Network-attached storage (NAS) devices have improved immensely over the past few years, with constantly increasing storage capacities, features and ease of use. They can be indispensable tools for small and medium businesses, providing centralised storage for company data, e-mails and other information. Here are some of the best NAS devices currently available — and some of the great prices we've spotted them for — based on ease of use, features and storage capacity.
We spotted if for: $1156
Though the name might suggest a product meant only for IT gurus, Iomega's 4-bay storage offering is actually one of the easier NAS devices to use. The set-up process helps you configure the IP address and map any required network drives, and it's simple to administer the NAS device using the icon-based Web interface. It doesn’t provide the most comprehensive RAID configuration options or server features, but if you're looking for a NAS device without complexity the Iomega StorCenter Pro NAS ix4-100 Server is worth considering.
We spotted if for: $763
Western Digital has dabbled its toe in the NAS device market occasionally with the likes of the MyBook World Edition but the ShareSpace remains WD's only attempt at the business side of things. It provides a good balance between usability and functionality. Fast transfer speeds and the ability to set user permissions ensure this NAS device is a good fit for a small office.
We spotted if for: $1479
QNAP's storage and surveillance products have gained a lot of ground over the past year, and the TS-639 Pro Turbo NAS is a good example of why. The six drive bays can fit up to 12TB of storage, and QNAP provides comprehensive RAID configuration support as well as 256-bit AES encryption to secure your data. We do wish you could elect to have a secret question to recover your password, however. If you can't remember your password, you could lose access up to 12TB of important data.
We spotted if for: $2325
It may not have the eSATA ports of lesser QNAP NAS devices, but the TS-809 Pro Turbo is definitely our pick for an efficient, secure and feature-packed storage and server solution for the office. Armed with a 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor and 2GB of DDR2 RAM, it managed to pull off some of the fastest throughput speeds we've seen, while also providing 256-bit AES encryption and the ability to target to external iSCSI devices. QNAP's QPKG third-party software delivery system means you can add more server and storage features later on.