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DriveStor 2 Pro NAS Review – Best Budget Buy

18 août 2021 à 01:15

Asustor Drivestor 2 Pro Review – Cost-Effective Cloud?

The affordable tier of home NAS solutions is one that has grown quite saturated in recent years. With the majority of NAS (Network Attached Storage) brands producing a wide range of low, medium and high-end solutions, the result has been that the value of hardware at the bottom of the list has become wildly inconsistent! At this home/entry-level point, brands could be accused of cutting a few corners in their solutions, leave out the features they deem ‘prosumer’ or ‘premium’ and ultimately leave the budget boxes to be a tad restrictive. It’s a fine line and hard to balance – however Asustor’s latest value series release, the Drivestor 2 Pro, is seemingly offering a few things that other brands have neglected to include at a similar price point. This new Realtek ARM 64bit NAS that arrives with 2.5GbE, expandability, 2GB memory and new software updates in ADM 4.0 seems to talk a big game, but is that going to be enough? Can this stand up against the QNAP TS-230 and Synology DS220J? Ultimately, does the Asustor Drivestor 2 Pro deserve your data? Let’s take a look.

Other Asustor Reviews You Might Be Interested In:

Asustor AS6604T LockerStor 4 NAS Review – https://nascompares.com/2020/08/17/asustor-as6604t-lockerstor-4-nas-hardware-review

Asustor AS6510T Lockerstor 10 NAS Reviewhttps://nascompares.com/2020/01/23/asustor-as6510t-lockerstor-10-nas-review

Asustor AS5304T Nimbustor 4 NAS Review – https://NAScompares.com/2019/06/27/asustor-nimbustor-NAS-hardware-review

Asustor Drivestor 2 Pro Review – Quick Conclusion

The Asustor Drivestor 2 Pro NAS is a modest system that for the most part does not over-promise in what it can provide. Its architecture lends quite well to the more budget-friendly buyer, home users and those that are simply looking for an easy backup option to the cloud. Additionally, less demanding users who want some light multimedia support, network-based camera surveillance and cross-platform file sharing will certainly see plenty of use in the Drivestor 2 Pro device. The software and services available via ADM on the Drivestor 2 Pro AS3302T also provide a decent level of utilities and provides a good level of confidence to the end-user in housekeeping and secure functionality. Though the system is arguably let down by weak upgradeability and internal hardware that has been a tad overused in recent years, you still have a very functional solution here that mostly sticks the landing in offering your own private cloud solution.

PROs of the AS3302T Drivestor 2 Pro CONs of the AS3302T Drivestor 2 Pro
  • Good Price Point
  • 2.5Gbe Connectivity
  • Rare Realtek NAS that is Expandable
  • 4K HEVC Transcoding
  • Great Plex Media Server Hardware
  • Modern Software Design
  • Wide Range of Mobile Apps
  • Cloud/NAS/USB Backup Support
  • Lack of HDMI = No KVM Setup
  • No Option to Upgrade Memory
  • Software still not quite on par with competitors

Going to Buy on Amazon? Use the button Below – Thank You!

Asustor Drivestor 2 Pro Review – Retail Packaging

When I first unpacked the shipping container to get to the Drivestor 2, I was pleasantly surprised by the retail packaging. I shouldn’t be – Asustor has always been very graphical in their packaging, going to good lengths to detail what the units can do, the hardware specs, the software specs and generally creating a very appealing and engaging retail design. I often comment warmly on the attention many companies make on retail packaging, despite the fact that these devices are almost always purchased from online stores (so by the time you see the packaging, you have already purchased it), it would be a dull, dull world indeed if everything arrived in default brown box packaging (do you hear me Synology?).

No, my surprise was the size of the retail box. Considering this contains a 2-Bay NAS drive, it is rather small. Given this device promises a whole lot of hardware abilities, along with 2 bays of HDD storage, it seemed remarkably condensed. As minor a point as this is, I thought it would be remiss not to highlight this, as, alongside speed and capacity, factors such as noise, chassis and heat are pretty important concerns. If we open up the box, we find the following contents:

  • 1x Asustor Drivestor 2 AS3302T NAS Drive
  • 1x 65W External Power Supplier, 100V to 240VAC
  • 1x Mains Power Cable
  • 1x RJ-45 LAN Cable(Cat 5e)
  • Packed of Flat Head Screw (for 2.5″ HDD)
  • Quick Start Guide and Instruction Manual

These accessories seem all standard (perhaps I would expect Cat 6e, but at 2.5Gbe, this makes no difference), but with a very efficient PSU (especially for a 2 bay NAS) I still very much a fan of external Power suppliers, as in the event fails (and this applies to all brands, not just in NAS) the power supplier is still the most failure-prone part of any hardware (it is technically ALWAYS working) and in the 2-3 times in my working history that a PSU failed, in the case of an internal power supplier, it has been difficult and time-consuming to repair. External power bricks are jsut easier for desktop devices, plus this 65W PSU means that the Drivestor 2 will be making a very, very tiny make on your environment. Lovely stuff.

Asustor Drivestor 2 Pro AS3302T NAS Review – Design

Next, we need to move onto the Drivestor 2 Pro Chassis design. I have a bit of a disclaimer to add here that I should mention, I have always been a fan of this chassis since its first reveal back in 2018/2019 in the Nimbustor 2 and AS40 Series. In recent years, as NAS drives have moved ever more into home and small office environments, the old and ugly design of servers has changed into something much sleeker and appealing. The DriveStor AS3302T NAS is one of the best looking 2-Bay NAS devices I have ever seen in my opinion, so you will have to factor this personal view into the hardware review. Other releases in the meantime in the Lockerstor series have erred towards the more industrial and classic metal design.

As is a growing trend, the front panel of the Asustor DriveStor is not hinged or fixed, but can be removed easily. This means that when the device is doing its day-to-day tasks and not being physical used, it is a contained and covered unit, that looks very neat in most office environments. This removable front panel is even slightly raised and ventilated on all sides, to ensure the rear fan’s active airflow is not interrupted.

Like the modern edged design of the front panel, the sides of the Asustor Drivestor 2 Pro AS3302T NAS Drive have that angular edge to their surface. The chassis is only available in black and is plastic outside, surrounding a metal internal frame. Additionally, looking at the screw layout, this is a fixed frame that is not intended to be opened for upgrades/maintenance. You cannot even remove this chassis/panel to access the memory upgrade slots as this system does not allow expanding beyond the default 2GB memory sadly.

The base of the device features rubberized feet and a large ventilation slot that covers the base of the device to further assist passive airflow through the Hard Drive/SSD installed inside the Drivestor 2 NAS. Aside from this, there is little else on the base of the Asustor AS3302T NAS of note.

Removing the front panel completely and taking a closer look at the front of the Drivestor 2 reveals the media bays, LED indicators and a USB Copy Button. Although these are fairly standard across all NAS drives in 2021/2022, it is worth highlighting that many popular NAS brands have removed/simplified some/all of these in a way that has not pleased many users. The “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” attitude is still very much a staple of many techies.

The front displayed LED lights and power button pretty much cover every active/passive factor you will need in the running of this NAS. The LEDs indicate the following:

  • Power/Standby
  • Network Access/Activity (one for each port)

  • System Activity (Read/Write Actions in progress)
  • Drive Activity (one for each drive, regardless of RAID)

I know LEDs are fairly standard, but the number of brands that are simplifying this for no real reason is growing and those who care about this kind of thing will notice!

Another often simple, yet overlooked hardware feature is the USB copy button. I know this seems a bit ‘meh’, but the number of users who use a NAS drive store all their files from phones, PCs, iPads, etc, then delete them from those devices to make room, thinking they have a backup (WRONG!) is pretty high. Storing all your files on a NAS is only good if you have those files somewhere else too, else what you have is the ONLY version of that file – THAT is not a backup. The easiest and most straightforward means to backup all/some files on a NAS in a portable offsite way is by connecting a USB 3.0 device and using the Asustor backup tools to make a backup. A one-touch USB copy button means that you do not even need to interact with the NAS software after the first time and after it is set up to back up the files you care the most about, you can jsut connect the USB device each time (daily, weekly, etc) and then just press the button to action a backup. Again, a simple idea that is not exactly new, but I am pleased they have kept this feature when other brands are making it button-less and fully reliant on the software. What’s wrong with having both?!

Of course, the main focus when removing the front panel is the HDD/SSD media bays of the DriveStor4 Pro AS3302T NAS. These two Bays support the very latest SATA based Hard Drives and Solid State Drives (18TB Seagate Ironwolfs/WD Red and 4TB commercially available grade respectively). The Asustor AS3302T can function with a single drive if you wish, as well as gradually/fully populated and features its own RAID handling of RAID 0 and RAID 1. Additionally, you can install a combination of Hard Drives and SSDs in individual bays, which can then be used to create separate RAID-enabled storage pools for fast/regular accessing data volumes. Alternatively, it is becoming common for small office and shop owners to use a 2-Bay with HDD and SSD installed for a large volume of storage space, supported with a portion of SSD caching. This results in an increased performance internally (and indeed externally thanks to that 2.5Gbe) when working from traditionally slower mechanical hard drives.

The trays themselves are plastic in design and (in the case of installing Hard Drives) do not require a screwdriver, featuring click and lock brackets. I tried installing larger 14TB Seagate Ironwolf NAS Drives, to see if there were any issues with their exceptionally large/enterprise frame in these bays (not uncommon) and they went in smoothly! All in all, this compact little two-bay gives you a decent scope of storage potential so far and the Drivestor 2 manages to do this with minimal space being used. Now, let’s delve a little deeper into the hardware.

Asustor Drivestor 2 Pro Review – Ports and Connections

Somewhat in line with the modest and cost-effective design featured on the Asustor Drivestor 2 Pro, connections on the rear of the device are similarly few. Though I will highlight that it still manages to arrive with hardware a pinch better than a number of similarly affordable price points.

The rear of the device is largely dominated by that single active cooling fan that can have its RPM adjusted automatically or manually as the system internals require. Unless you utilise particularly enterprise or large capacity media, this NAS is not going to be particularly noisy. Additionally, the fact it has an external PSU further allows the system to do a better job of maintaining improved internal temperatures and keeping that fan at the best possible level of use.

The system also supports the connection of 2 additional USB devices, although the DriveStor lacks the KVM support (as found in the likes of the Lockerstor and Nimbustor series). Alongside the attachment of USB external storage, Wi-Fi dongles, improved network interface adaptors and network-attached office hardware like printers, scanners and UPS’, the Drivestor 2 Pro also supports the 4-bay Asustor expansion chassis that allows you to expand this system by an additional 12 bays of storage across 3 connected expansions. These ports are all USB 3.2 Gen1 however and limited to 5Gb performance, though this may well be limited by the processor rather than the brand opting towards lesser connections.

Another interesting if slightly brand predictable inclusion on the Drivestor 2 Pro AS3302T is that it arrives with 2.5Gbe connectivity at a price point where other brands like Synology and QNAP have opted for standard gigabit ethernet. Given that both of the 4 bay and 2-days Drivestor systems have the potential to push out 350-700MB per second internally, it is a welcome addition that externally you have a potential 270MB/s per second throughput possible with supported network hardware. Even this rather modest CPU, compared with that of the Intel and AMD in other systems, will still be able to fully saturate this external connection and it is a rare treat for the budget end of the NAS buyers market to enjoy 2.5Gbe.

For those that are concerned that the benefits of this larger bandwidth ethernet connection will be lost on them, Asustor also provides an optional USB to 2.5 GB adaptor that supports numerous operating systems and even connection to the NAS itself for further network connections (i.e add another connection in the network manager). It’s an additional purchase but at just £25+, it will hardly break the bank.

And that is really it for external connectivity on this box. The lack of a GPU embedded CPU means that HDMI support is totally absent and (sorry to repeat myself – but!) with it a lot of the KVM applications that many buyers still opt for Asustor solutions for absent here. Still, you are still getting a better than average selection of ports and connections is this modestly priced solution. Let’s discuss that internal hardware and the benefits of brings to the system software and services as a whole

Asustor Drivestor 2 Pro Review – Internal Hardware

The internal hardware featured on the Asustor Drivestor 2 Pro is a surprisingly good value, but rather restricted level of components. There is practically no means of upgrading the internal systems and it should be highlighted that this NAS will likely consume around 25% of the available resources in just general operation. The advent of newly developed 64-bit CRM processors is something we have seen hugely benefit the private server market in recent years but it has to be said that it arrives with plenty of limitations early doors.

The Realtek RTD1296 inside the Drivestor 2 Pro NAS provides quite a good deal of the standard and first-party software+services available on the platform. Multimedia streaming, multi-tiered backups, background storage sync, security services, container installation and surveillance among many. Additionally, the system features enough hardware in that CPU architecture to make lovely transcode 4H H.265 media (HEVC) which at this price and power level is pretty impressive. Still, this is a processor that does not feature embedded graphics and because of that, some services are not supported by this CPU, such as virtual machine deployment, hardware transcoding in Plex media server, AI-assisted services and generally results in significantly more power usage to do anything with even a hint of graphical object handling. Nevertheless, with a 1.4 GHz frequency per core, the efficiency it brings allows it to do a great deal more than a 32-bit counterpart with fewer resources consumed. Additionally, it is quad-core so you do have a fairly robust processor getting the job done.

The system also includes 2GB of memory that, alongside this CPU, is actually quite good value and is enough to get a handful of decent applications running simultaneously very well. Also, this memory is DDR4 in architecture, at 2400Mhz, a noticeable upgrade over the 1GB and 512MB DDR3 at 1600Mhz in its predecessors. As good as this all sounds, the system generally will be utilising 20% of this to keep the system running in the background and the fact that you cannot upgrade this memory beyond this point does result in the system having a slight glass ceiling in terms of simultaneous users and services. Still, 2 Gigabytes a good level of base memory to be getting on with on this affordable solution.

The throughput reported by Asustor on the Drivestor 2 Pro NAS drive externally easily saturates the available to 2.5Gbe connection in regular file transmission, which isn’t a huge surprise for this RAID equipped box. Obviously, this bandwidth is shared between upload and download, so do bear that in mind when looking at these performance benchmarks. Internally the system and its software performed surprisingly well for the rather modest hardware inside and there is even a dedicated media mode that allows you to reserve 512MB of memory for dedicated use when streaming multimedia. The system does not feature dedicated SSD caching bays (e.g M.2 NVMe slots as found in the LockerStor) s and the lack of an integrated graphics CPU also means that the system will use considerably more power when handling visual tasks. But for a single user or light business backup server, the Drivestor 2 Pro NAS will provide acceptable throughput.

Asustor Drivestor 2 Pro Review – Software & Services

We have discussed the latest or drive management software in previous Asustor reviews and although it features the same services and software platform, these new systems arrived with support of the latest version of this software ADM 4.0. Additionally, this software receives frequent updates to ensure that the software runs the very best it can on the DriveStor, as well as keeping up to date with security patches and application versions. We have touched on a number of the features in our Drivestor 2 and ADM 4.0 NAS software review (below) and it highlights already, but here are the highlights:

Plex – This system DOES support plex, but only as high as 1080p and without hardware transcoding (video below too)

Storage Management – Sadly there is no BTRFS Support, but there is EXT4 for the traditionalist, Multiple Snapshot storage and browsing for recovery, a large number of ISCSI and LUN target creation, fast-acting SSD caching use

Network Management – Support of LAG, Load Balancing and virtual switches, as well as maintaining top transmission over 2.5Gbe for editing or gaming over the network. As well as Jumbo Frame control, DDNS automation, Wake on LAN support and internet/external NAS access with EZ Connect

Backups – Supporting a wide range of multi-tiered backup options that can be carried out simultaneously thanks to the capable CPU in the DriveStor NAS, such as network RSync, USB Backups, NAS-2-NAS migration, Cloud Backups with Google Drive, Dropbox and Backblaze and numerous RAID levels internally for redundancy.

Content Management – Numerous Content Management Systems (CMS) and Customer Relationship Managers (CRMs) available in 1st and 3rd party forms, with simultaneous operations supported by the Asustor Drivestor 2 NAS

User Account Control – Supporting over 4,000 accounts, each with their own bespoke privileges and access levels, as well as grouping methods to automate the process easily

Security – AES 256bit hardware encryption on data in/out of the device, as well as over backup methods, as well as Windows ACL permission and configuration, auto blacklisting and multiple VPN provider support

Antivirus (ClamAV) – Scheduled Scans, Automatic Virus Definition Updates, Quarantine Infected Files

Download Center – Supports BT(Torrent & Magnet Link), HTTP and FTP Downloads, Torrent Search, Bandwidth Control, RSS Subscription and Automatic Downloading (Broadcatching), ASUSTOR Download Assistant for Windows & Mac

DropBox, OneDrive and Google Drive Sync – Each ADM Account is Able to Individually Log into one cloud Account, supporting Sync, Directly Upload Files to cloud from the NAS, or from cloud to NAS

LooksGood Media App –Built-in three main video library categories; movies, TV shows, home movies and smart video sorting management

    • The efficient global search function allows for searches by keywords followed by the execution of more detailed searches for the purpose of finding categories of movies, TV shows, home movies and parameters such as actors, director, year, genre, writer and title
    • Attractive poster wall and thumbnail display
    • Automatic production of video poster thumbnails
    • Centralized management and ability to configure the order of favourites and playlist history
    • The system administrator is able to configure video library and editing permissions according to user preferences
    • Can configure access permissions to share with
    • Multimedia conversion feature
    • Self-defined smart folder for video conversions
    • Supports digital TV recordings via digital
    • Easy streaming with Chromecast and DLNA
    • Supports playback of videos in Apple TV via AiVideos tvOS version

Mail Server – Each ADM Account can Become an Independent Email Account, Provides SMTP, IMAP and POP3 Mail Protocols, Spam Filter and Black List Settings, Antivirus Scanning for Emails, Exclusive Email Backup Mechanism, Auto-Forwarding and Auto-Response Protocols

Photo Gallary – “Album” and “Browse” Viewing Modes, Manage Photo Album Access Rights: Public Access, Restricted to Certain Accounts, Album Password, Multi-level Folder Structure Support, Supports Tagging of Photos, One-click Sharing to Social Media (Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Plurk, email), Intuitive Drag and Drop Management, Slideshow Viewing Mode, Supports a Wide Range of Image Formats: JPG/JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, TIFF, RAW and Supports Video Playback

Surveillance Center – Numerous channels in 720p/1080p on single live view display, On-screen camera controls including camera PTZ, manual recordings, take snapshots, configure camera settings and open Maps, Up to 4 channels of synchronous and non-synchronous playback with audio, Intelligent video analytics including motion detection and foreign object detection, Supported Browsers: Windows Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Firefox, Mac Safari, Mac Firefox ESR, Event notification supports SMS, E-mail, and mobile push notification, AiSecure mobile app for iOS and Android with Push notification, Maximum IP Cam (4 Free Licenses; Additional Licenses to be Purchased)

Takeasy – Download from YouTube, Vimeo, Twitch and More, Selectable Video Type and Quality, Automatic Downloads with YouTube or Twitch Subscriptions, Preview Downloads in Progress and Online Playback

SoundsGood Audio App – Import Personal/Public Music Collection, Personal/Public Music Collection Permission Control, Playlist Editor, ID3 Tag Editor, Local Speaker Support: HDMI, USB, Audio Jack, Supported Audio Formats for Browser: MP3, WAV, Ogg, Supported Audio Formats for Transcoding Through Browser: AIFF, Flac, Supported Audio Formats for Local Speaker: MP3, WAV, Ogg, AIFF, Flac

Backup Tools – Rsync (Remote Sync) Backup, Cloud Backup, FTP Backup, External Backup, One-Touch Backup, EZ Sync, Snapshots

Lastly, for those who are curious, here is how the Asustor ADM platform compares with the Synology DSM platform:

Asustor Drivestor 2 Pro Review – Conclusion

The Asustor Drivestor 2 Pro NAS is a modest system that for the most part does not over-promise in what it can provide. Its architecture lends quite well to the more budget-friendly buyer, home users and those that are simply looking for an easy backup option to the cloud. Additionally, less demanding users who want some light multimedia support, network-based camera surveillance and cross-platform file sharing will certainly see plenty of use in the Drivestor 2 Pro device.

The software and services available via ADM on the Drivestor 2 Pro AS3302T also provide a decent level of utilities and provides a good level of confidence to the end-user in housekeeping and secure functionality. Though the system is arguably let down by weak upgradeability and internal hardware that has been a tad overused in recent years, you still have a very functional solution here that mostly sticks the landing in offering your own private cloud solution.

UNIT
PROs of the AS3302T Drivestor 2 Pro CONs of the AS3302T Drivestor 2 Pro
  • Good Price Point
  • 2.5Gbe Connectivity
  • Rare Realtek NAS that is Expandable
  • 4K HEVC Transcoding
  • Great Plex Media Server Hardware
  • Modern Software Design
  • Wide Range of Mobile Apps
  • Cloud/NAS/USB Backup Support
  • Lack of HDMI = No KVM Setup
  • No Option to Upgrade Memory
  • Software still not quite on par with competitors

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Asustor DriveStor 4 Pro NAS Review

28 juillet 2021 à 02:00

Asustor Drivestor 4 Pro Review – Cost-Effective Cloud?

In recent years we have seen a wide array of more affordable network-attached storage NAS solutions arrive on the market and this is thanks in no small part to the incredible research and development that has gone into modern CPUs. This new generation of lower-priced but still fully-featured NAS solutions take advantage of improved network connections, enhanced abilities of ARM processors and the improvements in storage media technologies. One brand that has gained a committed audience in this arena is Asustor and alongside a slowly evolving range of home and business solutions, their own software management and services have started to tread on the toes of bigger brands like Synology and QNAP. Their latest release, the Drivestor 4 Pro is a RAID 5 equipped system, with 4K native transcoding, container support, multi-tier backup supported and multimedia ready NAS that arrives at just $350-399. With similar systems arriving noticeably more expensive, does the Asustor Drivestor 4 Pro NAS deserve your data in 2021/2022? Let’s find out.

Other Asustor Reviews You Might Be Interested In:

Asustor AS6604T LockerStor 4 NAS Review – https://nascompares.com/2020/08/17/asustor-as6604t-lockerstor-4-nas-hardware-review

Asustor AS6510T Lockerstor 10 NAS Reviewhttps://nascompares.com/2020/01/23/asustor-as6510t-lockerstor-10-nas-review

Asustor AS5304T Nimbustor 4 NAS Review – https://NAScompares.com/2019/06/27/asustor-nimbustor-NAS-hardware-review

Asustor Drivestor 4 Pro Review – Quick Conclusion

The Asustor DriveStor 4 Pro does manage to deliver a large number of modern network storage software and services that are comparable to bigger brands. It does have to be taken into perspective, given its more cost-effective build but although it arrives a fraction dwarfed by more aggressive Intel and AMD based NAS solutions from their more market-dominating competitors, the is still a lot to see here in the DriveStor 4 Pro 4. The system could certainly benefit from more memory as even in general operation, utilisation rarely dipped below 40%. On the whole though, and when more modest requirements are needed, the Drivestor4 Pro managers to deliver on its promises.

PROs of the AS3304T DriveStor 4 Pro CONs of the AS3304T Drivestor 4 Pro
  • Good Price Point
  • 2.5Gbe Connectivity
  • Rare Realtek NAS that is Expandable
  • 4K HEVC Transcoding
  • Great Plex Media Server Hardware
  • Modern Software Design
  • Wide Range of Mobile Apps
  • Cloud/NAS/USB Backup Support
  • Lack of HDMI = No KVM Setup
  • No Option to Upgrade Memory
  • Software still not quite on par with competitors

Going to Buy on Amazon? Use the button Below – Thank You!

Asustor Drivestor 4 Pro Review – Retail Packaging

When I first unpacked the shipping container to get to the DriveStor 4, I was pleasantly surprised by the retail packaging. I shouldn’t be – Asustor has always been very graphical in their packaging, going to good lengths to detail what the units can do, the hardware specs, the software specs and generally creating a very appealing and engaging retail design. I often comment warmly on the attention many companies make on retail packaging, despite the fact that these devices are almost always purchased from online stores (so by the time you see the packaging, you have already purchased it), it would be a dull, dull world indeed if everything arrived in default brown box packaging (do you hear me Synology?).

No, my surprise was the size of the retail box. Considering this contains a 4-Bay NAS drive, it is rather small, at 23.7 (H) x21.4 (W) x32.3 (D) cm. Given this device promises a whole lot of hardware abilities, along with 4 bays of HDD storage, it seemed remarkably condensed. As minor a point as this is, I thought it would be remiss not to highlight this, as, alongside speed and capacity, factors such as noise, chassis and heat are pretty important concerns. If we open up the box, we find the following contents:

  • 1x Asustor DriveStor 4 AS3304T NAS Drive, measuring just 17cm (H) x 17.4cm (W) x 23cm (D)
  • 1x 90W External Power Supplier, 100V to 240VAC
  • 1x Mains Power Cable
  • 1x RJ-45 LAN Cable(Cat 5e)
  • Packed of Flat Head Screw (for 2.5″ HDD)
  • Quick Start Guide and Instruction Manual

These accessories seem all standard (perhaps I would expect Cat 6e, but at 2.5Gbe, this makes no difference), but with a very efficient PSU (especially for a 4 bay NAS) I still very much a fan of external Power suppliers, as in event fails (and this applies to all brands, not just in NAS) the power supplier is still the most failure-prone part of any hardware (it is technically ALWAYS working) and in the 2-3 times in my working history that a PSU failed, in the case of an internal power supplier, it has been difficult and time-consuming to repair. External power bricks are jsut easier for desktop devices, plus this 90W PSU means that the DriveStor 4 will be making a very, very tiny make on your environment. Lovely stuff.

Asustor DriveStor 4 Pro AS3304T NAS Review – Design

Next, we need to move onto the DriveStor 4 Pro Chassis design. I have a bit of a disclaimer to add here that I should mention, I have always been a fan of this chassis since its first reveal back in 2018/2019 in the Nimbustor4 and AS40 Series. In recent years, as NAS drives have moved ever more into home and small office environments, the old and ugly design of servers has changed into something much sleeker and appealing. The DriveStor AS3304T NAS is one of the best looking 4-Bay NAS devices I have ever seen in my opinion, so you will have to factor this personal view into the hardware review. Other releases in the meantime in the Lockerstor series have erred towards the more industrial and classic metal design.

As is a growing trend, the front panel of the Asustor DriveStor is not hinged or fixed, but can be removed easily. This means that when the device is doing its day-to-day tasks and not being physical used, it is a contained and covered unit, that looks very neat in most office environments. This removable front panel is even slightly raised and ventilated on all sides, to ensure the rear fan’s active airflow is not interrupted.

Like the modern edged design of the front panel, the sides of the Asustor DriveStor 4 Pro AS3304T NAS Drive have that angular edge to their surface. The chassis is only available in black and is plastic outside, surrounding a metal internal frame. Additionally, looking at the screw layout, this is a fixed frame that is not intended to be opened for upgrades/maintenance. You cannot even remove this chassis/panel to access the memory upgrade slots as this system does not allow expanding beyond the default 2GB memory sadly.

The base of the device features rubberized feet and a large ventilation slot that covers the base of the device to further assist passive airflow through the Hard Drive/SSD installed inside the DriveStor 4 NAS. Aside from this, there is little else on the base of the Asustor AS3304T NAS of note.

Removing the front panel completely and taking a closer look at the front of the DriveStor 4 reveals the media bays, LED indicators and a USB Copy Button. Although these are fairly standard across all NAS drives in 2021/2022, it is worth highlighting that many popular NAS brands have removed/simplified some/all of these in a way that has not pleased many users. The “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” attitude is still very much a staple of many techies.

The front displayed LED lights and power button pretty much cover every active/passive factor you will need in the running of this NAS. The LEDs indicate the following:

  • Power/Standby
  • Network Access/Activity (one for each port)
  • System Activity (Read/Write Actions in progress)
  • Drive Activity (one for each drive, regardless of RAID)

I know LEDs are fairly standard, but the number of brands that are simplifying this for no real reason is growing and those who care about this kind of thing will notice!

Another often simple, yet overlooked hardware feature is the USB copy button. I know this seems a bit ‘meh’, but the number of users who use a NAS drive store all their files from phones, PCs, iPads, etc, then delete them from those devices to make room, thinking they have a backup (WRONG!) is pretty high. Storing all your files on a NAS is only good if you have those files somewhere else too, else what you have is the ONLY version of that file – THAT is not a backup. The easiest and most straightforward means to backup all/some files on a NAS in a portable offsite way is by connecting a USB 3.0 device and using the Asustor backup tools to make a backup. A one-touch USB copy button means that you do not even need to interact with the NAS software after the first time and after it is set up to back up the files you care the most about, you can jsut connect the USB device each time (daily, weekly, etc) and then just press the button to action a backup. Again, a simple idea that is not exactly new, but I am pleased they have kept this feature when other brands are making it button-less and fully reliant on the software. What’s wrong with having both?!

Of course, the main focus when removing the front panel is the HDD/SSD media bays of the DriveStor4 Pro AS3304T NAS. These 4 Bays support the very latest SATA based Hard Drives and Solid State Drives (18TB Seagate Ironwolfs/WD Red and 4TB commercially available grade respectively). The Asustor AS3304T can function with a single drive if you wish, as well as gradually/fully populated and features its own RAID handling of RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10 and more. Additionally, you can install a combination of Hard Drives and SSDs in individual bays, which can then be used to create separate RAID-enabled storage pools for fast/regular accessing data volumes. Alternatively, it is becoming common for small office and business users to use a 4-Bay with HDD and SSD installed for a large volume of storage space, supported with a portion of SSD caching. This results in an increased performance internally (and indeed externally thanks to that 2.5Gbe) when working from traditionally slower mechanical hard drives.

The trays themselves are plastic in design and (in the case of installing Hard Drives) do not require a screwdriver, featuring click and lock brackets. I tried installing larger 14TB Seagate Ironwolf NAS Drives, to see if there were any issues with their exceptionally large/enterprise frame in these bays (not uncommon) and they went in smoothly!

Alternatively, you can always use 1 or more Solid State drives for raw storage or caching (as discussed above), however, it is worth highlighting that these will require a screwdriver and use of the included screws. Not a massive surprise. Just remember that in order to take advantage of Read/Write caching, you need to have 2 drives installed (as it will create an SSD RAID 1 mirror for separate Read/Write actions), though 1 SSD will let you enable Read-Only cache.

All in all, this 4-Bay gives you a decent scope of storage potential so far and the DriveStor 4 manages to do this with minimal space being used. Now, let’s delve a little deeper into the hardware.

Asustor Drivestor 4 Pro Review – Ports and Connections

Somewhat in line with the modest and cost-effective design featured on the Asustor DriveStor 4 Pro, connections on the rear of the device are similarly few. Though I will highlight that it still manages to arrive with hardware a pinch better than a number of similarly affordable price points.

The rear of the device is largely dominated by that single active cooling fan that can have its RPM adjusted automatically or manually as the system internals require. Unless you utilise particularly enterprise or large capacity media, this NAS is not going to be particularly noisy. Additionally, the fact it has an external PSU further allows the system to do a better job of maintaining improved internal temperatures and keeping that fan at the best possible level of use.

The system also supports the connection of 2 additional USB devices, although the DriveStor lacks the KVM support (as found in the likes of the Lockerstor and Nimbustor series). Alongside the attachment of USB external storage, Wi-Fi dongles, improved network interface adaptors and network-attached office hardware like printers, scanners and UPS’, the DriveStor 4 Pro also supports the 4-bay Asustor expansion chassis that allows you to expand this system by an additional 12 bays of storage across 3 connected expansions. These ports are all USB 3.2 Gen1 however and limited to 5Gb performance, though this may well be limited by the processor rather than the brand opting towards lesser connections.

Another interesting if slightly brand predictable inclusion on the DriveStor 4 Pro AS3304T is that it arrives with 2.5Gbe connectivity at a price point where other brands like Synology and QNAP have opted for standard gigabit ethernet. Given that both of the 4 bay and 2-days Drivestor systems have the potential to push out 350-700MB per second internally, it is a welcome addition that externally you have a potential 270MB/s per second throughput possible with supported network hardware. Even this rather modest CPU, compared with that of the Intel and AMD in other systems, will still be able to fully saturate this external connection and it is a rare treat for the budget end of the NAS buyers market to enjoy 2.5Gbe.

For those that are concerned that the benefits of this larger bandwidth ethernet connection will be lost on them, Asustor also provides an optional USB to 2.5 GB adaptor that supports numerous operating systems and even connection to the NAS itself for further network connections (i.e add another connection in the network manager). It’s an additional purchase but at just £25+, it will hardly break the bank.

And that is really it for external connectivity on this box. The lack of a GPU embedded CPU means that HDMI support is totally absent and (sorry to repeat myself – but!) with it a lot of the KVM applications that many buyers still opt for Asustor solutions for absent here. Still, you are still getting a better than average selection of ports and connections is this modestly priced solution. Let’s discuss that internal hardware and the benefits of brings to the system software and services as a whole

Asustor Drivestor 4 Pro Review – Internal Hardware

The internal hardware featured on the Asustor DriveStor 4 Pro is a surprisingly good value, but rather restricted level of components. There is practically no means of upgrading the internal systems and it should be highlighted that this NAS will likely consume around 25% of the available resources in just general operation. The advent of newly developed 64-bit CRM processors is something we have seen hugely benefit the private server market in recent years but it has to be said that it arrives with plenty of limitations early doors.

The Realtek RTD1296 inside the DriveStor 4 Pro NAS provides quite a good deal of the standard and first-party software+services available on the platform. Multimedia streaming, multi-tiered backups, background storage sync, security services, container installation and surveillance among many. Additionally, the system features enough hardware in that CPU architecture to make lovely transcode 4H H.265 media (HEVC) which at this price and power level is pretty impressive. Still, this is a processor that does not feature embedded graphics and because of that, some services are not supported by this CPU, such as virtual machine deployment, hardware transcoding in Plex media server, AI-assisted services and generally results in significantly more power usage to do anything with even a hint of graphical object handling. Nevertheless, with a 1.4 GHz frequency per core, the efficiency it brings allows it to do a great deal more than a 32-bit counterpart with fewer resources consumed. Additionally, it is quad-core so you do have a fairly robust processor getting the job done.

The system also includes 2GB of memory that, alongside this CPU, is actually quite good value and is enough to get a handful of decent applications running simultaneously very well. Also, this memory is DDR4 in architecture, at 2400Mhz, a noticeable upgrade over the 1GB and 512MB DDR3 at 1600Mhz in its predecessors. As good as this all sounds, the system generally will be utilising 20% of this to keep the system running in the background and the fact that you cannot upgrade this memory beyond this point does result in the system having a slight glass ceiling in terms of simultaneous users and services. Still, 2 Gigabytes a good level of base memory to be getting on with on this affordable solution.

The throughput reported by Asustor on the DriveStor 4 Pro NAS drive externally easily saturates the available to 2.5Gbe connection in regular file transmission, which isn’t a huge surprise for this RAID equipped box. Obviously, this bandwidth is shared between upload and download, so do bear that in mind when looking at these performance benchmarks. Internally the system and its software performed surprisingly well for the rather modest hardware inside and there is even a dedicated media mode that allows you to reserve 512MB of memory for dedicated use when streaming multimedia. The system does not feature dedicated SSD caching bays (e.g M.2 NVMe slots as found in the LockerStor) s and the lack of an integrated graphics CPU also means that the system will use considerably more power when handling visual tasks. But for a single user or light business backup server, the DriveStor 4 Pro NAS will provide acceptable throughput.

Asustor Drivestor 4 Pro Review – Software & Services

We have discussed the latest or drive management software in previous Asustor reviews and although it features the same services and software platform, these new systems arrived with support of the latest version of this software ADM 4.0. Additionally, this software receives frequent updates to ensure that the software runs the very best it can on the DriveStor, as well as keeping up to date with security patches and application versions. We have touched on a number of the features in our DriveStor 4 and ADM 4.0 NAS software review (below) and it highlights already, but here are the highlights:

Plex – This system DOES support plex, but only as high as 1080p and without hardware transcoding (video below too)

Storage Management – Sadly there is no BTRFS Support, but there is EXT4 for the traditionalist, Multiple Snapshot storage and browsing for recovery, a large number of ISCSI and LUN target creation, fast-acting SSD caching use

Network Management – Support of LAG, Load Balancing and virtual switches, as well as maintaining top transmission over 2.5Gbe for editing or gaming over the network. As well as Jumbo Frame control, DDNS automation, Wake on LAN support and internet/external NAS access with EZ Connect

Backups – Supporting a wide range of multi-tiered backup options that can be carried out simultaneously thanks to the capable CPU in the DriveStor NAS, such as network RSync, USB Backups, NAS-2-NAS migration, Cloud Backups with Google Drive, Dropbox and Backblaze and numerous RAID levels internally for redundancy.

Content Management – Numerous Content Management Systems (CMS) and Customer Relationship Managers (CRMs) available in 1st and 3rd party forms, with simultaneous operations supported by the Asustor DriveStor 4 NAS

User Account Control – Supporting over 4,000 accounts, each with their own bespoke privileges and access levels, as well as grouping methods to automate the process easily

Security – AES 256bit hardware encryption on data in/out of the device, as well as over backup methods, as well as Windows ACL permission and configuration, auto blacklisting and multiple VPN provider support

Antivirus (ClamAV) – Scheduled Scans, Automatic Virus Definition Updates, Quarantine Infected Files

Download Center – Supports BT(Torrent & Magnet Link), HTTP and FTP Downloads, Torrent Search, Bandwidth Control, RSS Subscription and Automatic Downloading (Broadcatching), ASUSTOR Download Assistant for Windows & Mac

DropBox, OneDrive and Google Drive Sync – Each ADM Account is Able to Individually Log into one cloud Account, supporting Sync, Directly Upload Files to cloud from the NAS, or from cloud to NAS

LooksGood Media App –Built-in three main video library categories; movies, TV shows, home movies and smart video sorting management

    • The efficient global search function allows for searches by keywords followed by the execution of more detailed searches for the purpose of finding categories of movies, TV shows, home movies and parameters such as actors, director, year, genre, writer and title
    • Attractive poster wall and thumbnail display
    • Automatic production of video poster thumbnails
    • Centralized management and ability to configure the order of favourites and playlist history
    • The system administrator is able to configure video library and editing permissions according to user preferences
    • Can configure access permissions to share with
    • Multimedia conversion feature
    • Self-defined smart folder for video conversions
    • Supports digital TV recordings via digital
    • Easy streaming with Chromecast and DLNA
    • Supports playback of videos in Apple TV via AiVideos tvOS version

Mail Server – Each ADM Account can Become an Independent Email Account, Provides SMTP, IMAP and POP3 Mail Protocols, Spam Filter and Black List Settings, Antivirus Scanning for Emails, Exclusive Email Backup Mechanism, Auto-Forwarding and Auto-Response Protocols

Photo Gallary – “Album” and “Browse” Viewing Modes, Manage Photo Album Access Rights: Public Access, Restricted to Certain Accounts, Album Password, Multi-level Folder Structure Support, Supports Tagging of Photos, One-click Sharing to Social Media (Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Plurk, email), Intuitive Drag and Drop Management, Slideshow Viewing Mode, Supports a Wide Range of Image Formats: JPG/JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, TIFF, RAW and Supports Video Playback

Surveillance Center – Numerous channels in 720p/1080p on single live view display, On-screen camera controls including camera PTZ, manual recordings, take snapshots, configure camera settings and open Maps, Up to 4 channels of synchronous and non-synchronous playback with audio, Intelligent video analytics including motion detection and foreign object detection, Supported Browsers: Windows Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Firefox, Mac Safari, Mac Firefox ESR, Event notification supports SMS, E-mail, and mobile push notification, AiSecure mobile app for iOS and Android with Push notification, Maximum IP Cam (4 Free Licenses; Additional Licenses to be Purchased)

Takeasy – Download from YouTube, Vimeo, Twitch and More, Selectable Video Type and Quality, Automatic Downloads with YouTube or Twitch Subscriptions, Preview Downloads in Progress and Online Playback

SoundsGood Audio App – Import Personal/Public Music Collection, Personal/Public Music Collection Permission Control, Playlist Editor, ID3 Tag Editor, Local Speaker Support: HDMI, USB, Audio Jack, Supported Audio Formats for Browser: MP3, WAV, Ogg, Supported Audio Formats for Transcoding Through Browser: AIFF, Flac, Supported Audio Formats for Local Speaker: MP3, WAV, Ogg, AIFF, Flac

Backup Tools – Rsync (Remote Sync) Backup, Cloud Backup, FTP Backup, External Backup, One-Touch Backup, EZ Sync, Snapshots

Lastly, for those who are curious, here is how the Asustor ADM platform compares with the Synology DSM platform:

Asustor Drivestor 4 Pro Review – Conclusion

The Asustor DriveStor 4 Pro NAS is a modest system that for the most part does not over-promise in what it can provide. Its architecture lends quite well to the more budget-friendly buyer, home users and those that are simply looking for an easy backup option to the cloud. Additionally, less demanding users who want some light multimedia support, network-based camera surveillance and cross-platform file sharing will certainly see plenty of use in the DriveStor 4 Pro device. The software and services available via ADM on the DriveStor 4 Pro AS3304T also provide a decent level of utilities and provides a good level of confidence to the end-user in housekeeping and secure functionality. Though the system is arguably let down by weak upgradeability and internal hardware that has been a tad overused in recent years, you still have a very functional solution here that mostly sticks the landing in offering your own private cloud solution.

UNIT
PROs of the AS3304T DriveStor 4 Pro CONs of the AS3304T Drivestor 4 Pro
  • Good Price Point
  • 2.5Gbe Connectivity
  • Rare Realtek NAS that is Expandable
  • 4K HEVC Transcoding
  • Great Plex Media Server Hardware
  • Modern Software Design
  • Wide Range of Mobile Apps
  • Cloud/NAS/USB Backup Support
  • Lack of HDMI = No KVM Setup
  • No Option to Upgrade Memory
  • Software still not quite on par with competitors

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Should You Buy a 2-Bay or 4-Bay NAS Drive in 2021?

26 juillet 2021 à 01:57

Choosing Between Buying a 2-Bay or 4 Bay NAS

For many users who decided to make the switch from subscription-based Cloud services and to their own private NAS server, it can be tricky to understand exactly what they need in terms of storage and power. Network-attached storage NAS has evolved rapidly over the years and now there is a tremendous range of solutions that vary in size and ability to choose from, often resulting in the most expensive servers not always being the most capable. One of the first hurdles that many users encounter when choosing their first NAS drive is choosing between a 2-bay NAS and 4-Bay. With the majority of NAS brands out there offering most standard solutions and across different hard drive scales, choosing between these different sized NAS is not as straightforward as one might think. So today I’m going to talk to you about the differences between each, which one is the best value, their advantages and hopefully help you decide which one best suits your storage needs. Let’s start.

2-Bay vs 4-Bay NAS – Storage, Expandability and Capacity

On the face of it, it seems pretty obvious that a 4-Bay NAS model with its increased storage bays will be the better storage option overall. How on earth can a NAS device that is 50% less in media bays possibly compete?!? Well, in recent years the largest available capacity in hard drives has massively increased and therefore the total potential terabytes available for each media bay has grown drastically. Yes, you could fully populate a four-Bay NAS with 4TB hard drives, but you could always just use a single 12TB hard drive at a lower price per TB in 2021 and regardless of whether you use RAID 0 or RAID1 with two disks, still have a huge capacity in a 2 Bay NAS. Additionally, these days a number of brands provide the same level of external enclosure expandability on both the 2-Bay and 4 Bay NAS systems (eg DS920+ / DS720+ and TS-253D / TS-453D), therefore 2-Bay NAS does not have the lower metaphorical glass ceiling that it once had in terms of additional storage down the line. Indeed, you can even expand a RAID 1 to a RAID 5 on a 2-bay but spreading it over both the NAS and expansion enclosure at once, to provide an excellent way to still increase the storage on your 2-Bay later on and not feel trapped within its dual media design architecture.

However, this is not quite as cut and dry as it appears. Despite the improvements in 2-Bay NAS architecture in recent years, there is always going to be one big day 1 advantage in the flexibility of 4 Bay NAS that 2-Bays cannot really match. That is that you do not necessarily need to fully populate a 4-bay on day one and many users go ahead with just putting two hard drives inside a 4-Bay NAS in a RAID 1 at the start. Not only does this give you exactly the same level of storage and performance that you would find in 2 Bay NAS, but it also allows you to add drives to this partially populated NAS and expand its storage pool from a RAID 1 to a RAID 5, increasing the total storage gradually throughout the lifespan of the system, WITHOUT buying a whole expansion chassis. This allows flexibility in how much storage you use now and how much you need to graduate to later at a minimal cost at the start. In summary, although 4 Bay NAS is still technically the better storage, flexibility and capacity option, a 2-Bay is not necessarily as inferior as it once was.

2-Bay vs 4-Bay NAS – Price and Value

This is an often underestimated factor in choosing between a 2-bay or 4-bay NAS system. Many people assume that a 4-Bay NAS costs more money to buy and even more money to populate. Although this is still technically true, it is hardly any more expensive to operate a 4-bay NAS 24×7 than a 2-bay. As far as actual day 1 costs go, notwithstanding the flexible storage installation mentioned in the previous subject, 4-Bay NAS systems allow you to use smaller capacity hard drives in order to match the same storage on larger hard drives. What this means is that a 4-ay NAS allows you to install four 4TB drives inside in a RAID5 and arrived at a lower price per terabyte than 2x 12TB drives. Depending on how you scale your storage and the number of drives you use, 2-Bay shares and 4-Bay NAS can retail at a similar price point and will differ only depending on the drive you choose and the RAID configuration you opt for.

Likewise, returning to the point of the cost of 4-bays as being more expensive than 2-bays, the newest generation NAS drives will often barely be more than $100-150 difference in their prices between 2 and 4 bays and are largely identical in CPU, Memory and ports in every other way. 4-Bays may seem like a bigger chunk of money (especially for those already feeling stretched on a prosumer 2-Bay) but if you are prepared to perhaps drop the capacity you have in mind 1-2TB  (i.e purchase 4TBs, not 6TBs)  to compensate this price difference, the result will be that your 4 Bay NAS can achieve much higher read and write speeds with more drives being accessed simultaneously, whilst also opening the door to dual-drive redundancy configurations (i.e RAID 6) and will ultimately provide a more responsive, higher performing and data safe NAS for all of your needs.

In summary, the savings available in choosing a two-bay over a four-bay can easily be countered in the grand scheme of things by scaling the capacity or architecture of the HDD you choose to put inside. The money saved in a 2 bay might well be money you need to spend a year or two down the line.

2-Bay vs 4-Bay NAS – Power, Performance and Speed

As mentioned, using 4 hard drives in a RAID 5 will likely provide better performance than two drives in a RAID 1 environment. This performance can be measured by traditional direct read and write activity between your client hardware and your NAS, or it can be measured by the performance of individual applications and services from within the network-attached storage drive itself (i.e the NAS software and services). When looking at buying your first NAS, many will overlook 2-Bay’s simply because of this performance boost available in the 4-Bay alternative models. However, enterprise-grade/Pro hard drives Seagate ironwolf Pro or EXOs) will often provide performance benefits in a RAID 1 environment that can surpass the use of standard hard drives in a RAID 5. Of course, Pro series drives cost $40-50 more per drive, but also have longer warranties, data recovery services, more onboard cache and faster rpm to increase that read and write speed, so you get more for your money ultimately. Additionally, if you plan on taking advantage of 10Gbe, either with a port already on your NAS or as an upgrade down the line via PCIe, then you are much, MUCH better off with a 4-Bay NAS, as a 2-Bay (even if populated with the latest generation SATA SSDs) cannot fully saturate 1,000MB/s.

Finally, it is worth discussing that a large number of modern 4-Bay NAS systems in 2021/2022 arrived with dedicated SSD caching bays. These bays do not replace the existing SATA hard drives and are parallel media bays that allow you to install M2 NVMe SSD to improve the internal performance of your NAS by copying more frequently accessed files partially or fully onto the SSD to reduced access time to these more popular pieces of data. Although a handful of 2 Bay NAS systems have arrived on the market with support of dedicated SSD caching bays (Lockerstor 2 and DS720+), the feature is still more available on foUr Bay solutions and for many users that want to graduate the utility of their NAS from home to prosumer and inevitably into business use, the ability to upgrade internal performance in this way can often sway buyers to opt for a 4-bay NAS.

2-Bay vs 4-Bay NAS – Power Use, Noise and Deployment

Unsurprisingly, the bigger the NAS drive, the more power it will consume. When comparing like-for-like deployments in similar architecture on 2-Bay and 4-Bay NAS, the latter will always use a little bit more. This is the reason that you will generally find that the PSU on a 4-Bay NAS is always of a higher what rating. However overall, unless you are pushing the system particularly hard, the simple act of adding two more SATA hard drives will generally make a minuscule difference and is hardly a reason to compare these two overall – A PSU power rating is the MAXIMUM draw it can make, not the amount it will be using constantly! However, in terms of vibration generated when the system is in operation and the rise in assisted fan operation as usage increases, generates more heat which makes a noticeable impact on the ambient noise generated when you are running a 2-Bay vs a 4-Bay.

The power difference will still remain rather small as these are still quite small components but if you are especially sensitive to noise then the increased drive and fan-based sound will annoy you. Additionally, this increase in ambient noise generation scales accordingly if you use larger capacity drives or more enterprise-level hard drive builds. So therefore if you are looking at a 2-Bay NAS with bigger capacity hard drives, it will still generate a comparable level of ambient noise that a 4-Bay would when populated with standard class NAS media or smaller capacities. Now that brands like Seagate and WD have reshaped their respective portfolios for NAS hard drive media in a way that ALL large capacity hard drive (eg 10TB and above) are Pro class (i.e noisier), it makes the lines increasingly blurry between 2-Bay and 4-Bay NAS noise levels. Below is an example of the noise difference between a standard class and pro class drive noise generation in just a single drive. It may seem a tad irrelevant, but it’s important if you are a user looking to go for a smaller NAS with BIGGER drives:

WD Red NAS Hard Drive Noise Test WD Red PRO NAS Hard Drive Noise Test

2-Bay vs 4-Bay NAS – Conclusion

So as you can see, the difference between a 2-Bay and a 4-Bay NAS is a great deal more than the number of available hard drives you can use. Each kind of NAS system can have its performance, capacity, ambient noise and power consumption scaled in a multitude of ways in order to facilitate the best possible network attached storage solution for you. Users on a tight budget might all too soon end up purchasing a 2 Bay NAS without realising that a 4-Bay has scalability that can save you money down the line. Likewise, users who like to invest a little bit more long term or prefer their NAS investment to be a little bit more spread over the lifespan of their product will tend to err towards a 4-Bay solution, without realising that a 2-Bay is still quite viable in the short term and modern scalability of NAS means taht a 2-Bay NAS is not quite the dead-end it once was! Below I have detailed some of the BEST examples of 2-Bay and 4-Bay NAS Synology, QNAP and Asustor that are great examples of margins between each tier has become spectacularly narrow.  If you are still unsure on how to proceed, be sure to take advantage of the free advice service here on NASComapres using the boxes at the bottom. We (me and Eddie the web guy!) answer every email and do it without profit in mind (i.e it’s absolutely free), so though it might take an extra day for us to reply, we will get back to you with recommendations on the best solution for you.

Synology DS720+ 2-Bay – $399+

Synology DS920+ 4-Bay – $559+

J4125 4-Core CPU – 2/6GB DDR4 – NVMe SSD – 2x1Gbe

 

J4125 4-Core CPU – 4/8GB DDR4 – NVMe SSD – 2x1Gbe

 

QNAP TS-253D 2-Bay – $389+

QNAP TS-453D 4-Bay – $549+

J4125 4-Core CPU – 4/8GB DDR4 – PCIe Slot – HDMI – 2×2.5Gbe

 

J4125 4-Core CPU – 4/8GB DDR4 – PCIe Slot – HDMI – 2×2.5Gbe

 

Asustor Lockerstor 2 2-Bay – $379+

Asustor Lockerstor 4 4-Bay – $499+

J4125 4-Core CPU – 4/8GB DDR4 – NVMe SSD – 2×2.5Gbe J4125 4-Core CPU – 4/8GB DDR4 – NVMe SSD – 2×2.5Gbe

 

 


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This description contains links to Amazon. These links will take you to some of the products mentioned in today's content. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Visit the NASCompares Deal Finder to find the best place to buy this device in your region, based on Service, Support and Reputation - Just Search for your NAS Drive in the Box Below

 

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Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7] Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  

Best Plex NAS to Buy for over £2000 in 2021

23 juillet 2021 à 01:07

Top 3 NAS Drives for Plex Media Server for £2000

How many of us have decades of media in our homes? Somewhere between hard drives and USB that are full of cinematic enjoyment, collections of boxsets, music cluttering up CDs and hundreds of DVDs all over the place has led to most users sitting on hundreds or thousands of their favourite bits of media. Nevertheless, the convenience of services like Netflix and Amazon Prime video has led many users to abandon this hardware media in favour of watching the same multimedia streamed online. However subscription-based streaming services are far from perfect, with available media rotating and the availability of TV shows changing from month to month, results in a multimedia experience that can be at best diverse and at worst rigidly controlled. This is one of the main reasons that many users have made the switch from paying monthly for the likes of Netflix and switching over to their own Plex media server on a NAS. Aside from the ability to enjoy the media that they already own and grow that collection organically, Plex media server also provides the slick and attractive graphical user interface (GUI) found on those streaming services. Rather than traditional file folder access, a Plex media server NAS will scrape online databases for information such as thumbnails, cast information, trailers, reviews from reputable websites, extra behind the scenes footage and does this using the media that you own! The one barrier that stands between you and your perfect Plex media server is the amount you are prepared to pay for the hardware that the server utilizes and, in short, the scale of the NAS drive you purchase. NAS Drives have fast become one of the most popular ways in which people create their own ‘set-up and forget’ Plex media server and previously we have discussed the best Plex Nas for £500-1000. However in order to truly have a uncompromising Plex media server that will comfortably stream 1080p and 4K media to multiple client devices at once (at a variety of scalable quality levels) requires a noticeably larger investment and today I want to discuss my top 3 NAS drives for £2000 THAT will provide the very best Plex media server for you, your family and friends in 2021. Let’s take a look.

Note – it is worth bearing in mind that a NAS drive will still require you to purchase hard drives and although all NAS drive servers for Plex can run with as little as a single hard drive (and then add more later) this still means that you have to factor this into your budget.

 

QUICK CONCLUSION

NASCompares Top 3 Plex NAS for £2000 and Above

QNAP TVS-672X

Intel i3 8100T
8-64GB DDR4

Synology DS1621xs+

Intel Xeon D-1527

8-32GB DDR4 ECC

= $1600+

QNAP TVS-h1288X

Intel Xeon W 6-Core

16-128GB DDR4

= £2500+

What should I be looking for in a Plex NAS?

Any NAS that is going to be used as a Plex media server needs to have certain hardware and software options as standard, to skip even one of these will severely bottleneck your performance from Day 1. Although most of these are available in more affordable NAS drives, the extent to which they are supported will make all the difference between a good Plex media server and a great Plex media server on a tight budget. (as well as still having money for hard drives). These factors are:
  • An Intel or AMD based CPU that is 64-bit x86 in architecture
  • Support of at least 1080p and 4K regular playback, as well as the support of 1080p transcoding to Plex client devices
  • Embedded graphics or transcoding support (hence that CPU range)
  • At least two Bays of storage (for greater storage and redundancy, AKA – Disk Failure Protection)
  • A frequently updated and stable graphical user interface (such as Synology DSM or QNAP QTS)
  • Support and compatibility for the plex media server application (not all NAS support it, weaker ARM CPU and Unbranded NAS might not)

Rest assured that all three of the NAS drives for Plex that I have recommended below will provide excellent support for these features. It’s no huge secret that any old budget PC, unused Mac  mini or old laptop can run as a Plex media server, but the reason people are purchasing NAS drives from companies like Synology and QNAP for use in Plex is because these devices, even in a budget form, provide the following advantages:
  • Quiet and stable storage
  • RAID functionality for hard drive failure or combined storage
  • 24/7 reliability and efficiency
  • Software and Graphical user interface (GUI) that is easily accessible from a desktop or mobile device
  • Network and Internet access for hundreds of simultaneous users
ALL of these factors are what will ensure your Plex Media Server NAS, (even on a tight budget) will be fantastically capable and stable. So, let’s get on to my top 3 devices for PLEX servers.

Best Plex Media Server NAS for Price vs Performance – QNAP TVS-672X NAS

QNAP TVS-672X, Intel i3 8100T, 8-64GB DDR4, 1x 10GbE, 2x 1GbE, USB 3.2 Gen 2, NVMe Slots, PCIe Gen 3×4, EXT4/ZFS, 2yr Warranty = $1700+

What Said in the TVS-872X Review on 05/2021 – The TVS-672X is a revamp of the older TVS-672XT, which was amongst our top 10 NAS of the last few years. If this was the first time I was seeing the hardware featured on the QNAP TVS-872X, with its Intel Core CPU, 64GB of potential memory, 10Gbe on-board, NVMe equipped slots and USB 10G throughout – I would have been reasonably impressed. Likewise, the scalability in PCIe, storage expansions and network connectivity down the line is also a very valid and positive aspect of this system. But for me, it will always live slighting in the shadow of its Thunderbolt 3 equipped older big brother in the TV-872XT. The software on either ZFS or EXT4 file system is still doing what it does well, finding the line between 1st party apps, 3rd party support, customization and (mostly) getting it right – if occasionally trying to be too big for its boots. The QNAP TVS-872X is undeniably still a great example of the wide-ranging features available to prosumers who want a storage system heavily geared towards high-performance transmission via high-performance media with higher tier hardware at their disposal. It would be misleading to think of this NAS as any kind of significant upgrades over the XT, and the price tag that the TVS-872X currently arrives at (£1700+ / $2400) is perhaps a tad closer to that of the thunderbolt version than can be justified, but with an increasing over-reliance by brands on Xeon based systems, the TVS-872X is one of the most graphically well-equipped systems in the market today. If you are looking for a NAS for video editing, Plex media server, AI-assisted surveillance or virtualisation in a more compact form, the TVS-872X and its hardware has a heck of a lot to offer you.


 

Best Plex Media Server NAS for Expandability and Scalability – Synology DS1621xs+ NAS

Synology DS1621xs+, Intel Xeon D-1527, 8-32GB DDR4 ECC, 1x 10GbE, 2x 1GbE, USB 3.2 Gen 1, NVMe Slots for Cache, PCIe Gen 3×8, EXT4/BTRFS, 5yr Warranty = $1600+
It is fair to say that the Synology DS1621xs+ NAS makes a bold statement in what it is bringing to the table. Synology has been a brand that up until a few years ago traded significantly more on its software than it does on its hardware. Devices like the DS1621xs+ go a long way to dispel this myth in 2020/2021 and what we find here is an exceptionally well-equipped desktop NAS system. Obviously, at this price tag, you would expect it to deliver a lot and as a combined hardware and software package, the DS1621xs+ certainly achieved this. What issues you can make with the hardware are of the DS1621xs+ are more a question of the brands own decisions on what users want in storage right now. Small factors such as the NVMe bays not being accessible for RAW storage, the lack of Synology hybrid RAID and the use of CPU seen in 2017 and 2018 release hardware might put some potential buyers on the fence. But ultimately if you’ve committed to a desktop Synology solution because of DSM, the brand’s high reputation and that spec sheet – you will genuinely struggle to find a more powerful and equipped desktop NAS from this company right now.


 

Best Plex Media Server NAS for EVERYTHING 4K and 1080p – QNAP TVS-h1288X NAS

QNAP TVS-h1288X, Intel Xeon W Series 6-Core, 16-128GB DDR4, 1x10GbE, 2x 10GbE, 4x 2.5GbE, USB 3.2 Gen 2, SATA HDD+SATA SSD+NVMe SSD, 3x PCIe Gen 3×4 Slots, EXT4/ZFS, 3yr Warranty = £2500+
What we Said in our TVS-h1288X Review on 11/2020 This is, hands down, the most impressive desktop NAS drive I have ever handled – and I do not say that lightly! QNAP has been working overtime these last 2 years to not only introduce their ZFS series to the SMB and Enterprise marketing, with gradual but compelling results – but it is only now in the TVS-h1288X system that they have successfully merged it into another core area of their business – content creators. Whether you are on board with the ‘optional thunderbolt card’ nature behind this device, you cannot fault the sheer weight of hardware on offer here and how it is perfectly tuned and appropriate for the storage, performance and safety benefits of ZFS in QuTS Hero included with this device. Yes, it is a hungry beast of a device in terms of power, but right now THIS is the NAS system to beat in the market right now in desktop form. There are still the odd hurdle for surveillance users to jump and the fact this range starts at 8/12-Bay is an odd choice – but with a 6-core Xeon processor that features high grade embedded graphics, upto 128GB of DR4 ECC memory, 3 storage tiers of scaling speeds, a combined external bandwidth of 30 Gigabits per second (so 3,000MB/s) and that is without even the inclusion of a Thunderbolt update that can allow upto 4 more Thunderbolt users to enjoy simultaneous access for photo/video editing – You simply cannot fault the ambition behind the TVS-h1288X and it leaves most of its 8-Bay competitors in its dust – just maybe raid the piggy bank before you buy it though


It is worth highlighting that regardless of which NAS drive you buy, all three of these devices can do so much more than that, providing you with the following additional software and support options to you, your family and colleagues:
– Multi-tiered backup options for Windows, Mac, Android and Linux devices.
– Synchronisation and migration options for NAS to NAS, cloud to NAS, USB to NAS and Apple time machine.
– DLNA media support for enjoying all your media across all your devices
– Multiple user support that allows simultaneous file access and control over the network and internet.
– Privilege, time limit, password and remote share options for sending files to those that need them
– A wide range of third-party apps support from dedicated app centres via the NAS GUI
– Multiple mobile apps available from iOS and Android, that are free and tailored to different file requirements
– Dedicated surveillance software that allows you to connect access and control multiple pan tilt zoom IP cameras in your network environment and record footage, Taylor alerts and set recording rules
– all arrived with two to three years of manufacturer’s warranty worldwide.
So there you go, those are the best NAS drives for use as a Plex media server for you right now. Still unsure? Not quite ready to spend the money? Never fear, you can always contact me directly for free advice using the form below. This is a free service and only manned by myself and Eddie, so our reply might take an extra day or two, but my advice will be impartial and with your best interests at heart! If you want to support, you can always donate (on the right) or you can click an ad banner and that goes straight to supporting the site!

Use the FREE ADVICE Button to contact me directly for a recommendation on the Best Plex NAS for your Setup/Budget. Please bear in mind that this is a one-man operation, so my reply might take a little bit of time, but it will be impartial, honest and have your best interests at heart.


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Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7] Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.   This description contains links to Amazon. These links will take you to some of the products mentioned in today’s video. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases

Recommended NAS for Plex for £1000 in 2021

16 juillet 2021 à 01:10

Top 3 NAS Drives for Plex Media Server for £1000

Buying a NAS for a Plex media server can be a very intimidating purchase. The technology behind network-attached storage has evolved dramatically in recent years and has far surpassed the simple ‘file and folder hard drive over the internet’ image that many associate it with. Modern NAS drives have a huge array of software applications, services, customisable fully featured graphical user interfaces, numerous applications to access your data in the best possible way and, of course, full integration with the popular private multimedia server software plex. That said, not all NAS servers are created equal and much like any piece of hardware, the amount of money you spend on a solution will result in better hardware and performance overall – and a NAS for Plex is no different. Previously I have discussed the best NAS drives for plex for under £500, which all provided an excellent base level of multimedia support but when it came to the handling of particularly dense media, HEVC and in particular 4K, would either reach full resource utilization OR just fail on playback entirely. So today I want to look at the NAS drives for Plex that, although up to twice the price of those mentioned previously, will give you a significant increase in your multimedia playback! Let’s take a look at the best Plex NAS you can buy in 2021.

Note – it is worth bearing in mind that a NAS drive will still require you to purchase hard drives and although all NAS drive servers for Plex can run with as little as a single hard drive (and then add more later) this still means that you have to factor this into your budget.

 

QUICK CONCLUSION

NASCompares Top 3 Plex NAS for £1000

QNAP TS-473A

AMD Ryzen V1500B

8-64GB DDR4

= $800

Synology DS1621+

AMD Ryzen V1500B

4-32GB DDR4 ECC

= $900+

QNAP TS-h973AX

AMD Ryzen V1500B
8-64GB DDR4

What should I be looking for in a Plex NAS?

Any NAS that is going to be used as a Plex media server needs to have certain hardware and software options as standard, to skip even one of these will severely bottleneck your performance from Day 1. Although most of these are available in more affordable NAS drives, the extent to which they are supported will make all the difference between a good Plex media server and a great Plex media server on a tight budget. (as well as still having money for hard drives). These factors are:
  • An Intel or AMD based CPU that is 64-bit x86 in architecture
  • Support of at least 1080p and 4K regular playback, as well as the support of 1080p transcoding to Plex client devices
  • Embedded graphics or transcoding support (hence that CPU range)
  • At least two Bays of storage (for greater storage and redundancy, AKA – Disk Failure Protection)
  • A frequently updated and stable graphical user interface (such as Synology DSM or QNAP QTS)
  • Support and compatibility for the plex media server application (not all NAS support it, weaker ARM CPU and Unbranded NAS might not)

Rest assured that all three of the NAS drives for Plex that I have recommended below will provide excellent support for these features. It’s no huge secret that any old budget PC, unused Mac  mini or old laptop can run as a Plex media server, but the reason people are purchasing NAS drives from companies like Synology and QNAP for use in Plex is because these devices, even in a budget form, provide the following advantages:
  • Quiet and stable storage
  • RAID functionality for hard drive failure or combined storage
  • 24/7 reliability and efficiency
  • Software and Graphical user interface (GUI) that is easily accessible from a desktop or mobile device
  • Network and Internet access for hundreds of simultaneous users
ALL of these factors are what will ensure your Plex Media Server NAS, (even on a tight budget) will be fantastically capable and stable. So, let’s get on to my top 3 devices for PLEX servers.

Best Plex Media Server NAS for Affordability – QNAP TS-473A NAS

QNAP TS-473A, AMD Ryzen V1500B, 8-64GB DDR4, 2x 2.5GbE, USB 3.2 Gen 2, NVMe Slots, PCIe Gen 3×4, EXT4/ZFS, 3yr Warranty = $800
What We Said about the QNAP TS-73A Review on 03/21I know I have said this like 10x in the review, but I genuinely respect how mature and focused the TS-473A is, especially when compared with a number of more ‘throw as much hardware as possible at it’ based 8-Bay devices are available from QNAP in their portfolio. A much better balance of internal and external hardware result in a system that feels significantly more capable of business that most devices that the brand have produced in the last 12 months. Add to this that the TS-873A arrives with the QNAP QuTS Hero ZFS platform and you have a system that will tick ALOT of boxes for both novice NAS buyers and more worldly data storage experts. Seemingly taking a leaf out of the books of Synology and their DS1821+ in terms of keeping it straight forward, this solutions sits very well in the portfolio. It would have been easy for the brand to try to squeeze more in, make at the risk of eliminating consumer flexibility down the line and ramping the price up at day 1, but it would seem like QNAP has learned from the odd bit of overstretching in systems like the TVS-872N and TS-1635AX, this time producing a solution that gives the business buyer what they need in 2021, but then allowing them to scale the solution in line with the storage of 2022 and beyond. This is by no means a sexy or exciting solution, for you, I would recommend the TVS-872XT or TVS-1288X. But what you have here is just business, nothing personal.


 

Best Plex Media Server NAS for Expandability and Scalability – Synology DS1621+ NAS

Synology DS1621+, AMD Ryzen V1500B, 4-32GB DDR4 ECC, 1x 1GbE, USB 3.2 Gen 1, NVMe Slots for Cache, PCIe Gen 3×8, EXT4/BTRFS, SHR, 3yr Warranty = $900+
What We Said in Our DS1621+ Review on 10/2020 – Whether you’re looking at buying the Synology DS1621+ as your first footsteps into the world of NAS, or as an upgrade to your existing smaller network-attached storage system, the DS1621+ ticks practically every box. Although some might argue that the hardware might seem almost a little too mid-range, they are missing the point of this device entirely. The DS1621+ is a prime example of everything that Synology is about and frankly, if you love the brand you will love this NAS device. Finding a fair middle ground internally and externally at this price point, the DS1621+ represents Synology doubling down on hardware R&D over the last 2 years and is largely successful in every way. It would have been nice to see a more graphically equipped processor, or something a tad closer in architecture to that of the comparatively powerhouse DS1621xs +, but right now this is the best Synology 6 bay you are going to find and without breaking the bank. The Synology ‘Plus’ series of devices has long held a reputation for providing mid-range hardware to mid-range business customers. Because of this, the DS1621+ needs to balance a fine line between providing fast and reliable hardware, whilst still maintaining a price point that won’t intimidate the average small-medium business user. In this regard, I think the Synology DS1621+ NAS gets it right, finding an impressive halfway point between these two factors. However, it is important for buyers to understand what they are buying and where the budget for the Synology DS1621+ is being aimed. Although it seemingly lacks some of the multimedia and prosumer features of ‘cheaper’ NAS devices in the Synology portfolio, it doubles down on more business and enterprise-level features in efforts to support that core audience. It’s about getting the right tool for the job and in that area, Synology almost completely succeed. The lack of +gigabit connectivity afforded to a NAS unit at this price point, compared with their competitors, may put some users off, but on the whole, you are getting good performance and excellent value on this combined hardware and software solution with some excellent scalability.


 

Best Plex Media Server NAS for All-Purpose Use – QNAP TS-h973AX

QNAP TS-h973AX, AMD Ryzen V1500B, 8-64GB DDR4, 1x10GbE, 2x 2.5GbE, USB 3.2 Gen 2, 5x SATA+2xSATA SSD+2x U.2 NVMe, EXT4/ZFS, 3yr Warranty = $990+
What We Said in Our TS-h973AX Review on 11/2020 – I have seen a lot of network-attached storage over the years and the TS-h973AX brings a lot of colour to what was fast becoming a somewhat grey landscape. In short, QNAP has gone and done it again by proving they are the hardware innovators of this industry and have managed to provide a genuinely unique solution here. When they first revealed their new Hero ZFS operating system last year, you could not help but get the impression that only top-end enterprise businesses with £10K starting budgets were ever going to benefit. The TS-h973AX desktop NAS is solid evidence that QNAP will share the wealth and that this is the start of a whole new series of affordable ZFS solution from the brand. That isn’t to say that this system is perfect and pernickety points about a lack of HDMI or LCD may put off some users, and the compact 9 bay chassis that will attract some will no doubt deter others. Ultimately though QNAP has succeeded in creating what they sought out here and what we find is one of the best examples of hardware and software meeting in the middle, while still arriving with a price tag in 3 figures. In the current absence of a straightforward QuTS license purchase option for existing QNAP NAS systems right now, this is a solution that serves as a good alternative to a number of 4 and 6 Bay solutions in their portfolio. Though, make sure you upgrade that memory on day one!


It is worth highlighting that regardless of which NAS drive you buy, all three of these devices can do so much more than that, providing you with the following additional software and support options to you, your family and colleagues:
– Multi-tiered backup options for Windows, Mac, Android and Linux devices.
– Synchronisation and migration options for NAS to NAS, cloud to NAS, USB to NAS and Apple time machine.
– DLNA media support for enjoying all your media across all your devices
– Multiple user support that allows simultaneous file access and control over the network and internet.
– Privilege, time limit, password and remote share options for sending files to those that need them
– A wide range of third-party apps support from dedicated app centres via the NAS GUI
– Multiple mobile apps available from iOS and Android, that are free and tailored to different file requirements
– Dedicated surveillance software that allows you to connect access and control multiple pan tilt zoom IP cameras in your network environment and record footage, Taylor alerts and set recording rules
– all arrived with two to three years of manufacturer’s warranty worldwide.
So there you go, those are the best NAS drives for use as a Plex media server for you right now. Still unsure? Not quite ready to spend the money? Never fear, you can always contact me directly for free advice using the form below. This is a free service and only manned by myself and Eddie, so our reply might take an extra day or two, but my advice will be impartial and with your best interests at heart! If you want to support, you can always donate (on the right) or you can click an ad banner and that goes straight to supporting the site!

Use the FREE ADVICE Button to contact me directly for a recommendation on the Best Plex NAS for your Setup/Budget. Please bear in mind that this is a one-man operation, so my reply might take a little bit of time, but it will be impartial, honest and have your best interests at heart.


Articles Get Updated Regularly - Get an alert every time something gets added to this page!


This description contains links to Amazon. These links will take you to some of the products mentioned in today's content. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Visit the NASCompares Deal Finder to find the best place to buy this device in your region, based on Service, Support and Reputation - Just Search for your NAS Drive in the Box Below

 

SEARCH IN THE BOX BELOW FOR NAS DEALS

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7] Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.   This description contains links to Amazon. These links will take you to some of the products mentioned in today’s video. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases

Best NAS and Drives For £500 in 2021

2 juillet 2021 à 02:00

The Best NAS and Hard Drives for the Home on a Budget of £500

If you are looking at buying a NAS drive (whether it is to move away from the likes of Google Drive or Dropbox, or to just have all of your data in a single controllable location), then it can be a rather intimidating task. For many users, the very, VERY first hurdle they encounter is the price tag! NAS systems, although not massively expensive, do always seem a little more expensive than you think – especially given the modest internal hardware used inside sometimes when compared again DIY PCs. Add to this the fact that these devices ALSO need to be populated with storage media and you can be looking at a price tag that can easily spiral out of control. Add to this that a lot of users simply do not want/need all the enterprise features and just want a system that can be used as a backup for all of their desktop and mobile devices, is as secure as possible, can support a good level of 4K/1080p media over DLNA/Remotely (e.g Plex), feature a little bit of camera connectivity for security, Provide a intuative and user-friendly photo album access and all the while having a system that runs smoothly and quietly in the background! Although most NAS systems support all these features to a small/large degree, you will all too often find that the price point and scale of these NAS systems are wildly different! So, today I wanted to highlight the BEST three NAS drives in 2021 that not only provide ALL of the features mentioned (and can run them all at once with ease), but also allow you to purchase the NAS and Hard drives for less than £500. Each solution has its own particular advantages and although each one might better suit a different kind of user, all three are by far the best that each brand can provide (including Seagate Ironwolf NAS hard drives) for this modest price point.

IMPORTANT – Most home users who look at buying a NAS and Hard Drive media at this price point are usually quite focused on Plex Media Server support, as although they will use the myriad of other features and software that these devices arrive with, the lion share of its use will be for a Plex Media Server NAS for their friends and family to connect and enjoy movies, boxsets, albums and their photos. So I have focused a little more on these system’s multimedia abilities than most other services.

If you just want to skip to the end, all three NAS are below, otherwise, scroll through my top 3 NAS for the buyers on a budget! I would recommend you purchase one of the following Three NAS drives:

— Short Version —

Synology DS220+, NAS – Designed to be network/internet-only access, VERY user-friendly, most expensive of the 3, good for Mac users and excellent first Party Software

QNAP TS-251D NAS – Designed to be Network/Internet/HDMI, pretty user-friendly, PCIe upgrade option for a later date, Good for Windows/Android users

Asustor Nimbustor 2 NAS – Quite user-friendly, Best CPU, Best Memory, Network/Internet/HDMI 4K, 2.5Gbe connection (the rest have 1Gbe), Good for Android/Windows users

NASCompares Top 3 Budget NAS for £500 (including Drives and Tax)

Synology DS220+ NAS

+ Seagate Ironwolf NAS Hard Drive (2x 2TB)

= £472 TOTAL

QNAP TS-251D NAS

+ Seagate Ironwolf NAS Hard Drive (2x 4TB)

= £495 TOTAL

Nimbustor 2 NAS

+ Seagate Ironwolf NAS Hard Drive (2x 2TB)

= £465 TOTAL

 

— Long Version —

All three have their own dedicated browser software access, dedicated mobile applications, backup applications and surveillance software. Below is alot more information about each device.

Best £500 Synology NAS for Beginners – DS220+ and Seagate 4TB Seagate Ironwolf

Synology DS220+, Intel J4025 2.0-2.7Ghz CPU, 2/6GB DDR4 2666Mhz Memory, BTRFS, SHR, 2yr Warranty, Seagate Ironwolf NAS Hard Drive (2x 2TB) = £472 TOTAL
The DS220+ NAS is one that budget buyers have been using as a Plex media server for a lot of 2020/2021. Although the device might look a little modest compared with the more powerful DS920+ or even DS720+, even at this price point it features multiple ports and connections. It is the surprisingly powerful and efficient Synology software that the DS220+ arrives with that means that you are getting a number of key plex options covered by this NAS drive. Arriving with the popular Intel Celeron J4025, the DS220+ from Synology is one of the most popular NAS drives that they have released in a very long time. If you want to stay within the £500 budget, including hard drives and tax, you will be able to find this device for just over £300 tops and that gives you another £200 that you should be able to get a couple of 2TB or 3TB Seagate Ironwolf hard drives for your NAS.
What makes the DS220+ such an impressive device is that it gives you everything you need in a modern device for plex, at a remarkably affordable price. Featuring a transcoding engine (embedded graphics) on that CPU, that Plex pass users will be able to utilise, the performance of media on the DS220+ is pretty impressive for such an affordable NAS drive. Add to that the fact that it is a two-bay device with support of BTRFS as its file system for stability, SHR for a more fluid RAID system that allows you to mix and match drives to increase storage later down the line and an overall sense of stability and user-friendliness in this device. Sure, there are more powerful Synology NAS drives out there for use as a larger scale backup or powerful Plex media server, but at this price level, it is not only the most affordable fully-featured NAS you can buy, but also one of the best examples of what Synology is all about – all for under £500 that includes storage and tax.

 

 

NAS Review Where to Buy YouTube Review

 

Best £500 QNAP NAS for Ultimate Access – TS-251D and Seagate 8TB Seagate Ironwolf

QNAP TS-251D, Intel J4055 2.0-2.7Ghz CPU, 2/8GB DDR4 2400hz Memory, HDMI 2.0 4K, PCIe Slot 2×2, 2yr Warranty, Seagate Ironwolf NAS Hard Drive (2x 4TB)= £495 TOTAL

As soon as you mention any kind of NAS drive for home or business and Synology, you will of course then mention QNAP. These two brands have been producing great NAS drives for use as local/remote backup servers for years now and the most cost-effective QNAP drive that allows you to get both the device and a good amount of storage space for under £500 is the TS-251D device. The QNAP TS-251D has exactly the same internal CPU+RAM hardware as the previously mentioned DS220+ NAS, with the added benefits that it is a pinch lower in price and features several hardware advantages that, even a budget Plex NAS user, may factor into their media server now or later that are damn near irresistible.  Featuring such advantages as an HDMI 2.0 4K 60FPS port to connect your TV directly to your NAS (for media, surveillance, VM use and more) and enjoy media at almost 0-second latency speeds (which is especially useful for 4K playback), the QNAP TS-251D NAS even features a PCIe upgrade slot that will allow you to increase your network speeds at a later date. These kinds of hardware options, as well as the transcoding support at 1080p and 4K at less than £500 including tax and storage, is genuinely impressive. At this price point, you are able to get this and maybe a couple of 2 or 3 Terabyte Seagate Ironwolf NAS hard drives, still leaving you with around £10-20 leftover!
As mentioned, the internal hardware is identical in traditional spec to that of the DS220+, with the same Intel Celeron J4025 CPU and 2GB of DDR4 memory, though in the TS-251D you can expand all the way up to 8GB of memory (the Synology oddly limiting you to 6GB at 2+4GB), further highlighting the upgradability of this NAS and allowing you to buy a budget NAS drive today that can become a much more powerful and useful NAS later. On a software level, QNAP has the QTS platform that is much more catering to Windows and Android users in its design. Whereas Synology try to keep things to Network/internet-only access, the QNAP gives you far more customization in and out of their core system, and the TS-251D gives a much greater balance of access for local, access and internet/network connectivity.
NAS Review Where to Buy YouTube Review

 

Best £500 Asustor NAS for Performance – Nimbustor 2 and Seagate 6TB Seagate Ironwolf

Asustor AS5202T, Intel J4005 2.0-2.7Ghz CPU, 2/8GB DD4 2400Mhz Memory, HDMI 2.0a, BTRFS. 2.5G, 3yr Warranty, Seagate Ironwolf NAS Hard Drive (2x 3TB)= £465 TOTAL
One NAS brand that has REALLY accelerated it’s customer awareness this year is Asustor. The release of the Nimbustor series really shook up the NAS world with its incredibly affordable price point, despite featuring some of the very best hardware available on this list. At our £500 price point for a Plex NAS, you can buy the Nimbustor 2 and 4TB of storage (including TAX) with £30-40 leftover, which really does make this tough to beat. from a hardware point. Arriving with an Intel Celeron dual-core processor, the J4005 at 1.5-2.7Ghz per core and 2GB of DDR4 memory, in PLEX that translates to some fantastic performance, supporting 1080p and 4K playback, along with a good chunk of 1080p transcoding and lower-end 4K.
What makes the Nimbustor 2 so much better than the TS-251D or DS220+ for Plex power buyers is that despite me including it in my budget Plex NAS list, it actually provides a great many features that even £1000+ NAS drives do not. That powerful Gemini lake dual-core processor promises that you will get great plex performance (though less than a modern Pentium Gold or higher i3/i5/i7). Alongside this, all of the file system or hardware features from the TS-251D and DS220+ are here in one form or greater. Such as BTRFS support and that HDMI 2.0 output, that lets you playback 4K Plex media locally to your connected TV at 60FPS. However, it is in terms of future connectivity that the Nimbustor 2 really succeeds. Although it is the most affordable NAS on the list today, this device arrives with two 2.5Gbe ports. These ports are completely backwards compatible with regular 1Gbe RJ45 connectivity (found in all homes and offices), but allow your Plex media server NAS to take advantage of greater network speeds in your network environment as your surrounding network and internet equipment evolved over the years. With file sizes getting bigger and bigger, yet our demand for data getting faster and faster, options like 2.5Gbe in the Nimbustor 2 and PCIe upgraded NICs (network interface cards) on the TS-251D are definitely worth consideration. The Nimbustor 2 NAS, despite its low price point, even arrives with a fully-featured and gamer inspired graphical user interface and operating system, ADM. So notwithstanding some great performance as a Plex media server, it also arrives with a myriad of backup and file streaming options available to you.
NAS Review Where to Buy YouTube Review
I go into alot more detail if you watch the video below, In short, I focus on this primarily because of their affordability (including hard drives and tac), as a Plex Media Server, but also because they will do EVERYTHING else on your too list. They may seem a pinch higher $ than you might have wanted to spend, but in terms of future-proofing, smooth access and ease of use, these are pretty much as good as it gets right now at this price point.

If you interested in how each NAS system and its software perform/present themselves, take a look below at my video review of the Synology DSM 7, QNAP QTS and Asustor ADM NAS GUI and system software:

Synology DSM Software

QNAP QTS Software

ASUSTOR ADM Software

Synology DSM vs QNAP QTS

I hope this helps you with choosing the right NAS for your home and family. Thanks for reading!

 


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Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7] Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.   This description contains links to Amazon. These links will take you to some of the products mentioned in today’s video. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases

Top 3 NAS for Plex under £500 in 2021

25 juin 2021 à 01:10

Recommended 3 NAS Drives for Plex Media Server Under £500

The growth in popularity that Plex media server has enjoyed these last few years is genuinely outstanding. Multimedia has gone through several phases as the common household media technology in our homes has evolved, from local media boxes, to popular subscription-based streaming services and now onto the re-emergence of owning your own media server. Privately owned media servers are not exactly new, but the way that this multimedia that you own on a NAS or spare computer system is presented to the end-user is where the real difference lies. Plex media server allows you to turn your decades of multimedia from a rather unappealing array of files and folders and turning into a beautifully presented graphical user interface, that scrapes metadata from numerous online resources for free in order to present you with your very own personal Netflix. With streaming services often costing users £100 a year (not including multi-device licences), lacking the choice of playing content in your own multimedia collection and little or no control over the shows you have available month to month, you can see why a lot of users are taking that money that they would spend on a subscription service and plough it into a NAS drive for Plex media server. That said, a privately owned NAS is going to cost you a few hundred $/£/€ at day one and you want to make sure that you are spending wisely. So today I am going to talk about the top 3 NAS drives for Plex media server that you can buy for less than 500. Each one is guaranteed to playback and transcode 1080p standard media and even some mid to high 4K media too. So what are we waiting for, let’s take a look at my recommended NAS in 2021 for Plex.

Note – it is worth bearing in mind that a NAS drive will still require you to purchase hard drives and although all NAS drive servers for Plex can run with as little as a single hard drive (and then add more later) this still means that you have to factor this into your budget.

 

QUICK CONCLUSION

NASCompares Top 3 Plex NAS for £500

Synology DS220+

Intel J4025 2.0-2.9Ghz CPU
2/6GB Memory

QNAP TS-453D

Intel J4125 2.0-2.7Ghz CPU

4/8GB Memory

 = £500+

Synology DS920+

Intel J4125 2.0-2.7Ghz CPU

4/8GB Memory

= £475

What should I be looking for in a Plex NAS?

Any NAS that is going to be used as a Plex media server needs to have certain hardware and software options as standard, to skip even one of these will severely bottleneck your performance from Day 1. Although most of these are available in more affordable NAS drives, the extent to which they are supported will make all the difference between a good Plex media server and a great Plex media server on a tight budget. (as well as still having money for hard drives). These factors are:
  • An Intel or AMD based CPU that is 64-bit x86 in architecture
  • Support of at least 1080p and 4K regular playback, as well as the support of 1080p transcoding to Plex client devices
  • Embedded graphics or transcoding support (hence that CPU range)
  • At least two Bays of storage (for greater storage and redundancy, AKA – Disk Failure Protection)
  • A frequently updated and stable graphical user interface (such as Synology DSM or QNAP QTS)
  • Support and compatibility for the plex media server application (not all NAS support it, weaker ARM CPU and Unbranded NAS might not)

Rest assured that all three of the NAS drives for Plex that I have recommended below will provide excellent support for these features. It’s no huge secret that any old budget PC, unused Mac  mini or old laptop can run as a Plex media server, but the reason people are purchasing NAS drives from companies like Synology and QNAP for use in Plex is because these devices, even in a budget form, provide the following advantages:
  • Quiet and stable storage
  • RAID functionality for hard drive failure or combined storage
  • 24/7 reliability and efficiency
  • Software and Graphical user interface (GUI) that is easily accessible from a desktop or mobile device
  • Network and Internet access for hundreds of simultaneous users
ALL of these factors are what will ensure your Plex Media Server NAS, (even on a tight budget) will be fantastically capable and stable. So, let’s get on to my top 3 devices for PLEX servers.

Best Plex Media Server NAS for Budget Buyers – Synology DS220+ NAS

Synology DS220+, Intel J4025 2.0-2.9Ghz CPU, 2/6GB Memory, BTRFS, SHR, 2yr Warranty, 2x 1GbE = $330

What we said in our DS220+ Review 06/2020 – The Synology DS220+ affordable NAS does not make overly bold promises, leaving those to more expensive and more powerful devices in the product portfolio (DS920+, DS1621xs, etc). Whether you are a new or old NAS user, Synology has made a clear distinction in the DS220+, showing the difference between buying what you want and buying what you need. That may sound like pointless and annoying rhetoric, but comparing the DS220+ with other diskstation plus series NAS shows you that by removing a lot of the bells and whistles of the bigger and boulder devices (i.e NVMe SSD caching, expandability of storage down the line, longer warranties and higher-end processors) it provides you with a setup that will serve a smaller and less intense user exceptionally well, at a price point that makes the first investment in a Synology NAS considerably easier to make. Ultimately, why buy a Ferrari if you just need something to do the weekly grocery shopping? The Synology DS220+, much like its predecessors in this product line, is still a great and solid NAS purchase in 2020/2021 and something that Synology can continue to be proud of, just don’t expect that Ferrari and you’ll be fine.


 

Best Plex Media Server NAS for Upgrades and Scalability – QNAP TS-453D NAS

QNAP TS-453D, Intel J4125 2.0-2.7Ghz CPU, 4/8GB Memory, EXT4, HDMI, PCIe Upgrades, 2.5GbE, 3yr Warranty = £500+
What we Said in our TS-453D Review on 06/2020 – To put it bluntly – the QNAP TS-453D is a heck of a piece of kit! The hardware available at this price point, along with the software that is bundled with your purchase is possible some of the best ‘price vs return’ I have yet to see in a NAS drive. This combined with a very open-door policy on upgrades and future-proofing, as well as maintaining a very good first/third-party software support ratio, make the QNAP TS-453D one of the best units the company has produced in the history of the brand and an excellent unit to begin a new decade. Is it perfect? No. With a few of the shiny slick branding touches of their biggest rival Synology, as well as a design that is not for everyone, the QNAP TS-453D is a NAS that gives you alot of tools, alot of ways to use them – then lets you choose to how and where you want to interact with it, rather than ask you to do it ‘it’s way’ for the most part. As is often the case, whereas the Synology platform and the closest rival to the TS-453D (the DS920+) will provide a very ‘Apple’ design, fluidity and ease of design to a % of the market, the QNAP TS-453D caters to many more users and although sometimes that versatility can lead to early confusion (a teeny pinch of tech knowledge will help) it is an enormous jump forward for this big brand in NAS storage.


 

Best Plex Media Server NAS for Beginners – Synology DS920+ NAS

Synology DS920+, Intel J4125 2.0-2.7Ghz CPU, 4/8GB Memory, BTRFS, SHR, 3yr Warranty, SSD Caching Option = £475
What we Said in our DS920+ Review on 05/2020 – 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. There are always areas of improvement, the USB ports, the 1Gbe, that 1 memory slot – but these are things that Synology no doubt feel should be pushed into a higher price/hardware bracket – Allowing the DS920+ Price to be as close to its predecessors it can be. Whether you agree or disagree, I think that we can agree that this NAS is still giving you alot of bang for your buck in 2020/2021


It is worth highlighting that regardless of which NAS drive you buy, all three of these devices can do so much more than that, providing you with the following additional software and support options to you, your family and colleagues:
– Multi-tiered backup options for Windows, Mac, Android and Linux devices.
– Synchronisation and migration options for NAS to NAS, cloud to NAS, USB to NAS and Apple time machine.
– DLNA media support for enjoying all your media across all your devices
– Multiple user support that allows simultaneous file access and control over the network and internet.
– Privilege, time limit, password and remote share options for sending files to those that need them
– A wide range of third-party apps support from dedicated app centres via the NAS GUI
– Multiple mobile apps available from iOS and Android, that are free and tailored to different file requirements
– Dedicated surveillance software that allows you to connect access and control multiple pan tilt zoom IP cameras in your network environment and record footage, Taylor alerts and set recording rules
– all arrived with two to three years of manufacturer’s warranty worldwide.
So there you go, those are the best NAS drives for use as a Plex media server for you right now. Still unsure? Not quite ready to spend the money? Never fear, you can always contact me directly for free advice using the form below. This is a free service and only manned by myself and Eddie, so our reply might take an extra day or two, but my advice will be impartial and with your best interests at heart! If you want to support, you can always donate (on the right) or you can click an ad banner and that goes straight to supporting the site!

Use the FREE ADVICE Button to contact me directly for a recommendation on the Best Plex NAS for your Setup/Budget. Please bear in mind that this is a one-man operation, so my reply might take a little bit of time, but it will be impartial, honest and have your best interests at heart.


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This description contains links to Amazon. These links will take you to some of the products mentioned in today's content. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Visit the NASCompares Deal Finder to find the best place to buy this device in your region, based on Service, Support and Reputation - Just Search for your NAS Drive in the Box Below

 

SEARCH IN THE BOX BELOW FOR NAS DEALS

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7] Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.   This description contains links to Amazon. These links will take you to some of the products mentioned in today’s video. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases

6 Things You Can Do With Your NAS Other Than Backup Storage

23 juin 2021 à 16:00

Cool Things You Can Do With Your NAS other Than Backup Storage

The main motivation for most users who purchase a new network-attached (NAS) storage device is often a means to create an alternative to Cloud services, backup several devices safely and really just to make sure that there is a mean to keep their data safe and sound, but also within reach when needed. The majority of NAS brands perform this function well and if you are looking for a NAS just to do these functions, then you will always be successful, regardless of the unit you choose. However, there is actually a huge number of things that a NAS can do and with the evolution of modern NAS hardware from brands like Synology and QNAP, most users do not even realise the cool things they can do with their system to maximize their investment or simply to have a little fun. So today I want to go through some of the best things you can do with a NAS drive that are more than just using it as a simple backup storage system. Let’s go!

Important – All of the things below that I recommend for your NAS drive are available on the majority of NAS systems from Synology, QNAP, Asustor, WD My Cloud or Terramaster. However, the extent to which they can be done and the overall performance that you will achieve will be based on the power of the NAS drive that you own and the number of simultaneous processes that you run. So if you are already using more than 90% of the existing hardware to run a large-scale simultaneous backup operation, that will not leave a vast amount of resources to run anything else. So just bear in mind that the extent to which the below fun things you can do with your NAS also depend on the hardware resources at your disposal.

Use Your NAS to Build Your Own NetFlix

Probably the most well-known thing about NAS that is popular for home users is that you can use the system to watch media over DLNA in your home. However, a lot of users do not realise the extent to which you can enjoy movies and box sets on your NAS. It’s one thing to have a big pile of files that you can access in a breadcrumb file/folder level over the network. It is another thing entirely to create a complete slick and well-designed user interface, with all of your decades of TV shows and movies displayed in a form similar to the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. However, this is exactly what you can do if you take advantage of PLEX media server or Synology Video Station. These applications allow you to index (ie scan and catalogue) your existing collections of media, then they search online databases for box art, reviews, cast lists, trailers and more, which then allows you to automatically present this information on your smart TV, tablet, console or phone in beautifully designed and intuitive software menus. Indeed, Plex Media Server and Synology Video Station are available on the majority of everyday internet-connected media devices and both of these applications are free or included in the cost of your NAS. Find out more about Plex media server on your NAS using the media you own, as well as connecting online multimedia services, in the video below.

It is also worth highlighting that your own personal Netflix on your NAS experience is not limited to just been connected to by you, as you can allow family and friends to access your NAS with this sleek and intuitive user interface anywhere on the network or remotely via the internet too.

Use Your NAS to Build Your Own Google Drive Shared Cloud

Most users think of a NAS as a giant hard drive that they connect to their devices remotely in order to back up their data. In most cases, a home user who purchased the NAS did so to move away from Cloud services like Dropbox and Google. However, some users are still blissfully unaware that you can use a NAS to host your very own version of Dropbox or Google drive for hundreds or thousands of users if you choose. Taking advantage of the file and space management services of a NAS in conjunction with online browser-based access and you can present areas of storage on your NAS to users with their very own login information, area of space that can be changed on the fly, controlled file types/sizes and the whole thing presented as an easy web browser-based cloud platform. Although this is available on the majority of NAS brands using their own software and client, Synology Drive provides this in the best way and is by far the most similar in design, ability and execution to DropBox and Google Drive. Find out more about Synology drive below:

The number of simultaneous or concurrent user that you can provide individual private cloud space to is only really limited by the NAS and the total available capacity, but even very very modest NAS systems at a few £100 can support hundreds of users at once. 

Use Your NAS to Setup a Enterprise-Grade Surveillance System at Home or Work

Most people who are even vaguely aware of modern NAS will hear the word surveillance thrown around quite a lot. They sort of know that they can have some cameras about the place that can send recordings to their NAS drive, but above and beyond that, they don’t really know much about it, don’t know how easy it is and ultimately decide not to really look into it. However in the most modern examples of network-attached storage, not only do the big brands all include surveillance software that is genuinely on par with the best and most premium grade NVR and CCTV software (Milestone and Axis Nvr), but also the cost of IP cameras that connect to your home or office network cost way, WAY less than you think. Even the compatible range of cameras that you can use that are supported arrive in the thousands of models and as long as the camera supports ONVIF, it will work. Many affordable Wi-Fi cameras and even solar-powered cameras that connect to your NAS over the network internet can be purchased for as little as £30 and once connected to the NAS surveillance software, with its remote access architecture and easy-to-use graphical user interface, you can set up a surveillance and protective security system in your home/business for very little money than you already spent on the NAS. Here is how Synology Surveillance station and QNAP’s QVR Pro software compare. Just remember that both of these programs are included with the cost of your NAS, which brings any expense on your NVR setup even lower:

The maximum number of cameras you can run at any one time, the total picture quality and the size of recordings generated will depend on the power and size of your NAS, but even affordable one day NAS solutions can be quite effective as a surveillance network video recorder.

Use Your NAS to Create a Virtual Machine for Work, Rest and Play

The use of virtual machines (VMs) used to be something that was only deployed and understood by big business. However, in 2021/2022, they are now being used to a highly productive and effective degree by even small home users as remote connecting systems. In essence, a virtual machine is a digital image of a physical computer. It needs to live within the confines of another computer, in this case a NAS, but its hardware specifications are represented as digital equivalents and this virtual version of a computer can be accessed remotely via the network or internet. Many users who purchased network-attached storage devices simply for backups will one day find out that they are using a mere fraction of the total available hardware inside their NAS. A great way to take advantage of this hardware available and put it to better use while your NAS is on 24×7 is to create a virtual machine within the NAS and then use it for business use, for personal centralised computer use or even or numerous fun tasks. These can include testing an operating system that you’ve never used before, running a legacy operating system like Windows 98 or XP in order to play old games or software, or even create light Linux VMs to deploy bespoke custom applications and retro games via emulation software like Retroarch and LaunchBox. Virtual machines are now painfully easy to deploy and all of the current modern NAS brands include their own first past the VM software. Take a look below at how Synology and QNAP compare in virtual machine support on their mass.

A particular stand out of this is QNAP with three separate virtual machine tools (Virtualization Station, Linux Station and Container Station) and within each of them, the ability to simply download numerous virtual machine images (from within the software GUI) for near-instant deployment in around 2 clicks of the mouse. Taking care of the entire setup and allowing you to just start having fun or doing business with your new virtual machine.

Use Your NAS to Farm and Plot Chia Coin Cryptocurrency

Although many people would agree that the latest change in the cryptocurrency market towards more environmentally friendly methods is a good thing, there are plenty who would argue that the Chia cryptocurrency wave that is massively affecting the storage market right now is pretty dreadful. The appeal of taking advantage of high-performance SSD and high durability hard drives in order to plot and farm potential Chia coin is constantly growing in popularity and for those users that want to jump on this potentially lucrative bandwagon, many are not even aware that they already have the hardware to do so. As long as you have a NAS that supports multiple hard drives in a RAID storage array and allow the installation of containers, then your NAS can be used in the Chia crypto processes. Executing it is by no means straightforward and although it is easier on some NAS browns than others, it still does require you to have a decent amount of available storage space and a fairly decent array of default resources in the NAS at your disposal. Nevertheless, once you overcome over the initial steeper learning curve, afterwards your NAS is largely self-governed and you don’t have to interfere with the system in the running of Chai based processes. Take a look below at how to set up your chia machine on a QNAP NAS (QNAP UK have a great video on this):

It is also worth highlighting that QNAP even has a third-party app that you can install on your system to marginally make this process even easier. It is available in the unofficial app center, but worth a look:

Use your NAS for Medical Science and Human Innovation

Sometimes users can tend to feel a little guilty that the NAS they use simply for storage and backups is left on for days, weeks or months at a time. There is of course the matter of when your electricity bill arrives, which is arguably quite a small some thanks to modern efficient design, but there is nevertheless the feeling of the environmental impact and the fact that you are leaving a system to run idle between the sporadic times that you need access to its resources. NAS drives are not alone in this (though there is arguably more wasteful resource computer hardware out there) but to combat this there are actually several more altruistic ways in which you can use your NAS to help others and maybe the betterment of society. Currently, there are several different installable apps or deployable containers that you can install and run on your NAS system that (although modest in their power consumption) will allow the idle time that your NAS is left on to be used for a better purpose. From research into deciphering genetic and DNA coding to algorithms breaking and medical research, there are numerous different charitable and positive organisations out there that are able to take advantage of the aggregated extra hardware of hundreds and thousands of different machines remotely in efforts to achieve their goals.

If the idea of donating the unused resources of your NAS for more human benefiting methods interests you, use the links below to find out more (Click Below):

 


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This description contains links to Amazon. These links will take you to some of the products mentioned in today's content. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Visit the NASCompares Deal Finder to find the best place to buy this device in your region, based on Service, Support and Reputation - Just Search for your NAS Drive in the Box Below

 

SEARCH IN THE BOX BELOW FOR NAS DEALS

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7] Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.   This description contains links to Amazon. These links will take you to some of the products mentioned in today’s video. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases

Brand New Asustor Drivestor Pro 2 and 4 NAS Drive Revealed

4 mai 2021 à 09:24

New Asustor AS3302T and AS3304T Drivestor Pro NAS Releasing Soon

Good News for anyone who has been looking at buying a new NAS in 2021, but is looking to keep things a tad affordable, with the reveal of the new Asustor DriveStor Pro NAS series in 2-Bay and 4-Bay. These new value series models arrive with an ARM 64bit based CPU, DDR4 memory, 2.5Gbe connectivity, 4K media support and the majority of ADM applications – whilst still keeping things on the cost-effective side. Using a familiar chassis to the AS40 series and Nimbustor ranges that came before, the new Drivestor 2 and Drivestor 4 Pro are largely designed to provide access to a number of the more modern and desirable aspects of owning your own private cloud solution (along with all those applications and tailored services) in a far more compact and low impact way. This low impact is extended beyond the wallet, with a 65W/90W PSU respectively, 12.3W/32.1W power usage reported in operation respectively and tiny chassis’ at 170(H) x 114(W) x 230(D) mm and 170(H) x 174(W) x 230(D) mm. Let’s take a look at what the Asustor Drivestor Pro 2 and 4 NAS bring to the table in 2021.

What Are the Hardware Specifications of the Drivestor Pro 2&4 NAS?

The hardware specifications of the Asustor DriveStor series are not going to blow you away too much, but you have to remain relative to the intended end user here. These are designed to be affordable entry points into both Asustor NAS and 2.5Gbe network storage solutions. They are comparable in a number of ways to the older AS1002T and AS1004T, but with a significant jump in the base level hardware inside and outside. Moving up from a dual-core Marvel 32bit CPU in the predecessors, the Drivestor Pro AS3302T and AS3304T arrive with the popular Realtek RTD1296 1.4Ghz Quad-Core 1.4Ghz 64bit ARM processor, double the memory at 2GB (which sadly can’t be expanded, as it is soldered to the mainboard) and 2.5Gbe (rather than the increasingly less desirable 1Gbe). A full breakdown of ht available specifications is below:

Drivestor 2 Pro AS3302T Drivestor 4 Pro AS3304T

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CPU Realtek RTD1296 1.4GHz (Quad-Core) Processor Realtek RTD1296 1.4GHz (Quad-Core) Processor
Hardware transcoding engine
Hardware acceleration engine H.264 (AVC), H.265 (HEVC), MPEG-4 Part 2, MPEG-2, VC-1 H.264 (AVC), H.265 (HEVC), MPEG-4 Part 2, MPEG-2, VC-1
Memory 2 GB (not expandable)​ 2 GB (not expandable)​
M.2 drive slot
HDD 2 x SATA3 6Gb/s; 3.5″ HDD 4 x SATA3 6Gb/s; 3.5″ HDD
Maximum internal raw capacity
(capacity may vary by RAID type)
36 TB (18 TB HDD X 2) 72 TB (18 TB HDD X 4)
Expansion unit Drive bay with 14 16
Maximum raw capacity using expansion unit
(Capacity may vary by RAID type)
252 TB (18 TB HDD X 14) 288 TB (18 TB HDD X 16)
Supports Single Volume Larger Than 16TB
expansion USB 3.2 Gen 1 x3 USB 3.2 Gen 1 x3
network 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet (2.5G/1G/100M) x 1 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet (2.5G/1G/100M) x 1
PCIe Expansion Slots
LCD panel
size 170(H) x 114(W) x 230(D) mm 170(H) x 174(W) x 230(D) mm
weight 1.6kg / 3.53 lbs 2.2 kg / 4.85 lbs
Input power voltage External Power Adapter:
65W x1
100V to 240V AC
External Power Adapter:
90W x1
100V to 240V AC
Power consumption 12.3W (Operation) 6.04W (Disk Hibernation); 23.1W (Operation) 10.1W (Disk Hibernation);
Volume type Single disk, JBOD, RAID 0, RAID 1 Single disk, JBOD, RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 6, RAID 10
Print
Infrared receiver
Audio output HDD
Tray lock
MyArchiveDisk Bays One 3
Service LED indicator
Redundant power supply

As mentioned (about 8 million times, I know) these two new NAS systems are designed around VALUE, so although the above specifications are not going to blow anyone’s mind looking for a high-end Plex solution, VM utilities or heavy-duty file processing, the Drivestor 2 Pro and Drivestor 4 Pro NAS will still allow a large number of features and functionality for 1080p/4K Multimedia playback, multi-tier backup strategies and the majority of features available in ADM. Here is how the Drivestor 2 Pro and Drivestor 4 Pro compare with the Asustor Lockerstor and Nimbustor series at 2.5Gbe throughput and a single 10G test file:

Click to view slideshow.

What Are the Software Specifications of the Asustor Drivestor Pro 2 and 4 NAS?

These new NAS solutions arrive with the latest version of the System software ADM included, as well as supporting numerous 3rd part software services, straight out of the box. We are taken numerous looks at ADM in the past and although these have largely been on Intel-powered solutions, the number of applications and services available on the DriveStor NAS systems is still the bulk of the important ones. Unsurprisingly, because this system does not feature an embedded graphics processor or an x86 chip, some of the more graphically demanding applications are absent. However, there are still a number of key features and functionality in each of the DriveStor Pro NAS systems (though obviously, the 4-Bay has a few more storage based advantages along the way). Below is a breakdown of how each system compares in traditional storage capacity, iSCSI support, shares and more:

Drivestor 2 Pro AS3302T Drivestor 4 Pro AS3304T
Max. Resolution
File sharing
Maximum number of users 4096 4096
Number of groups 512 512
Maximum number of shared folders 512 512
Maximum number of simultaneous connections 512 512
iSCSI
Maximum number of targets 256 256
Max LUN 256 256
Virtualization Support
VMware Ready
Citrix Ready
Hyper-V Ready
Eco-friendly design
Automatic standby for both internal and external disks
The system goes into sleep mode automatically (Schedule S3)
Wake-on-LAN (WOL)
Wake-on-WAN (WOW)

Then you have the question of how much of the Asustor NAS ADM software library the system can support. The Drivestor Pro is not HDMI enabled, so that removes Asustor Portal and the local visual output applications, but there are still some useful 1st party applications available to use on these value systems:

Drivestor 2 Pro AS3302T Drivestor 4 Pro AS3304T
ASUSTOR Portal
Photo Gallery 3
FTP Explorer
HiDrive Backup
Google Drive
Dropbox
Mail Server
Download Center
Plex Media Server
VPN server
Max. No. of VPN Server Connections 20 20
Surveillance Center
Max. No. of Supported Cameras (With Add-On Licenses) 25 25
SoundsGood
Web Browser Playback
Local Playback
  • USB Speakers / DAC / Bluetooth Speakers
  • USB Speakers / DAC / Bluetooth Speakers
Playback via other devices
  • AirPlay Speakers (with AiMusic on iOS device)
  • AirPlay Speakers (with AiMusic on iOS device)
iTunes Server
Local Playback
  • USB Speakers / DAC / Bluetooth Speakers
  • USB Speakers / DAC / Bluetooth Speakers
Playback via other devices
  • AirPlay Speakers (with Remote on iOS device)
  • AirPlay Speakers (with Remote on iOS device)

If you are interested in learning more about the Asustor NAS system software a little more, check out our review below from another of their recent hardware releases:

When Will the DriveStor Pro 2 and Drivestor Pro 4 NAS Be Released and How Much Will They Be?

Given that these products have been revealed on official pages in some regions of the world, it is safe to say that release must be remarkably close (early Summer 2021 at least), but there is still the ever-present factor of hardware shortages right now in 2021 (see video below), so it would be remiss not to take this into consideration. Overall, I think it can be safe to say that the Drivestor 2 Pro and Drivestor 4 Pro will likely see the Summer 2021 release (June/July at the very latest) and be comparable in price to the older AS1002T and AS1004T that came before it. I look forward to reviewing these systems to see how they compare with the latest generation of solutions from competitors Synology and QNAP, as although the 2.5Gbe support on this system is appealing, the CPU & Memory featured might have lost their shine in the eyes of some buyers. I look forward to seeing if these new value models can still cut the mustard in 2021.

 

Drivestor 2 Pro AS3302T Drivestor 4 Pro AS3304T

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Recommended IP Cameras for NAS Surveillance in 2021

3 mai 2021 à 01:41

A Guide to Choosing the Right IP Cameras for Your Surveillance NAS

Of all the ways to make the most of a NAS in your home or business environment, few are as useful as implementing a surveillance system. Alot of people might have purchased a NAS for backup, for multimedia editing, for Plex Media Server or just for streaming over DLNA. However, all of those tasks are only going to be accessing the NAS for a fraction of the time, whilst it remains on 24×7. So, given the affordability of network cameras (you can pick some up for as little as £30) and the fact that most modern NAS brands include a surveillance software (some being remarkably enterprise in feel too), it almost becomes a no brainer to use the system for CCTV at home, shop or office. Today I want to discuss the important buying factors when choosing cameras for your surveillance NAS setup, as well as important setup factors to consider (camera licenses, IP camera compatibility and the software itself). Let’s begin.

Useful Tip – Is the IP Camera you are looking at not on the official NAS compatibility list? If it is an ONVIF supported camera, then there is a very high chance it will be usable by compatible with your NAS, but it may mean that a few hardware features of the camera are not accessible to the NAS Surveillance software.

NAS IP Surveillance and Camera Licences

Why do you need to pay for more licences? Well, the surveillance software is included with your NAS and has no subscription fee for consistent use. It is a 24/7  and 52 weeks a year program and requires a large degree of support externally from your device to be fully accessible and reliable online at all times. Unsurprisingly, the more cameras you use, the larger the load and therefore to subsidise this and keep costs low for those that just need lite service, additional camera licences above the ones included with your NAS purchase are on a paid basis. Most Synology and QNAP NAS arrive with 2-4 Licences (as well as 8 cameras licences for QNAP QNR Pro currently) included with your device, which unless you are taking Network Attached Surveillance very seriously will be enough for basic home needs. However, if you want to expand your NVR NAS camera availability further you are of course able to purchase more licences. You can buy QNAP and Synology licences:

Synology Surveillance Licences

Most Synology NAS include 2 Camera Licenses

QNAP Surveillance Licences

QNAP NAS include 2/4/8 Camera Licenses (QVR Pro or Surveillance Station Depending 

Once again though – ONLY buy NAS IP Camera Licenses if you think you will 100% need them, as it can get quite expensive once you start getting more and more cameras on your network.

Useful TipAny QNAP NAS with an available USB port can also allow you to connect pretty much ANY USB Webcam and using the QUSBCam software available in QTS.

Surveillance IP Cameras and NAS Compatibility

If you know all about IP cameras or are too impatient to read through the blurb, you can skip right ahead and below is the recommended cameras for PTZ, Optical Zoom, Nightvision, etc. All the cameras below are compatible with the following NAS Surveillance and NVR software (at the time of writing):

  • Synology Surveillance Station
  • QNAP Surveillance Station
  • QNAP QVR Pro
  • Asustor Surveillance Centre
  • MIlestone Surveillance for WD NAS (Check, as Support, may have changed)

If you want to see how each NAS brand handles Surveillance, then you will be pleased to hear that I have made numerous video setup guides and reviews. Below are first-time setup guides and software overviews for the Synology Surveillance Station, QNAP QVR Pro and Asustor Surveillance Center applications. (Click the video title to open it in a new tab)

However, if you want to test out the software for yourself and find out if a NAS is the right surveillance solution for you, then below you can test out demos of the popular Synology Surveillance Station surveillance platform, as well as the QNAP QTS and QVR Pro CCTV software. Bear in mind that these are demos that are being accessed remotely, so their performance might not be exactly the same as a NAS Surveillance platform that your set up in your own home or office network.

Synology Software Online Demo – https://demo.synology.com/en-uk/surveillance 

QNAP Software Online Demo – https://www.qnap.com/en-uk/live-demo 

Asustor Software Online Demohttps://www.asustor.com/en/live_demo 

So, now you know more about NAS Surveillance, how a number of the bigger brands handle Surveillance on their platforms and have had a good look at the software itself available on each system. Let’s discuss the IP cameras that are compatible with each NAS brand.

Useful Tip – If you are looking at a Synology NAS PURELY for Surveillance, look at their dedicated DVA or NVR range for more included Camera Licences by default. If you are looking at a QNAP Surveillance NAS, look at 64bit x86 CPU based NAS (Intel or AMD) as it means the NAS will have QVR Pro support and 8 Camera Licenses in QTS.

Recommended NAS IP Cameras and Key Camera Features

Here are the key software and hardware considerations you will need to know when buying IP cameras for your NAS. You may not need them all, but there is probably one of two that are key to your Surveillance NAS setup.

IMPORTANT – The Recommended IP Cameras for NAS below are based on best VALUE, as I know a lot of people will purchase IP cameras for home/shop/small office use. There are ALOT of more enterprise cameras out there from brands like AXIS that are pretty much EXCELLENT at everything and compatible with most QNAP or Synology NAS systems, but they also cost about 10x as much as the likes of Reolink, Annke, Edimax, Hikvision and more. So, I am recommended cameras below based on being the best for their features AND their affordability. The subject of IP Cameras and NAS is a really tricky one to stay on top of. Despite my best efforts, the near-weekly firmware updates that are rolled out by both Synology and QNAP on their own operating platforms, the individual Surveillance software and the cameras themselves, can easily lead to a once compatibility camera not being supported. The pain is that the failure in compatibility is sometimes not even a performance halt or the camera suddenly falling off your available capture device list in the software – once it appears on the available camera list in the software, it will sometimes stay there regardless – possibly switching to a ONVIF class camera (kind like a default driver visible device). This matter is further compounded when I produce an update for you guys that lists cameras I have tested that work, that 6 months later 30-40% are no longer supported! I can only give you advice on this one based on my own experience, links to my existing articles and a little personal advice.

IP Cameras with PTZ and Optical Zoom

One of the most common features that people request in an IP camera for a NAS is PTZ, or pan tilt zoom. This is the ability for a camera to monitor more than just what it is originally pointed at once it is set-up and gives a greater degree of coverage to both the users that access the camera and the NAS server itself. More sophisticated PTZ IP cameras, for the NAS can be controlled directly by the surveillance station/ QVR Pro software directly. So you are able, for example, to set up a recording routine path of motion and direction of recording via the surveillance NAS and it, in turn, will move to adjust and recalibrate the camera as you demand. It is worth remembering that some cameras will only do this when prompted manually, whilst others can conduct this manually and in reaction to movement (see motorized smart tracking) in the field of view.

Recommended IP Cameras for NAS that Support Pan, Tilt and Zoom (PTZ)

Reolink E1 Pro Camera$49
  • Reolink E1 Pro security cameras captures super HD videos in the resolution of 2560×1440 (4 megapixels), the eight infrared LED lights bring you excellent night vision up to 40ft.
  • Plug it in. Connect the wifi camera to 2.4 GHz or 5Ghz WiFi. Up and running in minutes. Rotate 355° horizontally and 50° vertically. See every corner of your home with easy pan and tilt control on Reolink software.
  • This indoor camera supports both 2.4GHz and 5GHz dual-band WiFi. the 2T2R MIMO antennas ensure a strong signal for reliable network performance. Support Alexa/Google Assistant. Control your pet camera hands-Free with your voice.
  • 24/7 monitoring when connected with Reolink NVR. Save motion clips to a micro SD card (up to 64 GB) and Reolink Cloud for double insurance for 7-days, for free. (Micro SD Card and NVR isn’t included)
  • You can remotely see live-streaming via free Reolink software on iOS or Android phones, Windows PC or Mac. With built-in mic and speaker, you can hear and speak through the wireless camera.

MegaPixel and why it is Important in NAS in IP Cameras

Another popular factor that people take into account when buying an IP camera for their NVR/NAS Server is the megapixel rating. As I am sure you are aware, the larger the number of megapixels rated, the higher the resolution and quality of your recording output. However, there are certain key factors to bear in mind when considering a camera with a high megapixel rating. Firstly, if you start higher resolution recordings, it will not only create larger recorded playback files for retention on your surveillance NAS, but larger files may also consume more bandwidth on your network. One or two cameras and you will not notice any real delay or drop in latency on your network, however, once you are using 6 or 7 IP cameras with a high megapixel rating, drops over a standard one gigabit ethernet (1Gbe) network are to be expected and dedicated switches of both POE and non-POE are recommended.
Another thing to bear in mind with IP cameras that feature large megapixel recording facilities is that you are always able to adjust the resolution of those recordings, and therefore are not committed to stick to this large recording resolution. So, if you think you will need a better quality camera somewhere down the line, then perhaps by one or two high megapixel rated cameras alongside some standard generic IP cameras which would be rated around 2 to 3 megapixel (high-end cameras at entrance/exit and lower density inside the building).

Recommended High-Quality Rated IP Cameras for NAS

Reolink E1 Pro Camera$84.99
  • Human/Vehicle Detection with Smart Alerts: This PoE IP camera can identify people and vehicles in terms of their shapes, which minimizes the unnecessary alarms such as animals or shadows. It can also specify the type of detection when sending motion alerts to you. You can know what happened by just glancing at the phone screen.
  • 4K Ultra HD Videos: This PoE security camera jumps from 5MP to 4K (8MP) Ultra HD. It is 1.6X clearer than 5MP and 4X clearer than 1080p. Details you see around home or store will be reproduced perfectly in live streaming and playback.
  • Faster and Simplified PoE Installation: Thanks to the power over Ethernet (PoE) technology, this outdoor bullet camera can transmit videos and get power via only one network cable. You can install this camera quickly and easily for a reliable connection.
  • Time-Lapse to See the Day in a Minute: This surveillance camera supports to record time-lapse videos. You can keep tracking of your 3D printing, see the whole construction process in a few minutes, or capture beautiful views from sunrise to sunset. It is easy to use and fun to share with friends. (Time lapse only works on Reolink App.)
  • 2 Years Warranty – Users are provided with a 30-day money-back guarantee and 2 years warranty. Simply contact Reolink tech support, and we will replace any defected or broken products.

 

NightVision Support on IP Cameras

It is certainly worth bearing in mind that a number of cameras promise ‘night vision’ as a facility on their IP cameras. However, it is remembering that some cameras can only record night vision to a very basic standard and are little more than raised light/contrast versions of normal recordings. If you require night vision facilities on the IP cameras you purchase, then you need to consider IP Cameras that can cover a range well in excess of 15 feet night vision, featuring multiple IR sensors and are certified at least.

Recommended IP Cameras for NAS that Support NightVisIon

Hikvision 8MP Dome Camera DS-2CD2185FWD-IS$164.99
  • Up to 8MP high resolution and Max. 3840×[email protected] image ~ Using video compression technology, high compression ratio, and the processing is very flexible, Support H.265, H.265+, H.264+, H.264, ultra-low bit rate
  • Progressive scan CMOS, captures moving images without jagged edges ~ Support DC12V & PoE (802.3af) ~ Support on-board storage, up to 128 GB ( NO Card ) ~ Support Face Detection
  • Support a pair of input and output audio, support voice intercom( NO Built-in mic) ~ High-efficiency infrared lamp, long service life, irradiation distance of up to 100FT ~ 2.8 mm fixed lens, 102° horizontal field of view
  • ICR infrared filter automatically switches to achieve true day and night monitoring ~ Support three streams ~ IP67-class dust and water proof design, IK10-class Impact Protection, high reliability

IP Cameras with Motion Tracking

Once again, the majority of IP cameras do support motion tracking to a greater or lesser degree. However, there is a difference between motion tracking which alerts you to any motion in front of the camera regardless of how small, and more intelligent motion tracking that can be adjusted to both zones in the field of view and to adjust the sensitivity.

Recommended IP Cameras for NAS that feature Motion Tracking

Amcrest ProHD IP Camera IP2M-841B- $49.99
  • HIGH PERFORMANCE, REAL-TIME, TRUE HD – Experience magnificent full-HD 1080P video at 30fps with enhanced low light capability utilizing the Sony Exmor IMX323 image sensor and Ambarella S2LM chipset. Extra-wide 90° viewing angle as well as remote pan/tilt and digital zoom allow you to cover more ground and keep more of what matters to you safe. Works with Alexa through AmcrestCloud. 360° Pan & 90° Tilt.
  • SMARTER SECURITY – Receive motion alert notifications, review footage and engage in two-way communication via your smartphone with the Amcrest View app. Playback and record professionally on a PC using Amcrest Surveillance Pro for Windows and MAC (included) or Blue Iris Professional. Works with Amcrest Cloud remote video storage, MicroSd card, Amcrest NVRs, Synology and QNAP NAS, FTP, Pale Moon and Sea Monkey Browsers, IE, Safari, Firefox 49.0 and Chrome with Amcrest Web View Extension.
  • DAY OR NIGHT, QUALITY ASSURED – Featuring a Sony Exmor 1/2.9” 2.07MP image sensor and built-in IR LEDs this WiFi camera achieves industry leading 1080P nightvision up to 32 feet. Not all 1080P WiFi IP cameras are built the same and our Texas based team with over 10 years of IP camera experience has guaranteed the out-performance of this camera by using the highest quality components in order to deliver the ultimate best in class 1080p pan/tilt WiFi camera experience.
  • SECURE CLOUD VIDEO BACKUP – The optional Amcrest Cloud remote video storage subscription service allows you automatically store your videos off-site in a third-party location hosted and secured by Amazon AWS. This way if something happens to your local PC/NVR/SDcard/NAS, the footage will be safely recorded in a secure off-site location and accessible to you through a web-based Flash interface for PC (Windows & MAC) (Chrome/Firefox/Safari/Edge) and AmcrestCloud smartphone app.

IP Cameras with Heat Detection

This is a facility you will not really find in an IP camera for less than £500 – and those that promise this facility for less, provide it to a very poor standard. If you are considering heat motion cameras for your NAS surveillance setup, then I recommend skipping straight ahead to the axis brand of cameras as the majority are compatible with NAS and they have a number of suitable heat detection and heat vision certified IP cameras.

Recommended IP Cameras for NAS that Support Heat Detection

Aonton 5MP PoE Thermal Detection IP Camera- $59.99
  • 【5MP Ultra HD resolution IP audio bullet camera】–At the center of this security camera is a cutting edge 5MP image sensor. This sensor is capable of recording 5MP video, which is especially important for security camera footage. listen-in audio, extreme weather capabilties, a heavy duty metal housing, and more.
  • 【Easy PoE installation】–These security cameras only need a single Cat5e ethernet cable to connect it to a compatible NVR. This cable provides video transmission, power to the camera, a stable network connection, and installation flexibility up to 300ft* (as the cameras do not need to be plugged into a nearby power source).
  • 【Expanded coverage with built in microphone】–The built-in microphone will add a whole new level of security monitoring.This feature can provide you with more information (such as voices) should an incident ever occur. It will also help provide more insight into key events, even if they occur off-screen.
  • 【Heat Sensing&Protection 24/7】–Heat & motion-based PIR detection reliably captures & records activity, with fewer false triggers & reliable push notifications.Know what’s happening at any hour with powerful night vision up to 130ft/40m, a wide 90° viewing angle, a built-in microphone & the choice to mount indoors or outdoors
  • 【All-weather security cameras】–Mother Nature is no match for your security cameras. Rated IP66, they can endure anything from torrential downpours to freezing snowstorms. So go ahead and place them where you need them most.

 

Tonton 5MP PoE Thermal Detection IP Camera

IP Cameras that Claim to be WaterProof

If you are looking at IP cameras for outside of the home, then chances are you will need to look at NVR cameras that are certified as waterproof for your surveillance NAS. Simply putting the camera in a plastic bag will not do, and I cannot advise you against this enough! Look for cameras for your surveillance NAS server that have IP66 waterproof certification, as this means they will be designed to be outside your home or office in typical British weather!

Recommended IP Camera for NAS that is WaterProof

Reolink RLC-423 Outdoor PoE 360 Dome IP Camera- $209.99
  • 5MP PoE Camera Outdoor 190FT NIGHT VISION: 2560×1920 Super HD, this IP surveillance outdoor camera supports190ft long range night vision in dark, ideal for large areas like parking areas, garage, backyard, front yard, etc.
  • Free App and Remote Access: Work with Google Assistant, the 5mp PoE security cameras can live stream to your TV in real-time using simple voice-activated commands. Rich feature and functions in Reolink free apps for iPhone, Android, Windows PC, Mac with no subscription fee, intuitive and easy to navigate with your Reolink PoE security camera systems.
  • PTZ Security Camera: Pan-tilt-zoom camera with cruise 360˚ pan, 90˚ tilt, 4x optical zoom, PoE with one cable and easy wiring, no blind spots left for this weatherproof commercial-grade surveillance camera and wired security camera system.
  • MOTION DETECT and ALERT: This PTZ IP camera has flexible motion detection (set detection zone, schedule detection time and adjust sensibility), real-time and accurate movement alert via app push notification or email. Automatically upload motion-triggered image capture and recording FTP server is supported.

 

Facial Recognition Supported IP Cameras

Now that the Synology and QNAP surveillance software for NAS has grown in both popularity and it’s features to match it, facial recognition on IP cameras is now quite desirable to a number of NAS users. Though this is a software feature already supported in the NAS Photo applications, this is still a feature that is slow to being adopted by individual camera brands with regard to NAS compatibility. In real terms, that means that although an IP Camera states that it has facial recognition, there is no guarantee that your Synology or QNAP NAS will be able to use this facility on its platform.

Recommended IP Cameras NAS that Support facial recognition

Jidetech P14-POE Outdoor Dome with ONVIF and Shape Detection IP Camera – $149.99
  • ★【HD Video Resolution】Ultra HD 5MP picture quality 1944(H)x2600(V) at 18 frames 2.8-12mm 4X motorized zoom lens with H.265 video compression and advanced 3D dynamic noise reduction technology
  • ★【Built-in POE】- With this Power over Ethernet (POE) camera, it only needs a network cable connected to the POE switch, which makes the installation more convenient
  • ★【Two-ways audio real time communication】Build-in microphone and speaker,G.711A codec standard Anti-noise technology make sure the voice more clearly. After setting the motion detection area, when motion is detected, the camera will have the alarm sound. You can set sirens / warnings / even custom sound warning intruders
  • ★【Onvif Compatibility】Support RTSP, multi-language. Remote watching by PC(IE, firefox, Chrome browser) and smartphone (IOS, Android). Compatible with 3rd party software: iSpy, VLC Player, and Blue Iris to watch video. Support onvif protocol GB/T28281, compatible with Hikvision, XM, Dahua, Amcrest NVR. Can’t wokr with MAC.OS
  • ★【Best service】Will this Camera work with my NVR? Camera is compatible with onvif 2.4, generally speaking, it is possible to work with NVR supporting ONVIF

 

And there you go. There was my guide to NAS Surveillance, Recommended and compatible IP Cameras and why a NAS Drive might be best for your CCTV set up in 2021. Thanks for reading this guide. Still need help? Use the NASCompares Free Advice section below. It is my free, unbias community support system that allows you to ask me questions about your ideal setup. It is NOT a sales platform, NOT a way to push hardware you don’t need and, although it is just manned by me and might take a day or two for me to reply, I will help you any way I can.
Popular IP Camera Reviews Previously on NASCompares:

Reolink C2 Pro NAS IP Camera Review

SimCam 1 Smart Camera Review

Early Guide to Synology & QNAP NAS Cameras

Heimvision HM203 Budget IP Camera Review


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We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7] Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  

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