5 Best NAS For Time Machine in 2021

If you’re looking for the best NAS for Time Machine, you have come to the right place. With many options available, it’s easy to get confused about which one is the right fit.

Backups are important to your data security, and continuously backing up your files will make it easier for you to focus on other things without the fear of losing your files.

To use Time Machine, users have to be on Macs. When getting the NAS, you need to ensure that it is compatible with Time Machine and has the features you need.

List of Best NAS For Time Machine in 2021

The following NAS are popular and compatible NAS for Apple Time Machine.

  1. WD My Cloud EX2 Ultra – Simple file sharing, automatic syncing
  2. TerraMaster F2-210 – Small and compact with good performance
  3. TerraMaster F4-210 – Up to 64TB storage capacity
  4. WD My Cloud EX4100 – 4 Drive bays, up to 24TB
  5. WD My Cloud Pro PR2100 – Pentium processor with 4GB RAM

1. WD My Cloud EX2 Ultra – Simple file sharing, automatic syncing

The My Cloud EX2 Ultra is a versatile unit with two drive bays. It is built to accommodate HDDs and SSDs and can easily fit the 3.5-inch form factor hard drives.

The best part about this is it comes preloaded with the drives. So, all users will need to do is to connect it to the internet and switch it on.

The NAS is equipped with a dual-core processor as well as 1GB of DDR3 RAM. This aims to improve performance, and the specs are especially good for basic workloads and backups. For this reason, this is the best NAS for Time Machine.

Other than that, this device provides centralized access to data for users. Not only can you access your files via supported browsers, but some companion apps will let you access your files via your phone or tablet.

Via the UI, users can undertake file transfers simply by making use of the available apps. Furthermore, the device allows file synching. This can be set up to automatically back up files on not only your computers but also your phone.

2. TerraMaster F2-210 – Small and compact with good performance

This device has two drive bays and can accommodate the two drives, each with a capacity of 16TB, bringing the maximum supported capacity to 32TB. This is the best NAS for Time Machine because it has adequate space to store entire system backups including files.

Being a dual-drive system, there are better chances for file protection. The F2-210 has support for various RAID configurations including JBOD which makes data management and protection a more effective venture.

The device is very small and compact so it can fit on your desk, right next to your Mac. It also has a very straightforward setup process making it a great choice even for users who are new to using NAS systems.

It has a CPU that’s clocked at 1.4GHz coupled with a Gigabyte of RAM which adds up to a good overall performance. Unfortunately, the RAM is not upgradable, but other than that, it is a good device for most users.

For users looking for faster reads and writes, the device can be equipped with 2.5-inch SSDs, but at a higher cost with the potential of having lower storage capacities.

3. TerraMaster F4-210 – Up to 64TB storage capacity

This 4-bay unit is in many ways similar to the F2-210 from TerraMaster. They each have 1GB of RAM and a 1.4GHz CPU which add up to a good performance.

With four drive bays, this unit has a larger supported storage size of 64TB. This is, therefore, the best NAS for Time Machine for users who have numerous files to back up. Especially for users with tons of media files since those take up a lot of space.

You get fast read and write speeds of up to 114MB/s which will facilitate faster file backups with Time Machine. This can further be improved by installing an SSD in place of HDDs. This will give better performance.

At the back, there’s a Gigabit Lan port for fast networking. You also get two fans to keep the unit cool during long operations, and the USB ports at the back can also be used for direct data transfers from external storage devices.

Furthermore, there is support for hardware encryption. This securely stores your files such that unauthorized access to your Time Machine Backups will be prevented.

4. WD My Cloud EX4100 – 4 Drive bays, up to 24TB

This unit is designed and aimed at experts. It offers good performance with a dual-core Marvel processor and 2GB of DDR3 RAM. This makes it easy to multitask and convenient to use as a central file storage device.

With four drive bays, you can have a lot of storage capacities. You can configure this yourself if you choose to get it diskless. However, if you need it to ship with pre-installed hard drives. You have options of up to 24TB.

The drive bays are large enough for 3.5-inch drives, and with smaller form factors, you would need an adapter.

There are two ethernet ports at the back for fast networking, and you also get two USB 3 ports for rapid data transfers.

What makes this the best NAS for Time Machine is that it comes with support for the technology out of the box. This is made possible by the integrated backup software.

Other than that, it is DLNA compliant, making it great for media streaming and also features support for iTunes.

5. WD My Cloud Pro PR2100 – Pentium processor with 4GB RAM

This is the best NAS for Time Machine for users who want a balance of ease and versatility. What makes it easy to use is its intuitive user interface that’s built on top of My Cloud OS 3.

It also has password protection and data encryption, both of which keep your files safe from malicious access, hence securing your Time Machine backup in the process.

You can get it with pre-installed disks, or settle for a diskless option. This will let you install the particular brand and capacity of the drive you need.

This two-bay drive can be configured with RAID 1 for data redundancy. All the data on one drive will be copied onto the second one, and if one drive fails, you will retain all your files. The only drawback is you get reduced disk space.

Inside Is an Intel Pentium processor and 4GB of RAM which help in running the system as well as the installed applications. The CPU can run at speeds of up to 2.56GHz.


Guide to Choosing the Right NAS for Time Machine

NAS (Network-Attached Storage) systems are like cloud providers in a way. They are networked computers that give users access to large amounts of storage.

Being networked means you can access them from virtually anywhere as long as you have an internet connection.

However, unlike cloud providers, you own and control the hardware. The storage space is completely yours and you get to store whatever you want, including Time Machine backups with ease.

Time Machine

This is a backup software for Apple computers. Once turned on, it automatically creates backups of various files on your computer and saves them onto external hard drives.

It is easy to use, and with a NAS, it’s even more effective. If you lose your files when traveling, all you’ll need to do is log into your NAS and restore the Time Machine backup from there. What’s more, the software is easy to set up and use and can back up your entire system.


Security is essential for backups. Some NAS have hardware encryption, meaning that the encryption is done by the NAS and not the computer it’s connected to.

With hardware encryption, a processor on the board is used for the authentication.

Also, having password protection is ideal for a shared NAS. However, this is software encryption, and while it is effective, it’s less robust than hardware encryption.

Nevertheless, being able to store files on a secured folder will give you peace of mind that your backups are safe.

Securing your Time Machine backups from unauthorized access is one thing. You also need to safeguard the data from catastrophic losses in the event of a disk failure.

If you have several drives, you can implement a RAID configuration.

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Storage space

Best NAS For Time Machine
One of the primary factors in choosing the right NAS is to gauge your storage needs.

There’s no right amount of storage space, it depends on a given user’s needs and how much they can spend.

It is advisable to get the amount of storage you will need, and in the future, you can upgrade it. Storage upgrades are even easier on NAS systems that have multiple drive bays and support hot-swapping.  This is the installation of hard drives while the system is still on.

File Transfer Speeds

Slow backups can be frustrating. Having a NAS with fast network speeds will be beneficial, even more so if the device has a set of high-performance NAS-grade hard drives. NAS-grade drives are built for reliability even on long operations.

Final Words

Not on all NAS are properly compatible with Apple Time Machine. While all NAS devices have the capability to work with Apple Time Machine in way or another, some are factory made to work with this service.

In this article we looked at the best NAS for Time Machine. We only looked at NAS drives that come with ready support for this service and also have a fair value with popular reviews.

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