QNAP Turbo NAS TS-453 Pro 4-Bay Enthusiast and SMB NAS Review

Introduction


Today I’m taking a look at one of QNAP’s bestsellers, the TurboStation TS-453 Pro NAS. The TS-453 Pro isn’t just an ordinary NAS and it is one that can carry the Pro label with pride. It is a powerful, reliable and scalable NAS for SMBs and power users alike.

Built around the Intel Celeron 2.0GHz quad-core processor with a burst speed of up to 2.41GHz, we know that the TS453 Pro won’t limit it on the CPU side. There is plenty of performance at its disposal to run a lot of simultaneous apps, features and functions without the risk of slow-downs or bottlenecks.

RAM wise QNAP offers two versions, the standard one with 2GB that should be sufficient for most users but also a model that comes factory equipped with 8GB RAM in two 4GB modules and that is the one that I’m having a look at today. Users can also upgrade and switch memory modules themselves and it’s as simple as sliding the top cover off.

QNAP built the TS-453 Pro with an internal power supply, a thing that has ups and down depending on how you look at it. The internal PSU allows for better distribution of the power as well as run optimized with better efficiency, whereas the external power brick seen in other devices helps when something breaks since you can replace it with a universal brick that has the right power output from your local electronics store. Since we’re dealing with a pro model from QNAP, you shouldn’t expect any failures here, but it’s still something to consider when purchasing your network storage.

Since we’re dealing with a pro model from QNAP, you shouldn’t expect any failures here, but it’s still something to consider when purchasing your network storage.

Quad-Gigabit Ethernet allows you to set up both fast and redundant connections, connect the NAS to multiple subnets at the same time, or use some of them for virtual servers. Two USB 2.0 and three USB 3.0 ports allow you to connect external storage just as peripherals like keyboard and mouse when using it at an HTPC.

You can easily expand the storage capacity when your needs grow with the UX-800P and UX-500P external enclosures. They can provide a lot more capacity with additional 8 and 5 drive bays respectively.

Thanks to the HDMI port and the ability to connect mouse and keyboard to the device as well as QNAPs awesome QvPC technology, this unit doesn’t just work as an NAS. It also allows you to to run any system from Android to Windows via the Virtualization system and use it directly as HTPC with built-in apps such as Kodi, XMBC, and Browsers.

A relative new feature on QNAP’s NAS devices is the myQNAPcloud quick setup that allows you to set up your new device in a much more convenient way. It requires the device to be connected, but other than that you just need to either scan the QR-Code or navigate to the mentioned URL in and enter your code manually. Follow a few steps and enter your details and the system is ready to use.

There’s also a sticker on the top that will help you identify what drive bay is which so you easier know what bay the operating system is referring too. This and the quick-setup are both things that you primarily need when first connecting it, so you can remove the stickers once done – or leave them for later convenience.

Security is always an important factor to consider, after all the device will store all your precious data. QNAP added locks to all four drive bays to prevent sticky fingers from running away with the drives thanks to them being so easily swappable and you find an option for a Kensington Lock on the rear of the unit.

The TS-453 Pro provides numerous security options, such as encrypted access, IP blocking, and more. It has also been validated with military-level FIPS 140-2 AES 256-bit encryption so people won’t be able to access your actual data even though they should get hands on your drives. Antivirus is also part of the deal so you don’t get nasty small buggers nesting in your data.

Intrusion and theft are just one part of security, but QNAP has it all covered. You find plenty of options for local and remote backup of your files, both privately and to the public cloud. You can also synchronize and backup your files across all sorts of platforms, from smartphones to workstations and servers.

The display on the front allows you to easily get an overview of the device’s status, temperatures, fan speeds and important information such as network settings and configurations.

The units weight is about 4 kilo and that will make it stand great and secure on the 4 large feet that are fitted with rubber to absorb additional vibrations from either side.

A pro-model also requires great drive trays, and QNAP doesn’t disappoint here either. The four drive trays are made from solid steel with a plastic front. They are individually lockable for added security and to prevent you from accidentally ejecting them. the latches have no spring inside as sometimes seen on drive trays, but whether that’s a good or bad thing is really down to everyone’s personal taste.

Included in the package is everything you need to get started. The proper power cable for your geographical location, two LAN cables, two keys for the drive bays, and 16 screws to mount either 3.5-inch and 2.5-inch drives. There’s also a small ‘getting started’ guide to help you get going with everything and if it should be your first NAS.

The QvPC technology previously mentioned allows you to use your NAS as much more than just a central storage location, you can run virtual systems such as Windows, Linux, Unix, and Android, directly access all aspects of your NAS’ configuration, use it as a HTPC to watch movies, stream music, and surf the internet.

The Hybrid Station makes it all possible and you’ll get familiar interfaces from Firefox and Chrome, over XMBC to YouTube and Spotify. You can also monitor your security cameras in live feeds and connect your IoT devices.

This unit is so much more than NAS, it’s something that has to be experienced first hand to fully grasp the amount of possibilities you have.

Next to all these advanced functions, QNAP’s TS-453 Pro also covers all the basic functions such as FTP, Web, Radius, VPN, and Print servers, but also real-time and offline HD file transcoding and you can control the HybridDesk Station with the optional remote control. Streaming to media players and devices is also supported and so much more. It’s hard to cover every single aspect of such a unit.

It’s hard to cover every single aspect of such a unit, you can keep exploring new apps and find new uses for it for months.

QNAP Turbo Station TS-431 4-Bay SOHO NAS Review

Introduction


I loved what the QNAPs TS-x31 series sports right from the first time that I heard of it. It just sounded like the perfect SOHO device for people who want a lot of features, easy setup, simple maintenance and a reasonable price.

Today I’m taking a closer look at the QNAP TurboNAS TS-431 4-bay Personal Cloud Storage for Home and SOHO users. It features an ARM Cortex A9 1.2GHz dual-core processor that delivers performance enough for multitasking, creating your personal cloud for digital notes, and multimedia streaming via DLNA & AirPlay.

With the TS-431 you can build a private cloud-based notebook and share it with friends and colleagues with Notes Station and Qnotes mobile App. It allows you to easily organize and manage files and backup tasks in one centralized location and synchronize files between computers, laptops, tablets, phones and other devices. You can archive, manage, watch and share your media collections with the dedicated Photo Station, Video Station and Music Station apps as well as enjoy all these moments on the big screen via DLNA and AirPlay streaming.

That is all pretty much default for QNAP devices, just as the 24/7 surveillance center you can create for your home or small office. The CPU in the TS-431 also allows you to transcode videos offline and enjoy smooth video streaming even when your network connection or playback possibilities are restricted.

The Freescale ARM Cortex-A9 dual-core CPU runs at 1.2GHz and gives the NAS a great performance ratio. It can provide transfer speeds up to 110MB/s reading and 80MB/s at writing. Maybe you need to increase your data safety to prevent unauthorized access to the files, well QNAP has that covered too with full NAS volume encryption with speeds of over 30MB/s with AES-256 bit.

The network connectivity on this device is safeguarded with dual Gigabit LAN and support for the latest 802.11ac dual-band Wi-Fi adapters. It further features three USB 3.0 ports and one eSATA for attaching high-speed external storage. The LAN ports support multiple port-trunking modes, allowing you to set up link aggregation to increase data transmission capabilities, as well as failover and dual IP for continuous system operation. The supported port-trunking modes include: Balance-rr (Round-Robin), Active Backup, Balance XOR, Broadcast, IEEE 802.3ad, Balance-tlb (Adaptive Transmit Load Balancing) and Balance-alb (Adaptive Load Balancing).

QNAPs operating system is better than ever and it keeps improving. The ‘intelligent’ desktop allows you to find the desired functions quickly and it allows you to create shortcuts of your choice for even quicker access. You can monitor the NAS’ vitals, install new function or change in your user setup with just a few clicks. Automated backup function can be set to kick in as soon as recognized devices are connected, creating backups to and from your drives and NAS, this includes rsync, QNAP’s NetBack Replicator and works equally well with Windows and Mac OS X Time Machine systems.

The new myQNAPcloud allows you to setup your NAS even easier and quicker than before. Just connect and power on the NAS and go to the URL from the sticker either manually or by scanning the QR-Code. Enter the key (partially whitened in the above image) and you’ll have your NAS setup in a couple of minutes, ready to use. Thumbs up to QNAP, the system works like a charm. You will of course need a network where the NAS gets it IP automatically and an internet connection. Don’t worry if you don’t, the old-fashioned way to initialize it works just as well as it always has.

The cross-platform file-sharing covers all sides with SMB/CIFS, NFS, and AFP protocols for sharing across Windows, Mac and Linux/UNIX. Data, logs and ISO image of CDs and DVDs can be centrally stored in the TS-431 and protected by an integrated antivirus solution. You can even manage your files via the internet by use of the File Station. It brings conventional desktop styled file operation to web browsers, allowing you to easily upload, download and manage your files no matter where you are, as long as you got a connection via LAN or the internet. It even supports file extraction, smart search as well as sharing specific files with friends and family via unique URLs.

One of the key aspects of this device is the capabilities for your private cloud. I’ve mentioned some functions above, but most of all it gives you a lot more space without a monthly cost. It also eliminates security concerns you might have by using public cloud services. The TS-431 is ready to establish a secure and large-capacity private cloud just for you and the myQNAPcloud service allows remote access without any tricky setups and router configurations.