11 best NAS drives 2016 UK: What’s the best network storage?
The best NAS devices of 2016. NAS reviews, network storage buying advice.
Best NAS devices of 2016 UK
11. WD My Cloud EX2
- Reviewed on: 20 June 14
- RRP: £479 inc. VAT
The WD My Cloud EX2 has a few minor faults, but it’s easy to use and provides good performance and reliability at an attractive price. There are more sophisticated NAS drives available for larger businesses, but the EX2 provides all the features that home users and small businesses are likely to need, and presents them in a straightforward manner that will appeal to people who might not have used a NAS drive before.
10. Asustor AS-604T
- Reviewed on: 17 March 14
- RRP: £430 inc VAT
There’s no denying the Asustor AS-604T is a very well featured and sturdily built NAS drive. Given its close facsimile to QNAP products, there appears to be little reason to choose the newcomer – except perhaps the issue of price. A comparable QNAP model could be the TS-469 which sells for around £600 in diskless form; the AS-604T can be found for closer to £400. If data write performance could be improved it’d be a closer contest, with the Asustor becoming even more attractive.
9. Synology DS1813+
- Reviewed on: 4 October 13
- RRP: £800 inc VAT
The Synology DS1813+ is a smart and sophisticated NAS drive, superbly constructed and with a well-judged selection of ports and connectors. There are expansion possibilities too, if up to 32 TB ever proves claustrophobic. A top-spec Intel Atom processor running Synology’s latest versatile DSM 4.3 operation system makes a powerful combination that can deliver data quicker than your gigabit LAN. As an overall package, and despite an annoying rsync bug in the DSM software, the Synology cannot escape our test lab without a recommendation.
8. Synology RS814RP+
- Reviewed on: 12 September 14
- RRP: £1000 inc. VAT
Synology’s RS814RP+ is a relatively low-cost alternative solution for modest 4-bay rack-mount NAS needs. It’s still scalable in storage size and offers an approachable admin interface that will be more intuitive for unskilled network administrators. Our benchtest results suggest it’s squeezing the most out of the available low-power Intel Atom, and should be relatively inexpensive to run in energy terms. Given the handsome combination of hardware and software it deserves closer investigation for small businesses looking to scale up their storage requirements.
7. Synology DS415play NAS
- Reviewed on: 15 July 14
- RRP: £372 inc. VAT
Synology’s RRP for the DS415play is £372 and at that price or the inevitably lower real shop prices the company should have a winner on its hands. The competing QNAP TS-469L is faster and has better specifications but is over £100 more expensive. When you combine the performance, price and the siren-like draw of DSM 5.0 this could be a crowd pleaser for the multimedia NAS market.
6. QNAP TS-421
- Reviewed on: 13 December 13
- RRP: £387 inc VAT without disks
The QNAP TS-421 has broad reach across a number of services beside local network file serving, with powerful small-business services as well as plenty of potential for home multimedia hosting. Available for less than £400, this well-made four-bay NAS unit is a recommended product.
5. Synology DS414j
- Reviewed on: 20 October 14
- RRP: £267 inc. VAT
The Synology DS414j may not be the most glamorous of NAS drives, if indeed there is a candidate leader, but it is well-made and packs just enough power to not embarrass itself in basic benchmark tests for its file-serving speed. That it runs the same carefully wrought and versatile operating system as its dearer brethren is a definite plus, making it suitable for small-scale business use as well as being turned to home entertainment duties.
4. Synology DiskStation DS216play
- Reviewed on: 16 December 15
- RRP: £190 inc VAT
The 216play will likely be a disappointment to 214play owners wondering about an upgrade. It makes sense only if you have – or will soon have – lots of 4K content that you need to transcode on the fly. Its performance is good, but if you don’t need real-time transcoding, you may want to opt for a different DiskStation (or indeed another NAS entirely) which has the extra ports and SD slot which the 216play lacks.
3. WD My Cloud EX2100 8TB
- Reviewed on: 18 May 15
- RRP: £486 as tested (from £205 without disks)
The WD My Cloud EX2100 has performance issues with Mac OS X, but otherwise is a snappy NAS drive brimming with useful features. At around £200 unpopulated it’s close in price and performance to the Synology DS214. It’s perhaps testament to the progress WD has made with its NAS hardware that it’s now a tougher call to choose between them.
2. QNAP HS-210
- Reviewed on: 5 September 14
- RRP: £250 inc. VAT
The QNAP HS-210 is a smart and stylish network storage drive not just for the home but potentially the living room too. Thanks to passive cooling, it’s calm and quiet, and can be made silent if your storage needs and budget can accomodate solid-state drives. Its processor may only be single-core ARM but it proved suitably quick in our tests to merit use for a range of NAS duties beyond just serving audio and media.
1. Synology DS115j
- Reviewed on: 18 December 14
- RRP: £78 inc. VAT
Synology has made headlines with its new cut-price DS115j, and its recommended retail price of just £78. The performance has also been cut, along with useful features like USB 3.0, but if you need these the DS114 is still in the range for around £140. And if you really would rather not spend that, the cheaper DS115j will take on basic storage tasks, and still perform faster than some more expensive competition.