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NAS Buyers Guide 2022 – A Handy Guide for NAS Beginners

8 juin 2022 à 01:33

NAS Brands in 2022 – Get it Right, FIRST TIME!

If you have been looking to purchase your first NAS drive, or are looking at upgrading the system that you have been using in your home/office for the last few years, then it is understandable that it is ALOT of get to grips with. Network Attached Storage has evolved incredibly over the last few years and has gone from a rather niche area of the I.T industry into something that pretty much all users can benefit from in their daily lives. With the monthly/annual subscription costs of cloud storage providers (such as Google Cloud, AWS, DropBox and Microsoft OneDrive) getting higher, as well as the size of our daily data skyrocketing, making the switch from rented 3rd party cloud space to your very own NAS server in-house makes ALOT of sense. It becomes even more compelling when you add in the full range of software, services and features that modern NAS includes (Plex, AI Photo Recognition, Surveillance, VMs, Hybrid backup-n-sync and more), but like any area of technology – NAS can become a complicated and confusing subject. Every year for the last 5 years I have produced a guide on modern NAS brands, the best solutions you can get right now, who the brands have improved/declined and ultimately created an idiots guide to choosing the right NAS solution for your needs right FIRST TIME. In this, the 2022/2023 edition, we have seen a huge increase in 2.5GbE network solutions, improvements in M.2 NVMe technology and all of the popular NAS brands introducing improvements in their server software. So, what are you waiting for? Here is my guide to Network Attached Storage in 2022. Use the chapters below to skip ahead and I hope this helps you choose the right solution for your needs.

Want to Skip Ahead to a Specific NAS Brand or Subject? Click Below:

Is a NAS and a Server the Same Thing?

You will often hear people use the word NAS and the word Server differently. Both are exceedingly similar and often interchanged, but there are some teeny tiny historical differences between them. The word server can sometimes bring out a cold sweat in the less technically minded or IT experienced, but in reality, it is a pretty harmless term. A server is a piece of hardware (like a computer) or software (so a program that runs on a computer) that manages, shares and controls data (pictures, videos, word documents, PDFs etc) to a number of people who wish to access them (these are called ‘clients’). That is it. Sure, there are much more complex and expensive servers that are designed to communicate with other servers or computers without human intervention – but in essence, they are all the same thing. Now where a regular server will give access to your users/clients via your internal network (router or switch) a NAS Server is the same, but it opens up a whole area of accessing it over the internet too. Different NAS servers provide different results and speeds and typically are designed with individual purposes in mind (i.e some are designed with media playing in mind, some with faster backing up and others with Surveillance recordings with CCTV IP Cameras). So first and foremost you have to make sure that the NAS you buy is designed for the tasks you have in mind. A fork and a Spoon are both cutlery, but you wouldn’t eat soup with a fork (maybe a spork). Traditional bare-metal servers have the option of remote internet access, but nowhere near as intuitively and with a focus on user-friendliness that NAS systems provide.

What is NAS Drive?

Network Attached Storage, with the exception of casual 3rd party cloud use, is currently the most popular means to store, access, share and distribute data across your home, your city and the rest of the world. It provides you with the means to:

  • Access your Multimedia on Network devices over DLNA
  • Backup all your devices easily and at a time of your choosing, wire-free
  • Stream Media over the internet, anywhere in the world
  • Share files securely and with full control of how and when they are accessible
  • Centralize the storage of your data in one location
  • Create Bespoke tiered backup solutions that fit your own needs

Choosing between Synology, QNAP, WD, Drobo, Netgear, Thecus and Asustor NAS

Let’s get our hands dirty and start working out what is the best NAS for you. All the brands have a different target audience in mind and each has its own Pros and Cons. However, all of them support a number of similar abilities, software and network basic functionality. So before we talk about what is better or worse about each NAS brand, let’s look at what they all have in common:

Applicable to all

  • All are compatible with Mac, Windows, Android and Linux
  • All arrive with a selection of included applications and services for tailored data access
  • All can be purchased Worldwide and feature regular security updates and firmware improvements regularly
  • All can be accessed via Mobile apps available via Google Play and iTunes, though there are more on some other brands than others
  • All can be accessed via your web browser – like Chrome, Opera, Safari, and…sigh… Windows Explorer
  • All use SATA HDD and SSD, with some having SAS enterprise options too
  • All work via the network and can be accessed worldwide over the internet
  • 3rd Party applications like PLEX, KODI and APPLE TIME MACHINE are supported
  • All arrive DLNA certified, so they will be accessed by your PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Smart TV or Sonos system to play media
  • All are either WiFi-enabled or can have a WiFi dongle attached – though your speeds will suffer
  • All when purchased NEW arrive with a warranty of at least 2 years and in many cases more

Why Not Use Cloud Services like Google Drive, OneDrive or Dropbox instead of a NAS?

Do not think that 3rd party cloud services are bad, they really aren’t! In fact, you should always consider adding a 2nd or 3rd tier into your backup strategy at home/work, and synchronization of files/folders on your NAS with the cloud is a good means to ensure you have another backup in place. Additionally, most NAS feature a variety of 256bit encryption options, password protection, 2 step verification and more to allow secure access is ensured to the NAS and the content, even via the cloud. Additionally, bg NAS brands like Synology and QNAP have been supporting Hybrid Cloud services that not only allow cloud storage to be bolted onto your NAS storage for shared usage and access, but also both brand support backup and synchronization with cloud collaborate services, such as Google’s G Suite and Microsoft’s Office 365. So there is DEFINITELY still a valid and useful place for 3rd party cloud services in 2022, however, I rarely advocate the use of these cloud services as a PRIMARY storage location. They ARE convenient and you can get a limited amount of space included for free, but I generally have three core reasons that I do not recommend cloud as a first-tier storage.

COST – The cost of most 2 year subscriptions costs about the same as if you just purchased even a small scale NAS on day 1. It might seem like just 5 or 10 bucks a month, but over 2 or 3 years, it all adds up and moreover, after that time you either need to keep on paying every month or still buy a NAS or DAS system for the data to live on. Might as well buy the NAS sooner rather than later as it will be inevitable eventually.

ACCESS – NAS provides more apps, file-level tailored use and can be better adapted into popular 3rd Party applications like PLEX, KODI, APPLE TIME MACHINE and DLNA supported devices. A cloud provider severely limits the kind of access you have on a regular basis.

PRIVACY – NAS provides full individual user control and access, as well as admin controls. Plus the NAS can be fully disconnected from the Internet/Network at your discretion. A cloud provider has a relative pre-set safety protocol that, when cracked on one or two occasions, opens up mass hacking

This is not to say that data on your NAS is completely inaccessible. Any NAS brand can only really stay 1 step ahead of the hackers, patching exploits as they are found (no different than any online service really), but a NAS is a means to create a secure, customizable and ultimately bespoke data storage solution.

Why Choose Synology NAS? Advantages and Disadvantages

synology-all-black-logo-for-banner

Likely one of the two NAS brands you have heard of, Synology NAS is the company that invests HEAVILY in its software – and it shows. It may seem one of the most expensive, but with it, you get some genuine boundary-breaking software with your purchase.  You still get a great level of hardware in the majority of Synology NAS solutions, but the real draw of Synology is that software. Not only does it support your own hardware environment of PCs, Macs, entertainment devices and mobiles in their own respective software, but DSM also includes MANY applications designed around keeping all your data IN-HOUSE. So, replace Skype/Whatsapp with Synology Chat, Replace Google Docs and Office365 with Synology Office. Use Synology Drive to make your storage visible and accessible the way YOU want it, and export your entire cloud/data network over to a Synology NAS and remove all the external access as and when you need! They aren’t the cheapest and they want you to do it ‘there way’, but it’s a pretty decent way. Additionally, their recent DSM 7.0 software has left many users impressed, with enhanced support of those 3rd party cloud storage and business services, AI photo recognition, their surveillance platform continuing to win awards and even an in-house cloud service in Synology C2. Stylizing themselves very much as the ‘Apple’ of this industry, they really do focus on keeping things straightforward and intuitive.

PROS of Synology NAS

  • Easily the most intuitive and Usage browser-based GUI (award-winning DSM 6.2/7.0/7.1) – FULL Review HERE
  • One of the best Surveillance NAS software solutions
  • Most popular vendor for Mac users for it’s UI
  • Incredibly feature-rich NVR software included, in Surveillance Station
  • Includes Active Backup Suite – Enterprise level and fully featured Backup Co-ordination software
  • Lowest Power Consumption vs other brands
  • A large # of their systems arrive with m.2 NVMe SSD caching upgrade bays
  • Quiet chassis compared with other brands
  • Task specialised Ranges like ‘PLAY’, ‘PLUS’ and ‘J’ make buying easier
  • The best range of first-party software, with Synology Office, Chat, Mail, Drive and more
  • SHR and SHR-2 – also BTRFS available in most solutions
  • Cloud Services available in Synology C2
  • Desktop and Rack-mount options are available
  • Best software for Home and SMB

CONS of Synology NAS

  • Often the most expensive
  • Recent Enterprise NAS Hardware has changed Compatibility in favour of Synology HDDs and SSDs
  • Generally, Synology NAS has the lowest hardware power in their systems
  • NVMe SSD Bays are for caching ONLY, they cannot be used for super-fast storage pools
  • More technically minded folk will need to dig a little to get to the nitty-gritty
  • SHR is not available on Enterprise NAS Systems
  • Network ONLY – no HDMI, Audio in/out, Thunderbolt, etc

Synology DS220J NAS – $180

4-Core ARM 64bit CPU – 512MB Memory – 1GbE – 2-Bay

RECOMMENDED – Synology DS920+ – $535

4-Core Intel 64bit CPU – 4/8GB Memory – 1GbE – 4-Bay –  NVMe

Synology DS1621XS+ NAS – $1899

4-Core Intel Xeon 64bit CPU – 8/16GB Memory – 10GbE – 6-Bay –  NVMe

Best Budget NAS

Check Amazon Below for Current Prices/Stock

Best Mid-Range Solution

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Best Business Solution

Check Amazon Below for Current Prices/Stock


Why Choose QNAP NAS? Advantages and Disadvantages

QNAP_logo1_hnlgpk_ptkfgi

Often considered the choice for the more hardware-aware buyer, if you are looking for a much more traditionally computer associated hardware – QNAP NAS is certainly the one that springs to mind. Generally considered the ‘innovators’ of the NAS industry, they have the largest range of solutions available Notwithstanding the fact that their hardware is by FAR the most evolved platform in NAS (thunderbolt 3, multiple HDMI, 10Gbe standard solutions, Silent NAS, AI solutions and advanced SSD caching), the platform is fantastically diverse, providing great NAS options alongside network switches, network adapters and generally reshaping your hardware environment for the better. The software has also evolved dramatically into its own beast, moving away from trying to imitate and carving its own path. It is a little more technically (and I really do mean a little) but it is far more rewarding for it. They do not feature some popular items on their portfolio, such as BTRFS or a fluid RAID system like SHR/BeyondRAID, but make up for this with their own range of alternatives and in most cases succeed. Get your reading glasses on though, as their range is quite vast and might overwhelm you a tad. In recent years the brand has shifted focus a great deal more towards software in efforts to meet the gap with their rival Synology to pretty good success. This is often achieved by releasing software that does the previously impossible before anyone else, but lacking a little of the polish of their biggest rival. Recent achievements with HybridMount, vJBOD, HyperVisor Protector, QuMagie and Multimedia Console have been received remarkably well, arriving onto the scene 1-2 years before anyone else. Alongside this, QNAP still has easily the best virtual machine and backup software for home and SMB in Virtualization Station and Hybrid Backup Sync.

PROS of QNAP NAS

  • Best Solutions for Plex Media Server in NAS
  • Enterprise/Business Solutions feature ZFS
  • 2.5Gbe, 5Gbe and 10Gbe Options
  • Best Virtual Machine and Container Solutions in NAS
  • NVMe SSD Bays can be used for Caching, Storage Pools or Tiered Storage Configurations
  • Almost all range is metal in design, or a plastic but unique chassis
  • HDMI and remote control included in most Media NAS devices
  • Thunderbolt NAS options covering TB2, TB3 and even TB4 (TS-464)
  • Two Surveillance Solutions (with 4/8 Camera Licenses included)
  • The Best Backup/Synchronization solution in ‘Hybrid Backup Sync 3’
  • Technical information far more readily available
  • Lower price compared with Synology in terms of hardware
  • Regularly updated software and Detailed GUI/APPs – FULL Review HERE
  • Desktop and Rackmount options are available
  • Much better business options and definitely the best for virtual machines

CONS of QNAP NAS

  • A more android feel towards apps and stability means some users will be put off
  • Lacking the BTRFS and SHR support of Synology
  • Higher typical Power consumption
  • Often a fraction noisier due to chiefly metal chassis
  • Much larger range of devices can lead to confusion
  • Most units arrive with 2-3 Years warranty, but longer will cost you more
  • Have been targetted by Ransomware attacks in the last 2 years

QNAP TS-233 NAS$205

4-Core ARM 64bit CPU – 2GB Memory – 1GbE – 2-Bay

RECOMMENDED – QNAP TS-464 – $599

4-Core Intel 64bit CPU – 4/16GB Memory – 1GbE – 4-Bay

QNAP TVS-872XT NAS$2200

4/6-Core Intel Core 64bit CPU – 8/64GB Memory – 10GbE – 8-Bay

Best Budget NAS

Check Amazon Below for Current Prices/Stock

Best Mid-Range Solution

Check Amazon Below for Current Prices/Stock

Best Business Solution

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Why Choose Asustor NAS? Advantages and Disadvantages

asustor logo

Another brand that was once a little on the fringe until around 2018, Asustor NAS has really upped their game in recent years, arriving with some impressively affordable 10Gbe solutions with the AS40 series, followed with the very well received Nimbustor 2 & 4 devices, and is now absolutely killing it with the Lockstor series. Certainly, a brand that wants to carve its place in the industry, the ASUS connected brand currently offers software features and functionality of Synology (BTRFS and Realtek integrated Processors) along with QNAP challenging hardware in HDMI 2.0a and 2.5Gbe default network ports (which they introduced first). This combined with a much cleaner and significantly improved software GUI in ADM, they have moved much beyond the slightly scrappy outsider vibe they had years ago. Recent additions to the range, such as the LockerStor have even included NVMe SSD bays and Xeon powered hardware, so the evolution clearly continues. The software does feel like a good middle ground between Synology and QNAP, even if missing the killer apps and hardware that gave them their market share (Thunderbolt3, SHR, Collaboration Suite, etc) and with a number of their newer releases arriving at a good chunk of $£ lower in price than comparative NAS from others (often more than 10-15% lower in fact).

PROS of Asustor NAS

  • Great Price vs Hardware – Often one of the lowest Prices Hardware solutions available
  • Recent Lockerstor Gen 2 Releases are Incredible Value for the Hardware
  • BTRFS Support
  • First Brand to Adopt 2.5Gbe Commercially
  • Nice software and still supports Kodi (unofficially), something slowly being pulled from other NAS Software stores – FULL REVIEW HERE
  • Good selection of Home and Business NAS devices
  • Early Adopter of HDMI 2.0a – so 4K at 60FPS and have their own HDMI GUI in Asustor Portal
  • VM deployment and Container Support not dissimilar from QNAP, only not quite as flash
  • Noise is pretty low on most home devices like the Nimbustor 2/4
  • More Apps are available on the NAS app store, more than QNAP and Synology
  • Product Naming is easier to follow than most brands

CONS of Asustor NAS

  • Mobile Apps are very functional but appear a little sparse
  • Many HDMI apps seem to be simplified web portals, rather than standalone applications
  • Browser-based GUI does not feel quite as smooth as Synology DSM, but on par with others
  • The Surveillance Center application feels very dated and less intuitive than most
  • Have been targetted by Ransomware attacks in the last 2 years

Asustor Drivestor 2 NAS$165

4-Core ARM 64bit CPU – 1GB Memory – 2.5GbE – 2-Bay

RECOMMENDEDAsustor LockerStor4 G.2 $550

4-Core Intel 64bit CPU – 4/16GB Memory – 2.5GbE – NVMe – 4-Bay

Asustor LockerStor 10 Pro NAS $1299

4-Core Intel 64bit CPU – 8/32GB Memory – 10G+2.5G – NVMe -10-Bay

Best Budget NAS

Check Amazon Below for Current Prices/Stock

Best Mid-Range Solution

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Best Business Solution

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Why Choose WD NAS? Advantages and Disadvantages

wdfulllogo

Although they have been a little quiet in terms of their hardware output recently, WD NAS is a brand that has been around for years (though most know them as a hard drive brand) and Western Digital NAS drives are a firm favourite among students and low-level storage solutions. They have a number of solutions in their WD My Cloud range that supports lite home users all the way to industry-level business users who want robust storage. The software may seem a little sparse and a far cry from Synology and QNAP, but they provide straight forward and clear setup. They WILL seem limited to anyone familiar with Synology/QNAP, but they certainly have a place in the industry. With user-friendly support of Apple Time Machine, Plex and DLNA – They are a great starter NAS with pre-populated options to make them extra affordable.

PROS of WD NAS

  • Popular HDD Vendor too, with expertise on their side
  • Often pre-populated so all warranty is covering Drives+NAS
  • Pre-populated NAS options result in better price for storage overall
  • Very fast set-up and can be deployed to deploy within 30 mins
  • Small+compact – featuring some of the lowest noise and power consumption of all
  • 3-year warranty on most units
  • Some units have 2 x PSU ports for Redundancy

CONS of WD NAS

  • EXT4 only
  • Have been VERY Quiet in NAS hardware in the last 12-18 Months
  • barely any mobile apps and relies on 3rd party mobile apps to connect over IP/Network settings
  • Smaller App selection in-app store
  • Limited User Interface
  • No HDMI, 10GBe, only USB 3.0 and 1GBe RJ45
  • Often much lower specs than Synology and QNAP
  • VERY small range
  • Desktop Only – No rackmount or Larger options

WD MyCloud EX2 NAS$159

2-Core ARM 32bit CPU – 512MB Memory – 1GbE – 2-Bay – Inc Drives

RECOMMENDEDWD MyCloud Pro – $450

4-Core Pentium CPU – 4/8GB Memory – 1GbE – 4-Bay – Inc Drives

WD MyCloud EX4100 NAS$349

4-Core ARM 32bit CPU – 2GB Memory – 1GbE – 4-Bay – Inc Drives

Best Budget NAS

Check Amazon Below for Current Prices/Stock

Best Mid-Range Solution

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Best Business Solution

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Why Choose TerraMaster NAS? Advantages and Disadvantages

One brand that I have always had a personal love for is TerraMaster. This is purely subjective and should be taken with a pinch of salt, but for a brand that no one really knows about, they give ALOT of the key features that other bigger brand advertise alot. BTRFS support is available on pretty much ALL the Intel-based devices, they feature one of the ONLY 4 LAN 2-Bay NAS’, along with an Intel N5105 based 10Gbe 2, 4 5 and 8-Bay solution and a particularly unique 2 HDD 10GbE system. Arriving with a thunderbolt DAS range too, Terramaster is a NAS brand that has evolved comparatively quickly and although for the most part, they are only available via Amazon, this has still allowed them to be a recognizable brand. Typically in a like for like hardware comparison with them and companies like Synology/QNAP, you will find them better value for money, and the software (though less diverse or slick than those two big brands) is still pretty smooth and intuative. The chassis design is a little underwhelming, but even that has improved in recent revisions. All in all, they are the best budget NAS solution out there in 2022 and a good entry point into NAS.

PROS of TerraMaster NAS

  • Great Price vs Hardware
  • VERY Fast Brand Evolution
  • TOS 5 Software introducing Surveillance, FluidRAID, AI-Powered photo Recognition and Isolation Mode
  • Added a LARGE 2.5GbE selection of NAS in their portfolio
  • Hugely Improved GUI and Client apps
  • BTRFS available as file system choice
  • Desktop and Rackmount options
  • Similar Hardware to QNAP and Asustor, but at a Lower Price
  • Straight forward range and classification
  • Very Straight Fordwared Setup

CONS of TerraMaster NAS

  • Very Few Mobile Apps
  • Not quite as polished or fully featured as Synology/QNAP
  • Despite Business targeting, very poor support of 10GBe till recently in the F2-423
  • A little dated design
  • Arrives with Warranty, but the turnaround is slower than many
  • Have been targetted by Ransomware attacks in the last 2 years

Terramaster F2-423 NAS$289

4-Core Intel 64bit CPU – 4/32GB Memory – 2.5GbE – 2-Bay

RECOMMENDED – Terramaster F5-422 – $599

4-Core Intel 64bit CPU – 4/16GB Memory – 10GbE – 5-Bay

Terramaster T12-423 12-Bay NAS $1399

4-Core Intel 64bit CPU – 4/32GB Memory – 2.5GbE – NVMe – 12-Bay

Best Budget NAS

Check Amazon Below for Current Prices/Stock

Best Mid-Range Solution

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Best Business Solution

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Why Choose Buffalo NAS? Advantages and Disadvantages

One brand that has danced with the home NAS industry, but pretty much now exclusively business in Buffalo. This brand is one that provides a number of key elements that businesses love. Robust and Rugged hardware design, Empty or Pre-Populated NAS solutions, Customizable Warranty options, Windows Server Pre-Installed Solutions, 10Gbe at an affordable Price and just generally being an enterprise/Business solution through and through. They lack the sexy/indie vibe of other brands, but that is not their target demographic – they want the user who wants storage that is simple, reliable and ‘setup and forget’. This means that on the face of it, they will seem quite pricey, but that is because you have to factor in the inclusion of hard drives, the service+support and the industrial level construction.

PROS of Buffalo NAS

  • Great Price vs Hardware for Business Users
  • Fantastically Rugged Construction
  • Lowest Priced 10Gbe Solutions
  • Can be purchased pre-populated, so warranties are all covering
  • Desktop and Rackmount options
  • Similar Hardware to Netgear, but at a Lower Price
  • Straight forward range and classification
  • EXCELLENT Windows Storage Server NAS devices, with inbuilt Windows Server 2016 for FAST deployment
  • Better Standard Warranty Length and more bespoke Recovery/Destroy options available
  • Easier and more customizable Warranty Extension options

CONS of Buffalo NAS

  • Very Few Mobile Apps
  • Availability outside of U.S and Japan is low
  • More focused on Business Users
  • Poor power consumption and dated design
  • Weak CPU choices on the whole
  • Lacks some more modern NAS innovations introduced by QNAP, Synology and more

Why Choose Netgear NAS? Advantages and Disadvantages

NETGEAR_Logo

One brand that has probably the longest history in network solutions is Netgear – pretty much ANYONE has heard of them, whether it was because your first switch/router came from them, or because they have such a squeaky clean reputation. The NAS solutions, much like Buffalo, are very industry-focused, but arriving with a few more features in the GUI department than them. Also arriving with pre-populated options and a diverse warranty structure, they do give alot to business users. They may seem a little ‘blah’, but what they lack in sizzle, they make up for in sausage.

PROS of Netgear NAS

  • Huge Mac and Windows Support
  • Fantastic Network configuration options
  • rugged and sturdy metal design
  • Often longer warranties than other brands like-for-like
  • Can be purchased pre-populated, so warranties are all covering
  • Supports usual RAID levels, as well as X-RAID and X-RAID 2 – Expandable RAID volumes not unlike SHR
  • Desktop and Rackmount options

CONS of Netgear NAS

  • High price Tag
  • Releases are very few and far between
  • Despite Business targeting, very poor support of 10GBe
  • Small App selection
  • Limited User Interface
  • REALLY confusing range
  • Not designed for a newbie – and larger units may need a dedicated IT guy
  • High power consumption and not the quietest

Should you buy Budget NAS brands like D-Link or Zyxel?

It should be highlighted that there are more NAS brands available than the ones discussed today. with each passing year more and more brands release their own NAS server for home and business use. However, in many cases, they are either too unreliable, too low on support and features, too technical for anyone with below-bill-gates depth of knowledge and most importantly most all, arrive from a brand without an established reputation. When it comes to buying the right network-attached storage device, you need to know what your buying works, as well as knowing that the manufacturer will be there in the event of a problem. likewise, you are trusting you’re are most likely trusting this brand with your most precious data (some photos and videos are irreplaceable) and from data loss to data theft, choosing the right NAS brand is essential.

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QNAP TS-133 NAS Review – Is Size Everything?

4 mars 2022 à 01:23

The QNAP TS-133 NAS Drive Review


The QNAP TS-133 is a new NAS, sure, but there have been ALOT of these systems for a while now and why should you care about this one? It’s a valid question. Although network-attached storage (NAS) has been around for quite a number of years, the average buyer has diversified quite dramatically. NAS systems once started life as mini servers for professionals and small/medium business (SMB) users to allow them to have their very own alternative to smaller subscription business cloud systems. However, when NAS first started becoming more home-user-friendly, a huge range of solutions quickly developed that were tailored to different user requirements, budgets and scales. One area of NAS that still continues to have a moderate (if slightly entry-level) following is that of single bay (AKA 1-Bay) NAS drives that serve as the first step for many into owning their own private server. Arriving at a considerably more affordable price point than their larger, RAID enabled brothers and sisters, 1-Bay NAS drives such as the QNAP TS-133 provide a base level introduction to the software and services available in a NAS, whilst streamlining the hardware for efficiency. Many might argue that you can just buy a bigger and more powerful NAS, then just install a single HDD, but those users would be rather missing the point. Today I want to review the QNAP TS-133 NAS drive, Discuss design, hardware, what it can do and what it can’t do. Right now, at the start of 2022, the QNAP TS-133 is the most powerful 1-Bay NAS that you can buy commercially (again, in the context of 1 HDD NAS systems) but arrives a pinch more expensive than most. So, let’s review the TS-133 NAS and decide whether it deserves your data in 2022/2023.


Hardware Highlights:


  • ARM 4-core Cortex-A55 1.8GHz processor
  • 2GB DDR4 (Max)
  • 2x SATA HDD/SSD Bay
  • Top Loaded Drive Injection
  • 1x RJ45 1GbE
  • 1x USB 3.2 Gen 1
  • 1x USB 2.0
  • Support of the USB-to-5GbE Adapter
  • Low Noise single 80mm Fan
  • 36W External PSU and Reported 2.74/7.32W Power Use (Idle/Active)
  • 7.38 × 2.6 × 6.2 inch Chassis Size

QNAP TS-133 NAS Review – Quick Conclusion


As long as you keep your feet on the ground a little and stay realistic, the QNAP TS-133 NAS Drive is indeed a very impressive piece of kit. We are talking about a combined hardware and software solution that you can purchase with a 4TB drive from the likes of Seagate or WD inside all in for a little over $200. It can run plex media server, it has surveillance software included in QVR Elite, AI-powered photo recognition (with the system featuring a dedicated AI engine for these tasks), multi-tiered backup handing in Hybrid Backup Sync 3, host a DLNA media server, connect and synchronize with cloud services in a bunch of ways, access to a bunch of tailored mobile apps and a whole lot of other services that would take too long to mention. Also, the TS-133 NAS is the first system in the commercial NAS market to feature this new Cortex A55 processor, as well as twice (and in some cases) four times the memory of alternative systems in the same tier with it’s 2GB DDR4 RAM. As long as you have realistic expectations about how busy you are going to be, how hard you intend to push the device and how much you expect it to do at any one time, I think the QNAP TS-133 NAS is easily the most powerful and capable 1-Bay NAS in the market to buy right now. The non-upgradable memory is a pain, the lack of 2.5GbE is perplexing and the continued appearance of USB 2.0 is a tad infuriating, but the TS-133 seemingly makes up for it with a wide variety of applications supported, a remarkably subtle and discreet deployment and in the hands of the right low-level user, this might well be the best NAS QNAP have produced in the value tier for years!

SOFTWARE - 8/10
HARDWARE - 7/10
PERFORMANCE - 8/10
PRICE - 9/10
VALUE - 9/10


8.2
PROS
👍🏻Currently the most powerful 1-Bay NAS Drive in the market
👍🏻A 1-Bay with 2GB of DDR4 Memory is pretty rare in the Value tier
👍🏻
👍🏻Exceptionally low noise and power use
👍🏻
👍🏻Runs the latest version of QTS 5
👍🏻
👍🏻First Value Tier NAS in the market to use the Cortex A55 Processor
👍🏻
👍🏻Quad-Core Processor is a nice bonus
👍🏻
👍🏻Inclusive AI-powered component built into the hardware
👍🏻
👍🏻Support for NAS-to-NAS/USB/Cloud backups and also supported Hybrid Storage and mounting
CONS
👎🏻1GbE in 2022 event at the value tier is underwhelming
👎🏻USB 2.0 Ports is equally underwhelming
👎🏻
👎🏻Lack of RAID will put some users off (applicable to all 1-Bay’s though)

QNAP TS-133 NAS Review – PACKAGING & ACCESSORIES


Let’s start by how the TS-133 is presented. The retail box of the QNAP TS-133 NAS is definitely a change of scene from the plain brown box design of bigger releases by the brand and this is almost certainly down to the system being more readily available for buyers to see in retail outlets. The majority of NAS solutions are eShop purchases, but more affordable solutions such as the TS-133 are going to be considerably more high street accessible in your local tech shop. The packaging is a mix of European graphical shouting and eastern specification details. Maybe lacking a little of the subtlety of the TS-130 and TS-128A that came before it, it is still a nice looking box that I would stop to look at, to be honest.



Another area that the QNAP TS-133 NAS differs from bigger and more expensive releases is in how the unit is packaged. As this is a smaller and more compact unit, as well as more cost-sensitive, the protective packaging on this system is all cardboard (no hard foam framework) and it is packed pretty tight with the NAS, accessories and documents. Once you have unpacked it, good luck getting it all back in there!



The accessories of the QNAP TS-133 NAS are pretty standard stuff, with the kit including screws for 2.5″/3.5″ storage media, documentation on your warranty, warranty extension option, setup guide, 1 metre Cat 5e RJ45 LAN cable and the external PSU that the NAS arrives with. Once again, the box was pretty tiny and I am surprised how much they crammed in there.



Once everything is all laid out on the desk, you get a better idea of the scale of the QNAP TS-133 NAS. This kit does not include any HDD/SSDs, but the support of media is pretty wide and this NAS supports upto 20TB via a single Hard Drive in the available bay – though DO remember that hard drives greater than around 8TB (and Pro series drives of all capacities) will be noticeably noisier in operation and the TS-133 will not be able to hide this.



The external PSU of the QNAP TS-133 NAS is a 36W block style and fairly generic. Having an external PSU will ensure that the heat that it might generate is not inside the chassis (resulting in increased fan operation to compensate, potentially lower CPU efficiency and a noisier experience). Equally, thanks to the modest CPU inside this system, compact design and modest connections, this system is exceeding low in power consumption in both idle and active use – something that those looking for a NAS for their mobile home, boat, easy-deployment storage and mobile work desk space will appreciate.



Overall, the QNAP TS-133 NAS retail kit is all fairly standard stuff and although I wasn’t exactly bowled over by it, it contains everything you are going to need (aside from media) to set this device up in your home or office space. Let’s talk about the design of the TS-133.

QNAP TS-133 NAS Review – Design


The chassis that the QNAP TS-133 NAS features is a modified version of the TS-130 chassis that arrived back in 2020/2021. It is a surprisingly compact plastic casing, white in colour and features a mesh/quilt patterned black stick that details the system information at a glance via LEDs. The system does not have any side panel ventilation, instead opting for a larger system of smaller vents located around the entire chassis. I definitely prefer this colour scheme and slightly sharper edges of the TS-133 over the baby-blue TS-130 NAS Chassis.



Indeed, although some users are less keen on white chassis (as they can show dust and marks much more) this plastic chassis here is very low noise (will touch on this later) and will merge into more hardware environments very easily. It reminds me a lot of the 1-HDD WD My Cloud/My Book design and how it is designed to be understated and fit into your other desk/office hardware easily. This does as much quite well – though maybe it would have been nice for other colours to be available? A missed home user opportunity perhaps (it sounds crazy, but enough users have asked me this very question to wonder).



The top right of the front of the QNAP TS-133 NAS features individual LED indicators that denote different activities. These LEDs can be dimmed/deactivated in the QTS system and denote the following:

  • System Activity
  • Network Activity
  • Storage Media Activity

Despite QNAP being one of the last brands to still feature LCD screens on some of their systems to give real-time information such as system temp, IPS, warning details etc, the budget level ranges such as this one have never and almost certainly will never have that kind of on-system digital UI.



Ventilation on the QNAP TS-133 NAS is an interesting subject (I mean, relatively interesting, I am not mad!). As this system is noticeably smaller than more other NAS drives AND it features a more power-efficient CPU, heat is going to be more of a concern than usual. Although the system is quite small, there is quite a lot of passive ventilated airflow working in conjunction with the active rear cooling fan. Although the bulk of the ventilation is based on the bottom of the device, the chassis is indented on either side, allowing the air to pass over the vertically stacked HDD bay inside and through the vents at the base as needed.



When the QNAP TS-133 NAS is in operation, the cooler air is pulled from the base, over the drive media and internal component heatsinks, then pulled through the rear cooling fan out the rear of the system. As the system does not feature any trays that would allow air to exit or ventilated side panels, it means that this airflow can’t escape any other way. The system uses a closed chassis and this ventilation is a big part of how the more efficient components maintain ideal operational temperature.



So, that is the design of the QNAP TS-133 NAS. It is certainly designed in a much more modest and understated than beefier NAS’, such as the TS-251D or TS-453D, but for compact deployment where you will want as little impact as possible in noise or physical space, it’s a solid bit of design. Let’s discuss the connectivity of the TS-133 NAS.


QNAP TS-133 NAS Review – Ports & Connections


As mentioned, the QNAP TS-133 NAS features a rear-mounted active cooling fan. This fan and the covering vent cover around 40% of the rear of the chassis and is surprisingly low noise. When you first boot the device up, it will spin at the maximum speed for a few seconds (as it tests that its functions are fully operational) and although the fan at the height of its speed is audible, it is still not the worse I have heard. In the 8 hours of hardware/software testing that I performed on this device (including software overviews, storage setups, Plex media server and more), I never heard the fan spin up particularly and the only particularly noticeable noise was the single Seagate Ironwolf hard drive I installed inside, which the TS-133 was unable to disguise/suppress.



For all of my positivity about the QNAP TS-133 NAS up to this point, it is worth highlighting that in terms of connectivity (and I am aware this is a much more modest, affordable and compact system), the external connectivity on the rear of this NAS is pretty underwhelming. QNAP in the last 18-24 months have revealed a number of innovative solutions to their Home, Prosumer and SMB (small-medium business) ranges that have largely led the way on connectivity – whilst still maintaining the same price point as fewer connectivity equipped systems from rival Synology. However, the TS-133 makes very little change in the connectivity compared with its 18-24 month older predecessor (the QNAP TS-130) and the 1GbE network port on the TS-133 is a particular blow. With Internet Service Providers rolling out 1Gb+ internet speeds in many countries AND providers such as Virgin in the UK releasing 2.5GbE equipped routers, we are fast reaching a point where one of the prime benefits of NAS vs Cloud (namely, the fact you can access a NAS faster than the cloud) is potentially being undone. Even if the TS-133 NAS is designed as an affordable solution, QNAP released several units in 2020/2021 that has 2.5GbE at the same price as 1GbE – so why does this system still have just 1GbE RJ45?



The System hardware inside the QNAP TS-133 NAS can certainly saturate 1GbE/100MB/s+ with/without encryption externally and alongside the benefits of even a modest non-pro HDD or SSD in this 1-bay allowing speeds of 24-360MB/s  easily, QNAP also state that you CAN use the USB-to-5GbE adapter (optional purchase). So there does not seem to be any CPU limitations to using greater than gigabit connectivity and therefore its absence in even a modest device like this in 2022 is a tad disappointing.



Then, after the slight disappointment of 1x 1GbE, I then saw that the TS-133 arrives with 1x USB 2.0 port – IN 2022! Now, I am not unreasonable. I appreciate that 1) this is an affordable solution 2) that the processor and its hardware limits/chipset might be stretched and 3) that the system DOES also feature a USB 3.2 Gen 1 Port type-A too. However, given that this device can be used with USB backups, USB 3.2 Gen 1 network adapters, expansion chassis and more, having one of the USB expansion ports with considerably lower bandwidth version 2.0 ports is a real pain. They can still be used for things such as USB printers or UPS Heatbeat/alert connectivity, but as this system lacks any HDMI out (As the CPU does not feature any kind of embedded graphics), you cannot even use these for a KVM setup.



Overall, the connectivity on the QNAP TS-133 NAS is… well… fine. It’s fine and jsut about passable for an entry-level/affordable solution that is not exactly designed to knock your socks off. Nevertheless, it is not exactly going to blow you away in the bandwidth department. Next, let’s talk about the internal hardware.


QNAP TS-133 NAS Review – Internal Hardware


The internal hardware of the QNAP TS-133 NAS is understandably modest and although the system supports a good % of the QNAP QTS applications, it has to be said that its ability to multitask and/or support multiple users at once is noticeably less than an Intel/AMD x86 system would be. The single media bay of the TS-133 NAS allows a drive to be held in place (there is no tray and hot-swapping is not supported) internally via a SATA connection. To gain access, flip the device over and then unscrew the single base level flathead screw. It is that straight forward and after it is removed, the chassis can simply be slid apart into two pieces to reveal the media bay.



The drive bay is connected with a SATA combined power and data connector (no loose cables) and you can install either a 3.5″ or 2.5″ SATA HDD/SSD. The system is designed around an aluminium framework that is full of spacing for the airflow to work around and between the internal media, controller board and component covering heatsinks. The TS-233 2-Bay version of this system featured two trays that allowed the much easier screwless installation of media, whereas things are a little bare-bones in the TS-133 NAS. This is not the end of the world and only adds around 2-3 minutes to your installation though.



Now, some users do not consider a 1-Bay NAS system a suitable 24×7 server system for anyone, as the single HDD architecture means that you cannot take advantage of RAID (redundant array of independent disks) that allows you to have a safety net in the event that a HDD/SSD fails (nothing lasts forever). However, I would also be keen to highlight that RAID is NOT a BACKUP! If you are storing data that you deem irreplaceable (eg photos of family or events) or mission-critical (client/customer data for your business), then you NEED to have at least one (ideally x2) copy of your data at all times. So, although the loss of RAID in the TS-133 NAS is going to be a bit of a bummer for some, it DOES still arrive with support of Backups between the NAS and USB/Cloud/NAS, with the option to create many, many scheduled jobs in the HBS3 program. These can be conducted in either direction and although lack the short recovery of service that a RAID can provide, they are real BACKUPS and will be your saviour in the event of a critical system failure, ransomware attack, malware attack, theft and more.



The CPU of the QNAP TS-133 NAS is a Cortex A55 processor that is 64bit ARM in architecture, quad-core and has a clock-seed/frequency of 1.8Ghz per core. This CPU is one that is designed for long, long use whilst using a very small amount of power. ARM processors are often popular on mobile devices, tablets, Chromebooks and ultimately devices that are designed with efficiency in mind. However, this CPU (much like the A53 Realtek RTD1295 in it’s predecessor, the TS-130) is a server optimized processor and although would be outpaced by the likes of a Celeron, Pentium or Ryzen, it is ideal for keeping within the price point of most cost-effective buyers, whilst still providing a wide variety of supported software and services.



There are several versions of this CPU architecture in the market, but they all share a lot of functional similarities. ARM processors compress the instructions that are handled by the processor in order to use less power in their operation for the rest of the system. So, on the one hand, it means less power is used when typically operations are required HOWEVER it also means that it cannot handle particularly complex tasks, as they are either impossible to compress or the act of compressing these instructions takes way too long. The use of efficient CPUs like this in modern value NAS is not new (all the NAS brands do it), but this is the first time we have seen this particular CPU in a 2022 Value series NAS and almost certainly this will be a familiar architecture moving forward from the likes of Synology and Asustor soon.



Under the same CPU is an area of flash memory where the QNAP operating system lives (at least till it is initialized with storage media) and allows the system to be restored if needed, as well as set up from scratch without the use of the internet. This is fairly common in QNAP NAS systems and I can confirm that when the review unit arrived here in the studio, it featured the latest version of QTS 5 onboard.



The QNAP TS-133 NAS also features DDR4 memory that works in conjunction with the CPU to support your software and services when using the NAS (much like any other computer device). However, there is good news and bad news. The good news is that the TS-133 arrives with 2GB of DDR4 memory – which is noticeably more than most brands currently offer at this price point for a 1-bay (with the majority of others under £100 arriving with just 256MB or 512MB). However, the bad news is that you cannot upgrade this memory (as it is soldered to the controller board), so although 2GB is still more than other modest/Value NAS systems like this, you are going to hit a glass ceiling pretty quickly if you plan on using this system particularly aggressively. When I had a small handful of applications running on the TS-133 (media, surveillance and 1 backup task), I only had 0.7GB of memory left available according to the task manager. So, that 2GB memory DOES allow you to run several tasks, but if you are considering a larger body of software, users or scheduled tasks to be regularly performed, you might find this system will hit a wall sooner than you might like. Like most modest systems, the TS-133 is about staying realistic about how much you are paying for, the hardware that money gets you and what it can realistically be capable of. For the hardware on offer and my software experiences, I was pleased with what this system could do. I just wish there was the option of adding more memory later on. Let’s talk about software.


QNAP TS-133 NAS Review – Software & Services


I have rather laboured the point about the internal hardware of the TS-133, but this is mostly because many users will not understand the difference between power and capability, and this is very often an area where a buyer will fall into the tricky area of Budget Vs Cheap. I believe that this NAS falls into the category of value, not cheap – but let me explain. The QNAP TS-133 is more than just hardware and arrives with the QTS 5 NAS software. This service package and GUI is included in the price of the TS-133 (along with numerous mobile and client applications for multiple platforms) and is a relatively easy user interface to navigate (though not quite as user friendly as their more expensive rival Synology and DSM of course) and is an operating system that will support those users in both home and business circles. it is important to understand that when you buy the TS-133 server (or indeed any QNAP NAS) that it arrives with the QTS software platform included, BUT with constant updates and hundreds of applications included that NEED to be updated in their lifetime for reasons of security and increased services. If you want to use the QTS system, it is highly recommended that you always enable the myriad of security councillor, scanning and network security tools included. These are all tested and maintained 1st party QNAP apps and 3rd party applications. This is further improved with desktop client programs for PC/Mac and mobile applications for iOS and Android – ALL INCLUDED and downloadable at any time. The TS-133 can perform most modern applications that you would want from a modern NAS. I reviewed QNAP QTS 5 late last year over on YouTube (and here on the blog) and although these reviews were based on a more powerful QNAP NAS, the bulk of the services and features covered are supported by the TS-133 – just on a smaller scale:

FULL Written QNAP QTS 5 Review FULL Video Review of QNAP QTS 5

Of course, with such modest hardware under the bonnet, how much of the QNAP software can this system hope to run? I can say that it definitely runs well/better than the TS-130, however as mentioned, the 2GB of DDR4 memory that the TS-133 arrives with (which cannot be upgraded) will likely use a significant chunk of that just to run a small handful of applications at once. The QNAP TS-133 is more than just hardware and arrives with the QTS 5 NAS software. Along with a bunch of others, the key tools, the TS-133 can perform most modern applications that you would want from a modern NAS, such as:

First Party QNAP Applications for the TS-133

  • QSync for Backing up multiple Devices to the NAS on a schedule/as needed
  • Hyper Backup Sync 3
  • QuMagie for photo collections and AI-enabled face/thing recognition
  • Multimedia Console for managing media sharing, streaming, transcoding and indexing
  • File Station for File Management, sharing and permission allocation
  • Download Station for managing HTTP/FTP/NZB/BT downloads, as well as RSS feeds for podcasts and updates
  • QFiling and QSirch to better organize files and remove duplicates/waste
  • Cloud Drive for Migrating and Synchronizing between Google Drive, Dropbox, Amazon S3, etc
  • Photo Station to organize and catalogue photo collections
  • Music Station to organize, playback and stream music media to network/internet devices
  • Video Station to playback media over the network/internet
  • Container Station for management micro/compact virtual environments
  • QVR Elite for Surveillance/CCTV/NVR use with IP Cameras
  • MANY more QNAP Apps

Third-Party Applications for the TS-133

  • Plex Media Server(no transcoding natively)
  • Emby
  • iTunes Server
  • Acronis True Image Backup
  • Malware Remover
  • SugarCRM
  • TVMosaic

Overall, I cannot especially fault the range of applications that the QNAP TS-133 NAS arrive with, as at this price point for all these to be included with the hardware (more than just applications, but it has evolved into an entire operating system with services, client tools and wide-ranging usage options). It is still a device that requires a higher than average understanding of technology and its position of trying to hold your hand in the menus, whilst simultaneously throwing setup options at you (with each saying that are important and you need to stay secure) means that it can be a pinch intimidating. You should not by a device like this and think that the end of your data storage, security and backups ends at the point of plugging it in – that way leads to the loss of data and lots of lost nights of sleep, but still, for this price point it is really hard to fault the value here for the combination of hardware and software.


QNAP TS-133 NAS Review – Conclusion & Verdict


As long as you keep your feet on the ground a little and stay realistic, the QNAP TS-133 NAS Drive is indeed a very impressive piece of kit. We are talking about a combined hardware and software solution that you can purchase with a 4TB drive from the likes of Seagate or WD inside all in for a little over $200. It can run plex media server, it has surveillance software included in QVR Elite, AI-powered photo recognition (with the system featuring a dedicated AI engine for these tasks), multi-tiered backup handing in Hybrid Backup Sync 3, host a DLNA media server, connect and synchronize with cloud services in a bunch of ways, access to a bunch of tailored mobile apps and a whole lot of other services that would take too long to mention. Also, the TS-133 NAS is the first system in the commercial NAS market to feature this new Cortex A55 processor, as well as twice (and in some cases) four times the memory of alternative systems in the same tier with it’s 2GB DDR4 RAM. As long as you have realistic expectations about how busy you are going to be, how hard you intend to push the device and how much you expect it to do at any one time, I think the QNAP TS-133 NAS is easily the most powerful and capable 1-Bay NAS in the market to buy right now. The non-upgradable memory is a pain, the lack of 2.5GbE is perplexing and the continued appearance of USB 2.0 is a tad infuriating, but the TS-133 seemingly makes up for it with a wide variety of applications supported, a remarkably subtle and discreet deployment and in the hands of the right low-level user, this might well be the best NAS QNAP have produced in the value tier for years!


PROs of the QNAP TS-133 NAS CONs of the QNAP TS-133 NAS
Currently the most powerful 1-Bay NAS Drive in the market

A 1-Bay with 2GB of DDR4 Memory is pretty rare in the Value tier


Exceptionally low noise and power use


Runs the latest version of QTS 5


First Value Tier NAS in the market to use the Cortex A55 Processor


Quad-Core Processor is a nice bonus


Inclusive AI-powered component built into the hardware


Support for NAS-to-NAS/USB/Cloud backups and also supported Hybrid Storage and mounting

1GbE in 2022 event at the value tier is underwhelming

USB 2.0 Ports is equally underwhelming


Lack of RAID will put some users off (applicable to all 1-Bay’s though)


 


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QNAP TS-233 NAS Drive Review – Cheap & Cheerful?

25 février 2022 à 11:25

The QNAP TS-233 NAS Drive Review


Making the switch from the likes of Google Drive, DropBox and the rest can be rather intimidating. You have reached a point where you have used up the meagre amount of free space they offer you, looking at the monthly cost and thinking “nah, I’ll get my own”. For the more budget-focused NAS buyer, the recently released TS-233 NAS from QNAP has quite a lot of appeal. Budget (AKA value, AKA cheap, AKA low priced) NAS drives have always held a very popular area of the home user private server market – arriving at a price point that is comparable to maybe 2-3 years of cloud storage subscription, but with the added benefit of you actually owning the storage space and not renting, these systems ate ones that supply a light introduction to private server ownership. Whether you are looking at just a simple backup and media streaming device, a NAS to add to your existing storage setup as a backup or 1-2 specific tools (AI photo powered storage/recognition, surveillance, plex, etc), more cost-effective solutions like these can be very appealing. However, all too often that low, low price tag (at least in comparison to more powerful prosumer/SMB devices) can indicate that the device is going to arrive with some fairly low-end hardware and what you save in £/$/€ , you lose in the time it takes to get things done. So, today I want to talk about QNAP’s latest budget buyer offering, the TS-233 NAS, talk about the hardware, the software, what it can do, what it can’t and ultimately whether it deserves your data? Let’s go.


Hardware Highlights:


  • ARM 4-core Cortex-A55 2.0GHz processor
  • 2GB DDR4 (Max)
  • 2x SATA HDD/SSD Bay
  • Top Loaded Drive Injection
  • 1x RJ45 1GbE
  • 1x USB 3.2 Gen 1
  • 2x USB 2.0
  • Support of the USB-to-5GbE Adapter
  • Compact 188.6 × 90.1 × 156.2mm White Closed Chassis
  • Low Noise single 80mm Fan
  • 65W External PSU and Reported 3.43/10.81W Power Use (Idle/Active)

QNAP TS-233 NAS Review – Quick Conclusion


Overall – I would say that the QNAP TS-233 NAS Drive IS good value, although maybe not as good a value as we have seen in previous releases from the brand. On the plus side, this is by far the most modern CPU that we have seen from a NAS brand in the ‘value’ tier. After a few years of fatigue from everyone using the Realtek RTD1966, this newer and more powerful/capable Cortex A55 is a breath of fresh air and allows a larger range of QNAP services and simultaneous services to be used at once. Equally, QTS 5 seems to have taken a lot of the criticism that people have had towards QNAP in 2021, its ‘default heavy’ security, over-flexibility in its design that gave some users too much rope to hang themselves and presets – then tightened many of them up, changed how users are informed of issues, bolstered the default security tools and increased its recommendations on backup tiers. QTS still has a steeper learning curve than other NAS brands, but now thing seems a lot tighter on day 1 and changing some options that users might use carelessly has been a big part of that. The 2GB of DDR4 memory in the system is a welcome day 1 inclusion too, when many affordable systems from competitors have 512GB or 1GB (which in 2022 is rather mind-boggling), however, the lack of scalability in that memory to go higher, the default 1GbE and those USB 2.0 ports are a touch surprising from a brand that generally tends to push the envelope in the hardware department more than many others. Overall, a solid release, if a little tame and safe at times. If you are looking at entering the QNAP NAS ecosystem and are on a tight budget, the TS-233 is a solid release and excellent value.

SOFTWARE - 8/10
HARDWARE - 7/10
PERFORMANCE - 8/10
PRICE - 9/10
VALUE - 9/10


8.2
PROS
👍🏻Good value hardware and software at this pricepoint
👍🏻2GB of DDR4 Memory at the affordable tier is very welcome
👍🏻
👍🏻Runs the latest version of QTS 5
👍🏻
👍🏻First Value Tier NAS in the market to use the Cortex A55 Processor
👍🏻
👍🏻Quad-Core Processor is a nice bonus
👍🏻
👍🏻Inclusive AI-powered component built into the hardware
👍🏻
👍🏻USB 3.2 Gen 1 Port and Copy Button always good at the value tier
👍🏻
👍🏻Support for NAS-to-NAS/USB/Cloud backups and also supported Hybrid Storage and mounting
CONS
👎🏻1GbE in 2022 event at the value tier is underwhelming
👎🏻2x USB 2.0 Ports is equally underwhelming

QNAP TS-233 NAS Review – PACKAGING & ACCESSORIES


The retail box of the QNAP TS-233 NAS is definitely a change of scene from the plain brown box design of bigger releases by the brand and this is almost certainly down to the system being more readily available for buyers to see in retail outlets. The majority of NAS solutions are eShop purchases, but more affordable solutions such as the TS-233 are going to be considerably more high street accessible in your local tech shop. The packaging is a mix of European graphical shouting and eastern specification details. Maybe lacking a little of the subtlety of the TS-230 and TS-228A that came before it, it is still a nice looking box that I would stop to look at, to be honest.



Another area that the QNAP TS-233 NAS differs from bigger and more expensive releases is in how the unit is packaged. As this is a smaller and more compact unit, as well as more cost-sensitive, the protective packaging on this system is all cardboard (no hard foam framework) and it is packed pretty tight with the NAS, accessories and documents. Once you have unpacked it, good luck getting it all back in there!



The accessories of the QNAP TS-233 NAS are pretty standard stuff, with the kit including screws for 2.5″/3.5″ storage media, documentation on your warranty, warranty extension option, setup guide, 1 metre Cat 5e RJ45 LAN cable and the external PSU that the NAS arrives with. Once again, the box was pretty tiny and I am surprised how much they crammed in there.



Once everything is all laid out on the desk, you get a better idea of the scale of the QNAP TS-233 NAS. This kit does not include any HDD/SSDs, but the support of media is pretty wide and this NAS supports upto 20TB HDDs in each bay – though DO remember that hard drives greater than around 8TB (and Pro series drives of all capacities) will be noticeably noisier in operation and the TS-233 will not be able to hide this.



The external PSU of the QNAP TS-233 NAS is a 65W block style and fairly generic. Having an external PSU will ensure that the heat that it might generate is not inside the chassis (resulting in increased fan operation to compensate, potentially lower CPU efficiency and a noisier experience). Equally, thanks to the modest CPU inside this system, compact design and modest connections, this system is exceeding low in power consumption in both idle and active use – something that those looking for a NAS for their mobile home, boat, easy-deployment storage and mobile work desk space will appreciate.



Overall, the QNAP TS-233 NAS retail kit is all fairly standard stuff and although I wasn’t exactly bowled over by it, it contains everything you are going to need (aside from media) to set this device up in your home or office space. Let’s talk about the design of the TS-233.


QNAP TS-233 NAS Review – Design


The chassis that the QNAP TS-233 NAS features is a modified version of the TS-230 chassis that arrived back in 2019/2020. It is a surprisingly compact plastic casing, white in colour and features a mesh/quilt patterned black stick that details the system information at a glance via LEDs. The system does not have any side panel ventilation, instead opting for a larger system of smaller vents located around the entire chassis. I definitely prefer this colour scheme and slightly sharper edges of the TS-233 over the baby-blue TS-230 NAS Chassis.



Indeed, although some users are less keen on white chassis (as they can show dust and marks much more) this plastic chassis here is very low noise (will touch on this later) and will merge into more hardware environments very easily. It reminds me a lot of the WD My Cloud/My Book design and how it is designed to be understated and fit into your other desk/office hardware easily. This does as much quite well – though maybe it would have been nice for other colours to be available? A missed home user opportunity perhaps (it sounds crazy, but enough users have asked me this very question to wonder).



The top right of the front of the QNAP TS-233 NAS features individual LED indicators that denote different activities. These LEDs can be dimmed/deactivated in the QTS system and denote the following:

  • System Activity
  • Network Activity
  • Active Copy Processes
  • Storage Media Activity

Despite QNAP being one of the last brands to still feature LCD screens on some of their systems to give real-time information such as system temp, IPS, warning details etc, the budget level ranges such as this one have never and almost certainly will never have that kind of on-system digital UI.



One thing I am particularly happy is available on the more cost-effective QNAP TS-233 NAS is the front-mounted, USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5Gb/s) USB port and a manual copy button. Now, USB backups are one of the easiest backup options that home and small business users to add to their NAS system and have a duplicate copy of some/all of the important data that otherwise ONLY exists on their NAS (and possibly partially on their client hardware). The QNAP TS-233 have multiple back-ups and sync options in place that you can use (NAS to Cloud, NAS to NAS, NAS to USB, etc) and many choose USB backups (even smaller ones that only backup particularly mission-critical data only) as an easy first step. Now, this backup operation can easily be set up to trigger automatically to a connected drive when connected or to work on a daily/hourly schedule if you choose. However many old fashion/skool users get a certain degree of comfort in the action of PRESSING the USB backup button to action a backup manually (without having to log into the GUI every time via a web browser or mobile app). Once you have set up the first time on the system what you want the system to do when you press that button (eg X particular files or X particular folders in X direction and with X file type/size exceptions), after that it will always act this command. An often overlooked feature and one I am glad is still featured on this more affordable NAS.



Ventilation on the QNAP TS-233 NAS is an interesting subject (I mean, relatively interesting, I am not mad!). As this system is noticeably smaller than more other NAS drives AND it features a more power-efficient CPU, heat is going to be more of a concern than usual. Although the system is quite small, there is quite a lot of passive ventilated airflow working in conjunction with the active rear cooling fan. Although the bulk of the ventilation is based on the bottom of the device, the chassis is indented on either side, allowing the air to pass over the vertically stacked HDD bays inside and through the vents at the base as needed.



When the QNAP TS-233 NAS is in operation, the cooler air is pulled from the base, over the drive media and internal component heatsinks, then pulled through the rear cooling fan out the rear of the system. As the system does not feature any trays that would allow air to exit or ventilated side panels, it means that this airflow can’t escape any other way. The system uses a closed chassis and this ventilation is a big part of how the more efficient components maintain ideal operational temperature.



So, that is the design of the QNAP TS-233 NAS. It is certainly designed in a much more modest and understated than beefier NAS’, such as the TS-253D or TS-473A, but for compact deployment where you will want as little impact as possible in noise or physical space, it’s a solid bit of design. Let’s discuss the connectivity of the TS-233 NAS.


QNAP TS-233 NAS Review – Ports & Connections


As mentioned, the QNAP TS-233 NAS features a rear-mounted active cooling fan. This fan and the covering vent cover around 50% of the rear of the chassis and is surprisingly low noise. When you first boot the device up, it will spin at the maximum speed for a few seconds (as it tests that its functions are fully operational) and although the fan at the height of its speed is audible, it is still not the worse I have heard. In the 11 hours of hardware/software testing that I performed on this device (including software overviews, storage setups, Plex media server and more), I never heard the fan spin up particularly and the only particularly noticeable noise was the 2x WD Red HDDs I installed inside, which the TS-233 was unable to disguise/suppress.



For all of my positivity about the QNAP TS-233 NAS up to this point, it is worth highlighting that in terms of connectivity (and I am aware this is a much more modest, affordable and compact system), the external connectivity on the rear of this NAS is pretty underwhelming. QNAP in the last 18-24 months have revealed a number of innovative solutions to their Home, Prosumer and SMB (small-medium business) ranges that have largely led the way on connectivity – whilst still maintaining the same price point as fewer connectivity equipped systems from rival Synology. However, the TS-233 makes very little change in the connectivity compared with its 2+ years older predecessor (the QNAP TS-230) and the 1GbE network port on the TS-233 is a particular blow. With Internet Service Providers rolling out 1Gb+ internet speeds in many countries AND providers such as Virgin in the UK releasing 2.5GbE equipped routers, we are fast reaching a point where one of the prime benefits of NAS vs Cloud (namely, the fact you can access a NAS faster than the cloud) is potentially being undone. Even if the TS-233 NAS is designed as an affordable solution, QNAP released several units in 2020/2021 that has 2.5GbE at the same price as 1GbE – so why does this system still have just 1GbE RJ45?



The System hardware inside the QNAP TS-233 NAS can certainly saturate 1GbE/100MB/s+ with/without encryption externally and alongside the benefits of a RAID configuration inside this 2-Bay allowing speeds of 250-450MB/s  easily, QNAP also state that you CAN use the USB-to-5GbE adapter (optional purchase). So there does not seem to be any CPU limitations to using greater than gigabit connectivity and therefore its absence in even a modest device like this in 2022 is a tad disappointing.



Then, after the slight disappointment of 1x 1GbE, I then saw that the TS-233 arrives with 2x USB 2.0 ports – IN 2022! Now, I am not unreasonable. I appreciate that 1) this is an affordable solution 2) that the processor and its hardware limits/chipset might be stretched and 3) that the system DOES have a front-mounted USB 3.2 Gen 1 Port. However, given that this device can be used with USB backups, USB 3.2 Gen 1 network adapters, expansion chassis and more, having two considerably lower bandwidth USB 2.0 ports is a real pain. They can still be used for things such as USB printers or UPS Heatbeat/alert connectivity, but as this system lacks any HDMI out (As the CPU does not feature any kind of embedded graphics), you cannot even use these for a KVM setup.



Overall, the connectivity on the QNAP TS-233 NAS is… well… fine. It’s fine and jsut about passable for an entry-level/affordable solution that is not exactly designed to knock your socks off. Nevertheless, it is not exactly going to blow you away in the bandwidth department. Next, let’s talk about the internal hardware.


QNAP TS-233 NAS Review – Internal Hardware


The internal hardware of the QNAP TS-233 NAS is understandably modest and although the system supports a good % of the QNAP QTS applications, it has to be said that its ability to multitask and/or support multiple users at once is noticeably less than an Intel/AMD x86 system would be. The 2 drive bays of the TS-233 NAS are held in screwless trays inside the chassis and can be accessed by powering down the system (hot swapping is not supported) and then unscrewing the single base level flathead screw. It is that straight forward and after it is removed, the chassis can simply be slid apart into two pieces to reveal the media bays.



Drive bays are connected with a SATA combined power and data connector (no loose cables) and you can install either a 3.5″ or 2.5″ SATA HDD/SSD. The system is designed around an aluminium framework that is full of spacing for the airflow to work around and between the internal media, controller board and component covering heatsinks. Each drive bay slides in easily and it is very hard to get the installation of media in the QNAP TS-233 NAS wrong!



Hard drive installation is very straightforward, with each tray featuring removable side panels that clip into place (with pins surrounded by rubberized washers that minimize vibration) around each HDD. If you want to install 3.5″ media, you will need to use the screws provided in the retail kit and the 4 screw-holes at the base of each tray. The system can operate with a single drive if you prefer, though then you would lose the option of a RAID configuration for redundancy or improvements in performance and/or storage capacity.



The CPU of the QNAP TS-233 NAS is a Cortex A55 processor that is 64bit ARM in architecture, quad-core and has a clock-seed/frequency of 2.0Ghz per core. This CPU is one that is designed for long, long use whilst using a very small amount of power. ARM processors are often popular on mobile devices, tablets, Chromebooks and ultimately devices that are designed with efficiency in mind. However, this CPU (much like the A53 Realtek RTD1296 in it’s predecessor, the TS-230) is a server optimized processor and although would be outpaced by the likes of a Celeron, Pentium or Ryzen, it is ideal for keeping within the price point of most cost-effective buyers, whilst still providing a wide variety of supported software and services.



There are several versions of this CPU architecture in the market, but they all share a lot of functional similarities. ARM processors compress the instructions that are handled by the processor in order to use less power in their operation for the rest of the system. So, on the one hand, it means less power is used when typically operations are required HOWEVER it also means taht it cannot handle particularly complex tasks, as they are either impossible to compress or the act of compressing these instructions takes way too long. The use of efficient CPUs like this in modern value NAS is not new (all the NAS brands do it), but this is the first time we have seen this particular CPU in a 2022 Value series NAS and almost certainly this will be a familiar architecture moving forward from the likes of Synology and Asustor soon.



Under the same CPU is an area of flash memory where the QNAP operating system lives (at least till it is initialized with storage media) and allows the system to be restored if needed, as well as set up from scratch without the use of the internet. This is fairly common in QNAP NAS systems and I can confirm that when the review unit arrived here in the studio, it featured the latest version of QTS 5 onboard.



The QNAP TS-233 NAS also features DDR4 memory that works in conjunction with the CPU to support your software and services when using the NAS (much like any other computer device). However, there is good news and bad news. The good news is that the TS-233 arrives with 2GB of DDR4 memory – which is noticeably more than most brands currently offer at this price point for a 2-Bay (with the majority of others under £180 arriving with just 1GB). However, the bad news is that you cannot upgrade this memory (as it is soldered to the controller board), so although 2GB is still more than other modest/Value NAS systems like this, you are going to hit a glass ceiling pretty quickly if you plan on using this system particularly aggressively. When I had a small handful of applications running on the TS-233 (media, surveillance and 1 backup task), I only had 0.7GB of memory left available according to the task manager. So, that 2GB memory DOES allow you to run several tasks, but if you are considering a larger body of software, users or scheduled tasks to be regularly performed, you might find this system will hit a wall sooner than you might like. Like most modest systems, the TS-233 is about staying realistic about how much you are paying for, the hardware that money gets you and what it can realistically be capable of. For the hardware on offer and my software experiences, I was pleased with what this system could do. I just wish there was the option of adding more memory later on. Let’s talk about software.


QNAP TS-233 NAS Review – Software & Services


I have rather laboured the point about the internal hardware of the TS-233, but this is mostly because many users will not understand the difference between power and capability, and this is very often an area where a buyer will fall into the tricky area of Budget Vs Cheap. I believe that this NAS falls into the category of value, not cheap – but let me explain. The QNAP TS-233 is more than just hardware and arrives with the QTS 5 NAS software. This service package and GUI is included in the price of the TS-233 (along with numerous mobile and client applications for multiple platforms) and is a relatively easy user interface to navigate (though not quite as user friendly as their more expensive rival Synolgoy and DSM of course) and is an operating system that will support those users in both home and business circles. it is important to understand that when you buy the TS-233 server (or indeed any QNAP NAS) that it arrives with the QTS software platform included, BUT with constant updates and hundreds of applications included that NEED to be updated in their lifetime for reasons of security and increased services. If you want to use the QTS system, it is highly recommended that you always enable the myriad of security councillor, scanning and network security tools included. These are all tested and maintained 1st party QNAP apps and 3rd party applications. This is further improved with desktop client programs for PC/Mac and mobile applications for iOS and Android – ALL INCLUDED and downloadable at any time. The TS-233 can perform most modern applications that you would want from a modern NAS. I reviewed QNAP QTS 5 late last year over on YouTube (and here on the blog) and although these reviews were based on a more powerful QNAP NAS, the bulk of the services and features covered are supported by the TS-233 – just on a smaller scale:

FULL Written QNAP QTS 5 Review FULL Video Review of QNAP QTS 5

Of course, with such modest hardware under the bonnet, how much of the QNAP software can this system hope to run? I can say that it definitely runs well/better than the TS-230, however as mentioned, the 2GB of DDR4 memory that the TS-233 arrives with (which cannot be upgraded) will likely use a significant chunk of that just to run a small handful of applications at once. The QNAP TS-233 is more than just hardware and arrives with the QTS 5 NAS software. Along with a bunch of others, the key tools, the TS-233 can perform most modern applications that you would want from a modern NAS, such as:

First Party QNAP Applications for the TS-233

  • QSync for Backing up multiple Devices to the NAS on a schedule/as needed
  • Hyper Backup Sync 3
  • QuMagie for photo collections and AI-enabled face/thing recognition
  • Multimedia Console for managing media sharing, streaming, transcoding and indexing
  • File Station for File Management, sharing and permission allocation
  • Download Station for managing HTTP/FTP/NZB/BT downloads, as well as RSS feeds for podcasts and updates
  • QFiling and QSirch to better organize files and remove duplicates/waste
  • Cloud Drive for Migrating and Synchronizing between Google Drive, Dropbox, Amazon S3, etc
  • Photo Station to organize and catalogue photo collections
  • Music Station to organize, playback and stream music media to network/internet devices
  • Video Station to playback media over the network/internet
  • Container Station for management micro/compact virtual environments
  • QVR Elite for Surveillance/CCTV/NVR use with IP Cameras
  • MANY more QNAP Apps

Third-Party Applications for the TS-233

  • Plex Media Server(no transcoding natively)
  • Emby
  • iTunes Server
  • Acronis True Image Backup
  • Malware Remover
  • SugarCRM
  • TVMosaic

Overall, I cannot especially fault the range of applications that the QNAP TS-233 NAS arrive with, as at this price point for all these to be included with the hardware (more than just applications, but it has evolved into an entire operating system with services, client tools and wide-ranging usage options). It is still a device that requires a higher than average understanding of technology and its position of trying to hold your hand in the menus, whilst simultaneously throwing setup options at you (with each saying that are important and you need to stay secure) means that it can be a pinch intimidating. You should not by a device like this and think that the end of your data storage, security and backups ends at the point of plugging it in – that way leads to the loss of data and lots of lost nights of sleep, but still, for this price point it is really hard to fault the value here for the combination of hardware and software.


QNAP TS-233 NAS Review – Conclusion & Verdict


Overall – I would say that the QNAP TS-233 NAS Drive IS good value, although maybe not as good a value as we have seen in previous releases from the brand. On the plus side, this is by far the most modern CPU that we have seen from a NAS brand in the ‘value’ tier. After a few years of fatigue from everyone using the Realtek RTD1966, this newer and more powerful/capable Cortex A55 is a breath of fresh air and allows a larger range of QNAP services and simultaneous services to be used at once. Equally, QTS 5 seems to have taken a lot of the criticism that people have had towards QNAP in 2021, its ‘default heavy’ security, over-flexibility in its design that gave some users too much rope to hang themselves and presets – then tightened many of them up, changed how users are informed of issues, bolstered the default security tools and increased its recommendations on backup tiers. QTS still has a steeper learning curve than other NAS brands, but now thing seems a lot tighter on day 1 and changing some options that users might use carelessly has been a big part of that. The 2GB of DDR4 memory in the system is a welcome day 1 inclusion too, when many affordable systems from competitors have 512GB or 1GB (which in 2022 is rather mind-boggling), however, the lack of scalability in that memory to go higher, the default 1GbE and those USB 2.0 ports are a touch surprising from a brand that generally tends to push the envelope in the hardware department more than many others. Overall, a solid release, if a little tame and safe at times. If you are looking at entering the QNAP NAS ecosystem and are on a tight budget, the TS-233 is a solid release and excellent value.

PROs of the QNAP TS-233 NAS CONs of the QNAP TS-233 NAS
Good value hardware and software at this pricepoint

2GB of DDR4 Memory at the affordable tier is very welcome


Runs the latest version of QTS 5


First Value Tier NAS in the market to use the Cortex A55 Processor


Quad-Core Processor is a nice bonus


Inclusive AI-powered component built into the hardware


USB 3.2 Gen 1 Port and Copy Button always good at the value tier


Support for NAS-to-NAS/USB/Cloud backups and also supported Hybrid Storage and mounting

1GbE in 2022 event at the value tier is underwhelming

2x USB 2.0 Ports is equally underwhelming


 


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The QNAP TS-233 – A New Value Series 2-Bay NAS Drive for 2022

14 février 2022 à 01:43

QNAP TS-233 2-Bay NAS Drive Revealed, Coming Soon!


UPDATE – The QNAP TS-233 NAS is now released and my FULL Review is now published and can be found HERE



If you are someone who has been looking at buying their first NAS drive, but targeting something a little more ‘affordable’ or ‘value’ in scope, then it’s been a bit of a tough choice lately. There ARE most cost-effective solutions available right now from the big name brands, but many are coming up on 2 years since release and this can easily lead buyers to wonder ‘is something better about to arrive?’ New releases in the world of network-attached storage (NAS) were a little thin in the closing stages of 2021 compared with previous years. Whether it is the manufacturers switching focus from the hardware to the software, relying more and more on existing models to support their NAS operating system and GUI, or because 2020/2021 had been rather complicated years to track consumer trends and existing units in the field because the pandemic has massively effected consumer priorities. Whatever the reason, news on new releases from the big NAS brands have started to arrive a lot later than we expected and with many users sitting on their money, waiting for something new and shiny to buy, it is only now at the start of 2022 that we are seeing some new kit start to emerge. Step forward to a new affordable 2-Bay NAS solution from QNAP, the TS-233 NAS Drive. Featuring a modified take on an existing chassis, the arrival of a new efficient yet capable CPU (that I expect we will see cropping up a lot more as the year goes on) and a few hardware factors that are very ‘QNAP’ in design, the newly announced TS-233 sounds like it will be the perfect budget NAS for those making their first steps into a home or small business server.


What are the Hardware Specifications of the QNAP TS-233 NAS?



The hardware of the TS-233 NAS is not exactly going to blow you away, it has to be said. QNAP, along with many other brands, has been in the market for producing these affordable solutions in desktop form for a while (in the last 5-6 years we have seen the TAS-268, the TS-228A and the TS-230) and although each one is an improvement over the one before it, it is generally very small improvements. This is because these solutions are all too often produced to be extremely ‘budget aware’ and with the rising cost of components generally outpacing how much growth in their ability can be stretched between generations (not without increasing the cost fo the device significantly), the hardware specifications of the TS-233 are pretty modest.

TS-233">
  • TS-233 active spec_value" data-sku-name="TS-233">ARM 4-core Cortex-A55 2.0GHz processor
  • TS-233">2GB DDR4 (Max)
  • TS-233">2x SATA HDD/SSD Bay
  • TS-233">Top Loaded Drive Injection
  • TS-233">1x RJ45 1GbE
  • TS-233">1x USB 3.2 Gen 1
  • TS-233">2x USB 2.0
  • TS-233">Support of the USB-to-5GbE Adapter
  • TS-233">Compact 188.6 × 90.1 × 156.2mm White Closed Chassis
  • TS-233">Low Noise single 80mm Fan
  • TS-233">65W External PSU and Reported 3.43/10.81W Power Use (Idle/Active)

Now, although I am pleased by that CPU as an upgrade over the current ‘Value’ devices from ALL brands having the same Realtek RTD1296 processor, the rest of the system seems remarkably similar to the current TS-230 NAS from QNAP in their value series. The lack of 25GbE on this system is particularly surprising in 2022. Especially given the brands big, BIG push towards 2.5GbE on the rest of their hardware in the last two years.

How Does the QNAP TS-233 compare with the TS-230 NAS?


The new TS-233 from QNAP looks set to serve as a follow up to the now almost 2 years old TS-230. On the face of it, these two NAS are incredibly similar and for the most part it really comes down to one core difference between them – the CPU. Though both the new and old system uses a 64bit ARM chip, this newer generation ARM A55 Cortex 4-Core processor is more efficient AND  arrives at a higher clock speed per core (2.0Ghz vs 1.4Ghz), which means that it is going to use less resources than it’s predecessor in most tasks. Here is how the two NAS drives compare:

MODEL QNAP TS-233

QNAP TS-230

CPU

ARM 4-core Cortex-A55

Realtek RTD1296
CORES 4 4
CLOCK SPEED 2.0GHz processor 1.4GHz processor
MEMORY 2GB DDR4 (Max) 2GB DDR4 (Max)
BAYS x2 SATA x2 SATA
PORTS
LAN 1x 1GbE 1x 1GbE
USB 2.0 x2 x1
USB 3.2 Gen 1 x1 x2
PSU 65W External 65W External
IDLE POWER USE 3.43W 4.48W
ACTIVE POWER USE 10.81W 12.27W
SIZE (mm) 188.64 × 90.18 × 156.26 188.64 × 90.18 × 156.26
WARRANTY 2yrs 2yrs

That Realtek RTD1296 was certainly a popular chip in the more affordable NAS ranges in the last two years (appearing across pretty much ALL the NAS brands). This was largely down to it being modest in power/price, yet supporting 4K transcoding, snapshots, container applications, multiple tiers of backup operations with full Hybrid Backup 3 support and can even support Plex Media Server in 2020 and 2021 (though transcoding will not be possible). However, with a newer refresh of affordable NAS ranges, it should not come as a surprise that a more capable processor will arrive and the A55 Cortex in the TS-230 NAS can seemingly do everything the older Realtek A53 processor can do, just doing it quicker and utilizing fewer resources. Though I will highlight that I am not a big fan of this system still arriving with 1GbE AND the fact that it only has a single USB 3.2 Gen 1 port (the older TS-230 NAS had 2x).

What Are the Software Specifications of the QNAP TS-233 NAS?


It is a valid question! With such modest hardware under the bonnet, how much of the QNAP software can this system hope to run? If it can run things as well/better than the TS-230, then that would indicate that it should be able to run a good 50-60% of the QNAP applications. However, the 2GB of DDR4 memory that the TS-233 arrives with (which cannot be upgraded) will likely use a significant chunk of that just to run a small handful of applications at once. The QNAP TS-233 is more than just hardware and arrives with the QTS 5 NAS software. This software is included in the price of the TS-233 and is a great user interface and operating system for those users in both home and business circles. it is important to understand that when you buy the TS-233 server (or indeed any QNAP NAS), it arrives with the QTS software platform, with constant updates and hundreds of applications included. These are all tested and maintained 1st party QNAP apps and 3rd party applications. This is further improved with desktop client programs for PC/Mac and mobile applications for iOS and Android – ALL INCLUDED and downloadable at any time. The TS-233 can perform most modern applications that you would want from a modern NAS, such as:

First Party QNAP Applications for the TS-233

  • QSync for Backing up multiple Devices to the NAS on a schedule/as needed
  • Hyper Backup Sync 3
  • QuMagie for photo collections and AI-enabled face/thing recognition
  • Multimedia Console for managing media sharing, streaming, transcoding and indexing
  • File Station for File Management, sharing and permission allocation
  • Download Station for managing HTTP/FTP/NZB/BT downloads, as well as RSS feeds for podcasts and updates
  • QFiling and QSirch to better organize files and remove duplicates/waste
  • Cloud Drive for Migrating and Synchronizing between Google Drive, Dropbox, Amazon S3, etc
  • Photo Station to organize and catalogue photo collections
  • Music Station to organize, playback and stream music media to network/internet devices
  • Video Station to playback media over the network/internet
  • Container Station for management micro/compact virtual environments
  • QVR Elite for Surveillance/CCTV/NVR use with IP Cameras
  • MANY more QNAP Apps

Third-Party Applications for the TS-233

  • Plex Media Server(no transcoding natively)
  • Emby
  • iTunes Server
  • Acronis True Image Backup
  • Malware Remover
  • SugarCRM
  • TVMosaic

Desktop Client Applications from QNAP

  • QSync for Mac and Windows
  • QVR Elite Client for PC/Mac
  • QFinder Pro for Mac/PC

Mobile Applications for iOS and Android

  • Qfile – File manager
  • QPhoto – Photo Manager
  • QVideo – Video Manager
  • QMusic – Music Manager
  • QRemote – Remote Control App over the Network
  • QNotes – Central note-taking app, for collaboration between users

It is a pretty widespread range of applications and services to choose from. However until I have one in the studio, we will have to wait and see how far this system can be pushed. A common factor that gets overlooked when people buy these more affordable systems, is that they are good for running 1,2 or 3 things at once – but 2GB of memory being spread across users and processes all at once can quickly lead to a bottleneck that more powerful x86 64bit processors (such as Intel or AMD CPUs in more expensive Prosumer/SMB systems) can easily deal with. So, yes, the QNAP TS-233 can likely do all of these services and functions listed, but you have to keep your expectations realistic when trying to do many things at once!


When Will the QNAP TS-233 NAS Drive Be Released and the Price?



Despite its remarkable similarity to the QNAP TS-230, I think this newer TS-233 will arrive at a higher price point – this is largely due to it arriving with the hardware architecture a pinch earlier than most brands, as well as hardware shortages making components at the point of manufacturer hardware to get and most costly. This is not exclusive to the TS-233 but something we are going to see a lot more in 2022 as the knock-on effects of these shortages over 2020-2021 (when hardware/components were acquired for 2022 hardware) need to be levelled against the RRP on these newer systems launching. It’s a sad but annoying truth! However, this is still going to be a NAS aimed at the Home and small business owner, so a price around the £160-180 price point (without your local TAX) is fairly likely. Details on the QNAP TS-233 NAS are still so thin that as an estimation of a release date is just too thin on the ground. The TS-233 NAS is already listed on the QNAP Taiwanese pages, so it is likely that if it is going to be released in the rest of the world (almost certainly!), that it will be added shortly and released some time in Feb/March of 2022.


 


 

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Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7] Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  

 


 

Best NAS for Photography to Buy in 2022

17 janvier 2022 à 01:10

A Guide to the Best Photography NAS Drives to Buy Right Now

Many users first time hearing about NAS drives will often be when the limitations of their 3rd party cloud storage space (from the likes of Google, Apple or DropBox) start to become clear, with few groups feeling this pinch more than keen amateur or professional photographers. In the beginning, backing up your photo collections onto a space free or low price subscription cloud space seems so convenient! Backing up those photos from your phone so easy, the space you can free up from your phone periodically is so useful – but within a year or two it suddenly becomes apparent that you have been digging quite a hole for yourself! Limitations such as small capacities, slow backup speeds, regular payments towards something you will need to pay for indefinitely without true ownership and the every present nagging query about if your photos are completely under your control. Many users who want to quit the cloud are going to need somewhere for thosae photos to live eventually and the more time passes, the bigger the collection becomes. Now a NAS drive is so much more than a simple ‘hard drive on the internet’ and in reality is a multi-faceted storage system that can serve as an easy photo backup device, smart AI-powered photo recognition and organization tool, an editing target, a professional sharing space for business or all of those together (with plenty of other services leftover). Thanks to the continued evolution of NAS’ keeping up with the advances in camera technology, the result is that a NAS can provide an equal/better level of photo data management than all the cloud platforms on the market, with the added benefit that YOU have FULL CONTROL of your photography. Today I want to discuss the current three best NAS drives on the market for Photographers, ranging from the best value, to professional business photo storage and ending at the ultimately photo NAS right now.

Note – If you are looking to migrate your Google Photos photo collection over to a Synology or QNAP NAS, I recommend you check out the two guides below (they also include video walkthroughs) that will show you how to move your data over as easily as possible. Remember to keep the .json files that google will also include with your photo data, as this is the important metadata (camera type, photo location, etc) which the NAS can then use for cataloguing and presenting/filing your large photo collection in the best possible way.

What Have All the Best Photography NAS Drives Have in Common?

It is worth remembering that although there are ALOT of different Photography NAS drives available to buy, they are by no means created equal! With numerous super budget brands popping up online, it can be tempting to consider these alongside the premium NAS brands. However, all too often they offer solutions righty seem ‘too good to be true’ and then are gone from the web before your warranty even gets cold! So, whether you are looking at the three best Photography solutions that I am recommending below OR are looking at another Photography NAS you saw on offer/recommended elsewhere – the best NAS system ALWAYS include the following software and services:

  • Combined Hardware & Software Solution – That means that you are buying the hardware, but it ALSO includes a web browser GUI, mobile apps and desktop client apps (including backup, media, streaming, surveillance and file management software)
  • All NAS systems in this guide are compatible with (and can be accessed by) Windows, Mac, Android and Linux operating systems
  • All NAS Solutions arrive with between 2-3 years Warranty (with the option to extend to 5 years)
  • All NAS drives can be accessed locally over the network, as well as secure remote access is possible with brand supported services (at no additional cost)
  • The most modern and regularly updated NAS systems will support the very latest 20TB NAS hard drives (such as the Seagate Ironwofl 20TB and WD Red 20TB)
  • All the recommended solutions support multiple drive configurations (RAID) for drive failure protection and performance enhancements
  • All solutions receive regular updates to their security, features and services
  • All recommended NAS drives can connect and synchronize with cloud services (Google Drive, DropBox, OneDrive, etc), as well as Business/Enterprise services such as AWS, Azure, Backblaze and more
  • All NAS solutions (regardless of brand) feature the ability to host a shared drive on your PC/Mobile/Laptop systems that are synchronized with the NAS via the network/internet, but is shown in your native operating system file manager (i.e Mac Finder or Windows Explorer)
  • All the NAS solutions listed can be accessed DIRECTLY via an ethernet/network cable being connected from your PC/Mac system, to the NAS RJ45 port for 100MB/s and higher connectivity
  • All the best NAS solutions (regardless of brand) feature backup and sync tools that can be installed on your local client computer and allow regular backups of your files and system data

So, make sure that if you are looking at a NAS solution that is NOT recommended below, that it includes all of the above. As these are some of the clearest areas that brands all too often cut orders to produce cheaper by ultimately inferior NAS servers for home and business. So, let’s discuss the very best Photography NAS to buy now in 2022.

Best Value Photography NAS Drive – The Synology DS920+ NAS

0-80TB, 4-Bays, Intel J4125 4x 2.0-2.7Ghz CPU, 4/8GB 2666Mhz Memory, 2x 1Gbe Port, 2x NVMe SSD Cache Bays, 3-5yr Warranty

Current Price/Availability on Amazon $550+

Hardware Review – HERE

YouTube Video Review – Watch

The DS920+ NAS is something that Synology should be proud of. It is a great entry into their already impressive range of Diskstation NAS devices. If you are looking for a brand new NAS to consolidate your home media, to support your relative as the ‘IT whizz’ of the family, or move your business away from Google Drives and DropBox’ onto something safer, more scalable and dependable – then the DS920+ has alot to offer you. It gives you a great base to start using the DSM platform, as well as a good means to upgrade your storage internally at a later date (expansions in memory, expansions in storage, expansion in NVMe). If you are an existing DS918+ or DS916+ owner, this might not seem like the jump you were waiting for.

Click to view slideshow.

There are always areas of improvement, the USB ports, the 1Gbe, that 1 memory slot – but these are things that Synology no doubt feel should be pushed into a higher price/hardware bracket – Allowing the DS920+ Price to be as close to its predecessors it can be. Whether you agree or disagree, I think that we can agree that this NAS is still giving you alot of bang for your buck in 2020. Thank you once again to ‘Takeo from Tokyo‘ for all his assistance on this hardware review

SOFTWARE - 9/10
HARDWARE - 8/10
PERFORMANCE - 10/10
PRICE - 9/10
VALUE - 10/10


9.2
PROS
👍🏻Dual NVMe M.2 cache
👍🏻Great RAID Options
👍🏻Excellent choice of Apps
👍🏻Snapshot Replication
👍🏻BTRFS and SHR
👍🏻Support Plex
👍🏻Virtualization
👍🏻4K Video transcoding
👍🏻Full Plex Transcoding
👍🏻Hot-Swap trays
👍🏻DLNA Compliant
👍🏻Expandable
CONS
👎🏻No Copy button
👎🏻Only 1Gbe Ethernet ports
👎🏻No PCIe slots
👎🏻Only a single accessible Memory Bay

 


Best Mixed Use (Sharing, & Editing) Photography NAS Drive – The QNAP TS-h973ax NAS

0-100TB HDD, 16TB SATA SSD, 8/16TB U.2 NVMe SSD, 5/9-Bays of 3.5″, 2.5″ & U.2 SSD, AMD Ryzen V1500B 4x 2.2Ghz CPU, 8-32GB DDR4 Memory, 1x 10GbE, 2x 2.5Gbe Port, Supports ZFS or EXT4, 3/5yr Warranty,

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $1150+

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

I have seen a lot of network-attached storage over the years and the TS-h973AX brings a lot of colour to what was fast becoming a somewhat grey landscape. In short, QNAP has gone and done it again by proving they are the hardware innovators of this industry and have managed to provide a genuinely unique solution here. When they first revealed their new Hero ZFS operating system last year, you could not help but get the impression that only top-end enterprise businesses with £10K starting budgets were ever going to benefit. The TS-h973AX desktop NAS is solid evidence that QNAP will share the wealth and that this is the start of a whole new series of affordable ZFS solutions from the brand. That isn’t to say that this system is perfect and pernickety points about a lack of HDMI or LCD may put off some users, and the compact 9 bay chassis that will attract some will no doubt deter others.

Click to view slideshow.

Ultimately though QNAP has succeeded in creating what they sought out here and what we find is one of the best examples of hardware and software meeting in the middle, while still arriving with a price tag in 3 figures. In the current absence of a straightforward QuTS license purchase option for existing QNAP NAS systems right now, this is a solution that serves as a good alternative to a number of 4 and 6 Bay solutions in their portfolio. Though, make sure you upgrade that memory on day one! 

SOFTWARE - 8/10
HARDWARE - 8/10
PERFORMANCE - 8/10
PRICE - 9/10
VALUE - 8/10


8.2
PROS
👍🏻10GbE Equipped
👍🏻Triple tier storage
👍🏻ZFS / QuTS Hero System
👍🏻Virtualization Support is unparalleled
👍🏻10Gb/s USB 3.2 Gen 2
👍🏻10 min Windows and/or Ubuntu VM install (included)
👍🏻U.2 NVMe PCIe Gen 3×4 Support
👍🏻Hugely Expandable
👍🏻2.5GbE LAN Ports
👍🏻8 Surveillance Camera Licences
CONS
👎🏻No PCIe Upgrade Option
👎🏻Lacks HDMI
👎🏻Some might prefer the ease of NVMe over NVMe U.2

 


The Ultimate Photography NAS Drive – The QNAP TVS-872X / TVS-872XT NAS

0-160TB, 8-Bays, 2x M.2 NVMe SSD Bays, 2/4/6 Core Intel Pentium/i3/i5 CPU, 8-64GB DDR4 Memory, 1x 10Gbe Port, 2x 1GbE, 2x PCIe Slot, 1x HDMI 2.0 4K 60FPS, USB 3.2 Gen 2, ZFS Option 2yr Warranty

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $1799

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

If this was the first time I was seeing the hardware featured on the QNAP TVS-872X, with its Intel Core CPU, 64GB of potential memory, 10Gbe on-board, NVMe equipped slots and USB 10G throughout – I would have been reasonably impressed. Likewise, the scalability in PCIe, storage expansions and network connectivity down the line is also a very valid and positive aspect of this system. But for me, it will always live slighting in the shadow of its Thunderbolt 3 equipped older big brother in the TV-872XT. The software on either ZFS or EXT4 file system is still doing what it does well, finding the line between 1st party apps, 3rd party support, customization and (mostly) getting it right – if occasionally trying to be too big for its boots.

Click to view slideshow.

The QNAP TVS-872X is undeniably still a great example of the wide-ranging features available to prosumers who want a storage system heavily geared towards high-performance transmission via high-performance media with higher tier hardware at their disposal. It would be misleading to think of this NAS as any kind of significant upgrades over the XT, and the price tag that the TVS-872X currently arrives at (£1700+ / $2400) is perhaps a tad closer to that of the thunderbolt version than can be justified, but with an increasing over-reliance by brands on Xeon based systems, the TVS-872X is one of the most graphically well-equipped systems in the market today. If you are looking for a NAS for video editing, Plex media server, AI-assisted surveillance or virtualisation in a more compact form, the TVS-872X and its hardware has a heck of a lot to offer you.

SOFTWARE - 8/10
HARDWARE - 9/10
PERFORMANCE - 9/10
PRICE - 7/10
VALUE - 8/10


8.2
PROS
👍🏻One of the few Intel Core NAS Systems Released in 2020/2021
👍🏻High Virtualisation Use
👍🏻10Gbe Enabled and still has 2x 1Gbe
👍🏻SSD Optimized with NVMe Support
👍🏻Very Expandable (File System & config dependant)
👍🏻Optimized for Post Production and Broadcasting
👍🏻Can be upgraded to 10/25/40Gbe
👍🏻10G alternative to the TVS-872XT for those that didn’t want TB3
👍🏻Surveillance including multiple camera licences – 8 Licences FREE
👍🏻Download server (FTP, HTTP, BT,NZB)
👍🏻CMS and CRM systems included
👍🏻Media Center support across numerous apps
CONS
👎🏻GPU Card Support is not clear
👎🏻8G Default Module is a little restrictive for ZFS
👎🏻PCIe Card Installation is a lot more complicated than you expect

 


And there you have it. Those are the three best Photography NAS drives available right now at the end of 2021 and going into 2022. thought it is always worth remembering that these systems typically have a refresh (i.e manufacturers release a new version/follow-up) every 2-3 years on average. Therefore although these systems are all still great Photography NAS drives, they might have been upgraded in a newer released version, or recently released alternative Photography’s may have arrived on the scene that provides better pricing, value or features. If you are in doubt about whether to buy a Photography solution from my recommendations, want to check if a newer system has been released recently OR are simply looking for some free expert advice, then use the free advice section below over. Just enter in a few details of your setup, storage requirements and (in the case of buying a new solution) your budget – then me and Eddie the Web guy can help you with your question. This is a completely free service, is NOT provided with profit in mind and is manned by two humans (no bots, no automated replies, etc). Assistance might take an extra day or two (the service gets a lot of visitors) but we do try to answer every message. If you want to support this service, you can find out how to donate HERE. Otherwise, you can still jsut message us for free advice anyway!

 


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This description contains links to Amazon. These links will take you to some of the products mentioned in today's content. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Visit the NASCompares Deal Finder to find the best place to buy this device in your region, based on Service, Support and Reputation - Just Search for your NAS Drive in the Box Below

 

SEARCH IN THE BOX BELOW FOR NAS DEALS

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7] Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  

 

Recommended 8-Bay NAS Drive to Buy in 2022

12 janvier 2022 à 01:52

A Guide to the Best 8-Bay NAS Drives to Buy Right Now

If you have been looking at getting a NAS for your business, then I think it is safe to say that 8-Bay is where things get SERIOUS. Up until this point, most NAS system can typically fall into home use, budget use, small business and effective storage for a small group of users and their data. However, 8 drive (hard drive or SSD) NAS systems are where you start to see the NAS brands flex their muscles a bit. 8-Bays have typically been the jumping-off point from Desktop to Rackmount servers (slightly less so in recent years admittedly), thanks to the larger degree of storage on offer allowing greater performance, capacity and redundancy – So you start to see hardware appearing inside/outside that can greatly enhance the system’s utility. Features such as 10-gigabit ethernet, Xeon processors, considerably more memory and ultimately a system that can support a much wider number of users and processes than the systems that came before it. NAS brands very early on championed the inclusion of 8-Bay desktop servers in their portfolios, recognizing the need for a desktop server for compact deployment that could challenge the traditionally high power of rackmount solutions, so there are ALOT of different 8-Bay NAS systems on the market to choose from – all with their own distinct hardware and software capabilities, yet all at comparable pricing. Today I want to highlight to you the best three 8-Bay NAS to buy in 2022 out of the hundreds (maybe even thousands) that are currently available on the market. These are systems that I choose, based on their value, scalability and overall power. Let’s begin.

What Have All the Best 8-Bay NAS Drives Have in Common?

It is worth remembering that although there are ALOT of different 8-Bay NAS drives available to buy, they are by no means created equal! With numerous super budget brands popping up online, it can be tempting to consider these alongside the premium NAS brands. However, all too often they offer solutions righty seem ‘too good to be true’ and then are gone from the web before your warranty even gets cold! So, whether you are looking at the three best 8-Bay solutions that I am recommending below OR are looking at another 8-Bay NAS you saw on offer/recommended elsewhere – the best NAS system ALWAYS include the following software and services:

  • Combined Hardware & Software Solution – That means that you are buying the hardware, but it ALSO includes a web browser GUI, mobile apps and desktop client apps (including backup, media, streaming, surveillance and file management software)
  • All NAS systems in this guide are compatible with (and can be accessed by) Windows, Mac, Android and Linux operating systems
  • All NAS Solutions arrive with between 2-3 years Warranty (with the option to extend to 5 years)
  • All NAS drives can be accessed locally over the network, as well as secure remote access is possible with brand supported services (at no additional cost)
  • The most modern and regularly updated NAS systems will support the very latest 20TB NAS hard drives (such as the Seagate Ironwofl 20TB and WD Red 20TB)
  • All the recommended solutions support multiple drive configurations (RAID) for drive failure protection and performance enhancements
  • All solutions receive regular updates to their security, features and services
  • All recommended NAS drives can connect and synchronize with cloud services (Google Drive, DropBox, OneDrive, etc), as well as Business/Enterprise services such as AWS, Azure, Backblaze and more
  • All NAS solutions (regardless of brand) feature the ability to host a shared drive on your PC/Mobile/Laptop systems that are synchronized with the NAS via the network/internet, but is shown in your native operating system file manager (i.e Mac Finder or Windows Explorer)
  • All the NAS solutions listed can be accessed DIRECTLY via an ethernet/network cable being connected from your PC/Mac system, to the NAS RJ45 port for 100MB/s and higher connectivity
  • All the best NAS solutions (regardless of brand) feature backup and sync tools that can be installed on your local client computer and allow regular backups of your files and system data

So, make sure that if you are looking at a NAS solution that is NOT recommended below, that it includes all of the above. As these are some of the clearest areas that brands all too often cut orders to produce cheaper by ultimately inferior NAS servers for home and business. So, let’s discuss the very best 8-Bay NAS to buy now in 2022.

Best Hardware+Software 8-Bay NAS  Combo – The Synology DS1821+

0-320TB, 8-Bays, 2x NVMe Cache Bays, Quad-Core Ryzen V1500B 2.2Ghz CPU, 4-32GB DDR4 ECC Memory, 4x 1Gbe Port, 1x PCIe 3×8 Upgrade Slot, 5yr Warranty

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $1099

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

What you have here is a solid piece of hardware that very much lives up to everything Synology promises, even if some of those promises aren’t to everyone’s taste. With a hardware architecture that we have already tested to notable success in the DS1621+ previously, we already knew that this NAS would be able to do everything it promised. Many users looking to spend their annual business budgets on an improved or extended data storage solution will find the balanced position of hardware vs software found by the Synology DS1821+ to be quite desirable, as well as the scaled potential to upgrade external performance via PCIe and storage via eSATA. However, there is no ignoring that despite the fact this 2020 release excels in many things, it also arrives with a little bottlenecking in a number of others. The continued default utilisation of 1Gbe on the newest generation by Synology is somewhat perplexing and although I have continued admiration for Synology’s engagement with intelligent M2 NVMe cache utilisation and providing a solution that allows more flexible upgrade paths, I know that there are still users who just wish they could use that super fast NAND for raw storage pools and have better than gigabit connections out by default.

Click to view slideshow.

It has never been a secret that buying a Synology NAS solution was always a largely ‘software over hardware’ purchase, and the DS1821+ is still a fine example of that balance. However, with other brands closing the gap in what they can offer the SMB (Small/Medium Business) user, while still providing superior hardware and similar warranty coverage, there is the tiniest feeling that the DS1821+ is a NAS that sits on its laurels a bit. Hugely upgradable and still with that award-winning and fantastically intuative DSM software, the DS1821+ is about buying a solution you can adapt within its lifespan and not one that will knock your socks off on day one. A solid and dependable data storage solution, if a little safe, at the end of 2020.

SOFTWARE - 8/10
HARDWARE - 8/10
PERFORMANCE - 8/10
PRICE - 8/10
VALUE - 8/10


8.0
PROS
👍🏻Desktop Ryzen Powered Solution
👍🏻Dual NVMe M.2 cache
👍🏻PCIe Gen 3 x8 PCIe Equipped
👍🏻Great RAID Options (inc SHR)
👍🏻Excellent choice of Apps
👍🏻DDR4 ECC Memory up to 32GB
👍🏻Numerous Backup Software Options
👍🏻Huge Virtualization Support
👍🏻3yr Warranty and Extendable to 5yrs
CONS
👎🏻1Gbe Ports seem a bit limited now
👎🏻Shame it does not support 1/2 x DX1215
👎🏻NVMe SSDs cannot be used for RAW storage

 


Best 10GbE Performance 8-Bay NAS Drive – The QNAP TVS-872X

0-160TB, 8-Bays, 2x M.2 NVMe SSD Bays, 2/4/6 Core Intel Pentium/i3/i5 CPU, 8-64GB DDR4 Memory, 1x 10Gbe Port, 2x 1GbE, 2x PCIe Slot, 1x HDMI 2.0 4K 60FPS, USB 3.2 Gen 2, ZFS Option 2yr Warranty

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $1799

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

If this was the first time I was seeing the hardware featured on the QNAP TVS-872X, with its Intel Core CPU, 64GB of potential memory, 10Gbe on-board, NVMe equipped slots and USB 10G throughout – I would have been reasonably impressed. Likewise, the scalability in PCIe, storage expansions and network connectivity down the line is also a very valid and positive aspect of this system. But for me, it will always live slighting in the shadow of its Thunderbolt 3 equipped older big brother in the TV-872XT. The software on either ZFS or EXT4 file system is still doing what it does well, finding the line between 1st party apps, 3rd party support, customization and (mostly) getting it right – if occasionally trying to be too big for its boots.

Click to view slideshow.

The QNAP TVS-872X is undeniably still a great example of the wide-ranging features available to prosumers who want a storage system heavily geared towards high-performance transmission via high-performance media with higher tier hardware at their disposal. It would be misleading to think of this NAS as any kind of significant upgrades over the XT, and the price tag that the TVS-872X currently arrives at (£1700+ / $2400) is perhaps a tad closer to that of the thunderbolt version than can be justified, but with an increasing over-reliance by brands on Xeon based systems, the TVS-872X is one of the most graphically well-equipped systems in the market today. If you are looking for a NAS for video editing, Plex media server, AI-assisted surveillance or virtualisation in a more compact form, the TVS-872X and its hardware has a heck of a lot to offer you.

SOFTWARE - 8/10
HARDWARE - 9/10
PERFORMANCE - 9/10
PRICE - 7/10
VALUE - 8/10


8.2
PROS
👍🏻One of the few Intel Core NAS Systems Released in 2020/2021
👍🏻High Virtualisation Use
👍🏻10Gbe Enabled and still has 2x 1Gbe
👍🏻SSD Optimized with NVMe Support
👍🏻Very Expandable (File System & config dependant)
👍🏻Optimized for Post Production and Broadcasting
👍🏻Can be upgraded to 10/25/40Gbe
👍🏻10G alternative to the TVS-872XT for those that didn’t want TB3
👍🏻Surveillance including multiple camera licences – 8 Licences FREE
👍🏻Download server (FTP, HTTP, BT,NZB)
👍🏻CMS and CRM systems included
👍🏻Media Center support across numerous apps
CONS
👎🏻GPU Card Support is not clear
👎🏻8G Default Module is a little restrictive for ZFS
👎🏻PCIe Card Installation is a lot more complicated than you expect

 


The Fastest  & Most Powerful 8-Bay NAS Drive – The QNAP TVS-h1288X

0-160TB, 8x HDD Bays, 4x SATA SSD Bays, 2x M.2 NVMe SSD Bays, 6 Core Intel Xeon W (Embedded Graphics) CPU, 16-128GB DDR4 Memory, 2x 10Gbe Port, 4x 2.5GbE, 3x PCIe Slot, 1x HDMI 2.0 4K 60FPS, USB 3.2 Gen 2, ZFS Option 3yr Warranty

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $2899

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

When reviewing a business class piece of kit, it is important to stay RELATIVE! You cannot compare a Ferrari with a Ford Focus as equals, as they have a very different audience in mind and a very different price tag – therefore Value and ROI are always relative. That said, the TVS-h1288X is, hands down, the most impressive desktop NAS drive I have ever handled – and I do not say that lightly! QNAP has been working overtime these last 2 years to not only introduce their ZFS series to the SMB and Enterprise marketing, with gradual but compelling results – but it is only now in the TVS–h1288X system that they have successfully merged it into another core area of their business – content creators. Whether you are on board with the ‘optional thunderbolt card’ nature behind this device, you cannot fault the sheer weight of hardware on offer here and how it is perfectly tuned and appropriate for the storage, performance and safety benefits of ZFS in QuTS Hero included with this device.

Click to view slideshow.

Yes, it is a hungry beast of a device in terms of power, but right now THIS is the NAS system to beat in the market right now in desktop form. There are still the odd hurdle for surveillance users to jump and the fact this range starts at 8/12-Bay is an odd choice – but with a 6-core Xeon processor that features high grade embedded graphics, upto 128GB of DR4 ECC memory, 3 storage tiers of scaling speeds, a combined external bandwidth of 30 Gigabits per second (so 3,000MB/s) and that is without even the inclusion of a Thunderbolt update that can allow upto 4 more Thunderbolt users to enjoy simultaneous access for photo/video editing – You simply cannot fault the ambition behind the TVS-h1288X and it leaves most of its 8-Bay competitors in its dust – just maybe raid the piggy bank before you buy it though

SOFTWARE - 8/10
HARDWARE - 8/10
PERFORMANCE - 8/10
PRICE - 8/10
VALUE - 9/10


8.2
PROS
👍🏻10Gb/TB3 Support
👍🏻2.5Gbe LAN Ports
👍🏻6 Core GPU enabled Xeon with over 15,000 CPUBenchmark Score
👍🏻3 Tier Storage System
👍🏻ZFS File System
👍🏻PCIe Gen3 x8 and 3×4
👍🏻Virtualization
👍🏻Thunderbolt is Optional – many will appreciate the choice (upto 4 ports)
👍🏻Larger 22110 NVMe Gen3 x4 Support
👍🏻Upto 128GB ECC DDR4 Memory
👍🏻5x USB 3.2 Gen 2 10Gb/s
👍🏻10 min Windows and/or Ubuntu VM install (included)
👍🏻Expandable (TR-106T and TR-1082T soon)
CONS
👎🏻Quite expensive
👎🏻HDMI is 1.4b (30FPS 4K)
👎🏻Shame we haven’t got 4/6 Bay options as found in TVS-682/882
👎🏻Surveillance Software versions and licenses are a bit confusing
👎🏻Noise/power levels are comparable to a small rackmount

 


 

And there you have it. Those are the three best 8-Bay NAS drives available right now at the end of 2021 and going into 2022. thought it is always worth remembering that these systems typically have a refresh (i.e manufacturers release a new version/follow-up) every 2-3 years on average. Therefore although these systems are all still great 8-Bay NAS drives, they might have been upgraded in a newer released version, or recently released alternative 8-Bay’s may have arrived on the scene that provides better pricing, value or features. If you are in doubt about whether to buy a 8-Bay solution from my recommendations, want to check if a newer system has been released recently OR are simply looking for some free expert advice, then use the free advice section below over. Just enter in a few details of your setup, storage requirements and (in the case of buying a new solution) your budget – then me and Eddie the Web guy can help you with your question. This is a completely free service, is NOT provided with profit in mind and is manned by two humans (no bots, no automated replies, etc). Assistance might take an extra day or two (the service gets a lot of visitors) but we do try to answer every message. If you want to support this service, you can find out how to donate HERE. Otherwise, you can still jsut message us for free advice anyway!

 


Articles Get Updated Regularly - Get an alert every time something gets added to this page!


This description contains links to Amazon. These links will take you to some of the products mentioned in today's content. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Visit the NASCompares Deal Finder to find the best place to buy this device in your region, based on Service, Support and Reputation - Just Search for your NAS Drive in the Box Below

 

SEARCH IN THE BOX BELOW FOR NAS DEALS

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7] Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  

 

The Best 6-Bay or RAID 6 NAS to Buy in 2022

5 janvier 2022 à 01:13

A Guide to the Best 6-Bay or 5-Bay NAS Drives to Buy Right Now

I know, I know – it’s kind of a vague subject, but 6-Bays, 5-Bays and RAID 6 targeted machines are sudden a ‘thing’. Do you remember when buying a NAS drive was so easy? Even as little as 5-6 years ago, the choices in the types of network-attached storage solutions you could buy was quite simple. It went 1-Bay > 2-Bay > 4-Bay > 8-Bay > Rackmount >MASSIVE. Then, as the demand and utility of NAS systems grew, so the average NAS buyer became remarkably more discerning. Brands like Synology, QNAP and Asustor suddenly realised that there were gaping holes between the solutions in their portfolios. First, they set about creating cost-effective versions of their existing ranges to create multiple options for those looking for the traditional storage scales mentioned. However that was not enough, as it did not address the main growing demand – that of users needing 3-Bays, 6-Bays, 12-Bays and ultimately, solutions that levered a users budget less on the hardware resources and more towards its supported storage media capacity. Therefore the last few years have seen the portfolios of these NAS brands expand to fill in these gaps, to allow the RAID 6 (dual-redundancy/safety net) focused users, the mixed media preferred users and even the data-rich but money tight users to have their own rather unique needs to be fulfilled. So, that is what we are looking at today, three of the very BEST examples available to buy for 2022 that slide into those gaps in the portfolio. These are solutions that provide storage across two or more storage media types, that provides a good base of storage against a RAID 6 configuration (but not break the bank) and allow the end users a great degree of storage & performance, without heading into the more premium price tag 8-bay alternatives. Of all by best of the year articles, this has been the most unusual to curate, as, unlike the usual crowd, these are comparatively obscure solutions. If NAS is a particularly niche area of technology, then these solutions are the most niche of the niche that you will find – but are all the very best of their own crowd of odd-ball scale solutions on the market!

What Have All the Best 6-Bay or 5-Bay NAS Drives Have in Common?

It is worth remembering that although there are ALOT of different 6-Bay or 5-Bay NAS drives available to buy, they are by no means created equal! With numerous super budget brands popping up online, it can be tempting to consider these alongside the premium NAS brands. However, all too often they offer solutions rightly seem ‘too good to be true’ and then are gone from the web before your warranty even gets cold! So, whether you are looking at the three best 6-Bay or 5-Bay solutions that I am recommending below OR are looking at another 6-Bay or 5-Bay NAS you saw on offer/recommended elsewhere – the best NAS system ALWAYS include the following software and services:

  • Combined Hardware & Software Solution – That means that you are buying the hardware, but it ALSO includes a web browser GUI, mobile apps and desktop client apps (including backup, media, streaming, surveillance and file management software)
  • All NAS systems in this guide are compatible with (and can be accessed by) Windows, Mac, Android and Linux operating systems
  • All NAS Solutions arrive with between 2-3 years Warranty (with the option to extend to 5 years)
  • All NAS drives can be accessed locally over the network, as well as secure remote access is possible with brand supported services (at no additional cost)
  • The most modern and regularly updated NAS systems will support the very latest 20TB NAS hard drives (such as the Seagate Ironwofl 20TB and WD Red 20TB)
  • All the recommended solutions support multiple drive configurations (RAID) for drive failure protection and performance enhancements
  • All solutions receive regular updates to their security, features and services
  • All recommended NAS drives can connect and synchronize with cloud services (Google Drive, DropBox, OneDrive, etc), as well as Business/Enterprise services such as AWS, Azure, Backblaze and more
  • All NAS solutions (regardless of brand) feature the ability to host a shared drive on your PC/Mobile/Laptop systems that are synchronized with the NAS via the network/internet, but is shown in your native operating system file manager (i.e Mac Finder or Windows Explorer)
  • All the NAS solutions listed can be accessed DIRECTLY via an ethernet/network cable being connected from your PC/Mac system, to the NAS RJ45 port for 100MB/s and higher connectivity
  • All the best NAS solutions (regardless of brand) feature backup and sync tools that can be installed on your local client computer and allow regular backups of your files and system data

So, make sure that if you are looking at a NAS solution that is NOT recommended below, that it includes all of the above. As these are some of the clearest areas that brands all too often cut orders to produce cheaper by ultimately inferior NAS servers for home and business. So, let’s discuss the very best 6-Bay or 5-Bay NAS to buy now in 2022.

Best Value Desktop 5-Bay NAS Drive – The QNAP TS-364 NAS

0-60TB HDD + 8TB M.2 NVMe SSD, 3/5-Bays, Intel Celeron N5105 4-Core 2-2.9Ghz CPU, 4/16GB Memory, 2.5Gbe Port, 2x USB 3.2 Gen 2, 1x HDMI 1.4b, 2yr Warranty

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $350-400

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

Once again, QNAP (in my opinion of course) are still very much the true innovators of the NAS hardware industry, seemingly exploring and almost always delivering on solutions that change what we expect private home/business servers to look like, support and provide. The TS-364 3-Bay (TECHNICALLY 5-Bay if you want to be accurate about it) has one heck of a balancing act to perform, providing more than the typical 2-Bay desktop chassis like the TS-253D and TS-264 are promising, whilst not leaning TOO heavily on the TS-453D and TS-464 to make itself or those redundant in price or approach. I think it MOSTLY sticks the landing and what you have here is the best example of this series that QNAP has ever produced, managing to balance the price point and value just right.

Click to view slideshow.

In my introduction to my original review, I asked three questions. 1) Is this a suitable alternative to a 2/4-Bay? – It DEFINITELY is a good option, for those that are stuck between the rock and a hard place of 2 or 4 bays! 2) Is this TOO niche, even for a subject that is already as niche as NAS? – No, I think this system provides a valuable and till-now often overlooked section of the buying market. And 3) Ultimately does it deserve your data? – I think if you are a 2-Bay buyer, then spending the tiny bit extra for this 3-Bay is a no brainer, but if you are looking at 4-Bays, then the 3-Bay TS-364 might lack the extra storage potential, PCIe upgrades and base level connectivity long term of current prosumer 4-Bays like the TS-453D and TS-464. Overall, I like what the TS-364 is offering here and I think it fits well in the QNAP portfolio and solutions available to the end-user.

SOFTWARE - 8/10
HARDWARE - 8/10
PERFORMANCE - 8/10
PRICE - 8/10
VALUE - 8/10


8.0
PROS
👍🏻Best example of 3-Bay NAS series so far
👍🏻Quieter than I expected in use
👍🏻
👍🏻Newest Gen Intel Celeron CPU available on NAS right now
👍🏻
👍🏻2.5GbE Ready and has 2x USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gb/s)
👍🏻
👍🏻Good balance of HDD and SSD Storage Support
👍🏻
👍🏻VERY compact deployment
👍🏻
👍🏻4GB Memory by default and 16GB Max is good upgradability
👍🏻
👍🏻Surprisingly small, fo so much storage (long-ish though)
👍🏻
👍🏻QTS 5 has more 1st Party applications and services than any previous version
CONS
👎🏻The lack of 10GbE from the TS-332X is a shame (PCI Lane related)
👎🏻The NVMe SSD Bays are PCIe Gen 3 x2 (PCI Lane related)
👎🏻
👎🏻HDMI 1.4b not HDMI 2.0/a

 


Best Business 5/6-Bay NAS Drive for RAID 6 – The Synology DS1621xs+ NAS

0-120TB, 6-Bays HDD and 2x NVMe M.2 SSD for Caching, Intel Xeon 4 Core CPU, 8-32GB DDR4 ECC Memory, 1x 10GbE, 2x 1Gbe Port, 1x PCIe Gen x8, 5yr Warranty

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $1499+

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

It is fair to say that the Synology DS1621xs+ NAS makes a bold statement in what it is bringing to the table. Synology has been a brand that up until a few years ago traded significantly more on its software than it does on its hardware. Devices like the DS1621xs+ go a long way to dispel this myth in 2020/2021 and what we find here is an exceptionally well-equipped desktop NAS system. Obviously, at this price tag, you would expect it to deliver a lot and as a combined hardware and software package, the DS1621xs+ certainly achieved this. What issues you can make with the hardware are of the DS1621xs+ are more a question of the brands own decisions on what users want in storage right now.

Click to view slideshow.

Small factors such as the NVMe bays not being accessible for RAW storage, the lack of Synology hybrid RAID and the use of CPU seen in 2017 and 2018 release hardware might put some potential buyers on the fence. But ultimately if you’ve committed to a desktop Synology solution because of DSM, the brand’s high reputation and that spec sheet – you will genuinely struggle to find a more powerful and equipped desktop NAS from this company right now.

SOFTWARE - 9/10
HARDWARE - 9/10
PERFORMANCE - 9/10
PRICE - 7/10
VALUE - 8/10


8.4
PROS
👍🏻10Gbe Equipped!
👍🏻Desktop Xeon Solution
👍🏻Dual NVMe M.2 cache
👍🏻PCIe Gen 3 x8 PCIe Equipped
👍🏻Great RAID Options (inc RAIF F1)
👍🏻Excellent choice of Apps
👍🏻DDR4 ECC Memory
👍🏻Numerous Backup Software Options
👍🏻Huge Virtualization Support
👍🏻5yr Warranty
👍🏻2x 5-Bay Expandable
CONS
👎🏻1Gbe Ports seem a bit unnecessary
👎🏻No SHR Support
👎🏻Shame it does not support 1/2 x DX1215
👎🏻NVMe SSDs cannot be used for RAW storage

 


Most Modern RAID 6 Optimized 6-Bay NAS Drive – The QNAP TS-h972AX

0-100TB HDD, 16TB SATA SSD, 8/16TB U.2 NVMe SSD, 5/9-Bays of 3.5″, 2.5″ & U.2 SSD, AMD Ryzen V1500B 4x 2.2Ghz CPU, 8-32GB DDR4 Memory, 1x 10GbE, 2x 2.5Gbe Port, Supports ZFS or EXT4, 3/5yr Warranty,

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $1150+

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

I have seen a lot of network-attached storage over the years and the TS-h973AX brings a lot of colour to what was fast becoming a somewhat grey landscape. In short, QNAP has gone and done it again by proving they are the hardware innovators of this industry and have managed to provide a genuinely unique solution here. When they first revealed their new Hero ZFS operating system last year, you could not help but get the impression that only top-end enterprise businesses with £10K starting budgets were ever going to benefit. The TS-h973AX desktop NAS is solid evidence that QNAP will share the wealth and that this is the start of a whole new series of affordable ZFS solutions from the brand. That isn’t to say that this system is perfect and pernickety points about a lack of HDMI or LCD may put off some users, and the compact 9 bay chassis that will attract some will no doubt deter others.

Click to view slideshow.

Ultimately though QNAP has succeeded in creating what they sought out here and what we find is one of the best examples of hardware and software meeting in the middle, while still arriving with a price tag in 3 figures. In the current absence of a straightforward QuTS license purchase option for existing QNAP NAS systems right now, this is a solution that serves as a good alternative to a number of 4 and 6 Bay solutions in their portfolio. Though, make sure you upgrade that memory on day one! 

SOFTWARE - 8/10
HARDWARE - 8/10
PERFORMANCE - 8/10
PRICE - 9/10
VALUE - 8/10


8.2
PROS
👍🏻10GbE Equipped
👍🏻Triple tier storage
👍🏻ZFS / QuTS Hero System
👍🏻Virtualization Support is unparalleled
👍🏻10Gb/s USB 3.2 Gen 2
👍🏻10 min Windows and/or Ubuntu VM install (included)
👍🏻U.2 NVMe PCIe Gen 3×4 Support
👍🏻Hugely Expandable
👍🏻2.5GbE LAN Ports
👍🏻8 Surveillance Camera Licences
CONS
👎🏻No PCIe Upgrade Option
👎🏻Lacks HDMI
👎🏻Some might prefer the ease of NVMe over NVMe U.2

 


And there you have it. Those are the three best 6-Bay or 5-Bay NAS drives available right now at the end of 2021 and going into 2022. thought it is always worth remembering that these systems typically have a refresh (i.e manufacturers release a new version/follow-up) every 2-3 years on average. Therefore although these systems are all still great 6-Bay or 5-Bay NAS drives, they might have been upgraded in a newer released version, or recently released alternative 6-Bay or 5-Bay’s may have arrived on the scene that provides better pricing, value or features. If you are in doubt about whether to buy a 6-Bay or 5-Bay solution from my recommendations, want to check if a newer system has been released recently OR are simply looking for some free expert advice, then use the free advice section below over. Just enter in a few details of your setup, storage requirements and (in the case of buying a new solution) your budget – then me and Eddie the Web guy can help you with your question. This is a completely free service, is NOT provided with profit in mind and is manned by two humans (no bots, no automated replies, etc). Assistance might take an extra day or two (the service gets a lot of visitors) but we do try to answer every message. If you want to support this service, you can find out how to donate HERE. Otherwise, you can still jsut message us for free advice anyway!

 


Articles Get Updated Regularly - Get an alert every time something gets added to this page!


This description contains links to Amazon. These links will take you to some of the products mentioned in today's content. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Visit the NASCompares Deal Finder to find the best place to buy this device in your region, based on Service, Support and Reputation - Just Search for your NAS Drive in the Box Below

 

SEARCH IN THE BOX BELOW FOR NAS DEALS

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7] Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  

 

Recommended 4-Bay NAS to Buy in 2022

23 décembre 2021 à 01:01

A Guide to the Best 4-Bay NAS Drives to Buy Right Now

Most users who have been considering purchasing a brand new NAS Drive will often find a 4 drive (also known as a 4-Bay) desktop system to be the easiest and most capable entry point into this kind of technology. If you are trying to storage a decent sized amount of data over 10-12TB, you will all too often find that a 4-Bay NAS gives you the best middle ground between the price of your storage, the scalability in the lifespan of the system and the general hardware level of the NAS solution itself. It provides a great deal of storage/drive-failure-safety in its RAID 5/6 vs that of a 2-Bay and its RAID 0/1, whilst also allowing you to multiple the performance and throughout of the NAS thanks to the larger number of HDD/SSDs on offer. Most modern 4-Bay NAS released in the last few years have typically been the most creative areas for brands to start equipping their solutions with the most innovative features, such as m.2 SSD caching bays, PCIe upgrade slots, improved default network ports (such as 2.5GbE) and HDMI. Below is my before you buy guide on whether you should consider buying a 4-Bay NAS, the Pros, the Cons and the things that some people forget. I recommend watching this before you go further with my top 3 4-Bay NAS to buy in 2022, as it will help you understand if you even need a 4 HDD NAS at all:

Likewise, you will all too often find that most NAS brands (such as Synology, QNAP and Asustor) will have more 4-Bay solutions than any other tier – it is THAT much of a popular hardware choice. So, with a new year beginning, I wanted to make it easier for you and highlight the best three 4-Bay NAS systems to consider, right now in 2022. These three NAS

What Have All the Best 4-Bay NAS Drives Have in Common?

It is worth remembering that although there are ALOT of different 4-Bay NAS drives available to buy, they are by no means created equal! With numerous super budget brands popping up online, it can be tempting to consider these alongside the premium NAS brands. However, all too often they offer solutions righty seem ‘too good to be true’ and then are gone from the web before your warranty even gets cold! So, whether you are looking at the three best 4-Bay solutions that I am recommending below OR are looking at another 4-Bay NAS you saw on offer/recommended elsewhere – the best NAS system ALWAYS include the following software and services:

  • Combined Hardware & Software Solution – That means that you are buying the hardware, but it ALSO includes a web browser GUI, mobile apps and desktop client apps (including backup, media, streaming, surveillance and file management software)
  • All NAS systems in this guide are compatible with (and can be accessed by) Windows, Mac, Android and Linux operating systems
  • All NAS Solutions arrive with between 2-3 years Warranty (with the option to extend to 5 years)
  • All NAS drives can be accessed locally over the network, as well as secure remote access is possible with brand supported services (at no additional cost)
  • The most modern and regularly updated NAS systems will support the very latest 20TB NAS hard drives (such as the Seagate Ironwofl 20TB and WD Red 20TB)
  • All the recommended solutions support multiple drive configurations (RAID) for drive failure protection and performance enhancements
  • All solutions receive regular updates to their security, features and services
  • All recommended NAS drives can connect and synchronize with cloud services (Google Drive, DropBox, OneDrive, etc), as well as Business/Enterprise services such as AWS, Azure, Backblaze and more
  • All NAS solutions (regardless of brand) feature the ability to host a shared drive on your PC/Mobile/Laptop systems that are synchronized with the NAS via the network/internet, but is shown in your native operating system file manager (i.e Mac Finder or Windows Explorer)
  • All the NAS solutions listed can be accessed DIRECTLY via an ethernet/network cable being connected from your PC/Mac system, to the NAS RJ45 port for 100MB/s and higher connectivity
  • All the best NAS solutions (regardless of brand) feature backup and sync tools that can be installed on your local client computer and allow regular backups of your files and system data

So, make sure that if you are looking at a NAS solution that is NOT recommended below, that it includes all of the above. As these are some of the clearest areas that brands all too often cut orders to produce cheaper by ultimately inferior NAS servers for home and business. So, let’s discuss the very best 4-Bay NAS to buy now in 2022.

Best Priced 4-Bay NAS Drive – QNAP TS-451D2 NAS

0-80TB, 4-Bays, Intel J4025 2.9Ghz 2-Core CPU, 2/4/8GB Memory, 2x 1Gbe Port, 1x HDMI 2.0 4K 60FPS, 2-5yr Warranty

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $450

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

What we said in our Review – The QNAP TS-451D2 is an interesting solution to add to the range at the tail end of 2020 for the company, sandwiched in between the launch of newer business devices and likely one of the last units in the QNAP D series. The brand has long since shaken off the reputation of being a hardware provider and light software provider, becoming something much, much even. With a huge number of first-party applications in the QNAP QuTS library (many of which are genuinely unique) as well as releasing an affordable 4-Bay NAS solution that has aimed itself at the new NAS buyer, or the NAS user who wants to spend a little now but can expand greatly later.

Click to view slideshow.

It isn’t perfect – a dual-core, not a quad-core. 1Gbe and not 2.5Gbe – but that is not the point in the TS-451D2. This is aimed at the 4-Bay NAS buyer that want a good level of software and hardware performance, without breaking the bank. I will be doing further testing of this device on surveillance and Plex media handling, but even early tests have been remarkably positive. How it performs with key applications in the QNAP app library is already pretty easy to predict (quick well indeed), but overall the TS-451D2 is a great little NAS with a huge amount of potential for those that want their abilities to grow with their data. Just maybe the lack of PCIe will be a dealbreaker for some at this price point.

SOFTWARE - 8/10
HARDWARE - 7/10
PERFORMANCE - 7/10
PRICE - 8/10
VALUE - 8/10


7.6
PROS
👍🏻HDMI 2.0 at an affordable level – always good
👍🏻
👍🏻Supports pretty much the entire QNAP app catalogue
👍🏻
👍🏻Very Compact and low noise
👍🏻
👍🏻Arriving at a good price point for a standard Intel 4-Bay
👍🏻
👍🏻Good as a first NAS if you want all the features
👍🏻
👍🏻EXCELLENT home multimedia NAS at this price point
👍🏻
👍🏻VERY Good Surveillance NAS for Home or Small Business
👍🏻
👍🏻Expandable with TR-002 and TR-004 QNAP expansion devices to many, many more drives
CONS
👎🏻CPU is a little weak for solid Virtual Machine Use
👎🏻
👎🏻Only 1Gbe ports, not 2.5Gbe or LAG support
👎🏻
👎🏻Lacks the PCIe Upgrade slot of the TS-251D

 


Best Value 4-Bay NAS Drive – Synology DS920+ NAS

0-80TB, 4-Bays, Intel J4125 4x 2.0-2.7Ghz CPU, 4/8GB 2666Mhz Memory, 2x 1Gbe Port, 2x NVMe SSD Cache Bays, 3-5yr Warranty

Current Price/Availability on Amazon $550+

Hardware Review – HERE

YouTube Video Review – Watch

The DS920+ NAS is something that Synology should be proud of. It is a great entry into their already impressive range of Diskstation NAS devices. If you are looking for a brand new NAS to consolidate your home media, to support your relative as the ‘IT whizz’ of the family, or move your business away from Google Drives and DropBox’ onto something safer, more scalable and dependable – then the DS920+ has alot to offer you. It gives you a great base to start using the DSM platform, as well as a good means to upgrade your storage internally at a later date (expansions in memory, expansions in storage, expansion in NVMe). If you are an existing DS918+ or DS916+ owner, this might not seem like the jump you were waiting for.

Click to view slideshow.

There are always areas of improvement, the USB ports, the 1Gbe, that 1 memory slot – but these are things that Synology no doubt feel should be pushed into a higher price/hardware bracket – Allowing the DS920+ Price to be as close to its predecessors it can be. Whether you agree or disagree, I think that we can agree that this NAS is still giving you alot of bang for your buck in 2020. Thank you once again to ‘Takeo from Tokyo‘ for all his assistance on this hardware review

SOFTWARE - 9/10
HARDWARE - 8/10
PERFORMANCE - 10/10
PRICE - 9/10
VALUE - 10/10


9.2
PROS
👍🏻Dual NVMe M.2 cache
👍🏻Great RAID Options
👍🏻Excellent choice of Apps
👍🏻Snapshot Replication
👍🏻BTRFS and SHR
👍🏻Support Plex
👍🏻Virtualization
👍🏻4K Video transcoding
👍🏻Full Plex Transcoding
👍🏻Hot-Swap trays
👍🏻DLNA Compliant
👍🏻Expandable
CONS
👎🏻No Copy button
👎🏻Only 1Gbe Ethernet ports
👎🏻No PCIe slots
👎🏻Only a single accessible Memory Bay

 


Most Powerful 4-Bay NAS Drive – QNAP TVS-472XT

0-80TB, 4-Bays, Intel PT/i3/i5 8th Gen 2/4/6-Core CPU, 8-64GB DDR4 Memory, 1x 10Gbe Port, 2x 1GbE, USB 3.2 Gen 2, PCIe 3×16 + 3×4, 2x M.2 NVMe, HDMI 2.0 4K 60FPS, 2x Thunderbolt 3, 2-5yr Warranty

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $1300+

Hardware Review – HERE

YouTube Video Review – Watch

The QNAP TVS-472XT is a NAS drive that has taken the elite and overpowered attitudes that were previously the hallmarks of the Thunderbolt 3 NAS range and turn it into something a great deal more mature and accessible to mid-range users. Till now, if you wanted access to the full features and functionality of a fully equipped thunderbolt and 10Gbe enabled 4K NAS, you were forced to either compromise too much with the TS-453BT3 or break the bank with the TVS-682T. Thanks to this new QNAP TVS-472XT NAS however, you no longer need to compromise and have access to a much more balanced and well equipped NAS platform for photo and video editing post-production in 2021.

Click to view slideshow.

This 4 bay thunderbolt equipped NAS is about quality, not quantity and although may lack the wider coverage of users that the TVS-682T has, it makes up for it with a much, much better and higher dedicated performance to those fewer connected users. What the XT series brings to the NAS industry is to fill a much-needed gap in the thunderbolt NAS portfolio and gives users an important choice between the existing product family. It is worth mentioning that you lose out on the 3rd tier of storage offered by the 82T series, as well as the long-term future-proofing it offers for PCIe upgrades to the GPU and adding high-speed users later – but unless you think this is a necessary possibility in the next 3-4 years, you should save your money and go for the QNAP TVS-472XT. Easily in my top 3 NAS of 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and now, 2021.

SOFTWARE - 8/10
HARDWARE - 10/10
PERFORMANCE - 9/10
PRICE - 7/10
VALUE - 8/10


8.4
PROS
👍🏻High Virtualisation Use
👍🏻Two USB-C Thunderbolt 3 Ports which can allow 2 devices access at once
👍🏻SSD Optimized with NVMe Support
👍🏻Business Use
👍🏻SMB Storage
👍🏻Optimized for Post Production and Broadcasting
👍🏻Embedded 10GBe Port
👍🏻Thunderbolt-to-10Gbe Adapter possible
👍🏻DLNA Support
👍🏻Apple Time Machine Support
👍🏻Surveillance including multiple camera licences – 8 Licences FREE
👍🏻iTunes Server
👍🏻email server
👍🏻Download server (FTP, HTTP, BT,NZB)
👍🏻CMS and CRM systems
👍🏻Office applications
👍🏻Media Center support
CONS
👎🏻Only 2 TB3 Ports – so only 2 Editors at once
👎🏻No Remote Control
👎🏻no Intel i7 8th Gen option
👎🏻Only 1 10Gbe Port
👎🏻PCIe Slot that is available not compatible with 40Gbe cards

 


 

And there you have it. Those are the three best 4-Bay NAS drives available right now at the end of 2021 and going into 2022. thought it is always worth remembering that these systems typically have a refresh (i.e manufacturers release a new version/follow-up) every 2-3 years on average. Therefore although these systems are all still great 4-Bay NAS drives, they might have been upgraded in a newer released version, or recently released alternative 4-Bay’s may have arrived on the scene that provides better pricing, value or features. If you are in doubt about whether to buy a 4-Bay solution from my recommendations, want to check if a newer system has been released recently OR are simply looking for some free expert advice, then use the free advice section below over. Just enter in a few details of your setup, storage requirements and (in the case of buying a new solution) your budget – then me and Eddie the Web guy can help you with your question. This is a completely free service, is NOT provided with profit in mind and is manned by two humans (no bots, no automated replies, etc). Assistance might take an extra day or two (the service gets a lot of visitors) but we do try to answer every message. If you want to support this service, you can find out how to donate HERE. Otherwise, you can still jsut message us for free advice anyway!

 


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This description contains links to Amazon. These links will take you to some of the products mentioned in today's content. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Visit the NASCompares Deal Finder to find the best place to buy this device in your region, based on Service, Support and Reputation - Just Search for your NAS Drive in the Box Below

 

SEARCH IN THE BOX BELOW FOR NAS DEALS

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7] Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  

 

The Best 2-Bay NAS to Buy for 2022

17 décembre 2021 à 01:20

A Guide to the Recommended 2-Bay NAS Drives to Buy Right Now

Making the move away from your free’mium services such as Google Drive and DropBox towards a privately owned NAS is already a tough enough decision – then you find out that there are literally thousands of different models available and many, many brands. Whether it is because your storage needs are a little modest, you are physical space-limited or you have a budget that is comparable to a 3+ year cloud storage for more than 4TB (so, about $300-500 or so) – whatever your reason, there is a very good chance that you have been considering a 2-Bay NAS solution. It’s a great entry point into network-attached storage, it allows a complete redundancy/safety-net option of mirroring/RAID 1, it allows you to use the bulk of the modern software offered by the brands, allows media sharing with ease, security tools and a wide array of backup tools – all whist staying well within that tighter budget. Indeed, as good as a 2-Bay can sound in terms of price vs ability, it is worth taking a quick moment before discussing the best 2-bay NAS, to work out if you even need a 2 HDD NAS at all! So, if you are still o nthe fence about 2-Bay NAS, use my before you buy guide below that discusses the Pros, Cons and things that are often overlooked about 2 drive NAS systems:

Still interested in a 2-Bay NAS? Good. However, there are ALOT of 2-Bay NAS drives in 2021/2022 available (with promised refreshed ranges from Synology and QNAP this summer), so choosing the right one the first time can be tricky! Never fear, below I have detailed the best three 2-Bay NAS drives that you can buy right now, as well as detailing what makes them so special. Remember, what makes these three NAS systems my recommended 2-Bay is not just because of hardware, but the entire package of hardware, software and services that they offer. So, let’s take a look.

What Have All the Perfect 2-Bay NAS Drives Have in Common?

It is worth remembering that although there are ALOT of different 2-Bay NAS drives available to buy, they are by no means created equal! With numerous super budget brands popping up online, it can be tempting to consider these alongside the premium NAS brands. However, all too often they offer solutions righty seem ‘too good to be true’ and then are gone from the web before your warranty even gets cold! So, whether you are looking at the three best 2-Bay solutions that I am recommending below OR are looking at another 2-Bay NAS you saw on offer/recommended elsewhere – the best NAS system ALWAYS include the following software and services:

  • Combined Hardware & Software Solution – That means that you are buying the hardware, but it ALSO includes a web browser GUI, mobile apps and desktop client apps (including backup, media, streaming, surveillance and file management software)
  • All NAS systems in this guide are compatible with (and can be accessed by) Windows, Mac, Android and Linux operating systems
  • All NAS Solutions arrive with between 2-3 years Warranty (with the option to extend to 5 years)
  • All NAS drives can be accessed locally over the network, as well as secure remote access is possible with brand supported services (at no additional cost)
  • The most modern and regularly updated NAS systems will support the very latest 20TB NAS hard drives (such as the Seagate Ironwofl 20TB and WD Red 20TB)
  • All the recommended solutions support multiple drive configurations (RAID) for drive failure protection and performance enhancements
  • All solutions receive regular updates to their security, features and services
  • All recommended NAS drives can connect and synchronize with cloud services (Google Drive, DropBox, OneDrive, etc), as well as Business/Enterprise services such as AWS, Azure, Backblaze and more
  • All NAS solutions (regardless of brand) feature the ability to host a shared drive on your PC/Mobile/Laptop systems that are synchronized with the NAS via the network/internet, but is shown in your native operating system file manager (i.e Mac Finder or Windows Explorer)
  • All the NAS solutions listed can be accessed DIRECTLY via an ethernet/network cable being connected from your PC/Mac system, to the NAS RJ45 port for 100MB/s and higher connectivity
  • All the best NAS solutions (regardless of brand) feature backup and sync tools that can be installed on your local client computer and allow regular backups of your files and system data

So, make sure that if you are looking at a NAS solution that is NOT recommended below, that it includes all of the above. As these are some of the clearest areas that brands all too often cut orders to produce cheaper by ultimately inferior NAS servers for home and business. So, let’s discuss the very best 2-Bay NAS to buy now in 2022.

Best Priced 2-Bay NAS Drive – Synology DS220j NAS Drive

0-40TB, 2-Bays, 4-Core Realtek 64bit ARM CPU, 512MB Memory, 1x 1Gbe Port, 2yr Warranty

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $199

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

What I hoped would be a NAS that kicks off the new 2-Bay range from Synology for 2020/2021, does so with reasonable success. I cannot say that I am not impressed by the hardware here at this price – the specifications for this £125+ NAS (ex.VAT) is genuinely impressive and much, much more than all the other 2-Bay J Series Synology that have come before it – in that way, the DS220j is a flat out winner! It gives you a great baseline experience of DSM, at a price point that is low enough to hook you in at the low level, but still not too expensive that you will feel bad if you want to upgrade sooner than you would have liked! Plus, the new and old NAS can be used to synchronize and add to your backup strategy, so in that way, the DS220j is genuinely unbeatable in it’s field.

Click to view slideshow.

The Synology DS220j NAS is not the most powerful NAS drive, or the most fully-featured NAS drive – but the point is that it is not trying to be! Synology has held an exceptionally good reputation in the world of network-attached storage for a decade and if a new NAS buyer wanted to cautiously invest in a new piece of equipment in this area, then despite their modest budget, they will want to get the best they can for their money, from a brand with an established pedigree – THAT is what the Synology DS220j NAS is trying to achieve and for the most part, it completely succeeds! Aside from the memory being a touch light on the ground and the white chassis not being to everyone’s taste, in almost every other regard the DS220j is a great little NAS drive that any first time NAS users, or those making the jump from subscription cloud services like Google Drive and DropBox, are going to enjoy. Just keep an eye on the number of active users and tasks at any given time and you will be on to a winner here.

SOFTWARE - 8/10
HARDWARE - 5/10
PERFORMANCE - 5/10
PRICE - 9/10
VALUE - 8/10


7.0
PROS
👍🏻That Realtek 4-Core CPU is FANTASTIC Value
👍🏻Supports latest/largest HDDs
👍🏻Supports ALOT of DSM 6.2 Applications That 512MB Memory hobbles this CPU significantly on things like 4K and BTRFS
👍🏻Synology NAS with SHR for under £125 ex.VAT Not suitable for Plex Media Server
👍🏻Fast Setup
👍🏻User-Friendly
👍🏻Twice as much memory as the DS119j
CONS
👎🏻That 512MB Memory hobbles this CPU significantly on things like 4K and BTRFS
👎🏻Synology NAS with SHR for under £125 ex.VAT Not suitable for Plex Media Server

 


Best Value 2-Bay NAS Drive – Synology DS220+ NAS

0-40TB, 2-Bays, Intel Celeron J4025 2 Core CPU, 2-6GB Memory, 2x 1Gbe Port, 2yr Warranty

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $285+

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

The Synology DS220+ affordable NAS does not make overly bold promises, leaving those to more expensive and more powerful devices in the product portfolio (DS920+, DS1621xs, etc). Whether you are a new or old NAS user, Synology has made a clear distinction in the DS220+, showing the difference between buying what you want and buying what you need. That may sound like pointless and annoying rhetoric, but comparing the DS220+ with other diskstation plus series NAS shows you that by removing a lot of the bells and whistles of the bigger and boulder devices (i.e NVMe SSD caching, expandability of storage down the line, longer warranties and higher end processors) it provides you with a setup that will serve a smaller and less intense user exceptionally well, at a price point that makes the first investment in a Synology NAS considerably easier to make.

Click to view slideshow.

The 2/6GB memory option on the DS220+ is a bit of a shame in some respects. 6GB is still a great amount of memory (well, I say that -as I touched on earlier, it’s a bit odd to use a 2GB and 4GB stick in a pair), as well as the DDR4 SO-DIMM 2666Mhz memory available being some 10-20% faster in usage frequency than the 1866Mhz DDR3L SODIMM on the past DS218+. However, it is worth noting that if you the 2GB starting memory it starts with will be utilized by the intelligent caching/flushing feature of DSM. What this means is that if you look at the resource monitor when the device boots, it is caching more data in the memory than it technically needs to. This is not a bad thing though, as when the memory is needed for applications and services, it is near-instantly flushed by the reserved system area. The result is that the OS of DSM via the browser seems silky smooth at all times and when an app needs the resources, it makes it available – very ‘Mac’. Though this means that if you are running 2-3 CORE applications (VMM, Surveillance, Containers, Plex) then you are going to hit a few bumps on the 2GB that the unit arrives with. Ultimately, why buy a Ferrari if you just need something to do the weekly grocery shopping? The Synology DS220+, much like its predecessors in this product line, is still a great and solid NAS purchase in 2020 and something that Synology can continue to be proud of, just don’t expect that Ferrari and you’ll be fine.

SOFTWARE - 8/10
HARDWARE - 7/10
PERFORMANCE - 8/10
PRICE - 9/10
VALUE - 9/10


8.2
PROS
👍🏻Great RAID Options
👍🏻Excellent choice of Apps
👍🏻Snapshot Replication
👍🏻BTRFS and SHR
👍🏻Support Plex
👍🏻Virtualization
👍🏻4K Video transcoding
👍🏻Full Plex Transcoding
👍🏻Hot-Swap trays
👍🏻DLNA Compliant
👍🏻Expandable
CONS
👎🏻Only 1Gbe Ethernet ports
👎🏻No NVMe cache, as featured in other units
👎🏻2GB Memory is a little low in the long term when 6GB is the Max
👎🏻Only a single accessible Memory Bay

 


Most Powerful 2-Bay NAS Drive – QNAP TS-253D NAS

0-40TB, 2-Bays, Intel Celeron J4125 4-Core CPU, 4/8GB Memory, 2x 2.5Gbe Port, PCIe Gen 2 x4 Upgrade Slot, 5x USB Ports, 1x HDMI 2.0 4K 60FPS, 3-5yr Warranty

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $325

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

To put it bluntly – the QNAP TS-253D is a heck of a piece of kit! The hardware available at this price point, along with the software that is bundled with your purchase is possible some of the best ‘price vs return’ I have yet to see in a NAS drive. This combined with a very open-door policy on upgrades and future-proofing, as well as maintaining a very good first/third-party software support ratio, make the QNAP TS-253D one of the best units the company has produced in the history of the brand and an excellent unit to begin a new decade. Is it perfect? No. With a few of the shiny slick branding touches of their biggest rival Synology, as well as a design that is not for everyone, the QNAP TS-253D is a NAS that gives you alot of tools, alot of ways to use them – then lets you choose to how and where you want to interact with it, rather than ask you to do it ‘it’s way’ for the most part.

Click to view slideshow.

The internal hardware of the device that people will be the most attentive about however is the CPU and memory on offer in the TS-253D. Arriving with the Intel J4125 Celeron Processor, this 4 core 2.0Ghz processor can be burst to 2.7Ghz when needed and features UHD HD Graphics 600, so it has a great little transcoding engine on offer. Although it is better than it’s predecessor in most ways (barring a slight dip in some H.265 bitrates (according to @eddiethweb) it is still a great CPU and one that does very well in the family of QNAP expandable 2/4 Bay NAS processors. There is a % of the market that hoped for something a little beefier (the same ones who wanted 2.5Gbe) and perhaps a return to the use of an Intel Pentium (as we saw in the TVS-471 of 2014), but this is still a very good processor with a good score on CPU benchmark. The software and performance review of this NAS should give us more info on the CPU in a more day to day use (as well as Plex Media Server of course), but we can make some educated guesses.. As is often the case, whereas the Synology platform and the closest rival to the TS-253D (the DS720+) will provide a very ‘Apple’ design, fluidity and ease of design to a % of the market, the QNAP TS-253D caters to many more users and although sometimes that versatility can lead to early confusion (a teeny pinch of tech knowledge will help) it is an enormous jump forward for this big brand in NAS storage.

SOFTWARE - 8/10
HARDWARE - 9/10
PERFORMANCE - 8/10
PRICE - 9/10
VALUE - 9/10


8.6
PROS
👍🏻2.5Gbe LAN Ports
👍🏻8 Surveillance Camera Licences
👍🏻AI-Powered Apps
👍🏻Snapshot Replication
👍🏻PCIe Gen 2×4 Upgradable
👍🏻Support Plex
👍🏻Virtualization
👍🏻4K Video transcoding
👍🏻Full Plex Transcoding
👍🏻60FPS 4K Support
👍🏻10 min Windows and/or Ubuntu VM install (included)
👍🏻Expandable
CONS
👎🏻Quite expensive for a 2-Bay
👎🏻Odd decision to limit USB ports to 2x USB 3.0
👎🏻Not quite as intuitive as Synology DSM (close though)
👎🏻Does not Support BTRFS

 


 

And there you have it. Those are the three best 2-Bay NAS drives available right now at the end of 2021 and going into 2022. thought it is always worth remembering that these systems typically have a refresh (i.e manufacturers release a new version/follow-up) every 2-3 years on average. Therefore although these systems are all still great 2-Bay NAS drives, they might have been upgraded in a newer released version, or recently released alternative 2-Bay’s may have arrived on the scene that provides better pricing, value or features. If you are in doubt about whether to buy a 2-Bay solution from my recommendations, want to check if a newer system has been released recently OR are simply looking for some free expert advice, then use the free advice section below over. Just enter in a few details of your setup, storage requirements and (in the case of buying a new solution) your budget – then me and Eddie the Web guy can help you with your question. This is a completely free service, is NOT provided with profit in mind and is manned by two humans (no bots, no automated replies, etc). Assistance might take an extra day or two (the service gets a lot of visitors) but we do try to answer every message. If you want to support this service, you can find out how to donate HERE. Otherwise, you can still jsut message us for free advice anyway!

 


Articles Get Updated Regularly - Get an alert every time something gets added to this page!


This description contains links to Amazon. These links will take you to some of the products mentioned in today's content. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Visit the NASCompares Deal Finder to find the best place to buy this device in your region, based on Service, Support and Reputation - Just Search for your NAS Drive in the Box Below

 

SEARCH IN THE BOX BELOW FOR NAS DEALS

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7] Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  

 

❌