Black Friday is here, and that means now is the time to stock up on additional hard drives and make the switch to a new NAS enclosure. The best NAS enclosures are already on sale, and we've rounded up the best NAS-focused hard drives.
We haven't seen as many new NAS enclosures launching as previous years, and there's a good reason for that. The global semiconductor shortage has affected the NAS category as well, with brands like Synology choosing to limit the introduction of new models. That said, most of the late 2020 launches will get exciting discounts, so that's something to look ahead to Black Friday draws close. In the meantime, we're rounding up a list of NAS enclosures that you should take a look at during Black Friday.
Best Black Friday NAS deals now live
QNAP TS-453D-4G 4-Bay NAS (save $110)
The TS-453D-4G is the ideal choice for Plex 4K transcoding, and with 2.5GbE connectivity, four drive bays that can hold up to 64TB, three USB 3.0 ports, and HDMI out, you're not missing out on any features here. Combine that with easy-to-use software and you get the ideal 4-bay NAS for Plex.
TerraMaster F2-210 2-Bay NAS (save $32)
Looking to pick up a NAS on a budget? The F2-210 has a lot to offer in this area, featuring robust hardware that can handle Plex direct streaming, 1GB of RAM, Gigabit Ethernet connectivity, and two drive bays that can hold a total of 32TB of storage. If you're just starting out, this is a great first NAS.
TerraMaster F2-221 2-Bay NAS (save $60)
Think of the F2-221 as an affordable alternative to the DiskStation DS220+. You get two drive bays, dual Gigabit Ethernet connectivity, and two USB 3.0 ports, and while the Apollo J3355 isn't quite as powerful, the NAS still does a good job as a Plex media server. If you're looking for value, you will love what the F2-221 has to offer.
TerraMaster F2-422 10GbE 2-Bay NAS (save $92)
The TerraMaster F2-422 is noteworthy for two reasons: it is one of very few 2-bay NAS enclosures with a 10 Gigabit Ethernet port, and it is a standout value even at its full retail price. You're getting reliable hardware that's designed for Plex media streaming, two Gigabit Ethernet ports in addition to 10GbE, and software that's easy to use. This is not a deal you want to miss.
WD Red Plus 4TB NAS HDD (save $51)
The WD Red Plus is a 4TB 5400RPM hard drive that's designed for 24/7 use within a NAS enclosure. It is based on CMR tech, so you don't need to worry about long-term reliability, and it has WD's NASware firmware that delivers vibration resistance. If you're still on the lookout for a 4TB drive, just get this.
Western Digital 18TB NAS Hard Drive (save $250)
Underneath this easy-to-remove housing is an 18TB white-label NAS drive that's on par with WD's Ultrastar series. That means you're getting the absolute best NAS-focused hard drive, and the value is the icing on the cake.
Toshiba N300 8TB NAS Hard Drive (save $42)
The Toshiba N300 is one of the best hard drives aimed at NAS enclosures, and you can get your hands on the 8TB model right now for just $160 with code BCMAY22339. This is a brilliant deal if you're looking for a hard drive with a lot of storage for your media collection. The N300 has vibration resistance baked in, is designed for 24/7 use, has a 180TB/year endurance, and a three-year warranty.
Western Digital Red SA500 1TB NAS SSD (save $33)
Plan on using an SSD as the storage drive in your NAS? You will need to pick up a few of these drives. The Red SA500 goes up to 560MB/s, nearly three times as much as mechanical hard drives, and you get much better long-term reliability. If you want faster storage and don't need a mechanical drive, this is the way to go.
Black Friday NAS deals: NAS enclosures
The best home NAS launches from last year continue to be a stellar choice in 2021 — particularly the DiskStation DS920+, a 4-bay server that handles everything from Plex media streaming in 4K to backing up your connected phones and so much more with ease.
There are a few things to consider when you're buying a NAS enclosure. First is the number of drive bays. Most budget models come with a single or two drive bays, and mid-range models have four or more drive bays. If this is the first time you're buying a NAS, my recommendation would be to go with a single or two-bay NAS enclosure.
Black Friday NAS deals: Internal HDD
A key factor to consider when buying a NAS is storage. Most NAS enclosures don't come with built-in storage, so you will have to buy hard drives. There are several hard drives custom-built for use in NAS systems, and these are designed to run 24/7 and offer vibration resistance and can last several years.
My go-to choice in this category is Seagate's IronWolf series; I have over 40TB of storage in the form of IronWolf and IronWolf Pro drives, and they have been rock-solid for over three years. WD's Red Plus is also a good alternative, as is the Red Pro series. Make sure you don't buy drives with SMR tech — always go for NAS hard drives with CMR, as these drives have better long-term reliability.
Black Friday NAS deals: Internal SSD
If you don't want to buy a traditional hard drive and instead slot in SSDs, you can do that just as well. Most NAS enclosures have drive bays for 3.5-inch hard drives, but you can just as easily mount a 2.5-inch SSD in these bays. One point to note is that M.2 SSDs aren't usable on most enclosures, so you will have to get SATA SSDs. Samsung leads the market here with its Evo 870 and QVO 870 SSDs, and you can also find great alternatives from Western Digital, SK Hynix, and others. A few decent deals are already live, so if you want to switch away from mechanical drives and use SSDs in your NAS, now is the time to do so.
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