Welcome to our pick of the best NAS devices around today. A NAS drive may not be the most glamorous of purchases you’ll ever make, but it could be the most important – especially if you have a lot of irreplaceable digital files in your home or office.

So, how do the best NAS devices help? NAS stands for Network Attached Storage and by connecting to your network, it allows every device to access the files stored on it, as if it was a hard drive directly installed in the device.

The best NAS devices don’t only make your files and folders stored on its hard drives available on a local network, they can also allow remote access via the internet as well – in a safe and secure manner, of course. This means you can access your important documents from the other side of the world, if needs be.

Also, the best NAS devices are platform-agnostic so it doesn’t matter what OS is on your device. You’ll still be able to gain access with whatever you have on hand.

Bear in mind a few things when shopping for the best NAS devices for your needs. How much storage do you need? While most of the devices we’ve rounded up come with a good deal of storage, you’ll want to look ahead at how much you’ll actually need, not just now but in a year. The best NAS devices should be able to do more than just provide a large hard drive for your network. They should also be able to store your backups in case anything happens to your original files.

As you’ll notice, not all of the best NAS devices use hard drives. Instead, they hold multiple hard drives that you have to buy separately. While a tad more complicated, you gain flexibility in storage space and hard drive speed. Also, if you do some bargain hunting, you could save some cash buying the hard drives separately.

You’ll want to consider your backup and redundancy needs when searching for the best NAS devices. Many are able to hold more than one hard drive and can mirror that hard drive in case of failure. So if one hard drive does go, you don’t have to worry. It’s all backed up on another. Also, the best NAS devices allow you to use an external drive as a backup. Whether this is an extra precaution or because you want to take the data with you, it’s a useful feature.

Take a look at our picks for the best NAS devices for your needs. And if you already have a NAS device and want to boost its storage, take a look at our choices for the best hard drives.

Best NAS devices – at a glance

  1. WD My Cloud Personal NAS drive
  2. Seagate Personal Cloud 2-Bay NAS drive
  3. QNAP TS-251A NAS drive
  4. Buffalo LinkStation LS220D NAS drive
  5. Synology DiskStation DS1817 NAS drive
  6. WD My Cloud Mirror NAS drive
  7. Synology DiskStation DS1517 NAS drive
  8. WD My Cloud EX2 Ultra NAS drive
  9. Western Digital DL4100 NAS drive

WD My Cloud Personal NAS drive is one of the best NAS drives and starts at 2TB of storage. (Image credit: WD)

1. WD My Cloud Personal NAS drive

Capacity: 2TB, 3TB or 4TB | Interface: USB 3.0, Gigabit Ethernet | Features: Remote file access, DLNA, iTunes Server

Easy to set up

Good price

Setup can be fiddly

Apps not great

WD has attained quite significant success with its unashamedly consumer-friendly My Cloud products, which can stream to any DLNA-compliant device and be accessed via mobile apps for iOS and Android.

Advertised as a ‘personal cloud,’ this WD is one of the best NAS drives by any other name and starts at 2TB of storage (you can also get it in 3 or 4TB). Because it’s a one-bay unit, it can’t back itself up since there’s only one drive. However, it can back up to an external hard drive thanks to a USB port on the back.

Read the full review: WD My Cloud Personal

Seagate Personal Cloud 2-Bay NAS drive

Seagate Personal Cloud 2-Bay NAS drive mirrors the files from one hard drive to a second one. (Image credit: Seagate)

2. Seagate Personal Cloud 2-Bay NAS drive

Convenient network storage

Capacity: 4TB, 6TB or 8TB | Interface: Gigabit Ethernet | Features: Remote file access, media server software, RAID support

Easy to use

Good looking

Not that fast

Not that flexible

Continuing with the ‘personal cloud’ theme, this unit from Seagate takes its lead from My Cloud, while offering far larger capacities, along with dual bays for two hard drives. This allows the Seagate Personal Cloud 2-Bay NAS device to mirror the files from one hard drive to a second one, securing your files in case one of those drives fails.

We also appreciate the no-fuss appearance of this unit, meaning it fits easily under a router or on a shelf. Plus, it can work with cloud accounts – like Dropbox and Google Drive – and you can also use an app to share content to streamers, such as Chromecast and Roku.

Read the full review: Seagate Personal Cloud 2-Bay

QNAP TS-251A NAS drive

The QNAP TS-251A NAS drive has more features than you can shake a stick. (Image credit: QNAP)

3. QNAP TS-251A NAS drive

Capacity: N/A | Interface: 2 x Gigabit Ethernet, USB 3.0 | Features: Remote file access, HDMI out, 4K media transcoding, DLNA

Powerful hardware

Loads of features

Expensive

Does not come with hard drives installed

The QNAP TS-251A is an extraordinary NAS device that has more features than you can shake a stick – or the included remote control – at. It includes dual Ethernet ports, an HDMI out for connecting it to a TV and respectable hardware like the dual-core 1.6GHz Intel Celeron CPU and 4GB of RAM for hardware transcoding media files.

The QTS OS also lets you effortlessly install a variety of apps, from the Plex Media Server and file sharing apps to, surprisingly, a karaoke app, as well as running Ubuntu Linux for added flexibility.

Long story, short: this is an incredible NAS device, even if you do have to purchase the hard drives separately. Just factor that in to the overall cost.

Buffalo LinkStation LS220D NAS drive

The Buffalo LinkStation LS220D NAS drive can integrate directly with BitTorrent. (Image credit: Buffalo)

4. Buffalo LinkStation LS220D NAS drive

A decent dual-bay NAS with built-in BitTorrent

Capacity: 2TB, 4TB, 6TB, 8TB | Interface: Gigabit Ethernet, USB 2.0 | Features: Dual bay, WebAccess apps, Apple Time Machine support

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