NAS HDD review: 18 models compared

Which NAS HDD should you get?


Tested models

After years of consolidation there are only four companies that manufacture hard drives, namely HGST, Seagate, Toshiba and Western Digital. Three of these companies also produce special drives for NAS-devices. HGST and Seagate both have one line of NAS-drives, while Western Digital has two.

HGST offers the Deskstar NAS, with a capacity between 3 and 6 TB and a rotation speed of 7200 rpm. There is a new revision of this, often referred to as ‘v2’ by web shops.

Seagate NAS HDD 4TB Seagate IronWolf 4TB
The Seagate NAS drives received a make-over: on the left is the old NAS HDD and on the right the IronWolf.

With older Seagate models you can also clearly see these are NAS-drives: they are called NAS HDD. The rotation speed of these drives is 5900 rpm (with the exception of the 8TB model, which is 7200 rpm) and they are available with a capacity between 1 and 8 TB. Some time ago however, Seagate decided to replace their entire line-up with new names and therefore NAS drives are called IronWolf. The IronWolf comes in two variants: the regular and the Pro, where the standard version is based on desktop drives and the Pro is based on server drives. The IronWolf is offered in capacities between 1 and 10 TB, while the IronWolf Pro has models ranging from 2 TB to 10 TB. Seagate offers a three year warranty for the regular drives and five for the Pro-models. In this test we tested both the current NAS-HDDs as well as the regular IronWolf-models.

Western Digital is the only manufacturer to currently have two lines with NAS hard drives, the Red and the Red Pro. The mainstream Red-line consists of 5400 rpm drives with a capacity between 1 and 8 TB. The Red Pro drives are meant for ‘prosumers’ and have a rotation speed of 7200 rpm. These are therefore supposed to be a lot faster, and the warranty is five years instead of three. Furthermore the company offers two 2.5 inch Red NAS-drives, with a capacity of 750 GB and 1 TB. However, these are more expensive and slower, meaning it is not very useful to use a 2.5 inch hard drive in a PC or NAS.

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