How to pick the right NAS for a Plex server: Black Friday 2019 – Deals & Buyer’s Guide

Plex needs a rugged server to get the most out of its service, but a good network-attached storage (NAS) solution is enough. People with know-how can make their own in the way they want. On the other hand, how do I simply buy a product, connect everything and use it? While there are solutions available from many companies, they are not a good solution for resource-intensive Plex. Good news? Black Friday is a great time to find the best deals on your NAS and related sales will start soon. Some brands in this article are more likely to offer discounts on Black Friday.

Plex recommends multiple NAS devices, including the following brands (find example products associated with each list):

What you need to be aware of before earning hard work is that the fewer forklifts you have for your NAS, the more likely your system will not be able to transcode and stream code effectively to other devices. It depends on the device where you want to enjoy the content. If you need the help of a server for playback on your tablet or phone and it’s not easy to handle intensive requests, the problem may not be solved.

What you need to transcode 4K media in Plex

So how can you ensure high performance for transcoding with Plex? Take a good look at the CPUs distributed by your company on the NAS devices you are considering. There is a fantastic NAS guide for Plex that will show you the performance of each supported NAS system. Do you support 720p, 1080p or 4K transcoding? You can easily check it using the following resources:

How to choose the best NAS for Plex

Flex media server


Source: Windows Central

Not all NAS models and processors run Plex the same. Cheaper NAS models with more powerful processors will lag behind more expensive NAS servers with more powerful internal features for 4K streaming and multiple connections at the same time.

How to choose the right NAS

Generally speaking, if you want to use an Intel-based NAS for optimal performance, but don’t have the extra money for a more expensive solution, we recommend using an advanced ARM processor. For storage and other features, you need to make sure that your NAS has everything you need and it depends on the situation.

4K transcoding is not possible with processors below the Intel Core i3 processor, especially when two or more Plex accounts are streaming media at the same time, which can make it difficult to handle larger files. To handle 4K transcoding, we recommend keeping your own NAS or storing thousands separately to fund your advanced pre-built NAS server.

Transcoding occurs when the NAS can’t stream video files to the device because it doesn’t support a format that can occur more often on smart TVs. The server then needs to transcode the movie into a format that the recipient device allows. So if the device that needs to watch 4K movies runs happily with the format you have stored on the NAS, it is golden. Only when you need transcoding that requires a powerful CPU.

NAS for Plex Recommendations

Here are some examples that can handle transcoding 1080p content to get you started on the right path. QNAP TVS-682 is slightly 4K capable.


Best Plex NAS



QNAP TVS-682

Great NAS for Plex.

It’s an expensive NAS, but it’s worth it if you need four bays, an Intel processor, and good software support.

This is a costly option, but it is worth the investment for users who are interested in setting up a NAS system that can handle a variety of applications without problems. There are many features that support 4K playback, 1080p transcoding and real-time editing.


It also has full support for VMware, Citrix, and Microsoft Hyper-V virtualization platforms, with four 10Gb Ethernet ports for faster speeds (supported by supported networks). When it comes to security, QNAP offers full security as well as antivirus.

Intel Core-i3 (3.7GHz dual-core) processor combines with 8GB RAM (upgradable to 32GB) and HDMI output via XBMC. Overall, the device is not only a Plex server, but also a killer NAS device with a total of eight bays (four 3.5-inch bays, two 2.5-inch bays, and two M.2 slots).

Great value



Synology DS218 +

Powerful and budget friendly

You need an Intel-based NAS when you need to stream some content to your device.

You don’t have to fork hundreds of bags for 4K-capable NAS. DS218 + is a reliable option with a stable dual-core Intel Celeron J3355 CPU, 2GB DDR3 RAM (supports up to 6GB) and Gb Ethernet connection. This processor can handle 1080p transcoding without problems, laying the foundation for a great home media server.

If you enjoy some content with regard to Plex, the DS218 + can handle up to 4K H.264 and can output it to a possible display, but only 1080p should be kept in mind for transcoding. It’s ok if you check if the receiver device supports the same format as 4K movies.

Budget-friendly



Synology DS218play

Small and great value.

This NAS has everything you need to get started in the market without spending too much time or money.

Powered by quad-core Realtek RTD1296 processors, Synology DS218play may be an inexpensive list for NAS solutions, but don’t let me think that an excellent price tag is not a competent device. We are talking about 4K Ultra HD video playback (30 frames per second) and H.265 (HEVC) support. This allows you to pump high quality content into the enclosed TV.

Setting up DS218Ppay separately is how easy it is to set up and configure. If you need to install Plex, copy a movie, and connect it to your Xbox One console and other home devices, it won’t take any time at all. It handles everything without having to throw music, videos or photos from your Synology device.

Don’t even think about 4K transcoding.

How to find Black Friday Best Deals On the NAS server

When buying a NAS for Plex, there are some important factors that we are already dealing with. Will it help me more to store files and media like photos and music? Or do you want a full-fledged 4K-capable media server? You can easily choose a server that is not powerful enough to handle your Plex usage plan.

This Black Friday is expected to sell popular brands such as Synology, TerraMaster, QNAP, and even less well-known NAS products. There are also routers that can handle Plex, so you can easily buy a unique device that meets your requirements more accurately. Attention should be paid to the hardware on which the Plex Media Server can be installed and run.

There is a dedicated trading team that offers the best Black Friday discounts on NAS products, so check out how Windows Central can save you money this month.

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