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Due to a less than glowing report on its hard drive reliability, Western Digital has a lot to prove, especially with its NAS devices, where any failure could be catastrophic.
The good news is that with the WD Red 8TB hard drive, it has produced storage that you shouldn't be worried about using to hold your irreplaceable data. This is thanks to the features WD has packed in to make the drive work brilliantly in a multi-drive NAS setup, such as lower vibration and heat production, and support for up to 8 bay drives.
The capacity of the WD Red 8TB is a big bonus, as 8TB should be plenty for most home and small business users. This means you'll have plenty of space if you have two or more drives in a mirrored RAID setup, or if you want to stack an 8 bay NAS with eight of these drives and no data redundancy, you're looking at a heck of a lot of storage space – though of course the lack of redundancy is a bit risky.
The price is also quite competitive for a hard drive of this capacity, making it a viable choice in multi-drive configurations.
Speeds aren't quite up to par with some of WD's competitors in the NAS space, though generally the 8TB drive performed well.
Those reliability concerns are always at the back of our mind when using WD, but during out time testing two WD Red 8TB drives, they both performed well. Of course over time and across thousands of files, their performance might not be so assured, but WD's warranty and impressive technical support helps placate any fears.
Western Digital is in a funny old place – loved by manufacturers who often include its drives in their products, but often getting a cool reception from customers, and it can be difficult to be excited about a hard drive – what we want from them is reliability and a decent price per MB ratio.
Happily, the WD Red 8TB achieves these, with WD's NAS-friendly tech making this drive an excellent choice to be put in network devices that run 24/7. The 8TB capacity is impressively large, and the price isn't too shabby at all.
It's a particularly good drive for people who just want a HDD they can easily plug into a NAS box and forget about, thanks to WD's close partnerships with enclosure manufacturers to ensure easy compatibility with a range of devices. A decent warranty and good customer support should also help ease any misgivings you have about trusting your files to these drives.
- Check out our selection of the best internal desktop and laptop hard disk drives 2017
Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Core Tech, looking after computing and mobile technology. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. Ever since he got an Amiga A500+ for Christmas in 1991, he's loved using (and playing on) computers, and will talk endlessly about how The Secret of Monkey Island is the best game ever made.