NAS buying guide for beginners: How to choose the right NAS device

Written by: UGREENSEO



Time to read 3 min

There are three main factors to consider in deciding which NAS device to get -- brand, number of HDD slots or disk bays, and personal use and needs. In this article, we will describe these three aspects in detail to help you choose the right NAS for your needs. You can skip this article if you are an experienced user with a good understanding of NAS devices and configuration. You can continue reading this article if you still have questions on choosing the right NAS.


Synology and QNAP are the major NAS brands, each with their own strengths. Many NAS users believe that Synology performs better in terms of system and software, and that Synology invested more on its system than hardware. In contrast, QNAP is more cost-effective in terms of hardware.

However, some believe that there are not a lot of differences between Synology and QNAP when it comes to software, and the choice boils down to which device has better performance for its price. Other emerging brands include Ugreen. The hardware configuration and the software system experience are carried out in all aspects of the balance. In the system and hardware configuration, both to meet the requirements of professional users of the product professionalism, while the minimalist software interaction design is user-friendly.

For users with IT knowledge, assembling the NAS device yourself may be an option. To get the most out of your NAS as a tool, we strongly advise against assembling a NAS device yourself even if you have experience in assembling computers, as dealing with hardware issues is relatively simple, while dealing with software issues is more important.

A specialized NAS operating system must be used when you assemble your own NAS. Big brands have been tried and tested, and their operating systems are easier to use. In contrast, free NAS software lack support and are inferior to major brands in ease of use. DIY NAS is cost-effective in terms of hardware performance, but requires a lot of time and effort. It is more suitable for NAS experts with extensive experience.

Purchasing a pre-built NAS is a wiser choice for those who wish to use NAS more efficiently as these devices have been tried and tested.

Number of HDD slots or drive bays

Choosing the number of drive bays is simple, all you need to do is consider how much information you need to store and the number of HDD slots you need. Even a NAS with dual HDD slots can insert oversized HDDs to make up for the lack of slots.

Ugreen Nasync

However, NAS with more drive bays can provide more secure data storage through RAID mode. You can only choose RAID 1 (SHR) data storage mode on a two-bay NAS device, and face the risk of damaging one hard drive bay. However, a NAS with four bays can select RAID 6 (SHR-2) data storage mode and bear the risk of damage to two bays. NAS devices with more hard disk drive slots have stronger CPU performance and higher RAM capacity.

However, a 2-slot NAS should be the choice for most people as the 2 slots offer basic protection and are sold at relatively affordable prices. One-slot NAS devices are also available, but this is not recommend for beginners. This is because NAS devices with a single slot cannot protect data with RAID and is inadequate in terms of performance to do more than a single job. Hence, NAS devices with a single slot is more suitable for people who are experienced with NAS, such as for off-site backup.

Individual Usage and Needs

There are several factors to consider when choosing the right NAS.

Step 1 First, determine your storage needs, including the amount of data you need to store as well as the number and capacity of hard disk slots required. This will help you choose the right product and configuration.

Step 2 Second, evaluate the required network connection speed and compatibility. Choosing a NAS product that supports Gigabit Ethernet will ensure faster file transfer and backup, as well as support a variety of network protocols such as NFS, SMB/CIFS, AFP and FTP.

Step 3 Users should then choose the functions for their needs. If you need to back up and restore data, you can choose a NAS device that supports backup and recovery features. If you need to share files and folders, you can choose a NAS device that supports file sharing features. It is also important to consider the NAS device's operating system and ease of use to better manage and use data.

Step 4 It is recommended to choose products of well-known brands, such as Western Digital, Synology, QNAP and Ugreen. The products of these brands have reliable quality assurance, good after-sales service support, as well as more user reviews for reference.

Step 5 Finally, choose the most cost-effective NAS product according to your budget. Before purchasing, you can check the reviews and experiences of other users to make a more informed purchasing decision.

Final Words

In conclusion, choosing the right NAS device requires taking into account factors such as storage needs, network connection speed, functional features, brand and after-sales service. Choosing a NAS device should be done based on your needs.

We hope this article helped you to choose a NAS device that meets your needs. You need to consider several factors, including brand, number of hard disk drive bays, as well as personal use and needs.