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Best NAS hard drives of 2020: Network attached storage for small business and home office

(Image credit: bohed/Pixabay )

Do you need faster speeds or more storage space? How about a mega cache – or vibration protection? These are just some considerations to make when checking out the best NAS hard drives of 2020.

Even the most expensive and feature packed NAS won’t deliver maximum value for your business or home office unless it’s paired with the right hard drive for the job.

While you won’t achieve speeds as fast as an SSD, hard drives today are available with robust security protection and extra functionality that makes them a more practical option than ever before.

Continue reading to discover our pick of the best NAS hard drives of 2020 for small business and home office environments.

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(Image credit: Seagate)

1. Seagate IronWolf 4TB NAS Internal Hard Drive HDD

Oodles of storage for the network

Interface: SATA 6Gbps | Capacity: 6 – 12TB | Cache: 256MB | RPM: 7,200+

Ready for RAID
Faster than smaller options
Pricier than non-NAS drives

Priced at the premium end of the sale, Seagate’s IronWolf’s native NAS optimization makes it worth the cost. Capable of running at a fast 7,200rpm spin rate throughout the day without risk of failure makes this one of the best options for ensuring peace of mind. It runs whisper-quiet with barely any vibration noise, all while delivering excellent file-share performance and general speeds.

(Image credit: Western Digital)

2. Western Digital Red NAS Hard Disk Drive

A simple hard disk focused on maximising storage space

Interface: SATA 6Gbps | Capacity: 1TB – 12TB | Cache: 64B | RPM: 5400

Large capacity hard drive
Performs better than rival 4TB models
Average multi-drive small block sequential transfer speeds

It was only a few years ago that Western Digital’s 6TB NAS was the pack leader, offering more storage space than you could get from competing models. While that’s no longer the case, it’s still a unit with capacious storage space. Designed for both business and consumers, it offers fast performance especially in multi-drive environments where it boasts strong large-block sequential read and write speeds.

(Image credit: Western Digital)

3. WD Gold 4TB Enterprise Class Hard Disk Drive

The best 12TB NAS hard drive deal around

Interface: SATA 6Gbps | Capacity: 4TB – 12TB | Cache: 128MB | RPM: 7200

Excellent performance
Smartly priced
Support is not as robust as rivals’

If your business has a requirement to storage large files (or just lots of them), WD’s Gold series stretches all the way to a massive 12TB in size. And they boast some interesting traits: not least being filled with helium to protect tiny components inside that can be come damaged by atmospheric turbulence. Its on par with any of Seagate’s 12TB offerings when it comes to read and write performance and offers many of its rival drives’ features at no extra cost.

(Image credit: Western Digital)

4. WD Red Pro WD6003FFBX 6TB

Comes packed with useful features

Interface: SATA 6Gbps | Capacity: 2TB – 12TB | Cache: 256MB | RPM: 7200

Great performance
10TB drive is quite loud

WD’s Red Pro continues the company’s mantra of offering affordable and reliable storage that reduces total cost of ownership. It packs 3D Active Balance Plugs tech, which is said to significantly improve the over drive performance and reliability. That’s in addition to NASware tech, which is designed to improve reliability and system performance, reduce downtime and simplify the integration process while offering robust data protection.

(Image credit: Seagate)

5. Seagate Exos 12TB Internal Hard Drive Enterprise HDD

A capable enterprise drive at a more than reasonable cost

Interface: 6Gbps SATA | Capacity: 12TB | Cache: 128MB | RPM: 7200

TurboBoost tech
Helium tech protects components
Can become noisy

Designed to tackle heavy applications throughout the day with high performance, the Seagate Exos 12TB is aimed squarely at the enterprise. IT features Advanced Write Caching coupled with TurboBoost to improve performance and minimise the risk of losing data due to an unexpected power loss. Seagate is providing the drive with a five-year warranty.

(Image credit: Toshiba)

6. Toshiba N300 8TB NAS

A drive optimised for reliability

Interface: SATA 6Gbps | Capacity: 8TB | Cache: 128MB | RPM: 7200

Fast 7200 RPM operation
128MB cache
Noisy operation

Toshiba’s is pitching its N300, which has a 180TB/year workload rating, at small offices seeking high reliability in a NAS hard drive. It offers high performance at 7200 RPM with a large 128GB cache, and it’s driven by integrated RV sensors internally that mitigate the impact of rotational vibrations on components.  Other features in include up to a 256MB buffer, with scalability up to eight drive bays in a multi-raid environment.