The Best 1-Bay NAS of the Year from Synology and QNAP

Why Buy A 1-Bay NAS?

Synology DS118 scale
A 1 Bay NAS is often overlooked as a sensible backup option. The main reason being that even though you’ve got network access to a whole hard drive’s worth of data, the issue lies in the subject of RAID. RAID, or redundant array of independent disks, is the ability to have at least one hard drive or SSD worth of data safety in the event of your storage Media failing (this is also commonly known as redundancy). In order to take advantage of RAID you will need at least two hard drive bays of storage, however you cannot use this in a one bay NAS as you only have one hard drive Media slot available. Classically this has meant that one bay NAS storage is overlooked for that very lack of security and safety. However with the growing rise of third party cloud options (such as Google Drive, Dropbox and Amazon S3) and the ability to backup a NAS to a USB external drive everyday now means that 1-Bay devices are no longer the unsafe option that many think they will be. Additionally a one bay NAS can work out very cost-effective indeed and modern single NAS drive devices now has arrived with fairly impressive hardware. But what is the best NAS? What is the cheapest 1-Bay NAS? Which has the best hardware? And ultimately, which one should I buy for my media and backups?

Advantages and Disadvantages of a 1-Bay NAS?

Before we really dig deep into what is the best 1 Bay NAS from Synology or QNAP, it is worth considering the advantages and disadvantages of owning one. So let’s start with the negatives. What is the bad side of owning a 1 Bay NAS?


  • No RAID
  • Hard to Expand
  • Underwhelming Specs mostly
  • Unable to exchange drives without sufficient off-site space

It’s not all bad though as there are several big advantages to buying a 1 Bay NAS in 2018. It isn’t just about a single hard drive anymore. Many people need to make room in their life for their NAS, but don’t have much physical room to do it. A solid 1-Bay NAS can really make the difference. Below are the advantages of a 1 Bay NAS:


  • Compact – Space Saver
  • DLNA Support
  • Low Noise
  • Low Power Consumption
  • Growth in free and paid cloud service means no RAID isn’t the be-all-end-all

What is the cheapest 1-Bay NAS I can Buy? – Synology DS115J

By far the cheapest lowest price and unfortunately lowest powered one bay NAS available in the market today is the Synology DS115j.  This device arrives with a fairly weak CPU, as well as a very small amount of memory. However it does support and perform very basic tasks and for many people looking to buy the first NAS for simple backups, the DS115j could be a great first choice the NAS newbie. Also with a very low power consumption and small footprint in your office, this could be the perfect off site or on-site backup over the network for you to setup and then forget about.

Synology DS115J – £75+ ex.VAT


 256MB RAM

 Marvell Armada 370 800MHz

2yr Warranty


Supports Plex

arrives with DSM

3.85W in HDD Hibernation and 12.6W in access


Depressing CPU & Memory

Horrible Chassis – Opinion

What is the Best Value 1-Bay NAS I can Buy? – QNAP TS-128

In second place is the QNAP TS-128 NAS. Available for just £87 without the VAT, this is probably the best entry into 1 Bay NAS in the last 5 years, with the exception of our first place entry from Synology. This device arrives with more than twice the power and ability of the DS115j, the dual core ARM CPU support everything from Plex to setting up a DLNA media server. It also arrives with 1GB of DDR3 memory, meaning things will be moved along very well indeed. Only costing around £10 more than the DS115j, this is an obvious choice for those who have just got a little bit extra to spend and want more for their money. Where their DS115j was cheap, the QNAP TS-128 is extremely cost-effective. Lastly, the unit arrives with an SD card slot and almost complete access to the entire library of the QNAP QTS application centre. No to shabby!

The QNAP TS-128 – £87+ ex.VAT



 ARM® v7 1.1 GHz Dual-core

 2yr Warranty


Tower Design

Supports Plex

arrives with QTS

SD Card Slot

HDD standby5.03W
In operation


Strange Drive installation – Opinion

USB 2.0 Port – no excuse


What is the Most Powerful 1-Bay NAS I can Buy? – Synology DS118

By far the best 1-Bay NAS of 2017/2018 is the Synology DS118. This NAS has it all and it has it in spade! Straight away the device arrives with a quad-core 1.4Ghz CPU on board. This CPU is a realtek RTD1296 and is a 64-bit architecture chip, enabling 4K transcoding, as well as 1080p playback. The unit also arrives with 1GB of DDR4 memory, much faster than the two NAS we’ve discussed previously and finally arrives with a huge amount of support from the Synology DSM software for both home and business. Likewise both the smallest of the cases today and the comparative low power consumption, make this the very best 1 Bay NAS of 2017 and 2018. However it is also worth mentioning that although this device is fantastic, it isn’t perfec. Currently the device does not support Plex and setting up a NAS as a Plex media server is a common software requirement from people looking to buy their NAS for media. Also it by far the most expensive on our list, over twice the cost of the DS115j NAS. So this one by may push your budget to the very limit.

The Synology DS118 – £145+ ex.VAT



Realtek RTD1296 64-bit Quad Core 1.4 GHz

2yr Warranty


Nice Chassis

Supports 4K Transcoding and HD

Arrives with featured DSM 6.1 – Moments, Synology Office, Drive, etc

9.4 W / 4.22 W Access / Hibernation power consumption


No Plex Support

Cannot be expanded

Where should I buy my 1-Bay NAS?

Those are the best one bay NAS that you can buy right now, but if you’re looking for something bigger or maybe you haven’t decided which NAS is right for you, then do contact US below. Alternatively you can contact me at nascompares via the free advice section at the bottom of the page, but otherwise thank you so much for reading and I’ll see you next time.


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 2,247 other subscribers

Get an alert every time something gets added to this specific article!

Want to follow specific category?

This description contains links to Amazon. These links will take you to some of the products mentioned in today's content. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Visit the NASCompares Deal Finder to find the best place to buy this device in your region, based on Service, Support and Reputation - Just Search for your NAS Drive in the Box Below

Other products mentioned on this article:  


Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry.

    By clicking SEND you accept this Privacy Policy

    Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.

    DISCUSS with others your opinion about this subject.
    ASK questions to NAS community
    SHARE more details what you have found on this subject
    CONTRIBUTE with your own article or review. Cick HERE
    IMPROVE this niche ecosystem, let us know what to change/fix on this site