It indeed isn’t a piece of cake to manage a Mac server or personal cloud storage at home or office. That’s why you can opt for a more straightforward solution by using affordable and less complex network-attached storage (NAS).
Lucky for you, the following guide discusses the features of the best NAS devices for Macs. Not only that, but you’ll find a bonus buying guide to learn about the must-have features of a reliable NAS.
The latest Mac models have a flash drive of relatively more minor space; that’s why you need an additional external hard disk. However, as you download more data and media files, data storage requirements increase. That’s why it’s better to invest in a reliable NAS drive to set up a home or office media server.
Reviews of the Best Network-Attached Storage Device for Macs
Instead of using separate external hard drives for different devices, buying a reliable NAS drive for online network storage and backup is better. Read the following reviews of the best network-attached storage drives for Macs.
Whether you want to buy an affordable NAS for media sharing, streaming, and photo indexing, the Synology NAS DiskStation DS420+ won’t disappoint you.
It’s an ultra-fast NAS drive featuring 226 MB/s sequential reads and 225 MB/s sequential write throughput, which is excellent. Not only that, but it comes with two M.2 NVMe SSD slots to boost cache acceleration.
The Synology NAS DiskStation DS420+ ensures an average increase of 15 percent in performance, allowing you to carry out different computer-intensive operations and photo indexing.
The eco-friendly box includes a NAS drive, an external PSU adapter, power connector, installation guide, two RH45 cables, screw disk drives, and tray lock keys.
The LED indicator lights, a USB 3.0 port, and a power button are present on the right side of the exterior. You can find it easy to open latches on the front of the NAS to place four drive bays and extend the storage capacity up to 64TB. Furthermore, you should know that the NAS can accommodate 2.5 inches and 3.5 inches independent disks.
The good news is you don’t need to use a screwdriver to install 3.5-inches SATA drives; however, you need to use the included screws to install a 2.5-inch hard drive. In addition, the two fans present at the back keep the hard drives cool.
The LED light notifies the user about the disk status. For instance, you’ll see a static green light if the disk is ready and idle while a blinking light shows that the disk is being accessed. Similarly, off light means, there isn’t any internal drive, while a static orange light indicates drive error or disabled port.
To sum up, the Synology NAS DiskStation DS420+ is an apt choice if you work remotely from home.
- It comes with two built-in M.2 NVMe slots
- Features an Intel dual-core processor
- Offers 225 MB/s sequential write and 226 MB/s sequential read throughput
- It comes with two pre-installed camera licenses
- The 2GB memory is expandable up to 6GB
- It doesn’t come with 2.5 or 10 Gb LAN ports
- Bulky design
With an Intel Celeron 2.0 GHz dual-core processor and 4GB DDR4 RAM, the QNAP TS-451D2-4G 4 Bay 4K NAS is one of the best NAS devices for Macs. In addition, this high-performing NAS offers four internal drive bays with a maximum capacity of 72TB, which is outstanding.
The QNAP TS-451D2-4G features a compact all-black cube design that you can easily manage. Furthermore, the NAS drive comes with sufficient I/O ports, including two RJ-45 connectors, four USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports, and an HDMI 2.0 port.
The box includes a heavy-duty NAS device, two Ethernet cables, an installation guide, warranty information, the main power connector, 90W PSU, and HDD/SSD screws.
Fortunately, you don’t require a tool to install the drives—all you need to do is load 2.5-inch or 3.5-inch drives into the bays from the front.
You can find multiple LED lights on the front indicating LAN, USB, drive, and status. Not only that, but a power button and a one-touch copy button are also available above the front USB Type-A port.
The QNAP TS-451D2-4G supports direct 4K video playback on external monitors, 4K video transcoding, and link aggregation.
Additionally, the Intel Celeron processor, 4GB DDR4 RAM, 4GB flash memory, Intel HD Graphics 600 silicon are present inside the sturdy plastic casing. A cooling fan is installed at the backside to cool the internal components by dissipating heat outside.
Fortunately, you can use the Hybrid Backup Sync software to create a backup strategy comprising numerous tiers. Not only that, but you can use the QTS app to transfer files to the cloud, local, and remote storage spaces to implement a foolproof disaster recovery plan.
- It comes with Intel Celeron dual-core 2.0 GHz processor
- Includes Intel HD graphics
- Accommodates four 3.5-inch SATA drives
- It comes with dual Ethernet ports
- Includes one HDMI 2.0 and four USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports
- Complicated setup
- No multi-gig LAN port
The Synology 2 bay NAS DiskStation DS218+ is an advanced NAS drive featuring AES-NI hardware encryption, 2GB DDR3L memory, and an Intel Celeron dual-core processor for improved performance. Furthermore, the advanced Bars file mechanism offers 65,000 snapshots and supports 1,024 snapshots in a shared folder.
In addition to working as an online file and media server, the Synology DiskStation DS218+ can stream 4K videos on external monitors. Hence, the dual-core allows you to perform different tasks simultaneously. Furthermore, the NAS drive comes with a 2GB memory which you can expand up to 6GB if required.
As far as I/O ports are concerned, the Synology DiskStation DS218+ comes with one Gigabit Ethernet and dual USB 3.0 ports at the backside. At the same time, you’ll find a quick copy button and a USB 2.0 port on the front side.
You can conveniently remove the cover and screw the drives in the metal mounting plates. Next, the Synology discovery web portal locates the NAS drive and installs the DSM software. Finally, you can create a RAID1 mirrored array with the two drives or select any other configuration using the Storage Manager app.
Another great news is that you can find a total of 57 Synology apps listed in the package repository of the software. Hence, you don’t need to install any third-party app to backup, synchronize, or mirror the data.
For example, you can use the DS Audio app on your Mac or iOS device to access music stored on the NAS device. Alternatively, you can use the Video Station to stream different services.
The media library allows you to organize the movies while the Photo Station compiles photos and helps you share them. Lastly, you can use the Cloud Station Server app that handles folder synchronization and desktop backup.
- Offers 113 MB/s reading and 112 MB/s writing throughput
- Features a dual-core processor and 2GB DDR3L memory
- It comes with an AES-NI encryption engine
- Offers live transcoding of two concurrent 4K video streaming
- It comes with two pre-installed camera licenses
- Includes only one Ethernet port
- It comes with only two drive bays
If you want to buy a high-performing NAS to create an online backup of your media files, the WD Diskless My Cloud EX2 Ultra NAS is an apt choice. It’s a multi-purpose NAS for Mac users to enjoy smooth streaming, synchronize the video files and media, and share folders using private or public links.
The high-performing Marvell Armada 1.3GHz dual-core processor ensures super-fast transfer rates to stream video content, while 1GB of DDR3 RAM allows you to multitask.
You can use the WD Sync software to automatically synchronize and back up your files and media. Being a Mac user, you can use the Apple Time machine to create a customized back up without worrying about data breaches or hacking.
Additionally, you can create a private link to share the stored content with limited access. On the other hand, you can also share a public link to your vacation photos with full access to your family members.
The WD My Cloud EX2 Ultra NAS offers a sleek design with an all-black exterior. In addition, you can find three LED lights on the front indicating power, bay one and bay two.
Furthermore, the top and bottom sides of the WD My Cloud EX2 Ultra NAS feature exclusive ventilated plastic panels to disperse heat in the surrounding. Lastly, a power port, reset button, two USB ports, a lock slot, and an Ethernet port are present on the backside.
Using an Ethernet port, you can plug the WD My Cloud EX2 Ultra NAS server into your home or office network. The My Cloud OS offers a user-friendly design with easy navigation through different settings and features.
You can use the online manual to set up the NAS drive in no time. Another great news is that you can also install a mobile app on your iOS device to access the stored content.
- Features high-performing 1.3GHz dual-core processor
- Includes a 1GB DDR3 memory to support multitasking
- Ensures automatic file synchronization
- Convenient folder sharing
- Improved data protection
- Not-so-great supporting software
If you are switching from an offline hard drive to an online personal NAS drive, the QNAP TS-251D-4G 2 Bay Home NAS is a perfect option for you. This online storage device comes with all the necessary features to facilitate the Mac users in 4K medium transcoding and streaming. Hence, you can easily set up a secure multimedia entertainment center in your home.
It’s a high-performing NAS, featuring Intel Celeron dual-core 2.0GHz processor, Intel HD graphics 600, and 4GB SO-DIMM DDR4 RAM. You can use the two DIMM slots to expand the RAM up to a maximum of 8GB. The good news is you can use two 3.5-inch SATA drives to ensure ultra-fast speed.
Unlike the standard all-black NAS exterior, the QNAP TS-251D-4G features a teal and white-colored cover with a glossy finish. The power button, a USB 3.0 port, One-Touch copy button, and other status indicators are available on the front panel. In addition, you can slide the locking mechanism down to open the front cover.
As far as the I/O ports are concerned, the QNAP TS-251D-4G comes with one Gigabit Ethernet port, three USB 2.0 ports, and two USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports.
The PCIe expansion is undoubtedly an essential feature of the NAS as it offers you the flexibility to expand the existing features. For example, you can buy an M.2 SSD for caching, a USB 3.1 Gen 2 card for ultra-fast file transmission speed, or a wireless adapter.
The Intel AES-NI 256 hardware-accelerated encryption ensures quick data recovery in case of accidental file deletion or a malware attack. Furthermore, the QuMagie is a smart AI photo management app that organizes photos in different albums using AI image recognition.
- Features Intel Celeron dual-core 2.0 GHz processor
- Affordable and compact design
- It comes with Intel HD Graphics 600
- Includes sufficient I/O ports
- Offers smart photo management
- Not-so-good customer support
If you want to create a backup of your files and videos on your cloud NAS drive, the WD 4TB My Cloud Home Personal Cloud has got it all covered for you. It’s a compact NAS server that resembles a standing book. Moreover, you can insert one 3.5-inch hard drive ranging from 2TB to 16TB.
The box includes a WD My Cloud NAS server, a power adapter, a setup guide, and a network cable. All you need to do is power on the NAS, ensure a stable Internet connection, and you can start storing your data.
You’ll find an LED status indicator on the front side that turns solid when you power on the NAS drive. On the contrary, the LED flashes in case of data activity. Furthermore, the rear side includes a Gigabit Ethernet port, a power connection port, and a USB 3.0 port.
Once you power on the WD My Cloud NAS, all the connected devices can access the public share folders. The NAS server features three public folders, including Public, SmartWare, and Time Machine backup. Hence you can browse the shared folders and copy the digital content.
You can also download the My Cloud mobile app on your iOS device to access the stored data. Another great news is that the app can access the data placed on the My Cloud NAS server using a different Wifi or a cellular network.
- Easy to setup
- Affordable and compact design
- It comes with three public folders
- Includes ventilation panels to prevent overheating
- Accommodates single drive only
The TERRAMASTER F2-221 NAS 2-Bay Cloud Storage is a state-of-the-art NAS drive featuring an Apollo 2.0GHz dual-core CPU and 2GB of RAM to facilitate multitasking. Moreover, you can also expand the RAM to 4GB if required.
TERRAMASTER has been designing innovative storage products for around 16 years, including NAS, direct-attached storage (DAS), and Thunderbolt 3 storage.
Courtesy of the link aggregation support, the dual 1GbE LAN ports offer outstanding read and write throughputs of 119MB/s and 118MB/s, respectively. In addition, the NAS drive is compatible with 2.5 and 3.5-inch HDDs and 2.5-inch SATA SSDs to provide a maximum storage capacity of 28TB.
The available two USB 3.0 ports and two gigabit LAN ports offer you several connectivity options.
One of the most significant advantages of using the TERRAMASTER F2-221 NAS is its advanced data security protection comprising:
- Automatic scheduled backups
- Btrfs filesystem and snapshots
- AES hardware folder
- RAID 1 array security
- Network transport encryption
- Cloud drive backup
This sturdy NAS drive features a silver aluminum chassis with two accessible bays present on the front from a design perspective. Furthermore, you’ll also find a power switch, hard drive, and other network indicators on the left side of the bay slots.
Alternatively, you’ll find two USB 3.0 ports, two Gigabit Ethernet ports, a power interface, and an ultra-quiet fan on the rear side. Fortunately, the fan has an automatic temperature control system to prevent the internal components from overheating.
You can use the TOS operating system, offering a simple GUI with all the applications present on the main screen, such as File Manager, Control Panel, Backup, and others.
Lastly, the TERRAMASTER F2-221 NAS supports 4K video transcoding so that you can stream 4K videos on different monitors, such as Apple TV.
- Features Apollo 2.0GHz dual-core processor
- Includes a dual 1GbE LAN port
- Offers 119MB/s and 118MB/s read and write throughputs, respectively
- Affordable design
- Includes an ultra-quiet fan
- Not-so-good documentation
- Difficult to upgrade
The Promise Apollo Cloud 2 Duo Storage Device outshines the rest of the NAS devices with its free private social sharing cloud services. As a result, you can share videos and photos by adding up to 40 private members. Not only that, but you can send time-limited links to an unlimited number of people, which is excellent.
The box includes an Apollo Duo, power supply, quick start guide, serial number card, and one-meter Ethernet cable.
Powered by a 1GHz dual-core processor, the Promise Apollo Cloud 2 Duo features 1GB of DDR3 memory, a gigabit LAN port, and a USB 3.0 port. Moreover, this NAS drive supports RAID 0 and RAID 1 and allows you to add two 4TB hard drives, thus offering an ample storage space of 8TB.
The Promise Apollo Cloud 2 Duo features a sleek design resembling a tower with white glossy finishing. However, this compact design comes at a price as you have to remove the white cap followed by a fan assembly to access the drives.
The single 50mm fan, present above the hard drives, removes the hot air and dissipate it into the surrounding. Lastly, the two hard drives vertically mount to a motherboard available at the bottom of the NAS device.
You’ll find a touch-sensitive power button and other status lights on the front side of the exterior. However, the LAN and additional USB ports are present on the other side.
You can use the web-based portal or Apollo Cloud app to synchronize, share, and backup data from different connected devices. Not only that, but the app automatically organizes the photos and creates albums of your previous vacation trips.
In addition to creating a backup, you can also mirror and synchronize your stored data on another Apollo Cloud placed in another location.
- Allows up to 40 multiple users
- Includes a USB 3.0 port for automatic backup
- Supports RAID 0 and RAID 1
- It comes with a 1GHz dual-core processor
- Elegant and compact design
- Limited cloud support
- Difficult to access drives
If you want to keep your backup data secured and accessible 24/7, the BUFFALO TeraStation 3420DN 4-Bay Desktop NAS won’t disappoint you.
The good news is that it includes pre-tested and certified HDDs to ensure a hassle-free setup. Furthermore, pre-configured RAID allows you to deploy the NAS in no time.
In addition to the included drives, this featureful NAS comes with a quad-core 1.4GHz Annapurna Alpine CPU and 1GB DDR3 memory for enhanced performance. Furthermore, the NAS comes with a 2.5G Ethernet port and two USB 3.0 ports to attach an external hard drive if required.
One of the most significant advantages of selecting this NAS device is the integrated hybrid cloud backup. Hence, you can use cloud and on-site storage to synchronize your data on Dropbox, Amazon, Microsoft Azure, and OneDrive.
The closed operating system doesn’t support third-party mobile apps to ensure the security of your stored data. Furthermore, you can use Buffalo’s Data Recovery Service after registering an account.
Once you connect the BUFFALO TeraStation 3420DN NAS to your home network, the NAS Navigator 2 Windows utility discovers the NAS. Next, you can set an admin password to access advanced settings.
Lastly, the three years warranty ensures a safe and long-term investment.
- Includes NAS-grade hard drives
- It comes with a pre-configured RAID
- Features integrated hybrid cloud backup
- It comes with a three-year warranty
- Offers remote management mechanism
- Bulky design
- It doesn’t offer snapshot functionality
How to Buy the Best NAS Devices for Macs
From fundamental to advanced functionalities, you can find a variety of NAS devices in the market. First, however, you need to consider the following must-have features while buying NAS for Macs.
Time Machine Support
The macOS comes with software known as Time Machine to perform an automatic hourly backup of the content you store on the Mac hard disk.
It means if you delete a file accidentally, you can retrieve it from the last backup version. The software is also proven to be handy in case of a malware attack where you can simply reboot your Mac device and restore the earlier version.
That’s why it’s essential to check if the NAS drive allows the Time machine backups over the shared network.
File Sharing and User Cloud Accounts
Since all the devices connected to the same network can access NAS, that’s why you should be able to create individual user accounts to ensure data privacy. Not only that, but the NAS drive should also allow you to create “Share” folders similar to the public files for the family members to store and access music, movies, and other family photos.
Support for Mobile Devices
The advanced NAS drives come with apps that you can install on an iPad or iPhone. Hence, you can conveniently create Time Machine backups of your photos, videos, and other media files from your smartphone using iCloud services.
In addition to streaming the photos and media files on different connected devices to the network, an advanced NAS also offers a remote access option to fetch an important file from your office.
For example, some manufacturers allow you to create a personal cloud for remote access of different documents if you aren’t connected to the same network as the NAS drive.
A versatile NAS drive serves as a central media server for your home, allowing connected people to stream videos and music on different devices. As a result, the NAS becomes an iTunes server to stream files to Apple TV.
Similarly, you can also stream music on different iOS and Mac devices connected to the network by storing iTunes and music library on the NAS drive.
You can buy affordable NAS drives with a built-in hard drive of 2TB and a USB port to connect a standard hard drive to increase the storage space. Alternatively, some expensive NAS drives come with empty drive bays allowing you to expand the shared storage space.
The advanced NAS devices offer an affordable and energy-efficient solution to store your data compared to running a Mac server.
You can connect the NAS to your home network using an Ethernet cable, allowing all the family members to access the stored media content. Not only that, but you can also access the NAS remotely to fetch an important document at the office.
The key takeaway of the above guide is to present the best NAS devices for Macs, allowing you to create an online backup of your important documents.
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