Best SSDs for NAS

Upgrade your storage hub to the power of FLASH

Mechanical hard disk drives (HDD) are typically used for mass storage, NAS enclosures included. They offer the widest range of capacities, the best value in terms of $ per GB, and decent performance. Solid-state drives (SSD) are the next step-up, more than doubling bandwidth (and price). An advantage of using SSDs inside a NAS is the lack of any moving parts, longer life span, and zero vibrations and noise emitted from each drive. Here are my favorite SSDs for use inside NAS.

Choosing the best SSD for NAS

Picking the right solid-state drive for your NAS largely comes down to how much data you have to store on the enclosure. SSDs designed for use inside NAS don’t have a vast choice of capacities to match NAS HDDs and often top out at 4TB. Desktop-class SSDs that are used inside PCs do support capacities of 8TB, but these aren’t certified for server usage and your mileage will vary depending on how much data will be written to the drive on a daily basis.

I’d recommend the Seagate IronWolf or Western Digital Red series of SSDs for NAS though these do cost a premium when compared against desktop-class SSDs from the same brands, Samsung, TeamGroup, among others. If you want the cheapest drive configuration, it’s possible to pick up smaller SSDs for as little as $30. TeamGroup does have a whopping 16TB 2.5-inch SSD available for just shy of $2,000 for maximum NAS capacity.

Intel’s Optane range of solid-state drives is great for caching data and other difficult scenarios. The performance of a NAS can be improved through the upgrading (and expansion) of system memory, but should that not be possible and M.2 slots are available, SSDs can be used for data caching. Kitting out your NAS with SSDs will not be a cheap endeavor, but my roundup of drives will ensure you’re buying the very best.