Zero1 Awards 2017 – Storage – 4-Bay NAS

December 13, 2017 — by Digit0


The storage industry is in an odd position. On one end, there are streaming services opening up to the Indian market and with better internet penetration, the need for more storage has sort of dwindled. However, the advent of better smartphone has unleashed a lot of user generated content in the form of personal photos and videos. And they all need a place to go, which is why we’re seeing NAS devices slowly gaining more traction. Let’s take a look at some of the best devices of 2017.

Zero1 2017 Winner : Synology DS918+

Synology DS918+

A better CPU, more RAM, two M.2 slots are what makes the DS918+ stand out from the other units we’ve received. Performance-wise, the DS918+ has an older SoC but it’s a 4C4T as compared to the others which are all 2C2T. Having more physical cores has always been better and that’s certainly reflected in our benchmarks as well. When you talk about Synology, you need to take into account their OS, DSM, as well. In this case, DSM has really come a long way since we last held our comparison test a year back. The UI seems more intuitive for a layman who’s brought their first NAS. There’s one significant downside to the DS918+ and that’s the lack of an HDMI port which would have allowed direct connection to a TV. However, most TVs these days come with network capabilities, so we can understand this change in direction.

The Synology DS918+ brings a lot of features to the table and gives you the option of picking Btrfs which is sort of the newest kid on the block when it comes to file systems for enhanced data protection. The M.2 slots on the bottom are a great addition which really pushes the boundaries of performance. So you can see why it won the Zero1 Award for 2017.

Runner-up : NETGEAR ReadyNAS 424

The NETGEAR ReadyNAS 424 is part of the new lineup powered by Intel’s ULP Denverton SoCs. The ReadyNAS 424, in particular, has the Atom C3338 (2 cores, 2 threads) for all the heavy lifting. The Denverton SoCs offer upwards of 70% improvement in certain benchmarks compared to the previous gen so we’re going to see more consistent performance with greater number of simultaneously connected users. The ReadyNAS 424 is built really well, there’s a 92 mm fan which managed to keep the unit running at 36 degrees celsius event while we were streaming 4 different movies off it. The front panel has a very clean look and the USB 3.0 port is located inside the front panel shielding it from dust. The bay doors don’t have a turn-key lock which is still fine since you’re not going to be swapping drives so frequently. Performance wise, we’re looking at file copy speeds of about 106 MBps which is practically as high as can be on a GbE network. As for trace based tests such as the NASPT content creation test, we managed to get 11.3 MBps. Transferring data via USB 3.0 was equally impressive as well with peak FAT write speeds hovering around 88 MBps. Overall, the ReadyNAS 424 is a pretty great NAS aimed at the SOHO market.