Best Surveillance NAS of the Year – 2022/2023

A Guide to the Best Surveillance NAS Drives to Buy Right Now

When you consider investing in a NAS drive in your home or business environment, you always want to maximize your investment in this new kind of technology. Systems are designed to do many different things at once and each top-tier NAS brand includes a complete software and application environment with their hardware, allowing you to support multiple different services at any given time. The most popular services that new buyers tend to choose are that of multi-tiered backups, multimedia playback, shared drives for collaboration and, of course, surveillance. Utilising a NAS system as a bespoke and highly proficient NVR (network video recorder) system is growing in popularity all the time and allows home to small business users to ensure the safety and security of family and employees alike. It is for this reason that the majority of brands have their own surveillance software included with the purchase of your NAS, allowing you to add multiple IP cameras in your network environment that can be accessed and recorded from 24/7, with customised alerts and an enterprise-level dashboard with which to control them. Because all of the NAS brands tend to include surveillance software with their hardware, it can be hard to choose the right NAS for your own particular surveillance setup. Factors such as the maximum number of cameras you can use, compatibility with IP Camera brands and available camera licenses will always play a part. So today I am showing you the top 3 NAS for surveillance to buy in 2022/2023. Each one has been selected based on their own individual highlights, with one being the best value surveillance solution, one being the most robust surveillance NAS and finally one is the best business class enterprise NAS surveillance solution where power and performance are key. Let’s take a look.

Best Surveillance NAS – What Qualifies?

As mentioned, almost all NAS drives have an element of surveillance included to a greater or lesser extent, so how can I break down thousands of NAS solutions down to just three? Well, first off all NAS that are considered need to confirm against the following qualifications for a NVR use NAS system:

  • Only Desktop/Tower systems are being considered, Rackmount servers are generally harder to compare and are more tailored to data center and/or general server file storage
  • Each solution must be a combined Hardware+Software solution – Include a Surveillance Management utility
  • Must have at least 2 years of manufacturers warranty
  • MUST include at least 4 Camera Licenses (a large part of the cost ultimately)
  • Must be at least a 4-Bay NAS, as you need to provision for storage AND redundancy in the event of a failed drive
  • Must have the ability to export footage without interrupting live feeds
  • Must support accepted camera brands (AXIS, Hikvision, Edimax, Reolink, Annke, etc) as well as ONVIF protocol and client applications

The above rules certainly narrow down the available NAS drives in the market down a little, but it still means that a lot of NAS drives are suitable, but not PERFECT. So, below is my top three recommended NAS to buy for surveillance in 2022/2023.

What Have All the Best Surveillance NAS Drives Have in Common?

It is worth remembering that although there are ALOT of different Surveillance 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 Surveillance solutions that I am recommending below OR are looking at another Surveillance NAS you saw on offer/recommended elsewhere – the best NAS system ALWAYS includes 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 Ironwolf 22TB and WD Red 22TB)
  • 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 Surveillance NAS to buy now in 2022/2023.


Best All Round Surveillance NAS Drive – QNAP TS-453E NAS

0-88TB, 8 Surveillance Camera Licenses, 40x Camera Max, M.2 Google TPU Support for AI Services, USB Camera Support,KVM Support, 2x M.2 Gen 3 NVMe 2280, Intel J6412 Celeron CPU, 8GB Memory, 2x 2.5Gbe Port, 3yr Warranty

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $599

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

What I said in my review Aug ’22:

The QNAP TS-453E NAS is a device that really grew on me! With these home/business server companies releasing refreshes of their ranges every 2-2.5yrs or so, it is easy to see them fall into repetitive patterns when it comes to how the hardware is picked at each tier/price-point. The TS-453E NAS on the other hand manages to carve a new tier into the brand’s portfolio right now in 2022, managing to give you some really solid internal/external hardware that most would have assumed would be half of what it is at this level of QNAP’s 4-bay portfolio (i.e Quad-Core, 8GB, NVMe M.2s, 2.5GbE, 10G USB, 3yr warranty, etc) and it will certainly make some buyers wonder about whether the current Prosumer/flagship TS-464 is as necessary to their home or office as they once thought.

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The fixed memory, even at 8GB default, is rather annoying and a lack of PCIe slot means that 10GbE will remain out of reach – but look at this NAS sandwiched between the TS-451D2 & TS-464 and it makes alot of sense. This is for those not really looking at expandability years from now and although that plastic case still looks a little dated/cheap, this is not a device designed to be noticed day-to-day. For those looking to make their first tentative entry into the world of NAS a decent one or looking to upgrade cautiously from an ARM system, the QNAP TS-453E is an excellent shout!

SOFTWARE - 8/10
HARDWARE - 10/10
PERFORMANCE - 9/10
PRICE - 8/10
VALUE - 9/10


8.8
PROS
👍🏻Exceptional CPU choice for the Scale/Tier
👍🏻8GB of DDR4 Memory
👍🏻2.5GbE (x2) Ports on Day 1
👍🏻Two USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gb/s) Ports!
👍🏻2x M.2 NVMe Slots alongside those 4x SATA Bays for Storage (Caching, Tiered Storage or standalone Pools)
👍🏻Includes VM, Surveillance (8 licenses and upto 32 Cams), Backup, Sync, Multimedia, SaaS sync/migration and office tools (some with added AI services)
👍🏻3-Year Warranty (Can be extended)
👍🏻VERY Compact, low-impact design
👍🏻Supports 1-2x Expansions
👍🏻20TB and 22TB Confirmed Compatibility
CONS
👎🏻Memory Cannot be Upgraded
👎🏻M.2 NVMe SSD Slots are Gen 3 x2
👎🏻Chassis is still a little dated looking

 


Most Powerful Surveillance NAS System – Synology DVA3221 NAS

0-88TB, 4-Bays, Intel C3538 4-Core CPU,  4-32GB ECC Memory, 4x 1Gb Ports, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650, 3yr Warranty, 8 Camera License included, 

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $2000+

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

What I said in my review Nov ’20:

The Synology DVA3221 is a NAS that when I heard it could be used as a surveillance station NAS and a Diskstation NAS made me very happy indeed. However, now with the benefit of hindsight, I can see that this compromise in dedicated surveillance use has led to some choices (the CPU and lack of HDMI/DVI + KVM output) that in many ways limit its complete potential. I have no hesitation in saying this is the very best and most capable surveillance NAS that Synology has ever produced, and once you take into account the inclusion of that graphics card and 8 camera licences for surveillance station, the price can even be justified for the most part. What it comes down to is whether you desperately need these features and don’t mind paying more now to save lots later. A year from now Synology might allow users to install their own graphics cards or will find a way to introduce some deep video analysis features onto non-GPU NAS – of this there is no guarantee, but if you need these features in 2020/2021, this is the best NAS you can get right now. The DVA3221 NVR NAS features familiar internal hardware in terms of CPU and available memory. Arriving with the Intel C3538 Atom CPU, this quad-core processor with a 2.1 GHz clock speed has already proven on several occasions to be a highly capable processor for everything from surveillance to virtual machines and multimedia use in the likes of the DS1819+ and DS1618+. I know it is not the most popular processor in the market right now since Synology has moved their SMB devices towards the Ryzen-embedded V1500B, but Synology has spent quite a few years working with this CPU family and has optimised the hell out of it for the DSM platform. Though it’s the support of 4K is less than other Celeron and Pentium processors right now, it is still a CPU with a tremendous amount of potential still left in it.

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Once again, they could have opened the door to a more capable processor such as the Intel Xeon found in the DS1621xs+, but this would have only served to increase the base price point of the DVA3221 again. This CPU is further supported with 8GB of DDR4 memory, that can be upgraded all the way to an impressive 32GB of memory. Additionally, this memory is Error Code Correction (ECC) memory, which is especially attractive to business users and (in the case of an NVR solution) is another layer of protection from data failure to have. If you intend to use the DVA3221 to its full potential, it is recommended that you increase the base memory of this device to at least 16GB, as although the memory on the graphics card provides great real-time analytics and analysis of captured footage, the standard memory of the NAS is still going to be tremendously important for the typical running of this device.
SOFTWARE - 10/10
HARDWARE - 7/10
PERFORMANCE - 8/10
PRICE - 8/10
VALUE - 7/10


8.0
PROS
👍🏻Affordable Alternative to the DVA3221
👍🏻Real-Time AI Camera recording saves hundreds of man-hours
👍🏻Uses CPU Integrated Gfx, using less power than a separate Graphics Card
👍🏻8 Camera Licenses included (worth around £300)
👍🏻BTRFS and SHR Support
👍🏻Great Surveillance Person/Thing tracking
👍🏻Intelligent Motion Tracking
👍🏻Intelligent Counting and Border Control
👍🏻Additional Deep Video Analysis Options
👍🏻KVM Support over a 4K 60FPS HDMI
👍🏻Synology Recently released first-party cameras!
CONS
👎🏻ONLY 6GB Max Memory
👎🏻Quite expensive for a 2-Bay NAS and not expandable
👎🏻The CPU is a little disappointing for 2022
👎🏻No m.2 slots and only 1 LAN

Surveillance Station DVA1622 DVA3221
Video Analysis Deep Video Analytics Features
  • People and vehicle detection (with license plate recognition)
  • People counting
  • Vehicle counting
  • Intrusion detection
  • Face recognition
  • People and vehicle detection (with license plate recognition)
  • People counting
  • Vehicle counting
  • Intrusion detection
  • Face recognition
Deep Video Analytics Tasks
  • People and vehicle detection (with license plate recognition): up to 2 tasks
  • People counting: up to 2 tasks
  • Vehicle counting: up to 2 tasks
  • Intrusion detection (detecting specific objects): up to 2 tasks
  • Face recognition: up to 1 task
  • People and vehicle detection (without license plate recognition): up to 12 tasks
  • People and vehicle detection (with license plate recognition): up to 6 tasks
  • People counting: up to 12 tasks
  • Vehicle counting: up to 12 tasks
  • Intrusion detection (detecting specific objects): up to 12 tasks
  • Intrusion detection (detecting all objects): up to 6 tasks
  • Face recognition: up to 6 tasks

Best Affordable AI Surveillance System NAS  – Synology DVA1622 NAS

0-44TB, 2-Bays, Intel Celeron J4125 4-Core CPU, 4-32GB ECC Memory, 1x 1Gb Ports, Uses Integrated Graphics for AI Processes, 3yr Warranty, 8 Camera License included, 16 CAMS Max

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $599

Hardware Review – (Coming Soon)

YouTube Video Review – (Coming Soon, Hardware Overview HERE)

Synology NVR DVA1622 is a 2-bay desktop recording server that gives home and small business users access to fast, smart, and accurate video surveillance powered by deep learning-based algorithms. Built-in automated event detection helps safeguard properties by detecting people, vehicles, or objects and alerting staff when self-configured rules or thresholds are breached

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Complete Surveillance Solution With Built-in AI Capabilities
The DVA1622 makes powerful AI-enabled surveillance available for everyone in a compact solution that includes everything you need to create an efficient surveillance system.

  • Cover all angles: Record and manage up to 16 IP camera feeds
  • Leverage deep learning: Run 2 simultaneous real-time video analysis processes or 1 facial recognition task
  • Licenses included: Add up to 8 IP cameras without purchasing additional licenses
  • Direct video output: Simply plug a monitor into the built-in HDMI port to watch surveillance feeds without a separate PC or mobile device
  • Local management: Set up, manage, and control your deployment locally by attaching a keyboard and mouse
SOFTWARE - 10/10
HARDWARE - 7/10
PERFORMANCE - 8/10
PRICE - 8/10
VALUE - 7/10


8.0
PROS
👍🏻Affordable Alternative to the DVA3221
👍🏻Real-Time AI Camera recording saves hundreds of man-hours
👍🏻Uses CPU Integrated Gfx, using less power than a separate Graphics Card
👍🏻8 Camera Licenses included (worth around £300)
👍🏻BTRFS and SHR Support
👍🏻Great Surveillance Person/Thing tracking
👍🏻Intelligent Motion Tracking
👍🏻Intelligent Counting and Border Control
👍🏻Additional Deep Video Analysis Options
👍🏻KVM Support over a 4K 60FPS HDMI
👍🏻Synology Recently released first-party cameras!
CONS
👎🏻ONLY 6GB Max Memory
👎🏻Quite expensive for a 2-Bay NAS and not expandable
👎🏻The CPU is a little disappointing for 2022
👎🏻No m.2 slots and only 1 LAN

 


 



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    41 thoughts on “Best Surveillance NAS of the Year – 2022/2023

    1. Would you be able to use the DVA as a video encoder / decoder, eg: as a media server? My current system is using synology to stream video to local devices via plex / emby applications. I’m wondering if the GPU can be repurposed or is it locked to Synology’s own applications.
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    2. If I were to use a TS-453E with HD station with 8 cams would there be any additional cost or gotcha’s? Or would it be free running? Do I need to purchase AI or will the default suffice? Any issues or costs? How would be the performance? I have the 2 nvme occupied with Qtier, so I don’t have any extra slots open for AI.
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    3. I sometimes occasionally would recommend against using a NAS as a surveillance station;
      First of all, the NAS producers are more & more moving all such surveillance software from a one-time license-purchase to an annual license-purchase and discontinuing (!) all of their one-time licensed products overnight! (that is how we felt after we purchased literally for hundreds of euros licenses right before a major release). Additional purchaseable services (subscriptions!) will often also be required for the more powerful things that are AI-based etc.
      Your quite affordable NAS can become quite expensive very quickly, if not careful. Annually.
      Granted, the surveillance software is, with the optional additional services etc, quite powerful and with some very nice features nowadays but it will cost quite something.
      For at home, a handful of cameras etc, it is most probably fine with the depicted NASses in this video. Perhaps even a few cameras via wireless etc. I would also recommend not to do much very heavy loads beyond surveillance (such as dockers, VM’s, sdeveral cloud services) as it is often not the NAS that can handle it (with the right specs etc) but with plenty of cameras you may possibly saturate your network if not careful. Treat the NAS as a surveillance deployment primary and some additional “non-heavyweight” services secondary. Or opt for a second NAS for everything else when using surveillance application. Not that the surveillance NAS will break out in a sweat, that often, when only used for surveillance. But is better to have something powerful being underutilised most of the time and a system that is constantly running at higher loads and sometimes can be overloaded.
      My 5 eurocents..
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    4. THANK YOU NASCompares, your reviews are valuable. I bought this NAS because of this review, couldn’t be any happier with it. It is so good on so many levels, can’t thank you enough.
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    5. Any news whether this QNAP NAS will have a slot for upgadable memory? Even old NAS as TS-451 has upgradable memory to ditch the standard 4GB to max out 16GB to help out CPU to perform.
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    6. Built a Blue Iris system on a used ebay desktop and a Synology 916+ for Plex and four 24/7 Dahua camera recording… works fine. Replaced all Ironwolves with Synology when one wolf died after 5 years. I do hear the drives chugging away.
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    7. I have ordered one of these from Amazon UK for a smidge under £700, it’s coming from Qnap directly. My DS1815+ died a second time and the soldering the 1k resistor fix didn’t work for me 🙁 Will be extending warranty to 5 years..
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    8. In general a good package (except the non-extendable memory and again the lack of at least more USB 3.2 Gen1 ports for backup at the back of the device). But where is the sensor for the remote control? This seems to be another big downside compared to TS-451+ and TS-453pro.
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    9. Given all the security problems recently revealed about QNAP devices, no thanks. I would rather deal with the crappier hardware and higher prices of Synology.
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    10. Very nice, thorough, review of the device.

      TBH, I’m not so chuffed as you about the lack of included M.2 drive heat sinks. I’d rather go with a heatsink from the drive maker than some “one size fits all” attempt by QNAP.
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    11. I have the QNAP 451+ and so very interesting review of its replacement. I don’t like the plastic drive trays on either NAS. I do like the chasis though of both units, so it is a personal thing.
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    12. …………@NASCompares: Could you please tell me, when the new 22er Models of the 920+ and 720+ will come? Or can i also use the DVA1622 instead as “normal” NAS? Please help
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    13. Love the videos! Please can you do one on offsite backup options for Synology NAS? I am trying to work out if back blaze b2 would be the cheapest option but there are so many options available!
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    14. Hi love your videos. Need your help i got an Asuator NAS with 4 bay hard drive slot. Looking for wifi outdoor camara. Any suggestions? Also can i use 2 of the hd slots for camera grade hard drive?
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    15. C’mon, their justification for charging for camera licenses is a crock! Everyone knows it just another way to make more money, greedy bastards! And now licenses that expire, are you shittin’ me. Screw Synology, Qnap and all the rest of the NAS manufactures who do this. I’ll stick with a dedicated system where I don’t need “any stinking licenses”.
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    16. How did surveillance exist before these hard drives were released? This is marketing and nonsense. Do you think your hard drive isn’t spinning while you are not writing on it? Writing consistent stream is probably the easiest your hard drive can do.
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    17. First NAS vid I ever watched! Very informative and this is how the pros do it after all! I was only after a night wifi cam (some mofo keyed my car – good luck seeing anything with regular CCTV!!!!!) which are 30-150… then I thought hmmm ring….. then I saw reolink and nest… then I arrived to hikvision. Then darkfighter cams. The I got to NAS and synology. Then I started checking the bank. Then I factored the cost of repeating my keyed car…. Love life!!! True story.
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