Every business needs secure and accessible digital file storage. Many larger companies use cloud-based storage solutions like AWS or Google, but what about small businesses? We recommend the five best NAS for small businesses and home offices that need a different solution.
Network-attached storage (NAS) devices store digital files in a central device that allows access by multiple users. The NAS contains multiple hard discs that offer balance and redundancy for better data protection. If a disc fails for any reason, you have others that also contain your data. Modern NAS devices can have two, three, four, five, six, or up to 16 drives for enterprise solutions.
Home businesses or fully remote workers can require a non-cloud solution for faster data access, better security, or easier access. Multiple users or data-heavy content creators will find a NAS solution better for their operations. NAS devices are also a one-time expense that will quickly pay for itself by avoiding monthly cloud service fees.
Are you ready to review our five best NAS for small businesses in 2023? Here are our top choices:
- #1 Best Overall: Synology DiskStation DS1522+
- Best 2-Bay NAS: Asustor Lockerstor 2 Gen2 AS6702T
- Best 4-Bay NAS: QNAP TS-462-4G-US
- Best 6-Bay NAS: Asustor Lockerstor 6 Gen2 AS 6706T
- Best Budget NAS: Asustor Drivestor 2 AS1102T
#1 Best Overall NAS for Small Business: Synology DiskStation DS1522+
- 8GB DDR4
- AMD Ryzen R1600 CPU
- Up to 736/796 MBps sequential read/write throughput
- Four 1GbE ports
- Add up to 10 extra drive bays with expansion units
Our #1 Best Overall pick for the Best NAS for Small Business is the Synology DiskStation DS 1522+. This NAS device comes with five standard drive bays but is expandable to include as many as 15 as your small business grows. The DiskStation DS1522+ is our top choice, primarily because it combines superior-grade hardware with Synology’s easy-to-use data software and support for numerous popular business applications.
The Synology suite of backup software can secure Windows computers, VMs, Microsoft 365, and many other SaaS applications. Their Hyper Backup software also allows cloud backup for all data stored in your NAS, or select files as you wish. This free service helps small businesses construct their own 3-2-1 backup solution affordably.
Users can quickly and efficiently transfer data from existing environments into the Synology DiskStation DS 1522+ through four 1GbE ports or optional 10GbE connectivity. Measuring 12 x 12 x 11.25 inches and weighing 9.25 pounds, this unit is powered by an AMD Ryzen R1600 CPU that enables up to 736/796MBps sequential read/write throughput.
|It has an enterprise-level combination of hardware and backup software that is compatible with numerous business applications.||This NAS may be an expensive initial investment for some small businesses.|
|Synology’s Hyper Backup software includes a free cloud backup service.||This NAS device has no HDMI ports.|
|Users can quickly transfer heavy loads of data through four 1GbE ports or an optional 10GbE RJ-45 port.|
|The AMD Ryzen R1600 CPU enables read/write data throughput of up to 796MBps.|
|This product is expandable to hold up to 15 drives.|
Check out the Synology DiskStation DS1522+ on Amazon.
Best 2-Bay NAS for Small Business: Asustor Lockerstor 2 Gen2 AS6702T
Smaller businesses may only need limited NAS storage, so our Best 2-Bay NAS for Small Business, the Asustor Lockerstor 2 Gen2 AS6702T, is a perfect fit. Easy to install and equipped with two storage bays, this NAS offers two 2.5Gbps LAN ports and two USB ports to enable fast file transfers. There are also four M.2 slots (PCIe 3.0) for attaching solid-state external drives.
Asustor’s Data Manager software easily downloads over 340 backup and productivity apps and creates various folders and volumes to help categorize your data for easy access. An Intel 10nm Celeron N5105 Quad-Core 2.0 GHz CPU (with 2.9 GHz boost) supports the 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch drives in a RAID 1 configuration for fast and reliable data transfers. 4GB of DDR4 RAM speeds up your business storage operations.
Measuring 9.06 x 4.25 x 6.44 inches and weighing 5.28 pounds, the Asustor Lockerstor 2 Gen2 AS6702T NAS fits snugly into small spaces like home offices or is easily transported for remote work. Asustor’s Wake on WAN technology protects your data by keeping the NAS powered off until needed, also saving power.
|The Asustor Lockerstor 2 Gen2 AS6702T NAS has two drives (2.5-inch and 3.5-inch) configured in RAID 1 for reliable data transfers and storage.||This device is expensive for only a 2-bay NAS.|
|Asustor’s Data Manager software enables over 340 application downloads for productivity and backup protection.|
|An Intel Celeron N5105 Quad-Core 2.0 GHz processor also comes with a 2.9 GHz boost capability.|
|Wake on WAN technology keeps the NAS powered off when not in use to keep data safer and use less electricity.|
|This unit is only 9.06 x 4.25 x 6.44 inches and 5.28 pounds, making it ideal for home or mobile remote users.|
Check out the Asustor Lockerstor 2 Gen2 AS6702T on Amazon.
Best 4-Bay NAS for Small Business: QNAP TS-462-4G-US
The QNAP TS-462-4G-US 4-Bay Multimedia Desktop NAS is ideal for those small businesses needing more storage space, and it is our choice for the Best 4-Bay NAS for Small Business. This six-pound and 12 x 9 x 13-inch NAS is not much larger than most 2-bay units but still supports four full SATA 6Gbps drives. It has a dual-core Intel Celeron N4505 processor with up to 2.9GHz and 4GB DDR4 RAM. The 2.5 GbE port and dual M.2 PCIe 3.0 SSD slots support fast file sharing and storage. Users can also install additional network adaptors or QM2 cards.
Large file transfers are a snap with two USB 2.0 and two USB 3.2 ports enabling 10GB per second transfer speeds. Easily plug into any compatible device and securely store your files quickly. The 2.0 HDMI is ideal for 4K viewing or work like video editing that requires high resolution and fast data transfer.
Small business or home business owners needing backup or file-sharing solutions will enjoy the reliability of the QNAP TS-462-4G-US 4-Bay Multimedia Desktop NAS. Stream video, back up important data you need to keep secure, enable file sharing for multiple users across your local network, or use the NAS as portable file storage on the go.
|The QNAP TS-462-4G-US 4-Bay Multimedia Desktop NAS has a dual-core Intel Celeron N4505 processor with up to 2.9GHz and 4GB of DDR4 RAM.||This unit does not include storage discs.|
|Four high-speed USB ports, one 2.0 HDMI port, one 2.5GbE port, and dual M.2 PCIe 3.0 SSD slots provide plenty of storage or file-sharing connectivity.|
|QNAP software provides firewall protection, VPN support, a malware remover, and numerous data security recommendations.|
|This NAS is small enough to be portable for mobile users.|
|This product is suitably priced for a 4-bay NAS device.|
Check out the QNAP TS-462-4G-US 4-Bay Multimedia Desktop NAS on Amazon.
Best 6-Bay NAS for Small Business: Asustor Lockerstor 6 Gen2 AS 6706T
Some small businesses need larger storage solutions, and the Asustor Lockerstor 6 Gen2 AS6706T is our choice for the Best 6-Bay NAS for Small Business. This larger storage option is 9.06 x 9.17 x 7.32 inches and weighs 10.75 pounds. The Quad-Core 2.0GHz Intel Celeron N5105 CPU has a burst capacity of 2.9 GHz. Plus, 8GB of DDR4 RAM is expandable to 16GB.
Numerous connectivity options include four M.2 NVMe slots, two 2.5GbE ports, two USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.2 ports, and one PCIe expansion slot for up to 10GbE transfers. The six drive bays accommodate SATA3 6GB 2.5-inch or 3.5-inch HDD or SSD drives for loads of secure and reliable storage.
Data-heavy small businesses will find this NAS the ultimate reliable network storage solution for multiple users or a quality backup device. Asustor’s Wake on WAN technology shuts off the device when not in use for better data protection and energy savings. This product includes numerous other backup and data protection software apps.
|It relies on a quad-core Intel Celeron CPU with 2.0GHz and 2.9GHz burst capacity to power your storage or file-sharing operations.||Storage discs are not included with this device.|
|The 8GB of DDR4 RAM is expandable to 16GB.|
|Connectivity options include four M.2 NVMe slots, two 2.5GbE ports, two USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.2 ports, and one PCIe expansion slot.|
|Users can install SATA3 6GB 2.5-inch or 3.5-inch HDD or SSD drives in the six available bays.|
|Asustor’s Wake on WAN technology provides better data security and energy efficiency.|
Check out the Asustor Lockerstor 6 Gen2 AS6706T on Amazon.
Best Budget NAS for Small Business: Asustor Drivestor 2 AS1102T
Home businesses or companies starting small will appreciate our Best Budget NAS for Small Business, the Asustor Drivestor 2 AS1102T. This NAS measures 6.69 x 6.85 x 9.06 inches, weighs not quite 4.5 pounds, and currently costs less than $200 — but don’t let that fool you; it is packed with all you need for small business network storage on a budget.
Powered by a Realtek RTD1296 quad-core 1.4GHz CPU and supported with 1GB of DDR4 non-expandable RAM, this NAS is an affordable and workable solution for small business file sharing or backup plans. The hardware and software combination enables 215MBps read and 270MBps write speeds.
This NAS can support two SATA3 6Gbps HDD drives (one 2.5-inch and one 3.5-inch) with a maximum of 36TB. Supported connections include two 3.2 USB ports and one 2.5 GbE port. Installing your chosen drives is a breeze with easy-to-turn thumbscrews that require no tools. The sliding cover also facilitates simple installations or replacements.
|It supports two SATA3 6Gb/s HDD drives (one 2.5-inch and one 3.5-inch) for a maximum capacity of 36TB.||Drives are not included with this product.|
|This NAS is powered by a Realtek RTD1296 quad-core 1.4GHz processor.||This unit has no HDMI port.|
|The 215MBps read and 270MBps write speeds are adequate for most home or small business offices.||The 1GB of DDR4 RAM is non-expandable.|
|Two 3.2 USB ports and one 2.5 GbE port allow fast data transfers or file sharing.|
|This NAS is affordably priced at under $200 at the time of writing.|
Check out the Asustor Drivestor 2 AS1102T on Amazon.
How to Pick the Best NAS for Small Business: Step by Step
Small businesses can benefit from a NAS for storing data, but selecting the best one for your needs can be complex. How much data you require for your business, how many users need access, whether you need portable options, and more can make the choices difficult. Our criteria for selecting the five best NAS for small businesses kept these factors in mind as we examined the primary performance characteristics.
We narrowed our list down to six main considerations for most buyers:
Let’s review each of these criteria in more detail.
How much storage does your small business need from a NAS? The key factors are the number of disks and how they are organized for optimal data access and distribution. Network-attached storage devices can have as few as two or as many as 16 drives, each holding 8TB or more. Drives configured as RAID 1 mirror drives for redundancy copy each other, reducing your overall usable capacity.
Choosing HDD or SSD drives also factors into how you will use your NAS setup. Modern digital SSD drives allow for much faster access and are ideal for content creation, video editing, or streaming applications. Older HDD drives can hold more raw data but have higher failure risks due to their mechanical construction.
Several users in your office network accessing the same NAS can demand higher performance levels and internal caching. You will require higher processor capacity, RAM, and overall computing power. With lower performance levels, your team will experience lag and possible system overloads.
The options we showcased in this article mostly have 2.0GHz processors and at least 4GB of high-speed RAM to support at least three users simultaneously. How many drives are supported and how they are configured also impacts your NAS performance. Multiple RAID 1 drives may not operate as efficiently as multiple drives configured for RAID 5. Consider your access and data read/write needs to choose the best configuration.
Your NAS connectivity options should facilitate the rapid transfer of high data loads. Low-demand environments may even use Wi-Fi connectivity, but most small businesses that need a NAS solution will find this too slow. USB 2.0 or higher is the minimum for fast data transfer. Larger files like complex videos may need ethernet connections.
You should also consider your network speed and how users connect to the NAS through the network. Ethernet connections from a network router to the NAS will be of little use if users connect through lower-speed USB cables. Some small businesses may need to consider network upgrades to get the fullest benefit from a NAS.
Our data-hungry society has high demands for security. Your small business must secure personal client, business, and proprietary information. Choose a NAS device with native data encryption and other security features for layers of protection. You also want strong network access controls to limit who on your team can access data storage.
Research your potential NAS options to learn what security features and measures they include and support. Be sure it is updatable and easy to understand for your authorized users. Many NAS devices have hardware and software protections to secure important data.
Various NAS devices from major brands offer substantial features to support data storage, organization, security, file-sharing, disc configuration, and more. Not every feature may be critical for your small business, depending on your industry and needs. Choose easily configurable, usable features that are compatible with the data and applications you use most in your business.
Popular NAS features often include RAID, varying operating systems, and applications for data replication, backups, and snapshots. Some NAS products include many pre-installed features, while others offer downloadable options. You can select the ones you want to use without cluttering up your system with unused applications.
Shopping for the best NAS for small business requires an investment. Many authorities estimate NAS cost at about $100 per drive. This basically holds true as you can see from most of our choices. Of course, more features mean higher pricing. There are affordable products available, as we show with our best affordable option, which is a 2-bay NAS for less than $200.
Still, the best NAS for your small business must be tailored to fit your other needs for capacity, performance, connectivity, security, and features first. Determine your business needs first, then find the best affordable option to meet those needs. Slightly more investment into a NAS will repay itself in cloud-fee savings over time.
What to Know Before Buying the Best NAS for Small Business
Will a NAS solution work best for your small business? Or should you rely on cloud-based solutions? A NAS and the cloud form a secure 3-2-1 backup strategy This saves three copies of your sensitive data on two different types of storage media, and one copy is secured off-site.
However, routinely accessing huge amounts of data from the cloud will be slow and cumbersome, especially for multiple team members. It can also be costly to maintain cloud access for multiple users. Fully remote workers may need faster access they can carry along. A NAS means they don’t have to find the best Wi-Fi connection.
Small business owners must know how much storage capacity they need and have a strategy for backup and file-sharing already worked out in order to know what they need in a NAS device.
Using the Best NAS for Small Business: What It’s Like
Cloud storage is almost always an important tier of your 3-2-1 backup strategy, but so is a NAS device. Network-attached storage provides a local, secure source for rapidly accessing crucial data for day-to-day operations. Multiple NAS units can even provide additional backup storage that can be carried off-site and further secured.
The best NAS devices are invaluable for small businesses and home offices. Investing in a NAS unit may cost hundreds of dollars. This is a one-time expense that is recouped as you save on costly monthly cloud services.
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