you’ll be able to purchase one with the drives already put in and configured as RAID 1 for knowledge redundancy (a 4TB configuration prices $349 on Amazon).
The entire packing containers within the My Cloud sequence characteristic the similar easy-to-use interface, and this fashion comes with a wholesome selection of apps, together with an onboard DLNA media server. You’ll even plug a Z-Wave dongle into its USB port and use it as a smart-home keep watch over heart. WD’s consumer-oriented My Cloud Reflect (Gen 2) is basically the similar product with fewer business-oriented options. Populated My Cloud Mirrors are somewhat more cost effective than populated EX2 fashions ($299 for a 4TB fashion on Amazon), however you’ll be able to’t purchase one unpopulated.
Synology’s DS216play is the least-expensive NAS field we’ve noticed that helps hardware-assisted 4K video transcoding. Synolog sells this NAS field unpopulated, so that you’ll want to supply and set up your individual drives, a procedure that’s rendered a little bit tougher than maximum since the drives mount at once into the bays, as opposed to on trays that slide into the bays. Fairly gradual write occasions approach shopper backups will take longer than with a number of competing packing containers, together with the WD My Cloud Reflect EX2, however there’s lots else to love, together with the power to host domestic safety cameras.
Best possible bang-for-the-buck NAS field
The Seagate Private Cloud stands proud from the group as it’s tremendous reasonable (simply $139.99 with a 3TB pressure at Amazon) and extremely succesful. Yowser! Bang for the greenback it’s were given, however it’s a single-bay field, which places your knowledge in peril from pressure failure when you don’t connect an equal-sized USB pressure to again it up frequently. Seagate additionally provides its Private Cloud in dual-bay configurations, however they aren’t fairly the similar crowd pleasing bargains (the populated 2-bay/4TB fashion STCS4000100 prices $299.99 at Staples).
The NAS field marketplace is uber aggressive at this time, so the opposite 4 packing containers we reviewed listed here are indubitably price a glance. The QNAP TS-251A ($319 at Amazon, unpopulated) provides a boatload multimedia options, and will in truth function your leisure heart fairly than just increase it. Its 4K transcoding didn’t fare smartly in our trying out, but when that’s no longer a characteristic you wish to have…. The TerraMaster F2-220 ($190 at Amazon, unpopulated) and the Zyxel NAS520 ($199.99 at Amazon, unpopulated) in the meantime, come with that may double their value tags if their trademarks have been extra acquainted, and the tremendous rugged Netgear ReadyNAS RN212 ($299.99 at Amazon, unpopulated) runs the acclaimed BTRFS document device and used to be the quickest NAS field we examined.
How we examined
Talking of trying out, right here’s how we benchmarked them. Each and every packing containers used to be mapped below Home windows 10 on a sooner Core i7-3770 device with NVMe SSDs after which benchmarked with CrystalDiskMark Five. Moreover, backups of 40GB of knowledge have been carried out to test real-life throughput towards the benchmark. We streamed 1080p—and the place imaginable, 2160p—video recordsdata to more than one shopper units, together with two second-generation iPads, the check PC, two Android telephones, and a Home windows Telephone. A DLNA media server used to be used on every occasion imaginable; when it wasn’t, we used Plex Media server and the related shopper app.
Each and every of the packing containers reviewed right here proved in a position to turning in knowledge speedy sufficient to flow 10-bit colour, 2160p (4K UHD) video at 60 frames according to moment. A field that may do this, can simply flow 720p and 1080p video to more than one units. That implies that streaming functionality used to be principally a non-issue for those drives, despite the fact that we’ve famous the place a specific field used to be exceptional.
Adequately speedy backup and synchronization used to be some other baseline that every of the packing containers met, despite the fact that some have been significantly sooner than others. The WD My Cloud EX2 Extremely, Netgear ReadyNAS 212, ZyXel NAS520, and TerraMaster F2-220 all crowned 100MBps writing knowledge sequentially. The QNAP TS0251a, Seagate Private Cloud, and Synology DS216play didn’t. The Seagate, at this type of low value, used to be no wonder, however QNAP and Synology have a rep for pace. Those don’t seem to be the corporate’s quickest packing containers.
Regardless, simplest preliminary backups or synchronization have a tendency to be time eating, so next partial backups can be somewhat fast even at the slower packing containers. Each and every of them will have to care for backups for 4 or 5 PCs and the entire cellular units you’ll be able to throw at them.
Options to search for when purchasing for a NAS field
There are generic options you’ll in finding on anything else short of to name itself a NAS field at the moment, together with: improve for an administrator and more than one customers, improve for SMB (Home windows) and AFP (Apple) community protocols, and a configuration interface accessed by means of a Internet browser. Just about all NAS packing containers are in keeping with some type of Linux and maximum be offering a plug-in, or app structure so as to add much less not unusual options.
However there’s an array of options that fluctuate in high quality and abundance that you just will have to check up on ahead of you are making your choice.
Backup You’ll all the time map your NAS field as native pressure and again as much as it the way in which you can a USB pressure, however maximum NAS packing containers have options which can be significantly extra robust and automatic. Search for FTP for easy backups, TimeMachine improve for backing up Macs, and Rsync for syncing with different NAS packing containers. Some producers be offering their very own proprietary server/shopper app answers, equivalent to QNAP’s QSync.
Card reader An SDHC or identical card card reader at the entrance of the NAS field may also be at hand for copying media recordsdata to the field from cameras or recorders.
Cloud carrier connectivity Like backup, with the ability to sync your recordsdata with on-line services and products equivalent to DropBox, OneDrive, Google Force, et al is tremendous at hand and permits get entry to for your recordsdata whilst you don’t have an web connection.
DLNA media server Just about all PCs and maximum multimedia units can play media streamed out of your NAS field by means of DLNA, even supposing they may require a consumer app to take action. Just about each and every NAS field comes with a DLNA server at the moment, however test the only you’re purchasing to make sure.
Twin ethernet ports A NAS field that helps port aggregation (i.e., the usage of more than one ethernet ports to ship and obtain knowledge) will ship considerably upper throughput over your community—however provided that they’re hooked up to a router that helps the similar characteristic, and the ones are uncommon within the person marketplace (Netgear’s Nighthawk X10 is without doubt one of the few). Aggregating ports the usage of a router that’s no longer in a position to it’ll diminish throughput.
Gigabit ethernet You’ll again up and flow 1080p to a few units over 10/100 ethernet without a downside. Gigabit ethernet will improve extra and it’ll be certain that easy streaming of 4K UHD (2160p) video, to not point out sooner backups. However ever part to your community will have to be gigabit succesful—the NAS field, the router, the computer systems, and any switches within the knowledge trail—will have to additionally improve gigabit ethernet, too. You’ll want to use CAT5e or upper ethernet cable, too.
More than one pressure bays Two bays let you reflect two drives (RAID 1) to give protection to your knowledge by means of redundancy (RAID is an acronym for Redundant Array of Impartial Discs). On the other hand, you’ll be able to connect a USB pressure to stay the field sponsored up. How necessary this option is depends upon how necessary the knowledge you retailer at the pressure is. A NAS field with 4 or extra bays will show you how to run extra subtle arrays, equivalent to RAID Five.
Plex Media Server As a result of sure firms equivalent to Apple don’t improve DLNA, Plex has stepped in with its personal streaming resolution and shopper apps for each and every cellular tool and running device within the universe ((smartly, it indisputably turns out that manner). The ones purchasers it doesn’t improve can nonetheless play media from inside of a browser. Plex is slick and just about common, however it’s no longer as clear as DLNA.
Populated or unpopulated Shopper-oriented NAS packing containers from Seagate and WD most often come with drives; manufacturers concentrated on fanatics, small companies, and the endeavor generally don’t. Populated packing containers are in large part a comfort for individuals who aren’t relaxed mounting and formatting drives (it’s a snap, in point of fact). The NAS field that saves you cash when bought with drives—equivalent to Seagate’s Private Cloud 3TB—is uncommon.
Fast-copy button A button at the entrance of the NAS field that temporarily copies media recordsdata from USB or a card slot may also be at hand when you’re repeatedly off-loading footage and video from you digital camera or recorder—equipped you permit your field in an simply available location.
Faraway get entry to All NAS packing containers permit far off get entry to for your recordsdata, however some make it more uncomplicated by means of permitting you to attach during the corporate’s internet portal, and/or routinely configuring your router with the proper port-forwarding knowledge.
USB You’ll be hard-pressed to discover a NAS field and not using a USB port for loading or saving/backing up recordsdata. However USB three.zero is quicker, and more than one ports permits including units equivalent to printers, webcams, or even the TV tuners that some packing containers improve.
Video transcoding Many NAS packing containers make use of CPUs that supply hardware-assisted video transcoding; this is, changing the scale and bit charges of the unique video ahead of streaming it. This will reduce the tension on vacation spot units equivalent to telephones that don’t have the horsepower to do it on their very own. Word that transcoding won’t paintings by means of DLNA, however simplest with the playback apps that some NAS distributors be offering.
Editor’s notice: This functionality chart on this tale has been corrected.