Top 10 Best Storage Arrays in 2020

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What is a storage array? It is a device or computer containing multiple hard drives that store large amounts of data (data mining), in Terabytes. Enterprises generally use them to store customer data, which assists them in keeping track of the progress of their businesses. The information can also be used to study the future of the company.

This type of information, therefore, requires a large amount of space. Storage arrays are protected with security measures so that in the event of a hard drive failure, the data will not be lost. These devices are built to secure and keep information for when it needs to be accessed.

When looking at storage arrays, there are a few items you want to consider before making the final purchase:

  • Storage Capacity: Depending on if you are backing up personal information, or if your array will serve as full-fledged business storage, you may or may not need huge storage capacity. With hard drives ranging from 2TB to 64TB, there are plenty of options, both for consumer and corporate levels.
  • Speed: Especially when it comes to large files, it is worth considering the amount of time that will be spent backing up. Look into an array with a good hard drive transfer rate.
  • Connectivity: Different storage arrays offer different connections to backup your information. From USB to Thunderbolt, to wireless communication, make sure you find an array that will connect in a preferred method and that will be compatible with your devices.
  • Ease of use: While many individuals might prefer a device that has a more difficult configuration, but additional perks, some may seek an array that’s going to be more user-friendly and sync with little setup.
  • Size: Lastly, the size of the storage array itself may need to be taken into consideration. If mobility is a requirement, smaller, more portable devices should be evaluated. If having a sedentary array is a non-issue, you may be able to go for the larger devices.

Best Storage Arrays in 2020

Here the top 10 best storage arrays for 2018 and their reviews based on Amazon’s website.

Last update on 2020-07-26 / Affiliate links / Price / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

10. NETGEAR ReadyNAS RN424 4 Bay Diskless High-Performance NAS

  Check price on Amazon

NETGEAR ReadyNAS RN424 is an easy to manage network-attached storage solution with plenty of features that are both office and home use friendly. The storage solution comes with 8 drive bays and supports up to 40 users. Using a simple web interface, file sharing can be configured, it can be used for streaming, as a recovery solution or even for virtualization. The software used can work with Amazon, Google Drive, and Dropbox to backup essential files and it supports RAID configurations.

Features:

  • Supports RAID configurations and cloud backup
    Easy management via the web interface or mobile app
    Supports up to 40 users
    File streaming features and virtualization support.

Reasons to buy:

  • The storage array allows for many backup options. It can function as a backup solution on its own but it can be configured to use cloud storage services as an additional backup method.
  • The administration is fairly simple. The model comes with a web-based administration page and a dedicated mobile app to manage all the features of the unit.
  • Some additional yet useful features are the streaming option and the possibility to use it as storage for virtualization applications.

9. LaCie 2big Dock RAID

  Check price on Amazon

LaCie 2big dock RAID storage solution was designed to be compact and suitable for regular home use. It comes with 8 TB of storage space capacity. The unit comes with SD and CF card slots and works as a USB hub for charging devices and data transfers. Faster data transfers can be done by connecting the unit directly to a computer using a USB 3.1 cable. The configuration is done through a step-by-step wizard and supports RAID 0/1. The dock also supports hot-swapping but only with enterprise-class drives.

Features:

  • 8 TB storage capacity with transfer speeds of up to 440 MB/s
  • SD/CF card slots
  • Works as a USB hub
  • Hot-swappable with enterprise-class drives

Reasons to buy:

  • The large storage capacity makes it a great little storage solution for home use. It would complement a laptop or desktop and with the high transfer speeds, making regular backups becomes a trivial routine.
  • The dock offers plenty of different methods to store files on the 8 TB drive. It can transfer data from memory cards or directly from other storage devices by connecting them to the USB port.
  • Being able to replace the drives on the fly without having to turn everything off is a major plus. Even if it is designed to work with enterprise-class drives, it is still a nice feature to have.

8. QNAP TR-002 2 Bay Hard Drive Enclosure Direct Attached Storage (DAS)

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The QNAP TR-002 storage solution offers great value for money. It is a simple device that can hold up to 2 SATA drives in RAID configuration. The model supports USB Type-C to get the best possible transfer speeds. To make management easier, the storage solution comes with a web interface that allows it to be fully configured, offering a wide range of options. For security reasons, the manufacturers included keys and locks for the drive bays and added a USB Type-C to USB 3.0 cable with the DAS.

Features:

  • Supports up to 2 SATA drives
  • Allows for fast transfers over USB 3.0 and 3.1
  • Simple web interface for management
  • Lockable drive bays

Reasons to buy:

  • The QNAP storage solution is quite inexpensive and features rich. The lower price tag is explained by the fact that it comes without SATA drives. Those will need to be purchased separately by the user.
  • The RAID configurations and USB 3.1 transfer rates make it a viable solution for frequent backup jobs and large file transfers. It can also be used as a source for streaming applications.
  • The web-based management interface makes it easy to control every aspect of the storage solution. It makes it possible to set the DAS without having advanced knowledge about RAID arrays or user access controls.

7. WD 4TB My Cloud Pro Series PR2100

  Check price on Amazon

WD 4TB My Cloud Pro NAS is the ideal solution for regular home users. It comes in the form of a small unit containing 2 2 TB drives, configured run in a RAID 1 array. To run the entire storage array, an Intel CPU has been used, paired with 4 GB of RAM. The NAS decent transfer rates over USB and supports a wide range of configurations. It comes with 2 USB 2.0 ports and 2 USB 3.0 ports. Because it has a built-in processor, the unit can be used as a hardware transcoder for streaming or it can be used for regular backups.

Features:

  • Built-in hardware transcoding for media streaming
  • Advanced security features
  • 2 USB 2.0 ports and 2 USB 3.0 ports
  • Includes 2 X 2 TB drives

Reasons to buy:

  • The main reason to get the Western Digital NAS is the hardware it comes with. Having a dedicated hardware transcoder for streaming makes it an ideal solution for a modern home entertainment system.
  • The 2 hard drives it comes with should be enough to get started with. Because it includes the storage drives, the NAS is ready for use straight out of the box.
  • The security features provide advanced controls over who has access to the files and how the storage is being used. Everything can be controlled and monitored using the dedicated My Cloud OS 3 management interface.

6. Synology 8 Bay NAS Diskstation

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Synology NAS Disktation comes in the form of a drive bay with advanced management features. It can hold up to 8 individual drives. The model comes with 4 GB of DDR4 memory that can be expanded to 32 GB. It comes with 4 LAN ports and supports high-speed data transfer rates. It can also be expanded to up to 18 drives and can have a 10 GB Ethernet card add-on installed. The software used supports advanced file syncing, backup solutions and virtualization.

Features:

  • Advanced file sync software
  • Up to 8 drives
  • 4 gigabit LAN ports
  • Supports all major virtualization technologies

Reasons to buy:

  • The advanced file sync features make the Synology storage solution extremely useful when working with sensitive files or files that are being shared amongst multiple users.
  • Having support for all virtualization technologies opens up the Synology NAS for wider applications than just simple storage. It works with VMware, Citrix, Microsoft Hyper-V, and DiskStation
  • The management application covers every single aspect of the storage solution. It makes it possible to make advanced configurations without having expert-level knowledge.

5. WD 6TB My Cloud Home Personal Cloud Storage

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Western Digital 6 TB My Cloud storage solution boasts with practicality and user-friendly features. It has a compact form factor with network connectivity and USB 3.0 support. The management features, security, and user-friendliness are probably what makes it so popular. My Cloud software can be configured to make automatic backups and file syncs. Sadly, most of its app features and management software requires a permanent internet connection to work.

Features:

  • Large 6 TB capacity
  • User-friendly mobile app
  • Network connectivity support
  • Backup and file sync for multiple devices

Reasons to buy:

  • Ease of use is the biggest selling advantage of Western Digital storage solutions. It is of no use to have a large storage capacity without having a reliable administration and management app.
  • Being designed as a NAS solution for home use, it makes it easy to share the storage space amongst multiple devices. It can be set up to make backups and file sync jobs across all your laptops, tablets, smartphones and computers.
  • Transfer speeds are important when it comes to large backup jobs. The WD My Cloud supports high transfer rates over USB 3.0 but it can also make use of the higher speeds offered by a gigabit LAN connection.

4. WD 8TB My Cloud EX2 Ultra Network Attached Storage

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The Western Digital 8TB My Cloud EX2 is the latest model from the My Cloud lineup. It has a large 8TB capacity and powerful hardware. The unit has a 1.3 GHz dual-core CPU and 1 GB of RAM to function as a hardware transcoder for media streaming. It also includes Arcus Surveillance Software allowing it to work as a storage unit for multiple surveillance cameras. Data stored on the unit can be encrypted while the drives can have various RAID configurations. Western Digital included multiple tools to set up automatic backups and file syncs across all connected devices.

Features:

  • High performance 1.3 GHz CPU
  • Supports file encryption and password protection
  • Arcus Surveillance Software included
  • Supports RAID configurations

Reasons to buy:

  • Data security is important which is why Western Digital included multiple means of protecting files. The device supports file encryption and password protection. Everything is managed using the mobile app or the web interface.
  • Having a powerful CPU and RAM makes it possible to use the NAS or part of it as a streaming device. The hardware can work as a transcoder and it supports multiple streaming software platforms.

3. Sabrent USB 3.2 2-Bay 3.5″ SATA Hard Drive Tray-Less Docking Station

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Sabrent 2 bay storage array offers excellent value for money. It is a compact dock that can hold up to 2 standard SATA drives or SSD drives. Even if it comes without any storage, it can be converted into a genuine storage solution. The unit supports transfer rates of up to 5 Gbps over USB 3.0 but it is also backward compatible. Its maximum supported capacity is 10 TB. The docking station can clone drives and works on both Windows and Mac systems.

Features:

  • Simple drive cloning function
  • Supports up to 10 TB
  • Transfer rates of up to 5 Gbps over USB 3.0
  • Works with 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch drives

Reasons to buy:

  • The most important reason why the Sabrent hard drive docking station makes sense is the low price tag. It can be used to convert old and unused hard drives into a functional storage solution.
  • The cloning feature makes it possible to copy an entire drive onto another with the push of a button. No software is required to operate. All it takes is to insert the drives and hit the clone button.
  • The transfer rates are excellent over USB 3.0 but they are conditioned by the hard drives that are used. With SSD drives, it will be quite fast, making it viable as a storage an backup solution.

2. Synology 2 bay NAS DiskStation DS218+

  Check price on Amazon

Synology 2 bay NAS DiskStation offers great value for money. For such an inexpensive NAS, it comes with everything needed for regular home use. It does not include hard drives but it offers plenty of useful features. The model uses a powerful CPU and 2 GB of DDR3 memory, allowing it to work as a hardware transcoder. It includes a software suite that allows the two drives to be configured in a RAID array or set up backup jobs. Additionally, it includes licenses for two surveillance cameras, allowing it to be integrated into a surveillance system.

Features:

  • Powerful CPU and 2 GB of internal memory
  • Can be used as a hardware transcoder for media streaming
  • Advanced file encryption
  • Up to 112 read/write speed of encrypted files

Reasons to buy:

  • The powerful file encryption feature and the hardware are a must when working with sensitive information. Having a powerful CPU helps the unit handle files faster than most similar systems
  • If the NAS is to be configured for streaming, the hardware can be used to serve as a transcoder. This helps reduce costs associated with a streaming solution and it improves reliability.
  • Read and write speeds for encrypted sequential throughput are well above average. The speeds are even higher for non-encrypted files. Transfer rates are similar over USB and LAN, offering consistent overall performance.

1. WD 12TB My Book Duo Desktop RAID

  Check price on Amazon

The Western Digital 12TB My Book Duo is the ultimate storage solution for both home users and professionals. It comes as a large unit with 3 internal drives of 4 TB each. The drives are configured in RAID-0 as default but can have other configurations as well. Connectivity is ensured with the aid of the LAN port and the 2 USB 3.0 ports. File security is achieved using 256-bit hardware encryption and password protection. Administration and management are done using the dedicated My Book application or via the web interface.

Features:

  • 12TB total capacity
  • USB 3.1 support, 2x USB 3.0 hub ports
  • LAN connectivity support
  • 256-bit AES hardware encryption

Reasons to buy:

  • Having 256-bit AES hardware encryption ensures that files are protected from unauthorized access. Even if someone gains physical access to the drives, without the decryption key or the password, files cannot be retrieved.
  • Being a NAS unit, it can be connected to a network and can be shared as a resource with all the devices in the network. The unit can make backups and sync files across multiple devices in just a few steps.
  • The management software made by Western Digital for the My Book series is superior due to its simplicity and features. Everything can be managed using a simple interface without having to be a storage expert.

Buying tips:

  • Capacity. The capacity of a storage array can vary a bit and it influences the price of the unit. Storage space can be expensive. A budget solution would be to get a storage solution that does not include the drives and then purchase them separately.
  • Security. Security features can be expensive. Efficient file encryption requires powerful hardware and this comes only with premium storage arrays. If file security is not an issue for you, you might want to check more affordable storage devices.
  • Expandability. Not all storage arrays can have their capacity expanded. Some of them have a fixed capacity and are not user-serviceable. Others may come in the form of docking units that can have the hard drives swapped by the user. If you know what your storage needs are, you may want to look at some NAS units that already have internal drives.

 

Conclusion

Terms and devices of technology can be intimidating for those who are unfamiliar with that field. However, this list provides consumers an easier way to find the best storage array device that fits their needs for either the home or business. Depending on speed, storage capacity or performance, there is an external hard drive device that will work for you.

 

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