Best cheap NAS in 2023 – Smart Fone Video Blog

Access to extra storage is always a great idea, especially now that media files are getting larger, as smartphones and other devices can capture content in 4K and 8K resolution. An external hard drive might be the go-to option for most users, as you only need to connect a drive to your PC and access anything you need. Unfortunately, this choice stops being great when sharing your information with other users. This is where network-attached storage (NAS) comes in as your best option, as it is like having private cloud storage in your home or office, which also gives you the flexibility to increase your storage space. Yes, there are some rather expensive options on the market, but you don’t need to break the bank to get your own NAS, as we have found excellent options that will do the job for less.

The best budget-friendly NAS you can get in 2023

WD 4TB My Cloud EX2 Ultra NAS

Editor’s Choice

The best NAS on a budget

$300 $350 Save $50

WD’s 4TB My Cloud EX2 Ultra Network Attached Storage is an excellent option for those looking to get extra storage space on a budget, and it comes ready to be used out of the box with your preferred storage option.


  • Easy to setup
  • Excellent read speeds

  • Could have faster write speeds

The WD 4TB My Cloud EX2 Ultra Network Attached Storage is the best option on this list because it’s built with high-performance in mind. It will let you and other users stream, sync and share information as long as you’re sharing the same network. It will also deliver ultra-fast transfer speeds for smooth HD streaming, and sharing folders and files will be a matter of seconds thanks to its Marvel ARMADA 385 1.3 GHz dual-core processor. And one of my favorite features is that it offers enhanced data protection with WD SmartWare Pro, which will let PC users decide when and where their content is saved, while Mac users will have full access to Apple Time Machine to personalize their backups.

This NAS is perfect for creative professionals and prosumers. It comes with 1GB RAM and two bays, meaning that it has space for you to connect up to two drives, and since it comes preconfigured, you don’t need to do anything complicated to make it start working. You can also opt for other storage variants of Western Digital’s My Cloud EX2 Ultra NAS, but that will also make the price go higher.

Image shows a new QNAP TS-133-US 1 Bay NAS in white

QNAP TS-133-US 1 Bay NAS

Runner up

Affordable and stylish

The QNAP TS-133-US NAS comes as an excellent alternative for those who want to have full control of their storage space, as you will have to get your own NAS drive before using it.


  • Low power consumption
  • Very quiet

  • One bay means no RAID support

QNAP’s TS-133-US is a very affordable alternative for anyone, and it’s an excellent choice for those looking to replace their existing NAS. This version comes with an ARM Cortex-A55 Quad-core processor, 2GB DDR4 RAM, and 1 bay to connect your NAS drives. Yes, you can also opt for the 2-Bay model, but that also means that the price will go up.

The TS-133 1-bay entry-level NAS is perfect for personal use, as it will get you fast storage for your files, and entertainment, but it’s also an excellent tool designed to enhance and improve remote work productivity. Or you can also use it as home entertainment portal, as it will store all your photos, music, videos and more. It doesn’t matter if you own a Windows PC or a Mac, the TS-133-US will back up your files without an issue and remember that you will also be able to back UP NAS files to the cloud.

However, I must also warn you that a 1-Bay NAS may not be the best option if you’re planning on using it for a small business, as a single drive may fail, and you might lose your information. You have to understand that most NAS models arrive with at least two drive bays to mirror the data stored in one drive to the other drives via RAID to keep the system operating even if one of the drives fails. But then again, that also makes 2-Bay NAS options a bit more expensive.

Image of the BUFFALO LinkStation 210 1-Bay NAS

Buffalo LinkStation 210 2TB

Best Value

Affordable NAS with included storage

$130 $150 Save $20

The BUFFALO LinkStation 210 2TB 1-Bay NAS is one of the best options for your home network, as you only need to connect the NAS to your router to start saving and sharing your information with other users.


  • It comes with storage
  • Easy setup

BUFFALO’s LinkStation 210 2TB 1-Bay NAS is one of the most affordable options that will give you more for your money, as this network-attached storage comes with included storage that starts at 2TB. Indeed, you can opt for higher storage variants, but that would make you spend more. Still, it comes with up to 16TB of storage space. It will work perfectly for your home network as you will be able to share files from all connected devices, and you don’t need a PC to set it up. You only need to connect it to your router, and you’re good to go.

The BUFFALO LinkStation 210 2TB 1-Bay NAS is also compatible with your PC, Android devices, Macs, and iOS, and it comes with NovaBACKUP software to keep up to 5 devices connected. It’s also useful to access and stream your media to any of the connected computers or mobile devices, and you also get to control who gets access to your files, as you can set up folders for individual or family access. You can also opt to get a 2-bay alternative of the BUFFALO LinkStation 220 4TB if you’re interested in RAID support that will keep your information safe even if one of your NAS drives should fail.

AMBER X Smart Personal Cloud Storage Device

Amber X Smart Personal Cloud Storage

Best for SDDs

Easy to use private cloud

The AMBER X Smart Personal Cloud Storage Device is an exceptional option for anyone looking to back up their files, protect data from unwanted eyes, and it is effortless to use.


  • Easy to use and install
  • Simple file sharing

  • Can’t expand storage
  • Buggy mobile app

The AMBER X Smart Personal Cloud Storage Device will be extremely useful for those interested in purchasing a secure personal cloud they can access anytime and anywhere. As with other NAS, you can use the Amber X to keep all your important information in one place, as this secure hub will keep all your photos, videos, and files so you can access them anytime you want from your devices. It also works with Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android devices, and the best part is that you won’t have to pay any subscription fee for this service. Plus, your data is safe from and unattainable by anybody else.

Indeed, 512GB storage space may not be enough for most tech-loving users, so the AMBER X Smart Personal Cloud Storage Device will also let you add more storage space to your NAS with USB storage expansion. And finally, this is an excellent option for anyone who wants to have a NAS but doesn’t want to deal with the administration that is usually required with other systems. It just works out of the box, making it a very convenient option.

SSK 1TB Personal Cloud External Wireless Hard Drive Portable NAS

SSK 1TB Portable NAS External Wireless SSD

Best for Traveling

Take your NAS anywhere you go

$96 $136 Save $40

SSK 1TB Personal Cloud External Wireless Hard Drive Portable NAS is perfect for those who are interested in taking their information anywhere they go, as it even comes with WiFi Hotspot for you to share your data.


  • Can add more storage space on the go
  • Comes with a battery

  • Could be faster when transferring files
  • No battery percentage indicator
  • Mac OS backups only work on USB mode

The SSK 1TB Personal Cloud External Wireless Hard Drive Portable NAS is perfect if you know how to use it, as this portable media server will let you access all your devices with four different modes to take full advantage of any situation. It may not be as fast as other options on this selection, but it makes up for its portability, storage space, and affordability, even though it’s not as easy to use as other options on this list. That being said, you get a decent 3,800mAh Li-polymer battery to keep you connected as you go, a USB 3.0 port for data and charging, a USB A host port, and an RJ45 port to get your wired internet connection. It will also support up to ten devices connected simultaneously.

The SSK 1TB Personal Cloud External Wireless Hard Drive also comes with four interesting modes to help you connect, as you can connect wirelessly to your NAS in mode one, mode two, and three, offer wireless and wired connectivity through a router that will serve as a bridge between your devices and SSK’s Personal Cloud, and the last one will let you connect directly to your external drive via a wired connection. Unfortunately, this product is not perfect, and MacOS users will only be able to connect to it with cables, and you will need to keep an eye out for a flashing red light on your NAS, as there are no other indications that will let you know how much power is left on your device.

Image showing the Asustor Drivestor 2 AS1102T

Asustor Drivestor 2 AS1102T

Best for your home

More power to share

Asustor’s Drivestor 2 AS1102T is an exceptional option that won’t break the bank if you’re upgrading your NAS, and it gives you flexibility and better protection with two bays to connect your hard drives.


  • Easy to install
  • Solid performance at a reasonable price

  • Drives are not included
  • More RAM would’ve been great

The Asustor Drivestor 2 AS1102T is another great option for your home office or even personal use, but this option comes with added protection, and it is overall a more reliable storage system, as it comes with two bays for you to connect your NAS drives. It features 1GB DDR4 RAM and a potent Realtek RTD1296 Quad-Core 1.4 GHz CPU that will help you get you to browse through your files faster, and superfast 2.5-Gigabit Ethernet will make file transfers a breeze. The only reason this model isn’t our top pick is because it doesn’t come with pre-installed storage.

Asustor’s Drivestor 2 AS1102T NAS has tons of excellent features in its favor, including support for RAID, which will mirror your content across drives to keep all your data safe in case there’s any accident and one of your NAS drives fails. It’s one of the best options if you’re mostly interested in watching videos. It will always deliver great performance and smooth video playback, making it an excellent home multimedia center since you can install several multimedia servers to allow your NAS to stream content to all of your devices, including TVs, mobile devices, PCs, and more. Maybe the only negative points I can think of are that you can’t add more RAM to your Drivestor 2 AS1102T and that you will need to purchase your NAS drives, as these are not included with your purchase.

Image showing the WD 4TB My Cloud Home Personal Cloud in white

WD 4TB My Cloud Home Personal Cloud

Best for personal use

Stylish design

$190 $220 Save $30

The WD 4TB My Cloud Home Personal Cloud is a portable alternative for anyone looking for more storage space, and it’s extremely easy to use and install, making it an excellent choice for most.


  • Quick and simple setup
  • Auto backup for files on your phone

  • Wireless transfer speeds can get slow

WD’s 4TB My Cloud Home Personal Cloud comes with built-in storage, and it takes just moments to start working, making it an easy-to-use personal cloud storage that will help you keep all your important data safe. It is compatible with Mac and Windows PCs, as well as iOS and Android devices, which is perfect, especially considering that this product can back up the files on your phone automatically, and all you need is internet to remotely access your files and share them with the people you want. And the best part is that the My Cloud Home app will give you access to your content without paying extra or subscription fees.

The WD 4TB My Cloud Home Personal Cloud also comes in other storage configurations, starting with 2TB and going all the way up to 8TB, or you might even get up to 20TB if you go for the My Cloud Home Duo, but remember that going for extra storage will also make the price of this NAS to go up. It comes with an Ethernet cable, an AC adapter, and all the literature you need to get it started. Unfortunately, as with other 1-bay NAS alternatives, you won’t get RAID options, which means that you could lose your information if your disk gets damaged, but that’s also a risk you have to take if you are getting the most affordable NAS options around.

Image of the BUFFALO LinkStation SoHo 220 4TB 2-Bay NAS

BUFFALO LinkStation SoHo 220 4TB 2-Bay NAS

Best for small office

Extra security for your data

$278 $308 Save $30

The BUFFALO LinkStation SoHo 220 4TB 2-Bay NAS comes with preinstalled HDD hard drives to keep all your data safe, and it’s a better fit for a small office since it offers RAID support and more storage options if you need to keep more info safe.


  • Pre-configured RAID 1 drives
  • Easy installation and excellent performance

BUFFALO’s LinkStation SoHo 220 4TB 2-Bay NAS is perfect for anyone who needs to be sure that their data is safe and that they will have more than enough storage space to keep anything and everything they want. We decided to go for the 4TB variant in this selection because it normally sells for $310, but you can get yours for less with the latest discounts, and remember that we’re looking for the most affordable options you can get today. Indeed, other configurations will get you up to 12TB of storage, but that will make a bigger impact on your wallet.

Either way, the BUFFALO LinkStation SoHo 220 4TB 2-Bay NAS is a reliable and budget-friendly RAID-based storage solution that will be excellent for your home office. And the best part is that it doesn’t require complicated configurations, as it is ready to deliver dependable performance out of the box. You would also be getting one of the most secure options on the market, as it features a closed system that’s effective against hacking. And if that’s not enough to get you interested, you also receive a 3-year warranty that includes Bufalo’s Data Recovery Service in case anything goes wrong.

Final Thoughts: Which is the best cheap NAS for you?

We hope that this selection helps you make a better choice when looking for a new cheap NAS because it will be quite useful if this is your first experience with Network Attached Storage. Most of these options won’t make you spend more than $350, which is great for anyone who needs a new NAS on a budget. Our top pick, the WD 4TB My Cloud EX2 Ultra Network Attached Storage, is the perfect option for beginners, as it comes with more than enough storage space ready to work as soon as you take it out of the box.

Of course, you can also opt for a diskless option, and you can get one for less than $200, but then again, you can also go for the BUFFALO LinkStation 210 2TB 1-Bay NAS, which comes with decent storage space and a very aggressive price tag. If you’re more experienced and need more, I suggest you check out our selection for the best NAS in 2023, where you will find some excellent options with a heftier price tag. And while you’re at it, you can also check out some of the best Thunderbolt accessories you can get for your laptop today.

Image of the WD 4TB My Cloud EX2 Ultra Network Attached Storage in black

WD 4TB My Cloud EX2 Ultra NAS

Editor’s Choice

$300 $350 Save $50

The WD 4TB My Cloud EX2 Ultra NAS is our top pick because it’s affordable, easy to use, and it comes with built-in storage so you can get working and uploading your files as soon as you can.

** (Disclaimer: This video content is intended for educational and informational purposes only) **

By puertoblack2003