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QNAP TS-462 : NAS 4 baies, Intel N4505, 2 Go RAM…

5 août 2022 à 07:00
Par : Fx
QNAP TS 462 300x225 - QNAP TS-462 : NAS 4 baies, Intel N4505, 2 Go RAM...QNAP annonce sur son site officiel un nouveau produit : TS-462. Il s’agit d’un NAS 4 baies animé par un processeur Intel N4505 et 2 Go de RAM extensible. Côté connectique, il bénéficie de l’USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gb/s), du Multi-Gig pour le réseau, d’une sortie audio/vidéo HDMI 2.0, mais ce n’est pas tout… QNAP TS-462 QNAP annonce sur son site (en anglais), un nouveau NAS. Il s’agit d’un boîtier blanc et or. C’est le premier de la série TS-x62 […]

Synology DS3622xs+ Plex Media Server NAS 4K & 1080p Tests – H.264 & HEVC

5 août 2022 à 01:26

How Well Does the Synology DS3622xs+ NAS Perform as a Plex Media Server?

Many users who are taking their first tentative steps into purchasing their own private server for multimedia use will have heard that when it comes to NAS brands, that Synology is pretty much the top dog. The Synology NAS software DSM, which includes numerous fully features applications, is what keeps the brand at the top of people’s preferred home server lists. However, despite this get reputation for software, the brand also has a reputation for providing slightly lukewarm hardware compared with alternatives from QNAP. The Synology DS3622xs+ NAS however tries to counter this, but providing one of the most powerful desktop NAS systems that the brand has ever produced and those looking for a powerhouse server for their Plex Media Server are likely to consider this beefy 12 bay NAS. But does CPU power and storage make that much of a difference to Plex? And why would someone spend this much on a NAS just for Plex? The appeal of accessing all the movies, boxsets, music and home movies that you physically/digitally own in the style popularized by Netflix, Disney+ and Prime Video (flashy GUI, summary, all the box art, trailers, cast details, reviews and more) is undeniable. The rise in popularity of streaming platforms like Netflix has also been accompanied by rising monthly subscription costs and rising concerns about never truly owning the media that you want o watch. Even when you buy movies and TV boxsets in digital download forms from Amazon Video etc, you are still at the mercy of 1) needing somewhere to store it if you do choose to download it and 2) potentially losing access to it if the site/platform you purchased from has lost the license to host it (a common complain of the increasingly digital world of PC/Console gaming, as games are pulled from eStores). Hosting your media in a subscription-free form, whilst it still being presented in the universally accessible and premium GUI form of Plex is one of the most compelling reasons for many home/prosumer users deciding to make the jump towards buying their own plex media server. However, NAS drives have grown incredibly diverse in terms of hardware design and therefore one NAS might not play media in plex as well/efficiently as another – and the Synology DS3622xs+ NAS is no exception to this. Today I want to detail my tests of the DS3622xs+ as a Plex Media Server and I hope this will help you decide whether a Synology NAS deserves your Multimedia in 2022/2023.

What is the Hardware of the Synology DS3622xs+ NAS Drive?

The Synology DS3622xs+ NAS drive is quite similar in architecture to most PCs or Laptops (in that it features a CPU+Memory+Storage), but differs in that it’s components are designed to be more efficient (as they will be in operation 24×7) and have a larger degree of focus on storage-related applications (where as the hardware in a PC/Laptop is designed more for the applications you run with storage service concerns/provisions being far more rudimentary). The DS3622xs+ is made up of a popular mid-range server CPU, DDR4 memory and supports Hard Drive and SSDs in SATA. although most of the specifications of Synology NAS drives are unrelated to Plex, below I have picked up the hardware specifications of the DS3622xs+ that are relevant to Plex:

  • CPU: Intel Xeon D-1531, 6-Core, 2.2-2.7Ghz Processor
  • Embedded Graphics: No
  • Memory (Quantity & Maximum): 16-48GB
  • Number of Storage Bays: 12 Bays
  • M.2 NVMe Caching Bays: No (Can be Added via PCIe Cards)
  • Network Connectivity: 2x 10GbE, 2x 1GbE, More Ports can be added via PCIe Cards

Next, let’s quickly touch on how we measure how good/bad the Synology DS3622xs+ NAS is for Plex Media Server.

Understanding the Plex Media Server Tests of the Synology DS3622xs+ NAS

Important Terms to Understand in Plex/NAS/Multimedia that will make the DS3622xs+ NAS Plex Tests Easier to Understand.

  • SD, 160p, 240p, 480p, 720p, 1080p, 4K : This is the resolution that the media is being displayed at. The higher the resolution, the larger number of pixels that are available and depending on the original recording quality of the media in question. High resolutions, such as 1080p and 4K require more work to be done by the NAS hardware in order to playback the file. More often than not, a NAS with weak embedded graphics or no embedded graphics at all will be unable to play 4K very well or indeed at all. It is important to remember that just because a NAS brand like Synology says that their latest NAS can natively play back 1080p or 4K media (natively = played using their own NAS software, software client tools and/or DLNA), that does not mean that the DS3622xs+ will play to the same standard in Plex, as Plex is a 3rd party tool
  • Transcoding, Encoding, Decoding : These are all different techniques/names for when a file needs to be changed in order to be better suited to the connected client device connection, strength or hardware. If you are accessing all your media on the local area network (i.e only accessing your plex media at home), then transcoding will rarely be something you will use (unless your media is largely H.265/HEVC based, see earlier). However, perhaps you are accessing your plex library on the train to work or from a sun bed whilst on holiday. Perhaps you have a smaller data bandwidth/allowed MB/GB, maybe a weaker internet connection, perhaps you are using a smaller phone device and you might not need to watch your 4K 50GB Blu-ray rip of the latest Marvel Movie – in these situations, you might well want to access the media on your Synology DS3622xs+ Plex NAS at a lesser quality than the original version, so transcoding/re-encoding on the fly (as in, at the same time it is being played) is what you would want to do. Remember, transcoding is by far the most heavy-weight thing you will need to do on a NAS. It is also worth remembering that in order for Plex o be able to use the FULL resources of a NAS CPU (such as embedded graphics) that you will need to enable ‘Make My CPU Hurt’ in the Encoder Menu of the Plex NAS Settings menu – this also potentially requires a Plex Pass subscription, depending on the NAS in question

  • H.264, HEVC, H.265 :  These are compression techniques that are designed to allow large-scale media presentations that were made for a cinema to be viewable from your sofa (with H.265 being the more effective/powerful compression level). H.264 can largely be played by ALL devices, but many devices do not have permission or a license to play H.265/HEVC (they are the same thing). This is because, where H.264 is an easy license and comparatively free to use, H.265/HEVC licencing and patents are spread across multiple providers and allowing a device license to use this compression technique can be complex, expensive or simply impossible. Therefore HEVC/H.265 media will sometimes AUTOMATICALLY need to be converted/transcoded into H.264 etc in order to be played – therefore eating up more system resources. The DS3622xs+, much like the rest of thte Synology NAS range do not arrive with HEVC support by default
  • Bitrate : Bitrate is the amount of data encoded for a unit of time, and for streaming is usually referenced in megabits per second (Mbps) for video, and in kilobits per second (kbps) for audio. Higher quality and higher resolution media tends to be of a much higher bitrate

For more information on the most important terms to understand when discussing/researching a NAS as a Plex Media Server can be found in my video below:

Any further questions, you can use the free advice section at the bottom of the page and ask me and Eddie directly.

How was the Synology DS3622xs+ NAS Tested in Plex?

The setup for testing the DS3622xs+ NAS for Plex was as follows:

  • The Synology DS3622xs+ NAS was accessed over a 1GbE network, however in order to test how the NAS would cope with transcoding/encoding, I would force the Plex Player client to transcode the file manually
  • The DS3622xs+ NAS was used in the default CPU+Memory state that the base model arrives in (no upgraded memory or upgraded caching media)
  • Tests were performed one after the other with a short break between each test, so you might see the tail end of the previous test on a CPU graph, but I have pointed at the are of the % utilization that is important as per each test.

Regarding test results, CLEAR PASS means that the file successfully played and there were sufficient resources for the NAS to continue to do other things comfortably, PLAYED BUT HIGH CPU % means that the file played, but it utilized a significant amount of system resources in order to do so in a heavier use situation (i.e other NAS users connected) it might not play and FAIL AND-OR DID NOT PLAY means that the file either did not play or the time taken to play back the files was outpaced by the natural playback of the file – i.e. the file would stop-and-start constantly in order to try and catch up. If you want to watch the FULL video recording of all the Plex tests that I performed on the Synology DS3622xs+ NAS, you can watch the video below. Be warned, it is quite long! Alternatively, you can scroll past and see each of the test results, one-by-one, detailing which ones worked and which ones didn’t:

What % System Resources did the Synology DS3622xs+ NAS Use in Plex when Idle?

Running the Plex Media Server application, even when no multimedia is being played on the DS3622xs+ is still going to require a % of system resources to be occupied, in order to ensure that PLEX can play media from the Synology NAS as soon as it is requested remotely. Additionally, although Plex runs at its best with at least 2 Cores of CPU power and 2GB of Memory, many NAS also reserve areas of CPU/RAM for the system itself. So, therefore, knowing how much system resources are being consumed by the Synology DS3622xs+  NAS when Plex is idle is going to be useful to know how much system power is available when playback actually starts. Here is a screenshot of the DS3622xs+ when Plex is running, but no media is being played/accessed:

Plex Test 1 – Synology DS3622xs+ Plex NAS – Matrix 720p 0.7Mbps h.264 Original Playback

Here is how the Synology DS3622xs+ Plex NAS – Matrix 720p 0.7Mbps h.264 Original Playback File Performed:

RESULT: CLEAR PASS


 

Plex Test 2 – Synology DS3622xs+ Plex NAS – Matrix 720p 0.7Mbps h.264 transcode to 240p 0.3Mbps

Here is how the Synology DS3622xs+ Plex NAS – Matrix 720p 0.7Mbps h.264 transcode to 240p 0.3Mbps File Performed:

RESULT: CLEAR PASS


 

Plex Test 3 – Synology DS2422+ Plex NAS – Matrix 720p 0.7Mbps h.264 transcode to 160p 0.3Mbps

Here is how the Synology DS2422+ Plex NAS – Matrix 720p 0.7Mbps h.264 transcode to 160p 0.3Mbps File Performed:

RESULT: CLEAR PASS

Extra Notes: None


 

Plex Test 4 – Synology DS3622xs+ Plex NAS – 5X 1080p 2Mbps H.264

Here is how the Synology DS3622xs+ Plex NAS – 5X 1080p 2Mbps H.264 File Performed:

RESULT: CLEAR PASS

Extra Notes: Tried playing 5 instances of a 1080p High-Quality H.264 Movie at the same time and the NAS did not even break a sweat


 

Plex Test 5 – Synology DS1522+ Plex NAS – LSOH 1080p 1.9Mbps h.264 Transcode to 720p 2Mbps

Here is how the Synology DS1522+ Plex NAS – LSOH 1080p 1.9Mbps h.264 Transcode to 720p 2Mbps File Performed:

RESULT: CLEAR PASS

Extra Notes: None


 

Plex Test 6 – Synology DS1522+ Plex NAS – LSOH 1080p 1.9Mbps h.264 Transcode to 160p 0.2Mbps

Here is how the Synology DS1522+ Plex NAS – LSOH 1080p 1.9Mbps h.264 Transcode to 160p 0.2Mbps File Performed:

RESULT: PLAYED BUT HIGH CPU % 

Extra Notes: Lack of embedded graphics on this CPU means that a giant encode from 1080p 2Mbps to 0.2Mbs 160p (potato quality) pushed it very hard with software transcoding


 

Plex Test 7 – Synology DS3622xs+ Plex NAS – Jellyfish 1080p 3Mbps H.264 Original Playback

Here is how the Synology DS3622xs+ Plex NAS – Jellyfish 1080p 3Mbps H.264 Original Playback File Performed:

RESULT: CLEAR PASS

Extra Notes: None


 

Plex Test 8 – Synology DS3622xs+ Plex NAS – Jellyfish 1080p 3Mbps H.264 Converted to 2Mbps 720p

Here is how the Synology DS3622xs+ Plex NAS – Jellyfish 1080p 3Mbps H.264 Converted to 2Mbps 720p File Performed:

RESULT: PLAYED BUT HIGH CPU % 

Extra Notes: None


 

Plex Test 9 – Synology DS3622xs+ Plex NAS – Jellyfish 1080p 3Mbps H.264 Convert to 0.2Mbps 160p

Here is how the Synology DS3622xs+ Plex NAS – Jellyfish 1080p 3Mbps H.264 Convert to 0.2Mbps 160p File Performed:

RESULT: CLEAR PASS

Extra Notes: None


 

Plex Test 10 – Synology DS3622xs+ Plex NAS – Jellyfish 1080p 3Mbps H.265 – HEVC CONVERTED TO H.264

Here is how the Synology DS3622xs+ Plex NAS – Jellyfish 1080p 3Mbps H.265 – HEVC CONVERTED TO H.264 File Performed:

RESULT: PLAYED BUT HIGH CPU %

Extra Notes: None


 

Plex Test 11 – Synology DS3622xs+ Plex NAS – Jellyfish 1080p 3Mbps H.265 10BIT HDR – HEVC CONVERTED TO H.264

Here is how the Synology DS3622xs+ Plex NAS – Jellyfish 1080p 3Mbps H.265 10BIT HDR – HEVC CONVERTED TO H.264 File Performed:

RESULT: PLAYED BUT HIGH CPU %

Extra Notes: None


 

Plex Test 12 – Synology DS3622xs+ Plex NAS – Jellyfish 1080p 10Mbps H.264 Original Playback

Here is how the Synology DS3622xs+ Plex NAS – Jellyfish 1080p 10Mbps H.264 Original Playback File Performed:

RESULT: CLEAR PASS

Extra Notes: None


 

Plex Test 13 – Synology DS3622xs+ Plex NAS – Jellyfish 1080p 100Mbps H.264 Original Playback

Here is how the Synology DS3622xs+ Plex NAS – Jellyfish 1080p 100Mbps H.264 Original Playback File Performed:

RESULT: CLEAR PASS

Extra Notes: None


 

Plex Test 14 – Synology DS3622xs+ Plex NAS – Jellyfish 4K 120Mbps H.264 Original Playback

Here is how the Synology DS3622xs+ Plex NAS – Jellyfish 4K 120Mbps H.264 Original Playback File Performed:

RESULT: CLEAR PASS

Extra Notes: None


 

Plex Test 15 – Synology DS3622xs+ Plex NAS – Jellyfish 4K 120Mbps H.264 Convert to 1080p 100Mbps

Here is how the Synology DS3622xs+ Plex NAS – Jellyfish 4K 120Mbps H.264 Convert to 1080p 100Mbps File Performed:

RESULT: PLAYED BUT HIGH CPU %

Extra Notes: None


 

Plex Test 16 – Synology DS3622xs+ Plex NAS – Jellyfish 4K 200Mbps H.264

Here is how the Synology DS3622xs+ Plex NAS – Jellyfish 4K 200Mbps H.264 File Performed:

RESULT: CLEAR PASS

Extra Notes: None


 

Plex Test 17 – Synology DS3622xs+ Plex NAS – Jellyfish 4K 200Mbps H.264 Convert to 1080p 100Mbps

Here is how the Synology DS3622xs+ Plex NAS – Jellyfish 4K 200Mbps H.264 Convert to 1080p 100Mbps File Performed:

RESULT: PLAYED BUT HIGH CPU %

Extra Notes: None


 

Plex Test 18 – Synology DS3622xs+ Plex NAS – Jellyfish 1080p 10Mbps H.265 – HEVC CONVERTED TO H.264

Here is how the Synology DS3622xs+ Plex NAS – Jellyfish 1080p 10Mbps H.265 – HEVC CONVERTED TO H.264 File Performed:

RESULT: PLAYED BUT HIGH CPU %

Extra Notes: None


 

Plex Test 19 – Synology DS3622xs+ Plex NAS – 3x Jellyfish 1080p 10Mbps H.265 – HEVC CONVERTED TO H.264

Here is how the Synology DS3622xs+ Plex NAS – 3x Jellyfish 1080p 10Mbps H.265 – HEVC CONVERTED TO H.264 File Performed:

RESULT: PLAYED BUT HIGH CPU %

Extra Notes: So, TECHNICALLY this counts as a ‘high CPU use’ result, BUT playing three 10Mbps HEVC 1080p media files that are being converted in real-time at once is a hefty task and the fact it did this without any pauses still counts as a PASS as far as I am concerned


 

Plex Test 20 – Synology DS3622xs+ Plex NAS – Jellyfish 1080p 100Mbps H.265 – HEVC CONVERTED TO H.264

Here is how the Synology DS3622xs+ Plex NAS – Jellyfish 1080p 100Mbps H.265 – HEVC CONVERTED TO H.264 File Performed:

RESULT: PLAYED BUT HIGH CPU %

Extra Notes: None


 

Plex Test 21 – Synology DS3622xs+ Plex NAS – 2x Jellyfish 4K 120Mbps H.264 HDR Convert to H.264 120Mbps

Here is how the Synology DS3622xs+ Plex NAS – 2x Jellyfish 4K 120Mbps H.264 HDR Convert to H.264 120Mbps File Performed:

RESULT: PLAYED BUT HIGH CPU %

Extra Notes: TWO 4k 120Mbps HEVC 10BIT files at once and having them being transcoded on the fly is a massive task!


 

Plex Test 22 – Synology DS3622xs+ Plex NAS – Jellyfish 4K 200Mbps H.265 10Bit HDR – HEVC CONVERTED TO H.264

Here is how the Synology DS3622xs+ Plex NAS – Jellyfish 4K 200Mbps H.265 10Bit HDR – HEVC CONVERTED TO H.264 File Performed:

RESULT: PLAYED BUT HIGH CPU %

Extra Notes: Less than 3% of the NAS I test can play this file, the fact it did and with little delay is a win for me!


 

Plex Test 23 – Synology DS3622xs+ Plex NAS – Jellyfish 4K 400Mbps H.265 10Bit HDR – HEVC CONVERTED TO H.264

Here is how the Synology DS3622xs+ Plex NAS – Jellyfish 4K 400Mbps H.265 10Bit HDR – HEVC CONVERTED TO H.264 File Performed:

RESULT: PLAYED BUT HIGH CPU %

Extra Notes: Less than 1% of NAS I have tested can play this file – again, the fact it played it AND recoded it to H.264 without delay (regardless of CPU usage) is a solid WIN here


 

Plex Test 24 – Synology DS3622xs+ Plex NAS – Jellyfish 4K 400Mbps H.265 10Bit HDR – HEVC CONVERTED TO H.264 20Mbps 1080p

Here is how the Synology DS3622xs+ Plex NAS – Jellyfish 4K 400Mbps H.265 10Bit HDR – HEVC CONVERTED TO H.264 20Mbps 1080p File Performed:

RESULT: PLAYED BUT HIGH CPU %

Extra Notes: This is a huge task – converting a top-end 4K (virtually no media you buy off the shelf will be in this high picture quality) and converting to a domestic 1080p is MASSIVE. Well Done to this NAS!


 

Is the Synology DS3622xs+ NAS Any Good outside of Plex and Where Can I buy It?

If you are interested in learning more about the Synology DS3622xs+ NAS Drive, I am pleased to confirm that the review here on NASCompares is already live and you can find out more about this device below.

Quick Verdict of the Synology DS3622xs+ NAS – What We Said in the DS3622xs+ Review:

Unsurprisingly, the Synology DS3622xs+ is by FAR the most powerful and capable desktop NAS solution that the brand has ever produced – and that is not even a close-run thing. But we are still talking about a £2,500 box here (unpopulated) and you are going to expect that there is some serious horsepower here – So are you getting the most for your money here? Almost completely, yes. There are a few lingering things that some buyers will still not be in love with, such as the lack of M.2 caching bays, the lack of SAS support or the reduced support of 3rd party drive and network upgrade compatibility, but they do not undercut that this is a genuinely groundbreaking solution from Synology that provides the ultimate base to enjoy and make the most of the Synology DSM 7 platform in 2022 onwards. Once you breakdown everything included in this package, from DSMs software and services, to the tremendous bandwidth available here internally and externally, this compact tank-like NAS server is an absolute beast and a must for those that are keen on fully integrating a private cloud network and subscription-free SaaS-level setup across their company.

Read the Rest of the Review HERE. Alternatively, you can find out the Pros and Cons below, as a few retailers that sell the Synology DS3622xs+ NAS. Thanks for reading and if you need any further help choosing the right NAS for your Plex Media Server, use the free advice section linked below. Have a great week.

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


8.6
PROS
👍🏻6-Core Xeon Processor
👍🏻Two 10GBe Connections as Standard
👍🏻Lots of PCIe Gen 3 x8 PCIe Upgrade Options
👍🏻Surprisingly Compact for 12 Bays
👍🏻Excellent choice of Apps
👍🏻Exceptionally Expandability
👍🏻No need to fully populate, so VERY scalable
👍🏻Huge Virtualization Support
👍🏻Storage Can be Expanded to 36 SATA Drives
👍🏻5yr Warranty
CONS
👎🏻NVMe SSDs Ports not available, unlike smaller PLUS series units
👎🏻Reduced Hard Drive Supported (Largely ONLY Synology HAT5300 series)
👎🏻48GB Memory Maximum Seems odd over 4 slots
👎🏻Lack of Synology Hybrid RAID (SHR) is still a bit of a blow



 

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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.  

NAS – QNAP annonce le TS-433

4 août 2022 à 07:00
Par : Fx
qnap ts 433 300x225 - NAS - QNAP annonce le TS-433Le fabricant QNAP vient d’annoncer sur son site l’arrivée d’un nouveau produit : TS-433. Ce nouveau NAS de 4 baies est équipé d’un processeur ARM Cortex-A55 et 4 Go de RAM. Il dispose de deux ports réseau dont l’un est compatible 2,5 Gb/s. Son prix : 455€… QNAP TS-433 Après le QNAP TS-233 lancé au premier trimestre 2022, le constructeur nous revient avec la version en 4 baies : TS-433. Côté dimension, il affiche 169 × 160 × 219 mm […]

QNAP TS-464 vs TS-453D NAS – Which Should You Buy?

3 août 2022 à 01:17

QNAP TS-464 or the TS-453D NAS Drive – Which Should You Buy?

Are you considering the QNAP TS-464 now it has been released? Or thinking of saving some money and opting for the predecessor TS-453D that is currently on sale? It’s a tough decision for some that want to ensure value for money, yet remain future-proof. It is no secret that QNAP, much like many other NAS brands, refreshes their range of available hardware every few years. We are all quite used to tech makers producing a new version of their ‘thing’ that makes big and bold promises to be bigger, better and faster than what came before! In the case of Network Attached Storage though, one big contributing factor that often necessitates the release of new versions of their products and series is the CPU. CPU manufacturers such as Intel and AMD tend to perform refreshes of their own to their portfolios (retooling manufacturing plants for the newer processors and ceasing production of the previous chip) and this leads to NAS brands having to change their CPU in line with the chip manufacturers new revisions shortly afterwards. This new CPU revision will often open the door to further improvements in the rest of the hardware too and that is eventually what governs the shape and abilities of a new NAS release. This all too often though leads to a period of around a year when retailers that provide these solutions (everything from Amazon to specialized retailers) will feature both the older and newer NAS systems in stock at the same time and that leads to many, MANY buyers wondering whether it is worth saving some money and purchasing the previous NAS release on ‘sale’ or spending more and getting the newest release to be more future-proof. Given that both the TS-464 and TS-453D run IDENTICAL versions of the QNAP QTS 5 system software and services, the temptation to save a few quid and/or spend that saving on network improvements or more storage is pretty high. Also, the TS-453D released back in 2020 arrived on the market at $630 and is now available to buy for $549 (or even as low as $438 during seasonal sales such as Prime Day and Black Friday), see below:

Now, if you compare that against the newly released QNAP TS-664, which has seemed to hit the eShops at around $600-650, that is quite a big difference in price tag. So, today I want to compare the QNAP TS-464 released now in spring 2022 against the 2020 released TS-453D, just to see where that extra goes. On the face of it, we have two very, VERY similar NAS drives that simply arrive in different colours but have all the same ports. However, even the smallest dig into their respective specifications reveals a huge difference in the bandwidth and capacity in how these ports have changed. Let’s begin

QNAP TS-464 or the TS-453D NAS – Design

The design of the TS-464 and TS-453D are INCREDIBLY similar. The chassis that both NAS systems use a black, plastic and matt textured enclosure, with a coloured front side panel and a removable glass effect front cover that reveals the main SATA bays. This external plastic casing covers the internal metal structure completely and passive airflow via ventilation is quite discreet around the box, facilitated by a larger single 120mm rear fan on both NAS. This design has been their main choice for their flagship series since the release of the TS-x53B and TS-53Be devices in 2017/2018 and is quite understated. Of the two I SLIGHTLY prefer the copper effect side panel of the TS-464 over the TS-453D, but this is a purely personal preference.

QNAP TS-464 NAS

NASCompares Review HERE

168mm × 170mm × 226 mm

QNAP TS-453D NAS

NASCompares Review HERE

168mm × 170mm × 226 mm

Ventilation and notice on both the QNAP TS-464 and TS-453D are largely identical, however, there is the tiniest potential increase possibility in fan operation in the TS-464, due to the increased hardware inside the enclosure that I will touch on and the system needing to maintain an efficient system temperature. However, ventilation on both of these NAS systems is a limit more understated than alternatives from the likes of Synology, as the side vents on both these NAS are quite small (with a larger base vent panel under the SATA media bays) and I have always wondered how much impact the lockable front panel of this chassis design impacts airflow from that rear active cooling fan (negatively, positively or no different). But nevertheless, the chassis has little or no difference in the two years between the TS-453D and TS-464 being released.

QNAP TS-464 NAS QNAP TS-453D NAS

The rear of each of these NAS systems are largely the same, however, the rearrangement of the ports of the newer TS-464 (likely to make room for additional internal M.2 NVMe SSD slots that we will discuss later) has led to them being a little between distributed across the internal board. The vents in the metal rear panel of the older TS-453D are wider than those found on the TS-464, though I am not entirely sure of the reasoning behind this decision (dust control, creating increased velocity for the air via compressed channels? I have no idea), but it does not seem to affect system temperature either way when we checked the system diagnostics after 24 hours power-on. The fan is completely automated to increase/decrease as the system temperature monitor dictates but can be adjusted higher or lower in RPM manually if needed for reasons of preemptive high system activity or noise adjustment. Personally, I would ALWAYS leave this on automatic.

QNAP TS-464 NAS QNAP TS-453D NAS

Overall, the design of the QNAP TS-464 and TS-453D has changed so very little, that there is little or no difference between them of note. Both are particularly compact 4 bays that can be deployed pretty easily. Let’s dig down into the internal hardware of these two NAS, as it is there that we really really start to see how much has changed in two years and gives us a clearer picture of which one will be better value for money.

QNAP TS-464 or the TS-453D NAS – Internal Hardware

Right, so HERE is where we start to see some big differences between the TS-464 and TS-453D, as QNAP are able to take advantage of a better CPU to spread their hardware and bandwidth a great deal more. Once again though, on the face of it, the specifications are incredibly similar. Both use quad-core Intel Celerons, both arriving at 2.0Ghz with embedded graphics and both using 4GB DDR4 memory, yet more than a $/£/€100-150 difference! This is down to the maximum capacities afforded to this hardware in the TS-464 and its scalability down the line. For example, the default memory inside the TS-453D (ADATA 2400Mhz DDR4 non-ECC SODIMM) is also accompanied by an additional empty memory slot to allow an additional 4GB more memory. As the older TS-453D has a CPU that has a maximum 8GB of memory, this is perfectly fine. However, the TS-464 NAS’ newer gen CPU allows up to 16GB of memory (4GB of 2666Mhz memory in the default model) across two upgradable slots. Likewise, the newer system features those M.2 NVMe slots that can be used for SSD storage upgrades. Although both the TS-453D and TS-464 support SSD caching (when a pool of SSDs is used to speed up data write/read in conjunction with the larger HDD RAID array), Qtier and as standalone storage pools, the TS-464 is the only one that provides this as immediately without any upgrade cards. This is the first of several key differences between the QNAP TS-464 and TS-453D NAS that stem from the CPU choice. Here is how they scale up specifically though:

Model TS-464

TS-453D

Price £559               $650              €675

£429               $530              €549

Storage Media Support 4x SATA, 2x m.2 NVMe 3×1 4x SATA
CPU Model Intel N5105/N5095 Intel J4125
CPU Frequency & Cores Quad-Core 2.0-2.9Ghz Quad-Core 2.0-2.7Ghz
CPU Benchmark Score CPU benchmark 4161 CPU benchmark 3006
Memory Default/Max 4-16GB SODIMM DDR4 4-8GB SODIMM DDR4
PSU Power & Design 90W External PSU 90W External PSU
Physical Fans 1x 120m FAN 1x 120m FAN

Now, that CPU is the big game-changer here. When Intel made the switch to the newer N5105/N5095 processor, this opened the door to a bunch more ways to extend the efficiency and bandwidth of those existing physical services. NAS systems are designed to be operational for days, weeks, months and even years at a time. Therefore, in order to maintain optimal performance, as well as lower power consumption and lessen the damage that long term operation can inflict on a processor, the CPUs used in NAS are a great deal more modest. In the case of the TS-453D and TS-464 NAS, they feature Intel Celeron processors, each featuring an embedded graphics component (allowing graphical operations, multimedia handling and visual data to be handled by a specialized area of the processor), quad-core architecture and a base level clock speed of 2.0Ghz that can be burst (turbo/increased when needed). However, the newer generation N5105/N5095 CPU in the TS-464 is able to reach a higher overall clock speed and also is more efficient (i.e uses a little less hardware resources to get a task done than it would take on the J4125 typically, so, therefore, can do more tasks overall when the full CPU power is utilized). Indeed, CPUBenchmark rated the newer CPU 30%+ higher in its scoring than the J4125 (again, as you would expect for a CPU released more than a year later by Intel), so this processor means that more can be done on the TS-464 (in like for like tasks) and also this CPU allows a greater range of hardware to be built into the system. CPUs are one of the largest quantifying factors of how a NAS is built and this is because they can only handle a certain amount of connected hardware (storage bays, ports, expansion slots, etc) when connected to a larger controller/motherboard. This is commonly referred to as the # of PCI lanes and the chipset used in the build of the system. Because this newer Intel N5105 / N5095 CPU has more lanes to use at once than the J4125, it allows the newer NAS drive to have more hardware.

QNAP TS-464 NAS – Intel N5105/N5095 CPU

QNAP TS-453D NAS – Intel J4125 CPU

These additional CPU resources, as well as the increased maximum memory and flexibility the TS-464 providing M.2 NVMe SSD slots can be used ultimately means that in terms of internal hardware, the newer released QNAP TS-464 wins over the TS-453D NAS. It is worth remembering that the M.2 NVMe SSD slots on the QNAP TS-464 are PCIe Gen 3 x1 (down to the Celeron CPU still not having anywhere near the scope in its flexibility that the likes of an Intel Core, Ryzen or Xeon might have) and will bottleneck at 1,000MB/s, but this is still better than nothing and as these slots are not an option on the TS-453D without the installation of an M.2 NVMe SSD upgrade card over PCIe.

QNAP TS-464 or the TS-453D NAS – Ports & Connections

Once again, the ports and connections available on the QNAP TS-453D and TS-464 seem near enough identical at a glance, but even a casual dig into those spec sheets real some big differences. Both systems provide two 2.5GbE network ports that, along with up to 260-270MB/s throughput, also allow port-trunking (otherwise known as link aggregation) and with the use of a smart switch can provide 500-550MB/s performance to your connected network. Alongside this, both systems support the QNAP USB 3.2 to 5GbE adapter to add further network ports to the system too. Likewise, both system provide an HDMI 2.0 4K 60FPS port and USB 2.0 ports for a KVM (keyboard, video, Mouse) setup to be used in conjunction with the included parallel HD Station application and its tools. The HDMI and direct interface of the QNAP is still pretty niche as a service on this system, but it has a number of useful multimedia, surveillance and VM utilities that can be quite impressive. Finally, Expansions on the TS-464 and TS-453D are largely the same, with QNAP offering 2, 4, 6, 8 and 12-Bay expansion chassis (arriving in JBOD or hardware RAID enabled) that connect over USB or an inclusive PCIe card. However, after this, things become a great deal more future proof and scalable on the TS-464 NAS.

Model TS-464

TS-453D

Network Ports 2x 2.5GbE 2x 2.5GbE
USB 3.2 Ports 2x USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gb) 2x USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5Gb)
USB 2.0 Ports 2x USB 2.0 3x USB 2.0
HDMI Ports 1x HDMI 2.0 4K 60FPS 1x HDMI 2.0 4K 60FPS
PCIe Upgrade Slots PCIe Gen 3×2 Slot (2Gb/s) PCIe Gen 2×2 Slot (1Gb/s)

The first difference worth highlighting is regarding those USB ports. The older TS-453D features USB 3.2 Gen 1 (AKA USB 3.0 or USB 3.1 Gen 1) ports that provide up to 5Gb/s (500MB/s+) bandwidth with connected external storage media (i.e you would need a RAID enabled HDD USB enclosure or SSD drive in order to hit this performance cap). The TS-464 on the other hand features USB 3.2 Gen 2 (AKA USB 3.1 Gen 2 – THANKS for the name nonsense ‘USB.org’!) which can provide 10Gb/s performance (i.e 1,000MB/s). As SSDs become increasingly affordable and even external m.2 NVMe SSD enclosures arriving at a bargain, this option to have a significantly faster backup drive option available is quite attractive. Especially for those that plan on having a USB tier to their multi-stage NAS Backup strategy and choose to have dated/versioned backups, rather than differential backups just ‘topping things up’ over time. Another big difference of note is in that PCIe upgrade slot. Both the TS-453D and TS-464 feature the option to install a PCIe upgrade card that can include options to add better network interfaces (2.5/5/10G or WiFi 6 / AX wireless options) with multi-port card, storage upgrade cards (adding multiple M.2 NVMe and SATA bays) or even combo cards that feature both on a single card. The difference between the TS-464 and TS-453D though stems from the bandwidth afforded these slots, with the TS-453D arriving with a PCIe Gen 2×2 slot and the TS-464 having a PCIe Gen 3 x2 slot. This results in the newer NAS providing DOUBLE the potential bandwidth of the TS-453D when installing an upgrade card. So this will be particularly useful when installing multiport network upgrade cards and SSD cards that exceed 1,000MB/s, as well as combo cards that need to spread the bandwidth a bit. Overall, the hardware in the TS-464 is certainly better and broader than the TS-453D, but it is worth remembering that the bulk of these advantages and improvements made in the 2 years later hardware release can be viewed in terms of optional scalability and expandability – so you are going to need more hardware to take advantage and almost certainly not advantages that most users will take advantage of on day 1.

QNAP TS-464 or the TS-453D NAS – Software

This is pretty much the smallest difference that can be measured between the QNAP TS-464 and QNAP TS-453D NAS. Both these NAS systems run the QTS 5 operating system, services and applications available for the platform and numerous client hardware devices (Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, etc). The only REAL difference between these two NAS systems is the fact that the improved hardware inside the newer TS-464 (more efficient and higher clock speed CPU, after memory and large maximum RAM threshold) allows a larger number of actions and clients to be managed at a single time than the TS-453D NAS. However, in smaller or single operations, you are not going to feel/see the difference, unless you are particularly pushing the CPU or Memory utilization in a single client interaction (i.e surveillance camera feeds, Virtual Machine deployment, transcoding natively and/or Plex, etc). Likewise, the inclusion of the default M.2 NVMe slots on the TS-464 means that you have a few extra SSDD services available on day 1, but these are still available to the TS-453D via either the installation of a PCIe upgrade card OR using SATA SSDs internally. Below is a breakdown of the applications and services that are included in QTS available on both NAS systems.

TS-464

TS-453D

Browser Support Supports all Browsers Supports all Browsers
Browser File Management Browser File Management
Photo/Music/Video Tools Photo/Music/Video Tools
Multimedia Console Multimedia Console
AI Photo Recognition AI Photo Recognition
Edge m.2 Coral TPU Support
Storage Services
SED Drive Support SED Drive Support
QTier QTier
Hybrid Mount Hybrid Mount
ISCSI Target/LUN ISCSI Target/LUN
vJBOD vJBOD
Snapshots Snapshots
SSD Cache (Read/Write/Both) SSD Cache (Read/Write/Both)
Cloud Sync / QSync Cloud Sync / QSync
Ex-FAT is Free Ex-FAT is Free
RAID Resync control RAID Resync control
Secure Erase Secure Erase
Lots of Expansions (TR/TL) Lots of Expansions (TR/TL)
HBS 3 HBS 3
Qfiling and Qsirch Qfiling and Qsirch
Business Applications
QVR Pro – 8 Camera Licenses QVR Pro – 8 Camera Licenses
Virtualization Station Virtualization Station
Ubuntu Linux Station 18/20 Ubuntu Linux Station 18/20
Container Station Container Station
Hypervisor Protector Hypervisor Protector
QMailAgent QMailAgent
HD Station HD Station
BoXafe BoXafe
Security
Security Councillor Security Councillor
Malware Remover Malware Remover
McAfee Anti-Virus Scanning McAfee Anti-Virus Scanning
QVPN QVPN
Log and Notification Center Log and Notification Center
Auto Blocking on SSH, Telnet etc Auto Blocking on SSH, Telnet etc
256 bit Encryption 256 bit Encryption
2 Step Authentication 2 Step Authentication
Firewall App Firewall App
Access Protection and Allow/Deny list Access Protection and Allow/Deny list

Although you are going to be able to do more of these things above simultaneously on the TS-464 than the TS-453D NAS, it is not a huge win for the newer box and once again, this win comes largely down to futureproofing than anything you will feel on Day 1. You can learn more about the QNAP QTS Platform in my review below in both video and blog form:

QNAP QTS 5 Review Video QNAP QTS 5 Review on the Blog

QNAP TS-464 or the TS-453D NAS – Conclusion

It will come as no shock that the newer QNAP TS-464 NAS is the better choice in the long run compared with the QNAP TS-453D, thanks largely down to a larger degree of upgrades, storage scaling in the future and resource expandability. If you KNOW you are not going to be scaling up your storage hardware in the next 4-5 years, then perhaps the TS0453D is a better choice for you, using that saved $/£/€100-150 difference towards more storage, network interface upgrades or improving your in-house network environment generally with 2.5GbE or 10GbE. The software provided on both systems is still very good value for money and QNAP is still one of the few brands that provide this level of hardware (plus inclusive software and services) at this price point. Equally, you are almost certainly going to see the QNAP TS-453D at ever more attractive price points at retailers and it is still a great little NAS (check out my 2020 review of the TS-453D HERE). But you simply cannot ignore the number of ways that the base level TS-464 NAS can be upgraded and improved in its lifespan and for those that want a ‘blank canvas’ NAS solution that they can then change alongside their own network client hardware in the home/office, the TS-464 NAS is the more mature and long-term choice easily.

QNAP TS-464 NAS – Spring/Summer 2022

QNAP TS-453D NAS – Spring/Summer 2020

Reasons to Buy it?

Better Hardware inside and out

More Expansion/Upgrade Options

Able to run more simultaneous apps/clients at once

Faster USB Ports (10Gb/s)

Larger bandwidth PCIe upgrade slot (PCIe 3×2 vs 2×2)

Higher CPU Frequency, Efficiency & Proficiency

Reasons to Buy it?

Lower Current Price Point

Overall lower power consumption

Better ventilation internally and on fan panel design

More USB Ports overall

More likely on Sale over Black Friday/Seasonal Sales

Buy on Amazon

Where to Buy

Buy on Amazon

Where to Buy

 

 

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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

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.  

Hardware Shortages in 2022 and Why They Are Going to Continue into 2023 and 2024

1 août 2022 à 01:53

Why are there Hardware Shortages in HDDs, SSDs, NAS, DAS and more

If you have been trying to purchase any kind of hardware in the last 12 months, then you will be acutely aware that there have been reported shortages in practically all kinds of business and commercial technology. Indeed, for many this has felt like the case for the better part of the last two years or so, and although it would be so, so easy to place blame on the pandemic, the sad reality is that there are numerous global factors right now that are causing technology hardware shortages to reach this critical degree. Today I want to discuss each one of the main reasons that have resulted in us being unable to find or afford the hardware we so desperately want in 2022, as well as why this is likely to continue well into 2023 and 2024.

Note, I wrote an article on this subject back in April 2021, which you can find here, and although several of the factors covered in it still continue to be long-standing issues in 2023, there are several new hurdles (social, environmental and political) that have arisen since then to exacerbate the situation. I have tried to avoid being too repetitious on this update on hardware shortages since my last video here, so if you think I have missed something, it might well be covered there.

The Aftermath of the Global Pandemic on the Supply Chain

We Need it Now, Yesterday, Tomorrow, Not at all!

Yes, I did say that there was more to these shortages than the global pandemic, however, we still need to acknowledge that this is still a HUGE factor in what has caused hardware shortages worldwide. Although the peak of the pandemic for most regions has passed, changing work patterns, buying habits and available budget afforded by most users in the last 24 months have left the routine of most hardware manufacturers and their production schedules in tremendous disarray. First, there was confusion over which hardware needed to be mass-produced at the production lines (predominantly in the east of the world) that had to suddenly adapt to rapidly changing consumer needs, no longer making bulk/larger business purchases and domestic transport procurements during lockdown and isolation periods, but now desiring home office accessories such as laptops monitors and a myriad of remote working tools. This also resulted in many companies and individuals hoarding their budgets to ‘weather the storm’, thereby further reducing the amount of hardware being purchased generally.

Source: https://www.whitehouse.gov/cea/written-materials/2021/06/17/why-the-pandemic-has-disrupted-supply-chains/

Additionally, although the bulk of the world has now returned to a relative state of normality at the manufacturing sector and production line, for the last 18 to 24 months we have observed safe working practices and reduced numbers of on-site teams which have resulted in smaller quantities of output on key components and services that are essential in the developments and creation of practically every day-to-day electronic device. People may well now be back at their desk and or workbench as they were pre-pandemic, but there is simply no way in which the shortfall in production from the last 2 years can be replaced and therefore most manufacturers are now constantly working to play catch up.

Source: https://www.whitehouse.gov/cea/written-materials/2021/06/17/why-the-pandemic-has-disrupted-supply-chains/

Then you had hardware that was already on backorder for companies that were no longer needed (postponed jobs, business closures, scaled-down requirements, etc) and would need to be reappropriated at the production level (ie dismantled) or companies take the financial hit, thereby limit further long-term spending across the supply chain. One key example of this was when the automotive industry that suddenly needed to flip-flop between needing new models out for sale, suddenly needing to reduce those orders as no one could go anywhere, to then all of a sudden finding that people would choose to spend suddenly available appropriate budgets on high value, quality of life improvements in their personal/home lives, such as upgrading their family vehicle. Such widespread changes across numerous areas of home and business buying patterns all added up to a tremendous degree of unpredictability at the point of manufacture, which still continues well into 2022. The impact of the pandemic is extremely broad and almost many companies would have to re-evaluate their release roadmaps to better introduce new releases to a more receptive audience, they could/would only be able to hold out so long before desperately needing to recoup on their investment.

The Impact of Adverse Environmental Changes on Production

Blame the Weatherman!

One tremendously overlooked factor that has significantly harmed large-scale computer component manufacture has been environmental challenges caused by natural resource depletion and the climate crisis. The impact of unexpected weather patterns interfering with predicted production has been big in number, but small in new coverage! That said, there are several examples of this in the news over the last 2 years that did manage to break into the mainstream. Reports of droughts in Taiwan, the largest world producer of semiconductors (by far the most important part of microchip production) and unexpected cold and heat weather highs in other smaller semiconductor producers in the US have ceased/bottlenecked production resulting in significantly reduced quantities being produced.

Source: https://www.ncei.noaa.gov/access/monitoring/monthly-report/global/202201

With production numbers consistently lower than forecast numbers and the value of the reduced production increasing insurmountable for some, the result is that hardware components are becoming fewer in number, more expensive and only really accessible to those who can buy in tremendous bulk. These environmental concerns and the impact of further natural disasters that range from fires caused by intense heat in rural areas to hurricanes and tsunamis have all played their part to reduce production levels. Of course, some might argue that most/all of the environmental impacts on the industry resulting from climate change are caused by these very companies themselves and, frankly, you won’t hear much argument from me on that, but nevertheless, environmental changes have had their fair share of impact and continued cause on hardware shortages right now.

Repeated and Unpredictably Release Date Changes

Coming Soon, Delayed, Cancelled, Rinse, Repeat!

Although I generally talk more about network-attached storage and data storage in general here on the blog, the rhetoric and business practices surrounding the release of new products are applicable to pretty much the ENTIRE industry right now. Some shortages in newer hardware have been caused by the brands themselves out of necessity and are the result of financial and tactical hard decisions. Many brands will refresh their available range of products every few years, producing a new hot toy that promises to be bigger and/or better than the last. Any new release will have been in production for a considerable length of time whilst its predecessor remains on sale, slowly making its way through R&D, design, production, QA and finally the build-up to release. Indeed, most brands invest a significant degree of profits from an existing series into the next big release and are relying on a healthy profit margin when it launches. The issue lies, however, when large orders for components used in a new release take longer than predicted to arrive at production and it can often be the case that a company’s capital is significantly tied up in components and hardware agreements for a product that is not ready yet. Add to that that the previously mentioned changes in buyer hardware needs and budgets, and what we find is many brands have stock levels of old or existing product ranges that are simply too high in quantity to risk releasing a follower product that will instantly devalue their existing stock as it will be deemed obsolete.

The byproduct of this is that the 2019 and 2020 series of many products in the tech sector have remained on the market considerably longer than they may have previously planned, as brands need that existing stock to sell and free up some of that allocated capital. Until this is done, many brands will resist releasing those new and improved products which may well be limited in quantity already if efforts to avoid creating a negative cash flow across their portfolio and ultimately dissatisfied consumers. Indeed, some brands reached breaking point and have been forced to make the rather complicated decision for regional releases, which means that some new products in the tech industry are only available in some regions of the world right now and will not become globally available until those stock levels are at a lower level. This is a risky move as it is no longer the 1980s and thanks to the internet. If a product is released in China or Japan, only, the world still knows about it and even these limited releases will have a tremendous impact on the global perspective of the current generation of hardware.

Social & Political Factors that are resulting in Hardware Shortagesand Logistics Barriers

War, What is it Good for?

I think it would be something of an understatement to say that politically, things have been rather volatile these last few years. The impact of major global conflict and international economical differences of opinion have led to the worldwide transit of goods and materials to be incredibly complicated. Although we could point at any number of small-scale instances of disagreement between countries and nations, two particular instances stand out above all others.

Source: https://www.piie.com/research/piie-charts/us-china-trade-war-tariffs-date-chart

The first is the ever-evolving US-China trade war that was kicked off in earnest way back in 2019 (and was already trading blows before then) centred around security, human rights and threats of economic sanctions. Several journals have covered the key events in the US-China trade war (linked below), but in terms of hardware shortages, the result has been that many areas that produce necessary components such as semiconductors and storage components have had their distribution hugely reduced for reasons of political point-scoring, or restrictions on their sale outside of their points of origin for reasons of security across many areas of the globe. Although this trade war is now in the slow and diplomatic process of resolution, it is still very much a current factor in why some hardware remains particularly scarce. Additionally, many high-profile brands are stockpiling core components needed in the production of their products and this too has caused increased bottlenecking of key hardware resources to be made available generally. Although actions by Huawei are often sighted as the catalyst of this trade war (after breaches in security and data access were recognized and considered the ‘last straw’), this has been a building tension for many years and these two global superpowers butting heads is being felt by consumers now more than ever.

If you want to read a blow-by-blow account of the US-China Trade War, I STRONGLY recommend the BBCs updated coverage feed on this HERE (opens in new tab)

Alternatively, if you prefer a more listed timeline, WiKi has you covered HERE (opens in new tab)

Source: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/3/17/the-rising-cost-of-the-war-for-russians-daily-life

The second and much, MUCH more ‘current’ clash is the ongoing Russia – Ukraine conflict and how it has affected the price and availability of several key materials needed for logistics and manufacture (as well as basic/domestic resources too of course). First, there is the production and distribution of Neon, an important component in microchip production with the Ukraine at one point estimated to produce between 45% and 55% of the world’s supply. Restrictions on transit and complete isolation of areas of Ukraine as the conflict worsens have led to reduced quantities of neon worldwide and in turn, its impact on reduced production of these key computer components once again. On top of this, there is the fuel and energy crisis caused by Russia’s position as one of the largest fuel providers in the world. Russia has been supplying about a quarter of the oil EU countries import. That is about 2.2 million barrels per day of crude oil and 1.2 million barrels of oil products. According to the Carnegie Endowment, a US think tank, this has been earning Russia more than $1bn (£800m) a day. The EU plans to ban Russian oil imports arriving by sea by the end of this year. This would cut EU nations’ oil imports from Russia by two-thirds. New sanctions against President Putin’s “war machine” could cut the amount of oil it buys from Russia by 90%. Although the impact of this is not immediately clear on hardware production, it has significantly impacted global logistics for road and air freight, which need to factor in both the cost and availability of fuel to move goods. Add to this the difficulties in logistic routes through these areas of Europe and the continued conflict between Ukraine and Russia forcing countries to pick a side (and therefore becoming enveloped in sanctions) is yet another reason why there is a stranglehold on the availability of much electronic hardware globally.

Source – https://www.reuters.com/markets/asia/oil-hit-100-strong-demand-russia-ukraine-crisis-strategists-2022-02-04/

It is also worth remembering that as the Russia – Ukraine conflict continues (almost 4 months now at time of writing), many top-tier electronics and software companies have left Russia and suspended their services, with only Google currently remaining (trying to balance their financial and ethical relationship with the country with regard to information services), but this has no doubt spurred Russian controlled/influenced companies with control of key resources and components to be equally reluctant to share!

How Long Will Hardware Shortages Last?

Things are going to get worse before they get better!

So as you can see, hardware shortages worldwide are more than just the byproduct of an extended pandemic and in fact comprise many different global factors right now. Solving any single one will only somewhat alleviate the continued difficulties faced by hardware manufacturers to return to a relative sense of normality in their stock and release patterns. Add to this that each of these contributing factors discussed and the impact on hardware shortages is by no means a small-scale difficulty and we will almost certainly see hardware shortages continue well into 2023 and likely 2024. For the most part, it may well be the case that consumers and businesses alike are going to have to change their expectations on hardware availability and, sadly, likely be forced to embrace substantial price increases on even the most lower-tier domestic hardware. As always, I will keep an eye on things and hopefully, next time I write about hardware shortages it won’t be so bloody depressing. Thanks for reading. Now go and have a bit of a lie-down.

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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

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.  

Alternatives to Drobo from Synology or QNAP – Which NAS Should You Buy?

27 juillet 2022 à 01:33

Leaving Drobo NAS and Buying a Synology or QNAP – Get it Right, First Time

For a long time, I championed the Drobo Brand of network attached storage (NAS) as a great option for users looking to have their very own no-fuss, easy to set up and content-creator-friendly system. However, I think it would be fair to say that in the last 5-6 years, whilst many of the more ambitious NAS brands such as QNAP and Synology were pushing the boundaries of what people can do with their NAS systems in software and hardware, Drobo had made little or no innovation in their either department. Indeed, although we saw the impressive and surprisingly affordable Thunderbolt RAID device, the Drobo 5D3, in the world of NAS we really saw things start to stagnate. Fast forward to 2022, and we recently found out that Drobo (and its parent company StorCentric) had sadly filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, citing impacts on their business from the pandemic. Although the company has stated in several interviews that they intend to carry on later, with a smaller product line perhaps, I think the brand had been in trouble long before the pandemic and for a while, many users on the brink of buying their latest NAS or were in the process of upgrading an existing Drobo populated network storage environment, started considering making the switch to the bigger and more established NAS brands, Synology and QNAP. These two brands have 22 and 18 years of experience respectively in network attached storage and in that time have continued to release new and exciting innovations that challenge alot of the rather unexciting and rudimentary storage services that Drobo NAS systems arrive with.

What Do Synology and QNAP Provide that Drobo Doesn’t?

NAS has a technology that anyone (home or business) can buy has been around for around two decades now and in that time, ALOT has changed. The days of a NAS being just a simple blob of storage (1+ HDDs) that are connected to the network/internet and accessible remotely are long gone. Now modern NAS systems arrive with a full range of tailored applications (i.e. interfaces that allow you to access file types such as Photos, Music, Video, Docs, etc in a manner better suited to their output), a full graphical user interface accessible via your web browser that is more akin to a complete operating system, many client tools and apps, huge variety of business tools and all of this whilst still providing configurable storage to you, your family or your business. Below is just a handful of the thing that a Synology or QNAP NAS can do, that a Drobo either cannot do or does in a very limited capacity:

  • Bigger Range of solutions in 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 12-Bay and bigger desktop NAS solutions
  • Many, many Mobile Applications
  • Incredibly user-friendly GUIs via the web browser (DSM and QTS) that give NAS devices an operating system comparable to Windows or MacOS
  • AI-Powered Photo Recognition
  • Huge variety of NAS Apps
  • Highly configurable and customizable iSCSI and Remote Targetted storage tools and Protocols supported
  • Multi-tiered and comprehensive backup tools covering NAS-to-NAS, USB, Cloud and VM Backups
  • Wide Variety of Desktop/Client Apps
  • Diverse RAID configurations and Storage Expansion Options
  • 10GbE by Default or as an Optional Extra
  • A large number of security tools and configuration tools (starting with
  • NVMe SSD Bays for caching and/or storage
  • Dedicated Premium Surveillance, Virtual Machine, Multimedia, Containers and Cloud Sync Software
  • Fully featured Plex and Emby Media Server Support
  • SaaS Sync Tools (Active Backup on Synology and BoXafe on QNAP)
  • A large variety of email hosting, web hosting and database creation tools
  • Not just supporting EXT4, but also supporting ZFS or BTRFS’ file systems

Now, it is worth remembering that Drobo DID release some innovations over the years in their NAS and DAS systems. They were the first to introduce a much more innovative LED system on the front of their system’s to denote system storage use, particular activity and more detailed warning patterns. They were one of the first to integrate m.2 SSD caching upgrade bays into their desktop systems (though using mSATA or M.2 NVMe), and they were one of the first to introduce internal battery systems in their desktop NAS that allowed the system to safely close read/write activities in the event of the system suffering a critical power failure. Then of course there was BeyondRAID, their flexible RAID configuration that allowed easy RAID expansions and mixed drive use. These innovations were all good, it’s just a shame that they all came around many years ago and the brand has not moved forward in hardware or software technology since.

Why Choose Synology NAS to Replace Your Drobo?

Synology is often considered the ‘Software Choice’, as DSM (Diskstation Manager) is by far the most user-friendly, secure, responsive and ‘OS-like’ platform available in the whole of NAS. 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 and Hybrid Storage Tools 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

Why Choose QNAP NAS to Replace Your Drobo?

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

Recommended Synology Replacement for the Drobo 5N2 NAS – The DS920+ and DS1522+ NAS

Choosing to replace the Drobo 5N2 5-Bay NAS with a Synology is actually a surprisingly easy choice. Right now at the time of writing, there are two very clear Diskstaiton devices that you can choose (if you want to stay at this kind of storage sale). The Synology DS920+ 4-Bay NAS (originally released in 2020) and the Synology DS1522+ 5-Bay NAS (released in June 2022). The former has been in the market for long enough that multiple deals are available and if/when the DS923+ arrives on the scene, it will likely become increasingly affordable – in spite of this, the hardware inside is great and it’s a solid fully featured NAS. The latter choice, the DS1522+, is the latest 2022 generation release from the brand, has great default system hardware and plenty of scalabilities and upgrade options to add to the system’s utility in years to come. Find out more about them both below:

Synology DS920+ 4-Bay NAS $500+

Intel Celeron 4-Core J4125, 4/8GB Memory, 1GbE, NVMe SSD Caching, Expandable, SHR, 4x SATA Bays, 3yr Warranty

NASCompares Written Review – HERE

NASCompares YouTube Review – HERE

What we said on 21/05/20

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. 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

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Synology DS1522+ 5-Bay NAS $750+

Ryzen R1600 Dual Core, 8/32GB ECC Memory,4x1GbE, Optional 10GbE for $150, NVMe SSD Caching, Expandable, SHR, 5x SATA Bays, 3yr Warranty

NASCompares Written Review – HERE

NASCompares YouTube Review – HERE

What we said on 29/06/22

The Synology DS1522+ is a good NAS drive and most business-focused users are going to appreciate what this newer configuration of hardware is able to provide. There was never any doubt in the extent to which this new NAS would support DSM7, and given its architecture, there is virtually nothing in the popular NAS software that this system cannot do. Likewise, having the option of 10GbE on a Diskstation of this scale will be hugely attractive to some, though the proprietary means with which you need to upgrade is arguably less desirable. The R1600 CPU is a good choice of processor for file handling and simultaneous tasks, as is the 8GB of memory that this system arrives with, plus the potential to ramp it up to 32GB. After that though, the desirability of this system to home users and multimedia users is a little less compelling and with such a large audience of users who look at NAS for their media streaming, the DS1522+ not featuring a more graphically enabled chip will leave them somewhat underwhelmed. Bottom line, the DS1522+ is a solid and full DSM7 supporting system here and you cannot fault the design, internal/external performance and ease of use of this Synology NAS. However, there will always be users wondering why this NAS never arrived with an Intel chip.

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Recommended QNAP Replacement for the Drobo 5N2 NAS – The QNAP TS-464 and TS-h973ax

If you decide to move away from the Drobo 5-Bay 5N22 and towards a QNAP, then I recommend opting for either the 2022 generation TS-464 NAS (as it is really is the best hardware vs scale vs price point the brand has ever released) or the incredibly mutli-facited QNAP TS-h973ax, which as 10GbE, 3 kinds of storage media supported across 9-Bays and the choice of file system at initialization of ZFS or EXT4. Here is more information on these two NAS and what we said about them when reviewed:

QNAP TS-464 4-Bay NAS $599+

Intel Celeron 4-Core N5105, 4/16GB Memory, 2×2.5GbE, NVMe SSD Caching or for Storage, HDMI 2.0 4K 60PFS, USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gb), USB RAID Expandable, PCIe Gen 3×2 Upgrade Slot, 4x SATA Bays, 3yr Warranty

NASCompares Written Review – HERE

NASCompares YouTube Review – HERE

What we said on 18/04/22

The TS-464 comfortably arrives with the best hardware in its tier of the NAS market and that is something that QNAP has always been quite good at. Even if you rewind just 5 years, the level of hardware scalability and ease of upgradability that the TS-464 provides is frankly incredible and, fast forward to 2022, is still pretty unmatched. A Desktop 4-Bay NAS (eg Prosumer RAID 5 storage) has always been the next confident step for users who are tired of their hands being tied by subscription cloud services from Google, OneDrive and DropBox, who are looking for their own competent, flexible and fully-featured private server. In the TS-464 NAS, you find a system that is unquestionable the best hardware for your money you can possibly get right now. In software, things are a little less straightforward. QTS 5, although massively software and service-rich, arrives as a complete operating system in your web browser with multiple mobile/desktop clients and hundreds of applications and apps that can be installed at the touch of a button – which can all too often be something of a steep learning curve for many. Lacking the chewable, user-friendly nature of many of their rivals, QNAP and its software/service still have a tendency to be a bit of an information overload that can quickly intimidate the novice. However, for those that are looking for a system that is completely customizable in how/when/where you want data presented to you, as well as a wide degree of 3rd party support, QNAP and QTS 5 still manages to provide a huge degree of brand-unique service that are simply not available elsewhere. Just be prepared to invest your time wisely in its setup and more time ensuring the system is perfect for your needs.

Check Amazon for this NAS via the link below in your region (results in a % going back to the site and supports us):


QNAP TS-h973ax 5/9-Bay NAS $999+

AMD Ryzen V1500B Quad Core, 8/32GB Memory, 1x 10GbE, 2×2.5GbE, 5x SATA HDD, 2x SATA SSD, 2x U.2 NVMe SSD, 2x USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gb), USB RAID Expandable, ZFS or EXT4 File System Choice, 2yr Warranty

NASCompares Written Review – HERE

NASCompares YouTube Review – HERE

What we said on 13/11/20

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 solution 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. 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 straight forward 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! 

Check Amazon for this NAS via the link below in your region (results in a % going back to the site and supports us):


 

Recommended Synology Replacement for the Drobo B810n NAS – The DS1821+ NAS

Replacing or deciding against the Drobo B810n 8-Bay NAS system and opting for a Synology is, if anything, considerably easier than moving away from the 5N. Synology has a great history of 8-Bay NAS devices and the 2021 generation DS1821+ is a fantastic choice of NAS system. It supports the full range of DSM applications, has scalable storage, can be expanded by ten more drives, has in-built m.2 NVMe slots, a high bandwidth PCIe Upgrade slot and still manages to be very petite. Here is more information on the Synology DS1821+ and what we thought of it at review:

Synology DS1821+ 8-Bay NAS $1,100+

AMD Ryzen V1500B Quad Core, 4/32GB Memory, 4x1GbE, 8x SATA HDD, 2x NVMe SSD for Caching, PCIe Gen 3×8 Upgrade Slot, SHR or Traditional RAID, BTRFS or EXT4 File System Choice, 3yr Warranty

NASCompares Written Review – HERE

NASCompares YouTube Review – HERE

What we said on 15/12/20

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. 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.

Check Amazon for this NAS via the link below in your region (results in a % going back to the site and supports us):


 

Recommended QNAP Replacement for the Drobo B810n NAS – The TVS-872X NAS

Unlike the previous QNAP suggestions I have made when moving away from a Drobo, when it comes to choosing a QNAP alternative to the Drobo B810n, I would currently recommend the 2020 released TVS-872X (a modified version of the also still available Thunderbolt 3 NAS, the TVS-872XT). Although this NAS has been around a while (and likely due an upgrade to a new version very soon), the QNAP TVS-872X is a 10GbE equipped 8 bay, with NVMe SSD slots, two very high bandwidth PCIe slots, USB 3.2 Gen 2, 4K HDMI, optional ZFS or EXT4 and after all of that – it has an Intel Core i3 or i5 Highly powerful CPU than can also be accompanied by up to 64GB of DDR4 memory. This is a beast of a system that arrives with a surprisingly modest price point when compared to most other NAS of the same scale or hardware – and the fact it is a little older means that the price is improved further in many shops. Again, QNAP are very likely to release a newer, more powerful and ultimately more expensive version of this product family soon, but it is STILL a great NAS that holds it’s own in 2022. Here is what we thought of it at the review:

QNAP TVS-872X 8-Bay NAS $1,999+

Intel Core 8th Gen i3/i5 4/6-Core CPU, 8-64GB DDR4 Memory, 1x 10GbE, 2x1GbE, NVMe SSD Caching or for Storage, HDMI 2.0 4K 60PFS, USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gb), USB RAID Expandable, 2x PCIe Gen ([email protected] 3×16 and [email protected] 3×4) Upgrade Slot, 8x SATA Bays, Audio In/Out, 3yr Warranty

NASCompares Written Review – HERE

NASCompares YouTube Review – HERE

What we said on 24/05/21

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. 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.

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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.


 

What About Moving from Drobo to Asustor or Terramaster NAS?

Obviously, as NAS is such a popular and highly evolved area of the tech industry (despite it still also remaining quite niche compared with traditional computers and laptops), Synology and QNAP are not the ONLY brands in the market! Indeed, if you have been looking at moving away from Drobo and saw some affordably devices from Asustor or Terramaster, you will likely wonder why I have not covered them as much in this article (though I DO cover them and their solutions in the video embedded in this article above). Although both brands have been providing some great hardware (both for the price AND just generally) in 2022, these brands do not provide the full range of software and services (especially 1st party developed) that QNAP and Synology do. Their respective software in ADM and TOS aren’t bad, indeed they are very good and very responsive with many apps, they just are not on the same level as Synology DSM and QNAP QTS/QuTS right now. You can find out more about their software in the software review videos of each below:


 

Should I Move From Drobo to TrueNAS Core?

Many Drobo users, after using their systems for many years and (after becoming increasingly proficient) started to feel its limitations, might have heard about the free and DiY NAS server platform ‘TrueNAS’ (aka FreeNAS) and considering making the switch towards it after Drobo. It will come as absolutely no surprise to anyone that when it comes to TrueNAS is a fantastically capable software for managing your storage. It even manages to swerve the downfall of being ‘too enterprise’ but arriving as an open source free software platform to be enjoyed by businesses and storage enthusiasts. There is no avoiding that it IS quite a technical mountainous learning curve if you are arriving at it from a position of zero storage or network experience, but the last few big TrueNAS system updates have gone a long way to update some UI elements to be more intuitive, software wide help notes available at all times and the community support is as on-point at it has ever been. If you are a home users looking for a hurdles setup or a day-1 deployable system for your small business, then TrueNAS may be too big a jump for you and you would be better off with a traditional off-the-shelf NAS system. However, if you have the know-how, you have the willingness to get your hands dirty and already have the hardware in mind/in-house, then TrueNAS stands in a class of it’s own and thanks to some very unique architecture choices that are almost utterly unique to this platform, it’s pretty unparalleled in its scope. Just please, PLEASE remember that a Drobo NAS is a ‘turnkey’ solution (aka, ready to go out of the box) and TrueNAS Core and TrueNAS Scale involve ALOT more setup and a much higher learning curve. You can buy TrueNAS-ready systems, such as the iXsystems series of devices, but these are still rather expensive compared with the modest Drobo and still require ALOT of tech knowledge to make the most of. You can find out more about the TrueNAS software platform in my written and video review below:

TrueNAS Written Review

TrueNAS Video Review

 

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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.  

 

22TB WD Red Pro, WD Gold and WD Purple Hard Drive Released

19 juillet 2022 à 16:00

Western Digital Release 22TB Hard Drive in WD Red Pro, WD Gold and WD Purple

That’s Right! WD has now officially released their 22TB series of HDDs to the WD Gold, WD Red Pro and WD Purple Pro series of hard disks. So, why is this such a big deal? Well, anyone who has been watching the development of hard drives over at Western Digital will have surely noticed a tremendous change in strategy by one of (if not THE) biggest brand in hard drives in the last couple of years. For a long time, WD had been a little more cautious in it’s releasing of larger capacities (especially compared with their biggest rival Seagate) and was rarely the first to commercially release the biggest capacities into the consumer and business market. However, the last 24 months have seen WD change this development/release method dramatically and we have seen them release a wide variety of extremely high capacity HDDs into their respect ranges (we only JUST reviewed their 20TB WD Red Pro on YouTube and Western Digital Ultrastar HC560 20TB HDDs here on NASCompares shortly after release). Add to this that these larger capacity HDDs are getting added to each of the brand’s highest-profile product ranges (as well as the 26TB Ultrastar UltraSMR drives being released now in July ’22) and we are seeing a very, VERY different WD to one we saw back in 2019/2020. So, let’s take a closer look at these three new 22TB Hard Drives, what they are designed for and what separates them from one another!

Hardware Specifications of the WD Red Pro, WD Purple and WD Gold 22TB Hard Drives

The first thing to note is that these three 22TB hard drives is that they are designed very similarity in terms of standard hardware architecture. They are all 7200 RPM (rotations per min) and data is spread across 10 internal platters that are comprised of 2.2TB per platter. Despite it’s remarkable capacity, the drive uses traditional CMR/PMR, but is improved upon with the use of energy-assisted magnetic recording too. These amply internal physical storage spacing in accompanied with a huge 512MB of on board cache to keep things moving and each drive also features a small flash module on board known as OptiNAND (we will go into more detail on that in a moment). All three 2TB Hard drives are available in SATA/6Gb (and SAS options available in other model IDs), but thanks to small differences in the gearing of each drive to be better suited to their end user, the WD Red Pro and WD Purple Pro have a maximum reported 265MB/s Sustained Sequential Read and the WD Gold has a much higher and possibly industry winning (for SATA in traditional platter-arm design) 291MB/s Performance, almost half way saturating SATA 6Gb/s. Herre is a breakdown of the specifications of each of the WD 22TB Hard Disks:

Branding
Drive Family GOLD RED PRO PURPLE PRO / AI
Price £639.99 /  $769 (Est on Conversion)

Check Amazon HERE

£601.99 /  $729 (Est on Conversion)

Check Amazon HERE

£539.99 /  $649 (Est on Conversion)

Check Amazon HERE

Model ID WD221KRYZ WD221KFGX WD221PURP
Designed Use Data-Center Large Scale NAS NAS Surveillance / NVR
RPM (Rotations per Minute) 7200RPM 7200RPM 7200RPM
Platter Density/Frequency 10 Platters (2.2TB each) 10 Platters (2.2TB each) 10 Platters (2.2TB each)
On-board Cache 512MB 512MB 512MB
Recording Method EPMR EPMR EPMR
OptiNAND Yes Yes Yes
Max Performance (aka Transfer 291 265 265
Workload Rating (TB per Year) 550 300 550
Load / Unload Cycle Rtaing 600K 600K 600K
Unrecoverable Read Errors 1 in 10E15 1 in 10E13 1 in 10E15
MTBF (Mean Time Between Failure Hrs) 2.5M 1M 2.5M
Power Usage (Idle / Active) (W) 5.7 / 9.3 3.4 / 6.8 5.6 / 6.9
Manf Warranty 5 5 5

What is the Difference Between the 22TB WD Red Pro vs WD Gold vs WD Purple Pro HDD?

The WD Red Pro series of HDDs are designed for use in 24×7 NAS servers that are used in Medium-large businesses (recommended for any system in desktop or rackmount above 8 bays). The WD Gold series is designed for Enterprise, Data Center and/or Hyper-scale deployment, as they are geared towards a much faster spin up and spin down, whilst also ensuring high sustained speeds over time and can endure larger scales of write-delete-re-write throughout their lifespan (something very common in enterprise hot-warm-cold storage systems that use different media types at each tier). Finally, there is the WD Purple Por series, a range of drives specifically geared towards surveillance (cameras and data recording instruments generally) and although similar in deployment to the WD Red Pro series (ie small-medium-large business and above 8 bays of storage per system), the main difference is that WD Purple is significant;y geared more towards Write than read, as NVR/Surveillance-servers will spend 95%+ of there operations time WRITING data from recording cameras etc , whilst 5% or less will be spent retrieving/viewing those recordings.

The main difference between all three in terms of actual use is:

  • The WD Purple 22TB is an HDD that will allow a tremendously sustainable Write Speed over time but not at the expense of durability, thanks to a high 2.5M MTBF and 550TB annual workload. Therefore ensuring that surveillance recordings are consistent and the drive will have sufficient robust hardware to endure repeated write actions over and over. That heavier focus on write-over-read results in the drive arriving noticeably lower in price than the WD Red Pro or WD Gold.
  • The WD Red Pro 22TB HDD on the other hand has a much better Read/Write balance and although is not quite as high in it’s durability upon repeated/recycled writing, it makes up for it by being much better than the Purple Pro when it comes to mixed and sporadic access patterns, as a 24×7 large scale NAS server is likely to do
  • The WD Gold 22TB is the premium Hard Drive of the three, with it’s excellent sustained read AND write, as well as high durability of 550TB per year workload, 2.5M MTBF hours and it’s suitability of deployment in hyperscale (12-24-48+ bay) rack environments of NAS or SAN. The only real downside compared with WD Red Pro and WD Purple Pro is that the drive is noisier and consumes more power in use to maintain those speeds and durability over time. The price tag of the WD Gold (at least at the time of writing) is higher than the WD Red Pro and WD Purple Pro too – though that can change later as larger capacities arrive and the RRP becomes increasingly flexible.

That is the core difference between all three 22TB HDDs that WD have released. But what about OptiNAND? Why is that a big deal?

What is OptiNAND and Why is it so Important on a big drive like the WD 22TB?

Of course, users who have been following the developments of WD in their roadmaps and reveals of larger-scale drive media will be aware that the WD Red Pro, Purple and Gold 22TB also features a new technological design being rolled out in these bigger drives to merge existing storage technologies into something even better – OptiNAND. This is a new approach to an old idea that never really took off, where the benefits of small areas of faster NAND storage (more typically associated with SSD media) and affords a small area of NAND to a larger scale hard drive to be used for metadata and for storing data in the event of power failure. Flash is also interesting from a persistence standpoint. DRAM gets flushed on power loss, but NAND is non-volatile and can continue to keep metadata information without having to re-hydrate after a boot sequence, be removed from the system for some reason, or any other event where power drops. The newer gen 18, 20 and 22TB hard drives arrives with a portion of 64-layer/64GB BICS3 (3D TLC)

WD states that OptiNAND drives can secure more than 100MB of write cache data in the event of an unplanned power loss, a 50X improvement over standard drives that can flush about 2MB. Hybrid Drive media is not new, but whereas older generation hybrid drives were more parallel in architecture, this is far more intertwined. It also brings enhancements to the firmware algorithm and system-on-a-chip (SoC). Once again, to be clear, OptiNAND and its iNAND isn’t flash cache (such as the 512MB this drive also features). Rather, it’s a portion of flash memory used to store metadata–or data about existing data–so they can be managed more efficiently.

The slice of iNAND has its own dedicated controller, much like an SSD. While metadata management itself doesn’t help to increase platter density, it enables a range of benefits that do. As one can imagine, the higher the density of the HDD, the more metadata it generates. Moving metadata to a fast, dense and scalable storage area gives more freedom for manufacturers to create higher capacity drives.

OptiNAND DRAM

But why choose NAND over DRAM? Western Digital explained back in August 2021 that modern high-density HDDs generate gigabytes of metadata and it’s too costly to include sufficient  DRAM to hold it. In addition, moving metadata to their own dedicated area will free up more space on the platters themselves to store user data. There’s more to it than capacity increases, though; using OptiNAND also helps with reliability, specifically with the repeatable runout (RRO) and adjacent track interference (ATI).

Overall, what we find in the WD Ultrastar HC560 20TB hard drive architecture is a solidly designed and hugely impressive piece of hardware that challenges alot of the standard conventions of hard drive storage (in AND outside of server use).

When Will the WD Red Pro, WD Gold and WD Purple Pro 22TB Hard Drive Be Released and the Price?

In short, all three 22TB Hard Drives are available NOW, as they were officially released by Western Digital Earlier today. Expect stock to take a little longer to arrive, maybe by the end of July ’22, but as we speak, they are being gradually added to WDD’s websites and online portals. Regarding pricing, only the WD Red Pro Price of £601 from WD themselves. The rest of the pricing of 22TB drives in WD Gold and Purple will likely hit circulation shortly.

Branding
Drive Family GOLD RED PRO PURPLE PRO / AI
Price £639.99 /  $769 (Est on Conversion)

Check Amazon HERE

£601.99 /  $729 (Est on Conversion)

Check Amazon HERE

£539.99 /  $649 (Est on Conversion)

Check Amazon HERE

 

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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

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.  

QNAP TS-i410X, un nouveau NAS 10GbE

12 juillet 2022 à 07:00
Par : Fx
QNAP TS i410X 300x225 - QNAP TS-i410X, un nouveau NAS 10GbEQNAP vient d’annoncer l’arrivée d’un nouveau NAS : TS-i410X. Il s’agit d’un boîtier atypique, qu’il ne ressemble à aucun autre. En effet, ses châssis ne ressemblent pas au boîtier que nous avons l’habitude de voir… et pour cause, ce dernier se destine aux usines et entrepôts. QNAP TS-i410X Avant de rentrer dans le détail, il est important de rappeler que QNAP dispose d’un très large catalogue de NAS (plus de 200) pour répondre aux besoins. Il n’est pas toujours facile […]

QNAP TS-253E and TS-453E NAS Drive Revealed

8 juillet 2022 à 01:10

The QNAP TS-253E and TS-453E NAS Drive

QNAP has been remarkably loud with their 2022/2023 generation of NAS releases in the first half of the year, with updates to practically all the home/Prosumer/SMB solutions in their portfolio. However, it appears that things have not stopped there, with the reveal of a new mid-range NAS series that (based on the hardware on offer) is a change in what many might have been expecting. The new QNAP TS-253E and TS-453E NAS manage to arrive in the brand’s more cost-effective external chassis (such as the TS-251+ and TS-451D2), but feature internal and external hardware choices that put them much, MUCH closer to the TS-453D and TS-464! This new series arrives with 2021/2022 generation Intel Celeron J6412 CPU, 8GB of DDR4 Memory by default, 2.5GbE ports, M.2 NVMe SSD slots, USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10G) and looks to be lower in price than the TS-x64 series. So yeah, these new TS-253E and TS-453E are going to be extremely appealing to users who want the best bang for their buck, but do not want to waste their time on ARM-powered systems. let’s talk about everything we know about these new and honestly quite intriguing NAS drives.

The QNAP TS-253E and TS-453E NAS – Hardware Specifications

The hardware that the QNAP TS-253E and TS-453E arrive with is very much the star of the show here. In the last 10 years of QNAP NAS (indeed, much the same as all other NAS brands in fact), the food chain of NAS drives has changed very little. This used to go:

  • Enterprise (Xeon Powered)
  • Large Business (Intel/AMD Powered File Server Processor)
  • SMB (Small Medium Business – Same as above, only more affordable and scaled-down)
  • Prosumer (Intel Celeron/Pentium Powered Quad-Core)
  • Home (Intel Dual-Core)
  • Value (64bit ARM Powered)
  • Cost-Effective (32bit ARM Powered)

HOWEVER, the TS-253E and TS-453E significantly break this mould and seem to be hovering between the Value, Home and Prosumer tiers significantly. Alot of this is to do with the expectations of the end-user and what they demand from a solution at a given price point. However, even bearing this in mind, the TS-X53E series is much, MUCH closer to the Prosumer tier than many would have expected and is a big jump from the dual-core Intel that many would have assumed would arrive here (this has been replaced on the fact of it with the TS-262 and TS-264 – but that is a story for another article!). Let’s take a closer look at those specifications.

Model QNAP TS-253E NAS

QNAP TS-453E NAS

CPU Intel Celeron J6412 4-core/4-thread processor, 2.0-2.9 GHz Intel Celeron J6412 4-core/4-thread processor, 2.0-2.9 GHz
CPU architecture 64-bit x86 64-bit x86
graphics processor Intel UHD Graphics Intel UHD Graphics
floating point Yes Yes
encryption engine (AES-NI) (AES-NI)
hardware acceleration Yes Yes
system memory 8 GB ON-Board DDR4 8 GB ON-Board DDR4
maximum memory 8GB 8GB
memory slot N/A N/A
flash memory 4GB (dual boot OS protection) 4GB (dual boot OS protection)
Number of hard disk slots 2 x 3.5-inch SATA 6Gb/s 4 x 3.5-inch SATA 6Gb/s
Supported hard disk types 3.5″ SATA HDD2.5
” SATA HDD2.5
” SATA SSD
3.5″ SATA HDD2.5
” SATA HDD2.5
” SATA SSD
Hot-plug support Yes Yes
M.2 Slot 2 x M.2 2280 PCIe Gen 3 x2 2 x M.2 2280 PCIe Gen 3 x2
External Ports
2.5 Gigabit Ethernet port (2.5G/1G/100M) 2 (also support 10M) 2 (also support 10M)
Wake on LAN (WOL) Yes Yes
jumbo frame Yes Yes
PCIe expansion slot N/A N/A
USB 2.0 port 2 2
USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gbps) port 2 x Type-A 2 x Type-A
HDMI output 2x HDMI 1.4b 2x HDMI 1.4b
LED indicator Power/Status, Network, USB, HDD 1-4 Power/Status, Network, USB, HDD 1-4
button Power, USB Copy, System Reset Power, USB Copy, System Reset
Dimensions (HxWxD) 168.5 × 102 × 225 mm 177 × 180 × 235 mm
Power Supplier 60W Transformer, 100-240V 90W Transformer, 100-240V
fan 1 x 70mm, 12VDC 1 x 120mm, 12VDC

As you can see, the hardware inside is a decent jump up from the TS-251D, TS-451D2 and TS-x51+ series that have been available for at least the last 3 years or more (closer to 5-6 years in the case of the 51+ series). If we were to focus on the major areas that stand out, the CPU choice is #1. Back before the TS-x64 series was revealed at the start of the year, I volunteered online that I would like to see either the N5105 or J6412 Intel Celeron on the next-gen of Solutions from QNAP and Synology, but highlighted that the J6412 might be a little too new. Fast forward to now and the J6412 CPU is exactly what we have here. An embedded graphics, quad-core Intel processor that rates very well on CPU benchmark (at 3930 at time of writing), which is higher than the Intel J4125 on the TS-X53D series and only a tiny pinch behind the N5105 in the TS-X64 series – I will go into more detail on this later in the article).

That CPU is also accompanied by 8GB of DDR4 memory in both the TS-253E and TS-453E by default. As good as this sounds, it does arrive with a fly in the ointment though. Despite this CPU supporting upto an impressive 32GB of DDR4 memory at 3200Mhz, the 8GB inside the TS-253E and TS-453E is non-upgradable (likely soldiered to the controller board). So, 8GB by default IS good (and I hope this doesn’t bump the price up noticeably), but it’s a shame that this is as high as it gets. Another cool feature that is here is the inclusion of two m.2 NVMe SSD bays. That means that this affordable quad-core Intel NAS will also have the option of adding super fast SSDs for intelligent caching OR as standalone storage pools if you want. Due to the PCI lanes/chipset of this CPU+NAS combo though, these slots are PCIe Gen 3 x2. This still means up to 2,000MB/s throughput being possible with the drives though.

The other interesting and unique addition to the TS-253E and TS-453E is the inclusion of USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports (10Gb or 1,000MB/s performance to a supported storage device). Not only is this something we have not seen much of the Prosumer/SMB tier outside of Ryzen systems till now, but the fact that the front port is a one-touch copy button and is a USB 3.2 Gen 2 port is going to be remarkably interesting to users who like to maintain a local USB backup on their much, much bigger storage volumes via Hybrid Backup Sync and more. Additionally, there is an HDMI output (x2, but you can only use both in a mirrored or stretched screen setup) that can output 1080p at 60FPS and 4K at 30FPS, as well as two USB ports for connecting external peripherals for a KVM setup.

Overall, you have to be impressed by the hardware that this more affordable/value series NAS is arriving with and it is certainly going to be a tempting choice for those that looked at the TS-453D and TS-464 and thought it was a little pricey. But how does the new TS-X53E NAS series compare with the recently released TS-X64 range? Let’s compare.

The QNAP TS-453E vs TS-464 NAS Drive – How Do They Compare?

As mentioned earlier, the most interesting thing about the TS-253E and TS-453E is that they are very close to (and in some cases exceed) the hardware of the recently released TS-464 and TS-664 NAS Drives. Before this, the fully-featured/prosumer tier that the TS-X64 range occupies would have a ‘half hardware’ type release with half the cores, half the memory and half the ports (such as the dual core, 2GB and 1x LAN QNAP TS-251D). Whereas in the case of the TS-X53E range, most of the popular elements reserved for the prosumer tier are available and presented in a more value-designed package (likely reflected in the price too). If you only want the TLDR:

Main Differences Between the TS-x53E and TS-x64 Series

  • The TS-X64 Series has a PCIe Slot
  • The TS-X53E Series has faster M.2 NVMe slots (PCIe 3×2 vs 3×1)
  • The TS-X64 Intel N5105 has slightly high graphical handling and higher burst/turbo clock speed
  • The TS-X53E Intel J6412 is more efficient and also supports more memory
  • The HDMI on the TS-X64 is HDMI 2.0 (4K 60FS), whereas the TS-X53E has HDMI 1.4b (4K 30FPS, 1080p 60FPS)
  • The TS-X53E arrives with 8GB as standard, whereas the TS-X64 arrives with 4GB that can be upgraded to 16GB
VS

What the TS-x5ED and TS-x64 Series Have in Common

  • Both have a 4 Core / 4 Thread Intel Celeron CPU with Embedded Gfx with a base speed of 2.0Ghz
  • Both use DDR4 Memory
  • Both have 2x 2.5GbE
  • Both have 2x USB 3,2 Gen 2 (10Gb)
  • Both have m.2 NVMe, SATA bays, HDMI out and Support the same ver of QTS 5

However, the main area of focus here is the CPU Difference. The N5105 in the TS-464 is overall better than the Intel J6412 in the TS-453E, but not by a huge degree! The graphical handling on the N5105 is a pinch better (encode, decode etc) and has a little more resources on board to get the job done. Additionally, the N5105 has a higher burst/turbo clock speed too. But again, only marginally (0.3Ghz). The difference between them is really small and it is going to be VERY interesting to see how this CPU choice is going to compare in things like Plex Media Server and QVR Pro on either of these product families.

Those are the MAIN differences, but there are a few much smaller differences. Below is a breakdown of their respective specifications and how each compares.

Model QNAP TS-464 NAS

QNAP TS-453E NAS

CPU Intel Celeron N5105/N5095 4-core/4-thread processor, burst up to 2.9 GHz Intel Celeron J6412 4-core/4-thread processor, 2.0-2.6GHz
CPU architecture 64-bit x86 64-bit x86
graphics processor Intel® UHD Graphics Intel® UHD Graphics
floating point operations Yes Yes
encryption engine (AES-NI) (AES-NI)
CPU Benchmark
system memory 4 GB SO-DIMM DDR4 (1 x 4 GB) 2666Mhz 8GB DDR4
maximum memory 16GB (2 x 8GB) 8GB (FIXED)
memory slot 2 SO-DIMM DDR4
For dual DIMM configurations, identical pairs of DDR4 modules must be used.
N/A
flash memory 4GB (dual boot OS protection) 4GB (dual boot OS protection)
Number of hard disk slots 4 x 3.5-inch SATA 6Gb/s 4 x 3.5-inch SATA 6Gb/s
Supported hard disk types 3.5″ SATA HDD2.5
” SATA HDD2.5
” SATA SSD
3.5″ SATA HDD2.5
” SATA HDD2.5
” SATA SSD
Hot-plug support Yes Yes
M.2 Slot 2 x M.2 2280 PCIe Gen 3 x1 2 x M.2 2280 PCIe Gen 3 x2
External Ports
2.5 Gigabit Ethernet port (2.5G/1G/100M) 2 (also support 10M) 2 (also support 10M)
Wake on LAN (WOL) Yes Yes
jumbo frame Yes Yes
PCIe expansion slot 1x Slot: PCIe Gen 3 x2 N/A
USB 2.0 port 2 x Type-A 2 x Type-A
USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gbps) port 2 x Type-A 2 x Type-A
USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5Gbps) port 0 0
HDMI output 1. HDMI 2.0 2x HDMI 1.4b
Power Supplier 90W Transformer, 100-240V 90W Transformer, 100-240V
fan 1 x 120mm, 12VDC 1 x 120mm, 12VDC

The QNAP TS-253E and TS-453E NAS – Software Specifications

The QNAP TS-253E and TS-453E will be arriving with QTS, the brand’s software and services platform that is included with every QNAP NAS system. Given the hardware that the TS-X53E arrives with, it will almost certainly not feature the ZFS platform QuTS. QTS is currently in version 5 and I have made a full review of their latest software release in the video below, but below is a breakdown of the key applications that it includes (which can be accessed/used via the network/internet via your web browser, as well as via client apps for desktops and mobile).

QNAP Software and System Management Highlights

  • File Station – File Browsing and Management Tool
  • QSirch -Intelligent and Fast System-wide search tool
  • QFiling – Smart and customizable long term storage and archive tool
  • SSD Caching Monitor and Advisor – Allowing you to scale your SSD cache as needed, or get recommendations on how much you need
  • QTier – The QNAP intelligent, multi-layer tiering system that works to optimize your SSD vs HDD use, moving files to the appropriate storage media (not currently supported on QuTS Hero, just QTS)
  • Microsoft Active Directory– Support and cross-platform control of Active Directory processes
  • Access-Anywhere with myQNAPcloud – Safe and secure remote access over the internet to your storage systems, apps or just file storage
  • Qsync for multiple hardware environment backups and Sync – Client applications that can be installed on multiple 3rd party devices and create a completely customizable and scaled back up network between your devices
  • Hybrid Backup Sync 3 – Allows you to Backup and Sync with Amazon Glacier, Amazon S3, Azure Storage, Google Cloud Storage, HKT Object Storage, OpenStack Swift, WebDAV, Alibaba Cloud, Amazon Drive, Amazon S3, BackBlaze B2, Box, Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive, HiDrive, hubiC, OneDrive, OneDrive For Business, ShareFile and Yandex Disk. As well as backup to another NAS over real-time remote replication (RTRR) and USB connected media. All scheduled and all accessible via a single app user interface.
  • vJBOD and Hybrid Mount – Gives you the ability to mount cloud storage as a visible drive within the NAS (and the apps access it as if it was local) or mount a % of space from your NAS onto another as a virtual chunk of space to use
  • Multimedia Console – one portal access point to manage media access, searching, indexing and transcoding on your NAS device.
  • Photo, Video and Music Station – Multiple file type tailored applications to access data in the best possible way that is suited to their output – along with smart searching, playlists and sharing
  • Virtualization Station – Used to create virtual computers that can be accessed anywhere over the network/internet with the correct credentials. Supporting Windows, Linux, Android and more. You can import an existing VM image to the NAS, or you can even download Linux and Windows VMs directly to the NAS for trials for free
  • Container Station – much like the VM app, Container station lets you mount and access smaller virtual tools and GUIs, then access them over the network or internet.
  • Linux Station – Handy application to deploy multiple Linux based Ubuntu VMs from the NAS, all easily and within a few clicks
  • QVR Pro and QVR Elite – Surveillance applications that allow you to connect multiple IP cameras and IP speaks to your network and manage them with the applications. Arriving with 2 camera licenses for QVR Elite and 8 licenses for QVR Pro (the better one IMO), QNAP is constantly updating this enterprise-level surveillance application – adding newer security hardware and software tools for 2020 (see QVR Face and QVR Door)
  • QuMagie – Facial and Thing recognition application to help you retrieve, tag and catalogue photos by its use of AI to actually ‘view’ all your years of photos and let you search by the contents of them, not the file names.
  • Download Station – A download management tool that can handle HTTP, BT, FTP and NZB files in bulk to be downloaded to your NAS drive and keep safe. As well as keeping an eye on your RSS feeds and keeping your podcast downloads automatically updated with every episode
  • Malware Removers and Security Councillor – Along with Anti Virus software trials on the app centre, QNAP also provide numerous anti-intrusion tools and even a whole app interface to monitor in/outgoing transmissions with your NAS. It can make recommendations to beef up your security and keep you safe

Here is my full review of QTS 5.0 for QNAP NAS:

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

The QNAP TS-253E & TS-453E NAS – Price & Release Date

The QNAP TS-253E and TS-453E NAS are being listed on numerous official regional sites by the brand, so the release of these NAS drives cannot be especially far away. Regarding pricing, although no official prices have been listed online, we can assume that a) they will be lower in price at launch than the TS-464 and TS-264, and b) that they will be a pinch higher than the pricing of the TS-251D and TS-451D2. So, somewhere between the $350-400 mark (not inc your local TAX). However this is an estimate and until we see further availability of the TS-464 and the rest of that range arrive globally, it is hard to estimate the price of the new TS-253E and TS-453E at this time. You can use the links below to take you to updated prices and where to buy page over on the NASCompares seller area to see if/when they become available.

QNAP TS-253E NAS 2-Bay

QNAP TS-453E NAS 4-Bay

 

 

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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

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Best Mid-Range Solution

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Best Business Solution

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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

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Best Mid-Range 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

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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

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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

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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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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.   

A Guide to 2.5GbE Switches – Which is Best?

30 mai 2022 à 01:10

Buying the Right 2.5GbE Switch Switch First Time

Whether you like it or not, 2.5 Gigabit ethernet is very much a THING in 2022! From ISP routers and gaming desktops, to USB adapters and PCIe cards at $25, the access to 2.5x traditional 1GbE network speeds is pretty much 100% for everyone now. The ease of making the switch to 2.5GbE is made even easier when many client network hardware devices are either arriving with 2.5G at the same price as 1G, or include WiFi6 capabilities and therefore have the potential to exceed wired 1GbE too. So, when buying hardware for your home or office in 2022 or 2023, it is understandable that for reasons of future-proofing, you might want to invest in 2.5Gb hardware to ensure everything has the fullest bandwidth possible, without breaking the bank. One of the most important devices you will need to get in order to manage a 2.5GbE network (ensuring no bottlenecks and/or making sure everything gets their fair share of the bandwidth) is by investing in a network switch. A network switch is much like a plug adapter/extension can provide more power points from a single socket over a larger distance, but that also means that much like plug adapters, some are more reliable than others, have features of control and efficiency that are not available on all others and, ultimately, that some 2.5GbE network switches are better than others!

Want to Skip to the Best Switches? Click below to jump ahead:

So, today I want to walk you through the best 2.5Gb network switches you can buy right now, broken down into the best for price, value, scale, features and more. Before we go any further though, I know what you are thinking. Why should someone invest in a 2.5GbE network switch/setup, when they can just skip it and go for a 10GbE setup?

Which Choose 2.5GbE over 10GbE in 2022 and 2023?

It’s a fair point. Although 10GbE is still more expensive than 1GbE and 2.5GbE, it HAS come down in price quite noticeably over the last 5 years. This alongside improvements in more efficient and affordable 10GbE network controllers has led to 10GbE routers and 10GbE switches arriving on the market at a much more affordable price point than ever. Many die-hard network veterans turn their noses up at 2.5GbE, as (alongside 10G being available to businesses and prosumer users for the better part of 10-15years) they consider 2.5G to be a stop-gap and overall better to spend the money towards something bigger and broader in bandwidth. So, why should you care about 2.5G then? Well, a few reasons actually. Such as:

  • Although 10GbE switches and routers ARE in the market at a better price than ever, they are still 3-4x the price of 1GbE alternatives in the managed or unmanaged form
  • 10GbE ports on laptops, computers and standard office hardware is still very much in low adoption. 2.5GbE featured less than 1G, but it’s still ahead of 10GbE in consumer adoption by default
  • PCIe  upgrades with 10GbE are still very expensive (1Gb PCIe = $10, 10Gb PCIe = $80-100 minimum)
  • External 10GbE upgrades are limited and very expensive (Thunderbolt to 10GbE are your only option and start at $150-200, such as the Sonnet SOLO10G-TB3 or QNAP QNA-T310G1T), whereas USB-to-1G adapters are $10-12 and USB-to-2.5GbE are $20-25
  • 10GbE arrives in both Copper and Fibre, which is useful for diverse setups, but leads to a coin toss of more expensive 10G Copper base hardware vs 10G Fibre cables/transceiver high price point and complexity. 2.5GbE uses all the same hardware in place as traditional 1GbE and allows for improved sustainability and less waste
  • Most client hardware is not able to take advantage of 10GbE and although having 1-2 high bandwidth devices (a NAS or SAN type server) connected over 10Gbe to the network can be beneficial to all, most client hardware devices will never be able to saturate 10Gb Connections. In those cases, a 1x10G and 8+ X 1G solution is preferable – which end up costing more than full, widespread 2.5G adoption.

So, yes, 10GbE will most certainly provide you with more bandwidth to play with, but it will cost you more – both for the switch, but also to upgrade each of the client devices on the network .This can slightly mitigated in a few ways (opting for 10GBASE-T and reusing some hardware, gradually upgrading the key clients, choosing comb style switches that featured mixed ports, etc) but 2.5GbE is a more affordable alternative that allows you to upgrade some systems enough for them to saturate 250MB/s bandwidth and not overspend on 10GbE for systems/networks that were never going to take advantage of the 1,000MB/s on offer.

Examples of a 2.5GbE to USB Adapter – $22.99 Examples of a 2.5GbE Network PCIe Card – $27.99

Understanding the Difference Between Managed & Unmanaged

This is one of the two main areas whereby the price of your networks switch can differ wildly. Network switches predominantly arrive in two software types. namely managed and unmanaged. A managed switch is a device that allows an admin or another authorised user to access a control panel visually displayed in the web browser or a supported mobile app, to configure numerous settings inside the switch and create a much more tailored, superior network environment for their own needs. Ranging from configuring which ports and devices have priorities, combining network ports for larger bandwidth (known as link aggregation or port trunking), creating security rules to prevent network invasion and numerous other unique and customisable configuration options. It can be intimidating to configure these settings and although things have become a little more user-friendly in recent years, it is still pretty overwhelming at first to configure your own network connection in a managed switch.

An unmanaged switch, as you probably have already guessed, does NOT allow users to configure the network in any kind of unique way. Unmanaged network switches arrived with more rudimentary internal processes that have numerous default settings for network access, security protocol and how to behave as more client hardware connect to the network. You lose a number of key and popular features such as link aggregation, priority of service, quality of service, failover configurations and more. However an unmanaged switch arrives at a noticeably lower price point due to its more cost-effective internal hardware requirements and if you are a home or even low-level business user who does not require a particularly unique network setup, an unmanaged network switch can often be perfectly fine. It should also be highlighted that smaller, unmanaged switches are often fanless and near-silent in operation too. In short, if you are not particularly tech-savvy, have no interest in learning the ins and outs of your network management, are on a tight budget or are running a fairly rudimentary setup, then an unmanaged switch should be perfectly ok for you and your network requirements. However, in almost every other regard, a managed switch is always better in the long run.

Learn More About Managed VS Unmanaged in the Article Below:


BEST 2.5GbE to USB Adapter – QGeeM 4-in-1 2.5GbE & USB C Hub – £25.49 (currently on offer 06/22)

The 4-in-1 USB C to ethernet hub expands the USB-C port of your laptop to 6 functions. You can connect to the Ethernet, charge the laptop, use an external monitor, data transfer, connect the mouse, etc. to improve your work efficiency. In the process of expansion, it cleverly retains all the functions of the USB-C port that supports up to 100W PD to charge your laptop at full speed, the data transmission speed reaches an astonishing 5Gbps, and it also supports [email protected] media display (mirror mode and extended mode. The USB C adapter is stylishly designed, lightweight and portable, very suitable for home, office environments and business trip, easily handle multitasking and increase productivity.

  • 1x Ethernet: up to 2.5 Gbps
  • 1x USB C: 100W Charging / [email protected] Video / 5Gbps Date Transfer
  • 2x USB 3.0: up to 5 Gbps

The USB c to 2.5g ethernet adapter is for users looking to move beyond Gigabit Ethernet speeds. It can provide network bandwidth of up to 2.5Gbps, 2.5 times the traditional network, and backwards compatible with 10/100/1000Mbps. Compared with wireless connections, wired networks are more secure and stable. There will be no lag in video conferencing, transferring files and playing games. 100W Power Delivery via the USB C PD port, which charges up to 100W, When expanding other devices, you don’t have to worry about running out of power on your laptop, and you can also reduce the number of cables on your desktop. The USB 3.0 port can transfer your files at speeds up to 5Gbps, 10 times faster than the USB 2.0. Backward compatible with USB 2.0 and below, Allows you to connect keyboard, mouse, hard disk, U disk, etc. to your device.

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I recently upgraded my MacBook Pro and I was bummed to find out that the new versions don’t have USB ports anymore. This hub allows me to plug in all my devices that use a USB! It’s small and portable which I appreciate because I can easily carry it with me in my backpack without much-added weight. Just tested it out using my Cricut machine and it worked like a charm! Allows 2.5 gig ethernet speed where there is no port on the laptop. Much faster for wired environments than Wi-Fi only. Since it provides a USB “C” port and two USB “A” ports, you still have USB available on the laptop. Works Great and adds functionality to the laptop! My studio has a really unstable wifi signal so I am looking for a portable hub including Ethernet and a USB port for my Dell XPS. And I am happy with this tiny hub. It works great after 3 days of use. Now I don’t need to worry about the unstable connection during my zoom meeting. In addition, I can connect more devices like flash or external drives to my laptop. It is very light and convenient, I can also bring it when I travel without any concern.

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Cheapest 2.5GbE Network Switch – QNAP QSW-1105-5T – £80-100 (currently on offer 06/22)

The QNAP QSW-1105-5T switch definitely lives up to what it promises and has a very clear target user in mind. It does not pretend to be more than it is and because of that can maintain high performance and low physical and power usage impact for users looking to move to the next level of networking without spending a vast amount. The QSW-1105-5T serves as a great upgrade for users moving from gigabit ethernet and towards multi-gigabit environments and with fantastic growth in 2020 towards 2.5G, 5G and 10Gbe in affordable hardware, the need for a more palatable and affordable upgrade to this tier is not only hugely welcome but fast becoming an inevitability. That said, the QSW-1105-5T is not for everyone, it seems a little pricey when unmanaged 1Gbe 5-Port switches are generally around £40-50.

Also, if you already have a multi-gigabit network environment in place or have need of a more controllable and priority defining network environment in mind, you will probably find the QSW-1105-5T a backstep and limiting in its scope. But the QSW-1105-5T is not designed for that and does not pretend to be so, and with QNAP having released and in the process of releasing switch options to cater to an ever-evolving network clientele, whether this is the switch for you or not, by the end of 2020 QNAP will almost certainly have a switch that suits your needs and budget. Bottom line, I really like this device and couldn’t see myself finding many uses for this device for aspiring YouTubers like me as well as day-to-day data work in general.

Click to view slideshow.

Needless to say, the QNAP QSW-1105-5T is not a hugely powerful switch that is designed to challenge smarter or larger entries into the QNAP QSW range of switches – but that is largely the point! Along with users looking at play n play upgrades to their PC/Client machines at home/office with USB adapters (such as the QNA-UC5G1T), the appeal of 2.5Gbe upgrades in networks that favour WiFi 6 and (soon) WiFi 6E is actually quite pronounced. In this arena, the QSW-1105-5T has little or no competition right now and even if it did, it’s a very solid and well-made product. The price point of over $100 for a 5-Port switch that is unmanaged, when you can pick up 1Gbe unmanaged switches at $40-50 is a little off-putting, but given the next tier (10Gbe) will likely set you back $200 for the same unmanaged architecture, this is more a question of finding a balance I guess. Aside from that, It is hard to fault the switch for what it is, as it is delivering on all it’s promises – I just wish there was a managed version too to take advantage of 2.5Gbe LAG connectivity that is available in almost all multi LAN QNAP solutions in 2020/2021.

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Best Value PoE+ 2.5GbE Switch – TRENDnet TPE-TG350 – $184

Expand your network’s bandwidth and reduce traffic bottlenecks with TRENDnet’s Unmanaged 2.5G PoE+ Switches. These 2.5G PoE+ switches come equipped with 2.5GBASE-T RJ-45 ports that provide higher gigabit speeds capable of up to 2.5Gbps over your existing Cat5e or better cabling. Each high-speed 2.5G PoE+ switch features a durable metal enclosure and can be mounted to the wall for setup flexibility. The fanless design lowers energy consumption and eliminates distracting operating noise. TRENDnet’s reliable 2.5G PoE+ switches are cost-effective solutions to increase your network’s throughput. A 55W total PoE power budget on this PoE+ switch supplies up to four PoE+ devices with up to 30W per port.

  • 5 x 2.5GBASE-T ports
  • 55W PoE power budget
  • IEEE 802.3bz (2.5G) compliant
  • Supports IEEE 802.3at/af PoE standards
  • Backwards compatible with 10/100/1000Mbps devices
  • 25Gbps switching capacity
  • Fanless design eliminates noise
  • Wall mountable for installation flexibility

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Best 8-Port 2.5GbE Switch – TRENDnet TEG-S380 – $179

Despite it’s growing popularity with hardware manufacturers, 2.5G still gets overlooked, and this is a shame. Why? Well, 2.5G network capabilities are showing up in more computers and motherboards nowadays, and it can be the most affordable way to go multi-gig. For instance, 2.5G cards and dongles won’t break the bank, while 2.5Gbps speeds can theoretically be achieved with existing Cat5e. Along with the previously mentioned TG350, TRENDnet releases an affordable unmanaged 2.5G switches. Called “TEG-S380, an 8-Port Unmanaged 2.5G Switch and is the brand’s addition to TRENDnet’s Multi-Gigabit Networking Solutions family. Both switches include 2.5GBASE-T RJ-45 ports, which allow users to achieve up to 2.5Gbps over existing Cat5e (or better) cabling. TRENDnet’s new 2.5G switches are cost-effective means of increasing a network’s throughput, and helping to reduce or eliminate network bottlenecks.

These multi-gigabit switches also feature a durable metal housing, as well as a fanless design to eliminate distracting operating noise. For installation flexibility, the 2.5G switches are conveniently constructed to be mounted on the wall or placed on a desktop. These TRENDnet switches are IEEE 802.3bz compliant; they are also backward compatible with legacy technology hardware. No special configurations are required for these switches to connect and network devices to high-speed 2.5G Ethernet. Equipped with 2.5GBASE-T RJ-45 ports that provide higher gigabit speeds capable of up to 2.5Gbps over existing Cat5e or better cabling. The 2.5G switches feature metal housing with a convenient wall mountable design for greater installation flexibility. Meanwhile, the fanless design of the 2.5G switches lowers energy consumption costs and eliminates operating noise.

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Best Value Managed 2.5GbE and 10GbE Switch – QNAP QSW-M2108-2C or QSW-M2108-2S – $279-309

There is always going to be the question of “who actually has 2.5Gbe these days?”, which is a perfectly valid point! The answer is that thanks to the growth of WiFi 6 (802.11ax) we are seeing lots of router solutions arriving with 2.5G ports. That’s not all though, there are several USB-to-5Gbe and USB-to-2.5Gbe adapters in the market that serve as much MUCH more affordable (and far more convenient) alternatively to hardware systems upgrading to 10Gbe via a PCIe card. Lastly, some more compact systems (Raspberry Pi, MacBook, ChromeBook, Laptop, Surface Pro, etc) do NOT have the ability to upgrade their network port conventionally. So, given that to date, there is no 10Gbe-to-USB adapter on the market (and if there was, I would look at Aquantia in the future), the only alternative to break out of 1Gbe bottlenecks is to use 2.5/5G USB adapters – which is EXACTLY why this 10Gbe and 2.5Gbe network switch exists! QNAP was not one of the first to introduce a budget +Gigabit ethernet switch in 2020/2021 and given the affordability of 10Gbe, as well as the need for businesses to improve their internal networking speeds to match that of high-end ISP and fibre internet around the world, they likely will not be the last.

Click to view slideshow.

However, the combination of 8x 2.5Gbe with the 2x10G really makes the QSW-2108-2C managed switch really stand out, whilst still arriving in a compact and affordable way – a scaled 10Gbe switch for businesses that want to make the step towards this network bandwidth, but is still unsure about the investment. With its unique multi-port combo system, allowing users to combine copper and fibre environments, there is a large degree of flexibility even at this more affordable price point. The design is not for everyone and it lacks the lifetime warranty of some more expensive NETGEAR solutions, but the QNAP QSW-2108-2C is most certainly a capable solution and manages to live up to every single promise that QNAP claims. Along with an incredibly intuitive management panel and ease of design that lends heavily from the QTS NAS software, it certainly beats most of its competitors in the GUI department. In short, the QSW-M2108 largely defeats any notion of looking at 1Gbe switches ever again…

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Best Gamer 2.5G/10G Switch – D-Link DMS-106XT – $140

As you can probably guess from my tone throughout this review, I found it pretty tough to fault the D-Link DMS-106XT network switch given its price tag and wide variety of network connectivity. There are a few design choices that are going to split opinion (metal throughout, LEDs, very unconventional shape, etc) but these are quite minor points in the grand scheme of things. The Price tag of this switch for a 10GbE and 2.5GbE switch, even unmanaged, is going to make it damn near irresistible to many buyers and now that it has had some time in the market to increase exposure, availability and reviews, the price tag has become increasingly flexible (arriving as low as £130/$140 in some retailers).

Click to view slideshow.

D-link could stand to be a little clearer about the turbo mode and it’s advantages with the DMS-106XT and the extent to which those LEDs can actually be customized is pretty weak, but you are clearly getting a sturdy, solid and high-performance piece of kit here. Additionally, with the increase of affordability of 10GbE, as well as 2.5GbE becoming the defacto port to be used with WiFi 6 client hardware, this switch has a much wider audience than it might have had just 2 years ago. A great piece of kit and one I heartily recommend.

Pros – 10G + 2.5G arriving at the same/cheaper price than many 2.5G-only switches right now.  Unique and Attractive Design. Unmanaged BUT the Turbo Mode adds Priority of Sevice features.  Fanless + Ridged Metal design assists heat dissipation. LED and lighting are quite cool looking

Cons – LED lighting controls are practically zero

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Best Unmanaged 2.5GbE and 10GbE Switch – QNAP QSW-2104-2T or QSW-2104-2S – $210

QNAP Systems introduced the QSW-2104 series of unmanaged switch models. The series is formed by the QSW-2104-2S and QSW-2104-2T network switches. The QSW-2104-2T is an easy-to-use unmanaged switch with 2-port 10GbE RJ45 and 4-port 2.5GbE RJ45, allowing you to upgrade your network environment by connecting a wider range of devices with different bandwidth requirements. Featuring a near-silent fanless design and compliance with IEEE 802.3az (Energy Efficient Ethernet, EEE), the QSW-2104-2T operates quietly and with optimal power usage. With high performance and superb functionality, the QSW-2104-2T is the ideal choice for creating an affordable high-speed network environment in your home or workplace.

Click to view slideshow.

aBoth of them are six-port with two 10GbE ports and four 2.5GbE ports, and the difference is that the QSW-2104-2S has 10GbE ports routed to SFP + fiber-optic transceivers, and the QSW-2104-2T model – to connectors designed for copper twisted pair connection. Note that in the first case, speeds of 10 Gb/s and 1 Gb/s are supported, and in the second – 10 Gb/s, 5 Gb/s, 2.5 Gb/s, 1 Gb/s and 100 Mb/s. The 2.5GbE ports in both cases are designed for twisted pair connections and support speeds of 2.5 Gbps, 1 Gbps, and 100 Mbps. With no complex settings required, the QSW-2104 series supports auto-negotiation that optimizes transfer speeds and performance for each connected device. It also features network loop detection that automatically locks looped ports to ensure the network environment quickly resumes normal operations. With plug-and-play support, near-silent, passively cooled design, IEEE 802.3az compliance, and automatic loop detection and blocking, the QSW-2104 series unmanaged switch is “the ideal choice for affordable high-speed networking environments in homes, and in the workplace” says the manufacturer.

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Synology SRM 1.3 Software Review Part V – USB Storage Services & Conclusion

20 mai 2022 à 01:10

 

Synology Router Manager 1.3 Review Chapters

SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, ALL Parts - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 1, Design & Control - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 2, Safety & Security - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 3, Network Management - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 4, Safe Access - HERE

Synology SRM 1.3 Review – USB & Storage Services

One feature of Synology routers and SRM 1.3 in general that I really, REALLY think doesn’t get anywhere near the respect it deserves is the USB support. Coming from the network storage pedigree that Synology has, you would expect their router to support some level of storage by adding a USB drive. Hell, most ISP routers and $50 amazon unbranded routers have USB ports. However, unlike the painful simply breadcrumb and white screen file list arrangement that most routers with a USB port provide, SRM 1.3 provides several personal NAS class storage management tools. This combined with a number of the router service tools able to use the storage for their records and logs (as well as the use of the USB for failover/phone-tethering), you might see why I am also super annoyed that the latest generation Synology RT6600ax router only has one port. Ultimately though (short of that niche failover support for business), SRM 1.3 is at its best when that USB is used with a storage drive.

A connected drive can be accessed and interacted with by both Windows and Mac operating systems, with access being made possible in a bunch of different ways, ranging from network access to web browser targets and even WebDav for remote internet access.

Much like Synology NAS, you can set the system to periodically index the storage drive for multimedia, as well as regularly scan the media for creating thumbnails. SRM 1.3 allows the connected media to be visible by DLNA/uPnP network players (so most home consoles, smart TVs, sound systems and phones), though remote access and any kind of transcoding if completely off the table with this level of hardware of course!

Using the File Station application provides you with a genuinely complete file management tool, that allows you to intuitively browse the files, create shared folders, Copy, Paste, Archive, extract and view media files in the web browser. It is completely the same as the File Station tool that is included with every Synology NAS and is a joy to use!

Although using USB storage via a router (when cloud storage and NAS storage are now very mainstream) seems a bit old skool, if you are placing this router in your home network and do not have any form of network-attached storage or substantial cloud space available (eg in the terabytes), this port serves as an excellent alternative. Plus, given the low cost of USB external drives that are bus-powered (available in up to 4-5TB currently), this drive can be used as a backup drive for all/most of your devices when combined with the Synology mobile apps available, as well as a means to share those files locally or remotely over the internet with colleagues and family in just 2-3 clicks.

Additionally, you can map the storage as a network drive on both Windows and Mac systems, so you do not even need to log into the SRM 1.3 GUI interface to read/write to it. Even if an external USB drive will only hit around 120-160MB/s (unless it’s SSD based of course), that will be fine as a single WiFi 6 80-160Mhz connection will saturate between 120-240MB/s under perfect conditions.

You can even access the storage on the UB storage connected to the Synology RT6600ax, RT2600ac and MR2200ac router with the DS File mobile application for iOS and Android, meaning you can interact with your files on the go, as well as trigger automated photo backups from your phone with the extra options built into File Station/DS File.

SRM 1.3 also supports the brand’s download station tool which allows you to action files to be downloaded from anywhere on the internet onto your connected USB drive. These download options take many forms (FTP, HTTP, RSS feeds, Torrents, NZB, etc) and can be managed from this single portal in the web browser or via the DS Get application for iOS and Android. I have been using Download station on my NAS for downloading the latest episodes of podcasts for years now and always found Download Station on Synology to be one of the best tools out there for managing internet-wide downloads. It does have a search functionality built-in, but (like more download manager applications like this on other NAS brand’s systems), I would use caution, as Synology cannot fully verify the sources (though you can list others, such as the InternetArchive which is an ever-growing rich source of historical data).

The support of USB storage on SRM 1.3 might sound a little archaic in the age of Google Drive, DropBox and NAS drives becoming increasingly affordable, but I am still hugely gratified to know that the development that Synology has made into their storage systems has been extended to SRM. As mentioned earlier, you might well be looking at a Synology router for your home for its Safe Access, performance and coverage, but it also means you have the option for a surprisingly robust and multi-featured storage system too by just adding a USB Drive. Plus SRM also features the means to backup your existing router configuration in case you need to experiment with your ports/settings and want to roll back easily, which can be stored on your local client machine or the USB. It’s just a shame that the most recent RT6600ax that has SRM 1.3 onboard only has a single USB (forcing users to have to make a tough decision on storage vs a phone sim dongle/tethered-phone for a WAN failover, but nevertheless the USB support in SRM 1.3 is unparalleled.

Synology SRM 1.3 Review – Conclusion & Verdict

When reviewing and judging Synology Router Manager 1.3, you have to somewhat separate your feelings about Synology router hardware (the RT6600ax, RT2600ac and MR2200ac) a little. This is because, although the Synology router hardware may seem a little safe-to-middling at times vs current hardware in the market, the software they provide has always been absolute class. SRM 1.3 continues this pedigree with a user interface that manages to do the nearly unthinkable – it manages to make the process of managing your network easy and actually ENGAGING! That’s one of the biggest hurdles of managing a router and your network security in general, it’s a massive chore that is fraught with technical jargon, hurdles and screens saying ‘no’, ‘invalid’ or ‘not available’. Synology has crafted a genuinely intuitive and accessible router software system here and although a lot of that is thanks to their years in NAS software, they have certainly improved upon previous revisions in SRM too. When it comes to the features that SRM arrives with, clearly ‘Safe Access’ is one of the killer apps of the SRM 1.3. But it doesn’t stand alone and thanks to the integrations of ‘network switch’ style controls and a wide array of custom network settings, it really feels like more of a complete version in 1.3. Additions of long-overdue features such as vLAN and customs, custom SSIDs and the DS Router application’s improved layout/controls are smaller steps in SRM 1.3’s development than some would like, but with the software feeling that pinch more responsive and the layout of the controls getting tweaked to be more intuitive, that just means that SRM 1.3 is just adding polish to an already fantastic management system. Additionally, the latest generation of Synology router hardware means that new configuration options and the extent to which you can use SRM 1.3’s services have been drastically increased in time for version 1.3. At the time of writing, we are still awaiting the SRM 1.3 update to extend to the full Synology router series (thereby enabling mesh with the likes of the MR2200ac), but that shouldn’t be too long and with that, the option for SRM 1.3 to manage a grander mesh wireless network in your home/office will be hugely beneficial. In short, still highly recommend it SRM 1.3 in 2022/2023.

PROs of the SRM 1.3 CONs of SRM 1.3
Incredibly easy to use, intuitive and very responsive

‘Safe Access’ puts all other Parental Control and filtering services to shame (and it’s included subscription-free)

vLAN and multiple connected SSID created are now available

Multiple Failover Options available

USB Support in SRM 1.3 is huge and shouldn’t be overlooked

Guest WiFi Portal and Generated reports have a real business/enterprise feel to them

The free VPN Plus licence is pretty generous vs other routers/platforms

Good range of support, guidance and suggested setup tools

Can be setup, accessed and controlled locally & remotely. As well as via multiple mobile apps, desktops web browsers or SSH

Mesh Support with MR2200ac is still not available at the time of writing as the SRM 1.3 update is not on all routers yet

Similar hardware routers from Netgear (even older NightHawk generations) allowed container applications (plex, smart home tools, etc)

Not strictly plug n play

 

Synology Router Manager 1.3 Review Chapters

SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, ALL Parts - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 1, Design & Control - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 2, Safety & Security - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 3, Network Management - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 4, Safe Access - HERE

Synology Router Portfolio

RT6600ax

RT2600ac

MR2200ac

Class / band
compatible standards
AX6600 / Tri-band
IEEE 802.11ax / ac / a / b / g / n
AC2600 / dual band
IEEE 802.11ac / a / b / g / n
AC2200 / Tri-band
IEEE 802.11ac / a / b / g / n
Maximum communication speed
(5GHz band 1)
4800Mbps

(160Mhz)

1,733Mbps
(4str / 80MHz)
867Mbps
(2str / 80MHz)
Maximum communication speed
(5GHz band 2)
1200Mbps incompatible 867Mbps
(2str / 80MHz)
Maximum communication speed
(2.4GHz band)
600Mbps 800Mbps
(4str / 40MHz / 256QAM)
400Mbps
(2str / 40MHz / 256QAM)
WAN terminal 1000BASE-T x 1 1000BASE-T x 1 1000BASE-T x 1
LAN terminal 2.5GBASE-T x 1 * 1
1000BASE-T x 3
1000BASE-T x 4 * 2 1000BASE-T x 1
USB terminal USB 3.0 Standard-A x 1 USB 3.0 Standard-A x 1
USB 2.0 Standard-A x 1
USB 3.0 Standard-A x 1
CPU Qualcomm IPQ6018
Arm Cortex-A53 4-core 1.8GHz
Qualcomm IPQ8065
Qualcomm Krait 300 2 core 1.7GHz
Qualcomm IPQ4019
Arm Cortex-A7 4 core 717MHz
RAM 1GB DDR3 DDR3 512MB DDR3 256MB

You can watch the FULL review of the latest WiFi 6 Router from Synology, the RT6600ax, over on YouTube below:

Alternatively, you can watch my full review of Synology SRM 1.3 on this NAS in the video below:

 

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Synology SRM 1.3 Software Review Part IV – The Safe Access Application

19 mai 2022 à 01:10

 

Synology Router Manager 1.3 Review Chapters

SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, ALL Parts - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 1, Design & Control - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 2, Safety & Security - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 3, Network Management - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 5, USB Storage Services & Conclusion - HERE 

Synology SRM 1.3 Review – Safe Access

Synology has featured ‘Safe Access’ in SRM pretty much since the beginning. It takes the basic logic that most routers have of being able to ‘see’ devices that are connected to the network and change how, what, where and when they can access ANYTHING. I know that sounds a bit ‘control freak’, but this is more commonly referred to as Parental Controls in more basic routers. However, ‘Safe Access’ is so far ahead of this in terms of its design, control and deployment that what you actually have here is something hugely suited for home and business that most routers barely come close to (with some companies such as TP-Link and Linksys charging monthly subscription fees for on top of the router purchase). At its core, Safe Access allows you to create profiles of users (so, your family or professional employees for example), band their connected devices under that profile, and then allow you to create custom levels of access to everything (internet or network) that suits their role/maturity. This logic can also be applied to creating profiles that suit network hardware (NAS, Switches, IP Cameras, etc) which can be duplicated and/or amended as needed.

Once a profile is created (and even during the process) you can ensure that the user/hardware it is intended for will only be able to access specific networks/SSIDs on the hardware that is connected with their profile. As new devices appear on the device history page, these can be assigned to the existing profiles or you can start a new profile up at any time.

Once a range of profiles for the devices and people in your router network, Safe Access allows you to monitor their access (both Live and historical information if you have enabled the feature) and start to change the rules of their access, which genuinely has a large amount of advantages for home users with young children in the house that needs their web access to be more structured and/or employees that need enough access to do their job, but not enough not too!

The full range of controls and access protocols that you have the ability to adapt/limit/restrict access to is pretty awesome. These include pre-set site filtering options (with databases updated regularly) that quickly create blanket access rules for sites online (As well as the option to customize and add/remove pages that you want). Then there are scheduled access times that will bar that profile/users from complete access at pre-set times. Interestingly, you CAN set rules that allow a profiled user to, upon hitting an access-rule that was the result of restrictions and guidelines you put on that profile, request access and that will be pushed to the appropriate admin/power user to allow/deny (linked with notifications) and can be accessed and actioned from in the DS Router 2.0 mobile app too.

Click to view slideshow.

However the most intriguing for parents looking at this router will be the Time Quota feature. This is a system that allows you to bestow X amount of time per day to a profile that can be strictly shared to all their devices (i.e a 3-hour quote cannot be repeated on 3 devices if all three come under 1 profile user, it is shared).

Safe Access still continues to be a great feature even several versions into SRM and after years of testing and measuring against the parental controls of many other routers I have reviewed, this still wins by a country mile! Before we conclude this review, let’s discuss the storage support of SRM 1.3 and see what the famous NAS brand Synology brings to the table here. When reviewing and judging Synology Router Manager 1.3, you have to somewhat separate your feelings about Synology router hardware (the RT6600ax, RT2600ac and MR2200ac) a little. This is because, although the Synology router hardware may seem a little safe-to-middling at times vs current hardware in the market, the software they provide has always been absolute class. SRM 1.3 continues this pedigree with a user interface that manages to do the nearly unthinkable – it manages to make the process of managing your network easy and actually ENGAGING! That’s one of the biggest hurdles of managing a router and your network security in general, it’s a massive chore that is fraught with technical jargon, hurdles and screens saying ‘no’, ‘invalid’ or ‘not available’. Synology has crafted a genuinely intuitive and accessible router software system here and although a lot of that is thanks to their years in NAS software, they have certainly improved upon previous revisions in SRM too. When it comes to the features that SRM arrives with, clearly ‘Safe Access’ is one of the killer apps of the SRM 1.3. But it doesn’t stand alone and thanks to the integrations of ‘network switch’ style controls and a wide array of custom network settings, it really feels like more of a complete version in 1.3. Additions of long-overdue features such as vLAN and customs, custom SSIDs and the DS Router application’s improved layout/controls are smaller steps in SRM 1.3’s development than some would like, but with the software feeling that pinch more responsive and the layout of the controls getting tweaked to be more intuitive, that just means that SRM 1.3 is just adding polish to an already fantastic management system. Additionally, the latest generation of Synology router hardware means that new configuration options and the extent to which you can use SRM 1.3’s services have been drastically increased in time for version 1.3. At the time of writing, we are still awaiting the SRM 1.3 update to extend to the full Synology router series (thereby enabling mesh with the likes of the MR2200ac), but that shouldn’t be too long and with that, the option for SRM 1.3 to manage a grander mesh wireless network in your home/office will be hugely beneficial. In short, still highly recommend it SRM 1.3 in 2022/2023.

 

Synology Router Manager 1.3 Review Chapters

SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, ALL Parts - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 1, Design & Control - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 2, Safety & Security - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 3, Network Management - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 5, USB Storage Services & Conclusion - HERE 

You can watch the FULL review of the latest WiFi 6 Router from Synology, the RT6600ax, over on YouTube below:

Alternatively, you can watch my full review of Synology SRM 1.3 on this NAS in the video below:

Synology SRM 1.3 Software Review Part III – Network Management

18 mai 2022 à 01:10

 

Synology Router Manager 1.3 Review Chapters

SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, ALL Parts - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 1, Design & Control - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 2, Safety & Security - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 4, Safe Access - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 5, USB Storage Services & Conclusion - HERE 

Synology SRM 1.3 Review – Network Management

The more premium a router is (i.e expensive!) the more you find that they start to feature features and services that are more often found in switches. Indeed, it still surprises me that Synology has yet to make the jump towards its own range of switches in the way that the other NAS brand QNAP has. That said, the network management and control that is featured in SRM 1.3 is quite extensive for a router, even if the complaints surrounding how long it has taken Synology to feature virtual network creation have been fairly constant these last few years. The Network Center application largely provides the bulk of network management resources, opening up into a brief overview of available connectivity and enabled SSIDs. There is also a live graph of activity covering uploads, downloads, system hardware resources and the status of those individual physical ports.

If you dig a little into the Port Status area, you are able to see any live connections and the bandwidth currently available on that connected line. This was one area of design that I was a little underwhelmed by on Synology’s part. Aside from the user interface in the Network Center application featuring a few different options whether you used the router on its own or as an additional access point (which makes sense logically), SRM 1.3 still lacks a larger topographical overview of the network, virtual networks and SSIDs. I appreciate that this would fall more into ‘network switch’ territory, but with the RT6600ax router with SRM 1.3 supporting 5 virtual networks, 15 SSIDs on a network, 4 LAN ports and the ability to bond them together in a custom way – that would be MUCH easier to comprehend graphically or in a breadcrumb/tree style.

There IS however a clear and quick-to-setup means to create a failover connection involving multiple ports. Although in the diagram below WAN and LAN 1 were featured, this is customizable via dropdowns. Additionally, you can factor in the USB SIM dongle or Mobile Phone USB tethering services to be used as a failover for the WAN and a wired internet connection. This failover also has a few straightforward rules and system policies for how the switch would take place in the event of your primary connection dropping, as well as what happens when it gets stored. Fairly straightforward stuff, but presented very well in SRM 1.3 and makes having a backup internet connection a lot more justifiable and easy to implement.

The newly added virtual network creation (vLAN) support in SRM 1.3 is pretty straightforward and (as this system is a router) also benefits from a few extra things (as well as supporting a few things you might expect), such as:

  • The ability to assign custom VLAN IDs
  • The option to completely block a vLAN to access the SRM 1.3 Controls/GUI
  • The option to block any communication/visibility between one vLAN and all other networks
  • The option to bond (attach) a physical port to a specific vLAN
  • The option to connect the vLAN with an existing SSID or create a new one during the creation wizard
  • Later in the access and user panels, you can permit levels of access to virtual networks

Again, this is all not really groundbreaking stuff, but 1) it’s something people have requested in SRM for a while, 2) brings a lot of network switch functionality to a router and 3) is presented in that special Synology ay that makes it remarkably straight forward. Bearing in mind we are talking about vLAN creation (something very few domestic users will ever know how/need to do) being made as easy as setting up an old Hotmail email account, I respect the effort.

Click to view slideshow.

Once additional networks have been created, they are displayed in a list on the main Network center page, each able to be completely reconfigured or their identities and ports changed with ease. Again, I am surprised that Synology was not able to show this information in a bit more of a pictorial fashion (something the likes of Netgear and QNAP have shown on their routers and switches for years).

As you might expect, creating a new SSID is INCREDIBLY easy in SRM 1.3 and you can create a whole lot of them too. Each can have its own identity, security protocol (eg WPA 3 Enterprise style or something more modest for legacy devices), and assignment to a specific frequency or band (eg 2.4-5Ghz and/or over 80Mhz or 160Mhz) to ensure that the right wireless connections are getting the benefits of the better coverage. That really is just scratching the surface of it and it’s impressively detailed in its configuration options.

As you might expect, SRM 1.3 (of course) features port forwarding rules that can be changed and allows you to create those more targeting but tactically placed means of accessing your network when needed, whilst keeping the safeguards in place. This is something that Synology cannot really make very user friendly and frank it should not be! Aside from the fact that a basic-mid level of understanding of port placement and protocol is needed, too much bad news surrounding ransomware injections from the likes of Asustor and QNAP in the last year or two has demonstrated the folly of inexperienced users punching holes in their firewalls etc (or worse still, brand’s offering to do it for you with little warning to the consequences). A standard by often vital feature, that is getting the respectful treatment it deserves here.

For those of you that have high priority internet connections running into your home or business premises, there is a specialized setting for giving PoS to IPTV (so online TV services and VoIP (voice over IP) phone lines. Along with numerous profiles for each that can be selected from a drop-down, you can also create custom profiles manually. This will likely be only of use to specific users and perhaps a greater range of external internet services might be added over time (as they increase in popularity) but still a handy feature for some and a nice extra for business lines certainly to ensure that phone calls over the internet are clear as/when needed, rather than giving a specific port priority of service generally, which might lead to unnecessary network throttling for everyone else accidentally. Better to identify a service specifically, rather than the port.

Talking of identification, as devices are connected and disconnected from the machine SRM keeps a record and along with names, will try to assign a device identity (classing it as a phone, laptop, printer, NAS, etc), which will be useful later to know what devices are on which network (As well as assigning access to these later in the ‘Safe Access’ tool. This is by no means full proof in how accurate it will identify devices and you can add custom icons as needed.

Returning to external checks and monitoring, SRM 1.3 also includes a few bits and bobs in the ‘Network Tools’ area for monitoring how packets of data are moving externally. These include a Traceroute service for when you connect with a website, so that you can see where data you get travelled along the way, particularly routers. A traceroute provides a map of how data on the internet travels from its source to its destination and although is often limited by connections along the route, can be a handy way to troubleshoot, as well as test site identities. Next, there is a ping measurement tool that allows you to measure the reply speed in milliseconds from a site to test your connection to/from a given internet location. Finally, there is an incredibly easy to use Wake on LAN (WoL) service that will automatically list available devices that are on the network and allow you to power them on/off if they support that feature. Again, this is now exactly groundbreaking, but it is presented in a very easy to understand way, which is what SRM 1.3 seems to constantly strive for and (for the most part) succeed at.

Click to view slideshow.

The last thing I want to touch on is the ability to generate remarkably professional reports of system activity (as well as internet, user, device and specific network service activity) in a scheduled and repeatable form. These generated reports can be tailored to a specific date or time, and can also have the range of data/services that they include be customized too. So, if you want a once a day, or once a week report that details the network behaviour of your staff, this can be set up automatically to be emailed to you on the frequency of your choosing.

Alternatively, you can create a much more general and system/network-wide report that covered the activity of everything in-house (as well as external connections where appropriate) and from there get a good understanding of the main active users/devices. This is all presented in a great balance of textual and graphical language and is something that IT admins will be able to use and learn from. Synology provides an even better and more dynamic version of this kind of reporting in their multi-site/system monitoring platform ‘Active Insight’ (a paid subscription platform), so I am impressed that Synology has not attempted to play this tool behind a license or cloud wall.

Click to view slideshow.

There is also a fairly common feature in SSRM and on the Synology routers to create a guest WiFi SSID that allows you to create a network that has lower network importance, access and connectivity to the rest of the system. This is hardly new, but it is worth highlighting that this Guest WiFi mode is a great deal more customizable than many I have seen and you can change a great deal of the rules, timing and allowed behaviour permitted on it.

You can even very quickly create a custom login portal screen (much like many of the public WiFi spaces you may have logged into previously) with SRM 1.3 and this adds an interesting extra degree of policy to your business class router operation.

The network management of SRM 1.3 is still good and something that those inexperienced in this rather double-niche area of I.T will certainly find beneficial. Those more aware of this subject are likely to want to look past the user-friendly GUI and ask for the more aggressive customization tools (many of which are absent and/or are more at home in a network switch, such as port trunking or even semi-automated loop detection when switches are introduced to the router LANs), but when you have here is still remarkably well presented, very responsive, more customizable than I thought it would be and you are still getting a decent mix of a router and switch features packed into a single software platform in SRM 1.3. Let’s sink our teeth into Safe Access – possibly one of the main reasons that mainly look at the Synology Router series.

 

Synology Router Manager 1.3 Review Chapters

SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, ALL Parts - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 1, Design & Control - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 2, Safety & Security - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 4, Safe Access - HERE
SRM 1.3 Synology Router Software Review, Part 5, USB Storage Services & Conclusion - HERE 

You can watch the FULL review of the latest WiFi 6 Router from Synology, the RT6600ax, over on YouTube below:

Alternatively, you can watch my full review of Synology SRM 1.3 on this NAS in the video below:

❌