The Best 2-Bay NAS to Buy for 2022

A Guide to the Recommended 2-Bay NAS Drives to Buy Right Now

Making the move away from your free’mium services such as Google Drive and DropBox towards a privately owned NAS is already a tough enough decision – then you find out that there are literally thousands of different models available and many, many brands. Whether it is because your storage needs are a little modest, you are physical space-limited or you have a budget that is comparable to a 3+ year cloud storage for more than 4TB (so, about $300-500 or so) – whatever your reason, there is a very good chance that you have been considering a 2-Bay NAS solution. It’s a great entry point into network-attached storage, it allows a complete redundancy/safety-net option of mirroring/RAID 1, it allows you to use the bulk of the modern software offered by the brands, allows media sharing with ease, security tools and a wide array of backup tools – all whist staying well within that tighter budget. Indeed, as good as a 2-Bay can sound in terms of price vs ability, it is worth taking a quick moment before discussing the best 2-bay NAS, to work out if you even need a 2 HDD NAS at all! So, if you are still o nthe fence about 2-Bay NAS, use my before you buy guide below that discusses the Pros, Cons and things that are often overlooked about 2 drive NAS systems:

Still interested in a 2-Bay NAS? Good. However, there are ALOT of 2-Bay NAS drives in 2021/2022 available (with promised refreshed ranges from Synology and QNAP this summer), so choosing the right one the first time can be tricky! Never fear, below I have detailed the best three 2-Bay NAS drives that you can buy right now, as well as detailing what makes them so special. Remember, what makes these three NAS systems my recommended 2-Bay is not just because of hardware, but the entire package of hardware, software and services that they offer. So, let’s take a look.

What Have All the Perfect 2-Bay NAS Drives Have in Common?

It is worth remembering that although there are ALOT of different 2-Bay NAS drives available to buy, they are by no means created equal! With numerous super budget brands popping up online, it can be tempting to consider these alongside the premium NAS brands. However, all too often they offer solutions righty seem ‘too good to be true’ and then are gone from the web before your warranty even gets cold! So, whether you are looking at the three best 2-Bay solutions that I am recommending below OR are looking at another 2-Bay NAS you saw on offer/recommended elsewhere – the best NAS system ALWAYS include the following software and services:

  • Combined Hardware & Software Solution – That means that you are buying the hardware, but it ALSO includes a web browser GUI, mobile apps and desktop client apps (including backup, media, streaming, surveillance and file management software)
  • All NAS systems in this guide are compatible with (and can be accessed by) Windows, Mac, Android and Linux operating systems
  • All NAS Solutions arrive with between 2-3 years Warranty (with the option to extend to 5 years)
  • All NAS drives can be accessed locally over the network, as well as secure remote access is possible with brand supported services (at no additional cost)
  • The most modern and regularly updated NAS systems will support the very latest 20TB NAS hard drives (such as the Seagate Ironwofl 20TB and WD Red 20TB)
  • All the recommended solutions support multiple drive configurations (RAID) for drive failure protection and performance enhancements
  • All solutions receive regular updates to their security, features and services
  • All recommended NAS drives can connect and synchronize with cloud services (Google Drive, DropBox, OneDrive, etc), as well as Business/Enterprise services such as AWS, Azure, Backblaze and more
  • All NAS solutions (regardless of brand) feature the ability to host a shared drive on your PC/Mobile/Laptop systems that are synchronized with the NAS via the network/internet, but is shown in your native operating system file manager (i.e Mac Finder or Windows Explorer)
  • All the NAS solutions listed can be accessed DIRECTLY via an ethernet/network cable being connected from your PC/Mac system, to the NAS RJ45 port for 100MB/s and higher connectivity
  • All the best NAS solutions (regardless of brand) feature backup and sync tools that can be installed on your local client computer and allow regular backups of your files and system data

So, make sure that if you are looking at a NAS solution that is NOT recommended below, that it includes all of the above. As these are some of the clearest areas that brands all too often cut orders to produce cheaper by ultimately inferior NAS servers for home and business. So, let’s discuss the very best 2-Bay NAS to buy now in 2022.

Best Priced 2-Bay NAS Drive – Synology DS220j NAS Drive

0-40TB, 2-Bays, 4-Core Realtek 64bit ARM CPU, 512MB Memory, 1x 1Gbe Port, 2yr Warranty

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $199

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

What I hoped would be a NAS that kicks off the new 2-Bay range from Synology for 2020/2021, does so with reasonable success. I cannot say that I am not impressed by the hardware here at this price – the specifications for this £125+ NAS (ex.VAT) is genuinely impressive and much, much more than all the other 2-Bay J Series Synology that have come before it – in that way, the DS220j is a flat out winner! It gives you a great baseline experience of DSM, at a price point that is low enough to hook you in at the low level, but still not too expensive that you will feel bad if you want to upgrade sooner than you would have liked! Plus, the new and old NAS can be used to synchronize and add to your backup strategy, so in that way, the DS220j is genuinely unbeatable in it’s field.

The Synology DS220j NAS is not the most powerful NAS drive, or the most fully-featured NAS drive – but the point is that it is not trying to be! Synology has held an exceptionally good reputation in the world of network-attached storage for a decade and if a new NAS buyer wanted to cautiously invest in a new piece of equipment in this area, then despite their modest budget, they will want to get the best they can for their money, from a brand with an established pedigree – THAT is what the Synology DS220j NAS is trying to achieve and for the most part, it completely succeeds! Aside from the memory being a touch light on the ground and the white chassis not being to everyone’s taste, in almost every other regard the DS220j is a great little NAS drive that any first time NAS users, or those making the jump from subscription cloud services like Google Drive and DropBox, are going to enjoy. Just keep an eye on the number of active users and tasks at any given time and you will be on to a winner here.

PRICE - 9/10
VALUE - 8/10

👍🏻That Realtek 4-Core CPU is FANTASTIC Value
👍🏻Supports latest/largest HDDs
👍🏻Supports ALOT of DSM 6.2 Applications That 512MB Memory hobbles this CPU significantly on things like 4K and BTRFS
👍🏻Synology NAS with SHR for under £125 ex.VAT Not suitable for Plex Media Server
👍🏻Fast Setup
👍🏻Twice as much memory as the DS119j
👎🏻That 512MB Memory hobbles this CPU significantly on things like 4K and BTRFS
👎🏻Synology NAS with SHR for under £125 ex.VAT Not suitable for Plex Media Server


Best Value 2-Bay NAS Drive – Synology DS220+ NAS

0-40TB, 2-Bays, Intel Celeron J4025 2 Core CPU, 2-6GB Memory, 2x 1Gbe Port, 2yr Warranty

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $285+

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

The Synology DS220+ affordable NAS does not make overly bold promises, leaving those to more expensive and more powerful devices in the product portfolio (DS920+, DS1621xs, etc). Whether you are a new or old NAS user, Synology has made a clear distinction in the DS220+, showing the difference between buying what you want and buying what you need. That may sound like pointless and annoying rhetoric, but comparing the DS220+ with other diskstation plus series NAS shows you that by removing a lot of the bells and whistles of the bigger and boulder devices (i.e NVMe SSD caching, expandability of storage down the line, longer warranties and higher end processors) it provides you with a setup that will serve a smaller and less intense user exceptionally well, at a price point that makes the first investment in a Synology NAS considerably easier to make.

The 2/6GB memory option on the DS220+ is a bit of a shame in some respects. 6GB is still a great amount of memory (well, I say that -as I touched on earlier, it’s a bit odd to use a 2GB and 4GB stick in a pair), as well as the DDR4 SO-DIMM 2666Mhz memory available being some 10-20% faster in usage frequency than the 1866Mhz DDR3L SODIMM on the past DS218+. However, it is worth noting that if you the 2GB starting memory it starts with will be utilized by the intelligent caching/flushing feature of DSM. What this means is that if you look at the resource monitor when the device boots, it is caching more data in the memory than it technically needs to. This is not a bad thing though, as when the memory is needed for applications and services, it is near-instantly flushed by the reserved system area. The result is that the OS of DSM via the browser seems silky smooth at all times and when an app needs the resources, it makes it available – very ‘Mac’. Though this means that if you are running 2-3 CORE applications (VMM, Surveillance, Containers, Plex) then you are going to hit a few bumps on the 2GB that the unit arrives with. Ultimately, why buy a Ferrari if you just need something to do the weekly grocery shopping? The Synology DS220+, much like its predecessors in this product line, is still a great and solid NAS purchase in 2020 and something that Synology can continue to be proud of, just don’t expect that Ferrari and you’ll be fine.

PRICE - 9/10
VALUE - 9/10

👍🏻Great RAID Options
👍🏻Excellent choice of Apps
👍🏻Snapshot Replication
👍🏻Support Plex
👍🏻4K Video transcoding
👍🏻Full Plex Transcoding
👍🏻Hot-Swap trays
👍🏻DLNA Compliant
👎🏻Only 1Gbe Ethernet ports
👎🏻No NVMe cache, as featured in other units
👎🏻2GB Memory is a little low in the long term when 6GB is the Max
👎🏻Only a single accessible Memory Bay


Most Powerful 2-Bay NAS Drive – QNAP TS-253D NAS

0-40TB, 2-Bays, Intel Celeron J4125 4-Core CPU, 4/8GB Memory, 2x 2.5Gbe Port, PCIe Gen 2 x4 Upgrade Slot, 5x USB Ports, 1x HDMI 2.0 4K 60FPS, 3-5yr Warranty

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $325

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

To put it bluntly – the QNAP TS-253D is a heck of a piece of kit! The hardware available at this price point, along with the software that is bundled with your purchase is possible some of the best ‘price vs return’ I have yet to see in a NAS drive. This combined with a very open-door policy on upgrades and future-proofing, as well as maintaining a very good first/third-party software support ratio, make the QNAP TS-253D one of the best units the company has produced in the history of the brand and an excellent unit to begin a new decade. Is it perfect? No. With a few of the shiny slick branding touches of their biggest rival Synology, as well as a design that is not for everyone, the QNAP TS-253D is a NAS that gives you alot of tools, alot of ways to use them – then lets you choose to how and where you want to interact with it, rather than ask you to do it ‘it’s way’ for the most part.

The internal hardware of the device that people will be the most attentive about however is the CPU and memory on offer in the TS-253D. Arriving with the Intel J4125 Celeron Processor, this 4 core 2.0Ghz processor can be burst to 2.7Ghz when needed and features UHD HD Graphics 600, so it has a great little transcoding engine on offer. Although it is better than it’s predecessor in most ways (barring a slight dip in some H.265 bitrates (according to @eddiethweb) it is still a great CPU and one that does very well in the family of QNAP expandable 2/4 Bay NAS processors. There is a % of the market that hoped for something a little beefier (the same ones who wanted 2.5Gbe) and perhaps a return to the use of an Intel Pentium (as we saw in the TVS-471 of 2014), but this is still a very good processor with a good score on CPU benchmark. The software and performance review of this NAS should give us more info on the CPU in a more day to day use (as well as Plex Media Server of course), but we can make some educated guesses.. As is often the case, whereas the Synology platform and the closest rival to the TS-253D (the DS720+) will provide a very ‘Apple’ design, fluidity and ease of design to a % of the market, the QNAP TS-253D caters to many more users and although sometimes that versatility can lead to early confusion (a teeny pinch of tech knowledge will help) it is an enormous jump forward for this big brand in NAS storage.

PRICE - 9/10
VALUE - 9/10

👍🏻2.5Gbe LAN Ports
👍🏻8 Surveillance Camera Licences
👍🏻AI-Powered Apps
👍🏻Snapshot Replication
👍🏻PCIe Gen 2×4 Upgradable
👍🏻Support Plex
👍🏻4K Video transcoding
👍🏻Full Plex Transcoding
👍🏻60FPS 4K Support
👍🏻10 min Windows and/or Ubuntu VM install (included)
👎🏻Quite expensive for a 2-Bay
👎🏻Odd decision to limit USB ports to 2x USB 3.0
👎🏻Not quite as intuitive as Synology DSM (close though)
👎🏻Does not Support BTRFS



And there you have it. Those are the three best 2-Bay NAS drives available right now at the end of 2021 and going into 2022. thought it is always worth remembering that these systems typically have a refresh (i.e manufacturers release a new version/follow-up) every 2-3 years on average. Therefore although these systems are all still great 2-Bay NAS drives, they might have been upgraded in a newer released version, or recently released alternative 2-Bay’s may have arrived on the scene that provides better pricing, value or features. If you are in doubt about whether to buy a 2-Bay solution from my recommendations, want to check if a newer system has been released recently OR are simply looking for some free expert advice, then use the free advice section below over. Just enter in a few details of your setup, storage requirements and (in the case of buying a new solution) your budget – then me and Eddie the Web guy can help you with your question. This is a completely free service, is NOT provided with profit in mind and is manned by two humans (no bots, no automated replies, etc). Assistance might take an extra day or two (the service gets a lot of visitors) but we do try to answer every message. If you want to support this service, you can find out how to donate HERE. Otherwise, you can still jsut message us for free advice anyway!



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      66 thoughts on “The Best 2-Bay NAS to Buy for 2022

      1. I’ll take internal PSU any day over a brick: You get cooling for the entire thing.

        Building your own with a small computer case is the way to go, if you can tell a GPU from a CPU and have the the astounding dexterity to opperate a screw driver…

      2. I appreciate all of your videos, but they could truly be half the time. I find myself skipping through the video to get to the info I need. Just my $0.02. Appreciate the videos regardless.

      3. How often would you update a Synology NAS. Just inherited a system and it’s on 6.2 still. How much should I worry about doing a 7 upgrade? Are they likely to brick up? I’ve seen quite a few videos, but this is our main NAS and we have no backup. What would you suggest for the upgrade process? Should I have another NAS as a fail over just incase, or should I not worry so much about the upgrade.
        Thank you!

      4. I was looking for a RAID enabled NAS for a client whose use profile doesn’t include anything high-performance. The client writes (paper) books, needs a centralized and safe storage for what is, in essence, his life’s work and not much else. Client has a pc and a laptop. Client now keeps 3 or 4 versions of his stuff for ‘safety’ reasons: one on laptop, one on pc, on on dropbox and whatever… Obviously this isn’t great policy.
        So.. I’m going to get him a synology ds220j NAS with two 2 TB drives in RAID and I’ll advise him to run a second one in another location in case he wants absolute security

        he won’t be doing any media stuff at all.

        does anyone see anything wrong with that?

      5. I just bought QNap. With my experience DO NOT BUY QNAP! … It was running fine then i decided to update it. After that NO HARD DRIVE DETECTED. I read from their forums that just unplug the power cord. Now NAS refuses to take any connections ahahaha. What a piece of shit i wish i knew this before buying.

      6. I have watched hours of your shows, researching my first nas, and after more days of shopping around i managed to bag a qnap ts251d for £350 with 2×3tb hdd 6tb in total off an ebay seller needing the money, it also has a warranty and was only purchased christmas gone. as some of your shows are a bit older, i would love to hear your thoughts and any tips you have for when i recive it. keep up the good work????????????????????

      7. Excellent. Thanks. I bought the synology 220j maybe a year ago and I LOVE it. I do wish I had upgraded to the 220+ right off the bat, but I had never had a NAS and was on a tight budget. I only anticipated using it to auto upload pics from me and my wifes phone, and drive to sync my desktop files. It wasnt until I got it and realized how much they can really do that I started making a multimedia server of it among other things and really realized the power of these devices! Now I know how great they are i wish i had gotten a better one. Oh well. I”ll use it for the time being and probably end up upgrading to a DS920+ down the road, or the 922+.

      8. I hate qnap, just because of this feature. I bought 253d model, and this crap doesn’t work. Even when I do a hardware reset this crap turn disk every 30min… I googled every single thing on forums, tons of problems on all qnap generations and sizes. Since os passed 3.7 this thing doesn’work. If you use it for home use, go to synology. Better chance this will work for you.
        I spent hours and hours for the answer but there isn’t one that works.
        Sorry qnap but this is expensive crap that you are selling. Remove this feature until you fix it. Now, this OS crap is just destroying disks with spinups.
        Very dissapointed with crap that I bought for a lot of money.

      9. I was surprised you didn’t pick the DS 720+ as the top model, I also saw another vid that said the said ssd caching and extra ram on the 720 did almost nothing for performance, surely that cant be right? I’m reluctant to go for a qnap when my other unit is a ds718+ and I’m looking to use the older model as the backup target from the new model.

      10. the first rule of buying a 2 bay NAS is don’t buy a 2 bay NAS. you’ll out grow it far quicker than you imagined especially when using any form of parity drive. I moved from a DS220j to a custom Unraid setup (60tb of hard drives, 240gb SSD, 500gb SSD as cache drives + a 240gb unassigned SSD)

      11. Which NAS to buy was one of the hardest decisions in 2021. I chose the DS720+ because I don’t plan to buy a new model for the next 5-7 years. Even if SSD caching doesn’t really bring me any benefit, I’m glad to have it on board.

      12. Currently I’m trying to get the ps5 beta , I bought me a SSD ready to install went to the website and it says ended , can any one help me or can you make a updated video on it please 🙂

      13. I had the ds220+ back here in April return it back to Amazon and got the ds720+ I wanted that quad-core processor and the ability to upgrade it to the expansion drive been satisfied with it ever sense

      14. Im currently in the position to buy a nas but was looking at ds220+ but after seeing your video must admit fancy the qnap my budget will stretch to the qnap.
        Do you think i would regret getting the qnap if i went for the ds220+

      15. Just got 1813+ in mint condition for around $100 and wd sharepace mint condition $40. Though might need change the power supply in the future. In my country hdd price was really expensive 8tb and above around $40/tb. But the 6tb down $30/tb. So better buoght the biggest bay available.

      16. Hot damn! I just asked a few days ago about which 2 bay to buy for home use. You made a video when I was gonna pull the trigger on something today. Watching the video now. Thank you so much!

      17. I have old pc with Sandy Bridge i3 2100. It’s in active condition. Instead of sending it to some landfill, I want to use it as 4 drive NAS .. 2 for media & 2 for mirrored storage of personal files (photos, documents & softwares installation files).
        Suggestion invited.

      18. Hi thanks for this. All I want to do is have my movies on my nas, and play my movie files on my Samsung tv. I do have a network, but I was wondering if Im better with a nas device that has an hdmi connection directly to my tv. All of this is so overwhelming, im so confused. I could care less about watching movies on a cellphone or ipad. Seems like alot to go through just to watch my movies on my tv. Is this device still worth buying with todays technology. Any help is appreciated


        Whoever says RAID1 is any faster is not correct. The exact same data is copied on each disk for redundancy. RAID0 is faster and can be almost exactly 2x as quick with two drives but if one drive fails all data is lost.

      20. I’m really new to and have been researching these like crazy. I’d be mainly getting one for replacing Google Photos and sharing files first off. DS720+ really catches my eye but might get this due to price. Big differences seem to be speed and file system? If I decide to upgrade later what can I do with the DS220J and/or the drives inside?

      21. Great review! For those new to this, deciding to get one or not: I got one a couple of weeks ago. My first NAS. It takes a little while to get into everything, setting things up and learning what is what etc if you’re new to it, but it’s not hard, it’s just that it takes a little while to get into it. Completely worth it. Once it’s set up (for automatic backup in my case) you can almost forget about it. It’ll do its thing perfectly. Recommended! One VERY important thing though: If you get this, make sure you have at least gigabit (1000mbit/s or more) speed ethernet (router etc) or your file transfer speed will be so slow it’ll be almost useless! I saw many who had trouble with slow speeds who only had about 100 mbit speed connection. It was almost useless for them. I upgraded my equipment with a new router (from 100 to 1000mbit/s). Very important this.