Synology DiskStation DS115j
Excellent NAS for a great price
If you've been put off by the price of the previous entries on this list, the DS115j is definitely worth checking out. This offering from Synology is a (relatively) simple single-bay NAS device that offers plenty of features for the home user at a very-affordable $125 (£78, AU$145).
While it's a simple setup compared to other options on this list, the DS115j includes Synology's fantastic DiskStation Manager software, which will make setup and management a breeze. Although we had a few issues concerning the device's build quality and lack of USB 3.0, the DS115j's price point makes it an excellent option for homes or small office settings.
'Rugged' is the name of the game with this NAS solution
While redundancy is important in any NAS box, your data is still at risk from the elements with most solutions. That's where the massive ioSafe 1513+ comes in, ready to weather such abuse from the elements with a rugged fireproof and waterproof case. the 1513+ can survive in temperatures of up to 840 degrees Celsius (1550 Fahrenheit), and depths of up to 3 meters (10 feet) for three days. Unfortunately, this comes at quite the cost—around $4,620 (£2,950, AU$5,295).
Aside from its ruggedized features, the 1513+ features five drive bays, ample expansion ports, and easy-to-use software. If you're looking for a disaster-proof solution for your data, look no further.
Read: ioSafe 1513+ review
Netgear ReadyNAS 716
Speedy storage…at a cost
This six-bay option is billed as the world's fastest desktop NAS device by the folks at Netgear—and for good reason. Sporting a quad-core Intel Xeon E3 processor, 16GB of RAM, and two 10GbE interfaces, the ReadyNAS 716 certainly proved to be fast on its feet in our tests.
Aside from the ReadyNAS 716's performance, we were also impressed with the setup's enterprise-level snapshot and backup options, as well as its easy-to-use software. If you can look past the lack of power redundancy, this is a worthy option for those seeking rack-mounted performance from desktop chassis.
Synology DiskStation DS415play
For the media-hungry
If previous entries on this list have leaned towards the business crowd, this one swings things back into the realm of the home user. Simply put, the DS415play from Synology is a media-streaming powerhouse. Front and center with this model is its DLNA certification, allowing users to stream a wide variety of media content to PCs and smart TVs on their network with the accompanying Media Station package.
As far as specs are concerned, the DS415play packs 4 drive bays, for a total storage capacity of 24TB. With a 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Atom processor, 1GB of RAM, and Synology's excellent DiskStation Manager software on board, we found the device performed pretty well. If the DS415play sound like it's up your alley, it can be had for about $650 (£390, AU$700).
Great for home and business users
The DS1815+ from Synology is an eight-bay NAS solution that offers up plenty of space for home and business users alike, supporting up to 48TB from internal drives, with the ability to expand that to a hefty 108TB through the device's dual eSATA ports. With its quad-core CPU and up to 6GB of memory, the DS1815+ scored well on our performance tests, though getting the device setup to bond its four gigabit ethernet ports together was a bit of a pain point.
Where the DS1815+ really shines is in Synology's excellent Linux-based DiskStation Manager software. With its simple setup, navigation, and glanceable widgets for tracking vital information, DiskStation Manager continues to shine over the competition. While the price of Synology's offering may be near the top end of the NAS spectrum at around $1030 (£850, AU$1320), the combination of attractive design and ample storage options makes this an excellent option for small businesses and home users that are serious about their storage.
Read: Synology DS1815+ review