Best NAS for Plex 2021

Best NAS for Plex Android Central 2020
Plex is the best NAS that allows you to stream media from all your devices on your home network. This is exactly what the DiskStation D220+ does. It transcodes files so that any device can play any file. Additionally, it doubles up as a reliable backup solution for photos and videos from connected devices.

Source: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central

The DiskStation DS220+ NAS is currently the best NAS for Plex streaming. The NAS comes with an Intel Celeron J4025 chipset, 2GB RAM and the ability to add 4GB. Two drive bays can store 16TB each and bring total storage up to 32TB. You can bridge the two Gigabit Ethernet ports on the back of DS220+ to double data transfer. The DS220+ also has two USB 3.0 ports. Overall, the DS220+ NAS is the best NAS available for home use, especially if you need a reliable media server. The DS220+ is a great Plex media server. The service is easy to set up and configure. It streams your local media library to any connected device on your home network. There are three main categories for Plex streaming. Direct play refers to when Plex (or your streaming box) handles the video container natively and streams the file as is. Direct stream occurs when your client device does not support the container, such as.mkv and.m4a. Plex will remix the file into a different container to send it to you. These options aren't very resource-intensive and can be handled by any NAS, even cheap NAS enclosures. Transcoding is the most interesting category. Plex can transcode files if a client device doesn't have the required video codec (like H.265, HEVC or H.264), so the service will convert the video to a format that runs on the device, and then play it. This option is most CPU-intensive and requires a powerful NAS. Transcoding 4K is not without its limitations. HDR isn't available so it's better to stream your 4K content locally than transcoding it. The DS220+ can handle 1080p transcodes with no issues. It can also transcode 4K content if necessary. This makes it an ideal choice for Plex. Synology's software has been praised for its ability to stream Plex libraries and do much more. The DS220+ automatically backups data and allows you to run your own email, audio and video servers. To get started, I recommend 4TB Seagate IronWolf drives. If you need more storage, the 6TB or 8TB models are available. Pros: Can handle 4K streaming/transcoding

Two Gigabit Ethernet ports

Storage space up to 32TB

Software extensible

Solid internal hardware.

No SSD caching

Best Synology DiskStation DS220+ NAS for Plex. The DS220+ is the best overall Synology DiskStation DS220+ NAS. It has strong hardware and two Gigabit Ethernet port making it an ideal NAS enclosure for Plex streaming. Amazon: $295

$300 at Newegg

$300 on B&H Photo

2. Synology DiskStation 4K+: The Best

Source: Synology

The DiskStation DS920+ is built on the same foundation as the DS220+, but has some key improvements. The DS920+ comes with a faster Intel Celeron J4125 chipset and 4GB RAM. There are also M.2 slots to allow SSD caching and four drive bays that can store up to 64TB. The back of the unit has an eSATA port and two USB 3.0 ports. If you wish to stream 4K content from your devices, the DiskStation+ is the ideal Plex media server. The DS920+ can handle 1080p transcodes perfectly. This means that even if your TV is older or doesn't support the most recent video codecs and container, the NAS can decode the file and play it on your TV. The DS920+ can also transcode 4K, but this is not recommended. The best way to build a 4K media library is to stream media directly from your TV or streaming box. 4K transcoding requires a lot more power than 1080p transcodes. Most 4K-capable devices have the required video codecs and containers. When playing 4K files over your home network, you only need to think about network bandwidth. 4K files are more than 100Mbit in bitrate and storage. The DS920+ has two Gigabit Ethernet ports and four drive bays, which can store 64TB. Synology also offers a DX517 expansion kit that adds five drive bays onto the DS920+, giving you an additional 80TB storage. The 8TB IronWolf NAS hard drives are the best choice if you need drives to fill your DS920+. Pros: 4K Plex streaming/4K Transcode

Storage space up to 64TB

SSD caching via M.2 slots

Software features that are extensive

Two Gigabit Ethernet ports. Cons: No 10GbE (10 Gigabit Ethernet).

There are fewer DRAM slots available than in the past


Best for 4K Synology DiskStation DS920+ A perfect four-bay Plex media server with powerful hardware and the ability of handling multiple 4K Plex streams simultaneously. The DS920+ is the ideal media server. Amazon: $548

$550 at Newegg

$550 on B&H Photo

3. Asustor AS5202T - Best for connectivity

Source: Asustor

If you are looking for a reliable Plex media server, the Asustor AS5202T is a great choice. The two-bay NAS enclosure comes with dual 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet ports that give you more data transfer headroom. The best thing about the AS5202T enclosure is its HDMI port. This allows you to connect the NAS directly to your TV. The NAS runs on the Intel Celeron J4005 chipset, has 2GB RAM and can store up to 32TB across its two drive bays. You can install Plex with no hassle. The NAS also allows you to run Docker containers and back up all connected devices automatically. You can stream Plex at 4K with no problems, just like the DS220+ or DS920+. The hardware here can also transcode 4K. Asustor offers a range of tools that allow you to stream content to YouTube or Twitch. This makes the AS5202T an attractive option for content creators. This hardware makes the AS5202T an excellent option for Plex streaming. If you choose this model, you can also get an 8TB IronWolf SSD NAS drive. Pros: 4K Plex streaming/4K Transcode

HDMI port to connect to TV

Two 2.5Gbps ports are available for next-generation connectivity

Software features that are well-designed

Solid internal hardware. Cons: It gets quite loud

Best for connectivity Asustor AS5202T This NAS is ideal for content creators. The AS5202T offers next-gen connectivity and reliable hardware, making it an excellent choice for a 4K Plex solution. Amazon: $300

$300 at Newegg

$300 on B&H Photo

4. Asustor AS5304T - Best connectivity for four bays

Source: Asustor

The AS5304T is the right NAS for you if you were impressed by the AS5202T. Although the AS5304T has the same design and internal hardware as AS5202T's, it comes with four drive bays that can store 64TB. You get 4GB RAM and the option to add 4GB. The NAS also has three USB 3.2 ports and dual 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet ports. There is an HDMI 2.0 output that allows you to connect it to a TV. The AS5304T offers the same software features as the AS5202T. It also has a higher memory and a more powerful chipset, making it a great Plex media server. You can stream 4K content to multiple devices simultaneously, and if you want to, you can use 1080p hardware transcodes or even 4K. The AS5304T is best paired with the 8TB IronWolf NAS storage drive. 4K Plex streaming/4K transcode

HDMI port to connect to TV

Two 2.5Gbps ports are available for next-generation connectivity

Great value

Robust software cons: Runs hot

Fan gets loud

5. Synology DiskStation 220j: The best entry-level Plex NAS

Source: Synology

What if you don’t care about transcoding 1080p/4K and want a NAS that streams files from Plex directly to your devices at an affordable price? You should consider the DiskStation D220j. This NAS features two drive bays, the Realtek RTD1296, 512MB RAM, Gigabit Ethernet ports, and two USB 3.0 port. Although it may not be the fastest NAS, Plex runs flawlessly and streams content to all your devices. This NAS does not support transcoding but is great for streaming direct. This makes the DS220j a great choice. It also offers many of the same software features as Synology's more expensive models. The DS220j is a great budget Plex media server. You can pair the NAS with a few IronWolf 4TB hard drives to create a media server that streams Plex to all your connected devices. 4K Plex streaming

Amazing value

Ethernet connectivity up to Gigabit

Runs quiet

Storage up to 32TB

Transcode not possible

Best entry-level Plex NAS Synology DiskStation DS220j. The best budget Plex mediaserver The DS220j is a robust Plex server that holds up as a Plex mediaserver. Amazon: $165

$170 at Newegg

$170 at B&H Photo

6. TerraMaster F2-221: Best value

Source: TerraMaster

TerraMaster is a well-known company that focuses on the value segment. The F2-221 enclosure for Plex is a good choice if your goal is to have a NAS enclosure with Plex functionality. The NAS runs on the Intel Celeron J3355 chipset. It has 2GB RAM and can store 32TB in its two drive bays. Two Gigabit Ethernet ports are available on the F2-221, as well as two USB 3.0 ports. The F2-221 has a good set of software features. However, the F2-221 is able to stream 4K files and transcode 1080p content without any problems. Although there is no 4K transcode, it's not a significant omission as I have already explained. The F2-221 is an excellent choice if you aren't looking for productivity-focused features but want to get great value. You can easily set up a Plex server by simply combining a few 4TB IronWolf hard disks with the NAS. 4K Plex streaming/1080p transcode

Excellent overall value

Two Gigabit Ethernet ports

Storage capacity up to 32TB

Decent software cons: No eSATA port

7. QNAP TS-451+ - Best Four-Bay Value

Source: QNAP

The TS-451+ from QNAP is a reliable, basic workhorse. The NAS comes with 2GB RAM, an HDMI port to connect it to your TV and remote control. Plex 4K streaming is handled flawlessly by the NAS. You also get hardware 1080p transcoding. The NAS has four USB 3.0 ports on the back and two Gigabit Ethernet port. There are also four storage bays that can hold 64TB. The NAS also comes with a good selection of software options, including virtual machine running and backing up media. You get excellent value for the price you pay. Unfortunately, the Synology software interface isn't as modern as it is with Synology. You only need a few 6TB IronWolf drives, or 8TB versions, to get started with Plex media servers. Pros: 4K Plex streaming/1080p Transcode

HDMI port allows you to connect to a television

Four USB 3.0 ports

Amazing value Cons: Software is not as polished and user-friendly as its competitors

Only limited RAM available in the box

Best value four-bay QNAP TS-451+ Plex server for value. The TS451+ is a great Plex server. It has an HDMI port and remote controller. Amazon: $486

$469 at B&H Photo

8. Synology DiskStation D1520+: The best for enthusiasts

Source: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central

If you are looking for a bigger NAS enclosure to house Plex, the DiskStation D1520+ is a great choice. The 5-bay NAS comes with 8GB RAM and can store up to 80TB natively. The two eSATA ports are a distinguishing feature. You can add up to ten drives through these ports. It is an attractive choice because of its extensibility and excellent Plex performance. The DS1520+ can transcode 4K content quickly and has four Gigabit ports. The NAS is also equipped with M.2 slots to allow SSD caching and Plex streaming. Pros: 4K Plex streaming/4K Transcode

Four Gigabit Ethernet ports

Two eSATA ports

Outstanding performance

Costly: M.2 slots to SSD caching

For enthusiasts, Synology NAS DiskStation DS1520+ An outstanding NAS, the DS1520+ is a mighty NAS. It can do 4K transcodes with ease and has four Gigabit ports. Amazon: $699

$700 at Newegg

$700 on B&H Photo

DiskStation DS220+ is the best NAS for Plex.

Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj/ Android Central