How we review

No two NAS enclosures are the same but how do we effectively test them to work out which is objectively better? Here at NAS Master, we not only analyze the design, features, and software support but also utilize some benchmark suites to run some tests.

We’ve been covering the technology sector for decades and have a wealth of knowledge and experience for our review process.

How we review a NAS (and everything else!)

First, we unbox the NAS and review the packaging to ensure no damage can occur to what’s contained within. There’s no enjoyment in receiving a damaged product, which is why it’s important for manufacturers to use high-quality (and adequate) padding. Then we check accessories and other documentation.

The design of a NAS (or other product) is entirely subjective, but we attempt to provide an objective view of the look of an enclosure, focusing on ports, slots, bays, cooling, and other features one would find on the outside of the chassis. We then open up the NAS to reveal everything inside. It’s always exciting to see how technology works!

Our trusty NAS drives are put to good use, by installing the provided NAS OS and running a series of storage tests. We not only run benchmarks but also use some carefully curated data for each test to ensure it’s the same environment and variables.

Doing all this provides us with hard numbers that can be used in reviews to compare each enclosure with the competition. Two popular benchmark utilities we use are Fio and Iometer. These are both open-source and can be run on your own NAS to check performance.

Our review scores

In order to best relay our thoughts to you without needing to read through the entire review, we use a scoring system. We award a product we review a score between one and five stars, one being the worst and five being the best.

1/5

We do not recommend you purchase this product. Period.

2/5

This product isn’t particularly great, but it’s certainly not the worst we’ve tested.

3/5

This product is about average compared to the competition. It has a few flaws that can be overlooked if we believe you can find use for it.

4/5

This product is highly recommended. It either offers great value or scored very well during our extensive testing.

5/5

The best of the best. We only award a score of 5 (and our best award badge) to products we’d use daily and recommend you buy above all else.

Our NAS Master awards

If we award a product with at least a four-star rating, we will also provide it with an award. Here at NAS Master, we use two awards, one for 4 or 4.5 scores and another for 5. Keep an eye out for these awards to spot the very best products we review.

NAS Master Editors' Choice Award

This is the big one. Five stars, baby! We only provide our editor’s choice award to the absolute best products that we have to spend considerable time in discovering a fault (if any exists).

NAS Master Recommended Award

If we give a product with a four or higher score, it’s a guarantee to receive this award. We can also provide this badge to full-score reviews if we’re not quite sure if it’s the best-in-class.