Best Network Attached Storage For Mac 2013

Posted By admin On 16.02.22
  1. Network Attached Storage Comparison
  2. 2018 Best Network Attached Storage
  3. Network Attached Storage Home
  4. Best Network Attached Storage For Small Business
  5. Synology
  1. What the best network-attached storage, or NAS, to purchase when it comes to price vs. Why are NAS devices so expensive? What is currently the best NAS for around $400 that works with OSX?
  2. NAS systems offer high-capacity storage that enhances the performance abilities of many basic computer systems. To help you easily find what you need, you can also use our other filters, including brand, price, discount, and customer reviews.

Best Network Attached Storage for 2018. Our editors hand-picked these products based on our tests and reviews. If you use our links to buy, we may get a commission. A NAS drive that provides shared storage for everyone on your network is ideal for homes that own multiple Macs and mobile devices. Here are the best NAS drives for Mac owners.

Network-attached storage (NAS) is a must-have for a modern home with multiple inhabitants. If everyone has their own computer and phones, a NAS can back up data so you never run out of space. And it’s the go-to as the best media server for the whole homeThe Best Prebuilt, DIY, and NAS Solutions for a Plex ServerThe Best Prebuilt, DIY, and NAS Solutions for a Plex ServerLooking for the best Plex server? Here are some of the best budget, prebuilt, and DIY ways to run a Plex server!Read More.

Indeed, NAS is the best backup solution out there. In fact, most NAS boxes will also have a failsafe second hard drive that keeps a copy of everything on your main drive, in case the main drive malfunctions.

In this article, we tell you what to look for in a NAS and recommend a handful of the best NAS devices to get you started.

What to Look for in a NAS

For this guide, our main requirement is a NAS that serves your backup needs, but also doubles up as a home media server. We still think Plex makes the best media center, and fortunately, most NAS devices support Plex. Even if it doesn’t come pre-installed, you can download it easily.

Additionally, we are looking at two-bay NAS boxes. With these, you will be using only one drive, even though there is room for two. The other drive will be a mirror of your first, serving as a backup of all your data. This is important since we are trying to make the NAS your main storage for all your phones, tablets, and computers. And yes, you will have to buy the hard drives yourself, as they don’t come with the NAS devices themselves.

Finally, give a thought to the interface and apps of your NAS’ manufacturer. If the box’s interface is too confusing, you won’t be able to use it to its fullest, like using a VPN. Synology, QNAP, and Western Digital all have simple and easy interfaces, and they come with great mobile apps so you can access your data even when you aren’t home.

Top Pick

QNAP TS-251A 2-bay TS-251A personal cloud NAS/DAS with USB direct access (TS-251A-4G-US)QNAP TS-251A 2-bay TS-251A personal cloud NAS/DAS with USB direct access (TS-251A-4G-US) Buy Now On Amazon

  • Bays: Two bays or hard drives, with RAID
  • Processor: Dual-Core Intel Celeron N3060
  • Memory: 2GB RAM or 4GB RAM
  • LAN: 2 Gigabit ports
  • USB: 2 USB 3.0 ports
  • HDMI: No
  • Audio: No
  • Plex: Hardware-accelerated video transcoding up to 1080p

Why You Should Buy It: It’s almost an HTPC with its built-in HDMI port and a media playback remote.

The QNAP TS-251A is the best media server NAS for regular homes today. No other NAS offers this combination of features, as you get a capable processor and up to 4GB of RAM while also connecting the box directly to your TV via HDMI. And this is the only NAS box to have a remote control for media playback.

With a recent update to Plex, the QNAP TS-251A also supports hardware transcoding for Plex. You’ll need to manually enable this, as shown by Lon.TV. But once you do, you’ll get smooth playback. QNAP also lets you automatically transcode movies in the background, in case you don’t want on-the-fly hardware transcoding.

For added security, the QNAP TS-251A supports full volume encryption. This is a bit overkill for a home user, but you can never be too careful with personal data.

The 4GB version isn’t always available so you might need to buy the 2GB one instead. You can also attach a microphone to the TS-251A and turn it into a karaoke machine. How’s that for a media box?

Better Transcoding
Synology Diskstation 218+

Synology 2 bay NAS DiskStation DS218+ (Diskless)Synology 2 bay NAS DiskStation DS218+ (Diskless) Buy Now On Amazon $289.62

  • Bays: Two bays or hard drives, with RAID
  • Processor: Dual-Core Intel Celeron J3355
  • Memory: 2GB RAM
  • LAN: 1 Gigabit ports
  • USB: 3 USB 3.0 ports
  • HDMI: No
  • Audio: No
  • Plex: Hardware-accelerated video transcoding up to 1080p

Why You Should Buy It: Better for transcoding high-resolution media files, giving you smoother playback.

If even a half a second stutter or lag ruins your movie experience, the Synology Diskstation 218+ is a better choice for you than the TS-251A.

The big upgrade in the DS218+ is the J3355 processor, which supports hardware decoding of h.264 AVC and h.265 HEVC video, which are crucial for smooth playback of high-resolution videos. If you’re using the NAS as a home media server with Plex, then this processor makes the biggest difference.

The Diskstation 218+ is also the only NAS we’ve seen in this price range to come with an eSATA port. It’s not a crucial feature, but it’s nice to have if you want to quickly connect a new hard drive to copy data.

Note that instead of full volume encryption, the Diskstation 218+ offers folder-level encryption. It’s not a deal-breaker, especially for home users.

That said, with Plex’s new update, the transcoding is smooth enough for the non-discerning eye. Couple that with the HDMI and audio ports, as well as the remote control, and the QNAP TS-251A is a better choice for 90 percent of users who want a good home media server and backup box.

Budget Pick
Western Digital My Cloud EX2 Ultra

WD Diskless My Cloud EX2 Ultra Network Attached Storage - NAS - WDBVBZ0000NCH-NESNWD Diskless My Cloud EX2 Ultra Network Attached Storage - NAS - WDBVBZ0000NCH-NESN Buy Now On Amazon $139.99

  • Bays: Two bays or hard drives, with RAID
  • Processor: ARM v7 processor
  • Memory: 1GB RAM
  • LAN: 1 Gigabit ports
  • USB: 2 USB 3.0 ports
  • HDMI: No
  • Audio: No
  • Plex: No Video Transcoding, Hardware or Software

Why You Should Buy It: It’s cheap!

For half the price of the QNAP TS-251A or the Synology Diskstation 218+, you can still get a decent NAS box. The Western Digital My Cloud EX2 Ultra offers excellent value for money, but be ready for some tradeoffs.

The biggest problem is that it doesn’t support video transcoding for Plex or any software. The built-in ARM processor is too weak for that, so you will need to transcode videos in advance. Our guide to prepping videos for playback on Roku works just as well for Plex, so follow the same steps.

It’s a tedious and annoying job, but hey, if you want something cheap, you will need to make some effort yourself.

Best 4-Bay NAS
Synology Diskstation 418play

Synology DS418play NAS Disk Station, 4-bay, 2GB DDR3L (Diskless)Synology DS418play NAS Disk Station, 4-bay, 2GB DDR3L (Diskless) Buy Now On Amazon $426.99

  • Bays: Four bays or hard drives, with two on RAID
  • Processor: Dual-Core Intel Celeron J3355
  • Memory: 2GB RAM
  • LAN: 1 Gigabit ports
  • USB: 2 USB 3.0 ports
  • HDMI: No
  • Audio: No
  • Plex: Hardware-accelerated video transcoding up to 1080p

Why You Should Buy It: It’s the long-term choice for anyone who wants a NAS box they will use for many years.

Home users don’t always need a four-bay NAS box. But here’s the thing. After you start using a NAS regularly, you’ll feel like two drives aren’t enough. You’ll itch to add one more (or well, two more since you need a backup of whatever you add). Instead of buying a new NAS box in the future, if you can afford to spend the extra money right now, get the Synology Diskstation 418play.

We have looked at other NAS boxes for Plex too, but the 418play is the best in its price range. You’ll need to install Plex manually on it, but that’s a small step. Once you’ve set it up, it offers the smoothest Plex experience possible.

The Diskstation 418play also adds a new file system called BTRFS. In layman’s terms, BTRFS is better for backup needs and file copying. The performance for regular usage is the same, but if your data gets corrupted, there’s a better chance of recovering it with BTRFS than good old EXT4.

Overall, if you can afford the extra dough, get the 418play. For more, read our review of the Synology Diskstation 418playSynology DiskStation 418play: The Best 4-Bay NAS For Everyone, with Full Plex SupportSynology DiskStation 418play: The Best 4-Bay NAS For Everyone, with Full Plex SupportThe Synology DS418play is a fantastic choice for a beginner NAS – and even better, it's also the perfect media server, streaming your movies to anywhere in your home.Read More.

On a Budget? Build Your Own NAS!

If these NAS devices are a little too expensive, you could always build your own. All you need is an old PC, or you can even pick up cheap hardware for a serverNeed Network Storage? Here’s How To Build Your Own NAS BoxNeed Network Storage? Here’s How To Build Your Own NAS BoxNAS stands for Network Attached Storage. As Windows became easier to use with network attached devices, and hardware prices fell, this term started to be used in the consumer market. Today there’s a wide variety...Read More. Then use our guide to set up your own NAS with FreeNASHow To Set Up Your FreeNAS Server To Access Your Files From AnywhereHow To Set Up Your FreeNAS Server To Access Your Files From AnywhereFreeNAS is a free, open source BSD-based operating system that can turn any PC into a rock-solid file server. Today I’m going to walk you through a basic installation, setting up a simple file share,...Read More and you’ll be up and running in no time.

Explore more about: Media Server, NAS, Plex.

  1. Your bulllets for QNAP HDMI and Audio state NO. However, the review says YES.

    Why are you referencing a Roku article that’s five years old? It’s so outdated it’s worthless. It contradictes this article. Rather than helping to educate people you are doing the opposite by providing false information.

    The last paragraph of QNAP review needs proofing badly.

    I didn’t bother to check out the validity of the videos and other references.

    • Or the fact that the 4 bay Synology unit does raid 5 and 6 so you're not guaranteed of losing 2 bays to raid at all

    • i agree please proof read. i am forced to through this info away. MUO shame on you. thanks for every other article i have ever read though.

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Changes II[edit]

I think that this section has been edited incorrectly. Note the last passage:

Security when connected to Internet

NAS drives are generally safe to place on a network if connected to the internet, however there are some security concerns that need to be addressed by administrators. Some NAS drives (like the LANdrive for example) are based on a Linux operating system and are open source. There are a numerous firmware upgrades on the internet produced by various sources and NAS drive users are often tempted to No it is not.
--Thomo5000 03:40, 16 August 2007 (UTC)


I think the following content needs more elaboration:

NAS was developed to address problems with direct attached storage, which included the effort required to administer and maintain 'server farms', and the lack of scalability, reliability, availability, and performance. They can deliver significant ease of use, provide heterogeneous data sharing and enable organizations to automate and simplify their data management.Sltan 08:16, 5 October 2005 (UTC)

A NAS is not an appliance. A NAS Server may in fact be an appliance but NAS is storage technology. The differentiation between NAS and SAN is that a SAN is block level storage and a NAS is a filesystem. [See my drawing] I think this article should focus on the technology and not applications of the technology.

mennis 14 August, 2007

NAS versus NDAS[edit]

The table in List of External NAS Devices under $1000 mentions NDAS. Googling reveals the 'D' is for 'Direct', and that NDAS is apparently patented technology of Ximeta Inc. But what's the difference? (I've also been informed by Freecom that their Network MediaPlayer-35 is a NDAS rather than a NAS device and I'd rather like to have an independent view of what this might mean in the real world). Ralphbk 06:54, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

SAN - LAN comparisons/differences[edit]


Network Attached Storage Comparison

SAN is often emphasized as LAN-Free in technical literature. Can there please be a small note on how a SAN is different from a LAN ? would be especially relavant for those who are already on LAN but have systems using SAN. Tends to get confusing at times.


NAS under $1000 listing[edit]

I think getting rid of the listing of small NAS devices under $1000 was a disservice. Most people know NAS as embedded devices that they can go to the local store and buy with either a hard drive attached or one that accepts an installed hard drive. Looking at the current listing you would not even know such devices exist! It was removed secondary to 'not being encyclopedic' this is what the page looked like before --Raumka 02:07, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

The list had no relavince, and would be obsolete the moment it would be posted as some companies discontinue devices and others introduce news ones almost every day. Going to any store online or otherwise you can often find more then a few NAS devices under $1,000. PPGMD 02:14, 6 October 2006 (UTC)
But if you are going to list companies that provide enterprise level NAS why not at least list those companies who make for SOHO/consumer applications?(far more relevant to people like me who has only just found out about NAS and would disagree that most people know that these exist-- 15:40, 8 October 2006 (UTC))
There is a huge difference between a list of vendors that make NAS products and a list of NAS's with their feature set. I would not oppose a list of SOHO NAS Vendors, but if it got too large it would have to be forked out of the article. PPGMD 16:12, 8 October 2006 (UTC)

Defense of my removal of all external links - Resolved?[edit]

Unbelievably, only three of the links at the bottom of the page were to projects or companies mentioned in the article: FreeNAS, NASLite and Openfiler. Each of those three now have full Wikipedia articles themselves, so I simply replaced the in-article external links with intrawiki links. I realise it may seem somewhat drastic to remove every single external link from the article but, aside from the above, every single one was more an advertisement than an actual article. That said, it might be advisable to start a seperate list of NAS and SAN vendors if the ad cruft starts coming in again. At least then it could be moved out of the article. MrZaiustalk 15:43, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

I'm not sure I understand why you are so keen on cannibalizing this article. Many articles in the wikipedia have a list of manufacturers Router is an example. This was a very useful and informative article, admittedly a bit sprawling that now is barely even topical, better information can be found even in the Storage area network article. Raumka 04:50, 20 October 2006 (UTC)
The list was getting to the point where it was nearly as long as the article itself, and was a far from exhaustive list. Also, this article's manufacturer links don't compare well to those in Router, as every single link in those sections of Router were to other wikipedia articles. To the best of my knowledge, all of the manufacturer links removed that were not duplicated elsewhere in the article were to companies that weren't covered with a wikipedia article. MrZaiustalk 05:12, 20 October 2006 (UTC)
Moot point now! Anonymous editor replaced the list of manufacturers with a list similar to that in Routers. Looks great. Dude/Dudette also added a chart (w/invalid https cert?) of NAS capabilities, stored in a wiki. MrZaiustalk 01:28, 21 October 2006 (UTC)
I was that dude, unintended to do it anonymously. The chart was essentially what you removed in the first place. A bit outdated but quite comprehensive. I hope this works for everyone Raumka 03:50, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

I've just re-removed the External Links section as it was only being used for spamvertising. Unfortunately my change comment was prematurely committed. ('You'). Ralphbk 14:11, 4 May 2007 (UTC)

Quantum SnapServer[edit]

Wasn't this one of the first lower priced NAS product lines? The cheapest, smallest capacity, SnapServer was hardly bigger than an external 3.5' hard drive. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Bizzybody (talk • contribs) 09:11, 3 January 2007 (UTC).

power levels and power efficiency[edit]

The article needs a section devoted to power levels and power efficiency. A NAS typically runs 24/7. It is tempting and easy in concept to use a spare old computer as a network file server, and many small organizations do. But such a computer is consuming about 100 watts (even with the monitor turned off), and so costs about $100 in electricity a year! But an operating hard drive only needs about 3 watts, even less if it powers down on idle. So a small embedded-computer NAS should only average about 20 watts at most. So the potential electricity savings make it very important to carefully consider power consumption, and not to just use an old computer because it is available. Another option is to use an old laptop computer, which may only draw 50 watts or less. This is a particularly good use for laptops with defective LCD displays. The defective display may not matter for this application -- or an external display can be used for system administration. - 21:54, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

You can probably compress the above into a clean two-sentence statement at the end of Benefits. Be nice to have a source, though, if you're going to include power consumption statistics. MrZaiustalk 22:19, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

Linux file name problem?[edit]

'The unit runs a linux type operating system and uses a filing system not up to par with Windows XP and Mac OS X. Many of my files, both pc and mac format, cannot be copied because of odd characters in the title.'[1]
Many NAS are Linux-based. Does this mean that they all have problems storing some Windows files, because of name incompatibilities? Where is there a technical discussion of this potential problem? - 22:01, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

Actually, more characters generally allowed in Linux filesystems than NTFS and are likely identical to Mac OS X. The filename limitations of both are dealt with in the corresponding articles. It's actually possible that the limitations are limitations of the SMB/NMB protocols/limitations of Samba, which is used in so many SoHo NAS. Worthy of some investigation. MrZaiustalk 22:17, 17 March 2007 (UTC)
If a Linux filesystem is used to store Windows files, and no special accomodation is made at the interface, there are many potential issues. For example, Linux filenames are case sensitive, and thus allow multiples of the 'same' filename, where Windows would use case-insensitive filename matching. This alone could cause unexpected behavior for Windows users who simply want to store files, and don't want any complications! And, what about embedded spaces in filenames, common in Windows-world?- 01:31, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
There's no problem with spaces in filenames in Linux. Pelago 14:35, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

Another linux NAS OS[edit]

2018 Best Network Attached Storage—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 13:21, 26 March 2007 (UTC).

Made Additions[edit]

added image of a snapserver, added this page to the proper cat, this things are Server appliances. --Akc9000 19:10, 15 June 2007 (UTC)


'NAS differs from the traditional file serving and Direct Attached Storage, they are server appliances' Is this an error in syntax? 'They' seems to refer not to NAS, but to 'traditional' items. Someone kindly restructure the sentence or otherwise clarify the pronoun. Jim.henderson 15:30, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

Fixed --Kubanczyk 07:34, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

NAS Hacking Communities[edit]

I think it is essential for most of us who buy a comsumer NAS if alternative Firmwares are possible. Thats why i think the external link that i posted and which was removed again makes sense here. 'Hacking' isn`t something bad. It can make the difference between buying it or not. We try to give an overview of existing NAS-hacking-communities to help users. I do not want to draw pagehits to our page in case you think i want to achieve that.
List of NAS hacking communities
Please comment. --mindbender—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:20, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

It wasn't a political statement, it was policy. See WP:EL and WP:LINKFARM. Might try taking it to dmoz. MrZaiustalk 06:20, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

Network Attached Storage Home

iSCSI is really NAS?[edit]

It is not a form of SAN, like AOE? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Vozesdoalem (talk • contribs) 12:11, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

iSCSI is a block protocol, so it is designed as a base of SAN (alternatively to FC/AOE/similar). It is not a file-level protocol, so it cannot serve as a base of NAS. But many enterprise NAS boxes (e.g. NetApp) provide additional SAN-oriented connectivity. --Kubanczyk (talk) 13:06, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

Personal storage[edit]

Best Network Attached Storage For Mac 2013

Would something like this be suitable for personal storage? I've seen non-networked terabyte drives being sold at 1 or 2 TB now. NAS have also been sold at these sizes, as well as up to sizes like 4, 8 or 24. Could this be used where the 'network' is a single home PC? Dictabeard (talk) 11:43, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

Single board computer NAS[edit]

Some single board computers like the Raspberry Pi have been used as inexpensive NAS's.See

Mention in article. It makes a good NAS, just doesn't have QEMU and all that, but then again, most users wouldn't need or want that anyway.DevineDeity (talk) 12:24, 1 March 2015 (UTC)

Update and expansion critical Suggestion[edit]

Best Network Attached Storage For Small Business

While still informative with regards to the basic nature of NAS, there have been so many advances, increased options and even functional crossovers with other digital media hardware/software (such as the vast array of NAS devices that include all kinds of digital media management, device connectivity, recording and playback options - NAS-DMS hybrids (which include hdmi ports and remote controls) are available in many different configurations), that I feel this article verges on being misleading by not at least outlining the scope of today's NAS. I am not expert enough to take on such a task, but to leave this page as it is is really a disservice to the Wikipedia reader. — Preceding unsigned comment added by PeacefulPlanet3 (talk • contribs) 21:41, 14 January 2016 (UTC)

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