Imagine that it’s a quiet Sunday. You want to stream movies or TV shows directly from your computer using the Plex server. You have your loved ones with you. But all of a sudden, the stream crashes or something happens and you spend the entire day fixing the damn thing. You don’t want that right?
This can be the situation for you if you choose to go for any random NAS for Plex. Not all NAS can keep the stability needed to stream media content effortlessly. You’ll have to end up compromising.
So what does a good NAS have? Though there are quite a few things you need to keep an eye out for, a good processor, decent RAM, connection interfaces and build quality are the things to primarily focus on. You especially need the processor as you’ll need it to convert videos.
Trust me, the last thing I want on my Sundays or any holiday is to fix stuff around the house. This is why I’ve put together a list of the best NAS for Plex at the moment. So stop messing around and let’s check them out!
1. Synology DS920+
The Synology DS920+ is arguably the best NAS for Plex at the moment because of the power it delivers as well as the ease of transcoding 4K videos seamlessly. Believe me, you’ll love this one.
Let’s talk about the specs first. The Synology DS 920+ runs on a 4core processor that has a clock speed of 2.0GHz. This clock speed however can be boosted to a maximum of 2.7GHz. As for connection interfaces, the NAS has two high-speed USB-3.0 ports.
Synology DS920+ can transcode and stream the highest quality videos with ease. The disk station lets you stream 1080P videos with zero effort. You can also transcode H.265/H.264 4K videos and play them as you wish. Though keep in mind that transcoding and streaming high-quality 4K videos will affect the disk station greatly. Therefore, transcoding and streaming 4K videos aren’t recommended.
The storage section is packed too. The DS920+ comes with 2 x built-in M.2 2280 NVMe SSD. It has 4 drive bays that can hold up to 64TB of data at once. On top of this, the NAS also has an Intel Celeron J4125 chipset and 4GB of RAM. Finally, the read/write speeds are super fast at 225 Mb/s.
Though the NAS is lacking 10GbE ports, it’s one of the few NAS that can stream and transcode 4K videos effortlessly. If you want the best then there isn’t a better item than this one.
- A strong quad-core processor that has a clock speed of 2.0GHz.
- It has two high-speed USB-3.0 ports.
- Perfect for streaming 1080P videos.
- It can transcode H.265/H.264 4K videos and play them.
- The 4 drive bays can hold up to 64TB of data at once.
- Super fast 225 Mb/s read/write speed.
- Regularly transcoding and streaming 4K videos might decrease the lifespan.
2. Synology DS220+
If you don’t like spending that much and want something that provides great value for your money, we suggest you have a look at the Synology DS220+. This NAS has most of the features from the Synology DS220+ but provides them at nearly half the price!
Let’s talk about the specs now. The Synology DS220+ runs on an Intel dual-core processor with an AES-NI hardware encryption engine. There’s also 2GB DDR4 RAM. If you think you need more RAM then you can upgrade it anytime to 6GB.
The DS220+ has 2 drive bays. Each bay can hold up to 16TB so the total capacity is 32TB. You can install SATA HDD and SSD in these bays. As for streaming and transcoding, the DS220+ can easily stream 1080P videos. It can also transcode H.265/H.264 4K videos, but like the DS920+ it’ll hurt the machine in the long run.
The DS220+ features a Dual 1GbE LAN port. On top of this, if the Link aggregation is active, you can get up to 225MBPS read and write speed. Finally, it has two high-speed USB 3.0 ports to allow the transfer of data quickly.
Though the processor is weaker than the DS920+, you won’t have any problem using it for Plex. I wouldn’t think twice if I was looking for a NAS that provided the best value.
- A powerful Intel dual-core processor with AES-NI hardware encryption engine.
- It has 2GB RAM that can be upgraded to 6GB in the future.
- Massive 32TB storage capacity.
- Supports 4K transcoding and streaming.
- It features a Dual 1GbE LAN port.
- Two high-speed USB 3.0 ports
- Up to 225MBPS read and write speed if link aggregation is active.
- An overall step-down from the DS920+
- Always transcoding and streaming 4K videos might decrease the lifespan.
3. TerraMaster F2-221
Don’t you love it when you get good stuff coming at you? We’ve got something for you! It’s another value option. No other NAS can pose a rivalry better than the TerraMaster F2-221 when it comes to value for money.
Let’s begin by discussing the build quality – we like it quite a bit! The case of the NAS is made from aluminum-alloy. It also has a built-in fan. So rest assured that the heat will dissipate quickly.
Down to the specs now. The TerraMaster F2-221 runs on a powerful Intel Apollo J3355 2.0GHz dual-core CPU. Expect no lagging while accessing your NAS. Also, the 2GB RAM can be extended up to 4GB. On the storage side of things, you can store up to 24TB in the 2Bays (12 TB each).
As for the video quality of the stream, it can handle 1080P videos without any hassle. On top of it, it can transcode up to two concurrent 4K video streams. Finally, we have connection ports. The great thing about this NAS is you’ll get 2x1GbE LAN Port. There’s also a couple of USB 3.0 connection interfaces.
However, the lack of an eSata port might limit the compatibility with older devices. Other than that, there isn’t anything we could complain about. It’s a matter of debate as to which the DS220+ and TerraMaster F2-221 provides the best value.
- The F2-221 runs on a powerful Intel Apollo J3355 2.0GHz dual-core CPU.
- The durable case is made from aluminum-alloy and has a built-in fan.
- It has 2GB RAM that is upgradeable to 4GB.
- Up to 24TB storage space.
- It can transcode up to two concurrent 4K video streams.
- It has a 2x1GbE LAN Port.
- Two fast USB 3.0 ports.
- Lacks eSata Ports.
4. Asustor NAS AS5304T
Do you know the one thing most NAS users despise? It’s connectivity problems. I’m not nitpicking here. Better connection means smoother stream and picture transition. The NAS that has the best connectivity feature is the Asustor NAS AS5304T.
I’ll have to start by saying that the Asustor NAS AS 5304T looks stunning. The black and red theme are quite pleasing. The case is quite strong too and has good airflow. It can stream and transcode all sorts of media files with ease be it at 1080P or 4K.
Let’s talk a bit about the specs now. The Asustor NAS runs on an Intel Celeron J4105 Quad-Core processor. It has a base clock speed of 1.5 GHz that boosts to 2.5GHz. Accompanying the processor is the 4GB DDR4 RAM that can be expanded up to 8GB.
The Asustor NAS has a feature called the backup plan. This feature automatically backs up any important data you might have. And as for the network features, you’ll find 2.5-gigabit Ethernet x 2 and USB 3.2 Gen 1 x3. So bid farewell to your lagging network.
However, it gets hot if overused. It also makes loud noises. So if you don’t want to deal with these you can skip on this NAS. But if you ask me, you aren’t supposed to put too much pressure on the device anyway. So pick it up!
- The black and red theme is quite pleasing
- The case is strong and has good airflow.
- It can stream and transcode all sorts of media files with ease from 1080P or 4K.
- It runs on a powerful Intel Celeron J4105 Quad-Core processor.
- The 4GB RAM can be expanded up to 8GB.
- Automatically backs up important data.
- The 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet and USB 3.2 connection interfaces ensure lag-free connectivity.
- Can be a bit loud at times.
- Overheats if too much pressure is put.
5. WD My Cloud EX2 Ultra
If you’re looking to get it done at a cheap price then the WD My Cloud EX2 Ultra would be an excellent choice. The WD My Cloud EX2 has the minimal specs to stream media with Plex and it’s quite cheap!
Let’s get one thing straight here. This one is not for heavy streaming or usage! As it’s a very low priced NAS, the features are limited. For example, the casing is great and the airflow is okay. But should you go for it based only on these? The answer is no!
On to the specs now. The WD My Cloud Ultra has two bays. You can pick up a lot of variations ranging from diskless up to 20TB storage space. The processor is Marvell ARMADA 385 dual-core. It has a base clock speed of 1.3 GHz. It also has 1GB RAM. Though this isn’t much, it’s enough to get the job done.
One thing that we liked about this NAS is that they didn’t leave out the GbE port. They were kind enough to stick one on the machine. On top of that, there’s also a couple of USB 3.0 ports on the backside.
However, I won’t recommend it to a person who will use this frequently. Rather this Nas is for those who use Plex once in a while.
- Very low price.
- Moderate casing and good airflow.
- Up to 20TB storage space.
- A decent Marvell ARMADA 385 dual-core processor.
- USB 3.0 and GbE ports are available.
- Not for heavy users.
6. QNAP TVS-672N
If money is like water to you and you have no problem spending it, then you can go for the QNAP TVS-672N. It’s probably the best NAS you could get for the money. There’s no question if this NAS can run Plex well – spoiler alert, it can!
Upon my first look, I mistook it as an oven. It’s quite bulky which also means it’s heavy. It’s also built quite well and thus it can’t be damaged easily.
I was blown away by the specs of this NAS. The QNAP NAS runs on an Intel Core i3-8100T quad-core processor. The processor has a base clock speed of 3.1GHz. The NAS also comes with 8GB DDR4 RAM. The RAM can be expanded up to a maximum of 32GB.
As the specs are high, it’s sure to perform well. This is why this NAS can provide media playback and real-time transcoding at 4K resolution and a 60Hz refresh rate. You can’t find performance better than this.
The connectivity options are top of the line too. You’ll find a 4-speed 5 gigabit Ethernet RJ45. It also has 2 GbE ports(RJ45). On top of all this, there’s also 2 x Type-C USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports and 2 x Type-A USB 3.2 Gen 2 Ports, and 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Port.
The only objection anyone can have is the price. Other than that, it’s the best NAS in the market currently.
- Solid build quality.
- It runs on a strong Intel Core i3-8100T quad-core processor.
- 8GB RAM is expandable up to 32 GB.
- It can provide media playback and real-time transcoding at 4K resolution and a 60Hz refresh rate.
- It has a 4-speed 5 Gigabit Ethernet RJ45 and 2 GbE ports.
- USB 3.2 and USB Type-A ports are available.
- Very expensive.
The market of NAS isn’t very vast, to begin with. If you count in the number of good NAS, it gets even tough to pick out one from them. To stream your media you’ll need a good NAS that can keep up with Plex.
In today’s article, we’ve discussed some of the best NAS for Plex. While all of these vary in prices, all of them are the best in their price range. You can’t go wrong in picking any of them!