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Ten four-bay NAS boxes

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Synology DiskStation DS411j

RH Numbers

At the bottom of Synology’s 4-bay NAS lineup is the DS411j. Although it still runs the same great DiskStation Manager software, the hardware isn’t of the same calibre. A Marvell 1.2GHz 88F6281 CPU and 128MB of DDR2 will put you in the low 50MB/s region for both read and write operations.

Yet at less than £300, you get almost every RAID level under the sun and Synology Hybrid RAID. Unfortunately there’s no USB 3.0, but this model does support sound output to USB speakers over 2.0. So as a contender in the sub-£300 sector it falls into the 'great software but a bit slow' category.

Synology DiskStation DS411j 4-bay NAS drive

Reg Rating 70%
Price £269 (unpopulated)
More info Synology

Thecus N4800

RH Numbers
RH Recommended Medal

If it’s hardware features you want then look no further. Like the Synology DS412+, the N4800 features a dual-core 2.13GHz Intel Atom D2700 CPU with 2GB RAM, yet boasts every interface you could ever need along with HDMI, VGA and stereo audio outputs to connect straight up to your TV or monitor. It is also unique in being the only NAS box featured here to have a removable lithium ion battery backup – a mini UPS for those who live on the flakier parts of the grid.

Not only does Thecus include useful software to run on the N4800 such as Twonky Media Server, but it also throws in a copy of Acronis True Image to assist you with backing up your computers. While not the cheapest four-bay NAS on test here, you certainly do get your money's worth with the Thecus N4800.

Thecus N4800 4-bay NAS drive

Reg Rating 90%
Price £520 (unpopulated)
More info Thecus and Origin Storage

CrystalDiskMark Benchmark Results

Ten 4-bay NAS drives CrystalDiskMark sequential score

Data throughput in Mb/s – longer bars are better

Ten 4-bay NAS drives CrystalDiskMark random score

Data throughput in Mb/s – longer bars are better

Thanks to Seagate for its help in supplying the 3TB drives used for testing.

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