WD Red vs. Red Plus vs. Red Pro – Which WD NAS Hard Drive Is the Best?

People often use Network-attached storage (NAS) devices in home hubs and small office environments as central locations to store and share files, documents, photos, and media files. They typically have a built-in operating system; you can manage them through a web interface or software application.

Western Digital is a popular choice if you’re looking for a NAS hard drive. Choosing from the company’s three main NAS products can be daunting. Luckily, we have prepared a comprehensive WD Red vs. Red Plus vs. Red Pro comparison to help you choose the best NAS hard drive for your needs.

Western Digital Offers Three Ranges of NAS Devices

Western Digital (WD) is an American data storage company that designs, manufactures, and sells a variety of products, including hard disk drives (HDDs), solid-state drives (SSDs), and network-attached storage (NAS) devices. Their NAS products are some of the best NAS hard drives, so it’s worth checking them out.

When talking about their NAS hard drives, they offer solutions both for personal and business use. WD Red, WD Red Plus, and WD Red Pro are the available options, so here’s more information about each.

1.    WD Red

wd red nas hard drive

Western Digital Red is a simple NAS hard drive focusing on maximizing storage space. Here are its key specifications:

  • Suitable for use in NAS devices with 1–8 bays
  • Dimensions: 147 mm × 101.6 mm × 26.1 mm
  • Weighs 640 g
  • Has the SMR recording technology
  • Available in capacities ranging from 2 TB to 6 TB
  • Includes SATA 6 GB/s interface
  • Features 64 MB cache and 5,400 RPM rotational speed
  • It has a three-year limited warranty

2.    WD Red Plus

wd red plus nas hard drive

Western Digital Red Plus is an enhanced solution with improved features than the standard WD Red NAS hard drive. Its main features include:

  • Suitable for use in NAS devices with 1–8 bays
  • Dimensions: 147 mm × 101.6 mm × 26.1 mm
  • Weighs 690 g
  • Has the CRM recording technology
  • Available in capacities ranging from 1 TB to 14 TB
  • Includes SATA 6 GB/s interface
  • Features 128 MB cache and 7,200 RPM rotational speed
  • It comes with a three-year limited warranty

3.    WD Red Pro

wd red pro nas hard drive

Western Digital Red Pro is the strongest out of the three. It primarily caters to medium to large NAS environments. The WD Red Pro’s features are:

  • Suitable for use in NAS devices with 8–16 bays
  • Dimensions: 147 mm × 101.6 mm × 26.1 mm
  • Weighs 650 g
  • Has the CRM and PMR recording technology
  • Available in capacities ranging from 2 TB to 22 TB
  • Includes SATA 6 GB/s interface
  • Features 256 MB cache and 7,200 RPM rotational speed
  • It comes with a five-year limited warranty

All three lines of drives are specifically for use in NAS devices and come with features such as vibration control, optimized firmware, and compatibility testing. The company also optimized them to run 24/7, making them a reliable choice for businesses or individuals with high data storage needs.

WD Red vs. Plus vs. Pro General Specifications

When comparing WD Red vs. Plus vs. Pro, we must mention some general specifications that make these NAS hard drives. All three NAS device types share some specifications, while some are unique to a specific NAS. Let’s check them out in greater detail.

WD Red
WD Red Plus
WD Red Pro
Technology NASware 3.0 technology NASware 3.0 technology NASware 3.0+ technology
Number of Bays 1–8 bays 1–8 bays 8–16 bays
Storage Capacity 2 TB - 6 TB 1 TB - 14 TB 2 TB - 22 TB
Speed Performance 5,400 RPM 7,200 RPM 7,200 RPM
Memory Cache 64 MB 128 MB 256 MB
Workload Capabilities 180 TB/year 180 TB/year 300 TB/year
Pricing Ranges $54.99 - $99.99 $54.99 - $259.99 $79.99 - $499.99
CMR Technology No Yes Yes
SMR Technology Yes No No
Noise Level 20–30 decibels 20–30 decibels 20–30 decibels
Data Recovery Capabilities general general advanced

Choose Between WD Red, Red Plus, and Red Pro: It All Depends on Your Needs

Learning about all the WD Red vs. WD Red Plus vs. WD Red Pro differences is crucial to choosing the right solution. Nevertheless, it’s important to mention that no WD NAS hard drive is better than the others simply because they suit different needs.

Therefore, the right NAS solution will depend on your specific needs and what you want from a NAS tool.

Whether you’re searching for the most affordable option or the one with the best performance, there’s a perfect Western Digital NAS solution for you.

Cost-effectiveness - WD Red Plus

When choosing a NAS hard drive, cost-effectiveness is essential for many users. One way to optimize cost-effectiveness is to balance the cost of the hard drive with its capacity and performance. Going for the highest-capacity HDD may be tempting, but there may be more cost-effective options.

Suppose you only need a few terabytes of storage for your home network. It might make more sense to opt for a smaller capacity drive with a lower cost per terabyte than a larger, more expensive drive with excess storage you will not fully utilize.

Top Performance - WD Red Pro

If performance is your main concern when selecting a NAS tool, you should focus on this feature. The process involves selecting a drive that can handle high-speed data transfers, read and write operations, and other demanding tasks.

One important consideration for performance is the drive’s spindle speed, which refers to the rotation speed of the disk platters. Faster spindle speeds can result in faster read and write speeds, making them an excellent choice for users needing high-speed data access.

Also, choosing a drive with a high cache memory can help speed up frequently accessed data.

While many contemplate between WD Red Plus vs. Pro, it’s safe to say WD Red Pro is the top choice for everyone requiring maximum performance from their NAS tool.

Best Budget Option - WD Red

Lastly, the price of a NAS hard drive can be a determining factor for many, including individual users and small businesses that must carefully consider how they allocate their budget funds.

When choosing the best budget-friendly NAS hard drive, the capacity and speed of the HDD should match your storage needs and usage patterns.

A 1 TB or 2 TB drive should suffice for most home users. A rotational speed of 5,400 RPM is generally adequate for essential file storage and backup tasks. The standard WD Red NAS hard drive for only $54.99 is currently the best budget option.

Recovery Capabilities

Western Digital NAS tools provide various capabilities for data recovery in case of a system failure or data loss. The first capability is RAID configurations, which allow for data redundancy and protection against hard drive failure. WD NAS tools support various RAID levels to cater to user requirements, including RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, and 10.

Additionally, WD NAS devices have built-in backup software, including WD SmartWare Pro and Acronis True Image WD Edition, which enable automated and scheduled backups of critical data. In case of a data loss or drive failure, the WD My Cloud OS system allows for easy recovery through features such as volume rebuilding and disk formatting.

The system also supports remote access and file recovery through a web-based interface, mobile apps, or third-party software. However, the Recoverit NAS Recovery is one of the favorites as it offers robust data recovery capabilities for users of reliable and secure NAS storage solutions. It can recover lost, corrupted, or deleted files from WD hard drives in a heartbeat.

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Western Digital has a collection of different NAS solutions. WD Red, WD Red Plus, and WD Red Pro are the most popular choices among individual users and businesses, so it’s difficult to tell them apart.

If you find these three lines of NAS solutions confusing and can’t decide on the best product for your needs, this WD Red vs. Red Plus vs. Red Pro comparison will help you choose the ideal NAS tool.