Best NAS for Mac

Best NAS for Mac in 2024: Network Storage for Apple Devices

Back up your Mac with these top network storage solutions.

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Apple’s insistence on a closed system means that it can be hard to supplement your home or office device with additional storage; which is why many turn to using network-attached storage, or NAS, as an alternative. For Apple users, the best NAS for Mac means that the arbitrary storage limits of their device can be circumvented without taking up the valuable limited cable sockets on your Mac. Though they can be complex to set up, they are well worth the effort to supersize your storage capacity across not just your singular Mac, but any device on your network.

To help you get started, we’ve broken down the best Mac-compatible NAS units on the market, to help you get the most out of your devices. Whether you need a simple backup for large-scale family files or want to upscale your business without changing out your Mac hardware, these NAS units are sure to satisfy.

Are NAS Units Compatible with Macs?

Though Apple’s closed-system can make it difficult to modify the hardware, most NAS software is designed with Mac compatibility in mind. Synology NAS software, in particular, is favored for its high Mac compatibility; but other platforms such as TrueNAS or UnRAID work with NAS platforms. Apple’s own Time Machine software, that helps back up and store data, is compatible with most NAS units – though it’s worth checking to ensure your choice of drive is optimal for Apple.

Best NAS for Mac: Synology DS923+

Synology DS923+

Synology DS923+

Bays

4

HDD Form Factor

3.5″

RAID Compatibility

Yes

Pros
  • Fast
  • Upgradeable
Cons
  • Complex setup

First on our list is the tremendous Synology DS923+, a top 4-bay NAS from Synology. Reliable and upgradeable, this is easily one of the best NAS units on the market – with Mac compatibility being just one of it’s many top features.

One of our favorite elements of Synology units is the ability to upscale them with additional hard drives beyond the base number of bays – which in the case of the DS923+ is 4. The unit also comes with 4GB of DDR4 RAM (which can also be upgraded), meaning that processes are executed quickly – ideal for fast and simultaneous usage across larger-scale offices or multi-device households. The DS923+ works well with Apple devices and programs such as Time Machine, making it an ideal Apple NAS.

It takes a while to get there, however: Synology NAS units are often cumbersome to set up – particularly if you opt to use a different software than the native Synology operating system. It’s a small issue, however, and we’re still happy to name the DS923+ the best NAS for Mac.

Best Budget NAS for Mac: Buffalo LinkStation 220

Buffalo LinkStation 220

Buffalo LinkStation 220

Bays

2

HDD Form Factor

N/A

RAID Compatibility

Yes

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Pre-installed HDDs
Cons
  • Limited storage capacity

If you opt for Macs for their accessibility and ease of use, and want a similar experience with your NAS, consider the Buffalo LinkStation 220: an affordable pre-built NAS. Retailing under $200, this 2-bay NAS is ideal for homes needing to expand their storage without expense.

With the hard drives pre-installed, this NAS is practically plug-and-play. Alongside compatibility with Time Machine, the LinkStation 220 also comes with RAID 0 and RAID 1 protocols pre-configured for additional data-saving. Choose from an array of storage sizes, from 2TB to 12TB, and the fast processing speeds mean you can stream content directly from the NAS to your various devices for quick access. Ideal for households, we’re happy recommending this as a great budget NAS for Mac users.

One thing that may limit the feasibility of this affordable NAS is the hard drive size: given that the drives are pre-installed with no option to upscale, 12TB is the storage ceiling for this unit. That’s still plenty of space for most household needs, though, so the LinkStation 220 is well worth it’s low cost.

Best Large NAS for Mac: Terramaster T12-450

Terramaster T12-450

TERRAMASTER T12-450

Bays

12

HDD Form Factor

3.5″, 2.5″

RAID Compatibility

Yes

Pros
  • Huge HDD capacity
  • Speedy processing
Cons
  • Poor native software

For businesses using Apple devices as their primary form of computing, the Terramaster T12-450 will provide all the storage you’ll ever need. Boasting 12 hard drive bays, you have scope for a gigantic network storage solution.

Not only featuring drive capacity for over 200TB of data, the T12-450 also comes with 8GB of DDR4 RAM natively, and a quad-core processor to ensure fast simultaneous speeds. With great Mac and iPhone compatibility, backing up your files has never been easier. Especially if you work in fields that require fast read-write speeds, such as video editing or design businesses, you’ll find that the T12-450 can keep up with all your needs.

You may have to do some manual adjusting to get there, though. Though Apple compatibility is high, the operating software is far less intuitive than the likes of UnRAID or TrueNAS – so it may be worth swapping it out. But for an unrivaled medley size and speed, the T12-450 is still a top NAS for Mac.

Best Mid-Range NAS for Mac: Synology DS1823xs+

Synology DS1823xs+

Synology DS1823xs+

Bays

8

HDD Form Factor

3.5″, 2.5″

RAID Compatibility

Yes

Pros
  • 8 HDD bays
  • Fast RAM
Cons
  • Loud operation

It feels unfair calling the Synology DS1823xs+ a “mid-range” NAS for Mac, given that it topped our list of Synology NAS units. But with a median of large storage, fast speeds, and reasonable pricing; we think it sits comfortably between the other selections on today’s list.

The storage ceiling of the DS1823xs+ is a whopping 144TB, making it a highly capable 8-bay NAS. What’s more, the NAS comes pre-installed with 8GB of DDR4 RAM for responsive processing, but can be upgraded up to 32GB for intensive processes. As mentioned, Synology love to give you the option to upgrade, and this unit is no exception: allowing you to build on this unit with additional drives and RAM slots. With compatibility for RAID and Time Machine protocols, this is a great NAS for Mac.

But why isn’t the DS1823xs+ the best NAS for Mac, then? One fatal flaw in this unit’s design is the fan noise. When in constant use, this unit needs to operate loudly to operate cooly. If you can contend with the sound pollution, then we heartily recommend the DS1823xs+.

Best Fast NAS for Mac: Terramaster F4-424

Terramaster F4-424

Bays

4

HDD Form Factor

3.5″, 2.5″

RAID Compatibility

Yes

Pros
  • Huge RAM capacity
  • Secure HDD installation
Cons
  • Lower storage threshold

If speed is more important than size, then you should invest in Terramaster’s F4-424. With 32GB of RAM in the base model, you’re guaranteed responsive reading and writing no matter the complexity of the programs you run.

This base RAM means that the F4-424 has a 150% performance increase over other Terramaster NAS units. Alongside memory, the 8-core CPU garners highly boosted processing speeds. The 4 HDD bays have a satisfying push-shut design that makes them great for securely installing new drives, and the NAS can be configured for a range of different use cases such as Plex servers or complex email systems. For blisteringly fast speeds, the F4-424 is well worth the cost.

That said, it is a tradeoff between speed and storage: the F4-424’s storage capacity is capped at 88TB. Compared to the 108TB of the DS923+, the other 4-bay NAS for Mac, this is an unimpressive metric. We think it’s a fair trade, however, and happily recommend this fast NAS for Mac users.

FAQs

Can you use NAS with Apple Time Machine?

Yes: depending on your model and NAS operating system, it can be challenging to enable Time Machine backups to NAS. But once you do, data recovery can be made even easier from your Mac, MacBook or iPhone.

Do I need software for NAS?

Most NAS comes with a form of software to get you started setting up the device, but if you want to create a custom NAS server for a certain purpose, you may want to consider investing in a specialist program such as UnRAID.

In Summary

That wraps up our rankings of the best NAS for Mac on the market in 2024. Regardless of your needs or use cases, we hope you found the perfect network storage solution for your household or business.

Now all you need is a hard drive to use with it: we have guides on the best hard drives – from as little as 4TB up to as large as 16TB.

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