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How to choose your best headset

A headset buying guide



You may recognize headsets as audio and equipment for business and entertaining purposes. Especially in a workplace, a headset can boost your productivity and creativity. Additionally, the new noise canceling and wireless technologies enable headsets to create a private environment even in mass. 

But in a market with various products, you could be overwhelmed to make the right decision on your headset. Follow the guide and you will know exactly what you need.

For your best communication - When do you need a headset? 

If you find headsets are your first pick over headphones and earbuds, then you still have millions of options on headsets. The next question is: what do you use your headsets for? 

Headsets are suitable for most scenarios in your work, leisure, and workout times. A good-performing headset helps your success in the workplace as the ultimate tool. 

  • Headsets provide you with intimacy.

Imagine you need to answer an important business call in a noisy background without headsets. Imagine you have an urgent meeting in a quiet place and you don’t want other people listening to your next year's business plan which can help you earn billions of money. Even if you want to watch Tik-Tok on trams, headsets avoid disturbing others. 

  • Headsets provide you freedom at work.

Annoyance without headsets can happen in the workplace. Imagine you are listening to what are people on the phone talking and you need to write down their contact details, but you find your hands are holding the phone. With a headset, you can pick up phone calls while your hands are free doing some notes. You can even walk around and express yourself with your hands waving freely and naturally. Freedom can always stimulate your creativity and productivity at work!

  • Microsoft Teams and Zoom-certified headsets.

Although things are getting back to normal since the lockdowns happened to Australians, Work From Home and remote collaborations can happen frequently. More and more workers tend to work from home to avoid spending time commuting. Since the economy is getting better than before, new working technologies make international connections and cooperation through online communications into reality. The most commonly used collaborating software is still what we are familiar with during the COVID era - Microsoft Teams and Zoom. 

To provide their users best experience on their software, there are headsets that Microsft and Zoom verified as devices that can provide the best hearing and speaking experience. The certified headsets suit every user and preference. The users may be in a contact center or on the go but the need to hear and to be heard is constant.

Check our Teams certified - Yealink BH72 Lite headset on sale. 

  • Headsets can satisfy your gaming needs all-in-one.

It’s easy to overlook the time and experience of gaming with your headsets. Gaming headsets are often more professional and of high performance. Think about the video games that you are playing. 90% of games need communication with friends to collaborate, and 80% of games require premium audio quality. You will need to listen to your opponents, narrations, and sound effects to gain an immersive gaming experience. 

  • Headsets provide you comfort and safety under heavy and immersive use

Just like what we talked about in the earbuds section, headsets are more comfortable and safety choices. In-ear headphones block sound as well as air circulation, making the ear canal a perfect habitat for bacteria. After long-term wear, the ear canal is prone to inflammation and infection, and the delicate organs inside the ear canal may be damaged. 

Headsets, by contrast, are a relatively safe choice. It will not damage the ear canal, but also take into account a good noise canceling performance. Additionally, please pay attention to your surroundings when wearing headsets or earbuds with noise canceling features, because, in case of emergency, you may not be able to hear warnings, reminders, and horns from others. 

Headsets vs. headphones vs. earbuds

You know what headsets are. Headsets are usually connected to other devices allowing you to speak and listen hands-free. It is always a combination of audio input and sound output devices that lets you talk and hear remotely. That’s why people use headphones at meetings, conferences, phone calls, etc. Whereas headphones are mostly used for listening to audios only because it has an integrated Mic. depending on the portability, earbuds can be your choice as well. If you don’t like carrying and wearing headphones here and there, earbuds are perfect for you. 

Are headphones better than headsets?

Well, that depends on what you are using them for. The most common differences between headphones and headsets are their sound performances. In general, headphones are better than headsets if you are using them for listening to music, audio, and film editing because they often have better audio quality, even for low and medium ranges. 

Especially for noise-canceling headphones, by wearing them, you will gain a comprehensive music experience. If you love music and enjoy watching videos, headphones are definitely your first choice. 

On the other hand, headsets are better if you mainly use them to play games that require communication with your friends or if you need them to take calls at work. Headsets with text-to-speech features make conversions on headsets easy and visible. 

Therefore, headsets are especially preferred by customer service and call centers. Ideally, some of the headsets in the market are detachable. That means you are able to remove and attach the microphone. Without the microphone on, you can use the headsets as headphones. 

Get earbuds if…

  • You want something small that suitable for carrying
  • You work out often - earbuds are low-profile and of compact size, you can work out painlessly with your earbuds
  • You want both good performance and affordability - generally, wireless earbuds are not as expensive as wireless headphones  
  • You can accept something is in your ears - although earbuds have compatible benefits, plenty of people can not stand there is something in their ears for hours. It might not be that comfortable for certain people.

What are different types of headsets?

Now that we have already narrowed it down to a single category - headsets. Let’s see some basic information and classifications about headsets. Basically, headsets can be classified as corded or wireless. Under the wireless category, we have Bluetooth headsets and DECT headsets. 

  • Wired vs. wireless headsets 

You may find that wired headsets annoying because the cable can make your office table look messy and it can limit the distance from the device connected to your head. And more importantly, it can be broken as well. Once the cable is broken, it is complicated to repair and could cost a lot of money. 

Unless you are required to use wired headsets for some reason, the recommendation is to buy a wireless one. A wireless one can provide you with more freedom and convenience than wired ones. 

  • Bluetooth vs. DECT headsets

As you are hunting for wireless headsets, you may come across both concepts - Bluetooth and DECT headsets. DECT stands for ‘Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications’.   It is a standard that originated in Europe and became popular globally and widely used in the wireless phone systems to connect the wireless phone to its base station. The standard works near the 1.9 GHz frequency band, where the DECT standards do not interfere with other technologies. 

Other than phone systems, DECT is also widely used in other industries and technologies such as baby monitors and industrial remote controls. In this guide, we only discuss the application of DECT on phone systems. You would expect it to be used on your consumer and corporate phones. 

Getting confused? You will only need to remember that your headset choices largely depend on how it will be used! To compare DECT vs. Bluetooth headphones, read this:

  • Security concerns 

You might be concerned someone may be able to tap into your calls by breaking through the wireless connections. However, it is almost impossible technically. Both types of headsets offer high protection once authentication is established. Once that happens, the headset turns the voice into digital data and the data is passed to the base under an encrypted mode. DECT headsets can also provide an extra level of security that is required for use in legal or medical contexts. 

For the Bluetooth headsets, if you are still worried about bluejackings, you could protect your privacy by: 

  • Make your Bluetooth undiscoverable as hidden mode so that it is not detected nearby.
  • Turn off the Bluetooth when you are not using your headsets
  • Pair with your devices only
  • Distance 

One of the biggest differences between DECT and Bluetooth is the distance available. DECT has a much greater range than Bluetooth as it is designed to connect to their base station without fear of losing connections. Generally, it has a range of about 100 meters (around 330 feet) Range of Bluetooth depends on which class your device uses:

Class 1 - About 100 meters (330 feet)

Class 2 - About 10 meters (33 feet)

Class 3 - about 1 meter (3 feet)

In the office, most cases use Class 1 for their headsets. As a comparison, your mobile phone is often Class 2, which means if you switch your Bluetooth headset connection from your office phone to your mobile phone, you will receive a Class 2 range instead of Class 1. Class 3 is usually used for devices like keyboards and mice. 

  • Connectivity

Another feature to differentiate DECT and the Bluetooth headsets is connectivity. Normally, DECT headsets are only able to connect to one base station. The base station provides connectivity to the headphones. This enables limited connectivity but is id perfect designed for a busy office where the user is not required to leave the building - the base station also. 

Bluetooth, on the other hand, can connect to up to 8 devices at the same time. Therefore, Bluetooth users could connect their single headset to mobile phones, computers, tablets, and office desk phones simultaneously.

The ability to use the same headset for both office and mobile phones is convenient under hybrid working mode. Additionally, if you’ve got a UC system that enables uninterrupted hand-offs between computer-based softphones and your mobile phones. 

Whatever your decision is, once you got your wireless headphones, a few things we suggest to you in order to secure a better performance of your headsets:

  • Carefully set up your office setup. Please place the base stations far away from each other to avoid any interference. 
  • Turn down your DECT range down to about 20 meters (60 feet) if you are using it in a high-density environment to avoid interference. 

Feature and factors to consider:

Connect with your devices

There are no standardized connection types that all headsets use. Basically, we already know that headsets could be connected in a wired and wireless manner. Now let's get more sense of what you will come across when choosing your best suit headsets. Of course, you can check your device to confirm which connection you will require on your headsets.

  • USB connection 

Just like different connector types, USB headset connectors come in a variety of shapes and sizes. You will always be able to find the right type of USB cable no matter what your computer is. Sometimes it could be hard to know and tell what type of USB connector would need for your computers, here are some common ones you will see for your computers:

  • USB-A

The USB-A would be the first type of connector that comes to your mind when you think of a USB in general. It is a very common type of USB plug since a few years ago. You might connect your cable from your computer to print thousands of times using USB-A. It is so popular that if your device doesn’t have a USB-A port built-in, you can easily and cheaply find an adapter.

  • USB-C

Recently, manufacturers such as Apple are transitioning their products away from USA type A to USB type C. So there is a chance your devices are compatible with USB-C in addition to USB-A.

  • Mini-USB and micro-USB

Mini-USB and micro-USB are more commonly found on the devices you’re connecting your headset to. The mini- and micro-USB connectors are what you might be likely to find on your headset base itself. 

  • Jack 

Please forgive the generalization if your name is Jack. A jack is basically the long, thin connector that you will find on old headphones. The benefit of a headset with a jack is that you could find you are able to connect your headset to mobile devices.

  • 2.5mm jack

This is commonly seen in old technology products. This tiny jack can be used to connect wireless office phones to headsets. 

  • 3.5mm jack

The 3.5mm is newer and bigger. This jack won’t work with office desk phones, but with a port, it can be connected to any cell phone. 

  • RJ connectors

RJ stands for ‘register jack’. In general, we have RJ9, RJ10 or RJ22. These connectors can link your desk phone to a headset, a handset, or a headset amplifier. 

  • Bluetooth and DECT connections 

As we talked above, Bluetooth and DECT headsets are wireless, which means the actual wearable device does not need a connection cord. However, the base of the Bluetooth headset always needs to be connected to a power source to get charged. So they are not completely wireless as well. 

As you may choose wired headsets, make sure you know the proper setups that are required before you purchase any headsets. 


Wearing styles 

From this aspect, you can choose your headsets to be mono or stereo. Whether a headset has one ear cup or two ear cups essentially determines this. A mono headset is more appropriate if you work in a setting where you must be approachable and frequently converse with others. However, a stereo headset is a way to go if you need to concentrate in a noisy environment or if you want an active noise-canceling headset.

There are six different headset wearing styles. They are: over the head with one ear (mono), over the head with two ears, over the neck, earbud-style, over the ear plus earbud, over the ear without earbud, and over the head with three ears (duo or stereo).

Whether a headset has one ear cup or two ear cups essentially determines this. A mono headset is more appropriate if you work in a setting where you must be approachable and frequently converse with others. However, a stereo headset is a way to go if you need to concentrate in a noisy environment or if you want an active noise-canceling headset.

There are six different headset-wearing styles. They are: over the head with one ear (mono), over the head with two ears, over the neck, earbud style, over the ear plus earbud, over the ear without earbud, and over the head with three ears (duo or stereo).



Comfort is high on the list of priorities for many people when buying a set of headsets. There is no doubt that we now spend more time-consuming media from portable devices than ever before. Similarly, many offices around the world are full of people consuming music, and also working with headsets.  The fact is we can spend a lot of time on headsets, and the last thing you want is pain or discomfort, which is something cheap or poor-quality headphones can cause.

The most important factor in choosing headsets is the design's physical properties and ergonomics. How the headset can fit into your head shape is important.

The shift from retail to the internet is our major issue in 2023. There aren't many businesses that really carry sets of headsets you can try on and evaluate for yourself. You don't get the benefit of trying on different pairs of headsets to find the one that fits you best when you shop online.

Because of this, we advise buying from retailers who have accommodating return policies in case you discover that your new headsets are uncomfortable and you don't think you'll get along with them over the long run.


What make a headset comfortable?


The most comfortable headsets are usually lightweight.

Lighter headsets typically feel more comfortable than heavier ones. A lighter pair of headsets will be easier on your muscles to support. The neck muscles and the posts that support the head can become fatigued even from something as small as a few grams.

Long-term discomfort can be drastically affected by clamping pressure.

This only pertains to over-ear headsets, but it has a significant impact on how comfortable they are. The force with which the headband presses on your head is known as clamping pressure. You need a certain amount of clamping force to create a seal and limit outside noise, but not so much that it wears you out over time.

Contact points matter

The contact points for the headsets are the EARPADS, EAR-TIPS, and HEADBAND. Obviously, this is the area that can make the biggest effect. Earpads should have adequate ventilation and padding to prevent the development of "hot spots."

Noise cancellation- active vs. passive

Fortunately, noise-canceling headsets are excellent at reducing ambient noise even when they aren't playing music. The noise from crowded streets or stores can be easily reduced by them. However, they are significantly more helpful for ambient noise (also persistent and repetitive noise).

Background noise can be passively eliminated with noise-canceling microphones. Electronics are not used to cancel out noise; rather, the hardware of the microphone is designed to do so.

These microphones work well in an office setting with a background noise level of 1.5 to 2 meters between desks. You do not need to worry too much about where your mic is placed because the mic can block out low and constant sound and has many sound pickup places.

Consider your work environment and how you want to use the headset when choosing between passive and active noise canceling headsets. An Active Noise Cancelling (ANC) headset is probably not for you if you speak most of the time during the day. 

However, active noise cancellation is necessary if you listen for most of your day in order to properly concentrate on the music. ANC headphones are also excellent crossover headsets for when you want to listen to podcasts or audiobooks while traveling home and want to cancel out any background noise. 


Passive noise reduction 

This kind of headset employs the actual design and construction of the device to block out sounds, much like a passive noise-canceling microphone does. Using the physical foam connection between the earcup and the outside of the ear to block out external noises, passive noise canceling relies on the design of the hardware earcup. For a headset to offer passive noise cancellation, it must be stereo (have two earcups).

The majority of people find passive noise canceling headsets to be effective. Passive Noise Cancelling headphones can significantly reduce the amount of noise you hear in an office setting, even one that is noisy. Of course, the caliber of the earcups will determine how successfully it accomplishes this.

Active noise reduction

Active noise cancellation actively attempts to block out any undesirable sounds, as the name suggests. In order to pick up any background noise, these headsets feature microphones placed on the exterior of the earcups (and sometimes on the inside as well). An equal and opposite soundwave is blasted through the speaker to generate quiet when background noise is detected, leaving only the intended audio. That is really cool!

The technology has certain limitations in corporate office settings, despite being effective for circumstances with excessively loud audio (such as home offices where the noise of neighbors or traffic cannot be controlled). 

Maybe the major problem with active noise canceling headsets in offices is that they are enormous, over-the-ear sets that make it difficult to hear oneself well when you are speaking while using the ANC feature. You should be able to hear the volume of your own voice when speaking. In some Active Noise Cancelling headsets, you can adjust the level of noise cancellation, even to a setting that disables noise cancellation when you need to clearly hear yourself.


     Headphone frequency response

An audio frequency, also known as an audible frequency (AF), is a regular vibration whose frequency falls within the range of sound that is perceptible to the typical person.

Waves with a range of frequencies are the building blocks of sound and audio. The audible frequency range is what people respond to naturally, and headphones are made to be able to produce their own range of sounds.

How to select your best headsets in 2023?



Since 2020, we’ve used Zoom meetings and Microsoft Teams a lot during school times or at work. In this context, we recommend you get your headsets with certifications from the communication platforms you are using. 

The price difference is usually negligible or nonexistent, and the headset made particularly for the platform usually comes with some extra features. If the desired model doesn't have a Zoom or MS Teams-certified headset, the normal or UC version will function just fine.

  • What is UC?

UC is short for Unified Communications. This is not a complicated concept. 

A brand-new world has emerged as a result of digital change.

We have now entered a time where employment is no longer restricted to a particular desk, phone, or computer screen as a result of the ongoing development of technology. Professionals are free to network internationally and pursue new possibilities with nothing more than the appropriate gadget and a cloud connection.

Companies need to figure out how to cater to consumers who don't want to be bound by cables and specific places now that the majority of people in the globe are starting to work remotely. As a result, a tonne of excellent communication tools has emerged, catering to practically all points of contact in the typical organization.

The Benefits of UC for the Digital Workforce

The phrase "Unified Communication" or "UC" refers to both the integration of collaborative technologies into various communication platforms for the digital workforce. The term "UC&C," which stands for "Unified Communications and Collaboration," is therefore frequently used.

In a nutshell, UC includes:

  • Messaging (persistent chat)
  • Calling by voice and video
  • Meetings
  • group cooperation (channels)
  • Apps with integrated file sharing

plus a whole lot more…

  • Zoom-certified

You will wisely get a zoom-certified headset if you will be using Zoom a lot. A Zoom-certified device means that you will get the best experience and compatibility with the Zoom app while using the devices. You will have the finest experience possible if your headset is Zoom-certified, which means that Zoom has acknowledged this. Simple features like the ability to tap on the headset to answer a call can qualify, or there might be more complex features created especially for Zoom.

This can effectively avoid the situation when your device is not compatible with the Zoom audio input and output. After acknowledging all the connectivities, you don’t need to worry that your device doesn’t work out with the software!

  • Microsoft Teams certified

MS Teams is essentially as described above, but relates to MS Teams software rather than Zoom software. If you use Teams more frequently than Zoom for virtual meetings and calls, then choose an MS Teams-certified headset!

Use your headsets off-work

Headsets are used outside of the office as well, so if you want a headset that can be used for both work and leisure, think about a crossover option. Wearing them while moving or listening to podcasts at home or on your commute may be a good idea. Crossover headsets were created with style and functionality in mind for this reason.

Consider how much time you will spend using your headset for each of these tasks, then make a list of the features that are most important to you in a headset (we love lists!). You won't need a crossover headset if you solely plan to use the headset for office discussions, in which case a corded or DECT narrowband is a fantastic choice. 

A Bluetooth headset that gives you the freedom to roam around and connect to various devices is what you need if you work remotely during the workweek while listening to music. To enjoy the greatest listening experience possible, audiophiles and music lovers should choose a headset featuring an ultra wideband audio microphone.

Acoustic Shock Protection and workplace health

Acoustic shock, often known as HPT, "shrieks," or other noises (loud or mild) that may occur in telephone networks, is an injury that occurs to people wearing telephone headsets.

Using telephone headsets and listening to your callers loudly all the time is another way to risk auditory harm. The typical listening level is thought to be at this level.

This injury has more than one connection to subpar machinery. It is not restricted to any certain brand or model of telephone, headset, or other piece of telecommunications hardware. High-pitched tones are unpredictable and frequently cannot be identified or stopped from happening again.

The major objectives of Industry Guideline G616 are Acoustic Shock Protection, the reduction of excessive noise pressure, and noise spike prevention. The government has established this as the minimal standard to which headsets sold in Australia by local businesses like Simply Headsets must adhere.

When you discover a product at a price that looks too good to be true, it almost usually is, just like with anything in life. As a result, it is likely that headsets offered at a fraction of the price internationally were not produced in Australia. There is a reason that respectable companies abide by these guidelines, which were set in place to protect against hearing loss. Because your ears are your source of revenue, don't risk your health to save a few extra money. Instead, try to maintain them as safe as you can.


Now that we have gone through categories of headsets and steps for you when you are buying headsets for multiple purposes. Hope you have senses picking up your headsets or at least have ideas on criterias when choosing headsets for yourself or your businesses. 

You generally get what you pay for when it comes to headsets (and with other things in life, too!). A quality headset has a two-year standard warranty, but in practise, it lasts for four to five years. It makes sense to spend more money on high-quality equipment for a piece of machinery that you will use five to seven days a week to carry out important operations. 

Invest in something that will serve your needs when you need it, protects you, your ears, and your clients' data! When you use your headset all day long while chatting to clients, customers, or listening to music, comfort and clarity are essential for a joyful and successful work environment.

If you have any further queries, Drive Deal is always happy to answer. Getting professional advice now at 1300 800 522 or click Contact us


What is a NAS (Network Attached Storage) Device?

A network-attached storage device (NAS), is usually smaller in size than a normal computer, can be turned on 24/7 and is most used for backing up computers and as a file server (storage device) on a local network. A NAS is a smart hard drive enclosure, it requires a minimum of one hard drive, but usually two or more is the most useful setup. A NAS usually uses a custom Linux based operating system, but don’t let that scare you, they are designed to look like a mobile phone with apps for everything you want to do to make navigating the device a simple task. While simple to use, the operating system is designed primarily for network storage with RAM and CPU being the minimum required to operate whilst minimising power consumption and noise. One of the main features of a NAS is when used with two or more hard drives is the ability to configure a RAID group, which keeps multiple copies of your data on your hard drives so that if one drive fails, you don’t lose your data, you can replace the hard drive whilst the NAS keeps functioning, then when the replacement hard drive is installed, the NAS is smart enough to copy the data back onto it.

Photographers, Editors, really anyone working with large media files often need large amounts of storage to handle their current projects and their archiving. A NAS is the perfect storage solution for large scale, cost effective storage.

Anyone with multiple computers, laptops, tablets and phones should consider backing up to a NAS. Centralising backups and storage just make managing the security and organisation of your data much easier. Synology and QNAP NAS will additionally manage backing up into the cloud, which makes your data extra secure.

Why is a NAS sometimes called Personal Cloud?

If you use a cloud storage such as Dropbox or Google Drive, or if you just don’t want your data stored online, a NAS is an alternative. A NAS keeps your data where you can access it, move it and you are in full control of it. You can even keep a copy of your cloud data on your NAS to get the best of both worlds. Cloud storage isn’t cheap, using a mix of NAS and cloud storage can give you a cost-effective storage solution that you can easily scale.

What else can my NAS do for me?

Most NAS can manage multiple email addresses as well as host databases and act a private VPN. Because they are function like a server, you can also manage things like downloads through the likes of BitTorrent as well as a variety of business software applications.

Is a NAS the best home network storage device?

It is possible that you may not need a NAS to share and store your data. There are routers that you can connect external hard drives to that may work for you however they aren’t specifically built for file sharing and backup like a Home NAS. You won’t be able to configure RAID or control access to your files like you can on a NAS, so for anything more than basic file sharing, we recommend a NAS.

Why use a NAS instead of a computer?

A NAS can communicate with Windows, MacOS, Linux and other storage devices a with ease. It has a MUCH lower power consumption than a desktop computer and doesn’t need a monitor or any other peripherals. They are easy to use with several free useful software applications that come with the device. You end up with a device that is always on, always accessible, no need to worry about it going to sleep that is secure.

I work in IT and I need more technical information

If you are a technical person and need more information, recommendations or solution assistance, DeviceDeal can assist or work with our vendor partners. We have access to Pre-Sales representatives that we can introduce to you ensuring you have the right solution. Call us on 1300800522 or chat online with our friendly sales team, we are more than happy to answer your inquiries.

I need information for using Plex on my NAS

Streaming video content from a NAS can be quite a complex task with many different options. We won’t cover media streaming in detail in this guide, however our staff can assist with your enquiry, feel free to give us a call, email or chat for assistance. We’ll also be releasing more guides in future, so keep checking back for more information.

Points to consider when looking for a NAS

- Size:
We know there are loads of NAS devices available with different numbers of hard drive slots, consider how many hard drives you want to use now and how many you want to add in the future. If you plan on using a RAID configuration, you may like to use a RAID calculator to work out how many nas hard drives you need and then decide on the NAS size from there.

A decent NAS that would suit a home user start at about $300 to $350 for a 2-bay NAS. Bear in mind that by default NAS don’t generally include hard drives, so they will need to be considered when looking to purchase. In most cases hard drives will end up costing more than the NAS, that’s the nature of bulk storage. If you are looking for a specific NAS with drives, feel free to reach out to the DeviceDeal team to request a quote.

- CPU and RAM:
What you plan on doing with your NAS will determine what level of hardware you need. Generally backup and storage is just file transfers, which won’t use much RAM or CPU power at all, however if you plan on it being a home media server or small business server, you might want to consider not going for the cheapest option. We generally recommend 2GB of RAM at minimum with 4GB or more being preferable when using the NAS for more than just backup and storage.

- NAS Software and Applications:
When you purchase a NAS, the hardware is relatively simple, sometimes you might be able to build something like it yourself, maybe even cheaper. The hidden value in a NAS is that NAS manufactures develop their own operating system, software and applications to support their NAS. The real value in a NAS for most people comes from the software, ready to go applications to manage your backups, storage, media, email, file security, surveillance cameras and much, much more.

- Media Streaming:

Most NAS will handle basic media streaming, if you are specifically purchasing a NAS as a media server, or have specific streaming requirements, you will need to determine exactly what you need the NAS to be able to do, then look at models with those capabilities. Some NAS are smart and powerful enough to handle streaming requirements themselves, others are best used as storage for a dedicated media streaming device.


- Notifications:
Whether it’s a failed hard disc or you have just run out of space, you will want your NAS to be smart enough to be able to warn you. Most NAS have software that will manage this for you which is another advantage over external hard drive storage options.


- Connection Types:
Consider what and how you will be connecting to the NAS. Most NAS will have USB ports at least, but you will want to check what type of USB connection you need as well as other connections like Thunderbolt, HDMI and Ethernet connections. Ensuring you have the right connection types to work with your existing devices.


- Third-party Software and Applications:
If you want to be able to add specific software or applications to your NAS, we recommend checking out the community of users for that NAS brand. Often the community will be the best source of information for tips, tricks and recommendations on how to use third-party software. If the third-party software is critical for your ability to use the NAS, check with the software manufacturer to ensure that their software is compatible with the NAS you are looking at purchasing.


- Hot-swappable drive bays:
Most NAS have hot-swappable drive bays, this just means that you can remove a hard drive while the NAS is still running. This is most important if you have a RAID configuration or if you are running a business where you cant afford to shut the NAS down to replace failed drives.


- Warranty and support:
For most customers warranty and support services aren’t even considered until something goes wrong, we recommend checking with the NAS manufacturer prior to purchasing to find out what their services are like. If you need help setting up your NAS, troubleshooting it or replacing it, you will need to contact and work with the manufacturer.
Consider extended warranties and even professional paid services to ensure you can use your NAS how you intend to use it and for as long as you expect to be able to use it.


- Wi-Fi support:
Most NAS are designed to be connected to your network via Ethernet cable, not via Wi-Fi, that being said, it’s worth connecting your NAS directly to your router so that your other devices on your Wi-Fi network can communicate with your NAS. If you can’t connect your NAS to a Wi-Fi router, be aware that by default, NAS don’t have wireless capability like a laptop or tablet. You would need to consider a USB Wi-Fi adapter or even an internal PCIe expansion card, but fair warning, these won’t give you the same experience that an ethernet connection will give.


- Surveillance Camera Support:
A good NAS can generally at the very least act as a storage destination for your security cameras. If the camera is supported by surveillance software that comes with the NAS, you can control your cameras, scheduling and configurations all through the NAS. We strongly suggest confirming compatibility with your cameras before purchasing if this is the reason you are looking at a NAS.

- Uninterrupted power supply (UPS):

Most NAS will have been tested for compatibility with more than one brand of UPS. To protect your data and avoid any damage to your NAS and hard drives, its recommended you use a UPS. The NAS should be smart enough that it can communicate with a UPS, usually via USB allowing the NAS to shut itself down if/when it will lose power.