Best 4-Bay NAS – 2020

Choosing the Best 4-Bay NAS Drive of 2020

This year has seen a whole new bunch of NAS hardware solutions arriving after the comparatively quiet period of 2018/19 and with it, a whole new range of solutions that will meet the expectations of 4-Bay NAS buyers. 4 Drive desktop servers are very much the bread and butter of the NAS industry, given that at this scale you can often purchase a solution that has a good level of capacity (even after a RAID 5), a good level of CPU and memory (to help move that data along) and a good level of connectivity (as 4 Bays is enough to comfortable saturate even most network environments). Despite their rather compact nature, a 4 Disk NAS desktop solution is where you start to see most brands flex their muscles a bit and provide a decent mid-range level of hardware and, generally, full support of their software catalogue of included applications. There are a few incredibly top end 4-Bays out there that focus on providing a fully-featured NAS user experience, supporting Plex, Collaboration Apps, Multi-Tier Backups, Virtual Machines, Cloud Sync and multi-user access worldwide – All three of my Top 3 winners below have these advantages and more. So, let’s take a look at the best 4-Bays to buy right now.

Best 4-Bay NAS – What Qualifies?

In order to ensure things are fair, all 4-Bay NAS that are considered are required to confirm/support the following:

  • The NAS server needs to have been released before October 31st 2020, so it has been officially available to buy and review
  • Only Desktop/Tower systems are being considered, Rackmount servers are generally harder to compare and are more tailored to industry
  • Each solution must be a combined Hardware+Software solution
  • Must have at least 2 years manufacturers warranty
  • Must Be Expandable (ie allow connection of an expansion to add storage/drives at a later date)
  • Only 4-Bay NAS solutions that can be considered Home, Prosumer or Small Business, So no NAS can exceed $999, as I think this counts as a Medium-Large Business Use and that is a different subject

That’s about it. There are a few ‘honourable mentions’, which were not applicable BUT I do recommend you check them out, as they are still excellent 4-Bay solutions and if you can spare the money or are looking for something a bit more ‘Business’, they may suit your needs

Honourable Mentions:

QNAP TVS-472XT Thunderbolt 3 & 10Gbe NASReview HERE

QNAP HS-453DX Silent 10Gbe NASReview HERE

Synology DVA3219 Graphics Card Supported AI Surveillance NASReview HERE

Best 4-Bay NAS for Software Buyers – Synology DS920+

0- 72TB, 4-Bays, J4125 Intel Celeron 4-Core CPU, 4-8GB DDR4 Memory,1Gbe Ports, NVMe SSD Cache Bays, Synology Hybrid RAID, 3yr Warranty, $550  

Hardware Review –

What We Said 21/05/20:

The DS920+ NAS is something that Synology should be proud of. It is a great entry into their already impressive range of Diskstation NAS devices. If you are looking for a brand new NAS to consolidate your home media, to support your relative as the ‘IT whizz’ of the family, or move your business away from Google Drives and DropBox’ onto something safer, more scalable and dependable – then the DS920+ has alot to offer you. It gives you a great base to start using the DSM platform, as well as a good means to upgrade your storage internally at a later date (expansions in memory, expansions in storage, expansion in NVMe). If you are an existing DS918+ or DS916+ owner, this might not seem like the jump you were waiting for.

  • Dual NVMe M.2 cache
  • Great RAID Options
  • Excellent choice of Apps
  • Snapshot Replication
  • BTRFS and SHR
  • Support Plex
  • Virtualization
  • 4K Video transcoding
  • Full Plex Transcoding
  • Hot-Swap trays
  • DLNA Compliant
  • Expandable
  • No Copy button
  • Only 1Gbe Ethernet ports
  • No PCIe slots
  • Only a single accessible Memory Bay


Best 4-Bay NAS for Both Hardware & Software – QNAP TS-453D

0- 72TB, 4-Bays, J4125 4-Core CPU,  4GB DDR4 Memory, 2.5G Ports, HDMI 2.0 4K 6-FPS, PCIe Gen 2 x2 Expansion Slot, 8 Camera Licenses, 3yr Warranty, $499  

Hardware Review –

What We Said 19/06/20:

Arriving at a price point that is a pinch higher than some might expect (especially those weighing up between the TS-453D and TS-453Be), this serves as a more compact and affordable alternative to the TVS-473e and TVS-472XT. The TS-453D NAS is something that QNAP should be proud of. It is a great entry into their already impressive range of desktop NAS devices, finding an excellent balance between home and business users. If you are looking for a brand new ‘powerful on a budget’ NAS to consolidate your home media, Set up a Surveillance network, run virtual OS environments, sort through photo media, support your relatives as the ‘IT whizz’ of the family, or move your business away from Google Drives and DropBox’ onto something safer, more scalable and dependable – then the TS-453D has alot to offer you. It gives you a great base to start using the QTS platform, as well as a good means to upgrade your storage internally at a later date (expansions in memory to 8GB, expansions in storage with the TL & TR Series, expansion in NVMe, 10Gbe both in the QM2 range and more). That said, If you are an existing TS-453Be or TS-453B owner, this might not seem like the jump you were waiting for. Likewise, the odd choice of PCIe Gen 2 x2 may present an internal bottleneck for some.

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


Best 4-Bay NAS for Hardware Buyers – Asustor LockerStor 4 AS6604T

0- 72TB, 4-Bays, J4125 Celeron 4-Core CPU, 4/8GB DDR4 Memory, 2.5Gbe Ports, HDMI 2.0 4K 60FPS, NVMe SSD Cache Bays, 3yr Warranty, $549  

Hardware Review –

What We Said 17/08/20:

You simply cannot fault the Lockerstor 4 NAS system in terms of hardware. Pretty much every single recent innovation that other NAS brand has boasted about in 2020 (BTRFS, HDMI 2.0, 2.5Gbe, NVMe SSD, etc) on their platforms have ALL been combined into this system. There is a tremendous amount of flexibility available to the end-user, and you can certainly see that Asustor has REALLY made the most of out of this architecture, ensuring this chipset has had its boundaries pushed as far as they can go in terms of hardware features. There is no avoiding that the software could still do with a few extra top-tier applications and although Asustor ADM is a huge leap forward from the already impressive platform we discussed at length a year ago, it still feels like it is still playing catch up with a number of the other brands that leverage a decent percentage of their budget in favour of software.

That said, the Lockerstor 4 represents an excellent 50/50 balance between hardware and software for the end-user and if you are someone that will chiefly use the NAS’ system for your own pre-existing third party software (eg your own PC/Mac software and then pointing them at the NAS system storage), then you genuinely will struggle to find better than the Lockerstor 4 right now for your money. All the while with the ADM platform featuring regular updates, regular security monitoring and anti-malware measures in place doing their thing in the background regardless.

PROs of the AS6604T Lockerstor 4 CONs of the AS6604T Locksterstor 4
  • Best Price Vs Hardware right now
  • 2.5Gbe Speeds
  • NVMe SSD Cache Bays
  • Best Mid-Range CPU
  • Great Plex Media Server Hardware
  • HDMI 2.0a = 4K 60FPS
  • Dedicated HDMI (Asustor Portal)
  • Huge USB Peripheral Support
  • BTRFS Support
  • Cloud/NAS/USB Backup Support
  • Great VM Support
  • No PCIe Upgrade Option
  • No option for NVMe as raw storage – possible CPU limitation
  • Software still not quite on par with competitors




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