The Top 5 2-Bay NAS of 2017

The Best 2-Bay NAS of 2017

We have seen some incredible advances in the world of network attached storage (NAS) over the last 12 months in both home and business, but there is still no denying that compact 2-Bay NAS server devices from brands like Synology, QNAP and WD are still by far the most popular. A NAS Is a storage device that lets you store all your data to make it accessible via your home network or the internet. However it is so much more than that and these days we see Plex Media Server NAS, 4K NAS, Virtual Machine NAS, Apple Time Machine NAS and so much more. We have seen hundreds of different versions but today we want to talk about the very best 2bay NAS of the year.

 

What are the best NAS’ of the year?

What makes a NAS the best? Although there are a number of ways you can measure a NAS, we choose to score them on Hardware, Software and Price. Below are the very best two drive NAS boxes you can buy now. Each is considered by SPAN.COM, SPANTV and NASCompares to be in the Top five NAS available now:

Best 2-Bay NAS for Home for 2018 – The Synology DS218+

Synology DS218+ Retail Box

Synology DiskStation

NAS DS218+

£275+ ex.VAT

Price – 8/10

Hardware – 8/10

Software – 8/10

Synology DS218+ Rear Fan
Although it is not the most powerful Synology NAS they have released in recent months, it is fair to say that the Synology DS218+ is the most popular 2-Bay they have released in a long-time. Although it features hardware that is less than that of the DS718+, what it does arrive with is an excellent Price Vs Hardware point and will give you excellent access to all the most modern software abilities of the Synology DSM Software and Apps. This is further improved with the ability to upgrade the RAM officially to 6GB and that you can connect the DX517 expansion device, though it will be seen as an independent drive. All in all, one of the most pleasing NAS releases of 2017.

2GB RAM

Intel® Celeron® J3355

Dual-core 2.0 GHz

2yr Warranty

Score Based on SPAN.COM, Units sold, Review and User Feedback

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UK

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Best Value for Money NAS 2-Bay for 2018 – The QNAP TS-253A

QNAP TS-253A

Price – 9/10

Hardware – 8/10

Software – 8/10

£290+ ex.VAT

Almost two years since it’s release, the QNAP TS-253A still continues to be a NAS that is the benchmark to which i will compare almost every NAS. Although it costs 10-20 pounds more than the recently released DS218+ mentioned above, you just get so, so much for the money. A quad-core Intel CPU, 4GB of Memory, dual HDMI, remote control, specialised Audio In/Out, 4 USB 3.0, metal Chassis and trays. On the software front, QTS does not let you down either with great VM support, Plex Media Server transcoding upto 1080p, 4K Playback, Apple Time Machine backups and a comprehensive range of home and office apps for you to really make the most of your data. I will be sad to see this one go and surprised if we will still see it at the end of 2018 – such a shame. Grab it while you can!

4GB RAM

Intel Celeron Braswell N3150 1.6 GHz

Quad Core (up to 2.08GHz)

 2yr Warranty

 

Score Based on SPAN.COM, Units sold, Review and User Feedback

EU

UK

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Best 2-Bay NAS for a Plex Media Server in 2018 – The WD My Cloud Pro PR2100

WD MyCloud Pro

PR2100

£370+ ex.VAT

Price – 7x/10

Hardware – 9/10

Software – 7/10

With Synology and QNAP largely dominating the NAS market for home users, it is always good to hear when another brand throws it’s hat into the ring. That said, WD are hardly an underdog – they are pretty much the market leaders in the NAS drives and therefore it isn’t too surprising that they would want to make their mark on the NAS server market too. Although most of their NAS devices are a little underwhelming in the hardware department (though VERY competitively priced), it is with the release of the WD PR2100 MyCloud Pro that they have really shaken things up.

Featuring by far the most capable CPU of any of the NAS on this top 5 list, the software fairly standard (DLNA media server playback, apple time machine backups, ISCSI, etc) but when it comes to Plex and hosting a transcoding enabled Plex Media Server – you WILL NOT find a better 2-Bay. It outperforms every two-bay NAS in the field and this is due to the Plex server application being able to use the transcoding hardware engine of the WD PR2100 CPU – unlike in 95% of other cases when the app cannot use it and has to substitute it with a large % of the CPU being used. The result is a compact NAS that plays media better than anything Synology and QNAP have put out in years!

4GB RAM

Intel Pentium N3710 1.6 GHz

(Burst speed up to 2.56 GHz)

2yr Warranty

Score Based on SPAN.COM, Units sold, Review and User Feedback

EU

UK

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Best 2-Bay NAS for Home Office and Working Professionals for 2018- The Synology DS718+

DS718+ RETAIL BOX

Synology

DiskStation DS718+

£360+ ex.VAT

Price – 7/10

Hardware – 8/10

Software – 9/10

DS718+ FANS
 

Following the success of the Synology DS716+II in 2015, it was inevitable that a follow up would happen and when it did finally arrive in late 2017 that it would make a big, big mark on the 2-Bay NAS market. Featuring the same chassis as it’s predecessor and featuring the Synology DSM application, everything else is bigger and better. With the new Intel J3455 CPU in quad-core (a far, far more proficient CPU than the intel celeron braswell CPU that came before) and better RAM options, the DS718+ NAS is the two bay for working professionals who want a NAS that is more than a backup, but a backbone in their digital life.

If you are a photographer, video editor, shop, office or more, and you want a power, yet straight forward NAS – then the Synology DS718+ is the ideal NAS for you. Likewise the unit can be expanded by a further 5 Drives thanks to the DX517 and arrives with two LAN ports on the rear to effectively double your uploads and downloads onthe device if you have a LAG enabled switch.

2GB RAM

 Intel Celeron J3455 quad-core 1.5GHz, burst up to 2.3GHz

 3yr Warranty

 

Score Based on SPAN.COM, Units sold, Review and User Feedback

EU

UK

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The Best Fully Featured 2-Bay NAS of the Year – The QNAP TS-253B

QNAP TS-253B

£400+ ex.VAT

Price – 7/10

Hardware – 9/10

Software – 8/10

 

In terms of hardware, you will NEVER find a better equipped 2-Bay NAS than the latest 2-Bay released from QNAP. The QNAP TS-253B is the NAS that just keeps on giving in terms of what it can do. Featuring an identical CPU and Memory as the DS718+ from synology (but going up to 8GB officially), in terms of internal specification, they are very similar. However for this that want a much more hardware rich NAS 2-Bay, this is the one for you. Get ready, it features:

LCD Panel, SD Card Slot, Direct Attached Access port (so USB access, not just network/internet), One-Touch USB Copy, screwless HDD trays, PCIe expansion slot (add a PCIe Card), Audio in/out, 2x HDMI ports, 2x LAN, 5x USB 3.0, BUilt in speaker and the new and improved Remote control! Yes, it is the most expensive NAS in our top 2-Bay NAS of the year, but not by a vast amount and it is easily the most fully featured and hardware enabled NAS yet. Plus, the software is as intuitive and evolved as always.

4GB RAM

Intel Celeron J3455 Quad Core 1.5 GHz

(up to 2.3 GHz)

2yr Warranty

 

Score Based on SPAN.COM, Units sold, Review and User Feedback

EU

UK

buy-your-nas-from-the-uk

US

buy-your-nas-from-the-us

Where can I buy the perfect NAS, DAS or SAN?

span-com-nas-expertsChoosing the right data storage device can be rather difficult. Having to consider everything from budget, total capacity, reliability and of course, ensuring that you get value for money – all of these factors can result in getting lost in a confusing world of NAS, DAS and SAN. Never fear, why not trust the NAS experts, SPAN.COM. They will provide technical advice, individually tailored solutions that suit your needs, bad sector checks on all hard drives and SSD, firmware installations and RAID configurations, as well as post sales support for years after and checks on your setup later to ensure that the solution best suited your needs – ALL THIS completely FREE. So, why not get in touch with them and make the process of choosing the right data storage solution for your needs a great deal easier.

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