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How to Choose the Best Nas (Network Attached Storage) Server for Your Devices for 2020

Updated on January 20, 2020
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In a very short time, the NAS has revolutionized the world of data storage. Saving, centralizing, and sharing resources has never been easier than with a NAS. Professionals and individuals swear by this revolutionary storage device which is becoming more and more fashionable.

NAS have become more and more popular in recent years, manufacturers are stepping up their creativity to design NAS with ever more features. To avoid getting lost here are some essential points to take into account when buying a NAS:

Processor and RAM:

This is a decisive criterion when choosing a NAS, the type of processor and the size of the RAM depend on the use you will make of your NAS. Note that the speed of operations on your NAS is closely linked to the power of the CPU. There's no need to go broke in a dual-core NAS with 8 GB of RAM if you're going to use it for basic home use.

The number of bays:

Each bay can accommodate a hard drive whose size varies from 500 GB to 8 TB. To set the number of bays you will need, you must take into account two important criteria which are: the total storage space you want to have as well as the desired memory layout. Indeed, this second point is essential, because there are several storage modes, here are the most common:

JBOD:

This mode allows you to combine the capacity of the various disks present on your NAS and to obtain a large storage space. In the event of a disk failure, only the data it contains is lost (the data contained in the other disks remains intact)

RAID 0 :

(English acronym Redundant Array of Independent Disks) In this mode, all the disks are combined into a single logical volume. This method of arrangement can be interesting if you want to store temporary and unimportant data, but it is still very inadvisable (because very unreliable) if you want to store important data, because in case of alteration of a single disc, all data disappears.

RAID 1 :

This mode is much more secure than the previous one, as soon as one piece of data is written to one disc, it is immediately copied (cloned) to another. This method minimizes the risk of data loss in the event of a disk failure. The major drawback of this mode is the loss of 50% of your useful space.

Ports :

The number and type of ports vary from one model to another, again, this criterion depends on your use of the NAS. In general, you will find that any NAS has a connection for the power supply, an Ethernet port (to connect the NAS with your box) as well as USB ports. However, there are NAS with specific ports such as HDMI ports.

NOTE

If you work on the internet or have several electronic devices (Computers, smartphones, tablets, smart-TV ...) at home you should know that it can be difficult to quickly and easily transfer files between these platforms! Different protocols, tangled cables and repeated formatting of USB sticks have also been my daily life for many years.

With a NAS server, you can create an exchange platform accessible from your home or anywhere in the world from the moment you have an internet connection. All devices can easily connect to it to deposit and download documents, it is the heart of the personal network with all your important data (Often encrypted). I suggest you help you choose yours easily on this site.

1. WD My Cloud Pro PR4100: The best professional NAS server

All regular and advanced computer users know the WD or Western Digital brand which offers solutions both in the field of storage with high-performance hard drives and SSDs and in the network with, for example, NAS servers.

2. Synology DS416PLAY: The inexpensive professional NAS server

Synology is a brand that offers a wide variety of computer products such as routers and NAS. We are interested here in their DS416 Play NAS model, a professional 4-bay server and not too expensive.

This Synology NAS is available in different versions that have more or less storage space. The DS416 Play will certainly be suitable for small and medium businesses. This NAS pro has a dual-core processor that can process data quickly to be as responsive as possible. For this, the NAS also offers storage with different types of RAID (by default RAID 5) to ensure the best possible processing speed as well as further improved security.

This server is suitable for small businesses with not too much data to process, the “heaviest” version of DS416 can indeed store 16 TB, which is half the maximum storage capacity of the NAS PR4100 in first place. The Synology DS 416 is simple to install and configure yourself and its clear interfaces will allow everyone to use it easily.

3. TerraMaster F4-220: The top for enthusiasts

TerraMaster is not a very well-known brand in the network/internet world, so I was very suspicious when I ordered this product. However, I was pleasantly surprised by its performance and I would gladly recommend it if you are passionate like me!

The TerraMaster NAS F4-220 is an exceptional design product that is powerful and customizable as desired. If it is in the "passionate" section and not "professional" it is simply because it requires a little more resourcefulness to be configured really as desired. The software is much less intuitive than the two other models presented above and a beginner could find it difficult to navigate ...

In addition to this small problem of accessibility to neophytes, this NAS is extremely powerful, it is available in an overpowered version with 5 bays and a 4-core processor, but I recommend the model which has a dual-core processor, 4 bays and 2 GB of Ram which allow it to process data very quickly. It is a powerful and design product that I really like and that I use everyday at home. The processing speed of the 4-core version is incomparable (Faster than the WD Pro PR4100 first of this top) but its lighter version is more than enough for a network at home. The F4 220 allows you to use different types of RAID to ensure the best security and the best speed possible.

4. HooToo : le NAS portable

The product I'm going to tell you about now is not a NAS per se, but rather a portable hard drive. It's a small device that just plugs into the network and a hard drive to create a NAS in seconds. It is a bit out of the top ranking but it can be useful in certain circumstances.

This "portable NAS" has a USB socket to connect a hard drive for example and to charge it, a micro HDMI socket to connect a phone or a hard drive and an ethernet socket to connect the device to a network.

For example, the Hootoo makes it easy to share your photos at the end of a weekend with family / friends in the blink of an eye. We create a network with the Hootoo and connect a hard drive to it for storage. Anyone can now log in and drop / retrieve the photos they want.

© 2020 Tezeh Collins

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    • Nathanville profile image

      Arthur Russ 

      11 days ago from England

      A very informative article and an interesting read: I’ve been using a NAS for our home system for over 10 years now, and find it very useful. We only have a basic Synology Model (with two hard drives), but that’s all we need for our purposes; and I’ve installed the hard drives as JBOD (Just a Bunch of Disks) because that suits my purposes.

      And as you said, it’s a great ‘exchange platform’ for all our devices around the home, including our TV e.g. using the NAS we can easily watch our home videos, listen to music and even browse our holiday photos through our main TV in the living room (watching/listening in comfort on the big screen).

      But the main purpose is that it’s an excellent ‘back-up storage’ for our man computer, and a brilliant exchange platform between the computers and laptops of different family members in the household.

    • T col profile imageAUTHOR

      Tezeh Collins 

      12 days ago

      thanks

    • Ivana Divac profile image

      Ivana Divac 

      12 days ago from Serbia

      Very informative and useful. Thank you for this hub!

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