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5 budget home NAS servers compared

These popular budget-friendly home NAS servers under $200 pack enough power to fulfill basic backup and media streaming needs. They all feature 2 hard drive bays, allowing for the 2-drive setup with data replication. With this setup, if one drive fails, your data is still safe on the other drive. This is the main advantage of 2-drive NAS servers over the single drive ones, and is well worth the slight premium in price.

Synology DiskStation DS216j  QNAP
Turbo NAS TS-231
WD
My Cloud EX2 Ultra
Buffalo
LinkStation 220
TerraMaster
NAS F2-220
Processor Marvell Armada Dual Core 1.0GHz ARM Cortex-A9 1.2GHz Marvell Armada Dual Core 1.3GHz  ARM 800MHz Intel Celeron Dual Core 2.41GHz
RAM 512MB 512MB 1GB  256MB 2GB
Ports 2x USB 3.0
1x Ethernet
3x USB 3.0
1x eSATA
2x Ethernet
2x USB 3.0
1x Ethernet
1x USB 2.0
1x Ethernet
2x USB 3.0
1x Ethernet
Cloud Backup Amazon Cloud Drive, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Dropbox, Box, Baidu Cloud Azure Storage, Google Cloud, Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, hubiC, Baidu Cloud Amazon S3,
ElephantDrive
 none Dropbox
Media Streaming DLNA DLNA
AirPlay
Chromcast
DLNA
UPNP
iTunes sever
DLNA
iTunes sever
DLNA
UPNP
iTunes sever

From the hardware standpoint, TerraMaster — a relative newcomer to the home NAS space — is clearly in the lead here, with almost double the processing power and double the RAM of the runner-up from Western Digital. This advantage is considerable, and will be especially beneficial when streaming media.

However, being a newer NAS provider, TerraMaster does not have the app ecosystem comparable to those of QNAP and Synology, which have hundreds of free apps for everything from cloud backup and media streaming to security and other utilities.  TerraMaster F2-220 is very good value for the hardware it comes with, but new buyers should carefully evaluate their needs against the available apps. If the app ecosystem and a mature operating system are important to you, both QNAP and Synology are superior to TerraMaster from that standpoint, and will make solid entry-level NAS servers.

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