Best NAS Device for Home Office in 2021: Network Attached Storage Reviews

Some call him a rapper, some call him a lyricist, but suffice to say, Nas (aka Nasir Jones) is far better equipped to entertain than he is to tell you about the best NAS device for home office. 

In fact suffice to say, he probably has some lacky who takes care of his home office setup / studio.

For us mere mortals on the other hand, we need to rely on good quality, honest reviews that spell out the pros and the cons, the good and the not-so-good, and answer those burning questions you might have.

And that’s exactly why we’ve spent the last 2 days researching far and wide so that we can share our balanced view on what is the best NAS for home use. 

Setting up your home office? Check out these articles on the 10 Best Desktop Computers for Home Office or The Best Home Printers for Small Business & Home Use.

This post contains affiliate links and I may be compensated, at no additional cost to you, if you make a purchase after clicking on a link. 

Top 3 Picks: Best NAS Device for Home Office

best nas device for home office

Best User Interface:

Buffalo LinkStation 220

best nas device for home office

Best Media Support:

Synology DiskStation DS220+

Best NAS Device for Home Office: Full Reviews

1. Synology DiskStation DS220+

When it comes to data protection, Synology is one of those brands that made its mark in the IT world.

The DiskStation DS220+ is one of its featured solutions for streamlining multimedia and data management.

Product Highlights

With its multiple qualities, the Synology DiskStation DS220+ has earned its spot as one of the best NAS for home use today.

Some of its most notable features include:

  • Seamless Integration

DiskStation’s extensive support for network file sharing protocols such as NFS, CIFS, FTP, AFP, and others enables the entire workplace to organize files and collaborate on projects.

Alternatively, you can synchronize data across numerous devices or even different locations so that collaboration between remote teams is possible.

In other words, with the help of Synology mobile applications, you’re able to have quick and secure data accessibility from virtually anywhere.

These mobile apps are QuickConnect, DS audio, Moments, and DS video.

  • Multimedia Support

The Synology DiskStation DS220+ features an easy browser interface access to multimedia content via desktop, tablet, or mobile devices.

Audio Station is the music hub, which automatically sorts and organizes your audio files and stream to Google Cast-enabled peripherals.

Moments is the photo organizer, an AI-enabled graphic management application that allows you to store such files easily.

Video Station makes it effortless to manage your video files and allows streaming across multiple platforms.

  • Powerful Processor

The two-core 2.0 GHz speeds up demanding applications while making web applications operate faster than average.

As such, you have the means to seamlessly categorize and manage your files across desktops, laptops, and mobile devices.

  • Smart Security

Surveillance Station provides sophisticated monitoring and video management capabilities.

You can do actions such as controlling numerous IP cameras with live streaming, I/O module integration, and more to help protect your essential areas.

The Good

One of the advanced features that make the Synology DiskStation DS220+ one of the best NAS for home is its Btrfs file system.

It utilizes cutting-edge storage space technologies and optimized snapshots to minimize data damage and save potential maintenance overhead.

Overall, this NAS provides versatile, efficient data protection and recovery solutions while maintaining high-level data integrity.

The Not-so-Good

The memory cap of 6 GB might be a bit disappointing for some since it doesn’t overwhelm its predecessor, the DS218+, by a lot.

Also, you cannot swap the pre-installed RAM, which significantly limits your choices if you want to upgrade. 


Pros

    • Silent operation
    • Easy setup
    • Stable performance
    • 4K media transcoding


Cons

    • No NVME port for caching
    • Android support could be better

2. ASUSTOR AS5202T

ASUSTOR is an established supplier of private cloud storage or NAS and network video recorder systems.

As the recipient of recognition by multiple outlets, the ASUSTOR AS5202T is a testament to the brand’s penchant for innovation.

Product Highlights

This NAS has more than enough to offer for amateur and advanced users; hence earning it’s place in this best NAS device for home office list. Here’s what you can expect from this device:

  • Fast Transfer Rates

Two slots of 2.5-Gigabit Ethernet port are featured in the AS5202T.

When installing compatible hardware, you can get up to 150 percent faster and more efficient performance than Gigabit Ethernet.

It’s also possible to reach 5 Gbps speed by utilizing Link Aggregation.

  • CPU Speed

The AS5202T uses the Intel Gemini Lake Celeron J4005 two-core CPU, which is 30% quicker than the Apollo Lake CPU.

This version of Intel Celeron is also capable of doubling the on-chip cache to 4MB.

When you consider these qualities, the AS5202T is one of the faster and overall best home NAS devices in the market today.

  • User-Friendly Theme

To help novice users perform tasks on the ASUSTOR AS5202T, it comes with a theme similar to a video game.

The user interface is fresh and vivid, with easy and recognizable current OS controls. As such, a steep learning curve should be a minimal issue.

  • Mobile Installation

With the help of AiMaster, mobile installation for ASUSTOR AS5202T is as simple as it gets.

Locating your NAS, system installation, ADM firmware upgrades, power management, system information, and many more are all available at any moment via a mobile device.

The Good

The two-bay unit version of the AS5202T has a stock of two gigabytes of DDR4 RAM installed, and you can expand it to eight gigabytes.

Other NAS might come with DDR3 RAMs. Performance-wise, DDR4 RAM outperforms DDR3 RAM by up to 30% while decreasing energy needs by 40%.

The Not-so-Good

If you’re looking forward to upgrading the PCIe or installing an SSD drive via the NVMe SSD slots, you need to choose a different NAS.

The ASUSTOR AS5202T does not offer PCIe upgrade option nor slots for M.2 or NVME bays.


Pros

    • 4K HDR playback capability
    • Compact build
    • Effortless remote accessibility


Cons

    • Questionable fan quality
    • Prone to vibration

3. WD My Cloud Expert Series EX2 Ultra

For extra storage needs, WD is one of the top names that come to mind.

The WD My Cloud Expert Series EX2 Ultra is one of its entries in the NAS category with multiple TB of storage options.

Product Highlights

As one of the best NAS device for home office in terms of storage options, this WD product is built to deliver exceptional features, including:

  • Data Protection

Acronis True Image for WD software provides simple, efficient, and safe cyber security.

The program combines award-winning backup with AI-based defense against cryptojacking threats and ransomware.

With compatibility for PC and Mac computers, it backs up everything from operating systems and apps to settings and individual files.

  • Uninterrupted Streaming

Fast transfer rates for high-performance media streaming are among the key features of the WD My Cloud Expert Series EX2 Ultra.

The Marvell ARMADA 385 1.3GHz dual-core CPU and 1GB of DDR3 RAM let you experience such qualities, which works well for HD videos.

The Plex Media Server organizes and manages all of your images, movies, and music for smooth streaming to your digital devices for software support.

  • Network Backup

Backing up and managing large amounts of data from numerous devices using the My Cloud EX2 Ultra is not only simple.

Besides an effortless data backup, you are also not required to have paid subscriptions.

  • Easy File Sharing

With the My Cloud Expert Series EX2 Ultra, you may easily personalize your sharing by utilizing public or private links.

You may publish your material so that anybody can see it by using a public link.

On the other hand, you may offer users restricted or full-access and securely work with anybody via a private link.

The Good

The My Cloud EX2 Ultra allows you to personalize the system by going with your preferred RAID configuration.

Overall, compared to other NAS, there are more RAID capabilities for this product.

The Not-so-Good

Regarding the best NAS device for home offices, the lack of available third-party apps might prevent this entry from being considered as such.

While this deterrent may be an afterthought for most casual users, others who want more functionality might want to look for other NAS devices.


Pros

    • Fast setup
    • Wide compatibility
    • Cost-efficient
    • Great transmission rate


Cons

    • UI could be better
    • Plastic handle might easily break

4. Buffalo LinkStation 220

Like Western Digital, Buffalo is also an established name in the data storage business.

Among its popular releases for NAS devices is the Buffalo LinkStation 220, which is available in multiple drive bays.

Product Highlights

Being one of the considerations for the best NAS device for home office, this cloud station from Buffalo has numerous notable features, such as:

  • Direct File Transfers

The Direct Copy function automatically enables you to send media files from your recording devices to your LinkStationTM website.

This function gives the LinkStation 220 an edge over other similar products that have a propriety interface.

  • Exceptional Accessibility

You can build up a private cloud network by using Buffalo’s free WebAccess service.

With a few tweaks, you’re able to access or share data via the Internet from anywhere quickly.

As long as you have smart devices and the free Buffalo app installed, accessing your digital assets saved on LinkStation 220 is a seamless task.

Streaming four HD videos simultaneously is also viable, making this entry a strong consideration for the best NAS for home use.

  • Data Backup for Multiple Devices

Authorized users can back up data on up to five computers on one Buffalo LinkStation 220.

For homes with multiple computers or a small office, this capacity should be more than enough.

Windows-powered PCs rely on the award-winning NovaBACKUP Buffalo Edition in data backup, while Apple users use the Time Machine.

  • RAID Protection

The LinkStation 220 has RAID 1 data protection capability.

In case of a drive failure, this function offers redundancy and lets you restore your data after replacing the defective drive.

The Good

If you want to download media files with large storage sizes, you can directly integrate them to the Buffalo LinkStation 220 via the BitTorrent client.

For downloading and storing high-resolution videos, this functionality helps it feature on our ‘best NAS device for home office’ list.

The Not-so-Good

The CPU speed of 800MHz might be a tad underwhelming, especially If you consider the specs of other NAS on this list.

While the transmission speed the Buffalo LinkStation 220 could provide is far from terrible, it’s not stellar either.


Pros

    • Quiet operation
    • Simple UI
    • Great value
    • Restricted network access


Cons

    • RAM not upgradable
    • Software support needs improvement

5. QNAP TS-453D

From storage to surveillance equipment, QNAP exhibits a wide range of products designed with the latest innovations.

The TS-453D is one of its NAS releases that are available in numerous Bay and RAM variations.

Product Highlights

With its “NAS for Professionals” label, it’s easy to assume that it has some superior features over others.

The ones you need to make a note of are:

  • High-Speed Transfer

The QNAP TS-453D utilizes a quad-core Intel Celeron J4125 2.0 GHz processor with 2.5Gbe.

Dual 2.5GbE ports are available for this model, which accelerates the file-sharing speed for multiple platforms.

If you feel that the base connectivity is still subpar, you can upgrade its PCIe up to 10Gbe.

From game files to video collections, this NAS delivers ample storage.

  • Data Security

The TS-453D, like other entries in the series, offers effective backup solutions for your files across multiple platforms.

This NAS offers automated scheduled backups, data sync between devices, and use snapshots functionality to secure your whole system.

The HBS app offers complete backup and data recovery services, while the QuDedup deduplicates data at the source to save storage space, bandwidth, and backup time.

  • PLEX Integration

Once you install the Plex Media Server, you can store and play all forms of media on your QNAP TS-453D, including movies, pictures, and music.

You can watch saved media files on various devices, including smartphones, tablets, and 4KTVs.

The Good

The TS-453D seamlessly combines NAS with popular cloud services.

You may utilize the cloud for extra storage, backup, and data recovery with low-latency access.

Once cloud storage gateways and local caching on the TS-453D are established and activated, you’ll have a hybrid cloud storage solution.

The Not-so-Good

As expected for QNAP NAS devices, this product is no exemption due to the lack of BTRFS support.

The company states that there are numerous drawbacks to performance and protection if it supports this storage format.

Certainly not such a bad point that we need to remove it from our ‘best NAS device for home office’ list.


Pros

    • 4K media playback
    • Can host multiple virtual machines
    • Space-saving design
    • Reliable backup solution


Cons

    • Limited USB ports
    • UI needs refinement

What To Look For in Network-Attached Storage

best nas device for home offices

Since NAS drives have become one of the most integral peripherals for many in recent years, knowing what qualities need strong consideration is vital.

With that in mind, let’s check out some NAS features and their significance.

Storage Space

All NAS devices come with either a preloaded hard drive or an empty enclosure that allows you to choose your own storage capacity.

If you opt for the empty enclosure, you’ll have to buy an internal hard drive and install it to your NAS.

While it may seem a tad inconvenient, remember that pre-installed HD on NAS is more expensive.

Specs

A strong CPU is required to make the NAS function efficiently. NAS models, like traditional computers, differ in terms of CPU types and the number of cores.

When there are more individuals connected to the network, speed becomes critical. Consider a high-performance processor if you have a medium to large office setup.

You may also want to upgrade the base RAM if you feel that the overall performance of your NAS needs some improvement.

Many suggest matching every terabyte in the NAS must have an equivalent of one GB of RAM.

Security

One of the primary reasons many use network-attached storage is keeping critical and sensitive data safe from unauthorized access.

The beauty of having NAS is that you can customize the means to data accessibility, which is generally associated with web-based content. When choosing the best NAS drives, always consider the ones that offer the most protection and backup support.

best nas devices for home office

FAQs About NAS Drives

If your house or office uses a single computer or device for making or downloading files, there’s little incentive to have a NAS.

However, having a NAS as your backup drive is convenient and efficient when you have multiple smart devices at home.

The most affordable option available should be about $150, but the average price for NAS devices is around $300 to $500.

If you’re a potential first-time buyer, don’t try to overspend, as some additional features in high-end releases may not be necessarily essential for you.

Component factors such as hard drive capacity, CPU and RAM speed, and various ports significantly affect the price of most network-attached storage.

Yes, many NAS devices do not require internet connectivity to store, edit, open, and delete files.

These files are kept locally and are not automatically transferred to the Internet unless otherwise set.

The NAS shares device access via network folders and, most often, the SMB Protocol(for Windows).

Depending on how many use the NAS as its main storage device, but usually, a two-terabyte hard drive should be a good start.

However, if you regularly collect 4K HDR movies and other high-quality media files, chances are you need to upgrade the hard drive sooner.

best nas device for home office

Conclusion

Whether it’s for security reasons, additional storage for the family, or to clear up some “thinking space” for your computer, a Network Attached Storage device is a smart inclusion to your home office. 

Before you choose the best NAS device for home office, make sure you have a rough idea of what you want it for, how much storage you need, what your budget is, and a space for it to live. 

Oh and don’t forget the aesthetics. Some might say it’s just a black box, but there are definitely some that are more stylish than others.

To jog your memory on our top 3 picks:

    1. Best User Interface: Buffalo LinkStation 220
    2. Best Overall Functionality: QNAP TS-453D
    3. Best Media Support: Synology DiskStation DS220+

I hope you enjoyed this article. If so, we’d greatly appreciate you sharing it with other fellow remote workers! It really helps us out.

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