So much NAS, so little time…
So you have decided to make the jump to Network Attached Storage! Good for you! It’s about time. However with so many manufacturers out there and everyone and his brother producing NAS devices, it is easy to get lost… Can’t see the wood for the trees, etc.
Never fear! Today I want to talk about my favourite NAS Server manufacturers, talk a little bit about why I would recommend them above other companies and who their target audience is. As a colleague of SPAN.COM who have been in the business of data storage for the last 20years, as well as the man at SPANTV, I think I can confidently say that I know a fair bit about NAS. So, take my figurative hand and let me guide you though my recommended 5 Network Attached Storage producers.
The top NAS makers of 2016
At Number 5…
Easily featured in my top 5 NAS devices and on that some have not heard of, Thecus Technology are one of the pioneers of NAS established back in 2004. Part of the Intel Storage Community, it is one of those Brands that is often overlooked as being a budget brand from the east. The truth is a little deeper than that. Whilst Synology and QNAP are the market leaders in Network Attached Storage, it should be highlighted that both of them, like Thecus are from Taiwan and all three brands released their first units in 2004-2005. Though their NAS operating System wasn’t as polished as that of Synologys DSM and QNAPs QTS, Thecus’ has made big advancements and improvements in their NAS OS and User Interface with their latest version, ThecusOS 7. This can be coupled with teh fact they are STILL one of the most innovative NAS vendors out there. They been ahead of the curve with many of their NAS units and only a less known brand name has resulted in less success. Features like in-built UPS power suppliers to prevent loss of data in the event of a power cut. They were one of the first to anticipate the need for 4K NAS home machine and they were one of the first to bring truly Windows Storage Server enabled NAS devices to the public. I would certainly recommend them for those looking for some great enterprise and high level NAS features, as home user prices
I recommend the following Thecus NAS devices:
(Click to Buy)
Featuring HDMI,VGA,4GB RAM,Intel 2.9Ghz CPU,Expandable to 10GBe
(Click to Buy)
Featuring HDMI,4GB RAM,Quad Core CPU,in-built UPS,5 LAN ports
(Click to Buy)
Featuring 4K Playback, HDMI ,2GB RAM, Intel Dual Core CPU, Dual LAN, 3x USB 3.0
At Number 4…
Everyone has heard of Netgear!Chances are that now that the Internet is pretty much EVERYWHERE, that at one time or another you owned a Netgear Router (even your Virgin Media Router or O2 Wireless IV box is actually a Netgear Router that has been re-badged). So it shouldn’t be an enormous shock that when it comes to Network Attached Storage, that one of the most trust names in network devices is in my top 5 NAS manufacturers of 2016. Netgear may not be the cheapest (though they are not the most expensive either) but when you buy a Netgear NAS, you are buying both the pedigree of the brand and the fact that their rang is easily the most rugged and sturdy of the NAS devices I have seen. This coupled with their Prosumer range (clever mash up of Professional and consumer their Netgear) which is a real eye opener. Also, Netgear (like the soon to be discussed WD) provide their NAS range both with AND without Hard drives – so the buyer has the option of purchasing a ready made system or if they want to get their hands dirty, they can use their own drives. I would recommend Netgear to those looking for a solid and reliable NAS that can work, un-noticed in the background and only really want traditional NAS tasks performed.
I recommend the following Netgear NAS devices:
At Number 3…
Most likely the brand that everyone (not just those who are in the NAS community) have heard of. Western Digital (WD) are one of the biggest Hard Drive manufacturers in the world and they are also responsible for one of the most commonly seen NAS devices on the high street. Lower in price typically than the guys at Synology and QNAP NAS, you may not get the exact level of NAS support on their devices with regard to apps and slick uer-interfaces, but you do get very competent Network Attach Storage and even more so for those looking for file based NAS services. Also, alot of their newer range are branching into th more community friendly NAS uses such as Plex and Surveillance support and I would not hesitate in recommending them this year. I should also be mentioned and reminded that like Netgear NAS, you can buy WD NAS servers, you can purchase their units pre-populated with hard drives, saving you time and often money.
I recommend the following WD NAS devices:
At Number 2…
They were always going to be in my Top 5 NAS of 2016, big brand Synology NAS are arguable the kings of NAS. They have been around for long enough to iron out the wrinkles in their hardware and their software and are now at a stage whereby they release some of the most stable NAS devices in the market today. Among their greatest plus points are their DSM software that is both intuitive and incredibly user-friendly, their simple design that is both discreet and modern and their hardware which is (although occasionally a little standard) able to complete the tasks you set for it. Those who are new to NAS or want a NAS for the traditional NAS needs of Media, file transfers and backing up whole systems and Apple Time Machine images are recommended to go for the Synology. Also, if you are a Mac user, I would always recommend a Synology to a Mac, Apple and iOS user.
I recommend the following Synology NAS devices
and at Number 1…
And in first place, we have QNAP NAS. QNAP for me are one of the best names out there for Network Attached Storage devices. They seem to be able to do everything Synology NAS can do, but at at a lower cost. They have an equally user-friendly software in QTS, almost all of their NAS units arrive with HDMI on the rear for direct media access, include a remote control, they are better for Plex as more of their units use x86 CPU’s which are better for the transcoding inside Plex. Almost all QNAP NAS devices can be used as a standalone PC with thh attachment of a keyboard, mouse and HDMI Monitor. Almost all units can be expanded by 5 or 8 more hard drives with the QNAP UX-500P and UX-800P expansion devices. Finally, most QNAP NAS devices can be used for VMWare and as a vitual PC platform, with multiple users. Synology can support this, but not to the same level (of course things are changing with DSM 6.0). The only thing I cna really say against them is that they are not quite as user-friendly as Synology (but hardly rocket-science), so those who are complete novices to NAS may want to buy a Synology – but you will get more ability and features from almost any QNAP.
I recommend the following QNAP NAS devices:
And there you have it. Those are my top 5 NAS Brands of 2016. Do you agree? Do you have a question? Why not let me know below. Thanks for reading.