How we tested
| NAS drives
When we came to benchmarking each drive’s performance, we focussed mainly on their file transfer speeds. Each drive was connected to the network using the Ethernet cable supplied with the drive. The two diskless drives were tested using a pair of 3TB drives from Western Digital’s Red range, which are optimised for network use and are also found in the WD My Cloud and Netgear drives.
We benchmarked each drive’s transfer speeds using two separate folders, each containing around 20GB of data. The key difference was that the first folder contained just 17 large MP4 files, while the second contained over 40,000 smaller files. Each folder was copied to and from the drive separately on three occasions, and an average was then taken. We also tested basic read/write transfer rates using BlackMagic’s Disk Speed Test app.
In addition, we monitored each drive’s overall responsiveness when running apps like Plex Media Server to see if the drive’s processor and RAM counted elsewhere too. In this latter test, the Synology drive’s underpowered specs were particularly exposed, lagging a fair amount behind the others.
Transfer speeds vary by the quantity and size of files.