It’s that time of year again – Prime Day 2022 is nearly here, and we’re beginning to see exciting deals on storage devices. Amazon has confirmed that this year’s sales extravaganza will kick off on Tuesday, July 12, and will run for two days.
Between Synology, Asustor, QNAP, WD, and Buffalo, you have plenty of choices when it comes to selecting a new NAS enclosure, and with budget models starting off from as low as $ 100, you don’t need to spend a lot of money to get started with a home media server.
A network attached storage (NAS) server lets you stream your locally-stored media on all devices in your home network using a service like Plex. You also get the ability to back up files automatically, host your own audio and video streaming server, and so much more.
Prime Day is a great time to buy a new NAS server or upgrade to a faster model. While we’re still waiting for all of the best Prime Day NAS deals to go live, there are a few enticing deals currently available, so let’s get started.
Best Synology NAS deals
Synology is the largest manufacturer of NAS servers, and it sells dozens of products across various categories. Synology is known for its high-quality offerings, and its products are built to last. But the defining feature of Synology’s NAS models is the software, with the web-based DiskStation Manager setting the standard for this category.
The DiskStation DS920 + and DS220 + are among the best-selling NAS models in the market today, and we should see enticing deals on both servers over the coming days. The budget-focused DS220j should also get a lucrative discount, and if you’re interested in the enthusiast category, the Ryzen-powered DS1621 + should be on sale as well.
Synology hasn’t kicked off its deals just yet, but I will be updating this post daily with deals as and when they go live, so be sure to check back often.
Best TerraMaster NAS deals
TerraMaster is a viable alternative, delivering affordable NAS servers with 2.5 Gigabit connectivity and decent hardware that’s suited for Plex streaming. TerraMaster’s TOS5 software brings much-needed refinement, and the brand has a lot of value-focused models on sale.
The F2-221 is a solid budget option if you want a NAS server for around the $ 200 mark, and the F4-422 is the go-to choice if you want an affordable NAS with four drive bays and 10 Gigabit Ethernet connectivity.
I don’t see these models going on sale just yet, but for now, these are the TerraMaster NAS deals currently live.
Best Buffalo NAS deals
Buffalo is a manufacturer that delivers budget-focused NAS servers aimed at first-time buyers. Its NAS servers come with bundled hard drives, so you get an all-in-one solution that’s ready to use out of the box.
Buffalo’s NAS servers miss out on some of the more advanced features that you’ll find with other brands, but if you want the basics – backing up data, streaming your local music and video library – they’re a good alternative.
Best NAS hard drive deals
Now that you have a decent selection of NAS servers to choose from, the other factor to consider is hard drives. Picking the right hard drive for your NAS is vital as these enclosures are designed to run 24/7.
Regular consumer hard drives aren’t ideally suited for a NAS environment, but there are plenty of NAS-focused models that offer vibration resistance and are tailored for NAS systems. These are the best Prime Day NAS hard drive deals currently available.
Which NAS should you buy on Prime Day?
I’m currently running a 150TB media server and have used dozens of NAS enclosures over the last decade, so I have a decent idea when it comes to picking a NAS server that fits your needs (and budget). The first question you have to ask yourself is how much storage you’re going to need. That sets the basis for whether you should get a two-bay, four-bay, or a larger NAS enclosure.
The best NAS for 4K Plex streaming is the DiskStation DS920 +; you’re getting four drive bays that can hold a total of 64TB of storage, 4GB of RAM, robust internal hardware, a ton of software features, and the ability to add more drive bays should you need to do so in the future.
If this is the first time you’re buying a NAS and you don’t want to invest a lot of money into an enclosure, then the DiskStation DS220 + is a fantastic choice. You’re still getting all the best software features that Synology has to offer, and while the hardware isn’t quite as robust as the DS920 +, it is a great choice for first-time buyers.
If you’re in the market for multi-Gigabit connectivity, TerraMaster’s F2-422 or the F4-422 are ideally suited for you. And if you want something on a budget, you’ll want to wait for TerraMaster and ASUSTOR deals to go live.
How to pick the right hard drive for your NAS
Choosing the right hard drive for your NAS is just as vital as selecting the right enclosure. Because NAS enclosures are designed to run 24/7, there are NAS-focused hard drives available in the market. These models feature vibration resistance and are designed to handle the stresses of a 24/7 environment, and differ from your regular hard drives.
Another factor to consider when choosing a NAS hard drive is the speed. HDDs are usually available in either 5400rpm or 7200rpm, and the latter delivers better performance because the spindle moves at 7,200 rounds per minute. I’ve used 5400rpm drives in NAS enclosures tailored for streaming media for years without any issues, but if you’re building a more enthusiast-focused NAS and are looking for better performance, pick a model with a 7200rpm.
There are several NAS-focused hard drive product lines, with WD Red Plus and Seagate IronWolf dominating the sales charts. With drives starting out at 1TB and going all the way to 20TB, there’s no shortage of options available across either product line.
One final point to note is that WD was recently embroiled in a controversy where it was passing off slower drives in its NAS-branded series, so if you are interested in buying a WD Red NAS hard drive, make sure it says CMR. The product is identifiable by Red Plus branding, so make sure you get the Red Plus drives with CMR and avoid the regular Red drives for now.
Do you need to buy an SSD for your NAS?
There is always the option of adding SSDs to your NAS instead of mechanical hard drives, but cost is a limiting factor. A 2TB IronWolf hard drive costs $ 80, but if you want to buy a 2TB SSD, you will have to shell out nearly $ 200. The cost per gigabyte is $ 0.04 with the hard drive, and $ 0.09 if you go with an SSD.
That cost goes up exponentially at higher storage volumes. A 4TB IronWolf Pro is $ 140, whereas a 4TB Samsung 870 QVO SSD is $ 400. The cost per gigabyte is $ 0.03 for the hard drive, but goes up to $ 0.10 for the SSD if you go with the 4TB option.
Then there’s the fact that the SSD doesn’t actually deliver better performance. If your primary use case is building a Plex media server, going with a traditional NAS hard drive will give you the same level of performance as an SSD. So unless you’re looking at hosting your own website or running virtual machines on the NAS, you’re better off with a traditional HDD.