- Network-attached storage (NAS) is a file-level storage system that makes stored data more accessible to networked devices. This makes managing, editing, and sharing large files easier.
- The Synology DS1618+ was voted the best overall NAS for video editing.
- If budget is a concern, the Synology 5bay Expansion Unit DX517 may be for you.
Whether you edit professionally or as a hobby, every videographer knows the constant struggle of running out of storage. Buying external after external drives can eat away at your budget. So what’s the best solution? NAS or Network Attached Storage is a video editor’s best friend.
NAS provides you with vast storage outside your computer without compromising performance. Here are our top 5 best NAS for video editing in 2023:
- Best Overall: Synology DS1618+
- Best for Personal Use: Synology Disk Station DS718+
- Best for Bays: QNAP TS-H973AX-32G 9-Bay
- Best Budget Friendly: Synology 5bay Expansion Unit DX517
- Best Rack Mount: Synology Rack Station RS2418+
Best Overall: Synology DS1618+
If you shoot and edit with 4K footage, then the Synology DS1618+ is the NAS for you. The configuration we recommend has 6TB of storage and 32GB of RAM. With this RAM, you can comfortably work under heavy loads without slowing down. Also, the 6TB of storage is all on pre-installed SSDs, instead of the typical HDD, which tends to be slower.
For a good reason, many of the NAS we ended up recommending were from Synology. It features one of the best servers for video editing. As well as being fast, this model is secure thanks to AES 256-bit Encryption and 2- factor Authentication.
Check out the Synology DS1618+ on Amazon.
Best for Personal Use: Synology Disk Station DS718+
The Synology Disk Station DS718+ is perfect for personal video editing or a professional just starting. With two drive bays, you can set up this NAS in RAID mode to avoid completely losing everything in case of a drive failure. It is also one of the most affordable setups on this list.
It packs 8 GB of DDR3 RAM, which can handle multitasking and 4K video editing. With the two drives pre-installed, you will get 8TB of HDD storage. These HDDs are reasonably fast, though with a 6GB/s transfer speed. The DS718 offers excellent connectivity options with two high-speed LAN ports, three USB 3.0 ports, and a single eSATA port.
Check out the Synology Disk Station DS718+ on Amazon.
Best for Bays: QNAP TS-H973AX-32G 9-Bay
- AMD Ryzen Embedded V1500B quad-core eight threads 2.2 GHz processor
- 32GB DDR4 RAM (2 x SO-DIMM slots, max. 64GB, optional ECC RAM support)
- 2 x 2.5GbE LAN
- 1 x 10GBASE-T
- USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C & Type-A
If you are looking for a NAS with a ridiculous amount of space, the QNAP TS-H973AX-32G 9-Bay is perfect for you. Although these nine bays are not pre-installed with drives, there are 5 3.5″ drive bays for HDDs and 4 2.5″ bays for SSDs. It also features 32 GB of DDR4 RAM, which is easily upgradable to 64 GB for more processing power.
The QNAP TS-h973AX is a personal cloud server with massive storage and superfast file transfer. You won’t go wrong with this product if you already have a bunch of drives that you can slot into this NAS or a favorite drive type.
Check out the QNAP TS-H973AX-32G 9-Bay on Amazon.
Best Budget Friendly: Synology 5bay Expansion Unit DX517
- Easily add 5 additional drive bays to Synology NAS. Please check Synology website for compatible models
- Supporting both 2.5" and 3.5" SATA drives
- Hot-swappable drive tray design
- Synology DX517 can be used as a dedicated local backup solution for the Synology DiskStation. When created as a separate volume, the DX517 provides a great backup solution to its local hard disks in...
Used for volume expansion, the Synology 5bay Expansion Unit is compatible with most NAS or DAS for video editing. DAS or Direct Attached Storage acts more like an external drive than a drive over the network and offers five extra drive bays. The DX517 is a versatile solution that supports both 2.5″ and 3.5″ SATA drives.
The Synology 5bay Expansion Unit DX517 features hot-swappable drive trays, which enable quick drive installation and replacement without shutting down the machine. This setup is perfect for someone who wants to back up their footage in a secure spot, not work off of it. But if you put some fast drives in here, that is possible.
Check out the Synology 5bay Expansion Unit DX517 on Amazon.
Best Rack Mount: Synology Rack Station RS2418+
- Synology RackStation RS2418+ is a powerful, versatile and scalable 12-Bay rackmount NAS designed for growing businesses; sliding rail kit is included for easy server installation
- Processor: Intel Atom C3538 Quad-Core 2.1GHz 8MB CPU; Ports: 4 x RJ-45 1GbE LAN Port (with Link Aggregation / Failover support); 2 x USB 3.0 Port; 1 x Expansion Port; Memory: 16GB DDR4 PC4-17000...
- OS Features iSCSI Target, Backup for VMware & Microsoft with Snapshot Replication, Active Backup for O365 & G-Suite Capability, Near Unlimited File Management and Sharing, Comprehensive Built-In...
- Synology NAS chassis comes in a sealed box.
- Hard drives and memory upgrades included separately NOT installed, installation required.
If you’re in the market for a medium-tier NAS with a rack server form factor, go with Synology Rack Station RS2418+. It includes 12 bays for storing HDDs or SSDs with a capacity of up to 192TB using 16TB drives. While the setup budget isn’t for the faint of heart, if you have a decent-sized team working on edits simultaneously and need this amount of storage, this is the way to go.
Rack Station RS2418+ from Synology also offers 16 GB of high-speed DDR4 RAM, which makes workflow across multiple systems easier and lag-free. The best feature about the RS2418+ is that it has four 1GbE LAN ports, allowing 4–10 people to edit HD footage in real-time via a bonded 4GbE connection.
Check out the Synology Rack Station RS2418+ on Amazon.
How To Pick The Best NAS For Editing: Step-by-Step
If none of these NAS were the perfect fit for you, don’t worry. We have some steps you can follow to find the ideal NAS or DAS for you.
- Amount of Storage
- Form Factor
- Backup or Working Off It?
Amount of Storage
Naturally, the amount of storage a NAS has pre-installed, or you can install, is the first thing you should take a look at. If you cannot fit all your work into it, the NAS will not be worth it. Some NAS will come with pre-installed drives, which take many questions out. But if you are the type of person that likes to customize, a NAS that doesn’t have any drives might be a better choice.
4TB is the ideal storage for most editors. This might seem like a lot, but working with 4K footage will fill up faster than you think.
NAS has two form factors. Rack mounts are typically reserved for more server deployments or bigger teams in an office building. The other is the drive enclosures, which are better for home deployment or locations where you don’t have room for a server rack. We lean towards the drive enclosure form factor as i more friendly to work on and takes up less space.
Backup or Working Off It?
The last question you should ask yourself is whether you will use your NAS as a backup system or use it to work off of. By work off, we mean using the files directly from the NAS as your primary storage option and not moving it to an internal drive to edit the footage. Because if you are using your NAS as a backup system, you can find many more budget-friendly options like the Synology 5bay Expansion Unit DX517.
If you work with a team, we recommend looking at a NAS where multiple people can work off. This way, you won’t constantly be transferring footage on and off the NAS.
What To Know Before Buying?
Unfortunately, NAS is not as simple as a plug-in-and-go solution, so we highly recommend watching a tutorial on how to set one up before buying any of the 5 best NAS for video editing. Once you see the process and get a feel, you will be more comfortable with it.
NAS with pre-installed drives don’t have empty bays. Typically, many of the NAS on Amazon have a FAQ where someone asks if it comes with pre-installed drives or if it will be in the specs.
Using a NAS: What it’s Like?
If you have never used a NAS before, the experience is quite lovely. Regardless of the machine, you are working off of, having access to 6TB of footage on a network is impressive. NAS is a complete game changer for those using their personal computers for editing. You no longer need to play that balancing act of deleting games from your internal storage to make room for a new edit you are working on.
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