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Best QNAP NAS in 2024

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QNAP TS-433 a four-bay NAS with USB port on the front

Taiwanese Network Attached Storage (NAS) juggernaut QNAP is one of the biggest brands in the game, with an impressive NAS device lineup covering contemporary personal and professional computing applications.



In recent years, we’ve been impressed by their NAS devices, offering hardware that’s design-conscious with powerful processors from Intel, ARM, Marvell, and more. Another great positive for QNAP is the wide range of compatibility (tested by QNAP themselves) with leading NAS Disk Drive manufacturers like Western Digital, Seagate, and Toshiba.


So it’s no surprise that QNAP consistently features in lineups of the best NAS devices on the market. If a QNAP NAS is on your shortlist, here’s the latest round-up of QNAP’s best NAS devices, revealing the strengths and weaknesses of each design and the uses they are most suitable for.

The best QNAP NAS selection around

QNAP TS-433

Best overall

Lots of bays and possibilities

The TS-433 is a recent, affordable four-bay file server for backing up or general file-serving duties. It’s compatible with the latest 22TB Seagate EXOS and WD Enterprise Drives Ultrastar drives and can provide an internal capacity of up to 88TB.

Pros

  • 2.5GbE LAN port
  • 4-bay
  • 64-Bit ARM CPU
Cons

  • 4GB RAM is not expandable
  • Only one USB 3.2 Gen 1 port

The QNAP TS-433 falls neatly into the general-purpose NAS category. That means it doesn’t have massive processing power, the maximum amount of RAM is only 4GB, and there is no HDMI port to drive a display directly. What the device does have are four drive bays and two LAN ports, making it a perfect choice as a central file store and backup repository.

With four drive bays, this NAS can use a RAID 5 drive array, meaning a single drive failure won’t result in immediate data loss. In addition to the extra protection these packs offer, overall drive performance is also enhanced, which is needed to maintain network speeds. One LAN port is 2.5GbE, and the other is 1GbE, and these can be channel bonded together with a suitable switch.


Our only reservation about this design is that the USB port selection isn’t ideal. Of these ports, two are USB 2.0, which is only of practical use for connecting printers, and only one is USB 3.2 Gen 1 spec. The fastest USB port is often used for external storage, but it is on the front alongside a button to dump files from USB devices to the internal volumes. Despite this one misstep, the TS-433 provides a cost-effective platform for managing files in a small business or home environment, and with smaller drive capacities, the total cost won’t break the bank.

QNAP-TS-133 a single drive NAS seen from the front

QNAP TS-133

Best value

A cheap but effective option

Most home users aren’t in the market for a NAS that can handle hundreds of hosts or run a dozen apps. For them, a simple single-drive NAS, like the QNAP TS-133, is the best option. It combines affordability and low power consumption and has enough RAM to run a selection of apps.

Pros

  • 2GB of RAM
  • Lower power use
  • AI-powered face recognition
Cons

  • No mirroring with one drive
  • Only one USB 3.0 port

The QNAP TS-133 embraces the objective of affordability above all else. Built around ARM Neon SoC technology, the QNAP TS-133 is a stylish single-drive NAS solution that is a perfect home for photos, music, and video files that will be accessed over a network. It comes diskless, but once a SATA HDD or SSD drive is installed, it can be up and running in minutes.


Considering the low price, many other NAS brands might have kneecapped this machine with limited memory. QNAP instead gave this NAS a respectable 64-bit ARM quad-core CPU and 2GB of RAM. That’s more than enough power to run the QTS 5.0 operating system and should be sufficient to cope with additional duties beyond file serving. This processor also includes a Neural Network Processing Unit (NPU) processor to aid in the face recognition of photo collections.

Compared to the entry-level NAS offered by Synology and Asustor, the TS-133 is punching above its weight in many categories. The caveats to the TS-133 are that there are no drive redundancy options with only one drive, making any failure catastrophic without additional backups. And this design only has a 1GbE Ethernet LAN port and a single USB 3.0 port.

QNAP-TBS-464 four bay NAS viewed from the front right

QNAP TBS-464

Premium pick

A powerful NVMe NAS

The TBS-464 is a high-performance NAS that exclusively uses M.2 NVMe SSD drives for storage and channel-bonds a pair of 2.5GbE LAN ports to unleash up to 500MB/s of network performance. This configuration allows for the type of optimal performance that makes it ideal for the media playback role.

Pros

  • Dual 2.5GbE LAN ports
  • 4x M.2 PCIe Gen 3 drive slots
  • Dual HDMI outputs

The QNAP TBS-464 is similar in form factor to the HS-264, with a flat enclosure resembling a cable box. But where the HS-264 can take two conventional 3.5-inch drives, the TBS-464 has no SATA HDD or SSD drive bays. All the storage on this NAS is M.2 NVMe drives. That makes drive operations remarkably snappy at all file operations, but it limits capacity significantly over NAS that can use much bigger HDDs.


The largest M.2 drives currently available are 8TB, but only 4TB models are listed as compatible with QNAP NAS. That caps the TBS-464 at 16TB of total space and 12TB if you want to protect the system against drive failure.

With approved WD NAS Red SN700 costing around $280, the total cost of the TBS-464 plus 16TB of space is close to $1,720, making this a significant investment. What you get for that outlay is a truly silent NAS that can service two 2.5GbE LAN ports at full speed and drive two HDMI-connected TVs with 4K output.

When M.2 SSDs achieve greater capacities and cost less per TB, the TBS-464 is ready and waiting to utilize them. But until that day, this is a specialist option.

QNAP SilentNAS HS-264 a dual bay NAS viewed from the left

QNAP SilentNAS HS-264

King of Plex

A silent NAS that is perfect for TV use

NAS owners know these devices aren’t quiet, which can be problematic if positioned near the TV or in a bedroom. The QNAP SilentNAS HS-264, as its name infers, provides a passively cooled two-bay NAS with an Intel Celeron CPU and plenty of RAM for applications, ideal for lounge use.

Pros

  • Dual 2.5GbE LAN ports
  • 8GB RAM
  • Silent operations
Cons

  • No caching without sacrificing a bay
  • Zero upgrades

Unlike most NAS designs that are mini towers, the QNAP SilentNAS HS-264 looks more like a TV technology, allowing it to be placed with other AV equipment without looking out of place. Removing the magnetically attached front cover reveals two 3.5-inch drive bays that can take conventional hard drives or SSDs. Exactly how much space to install is up to the user, but the largest drives on the QNAP compatibility list are 8TB, though it will probably take larger ones.


This is a deceptively powerful NAS compared to others on this list; it uses the Intel Celeron N5105 4-core CPU that clocks up to 2.9GHz, and when combined with 8GB of RAM, this makes for an optimal Plex experience.

Where this NAS might have been marginally better is that while it has two 2.5GbE LAN ports that can be combined for up to 500MB/s of file transfer performance, to get that from the installed hard drive requires the sacrifice of one bay to install SATA SSD to use as a cache. We hope QNAP adds an M.2 slot to the HS-264 to address this issue in the future.

It is quiet, if not entirely silent, and ticks all the boxes for media distribution in the home.

QNAP TS-264, angled front view

QNAP TS-264

Jack of all trades

A two-bay powerhouse of a NAS

$440 $466 Save $26

Smaller NAS solutions are either simple devices designed for a handful of users or miniature powerhouses that are secretly full of upgrade potential. And the QNAP TS-264-8G-US is unequivocally the latter. With home appliance styling, this NAS can cope with numerous users, applications, and terabytes of server storage.

Pros

  • 2.5GbE LAN
  • PCIe Slot for upgrades
  • Dual M.2 SSD slots
  • Celeron CPU that’s great for Plex
Cons

  • Lacks drive trays
  • Not a cheap option

The features that elevate this NAS above those from other options are a 2.5GbE LAN port and a PCI Express card slot. The 2.5GbE LAN port can transfer files over the network at 250MB/s faster, but using the PCIe slot, a LAN adapter can increase that to 5GbE or even 10GbE. The PCIe slot’s flexibility can make the TS-264 useful for any demanding job, like video editing, where large files need to be secured quickly across the network. To help aid the flow of data, installing two M.2 NVMe SSDs can provide additional high-speed storage or cache the conventional hard disk drives for better performance.


With plenty of processing power, 8GB of RAM, and the ability to connect even more drives using USB external enclosures, the QNAP TS-264 might look like a modest external machine, but it has vast potential. And if two bays aren’t enough, there’s always the TS-464 to consider.

The flip side of purchasing this NAS is that alongside it, you need to consider investing in a faster 2.5GbE or better network switch. When you factor in the cost of the NAS, HDD drives, and network hardware, the overall cost of the solution could balloon.

QNAP TS-262 a dual bay NAS with a front facing USB port

QNAP TS-262

Best multimedia NAS

Perfect for serving media

The TS-262 was explicitly designed to connect to a screen and playback media stored on it. It might only have two drive bays, but USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports allow easy external expansion. More upgrades are available with a PCIe slot enabling the addition of a 10GbE LAN card for rapid file transfers. It is deceptively simple but has excellent specifications.

Pros

  • 2.5GbE LAN port
  • Dual M.2 bays
  • Optional remote

At first glance, this is a two-bay NAS presented in white and gold with an HDMI port that allows it to output directly to a TV or monitor. Behind that facade, this NAS has many excellent features that elevate it above ordinary multimedia NAS.


It’s an Intel-based machine using the Celeron N4505, a modest but practical processor with 4GB of RAM that sadly can’t be upgraded. Networking is through a single 2.5GbE Ethernet port, but a half-height PCIe slot can boost that with an extra 10GbE PCIe adapter. In that enhanced scenario, two M.2 NVMe slots are provided for caching the HDD with SSDs, as the network bandwidth would be faster than two conventional HDDs combined.

The drive bays are this design’s obvious limitation, but with two USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports (10Gbps), more capacity can be added externally. One unique feature of the TS-262 is that QNAP makes an optional IR remote designed to work with it, avoiding using a phone or computer to control playback.

If the two-bay aspect of the TS-262 is an issue, QNAP makes the TS-462 a four-bay variant that allows for RAID 5, 6, and 10 configurations and costs around another $100.

QNAP TS-h886 a Xeon powered NAS seen from the front

QNAP TS-h886

Best developer NAS

A Xeon monster NAS, perfect for developers

The QNAP TS-h886 was designed with a developer role in mind, delivering a perfect environment for tools like Docker and Drupal. Sporting an Intel Xeon processor, eight drive bays, and two PCIe M.2 slots, there aren’t many NAS jobs this machine couldn’t easily cope with. But this much power comes at a high cost.

Pros

  • Xeon Processor
  • 8-bay
  • Up to 128 GB of RAM
Cons

  • Expensive
  • Cheaper model is only dual-core

Using a NAS box for software development is a common approach since the written code can be secured using it, and using virtualization, the programmer won’t be crashing their machine or the NAS when bug hunting.


The TS-h886 was created for that purpose, though it is powerful enough to be used for almost any NAS job. With eight conventional drive bays, M.2 caching, and four 2.5GbE LAN ports, this is a remarkably punchy system that can sustain more than 1,000MB/s over a network in its default configuration. But it can take a 25GbE (not 2.5GbE) network adapter and increase the transfer speeds well above 2,000MB/s.

An important detail is that TS-h886 has two versions with dramatically different specifications. A cheaper $1,500 model, designated the TS-h886-D1602-8G, uses the Intel Xeon D-1602 CPU (2-core, 4-thread) and a more expensive TS-h886-D1622-16G that costs twice as much. The more costly option has double the RAM (upgradable to 128GB) but, critically, has the Xeon D-1622 CPU (4-core, 8-thread) for even more processing power. That begs the obvious question: would two of the cheaper models be a better investment than the one with the better CPU?

The TS-h886 is utter overkill for most home users, but for those looking to have a NAS development system, this machine ticks all the boxes and then some.


Best QNAP NAS for virtualization

QNAP TS-664-8G-US 6 Bay NAS

Best NAS for virtualization

Capacity and processing power to handle data-heavy applications

The QNAP TS-664-8G-US 6 Bay NAS is the perfect storage device to straddle the demands of multiple physical or virtual machines. Speed is assured by the four-core, four-thread Intel Celeron N5105/N5095 processor, while USB and Ethernet ports provide gigabit connectivity. MyQNAPCloud provides remote access and secure storage for files and media, while the QNAP OS provides dedicated interfaces for backing up Windows and Mac computers.

Pros

  • Straightforward step-by-step setup
  • USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports with transfer speeds up to 10 Gb/sec
  • Dedicated backup for Windows and Mac PCs
Cons

  • Dedicated apps for individual NAS functions can be a hassle
  • Can run hot and loud
  • USB backups can be unreliable, Ethernet is better

The QNAP TS-664-8G-US 6 Bay NAS is capable of meeting the demands of virtualized environments. The workhorse of this stylishly designed, recent-release NAS is its Intel Celeron N5105/N5095 processor. Its four cores, each with four threads, turn over a maximum frequency of 2.90 GHz. The QNAP TS-664-8G-US can support a range of mainstream virtualization applications including VMware vSphere. And if you opt for platforms like Microsoft’s Hyper-V, you can back up your virtual machine with QNAP’s NetBak replicator.

This six-bay NAS is surprisingly accessible for newbies who are looking for centralized storage of personal data. Its 4K HDMI output makes it a standout choice for a PLEX server, and with not one, but two 2.5 GbE ports on board, you can transfer large files to and from the device with ease. The only thing to watch out for is the RAM. This great NAS really could do with an upgrade to at least 16 GB of NAS, but it cannot be expanded.


Why buy a QNAP NAS?

QNAP stands out from competitors with feature-rich NAS hardware that meets practical needs, supporting users who want storage that is flexible and secure and offers remote access and syncing from various devices. QNAP hardware is packed with proprietary technology that makes it a great solution for diverse storage applications. Examples include the robust and efficient Redundant Array of Independent Disks (RAID), File Station file management, Qfile Pro, and Qsirch for quick and easy file access.

In addition, QNAP takes data security seriously, especially after well-publicized attacks like Deadbolt and Qlocker. The company reacts immediately to any known threats via its in-house Product Security Incident Response Team (PSIRT) and is quick to update firmware for new and existing devices.

We’re pleased to recommend QNAP NAS devices, and for most personal users, the TS-433 is well worth a closer look. It really is a future-forward flexible NAS that can grow with your personal projects and facilitates hassle-free data access from your entire device ecosystem.


For a single-purpose NAS and solid budget-driven choice, a machine like the QNAP TS-133 might be the right choice. It doesn’t need a massive processor to serve files or backup computers, has plenty of RAM for file serving, and the single USB port provides a means to attach external drives for extra space or drive redundancy.

If performance is more important than capacity, the TBS-464 offers exceptional network performance using NVMe SSDs. However, this NAS isn’t cheap, and the SSDs will cost more than conventional hard drives per TB. But you get fantastic LAN performance and the ability to cope with numerous users.

QNAP TS-433 a four-bay NAS with USB port on the front

QNAP TS-433

Best overall

The TS-433 is a recent, affordable four-bay file server for backing up or general file-serving duties. It’s compatible with the latest 22TB Seagate EXOS and WD Enterprise Drives Ultrastar drives and can provide an internal capacity of up to 88TB.

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