Best NAS For Plex 2021

With the year 2020 now behind us, I thought I would write up an article describing what 2021 has to offer as far as Network Attached Storage (NAS) is concerned. Today we’re going to list the best NAS For Plex 2021 and outline which storage devices might work best for your budget and needs.

Quick story time: A little over a year ago I discovered the wonderful world of plex and being able to stream video to any device in my home. I must say that I absolutely love it. Between my wife, my kids and my videos I ran into a little problem where storage was getting a little tight. I was running plex on an old laptop with a single 250GB hard drive.

At first it was great and the setup met my needs. But as time went on and the fam started adding more videos, I knew it was time to upgrade and get something a little more storage heavy. While doing my research, there were a couple of questions that I needed answered. How much RAM should is going to be sufficient for my needs? What exactly are the differences between the 2 bay vs 4 bay vs 8 bay.

When it comes to choosing a brand, there are basically two big players in this game. We got the Synology NAS, which is extremely popular and well liked in the community. Second, we have the QNAP NAS which I’m sure many of you have heard of.

The differences can vary and are outside the scope of this article, but let’s move on to some details we should consider.


2 Bay vs 4 Bay NAS Devices

Aside from the cost, let’s try and answer some of those questions here in this post.

2 bay vs 4 bay Synology NAS

When looking at the difference between the 2 bay vs 4 bay NAS devices or even the 8 bay devices there are some considerations you should take into place. I’ll reiterate once again that your budget might dictate what you’ll eventually end up with, but let’s highlight a few items.

2 Bay Nas Pros

  • Definitely more budget friendly
  • Can hold you off until you feel the need to upgrade
  • Lower power consumption


4 Bay Nas Pros

  • More bays mean they have capacity to hold more much storage
  • Most will support RAID6 and RAID 10
  • Can “Future Proof” your setup and not need to upgrade for sometime


2GB vs 4GB RAM

The same concept applies here. The more RAM usually would mean the unit is going to a bit pricier. However, when choosing the best NAS For Plex, you could probably get by just fine with a simple 2GB unit. If you plan to use more of its features and use its full capabilities, I would probably go with the 4GB.

Simply put, a NAS device is a computer, and computers need RAM. With that said, you don’t have to go all out if all you’re going to be doing is streaming videos. But what’s the fun in that?

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Overall Best NAS For Plex 2021

So what’s my choice for the overall Best NAS For Plex 2021? It’s the 4 Bay DiskStation DS420+ Synology NAS. For me, this was a perfect balance between price, capacity, capability and features.

4 Bay Synology NAS DS420 Plus - Overall Best NAS For Plex 2021

Here is why we chose the 4 Bay DiskStation DS420+ Synology NAS as our overall best NAS Device for Plex.

  • 4 drive bays for 64TB of max internal storage (16 TB drive x 4)
  • A 64bit Intel Celeron J4025 CPU. 2-core 2.0 GHz, burst up to 2.9 GHz
  • 2GB DDR4 non-ECC memory that’s expandable up to 6GB
  • Transcode H.265/H.264 4K videos to 1080p High Definition
  • Two built-in M.2 2280 NVMe SSD slots for cache acceleration
  • Hot swappable drives for constant connectivity


Best Runner Up NAS For Plex 2021

For the best runner up NAS device for Plex in 2021 is QNAP TS-451+-8G-US 4-Bay Next Gen Personal Cloud NAS. Let’s go over the reasons why we chose this as a viable option.

QNAP TS-451-8G-US 4-Bay

  • Intel Celeron Quad-core 2.0 GHz processor
  • 8GB DDR3L RAM right out of the box
  • Transcode full HD videos on-the-fly or offline
  • Hot swappable drives for constant connectivity
  • Comes with remote for convenience


Best Budget NAS For Plex 2021

The Synology 2 Bay NAS DiskStation DS220+ takes the prize for the best budget NAS for Plex you can use. Here are the reason why I think this is a good choice when you want something to get you in the game.

Synology 2 Bay NAS Diskstation DS220+ - Best NAS For Plex 2021

  • Intel Celeron J4025 2-core 2.0 GHz, burst up to 2.9 GHz
  • 2 Bays with RAID 1 capabilities to prevent sudden failure
  • DiskStation allows you to transcode H.265/H.264 4K videos to 1080p
  • 2 drive bays for 32TB of max internal storage (16 TB drive x 2)
  • Hot swappable drives for constant connectivity
  • 2000+ people gave it a 4.8 out of 5 star ratings on Amazon


NAS For the Home Labber

This might be something for someone who prefers to have a rackmount setup, but I had to throw in an honorable mention. This the QNAP TS-432PXU-RP-2G 4 Bay NAS.

QNAP TS-432PXU-RP-2G - Best NAS For Plex 2021

  • (2) 10GB SPF+ Ports for high speed transfers
  • (2) 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet Ports
  • (2) Redundant Power supply for quick and easy failover
  • 1U Rack Mount so it won’t take up much space on your rack


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I get a NAS for under $100?
A: While there are options such as the Synology DiskStation 1-Bay it might be worth it to get yourself at least a 2 bay NAS. The reason being is that it can support RAID in the event of disk failure. Another reason is because the extra bay can provide extra storage. More storage = more media!

Q: Do these NAS devices come with hard drives?
A: Unfortunately most do not come with hard drives pre-installed. This might actually work in your favor because you can pick and choose exactly what you want to install.

Q: What hard drive devices are compatible with these NAS devices?
A: It depends on the NAS device you choose. Both the Synology and QNAP devices (as well as other manufacturers) have compatibility lists that you can Google.

Q: What other features can I use besides Plex?
A: This depends on what brand you end up going with. Synology has features to allow you to use file sharing, FTP etc.. which is pretty cool. QNAP offers similar built-in features in their Operating System so it’s worth doing the research to see which is best suited for you.



All in all I hope you found this article informative and it helped you identify the best NAS For Plex 2021 for you. The goal here is to find something that’s reasonable for your budget but still gives you the capacity needed to host your files.

I know these devices are a pretty penny, but the investment is is well worth it.

If you’re looking for similar posts, be sure to check out our Best Homelab Server For 2020. If you’re in the market for a new rack, perhaps to mount the sweet QNAP 10GB noted above, take a look at our cheap server rack for home post.

5/5 - (19 votes)

Paul Contreras

Hi, my name is Paul and I am a Sysadmin who enjoys working on various technologies from Microsoft, VMWare, Cisco and many others. Join me as I document my trials and tribulations of the daily grind of System Administration.

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