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Dirty Pipe Linux Vulnerability – What Do Synology, QNAP, Asustor & Terramaster NAS Owners Need to Know?

16 mars 2022 à 01:10

Dirty Pipe Linux Weakness and Why You and your Linux Based NAS Should Care?


For those that might not be aware, a vulnerability in Linux kernel 5.8 and above was disclosed by Max Kellerman last week and publically disclosed (with a proof of concept demonstrating the weakness) and this vulnerability was reported (tracked under CVE-2022-0847) and effectively allows a non-privileged user to inject and overwrite data in read-only files, including SUID processes that run as root. This Linux vulnerability is reported to be comparable to the Dirty CoW vulnerability found in Linux from 7 years ago (CVE-2016-5195) where an exploit was used for pushing malware onto software services. Full details on the public disclosure and demonstration of the vulnerability by Kellerman can be found here, but the larger impact of this is that there are many, MANY different software platforms around the world that utilize Linux as the base of their systems and alongside Android and smart home appliances, one big advocate of Linux kernel-based development is NAS storage providers in their systems and services. Now, on the plus side, Linux was incredibly quick to implement a patch on this and the vulnerability has been closed on Linux kernels 5.16.11, 5.15.25, and 5.10.102, however, most NAS servers use different versions of the Linux kernel, as well as roll out updates to their varied hardware systems in a most bespoke fashion. This leads to them potentially running outdated kernels and leaving a door open to this exploit, posing a significant issue to server administrators. We fully expect NAS brands to roll out updates where appropriate/applicable shortly to close this vulnerability, however, one consistent thread in the past when some NAS brands have been hit by ransomware/malware exploits is when vulnerabilities that are found in older software revisions are left unchecked by the end-user (ignoring brand updates or practising unsafe network security). So today, let’s discuss the dirty pipe vulnerability, how/if it affects Synology, QNAP, Asustor and Terramaster NAS platforms right now and what you should do right now to avoid any exploits being used on your system.


What is Dirty Pipe?


In brief, Dirty Pipe is a vulnerability in Linux Kernel 5.8 onwards that allows local users to inject their own data into sensitive read-only files, removing restrictions or modifying configurations to provide greater access than they usually would have. This was first registered and made publically known by Mark Kellerman and he gives an incredibly concise and detailed breakdown on the vulnerability, how he found it and it’s implications in this article by him.


“It all started a year ago with a support ticket about corrupt files. A customer complained that the access logs they downloaded could not be decompressed. And indeed, there was a corrupt log file on one of the log servers; it could be decompressed, but gzip reported a CRC error. I could not explain why it was corrupt, but I assumed the nightly split process had crashed and left a corrupt file behind. I fixed the file’s CRC manually, closed the ticket, and soon forgot about the problem. “Months later, this happened again and yet again. Every time, the file’s contents looked correct, only the CRC at the end of the file was wrong. Now, with several corrupt files, I was able to dig deeper and found a surprising kind of corruption. A pattern emerged.”” Kellermann said. 


A short while afterwards, a security advisor by the name of BLASTY updated this with an increasingly easier method of its execution and also publically disclosed it, highlighting just how much easier it made it to gain root privileges by patching the /usr/bin/su command to drop a root shell at /tmp/sh and then executing the script. This all means that it makes it possible for a user to gain admin authentication and system powers and can then execute malicious commands to the system.

Dirty Pipe PoC (https://t.co/ql5Y8pWDBj) works beautifully. 🤑pic.twitter.com/OrRYJE5skC


— blasty (@bl4sty) March 7, 2022



These can range from malware to (the increasingly more likely) a ransomware action that would encrypt the contents of the system and demand a fee for it’s decryption. Now, the nature of this exploit at this time (for systems that have not or cannot update to the latest patch Linux kernel 5.16.11, 5.15.25, and 5.10.102 right now) is still limited as it would only be usable in the event of a targetted attack and/or the need for a further utility or application in the system to execute the follow-up command. Now the extent to which this affected NAS Drives from the popular off the shelf private server providers is actually surprisingly diverse and a big part of that comes down to how each NAS brand is utilizing Linux. More precisely, different NAS brands are running their NAS system software on differing kernels of linux that they update over time, as well as individual systems in their respective portfolio (for reasons of hardware and utility) also run slightly different revisions of Linux for their software, eg Synology and DSM, QNAP and QTS, Asustor and ADM, etc. So, how does this affect each NAS brand, if at all?

What is the Impact of Dirty Pipe on Synology NAS?



By the looks of things, Synology NAS and DSM 7/7.1 are not susceptible to the Dirty Pipe vulnerability. This is largely down to the Diskstation Manager software and services running on Linux kernel 4.4 (this will vary in subversion depending on the Synology NAS solution). The vulnerability that is executed is found in version 5.8 onwards and even if Synology update their platform to this linux revision in the near future, they would also use the patched revisions and therefore avoid the weakness. Indeed, a bold move by the brand themselves on Reddit when an official Synology rep on the /synology sub reddit made it abundantly clear (zero ambiguity) that the Synology NAS platform and DSM7 was not going to be touched by this:



This i further highlighted by the brand’s security advisory not even acknowledging this in any way HERE. Generally, Synology are s#!t hot on updating their advisories, so this is a very good sign and I would believe them on this (as well as the kernel versions backing this up).

What is the Impact of Dirty Pipe on QNAP NAS?



QNAP NAS, QTS and QuTS run a higher revision of the Linux kernel than Synology, which unfortunately means that this vulnerability (although targetted in design and closed in it’s scope). QNAP runs kernal 5.10.60 on it’s Prosumer, business and enterprise systems and kernal 4.2.8 on it’s more affordable/ARM systems. Once again, it is worth remembering that this si a vulnerability that was found in Linux, not QTS/QuTS, so not only is this something that is not QNAP’s fault but also that issuing a patch/firmware update for their software and services will not be immediate (as they run a modified linux platform and any update needs internal implementation and testing before rolling out). QNAP issued details on this remarkably quickly via their Security Advisory pages with an updated line on this and highlighted which systems in their portfolio were unaffected (running Linux Kernel 4.X onward) as well as ones that feature the affected linux revision that an update will be available for shortly. Here is a breakdown of what they said:


  • Release date: March 14, 2022


  • Security ID: QSA-22-05


  • Severity: High


  • CVE identifier: CVE-2022-0847


  • Affected products: All QNAP x86-based NAS and some QNAP ARM-based NAS running QTS 5.0.x and QuTS hero h5.0.x


  • Not affected products: QNAP NAS running QTS 4.x


  • Status: Investigating


A local privilege escalation vulnerability, also known as “dirty pipe”, has been reported to affect the Linux kernel on QNAP NAS running QTS 5.0.x and QuTS hero h5.0.x. If exploited, this vulnerability allows an unprivileged user to gain administrator privileges and inject malicious code. The following versions of QTS and QuTS hero are affected:

  • QTS 5.0.x on all QNAP x86-based NAS and certain QNAP ARM-based NAS
  • QuTS hero h5.0.x on all QNAP x86-based NAS and certain QNAP ARM-based NAS

For a full list of the affected models, please check “Kernel Version 5.10.60” in the following link: https://www.qnap.com/go/release-notes/kernel. QNAP is thoroughly investigating the vulnerability. We will release security updates and provide further information as soon as possible. Recommendation – Currently there is no mitigation available for this vulnerability. We recommend users to check back and install security updates as soon as they become available.


So, if you are curious if your system is running the affected linux kernel, you can find a list of QNAP NAS systems that feature 5.10.60 below:



QNAP are working on this right now and although an firmware update should be available quickly, I would recommend heading to the bottom of this article for recommendations on securing your storage and network setup either in the long term OR till an official patch is issued.

What is the Impact of Dirty Pipe on Asustor NAS?



In more positive news, not only is Asustor and ADM 4 not affected by the dirty pipe vulnerability but also the brand has been fantastically loud about this in their security advisory pages. This is one of those rare occasions where a brand has added an entry to their advisory pages for a vulnerability that is NOT impacting their systems. I kind of wish we saw more of this, as even if a brand is NOT affected by a weakness that is being reported on servers, users would rather be abundantly clear. You can find out more from Asustor’s security advisory pages HERE, but the details are available below:

Severity Status
Not affected Resolved

Details – A flaw was found in the way the “flags” member of the new pipe buffer structure was lacking proper initialization in copy_page_to_iter_pipe and push_pipe functions in the Linux kernel and could thus contain stale values. An unprivileged local user could use this flaw to write to pages in the page cache backed by read-only files and as such escalate their privileges on the system.


Statement – None of ASUSTOR’s products are affected by CVE-2022-0847, this vulnerability issue only affects with Linux Kernel 5.8 and above. The Linux Kernel version built in ADM 4.0 is 5.4, and 4.14 in ADM 3.5.


So, they are making things remarkably clear that regardless of the current update/firmware status of your system, you are unaffected.

What is the Impact of Dirty Pipe on Terramaster NAS?



Details on the linux kernel that is utilized by Terramaster in their NAS systems in the current TOS 4 software that is available (As well as the TOS 5 beta) are still being investigated and I will update the article shortly with my findings. Early checks seem to indicate that TOS 4 is running on an earlier version of linux and therefore unaffected. However, I will confirm this and the TOS 5 beta status as soon as possible here in the article.

What Security Measures Should NAS Owners Take to Avoid Dirty Pipe?


Although the circumstances that need to execute this Linux dirty pipe vulnerability towards your NAS are quite restricted (classing this largely as a targetted attack, as a little bit more prior knowledge is needed about the targeted system in order to exploit it and execute code), this should still not leave users to remain complacent. Regardless of whether you are a QNAP, Synology, Asustor or Terramaster user, you should be actioning safe and secure working practices with your data – as well as ensuring that you have sufficient backups in place of your mission-critical and/or irreplaceable data! Here are some recommendations for your NAS setup to reduce the potential for you to be affected by any exploited vulnerability that could well be currently unidentified in your setup:


If you are concerned about being vulnerable to Dirty Pipe and want to ‘shut the doors’ a bit till a firmware update:

  • Disable Port Forwarding
  • Disable uPnP Auto Configuration Tools
  • Disable SSH & Telnet Services
  • Change Your Port Numbers

If you want to take a moment to do some security and access house-keeping:

  • Disable Admin Accounts
  • Enable Auto Updates
  • Add 2-Step Verification
  • Use Strong Passwords
  • Limit App File/Folder Access to applications they do not need them

And finally, most important of all – GET YOUR BACKUPS IN ORDER!


I will repeat this as many times as it takes, but you should NOT be measuring the cost of your backups by the cost of the hardware. You should measure them by the COST to YOU if that data is permanently LOST! Additionally, if all your mission-critical/irreplaceable data is in ONE location (eg on the NAS, sent from your phones and PCs, then deleted from those to make space), then THAT IS NOT A BACKUP! That is the single repository of that data! Get a USB Backup in place, get a Backblaze Subscription HERE affordably or some cloud space in general, get another NAS – whatever it takes! If you need help arranging your NAS backups on your QNAP or Synology NAS, use the video guides below:


Finally, if you want to stay on top of the vulnerabilities that are publically disclosed on Synology, QNAP, Asustor or Terramaster, I STRONGLY recommend following and/or adding your email to the article below. We automatically crawl the security advisory pages from the top NAS brands and have created a single page that automatically lists and updates the status of known NAS vulnerabilities as soon as they are revealed.



Thanks for reading and let’s keep your data safe together!


 



 

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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.  

Updated Guide to Installing KODI on Your QNAP NAS in 2022

9 mars 2022 à 01:38

A Step by Step Guide to Getting Kodi on Your QNAP NAS – UPDATED


Despite the growing popularity of third-party multimedia streaming services such as Netflix, Disney plus and HBO Max, there is still a solid demand by users to enjoy the media they own from the comfort of the sofa in a digital, disc-free environment. Whether it is because we have hundreds of DVD and Blu-ray discs cluttering up shelves or a drawer full of hard drives brimming with good TV to watch, some users resent having to pay subscription services for media they may already own or end up spending hundreds of pounds a year on media they do not own, with its removal and availability changed on a whim. It is for reasons like these that many users look into purchasing a solid network-attached storage (NAS) drive from brands such as QNAP in order to enjoy the media they own, while still enjoying slick graphical user interfaces GUI offered that is comparable to Netflix and Prime Video. One application that has been in allowing users to enjoy the media they own for many years is KODI, a media centre application with thousands of addons, unparalleled codec+format support and one of the easiest user interfaces to navigate and customise. Sadly, in recent years less scrupulous individuals have taken advantage of the flexibility of Kodi in order to play copyrighted material found online illegally and stream from less than legal sources to watch new multimedia. Because of this, Kodi was largely shunned by most well-established app stores and is no longer available to be directly downloaded from the NAS application centre in 2022. However, that does not mean it is impossible to still use and in fact, there are multiple versions of Kodi you can use, as well as add-ons to connect with your streaming services and even access other multimedia services available that are installed on your QNAP NAS (Plex, Emby, Twinky, etc). So today I want to walk you through how to install Kodi on your QNAP NAS and start watching your media from your sofa today.


Below is your checklist to make sure you have before beginning the installation of the Kodi HD Station application for HDMI.

  • QNAP NAS with an Intel/AMD CPU
  • HDMI Port (1.4 or 2.0a)
  • QTS Upgraded to QTS 4 or later
  • Latest Version of HD Station
  • Control Device for HDMI, ie IR Remote, Keyboard+Mouse,
  • Access to the Internet (can be disabled after if you prefer) and access the NAS via the Web Browser GUI (Graphical User Interface, ie The Desktop of QNAP NAS)

Let’s get started.

KODI on QNAP NAS Gude – Step 1 – Installing Applications


Head into the App center on your QNAP NAS, via the web browser GUI:


KODI on QNAP NAS Gude – Step 2 – Installing QNAP HybridDesk Station / HD Station


If you QNAP NAS has an HDMI output, an option will be available on the left-hand side, labelled ‘HybridDesk Station’. Go ahead and click it to enter a new window. From here you need to click the JybridDesk Station ‘install’ option. You may well also be asked to install one of the other HD Station applications, that is up to you (none are essential to KODI)


KODI on QNAP NAS Gude – Step 3 – Configuring the QNAP App Center Options


Once the HD Station / HybridDesk Station application is installed, head to the top right corner and click the cog icon (settings):


KODI on QNAP NAS Gude – Step 4 – Allowing 3rd PARTY and Unsigned Applications


In the first window that appears, put a tick in the box regarding the installations of applications without a valid signature (this means applications that are not QNAP created or partnered can be installed, such as KODI):


KODI on QNAP NAS Gude – Step 5 – Congifuring an App Repository


Then click the App Repository tab at the top of the same window, and get ready to enter the location of where yo will be downloading the KODI application from:


KODI on QNAP NAS Gude – Step 6 – Adding New App Centers


Enter the information in the boxes shown in the image below. The URL should read ‘https://www.qnapclub.eu/en/repo.xml‘. Once you have done this, click ‘add’:


KODI on QNAP NAS Gude – Step 7 – Adding the QNAP Club App List


The QNAP Club Repository should now appear in the list underneath in the previous window. If it is now there, click ‘close’.


KODI on QNAP NAS Gude – Step 8 – Finding the QNAPClub App List


On the left-hand side of the app center window, a new option should have appeared for the new app center that you have added. QNAP Club is an unofficial and Homebrew app community that creates new applications, as well as modifying existing linux/windows software to work within the QNAP NAS system. These can be used via the network, web browser or using the HDMI/KVM setup of the NAS. So, let’s install KODI.


KODI on QNAP NAS Gude – Step 9 – Finding the Kodi Application


The quickest way to find Kodi is to use the search bar at the top right of the QNAP App Center and enter ‘KODI’ and hit search. Several versions of Kodi will appear, however, it is highly recommended to opt for version 19, as Kodi v.19 (Matrix) is not only the latest release available for QNAP, but also older versions have not been extensively updated for the latest version OF HD Station / HybridDesk Station. Simply click the +install button as you normally would any other application. You may see a pop-up warning you that this application installation highlights that this is a 3rd party/unsigned application. This is so you understand that you are installing KODI at your own risk/choice and against the recommendations of the manufacturer.


KODI on QNAP NAS Gude – Step 10 – Allowing Remote Access


When the KODI application is installed, you will be able to access it from your HDMI output on the NAS (you will need a keyboard, mouse, IR Remote or network remote control such as the free QRemote application to navigate it), but if you want to configure the KODI application from your web browser, it is possible to configure HD Station / HybridDesk Station and KODI from Chrome/Safari/Edge/Mozilla etc quite easily. Head into the Control Panel option in the QNAP browser GUI.


KODI on QNAP NAS Gude – Step 11 – Accessing the HDMI Control Panel


From here, head to the Applications section at the bottom and select the HDMI Display Applications option.


KODI on QNAP NAS Gude – Step 12 – Adjusting the HDMI Defaults


A new options/config menu will appear and from here you are able to configure the HDMI output settings of your QNAP NAS. If you have alternative applications that use the HDMI out (such as Linux Station, Media Players or assigned a VM directly to the DMI), they will appear here. In order to use/view KODI via the QNAP HDMI output, you will need to ensure that the application is ‘enabled’ (so conversely, it will say ‘disable’ in red if the app is currently running, which what you want!). Then click the Settings option.


KODI on QNAP NAS Gude – Step 13 – Changing HDMI Resolution and Settings


Next you will have an HDMI settings menu. If you need to change the resolution of the HDMI output, you can change it in the top right drop down menu. However, in order to allow web browser access to the HDMI output to configure Kodi, etc, we need to tick the box labelled  Enable Remote Desktop and then click Apply.


KODI on QNAP NAS Gude – Step 14 – Accessing the HDMI Output via your Web Browser


Once you have done that, a couple of new options will appear underneath. In order to access the HDMI visual interface and GUI, click the first option Click Here to Open and a new tab will open in your web browser that displays your QNAP NAS HDMI output. If you have a specific login for your NAS, you will need to enter it first in the next window before proceeding to the HDMI GUI.

KODI on QNAP NAS Gude – Step 15 Booting Kodi and Changing Settings


From here you will have rows of icons on the screen that show the HDMI equipped applications that are installed on your QNAP NAS. If you want to run and access KODI, just go ahead and click the KODI icon and it will open the application (be warned, the first time you run the KODI application, there will be ALOT of pop up messages asking if you want to enable/disable aspects of the application). If you plan on using the KODI application exclusively for the HDMI port and want to make sure you do not need to go through the process of login in every time on the TV, as well as selecting the Kodi application manually every time, you can head into the settings menu at the top right (the cog icon) and change the defaults like this:


KODI on QNAP NAS Gude – Step 16 – Setting Kodi as the Default App


From the settings menu, select the ‘App’ tab on the left-hand side and from there, select Kodi, then at the bottom of the app options, you will see an option marked SET AUTO RUN which, when enabled, will make sure that KODI always runs via the HDMI as the default start-up application. You can also set the General Tab to remember your login details (over HDMI only) and allow KODI to always immediately be available whenever you turn your TV on and want to watch your media.


KODI on QNAP NAS Gude – Step 17 – Browser Responsiveness


The last thing, IF you are setting up your KODI application over the Web browser GUI (i.e. via your laptop or PC), then the refresh rate of what you see on screen will not be as fast/sharp as if you accessed it from the HDMI into a TV. So, do not be surprised if it seems that the responsiveness seems a little lackluster when navigating options. This only applies to accessing remotely via the web browser and won’t be the case over direct HDMI with control over a mouse+keyboard, Bluetooth mouse, IR remote or using the QNAP Qremote free mobile application to control the HDMI output. Thanks for reading this guide and I hope it helped!



 


If you need a little more information on how to install KODI on your QNAP NAS in 2022 (such as where to download the Kodi App directly, or a complete walkthrough of how to install the multimedia tool more visually, you can always use the video blow that will guide you though the process.



 


If you need any further help choosing the right NAS for your multimedia needs (whether it is Plex Media Server, Emby, Kodi or using other 3rd party media software), then please use the free advice section linked below. A genuinely free service manned by two humans (me and Eddie the Web guy) and we answer all of your questions to help you get the right solution for your needs. We do not charge anything, we do nothing with your email and although there are donation options available HERE, they are completely voluntary! Have a great 2022!


 

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

 

SEARCH IN THE BOX BELOW FOR ANY OTHER NAS

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-133 NAS Review – Is Size Everything?

4 mars 2022 à 01:23

The QNAP TS-133 NAS Drive Review


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


Hardware Highlights:


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

QNAP TS-133 NAS Review – Quick Conclusion


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

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


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

QNAP TS-133 NAS Review – PACKAGING & ACCESSORIES


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



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



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



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



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



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

QNAP TS-133 NAS Review – Design


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



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



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

  • System Activity
  • Network Activity
  • Storage Media Activity

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



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



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



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


QNAP TS-133 NAS Review – Ports & Connections


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



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



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



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



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


QNAP TS-133 NAS Review – Internal Hardware


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



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



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



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



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



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



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


QNAP TS-133 NAS Review – Software & Services


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

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

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

First Party QNAP Applications for the TS-133

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

Third-Party Applications for the TS-133

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

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


QNAP TS-133 NAS Review – Conclusion & Verdict


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


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

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


Exceptionally low noise and power use


Runs the latest version of QTS 5


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


Quad-Core Processor is a nice bonus


Inclusive AI-powered component built into the hardware


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

1GbE in 2022 event at the value tier is underwhelming

USB 2.0 Ports is equally underwhelming


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


 


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

25 février 2022 à 11:25

The QNAP TS-233 NAS Drive Review


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


Hardware Highlights:


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

QNAP TS-233 NAS Review – Quick Conclusion


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

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


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

QNAP TS-233 NAS Review – PACKAGING & ACCESSORIES


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



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



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



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



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



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


QNAP TS-233 NAS Review – Design


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



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



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

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

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



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



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



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



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


QNAP TS-233 NAS Review – Ports & Connections


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



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



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



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



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


QNAP TS-233 NAS Review – Internal Hardware


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



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



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



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



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



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



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


QNAP TS-233 NAS Review – Software & Services


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

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

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

First Party QNAP Applications for the TS-233

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

Third-Party Applications for the TS-233

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

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


QNAP TS-233 NAS Review – Conclusion & Verdict


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

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

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


Runs the latest version of QTS 5


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


Quad-Core Processor is a nice bonus


Inclusive AI-powered component built into the hardware


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


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

1GbE in 2022 event at the value tier is underwhelming

2x USB 2.0 Ports is equally underwhelming


 


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Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

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

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

14 février 2022 à 01:43

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


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



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


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



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

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

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

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


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

MODEL QNAP TS-233

QNAP TS-230

CPU

ARM 4-core Cortex-A55

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

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

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


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

First Party QNAP Applications for the TS-233

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

Third-Party Applications for the TS-233

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

Desktop Client Applications from QNAP

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

Mobile Applications for iOS and Android

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

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


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



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


 


 

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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


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SEARCH IN THE BOX BELOW FOR ANY OTHER NAS

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.  

 


 

Are QNAP NAS Safe?

2 février 2022 à 01:05

Are QNAP NAS Drives Safe Enough to Use in 2022?

Are you a QNAP NAS owner? Perhaps you are considering buying a QNAP NAS based on a recommendation from a friend, work colleague, IT professional or even myself (Robbie) on YouTube. The appeal of owning your own server, cutting the connection with your subscription cloud providers such as Dropbox or Google drive, having all your data backed up in-house and that feeling of pure control/ownership is hard to underestimate. However, over the last 2 years or more, it has been hard to ignore that the brand has suffered a series of security issues surrounding the subject of ransomware – a process whereby your data is encrypted with a unique, near uncrackable cypher and a document (typically a .txt) is left for you with instructions for you to make a payment in bitcoin to a predesignated account in order for instructions and the key to recovery your data. Ransomware in of itself is not new and originally dates back to 1996 under the name cryptoviral extortion (you didn’t come here for a history lesson, but the wiki covers a lot of those early developments into the concept) and is frighteningly easy to conduct IF an intruder has access to your system and/or the means to inject the command to encrypt the data inside of any system. Words like virus, hack and malware have been thrown around the internet for the last 20-30 years, however, Malware feels significantly more organized and comparatively recent, as well as being something that has been enacted on all storage platforms, such as Google Drive (thanks to sync tools), Apple was directly hit in 2021 and over 300 BIG name companies that you WILL of heard of in the last 18 months that included:

Acer, FujiFilm, Northern UK Rail, Exabyte Web Hosting, Foxtons, The Salvation Army, Shutterfly Photography, Bose Sound, The NRA, Kronos CRM systems, Gigabyte Motherboards, Volvo, SPAR, Olympus Cameras, GUESS Fashion, ADATA, CD Projekt, Travelex, SK Hynix, Capcom, Crytek, Kmart

Those are just a brief scan of confirmed news reports and only a small fraction of the companies, brands and institutions that have been successfully targetted. Tech companies, media companies, charities and countless retail outlets. Why am I going through all this? Well, 1, these companies should have exceptionally sophisticated storage and remote access protocols in place, 2, cannot use the excuse of being companies with practically no formal association with high-level storage and 3, are companies with a responsibility to protect significantly custom databases that eventually fell foul (partially or fully) to vulnerabilities. Personally, I DO think QNAP have blame that they need to acknowledge publically, made significant errors in these ransomware attacks AND have handled a number of the follow-up actions to these incidents very poorly (both in terms of communication and execution). However, I do also think that the end-user base is also not completely innocent and alongside ascertaining whether the brand is safe to use in 2022, we should also think about how we store data, the limits of our own due diligence and our expectations from server devices.

Important – If you are currently unaware of the Deadbolt ransomware attack that took place on QNAP NAS devices, you can find out more in the NASCompares article and video here. Additionally, if you have been affected by ransomware on your storage solution (QNAP or whatever brand), this post is not intended to play ‘blame games’ or detract from the impact (personally or professionally) that it has caused. I have experienced ransomware attacks, malware attacks through my browser, virus attacks on my OS and seen my fair share of attacks fail and (annoying) succeed. Please do not take this article in the spirit of ‘get stuffed, It’s your fault!”, but as a means of dissecting the current state of play at QNAP NAS and the realistic expectations/responsibilities of all involved.

PSA – GET YOUR BACKUPS IN ORDER!

Before you even go one paragraph further, I have a simple question for you – do you have a backup in place? If yes, then carry on to the next part. If not, and I cannot stress this enough, GET ONE NOW. The time you are spending reading this you could be susceptible to data loss in about 10 different ways without even factoring in ransomware (Power failure leading to hard drive corruption, Malware from a slightly iffy google search this morning, cloud storage provider going bust, OS failure on your device, etc). In this day and age owning a sufficient data backup is as sensible as buying a raincoat or looking both ways when you cross the street – you don’t do it because you like rain or like looking at cars, you do it because they are peace of mind, they are a safety net, they are for caution in case of the worst. It is a bit tenuous, but owning one or multiple backups always make me think of this quote from Shawshank Redemption by Stephen King:

shawshank redemption book

“There are really only two types of men in the world when it comes to bad trouble,” Andy said, cupping a match between his hands and lighting a cigarette. “Suppose there was a house full of rare paintings and sculptures and fine old antiques, Red? And suppose the guy who owned the house heard that there was a monster of a hurricane headed right at it. One of those two kinds of men just hopes for the best. The hurricane will change course, he says to himself. No right-thinking hurricane would ever dare wipe out all these Rembrandts, my two Degas horses, my Jackson Pollocks and my Paul Klees. Furthermore, God wouldn’t allow it. And if worst comes to worst, they’re insured. That’s one sort of man. The other sort just assumes that hurricane is going to tear right through the middle of his house. If the weather bureau says the hurricane just changed course, this guy assumes it’ll change back in order to put his house on ground zero again. This second type of guy knows there’s no harm in hoping for the best as long as you’re prepared for the worst.” 

Get a Backup in place

More Ransomware Attacks than Any other NAS Brand?

WannaCry, QLocker, eChoraix, Deadbolt, how, many, times…

Probably the most compelling argument against the safety of QNAP for many buyers is the simple fact that they seem to have been in the news more than any other NAS brand for reasons of ransomware attacks. Indeed, even a quick browse of the last 24 months on the site ‘Bleeping Computer’ for stories on QNAP shows you that there have been multiple vulnerabilities found in their software/access that have allowed encryption commands to be injected into the QNAP NAS system to execute the ransomware attacks. How can this one brand be such a soft target? What are they doing wrong? Well as it stands, reading through news posts before/after previous ransomware attacks, as well as the dissection of evens on the official forums in the midst of the current Deadbolt attack, the consistent threads are:

  • QNAP is rolling out software and services with weak default settings and acceptable minimums to allow inexperienced users to open up external access WITHOUT the users understanding the risks
  • QNAP has weaknesses in it’s software that the brand arguably takes a more reactive, than proactive stance on repairing
  • QNAP’s recommendations on actions to user post-ransomware attack both publically and in 1-to-1 dialogue with users has been felt unsatisfactory
  • Your QNAP NAS is better off currently used offline/network only

As general as all that might sound (without letting personal opinions colour it) those are largely the four core issues for many that have voiced their feelings on this in the forums. Moving away from the hefty subject of data loss slightly (we will be returning to that in a bit, but that is a question of Backups and routines to discuss), there is the fact that there have been vulnerabilities found in QNAP 1st party applications and services – but then again, so have there been in different NAS brand’s own services too. A click look at their respective Security Advisory pages will tell you this. This doesn’t exonerate QNAP in any way here with deadbolt, as part of the ‘social agreement’ between the end-user and QNAP is that as long as we ‘follow due diligence in protecting the data inside the NAS as directed AND maintain our own network/router setup, the QNAP NAS should protect our data inside the NAS to the best of it’s ability. This is where it all becomes problematic. As QNAP have never successfully balanced the line between giving the user freedom, control and customization WHILST still preventing the user from doing anything self-harming without a full idea of the consequences. It’s a line that their biggest competitor Synology seems to toe better and this comparison only serves to re-enforce the feeling (and numbers) that QNAP are attacked more. So, how can QNAP change this perception and what have QNAP actioned so far?

The Nature and Practice of Firmware Updates – Prevention & Cures

“Remind me Tomorrow” click

Though sometimes NOT the means with which a vulnerability in the QNAP NAS software/services is achieved, it is still a factor in some instances that updating to a later firmware would actually have closed a vulnerability. However, this is a remarkably broad statement and the truth is a great deal more nuanced. First, we have to understand that ALL software that has a remote access component via the internet will likely be investigated by cybercriminals for weaknesses. Not just NAS ones – ALL of them, from Microsoft office and Android mobile OS, to your LG TV and Amazon FireTV. Hell, I bet there are people who have investigated the ‘buy now’ option of WINRAR in effort to see if an opening exists to use it as a ransomware entry vector. What I am saying is that as soon as a commercially popular software with internet access exists, people are going to try and take it apart to find out its weaknesses for exploitation. If/When these weaknesses are found and actioned (or submitted to the brand for bounty programs – whereupon brands ask people to try and break their software, so they can make it better/safer/improved), the brand then issues a firmware update to the affected software/services to its user base, then around the merry-go-round we go again! This is not a process that happens daily – but it definitely happens weekly or monthly (depending on the frequency of the brand to instigate the changes that are raised to them). This is why is it so common for companies that are affected by ransomware in their software/services to immediately highlight the need for firmware updates. At that point, the attack vector and vulnerability is reverse engineered, patched and closed. Many of these vulnerabilities are small. Very, VERY small sometimes. Indeed, it is for this reason that all the reputable NAS brands have security advisory pages that list current weaknesses, vulnerabilities and issues on their platform that are being investigated (Synology HERE, Asustor HERE and yes, QNAP HERE) and in all my time in the world of network-attached storage, I do not think I have ever seen one of these pages have ‘100% resolved’, but when something is resolved the resolution is invariably rolled into an update. So what we can take from this is that although firmware updates do not completely remove the possibility of new vulnerabilities being found in the future, they do seemingly close the bulk of existing vulnerabilities that have been found by/volunteered to the brand.

So why do we not install the firmware updates automatically? This isn’t limited to NAS of course! From the Mac notification that have been nagging you at the top right of your screen, to the windows update at the bottom right and all those applications on your phone that are asking you to please install the latest updates to your software – we choose to ignore them til ‘later’! Worse still, there is the old ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ mentality that will often result in many users only installing smaller updates, but flat out avoiding the BIG updates as they can ‘change where everything is’ or ‘I heard it breaks a bunch of stuff’. Businesses in particular with shared files in their thousands are always reluctant to run any process that can suspend that access temporarily or change how something works. So, there we have a fine melting pop of ingredients that has led (in some instances, but not all – as we will go further go into) to many users being hit by ransomware attacks via vulnerabilities that, although patches were available, were not actioned. How do we resolve this? Forced update that leaves the user’s own hesitance out of the equation? Limitations of the system’s remote connectivity unless the latest firmware update is installed (console gamers will be very familiar with that method of course)? Or a 50/50 split where minor updates are optional, but larger ones are mandatory? It’s a tough tight rope to walk. So, let’s see how QNAP walked/walks this tight rope and how they could have possibly done it ALOT better.

System Updates and Updates that are QNAP Forced?

Forced? Optional? Access Penalties?

As mentioned, tighter control of firmware implementation would allow the brand to ensure that QNAP NAS that have internet accessibility are updated to a high/current firmware revision. Alternatively, the brand could limit the systems external connectivity and disable all settings if the firmware on the system is not up to date – simply running a check with the QNAP domain when trying to access these services and settings and declining if the latest update is not installed. Xbox and Playstation users are more than aware of this as a fixed rule to ensure that installed software is officially licenced and checked in advance. However, those are closed systems and many buyers have selected QNAP because of the flexibility and customization it offers.

Forced updates are something of a taboo subject too, with the recent rather heavy-handed move by QNAP in light of the Deadbolt ransomware attack to remote push the latest firmware update to all QNAP NAS systems that were internet-connected without any notice to the end-users (overriding any settings that disabled or prevented this). Now, clearly, QNAP did this as an extreme and something to prevent the vulnerability of the system software and/or configuration from being exploited further (that have still not been fully confirmed in its attack vectors, with some users who have ridiculously high-security settings still getting hit). In non-ransomware instances, I think QNAP issuing a message to their user base with a “In 5 day’s there will be an essential system update on XX day XX month at XX:XX time” message, with even a brief explanation of why would have been infinitely more preferable and would have been met with a much more positive stance (as well as it also making many users update sooner). However, clearly, the decision for a forced update was more of a last resort/hastily decided choice and that forms part of another reason that many users find the QNAP platform to sometimes bring services and software to market that could do with a little more time in the oven. Whatever way you look at it, QNAP was going to be damned, whatever they did. But did they put themselves in this position? What about the expectations of the end-user and due diligence? What SHOULD be the expected skillset of a QNAP NAS buyer to start with?

The Extent of the End User Responsibility, Skillsets and Expectations?

How much should a user be expected to know about networking?

The simplicity of NAS systems (not just QNAP) can often be oversold. It’s annoying and I am as guilty as most of this, but given the wide range of users who install a NAS system into their storage environments, the ease of setup and use is not shared with the ease of setup and understanding of network security in your home or office. On the one hand, QNAP have have supplied multiple services and processes in their system software that make remote access easy, encrypted transmissions easy, SSL certificate applying easy, 2-step authentication easy, UPNP and router pushing easy – you name it, they have tried to make it easy. But should they have? The ease of setting up a number of these services (as well as non-randomized settings in some places) can easily give users a false sense of security. So, for those users of a higher skillset, it would be acceptable that a QNAP NAS should only be remotely accessed with the highest layers of security applied, and it should not allow remote level access to be possible without some unique intervention and set-up by the end-user (not just a password and/or disabling an admin account), although to stop presets of this nature would lead to a noticeable spike in the difficulty of setup, perhaps that is what is needed. This is by no means a new issue we are discussing and even a brief google search online finds examples of attack vectors and methods as far back as 1999 on public/org sites.

However, in reality, it simply would not work like this, The user base of QNAP NAS is just too varied and though these tougher and more unique security implementations would secure things, the less technically skilled users would hit hurdle after hurdle, once again, one of the prices of some (not all) of that flexibility. Alot of users who have been hit by ransomware attacks have specifically headed to official forums because they do not have the remote setup experience that might be deemed an acceptable minimum to start opening ports via the QNAP settings or directly on the router. This once again brings us back around to what should be the expected skill level of a QNAP NAS owner, how much of the control and security profile of the storage system belongs to QNAP and how much should the buyer be expected to do independently? You can buy a car, you can fill it with petrol and the manufacturer can tell you its top speed, and miles to the gallon – but no car manufacturer would feel the need to add to all their adverts “must have a driving licence”, do they? It’s a rather stretched simile I know, but the fact remains that users cannot expect to connect their storage to the internet in 2022, open up pathways to it via the internet and not at least make allowances or provisions that an attack could happen. This leads us to the hardest and coldest fact of QNAP’s recent ransomware attacks that, although only applies to a % of users, is still depressingly true.

How Backups and Data Storage are Still being Misunderstood

A frighteningly large number of victims with no backup. Acceptable backup levels?

One of the hardest choices for anyone that has been successfully targetted by ransomware attackers (not exclusive to NAS either) is the choice to pay or not. When I am asked to make recommendations for a home or business user in the free advice section here on NASCompares or the comments on YouTube, I will always ask what the user storage quote is currently (now then double annually over 5yrs), their user base (volume and frequency) and their budget? That last one is always a kicker for some, as no one wants to show their cards! I’m not a salesman and I do not work for a eRetailer, I ask because there is a lot of ground between a £99 DS120j and a £5000 RS3621XS+. However, budget is INCREDIBLY important and should not only be measured by the number of 0’s in the account, but also by the cost of if the data is lost! Many users are so busy thinking of how much it will cost to provision for the future, that they are not factoring in the cost of replacing the past! This is the exact personal vulnerability that ransomware targets and sadly, a lot of users still do not understand 1) what a backup actually IS and 2) what a backup actually ISN’T.

If your data ONLY lives on the NAS, then the NAS is not a backup. You likely knew that. But socially and conventionally, we tend to forget it quite easily. We make space on phones by deleting stuff because ‘it is backed up on the NAS’. We sync our laptops and MacBooks with a remote folder to keep our files safe on the NAS, but still make changes or delete files on the hoof. We take the NAS as red as a backup and at that point, it isn’t! Likewise there are things that SOUND like backups… RAID… Snapshots… Hot Spares… they sound very reassuring, but are not backups, they are safety nets! And are all typically found ‘in system’. A REAL backup is something that is the same files, ELSEWHERE!  There is no avoiding that a QNAP NAS (or a Synology or Asustor NAS for that matter) is NOT a backup solution in of itself, but can be used IN a Backup Strategy. All brands highlight at numerous points o their website that you should have a 1-2-3 Backup strategy, or a bare-metal and cloud backup, or a periodic USB backup, a NAS to NAS remote backup – or ALL of them! Sadly, there are a lot of users in the official QNAP forums that have been hit by ransomware and did not have backups in place, with some knowledge that they needed a backup but their budget’s prohibited it. Whilst others say that QNAP said it’s a backup device, they bought it as a backup device, QNAP missold it and that is the end of argument!

The sad truth is that QNAP is not responsible for your backup routine or strategy, it supplies the means to store and access data and their responsibility (succeed or fail) is to ensure its hardware and/or software provides a default secure level of access, as well as the means to configure that access to the users control. There HAVE been vulnerabilities found and they have patched them, as is the usual process in these things (at least, they say they have at that is the best guarantee we can ever have from a brand in the circumstances), but they are NOT responsible for your backup routine. This now leads us to the subject of the QNAP hardware, the QNAP software and comparisons with Synology.

Hardware vs Software Priorities – Both the Brand and the User Base

Hardware vs Software, QNAP vs Synology, Is the grass greener?

Way back in the mid twenty-teens, whenever I would discuss QNAP and Synology on the platform, I would always say that you go to Synology for the Software and QNAP for the Hardware. Synology’s DSM platform clearly makes up the bulk of the companies investment and attention, makes up a significant chunk of the price tag and is designed around keeping things as user-friendly as possible (within reason). This is why their devices at each generation refresh (DS916+>DS918+>DS920+ or DS216+>DS218+>DS220+) only make smaller increases on the previous generation – the software IS the focus. With QNAP we tend to see the hardware taking bigger leaps each generation. Better standard ethernet, better PCIe gens, Better CPUs much earlier and overall greater hardware at any given time. For PC builders and those that know a lot more about the contents of their laptop than the contents of their router, this is speaking THEIR language and makes the price tag translate better. Fast forward to 2022 and although that logic still remains the same, these brands are more 60/40 in their architecture (where 60 = their preferred hardware or software bias). The issue starts when QNAP seem to rush their software out the door very quickly. Alongside a lot of more beta applications being available, they roll out a lot of new types of software that (and I am sorry to use that expression again, but) could have used more time in the oven. This approach to software development and release can be dicey and although it makes QNAP the more exciting platform (with its better hardware, more diverse software and continued AI or generally automated services), it also means that the platform has less of the layers of troubleshooting red-tape that Synology has (which inversely means the Synology product is going to be more expensive and less hardware rich, as that investment of time needs to be repaid to be justified).

Look at the Apple TV box or Amazon FireTV / Firestick? Is it user-friendly? yes! Is it slick and intuitive? Yes! Is it flexible in the installation of 3rd party applications? NO (at least, not without workarounds)! Is it hardware-powerful? LORD NO! One glance on eBay will show you a thousand other media boxes at the same price with Android on board, 5-10x the hardware and customization coming out of the wazoo. Nevertheless, many users will not buy the apple/amazon media option because although they KNOW it will be slick and ‘hold your hand’ all the way, it will be a closed system, noticeably more expensive and even then “nothing is full proof, right?”. And a lot of the anger at QNAP for their increased ransomware targeting and handling of this needs to also be balanced against why a lot of users chose the QNAP NAS brand. The QNAP NAS platform does have good applications and services, some genuinely unique ones and ones that allow tremendous flexibility and customization – but users need to remain relative to what drew them to the platform and have sufficient backups AND safety nets in place. I would say this about QNAP, about Synology, hell… Google drive, DropBox, Backblaze… ALL of them have localized client tools that rely way too much on the success of versioning/roll-backs being possible on the cloud platform. None of them are 100% full proof and QNAP dropped the ball multiple times here, but none of these ways are unprecedented and should be provisioned for regardless of your NAS brand or cloud platform.

The Sad Truth about Servers, Security and Vulnerabilities

Vulnerability > Update > vulnerability > update > rinse > repeat

No platform, software or service is going to be 100% bulletproof. You can increase your personal layers of security (VPNs, Encryption, layers, restrictive white lists, etc) to hit 99.99% but whatever way you are looking at it, everything we use is software-based and therefore, fallible. Equally, users cannot pretend that it is still the early days of the internet anymore and still be annoyed when a statistical possibility that should have been factored against was not. Do I think QNAP NAS are safe? I’m sorry to say that the answer is never going to be a simple Yes/No. I think they provide what they say they provide and I think that QNAP hardware is still the best in the market right now. But their software needs to be less rushed, the extra time/budget be spent on that software, or utilize a trusted 3rd party. The need to relinquish some of the customization of their platform in efforts to remove some of the configuration out of the hands of less tech-savvy users who end up overly reliant in defaults. Perhaps a much more rigorous setup policy that, on day 1, have an EXPERT door and a NOVICE door, with randomized defaults and extremely regimented update rules on the latter. Equally, the brand (though better than it was) needs to work on its communication with its end-user base, both in the event of critical issues and education on what the user base needs to have to increase security OUTSIDE of their product.

I still recommend the brand, I still think users should use their products, but we need to be realistic and honest with ourselves about what we buy and our expectations. If I buy a QNAP NAS, I expect it to store the data I store in it and allow me access to it on my terms, but ‘my terms’ might be a lot more/less strict than the next person and with that comes due diligence in 2022. I hope that the most recent ransomware attack, deadbolt, is the last ‘big’ one we hear about the year/moving forward, but I do not think it will be. More than just QNAP, one look at the vulnerabilities listed on security advisories of all the brands tell us that there is big money to be made by these intruders and the brands can only stay 1 step ahead. As always, me and Eddie here on NASCompares have been running a page that links to the bigger NAS security Advisory pages that gets regularly updated, so if you want to get notifications on these as they get added (pulled from the official pages themselves), then you can visit the page below and put your email in for updates when they happen. Have a great week and backup, backup, BACKUP.

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Finally, If you are currently unaware of the Deadbolt ransomware attack that took place on QNAP NAS devices, you can find out more in the NASCompares article and video below:

 

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QNAP NAS Attacked By DeadBolt Ransomware

26 janvier 2022 à 15:08

New QNAP Attack Emerges in the last 24hrs, the Deadbolt Ransomware

UPDATED 28/01/22 – QNAP has instigated a forced-push firmware update to NAS devices to upgrade their systems to version 5.0.0.1891 (the 23/12/21 update), which will override systems that have their update settings set to ‘Do not automatically update’. This will almost certainly change a number of default settings that in older QTS versions are connected with the means of the deadbolt firmware being instigated on individual NAS systems. Following this, several users have reported that existing iSCSI connections ceased, due to a default setting changing in the update. As per the highlights on the bleepingcomputer update article, this has been resolved by users by seeking out the following setting:

“In “Storage & Snapshots > ISCSI & Fiber Channel” right-click on your Alias (IQN) select “Modify > Network Portal” and select the adapter you utilize for ISCSI.”

Nevertheless, a forced update is quite a big move by the brand in response to this ransomware attack and one that under other circumstances would be something that ideally would have been presented with a “we will be making this forced update on X date, be aware” etc. In the QNAP reddit, a 1st party support team member responded to queries regarding the forced QNAP QTS update with the following;

“We are trying to increase protection against deadbolt. If recommended update is enabled under auto-update, then as soon as we have a security patch, it can be applied right away.

Back in the time of Qlocker, many people got infected after we had patched the vulnerability. In fact, that whole outbreak was after the patch was released. But many people don’t apply a security patch on the same day or even the same week it is released. And that makes it much harder to stop a ransomware campaign. We will work on patches/security enhancements against deadbolt and we hope they get applied right away.

I know there are arguments both ways as to whether or not we should do this. It is a hard decision to make. But it is because of deadbolt and our desire to stop this attack as soon as possible that we did this.”

Additionally, (again, thanks to BeepingComuter for raising this) there are reports that the number of affected devices may have raised significantly since originally projected and several security researchers and internet device monitoring sites raise this number to between 1,160-3,687 as of Jan 28 2022. See tweet below:

🔐 Curated Intel member, @1ZRR4H, observed QNAP ransomware events being reported via IoT search engines, including Shodan and Censys.

🔗 Shodan (1160 events): https://t.co/qpaCTuICAf

🔗 Censys (3687 events): https://t.co/uZKLQprSDE

Tip: use country tags to search by country. pic.twitter.com/2IXpCNpBvV

— Curated Intelligence (@CuratedIntel) January 27, 2022

I will continue to update this article as new information emerges. Please find the original article detailing the Deadbolt ransomware attack on QNA NAS devices below.

Yesterday (25/01) it has been reported on official QNAP forums that several users have been attacked by a new ransomware (actioned with the name Deadbolt) that, if successful in its intrusion, encrypts the content s of your NAS and demands 0.03 bitcoin (about $1000-1100) to provide the decryption key and allow retrieval of your data. QNAP has responded on multiple channels, urging their user base to immediately disable Port Forwarding on their router/modems and the UPnP function of the QNAP NAS within the remote access services. Additionally, they (as you would expect) strongly advise users to update their QTS software to the latest available version to block incoming DeadBolt ransomware attacks. QNAP has since issued this statement, published 26/01/22:

QNAP Systems, Inc. recently discovered that a ransomware called DeadBolt is attempting to attack NAS exposed to the Internet. The ransomware will hijack the NAS login screen and extort bitcoins from the victim. QNAP strongly urges all NAS users to immediately follow the methods below to check whether your NAS is exposed to the Internet, confirm whether the security settings of the router and NAS are complete, and update QTS to the latest version as soon as possible. More information regarding checking the level of access your QNAP NAS has to the internet, as well as how to change key settings to improve security can be found HERE.

Following the news on this as it has happened over 24hrs, the popular network security site Bleeping Computer reported that DeadBolt ransomware group started attacking QNAP users  and encrypting files on compromised NAS devices applying a .deadbolt file extension to affected files

Unlike previous instances involving QNAP NAS being targeted by ransomware, deadbolt are not dropping ransom .txt or docs to the encrypted devices but, this time are replacing the login pages to display warning screens saying “WARNING: Your files have been locked by DeadBolt.” The ransom screen asks the QNAP NAS owner to pay 0.03 bitcoins (roughly $1,100) to a unique Bitcoin address generated for each victim, claiming that the decryption key will be sent to the same blockchain address in the OP_RETURN field once the payment goes through. Sadly, as is always a risk factor with ransomware, currently, there are no confirmations that the threat actors will actually deliver on their promise to send a working decryption key after paying the ransom (as at the time of writing) users who have been affected are not seemingly considering paying (understandably, as this likely facilitates this happening further still in future for others).

Additional to the main ransom note splash screen on affected QNAP NAS systems, there is also is a link “important message for QNAP,” which then leads to a displayed message from the DeadBolt ransomware group that is specifically for QNAP’s attention. This screen states that the DeadBolt ransomware gang is offering the full details of the alleged zero-day vulnerability if QNAP pays them 5 Bitcoins in payment, roughly equivalent to $184,000. They are also willing to sell QNAP the master decryption key that can decrypt the files for all affected victims and the zero-day info for 50 bitcoins, roughly $1.85 million based on the current BC valuation. They state that if this payment is made:; “You will receive a universal decryption master key (and instructions) that can be used to unlock all your clients files. Additionally, we will also send you all details about the zero-day vulnerability to [email protected]

So, fairly brazen stuff!

What Does the DeadBolt Ransomware do to my QNAP NAS?

The DeadBolt ransomware is attempting to encrypt QNAP NAS, units, utilizing what they state is a zero-day vulnerability within QTS (A zero-day vulnerability is a vulnerability in a system or device that has been disclosed but is not yet patched. An exploit that attacks a zero-day vulnerability is called a zero-day exploit). The attack began on January 25th, with numerous QNAP users discovering their data encrypted and file names appended with a .deadbolt file extension, as well as amending the QNAP login web page to show a display screen stating, “WARNING: Your files have been locked by DeadBolt,” (see below:

On this occasion, this user was told they need to pay 0.03 bitcoins (roughly $1,100) to an individual Bitcoin link in order to receive the decryption key. The process of receiving the key is detailed follows:

So, if you have not been affected by this ransomware, but have/need your QNAP NAS to be remotely accessible from outside of your local network, what should you do?

How to Check and Amend Your QNAP NAS Internet Access Right Now

Like many ransomware attacks, the full vulnerability that it exploits will become clearer as time goes on, but a high facilitating factor of the deadbolt attack concerns poor remote access security. Remote access to the NAS can be made several ways (some more complex than others) and QNAP in their recent news post on this ransomware attack highlights further recommended network maintenance measures that you should follow/check. Open the Security Counselor program of the QNAP NAS, if you find the warning text “The System Administration service can be directly accessible from an external IP address via the following protocols: HTTP”, it means that your NAS is being exposed to the external network, and the risk is extremely high.

If you are unsure which port numbers on your router are open, then you can use this guide on How to query the port number that has been exposed to the external network HERE. If your NAS is exposed to the Internet, it is recommended that you follow the steps below for NAS security protection:

1: Turn off the Port Forwarding function of the router

Open your router’s system management interface, check the router’s Virtual Server, NAT or Port Forwarding settings, and set the NAS system management ports (8080 and 443 by default) to off.

2: Check if the UPnP function of the QNAP NAS remains off

Open the myQNAPcloud app of QTS and check the UPnP Router settings. Uncheck “Enable UPnP Port forwarding”

Connecting with your QNAP NAS remotely may well be a key reason why you purchased the system, but if you are less tech or network protocol savvy, then many users will use the QNAP supplied service. However, I still HIGHLY recommend that you bolster your network security settings as much as possible and ensure you have multiple layers of security (automated or direct authentication required) between the internet and your NAS Drive. If you need a NAS external network connection and want to use the myQNAPcloud Link to connect, please refer to the following link – HERE

Alternatively, QNAP made a whole page on remote access security and a breakdown of the factors HERE. Further details on this are covered in the Data News of the Week Video below from the NASCompares YouTube channel:

We will continue to monitor this and update this article if further information arrives that ranges from changes in the attack methodology to potential fixes and decryption tools emerging.

Additionally, it is worth remembering that exploits can be found in practically any internet-connected appliance, it is just a question of the extent to which a vulnerability can be pushed to execute unique commands. The software makers (not just NAS, but practically ALL internet service linked applications and tools) can only be 1-step ahead of hacks (cat and mouse, 1 step each, etc) and that is why all reputable NAS brands have Security Advisory pages that are regularly updated to list any current vulnerabilities that are found, addressed and patched on their platforms. However, staying on top of these can be difficult, so below is a link to a page here on NASCompares that is updated automatically every day and/when a brand updates its security vulnerability advisory pages. You can add your email address to that page in order to receive updates as soon as the brands publish investigated vulnerabilities. Visit this page by clicking the banner below:

 


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



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

 

SEARCH IN THE BOX BELOW FOR NAS DEALS

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

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

Best NAS for Photography to Buy in 2022

17 janvier 2022 à 01:10

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best Value Photography NAS Drive – The Synology DS920+ NAS

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

Current Price/Availability on Amazon $550+

Hardware Review – HERE

YouTube Video Review – Watch

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

Click to view slideshow.

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

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


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

 


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

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

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $1150+

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

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

Click to view slideshow.

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

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


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

 


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

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

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $1799

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

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

Click to view slideshow.

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

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


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

 


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

 


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


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

 

SEARCH IN THE BOX BELOW FOR NAS DEALS

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

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

 

Recommended 8-Bay NAS Drive to Buy in 2022

12 janvier 2022 à 01:52

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $1099

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

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

Click to view slideshow.

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

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


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

 


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

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

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $1799

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

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

Click to view slideshow.

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

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


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

 


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

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

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $2899

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

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

Click to view slideshow.

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

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


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

 


 

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

 


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

 

SEARCH IN THE BOX BELOW FOR NAS DEALS

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

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

 

New QNAP TS-464T4 Thunderbolt 4 NAS Revealed

5 janvier 2022 à 14:45

The QNAP TS-464T4 – World’s First Thunderbolt 4 NAS Drive

If you are a thunderbolt user and have been looking at network-attached storage (NAS) in the last few years, then it would have been impossible to avoid QNAP. They have been one of the very few brands that have been able to merge the use of your own private server with the utility, speed and convenience of Thunderbolt. Well into its 4th (or maybe even 5th technically) generation of Thunderbolt NAS systems, they have now released at the CES 2022 event their new Thunderbolt 4 equipped 4-Bay NAS solution, the QNAP TS-464T4. Arriving in a similar form as the more affordable thunderbolt 3 NAS system from 2018, the TS-453BT3, this new system is utilizing a lot of the new build specifications of the slowly appearing TS-x64 series, but then ramps things up significantly with the inclusion of 3 types of connectivity (all higher than gigabit), as well as two media bay types, 10Gb USB and a sturdy and cost-effective Intel Celeron processor. The QNAP TS-464T4 certainly has a lot to live up to (following the high acclaim that the TS-453BT3 has achieved) but if they can get the price right on this NAS, then we could well be looking at one of the best entry points for users who want to jump on board the thunderbolt NAS scene that we have seen yet. Let’s discuss everything we know about this nifty little device.

If you are still unsure about Thunderbolt NAS or want to understand the difference between thunderbolt NAS and Thunderbolt DAS, watch the video below:

The QNAP TS-464T4 NAS – Hardware Specifications

As mentioned earlier, the hardware specifications of the QNAP TS-464T4 is not really going to be the beastly architecture of the TVS-472XT or TVS-1288X, as this NAS is designed to be used by smaller creative business users. The system features four hard drive media bays (SATA) that support RAID 0,1,5,6,10, as well as two additional m.2 NVMe SSD media bays that can be used for caching, direct storage or tiered storage in conjunction with the larger HDD bays. The system also arrives with two Thunderbolt 4 ports (USB-C) that will no doubt be backwards compatible with Thunderbolt 3, this means that two users will be able to connect with the TS-464T4 directly over thunderbolt to access it’s storage, as well as the NAS remaining accessible by countless users via the network/internet. This is thanks to the system ALSO features 10GbE and 2.5GbE network ports. These appear to be native (i.e. not via a PCIe card as found on the TS-453BT3), so this means the TS-464T4 will almost certainly be as compact in it’s 4-Bay chassis as the TS-453BT3, TS-464 and TS-453D. Finally, the system also includes an HDMI 2.0 output for a 4K 60FPS monitor, as well as multiple USB ports that are no doubt going to include USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gb/s) as found in the rest of the TS-x64 series so far. This is all built on an architecture of the Intel Celeron currently found in the TS-x64 series, the Intel N5105 or N5095A, which is an embedded graphics enabled, x86, 64bit, quad-core chip. Given the memory/cache hungry nature of thunderbolt, the TS-464T4 will likely ship with at least 8GB of memory by default. So, in summary:

  • Featuring the Intel Celeron N5105/N5095 Quad Core 2.0-2.9Ghz CPU
  • Support of SODIMM non-ECC DDR4 Memory, 8-16-32GB* over two slots
  • Four SATA 3.5″ Media Bays supporting up to 20TB Hard Drives
  • Two M.2 2280 NVMe SSD Bays (PCIe Gen 3 x1 or PCIe Gen 3 x2*)
  • Two Thunderbolt 4 USB-C Ports
  • On-board 10GbE network Port
  • On-board 2.5GbE network Port
  • Multiple USB Ports that will include USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gb/s)
  • HDMI 2.0 4K 60FPS Output for a visual display
  • Almost certainly using the TS-464 or TS-453D Chassis

Now as good as all that sounds, let’s take a moment to think about how hard it would be to cram this much hardware into the architecture of that Intel N5105/N5095 Celeron CPU with its available PCI lanes and chipset. Almost certainly those NVMe M.2 slots are going to be a bit clipped, perhaps PCIe Gen 3×1 or 3×2. This is not the end of the world of course, but it likely means that they will not be able to exceed 1000-1500MB/s in real-world use. Additionally, those Four HDD bays even in a RAID 0 are likely to only hit around the 1000MB/s of throughput externally. Swapping those out with some impressively specced SSDs will push this higher, but it is worth keeping in mind that this is an affordable/entry point for users into the thunderbolt NAS world first and foremost. The TS-464T4 is not going to challenge the much more enterprise thunderbolt solution’s in QNAP’s portfolio, but this is going to be a remarkably convenient NAS, with a significant number of ways to connect with it simultaneously that will suit each tier of your workflow and creative team.

The QNAP TS-464T4 NAS vs the TS-453BT3

The TS-464T4 almost certainly serves as a follow up to the now almost 4 years old TS-453BT3 (since initial reveal at CES 2018). Although on the face of it, these systems appear very similar, there are quite a few jumps in architecture between them, with hopes that the price tag of the sub £999 price will be maintained. Let’s take a look at how each system compares:

Model

TS-464T4 (Revealed Jan 2022)

TS-453BT3 (Revealed Jan 2018)

CPU Intel® Celeron N5105/N5095 4-core/4-thread processor, burst up to 2.9 GHz Intel® Celeron® J3455 4-core/4-thread processor, burst up to 2.3 GHz
CPU Architecture 64-bit x86 64-bit x86
Graphic Processors Intel® UHD Graphics Intel® HD Graphics 500
Floating Point Unit Yes Yes
Encryption Engine  (AES-NI)  (AES-NI)
Hardware-accelerated Transcoding Yes Yes
System Memory 8GB SO-DIMM DDR4 (1 x 8GB) *TBC 8 GB SO-DIMM DDR3L (2 x 4 GB)
Maximum Memory 16GB/32 (2 x 8/16GB) *TBC 8 GB (2 x 4 GB)
Memory Slot 2 x SO-DIMM 2 SO-DIMM DDR3LFor dual DIMM configuration, pairs of identical DDR3L modules must be used.
Flash Memory 4GB (Dual boot OS protection) 4GB (Dual boot OS protection)
Drive Bay 4 x 3.5-inch SATA 6Gb/s, 3Gb/s 4 x 3.5-inch SATA 6Gb/s, 3Gb/s
Drive Compatibility 3.5-inch bays:
3.5-inch SATA hard disk drives
2.5-inch SATA hard disk drives
2.5-inch SATA solid state drives
3.5-inch SATA hard drive
2.5-inch SATA hard drive
2.5-inch SATA solid state drive
M.2 Slot 2x PCIe Gen 3 x1 / 3×2 *TBC 2 x M.2 2280 SATA
SSD Cache Acceleration Support Yes Yes
1 Gigabit Ethernet Port No 2
2.5 Gigabit Ethernet Port (2.5G/1G/100M) 1 (also support 10M) 0
10 Gigabit Ethernet Port 1 x 10GBASE-T (10G/5G/2.5G/1G/100M) 1 10GBASE-T (10G/5G/2.5G/1G/100M)QM2 PCIe card pre-loaded
Thunderbolt Port 2 (Thunderbolt 4) 2 (Thunderbolt 3)
PCIe Slot NO 1 PCIe Gen 2 (x2), pre-loaded with a QM2 expansion card (QM2-2S10G1TB), including a 10GbE 10GBASE-T port and two M.2 SATA solid-state drive slots.
HDMI Output HDMI 2.0 (up to 4096 x 2160 @ 60Hz) HDMI 1.4b (up to 3840 x 2160 @ 30Hz)

*TBC = Almost certain, but I want to be absolutely sure and am checking as we speak

So, immediately, we can see that in terms of ‘brief glance’ architecture, they have similar building blocks. However, the CPU is several jumps up in refreshes by Intel, as well as the quality of each individual port on the system being improved upon throughout the device. Overall, the TS-464T4 is a great refresh and improvement over the TS-453BT3 and an absolute no brainer if you are looking at entering the world of thunderbolt NAS, but are on a tighter budget.

The QNAP TS-464T4 NAS – Software Specifications

The QNAP TS-464T4 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-464T4 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 3rdparty 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 Surveillance Station – Surveillance applications that allow you to connect multiple IP cameras and IP speaks to your network and manage them with the applications. Arriving with 4 camera licenses for Surveillance Station 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

Additionally, you can always access the TS-464T4 via your own native Operating System file management via iSCSI, mapped drives, DAS setup (know as thunderbolt over IP, or IP over thunderbolt) and you can even use the TS-464T4 as a thunderbolt network gateway to allow your TB3/TB4 equipped Mac/PC to connect with an existing 10GbE network. Here is my full review of QTS 5.0 for QNA NAS:

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

The QNAP TS-464T4 NAS – Price & Release Date

QNAP has been a little quieter on the eventual release price and planned launch date for the TS-464T4 NAS, however, we can make some educated guess! First and foremost, the pricetag will need to sit well with the hardware on offer and the rest of the thunderbolt portfolio. So, given the £900-1000 price tag of the TS-453BT3, we can comfortably assume that this will be a target figure for the TS-464T4. Regarding the release date, QNAP has been gradually releasing the TS-x64 series in the closing stages of 2021 (with the TS-364 and TBS-464 being released in Nov and Dec). With the reveal of the TS-464T4 and HS-264 at the CES 2022 event lining up neatly in Jan ’22, I think we are likely to see a release of the TS-464T4 in the first quarter of 2022. Subscribe below to learn more and keep updated on this and other new NAS releases in 2022. Thanks for reading!

 

 


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


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

 

SEARCH IN THE BOX BELOW FOR NAS DEALS

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

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

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

5 janvier 2022 à 01:13

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $350-400

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

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

Click to view slideshow.

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

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


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

 


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

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

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $1499+

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

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

Click to view slideshow.

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

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


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

 


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

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

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $1150+

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

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

Click to view slideshow.

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

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


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

 


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

 


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


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

 

SEARCH IN THE BOX BELOW FOR NAS DEALS

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

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

 

Best 10GbE NAS to Buy in 2022

31 décembre 2021 à 01:10

A Guide to the Best 10GbE NAS Drives to Buy Right Now

Data is getting big, like REALLY BIG. From the phone in your pocket taking photos at 10MB+ a go, movies arriving at 4K Ultra HD HDR as an excepted scale and internet connectivity easily breaking into greater than gigabit speeds, we are fast approaching a point where most devices (not just NAS drives) that feature a rather old skool 1GbE (RJ45) LAN/WAN port can potentially cause a bottleneck on your network. Most client hardware (phones, laptops, TVs, Tablets, media players) have risen to the bandwidth challenge in the last 12-18 months with the inclusion of greater WiFi protocol such as WiFi 6 (802.11ax), but in the world of Network Attached Storage (NAS), they have been addressing bandwidth limiting issues for years and one of the easiest ways they have been going it is with the embracing of 10GbE. As the name suggests, 10Gbe is ten times the bandwidth of traditional default 1GbE, allowing a little over 1,000MB/s network transmission to be possible. 10G has been around for a number of years, however, it is only in the last 2-3 years that it has become remarkably affordable, allowing both home and business users to easily make the switch. From 10G adapter cards costing less than £100 and network switches arriving at just a fraction more than their 1G alternatives, to the physical compatibility of 1G and 10G being identical in some cases (Copper RJ45) allowing an upgrade to be easy and with a large degree of hardware recycling – 10GbE is a great deal more available than many could have thought. Below is a video where I detailed lots of reasons to upgrade/ignore 10GbE that you might find useful when searching for the best 10GbE NAS to buy in 2022:

Unsurprisingly, because of the affordability of 10GbE increasing, as well as the popularity and ease of upgrading, ALL the NAS brands have been producing 10GbE solutions in the last few years and that means that (on the plus side) there is ALOT to choose from but (on the less good side) it can mean choosing the right one is a lot harder than you think. Factors such as the CPU, the physical type of 10GbE in use, number of ports, number if media bays and the maximum memory are all tremendously important factors in choosing a 10GbE NAS that fits your budget and requirements.  All too often, you will see a more affordable 10GbE NAS, such as the TS-332X or DS1817 (non-plus) and think ‘wow, that is really affordable’, but that is because the CPU inside is going to be at 80-90% usage at all times during 10GbE use, will be wildly inefficient at managing larger RAID configurations to what they can push through 10G and the money you save in these budget solutions can often be lose quite quickly in the system losing you actual time in use. So, today I want to talk about my three recommended 10GbE NAS solutions that (out of all the NAS systems available at the start of 2022) are the best for budget buyers, for shared storage business users and for Power-hungry Professionals. I am only looking at desktop 10GbE NAS and ONLY servers that have 64bit x86 processors (no ARM Annapurna, Realtek or Marvell here – we want GUARENTEED 1,000MB/s and with the least hardware usage possible regardless). The Hard drives or SSD you choose to use will of course play it’s part, but these three NAS solutions will be able to saturate that 10G bandwidth with even most drive media. Let’s begin.

What Have All the Best 10GbE NAS Drives Have in Common?

It is worth remembering that although there are ALOT of different 10GbE NAS drives available to buy, they are by no means created equal! With numerous super budget brands popping up online, it can be tempting to consider these alongside the premium NAS brands. However, all too often they offer solutions righty seem ‘too good to be true’ and then are gone from the web before your warranty even gets cold! So, whether you are looking at the three best 10GbE solutions that I am recommending below OR are looking at another 10GbE NAS you saw on offer/recommended elsewhere – the best NAS system ALWAYS include the following software and services:

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

So, make sure that if you are looking at a NAS solution that is NOT recommended below, that it includes all of the above. As these are some of the clearest areas that brands all too often cut orders to produce cheaper by ultimately inferior NAS servers for home and business. So, let’s discuss the very best 10GbE NAS to buy now in 2022.

Best Priced 10GbE NAS Drive – Terramaster F5-422 NAS

0-100TB, 5-Bays, 4-Core Intel J3455 CPU, 4-8GB Memory, 1x 10Gbe + 2x 1GbE Port, 2yr Warranty

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $549

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

Internally the hardware that this unit arrives with is very competitive at this price point, even without 10Gbe. Include 10Gbe into the mix and this could likely be one of the most affordable Intel/4K enabled 10 gigabit NAS drives in the market right now. The Terramaster F5-422 5-Bay NAS features an Intel CPU and 4GB of DDR3 memory which is not even the limit, opening up the device and installing an additional 8GB stick is very easy indeed. This internal hardware certainly enables a number of features that a large number of cost-effective ARM CPU could not. Most important of which is acting as a proficient and encoding enabled Plex media server. The device can support many users at the same time, each with its own login and privileges thanks to this CPU. All the while, setting up, configuring and maintaining a stable RAID across all available hard drives or SSD. However, if your budget is tight, you will be pleased to hear this device can function with a single HDD/SSD if need be and you can add further storage media as your budget allows (and expanding a RAID).

Click to view slideshow.

Overall the terramaster F5-422 NAS is definitely worth the price. I have seen numerous NAS brands grow in the last 8 years and the speed with which terramaster is developing, both the hardware and software, massively outpaces the likes of Synology and QNAP, which have taken twice as long to reach the point that terramaster has. If you are looking to buy your first NAS, but want to ensure that you get maximum features at a modest price-tag, you genuinely would be hard pushed to beat the Terramaster F5-422 right now in 2019. That said, there is no denying that some cost-cutting measures have taken place, with the HDMI output not functioning as you would expect at release or the lack of USB Copy Button. However, you will never find features like those, or software options with this hardware at this price limit that still have 10Gbe on the table and the Terramaster F5-422 serves as a great middle-ground for those that want their cake and eat it in their first steps into the world of NAS at a higher speed going forward.

SOFTWARE - 6/10
HARDWARE - 7/10
PERFORMANCE - 7/10
PRICE - 8/10
VALUE - 7/10


7.0
PROS
👍🏻Affordable 10Gbe
👍🏻Great RAID Options
👍🏻Fluid GUI
👍🏻Snapshot Replication
👍🏻BTRFS
👍🏻Supports Plex
👍🏻4K Video transcoding
👍🏻Full Plex Transcoding
👍🏻DLNA Compliant
👍🏻RAM upgradable
CONS
👎🏻No Copy button
👎🏻HDMI Currently Unsupported
👎🏻SSD Caching requires the loss of 1-2 Bays
👎🏻No Surveillance or VM App

 


Best All-Round Performing 10GbE NAS – The QNAP TS-h973ax NAS

0-100TB HDD, 5x 3.5″ Bays, 2x 2.5″ SATA Bays, 2x 2.5″ U.2 NVMe SSD, 4-Core Ryzen V1500B 2.2Ghz CPU, 8-32GB DDR4 Memory, 1x 10Gbe Port, 2x 2.5GbE Ports, USB 3.2 Gen 2, Option of ZFS or EXT4, 3yr Warranty

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $999

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

I have seen a lot of network-attached storage over the years and the TS-h973AX brings a lot of colour to what was fast becoming a somewhat grey landscape. In short, QNAP has gone and done it again by proving they are the hardware innovators of this industry and have managed to provide a genuinely unique solution here. When they first revealed their new Hero ZFS operating system last year, you could not help but get the impression that only top-end enterprise businesses with £10K starting budgets were ever going to benefit. The TS-h973AX desktop NAS is solid evidence that QNAP will share the wealth and that this is the start of a whole new series of affordable ZFS 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.

Click to view slideshow.

Ultimately though QNAP has succeeded in creating what they sought out here and what we find is one of the best examples of hardware and software meeting in the middle, while still arriving with a price tag in 3 figures. In the current absence of a 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! 

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


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

 


Ultimate Hardware & Software 10GbE NAS – The Synology DS3622xs+ NAS

0-240TB, Synology HDDs Only, 12-Bays, 6-Core Intel Xeon X D-1531 CPU, 16-48GB Memory, 2x 10Gbe Ports, 2x 1GbE, 1x OoB Port, 1x PCIe 3×8 Slot, 5yr Warranty,

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $2999

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

Now, to cover the WHOLE Synology software and services that are included with the DS3622xs+ NAS would result in a review that is twice as long as this review so far! Synology’s Diskstation Manager software that comes with this device (either DSM 7 or DSM 6.2 depending on your preference) provides a massive arrangement of services, applications (first and third party supported) and a huge number of client applications for desktop, mobile, windows, mac and linux (as well as a bunch of other more home-based tools). These allow management and access to the data on the DS3622xs+ in very tailored ways, as well as the web browser-based access that has the appearance, intuitive design and responsiveness of a local operating system. The DSM interface can be accessed by hundreds of users at the same time (with each user having tailored access, rights and privileges). DSM is available with ALL Synology NAS and the depth and abilities of DSM on any NAS are dependant on the hardware architecture of the NAS itself. In the case of the Synology DS3622xs+, it supports practically EVERYTHING (with the exception of SHR, as previously mentioned). If you want to learn about the latest version of DSM 7 and the software and services that are included with the DS3622xs+ NAS, watch my FULL review below (alternatively, you can read the DSM 7 Full Review HERE):

Click to view slideshow.

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.

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

 


 

 

And there you have it. Those are the three best 10GbE NAS drives available right now at the end of 2021 and going into 2022. thought it is always worth remembering that these systems typically have a refresh (i.e manufacturers release a new version/follow-up) every 2-3 years on average. Therefore although these systems are all still great 10GbE NAS drives, they might have been upgraded in a newer released version, or recently released alternative 10GbE’s may have arrived on the scene that provides better pricing, value or features. If you are in doubt about whether to buy a 10GbE solution from my recommendations, want to check if a newer system has been released recently OR are simply looking for some free expert advice, then use the free advice section below over. Just enter in a few details of your setup, storage requirements and (in the case of buying a new solution) your budget – then me and Eddie the Web guy can help you with your question. This is a completely free service, is NOT provided with profit in mind and is manned by two humans (no bots, no automated replies, etc). Assistance might take an extra day or two (the service gets a lot of visitors) but we do try to answer every message. If you want to support this service, you can find out how to donate HERE. Otherwise, you can still jsut message us for free advice anyway!

 


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


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

 

SEARCH IN THE BOX BELOW FOR NAS DEALS

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

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

 

Seagate Ironwolf 525 vs 510 NAS NVMe SSD Comparison

29 décembre 2021 à 01:10

Comparing the Seagate Ironwolf 510 vs Seagate Ironwolf 525 – Which Should You Use in Your NAS?

The Seagate Ironwolf series of NAS media has been around for a few years now and what started as a rebranding of their ‘NAS’ labelled series has now become a multi-tiered series of Hard drives and SSDs. Recently Seagate introduced a new entry into their Ironwolf SSD series with the 525 NVMe SSD. Presented as a higher bandwidth supporting alternative NVMe SSD to the Ironwolf 510 (released back in March 2020), the Ironwolf 525 is a PCIe Gen 4 NVMe SSD that arrives in slightly larger capacities, much higher performance and still allowing backwards compatibility with PCIe Gen 3 m.2 slots in your NAS. So, with the release of this newer, faster and widely supported NVMe SSD, should you still consider buying the Seagate Ironwolf 510 at all? Well, yes! The older Ironwolf 510 still arrives with a few rather unique architecture and design choices that are not available in the Ironwolf 525 and today I want to take a close look at each of these NAS focused SSDs and help you decide which one you should buy for your NAS drive in 2021/2022.

Important – It is worth remembering that the two SSDs in today’s comparison are m.2 NVMe in architecture and although PCIe Gen 4 is compatible with Gen 3 and old, they will not suitable for NAS drives with M.2 SATA connections. We have seen more modern NAS systems released in the last few years abandon m.2 SATA in favour of its PCIe counterpart, but Seagate provides SATA alternatives in their Ironwolf series. Examples of SATA SSDs for NAS can be found HERE on Amazon. Additionally, it is worth highlighting for the later stages of testing in this comparison, I was only able to obtain the 240GB model of the Ironwolf 510, so although the performance shown is low (and much lower than the Ironwolf 525 as expected in most cases) it is particularly low because the test drive is the 240GB Model. Please follow the official performance specifications in the table below for a better indication of how comparable capacity drives would differ.

How do the Seagate Ironwolf 525 and Seagate Ironwolf 510 SSD Compare on Specs?

Seagate are well known for their wide ranges of hard drive and SSD media, as well as both being pioneers of NAS server focused SSDs for caching and flash storage. Although SSDs are all built to a similar ground-level architecture, they will often have their later development shifted in favour of a specific targetted use. This is not a big surprise and much like the cutlery in your kitchen draw, they might be similar but one tool is much better at some tasks than others – ever tried using a spreading butter with a meat-claver? Or stirring tea with a ladle? The Seagate Ironwolf 525 and Seagate Ironwolf 510 SSD are NAS targetted and although the performance is good, the true stand out factor in this design is the durability of the drive. SSDs for use in NAS systems will in most cases be used for caching and that means a very frequent turnover (i.e. data wrote, updated, deleted, repeat) daily as the demands of client users and devices change. Both of these SSDs arrive with a high level of durability and workload rating, but the Seagate Ironwolf 510 and Seagate Ironwolf 525 definitely have differing ideas of preliminary architecture and what that price tag is being spent on. Let’s look at the shared base-level SSD architecture of each SSD (available on every capacity):

Below Specifications are taken from official brand sources, data sheets and reputable sources (real-world tests we performed ourselves are a little lower in the article):

Specifications

Seagate IronWolf 525

Released September 2021

Seagate IronWolf 510

Released March 2020

Warranty 5yr + 3yr Rescue 5yr + 3yr Rescue
MTBF/MTTF 1800000 1800000
PCIe Generation PCIe Gen 4×4 PCIe Gen 3×4
NVMe Rev NVMe 1.3 NVMe 1.3
NAND Kioxia BiCS 4 96L 3D TLC NAND Kioxia BiCS3 64L TLC
Controller PS5016 SSD Controller PS5012-E12DC

Seagate uses 3rd party controllers and NAND manufacturers for the most part in their ranges, but are still generally quite top tier providers. The release time difference between the Seagate Ironwolf 510 and Seagate Ironwolf 525 makes an impressive difference here in terms of the hardware on offer on either SSD, with the more recently released Seagate Ironwolf 525 having notably superior connectivity, NAND quality and overall performance. Both Seagate Ironwolf SSDs features 3 years of forensic level data recovery services though (which caching NAS users might want to have in the event of ‘trapped data’ during write caching operations and a critical system failure/power-cut) which is very unique to the brand. However, overall the Seagate Ironwolf 525 has the superior architecture here. Below is how the building blocks of the Seagate Ironwolf 525 and Seagate Ironwolf 510 result in throughput, IOPS and Durability at each capacity tier (based on officially provided figures):

240/250GB

Seagate IronWolf 525

Released September 2021

N/A

Seagate IronWolf 510

Released March 2020

ZP240NM30011 – $69

Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB N/A 2,450MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB N/A 290MB
480/500GB ZP500NM30002 – $99 ZP480NM30011 – $119
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 5000MB / 3400MB 2,650MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 2500MB / 2500MB 600MB
960/1000GB ZP1000NM30002 – $179 ZP960NM30011 – $209
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 5000MB / 3400MB 3,150MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 4400MB / 3200MB 1,000MB
1920/2000GB ZP2000NM30002 – $369 ZP1920NM30011 – $409
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 5000MB / 3400MB 3,150MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 4400MB / 3200MB 850MB
3840/4000GB N/A N/A
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB N/A N/A
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB N/A N/A
240/250GB N/A ZP240NM30011 – $69
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 N/A 100K
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 N/A 12K
2480/500GB ZP500NM30002 – $99 ZP480NM30011 – $119
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 420K / 420K 193K
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 630K / 550K 20K
960/1000GB ZP1000NM30002 – $179 ZP960NM30011 – $209
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 760K / 640K 345K
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 700K / 565K 28K
1920/2000GB ZP2000NM30002 – $369 ZP1920NM30011 – $409
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 740K / 640K 270K
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 700K / 565K 25K
3840/4000GB N/A N/A
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 N/A N/A
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 N/A N/A
Heatsink Option No No
TBW Rating 700/1400/2800 435/875/1750/3500
DWPD Rating 0.7 DWPD 0.9-1.0 DWPD
Note – BLUE Text is the Seagate Ironwolf 525 on a PCIe Gen 3×4 Slot

Overall, it should come as no surprise that the Seagate Ironwolf 525 is the notable leader here in practically all official benchmarks over the slightly older Seagate Ironwolf 510 SSD, thanks to that improved architecture. Most notably in write performance and IOPS in general, it had a clear lead even in the lowest available capacities. Of course, these are officially provided performance figures and represent maximums based on the highest available hardware at the time of release. Let’s take a look at how these two SSDs compare in our own tests.

How Did the Seagate Ironwolf 510 and Seagate Ironwolf 525 Compare in OUR Tests?

Moving away from the official performance stats provided by WD and Seagate, I wanted to see how the Seagate Ironwolf 510 and 525 compared in my own tests. Testing of these two SSDs will be broken down into 3 main parts, a CrystalDisk Benchmark test, Atto Disk Benchmark Test and an AJA media test. In each test, the SSD was in the 2nd storage slot (i.e not the OS drive). Each test was conducted three times and the system was left for 1 minute between tests to allow the SSD time to stabilize. The specifications of the test machine are:

Test Machine:

  • Windows 10 Pro Desktop System
  • Intel i5 11400 Rocket Lake – 6-Core 2.6/4.4Ghz
  • 16GB DDR4 2666MHz Memory
  • Intel B560M mATX Motherboard
  • OS Storage, Seagate Firecuda 120 SSD
  • Test SSD connected to Secondary PCIe Gen 4×4 M.2 Slot

CrystalDisk 1GB Test File – Read, Write, 70/30% Mixed and IOPS Performance

CrystalDisk is still highly regarded as one of the most reliable tools for measuring storage media performance. Though it does create somewhat high-end results that may not be truly indicative of your own real-world setup, it can be used to display maximum potential throughput and IOPs at each tier. The first test for the Seagate Ionwolf 510 and Seagate Ironwolf 525 was on a 1GB test file:

Seagate Ironwolf 525

Seagate Ironwolf 510 SSD

Overall Winner: The Seagate Ironwolf 525

CrystalDisk 4GB Test File – Read, Write, 70/30% Mixed and IOPS Performance

The next test was to perform the same parameters in CrystalDisk on the Seagate Ironwolf 525 and Seagate Ironwolf 510, but this time with a 4GB test file (larger files may result in higher sequential performance, but lower comparative IOPS):

Seagate Ironwolf 525

Seagate Ironwolf 510 SSD

Overall Winner: The Seagate Ironwolf 525

ATTO DiskBenchmark 256MB Test File – Read, Write

Switching things up, I then moved testing the Seagate Ironwolf 510 and Seagate Ironwolf 525 over to ATTO disk benchmark. A far more detailed tool that spreads performance testing over different file and block sizes. I started with the smallest ‘full range’ test file of 256MB (as smaller would reduce the range of block sizes). Here is how each SSD compared:

Seagate Ironwolf 525

Seagate Ironwolf 510 SSD

Overall Winner: The Seagate Ironwolf 525

ATTO DiskBenchmark 4GB Test File – Read, Write

Sticking with ATTO DiskBenchmark, I then moved the testing of the Seagate Ironwolf 525 and Seagate Ironwolf 510 onto a x16 bigger test file of 4GB. This would certainly shift where the peaks in performance would sit and hopefully produce a clearer disparity between these two SSDs:

Seagate Ironwolf 525

Seagate Ironwolf 510 SSD

Overall Winner: The Seagate Ironwolf 525

AJA 1080i Media Test 1GB Test File – Read, Write

I then switched to AJA, a popular media testing tool for video formats. Most SSDs will suffer over-saturated Memory/DRAM/SDRAM as sustained large file tests go on. The 1GB file test of AJA on the Seagate Ironwolf 525 and Seagate Ironwolf 510 is still a small enough value not to be a problem though and we chiefly focused on the disk playback/reads graph to see how they compared in peak performance and also throughout the transfer:

Seagate Ironwolf 525

Seagate Ironwolf 510 SSD

Overall Winner: The Seagate Ironwolf 525

AJA 1080i Media Test 16GB Test File – Read, Write

Then we used a much, MUCH heavier test in AJA of 16GB on the Seagate Ironwolf 510 and Seagate Ironwolf 525. Unsurprisingly this can often overflow the SSD cache/memory on board and result in a dip in performance as the SSD bottlenecks internally. So, when conducting this test, we are looking at peak performance AND how long the SSD maintained that performance before a potential dip. Here is how these two SSD compared:

Seagate Ironwolf 525

Seagate Ironwolf 510 SSD

Overall Winner: The Seagate Ironwolf 525

Seagate Ironwolf 525 vs Seagate Ironwolf 510 SSD – The Results

It is probably no surprise that the Seagate Ironwolf 525 is the better drive overall. With performance in throughput and IOPS that outshine the Ironwolf 510 in both Read and Write on a PCIe Gen 3 m.2 slot,  then upping the ante considerably by allowing 2-3x that performance via a PCIe 4 M.2 Connection. That said, the adoption of PCIe 4 x4 as the connection of choice in a NAS is currently very low indeed, largely down to the large availability of PCIe 3 SSDs in the market AND the simply fact that manufacturers would need to dedicate notably more CPU PCIe Lanes to a Gen 4 connection than they would a Gen 3 (lanes that might be better used in improved NAS external connectivity or other hardware services). Additionally, the Seagate Ironwolf 510 has higher durability in all capacities, as well as a smaller 240GB capacity for those considering caching on much smaller systems/HDDs. The Seagate Ironwolf 525 is still the better SSD choice over the Ironwolf, but if you see it at a bargain price, have intensive data re-writes in mind or are looking for a smaller SSD, it’s still a viable option. And don’t forget, both SSDs include that 3 year Rescue Data Recovery service and Seagate Ironwolf Health Management that is accessible via your NAS Storage Manager (supported on Synology, QNAP, Asustor and more).

The Seagate Ironwolf 525 NVMe SSD Wins on:

  • Higher Performance (Read & Write), even in a PCIe Gen 3 Slot
  • Supports PCIe Gen 4 M.2 NVMe SSD Slots
  • Better Sustained Performance
  • Massively Higher IOPS ratings (Read and Write)
  • Takes Advantage of a several gen higher Phison Controller

The Seagate Ironwolf 510 NVMe SSD Wins on:

  • Higher Durability at 0.9-1.0 DWPD on all Capacities (IW 525 t 0.7 DWPD)
  • Smaller 240GB Capacity Available
  • PCIe Gen 3 is still at more than 95% adoption on NAS systems compared with PCIe 4
  • Been available longer, so might have more flexible pricing online

 


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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

 

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Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

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

 

#RunWithIronWolf This unit was supplied by @seagate and the preview provided was free of bias and my own independent opinions

Recommended 4-Bay NAS to Buy in 2022

23 décembre 2021 à 01:01

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $450

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

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

Click to view slideshow.

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

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


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

 


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

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

Current Price/Availability on Amazon $550+

Hardware Review – HERE

YouTube Video Review – Watch

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

Click to view slideshow.

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

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


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

 


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

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

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $1300+

Hardware Review – HERE

YouTube Video Review – Watch

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

Click to view slideshow.

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

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


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

 


 

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

 


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

 

SEARCH IN THE BOX BELOW FOR NAS DEALS

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

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

 

The Best 2-Bay NAS to Buy for 2022

17 décembre 2021 à 01:20

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $199

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

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

Click to view slideshow.

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

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


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

 


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

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

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $285+

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

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

Click to view slideshow.

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

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


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

 


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

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

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $325

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

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

Click to view slideshow.

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

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


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

 


 

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

 


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Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

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

 

WD Red SN700 vs Seagate Ironwolf 510 SSD for NAS Comparison

15 décembre 2021 à 01:22

Comparing the Seagate Ironwolf 510 vs WD Red SN700 SSD – Which Should You Use in Your NAS?

Over the last few years of NAS Drive releases from brands like Synology, QNAP and Asustor, we have seen most Prosumer and SMB releases arriving with support of either M.2 NVMe SSD bays, or PCIe slots that allow you to add this feature in the system’s lifespan. The appeal of SSD cache has grown considerably in recent years, as the demands in speed and responsiveness of the data on NAS drives has grown considerably. Despite the well-established fact that SSDs are faster than Hard drives, there is no ignoring that the available capacity and price point of hard drives makes them ultimately more viable and desirable in a NAS than SSDs. However, SSD Caching serves as a nice middle ground, allowing you to enjoy the bigger and lower cost hard drive RAID storage pools, but also adding two or more individual SSDs to bolster the system in performance. The Seagate Ironwolf 510 and WD Red SN700 are SSD’s that are designed with NAS use in mind and can be used in the process of write caching (where data is written to the faster performing SSD first, then migrated over to the HDDs), read caching (whereby more frequently accessed data is copied over to the SSDs in order to seed up their access by connected clients) or both together. There are numerous other SSD caching methods and protocols, but these are ultimately the most common and today I want to help you decide which NAS SSD you should install in your NAS Drive. There is around an 18-month release date difference between these two SSDs and although both are M.2 NVMe PCIe Gen 3×4 SSDs, there is a large degree of difference in their architecture to take into consideration. So let’s compare the WD Red SN700 and Seagate Ironwolf 510 and see which one deserves your cache.

It is worth remembering that the two SSDs in today’s comparison are m.2 NVMe in architecture and although PCIe Gen 4 is compatible with Gen 3 and old, they will not suitable for NAS drives with M.2 SATA connections. We have seen more modern NAS systems released in the last few years abandon m.2 SATA in favour of its PCIe counterpart, but both Seagate and WD both provide SATA alternatives in their Ironwolf and WD Red series. Examples of SATA SSDs for NAS can be found HERE on Amazon.

How do the WD Red SN700 and Seagate Ironwolf 510 SSD Compare on Specs?

Both WD and Seagate are well known for their wide ranges of hard drive and SSD media, as well as both being pioneers of NAS server focused SSDs for caching and flash storage. Although SSDs are all built to a similar ground-level architecture, they will often have their later development shifted in favour of a specific targetted use. This is not a big surprise and much like the cutlery in your kitchen draw, they might be similar but one tool is much better at some tasks than others – ever tried using a spreading butter with a meat-claver? Or stirring tea with a ladle? The WD Red SN700 and Seagate Ironwolf 510 SSD are NAS targetted and although the performance is good, the true stand out factor in this design is the durability of the drive. SSDs for use in NAS systems will in most cases be used for caching and that means a very frequent turnover (i.e. data wrote, updated, deleted, repeat) daily as the demands of client users and devices change. Both of these SSDs arrive with a high level of durability and workload rating, but the Seagate Ironwolf 510 and WD Red SN700 definitely have differing ideas of preliminary architecture and what that price tag is being spent on. Let’s look at the shared base-level SSD architecture of each SSD (available on every capacity):

Below Specifications are taken from official brand sources, data sheets and reputable sources (real-world tests we performed ourselves are a little lower in the article):

Specifications Seagate IronWolf 510

Released March 2020

WD Red SN700

Released September 2021

Warranty 5yr + 3yr Rescue 5yr
MTBF/MTTF 1,800,000 1,750,000
PCIe Generation PCIe Gen 3×4 PCIe Gen 3×4
NVMe Rev NVMe 1.3 NVMe 1.3
NAND Kioxia BiCS3 64L TLC Sandisk 96L 3D TLC NAND
Controller PS5012-E12DC WD NVMe Controller

As you might know, WD develops practically all of their SSDs ‘in-house’ and feature proprietary NVMe controllers, subsidiary company NAND (in this case Sandisk) and this allows them to be able to control availability and pricing in a way that most other SSD brands cannot. Seagate uses 3rd party controllers and NAND manufacturers for the most part in their ranges, but are still generally quite top tier providers. The release time difference between the Seagate Ironwolf 510 and WD Red SN700 makes an impressive difference here in terms of the hardware on offer on either SSD, with the more recently released WD Red SN700 having notably superior connectivity, NAND quality and overall performance. The older Seagate Ironwolf 510 SSD features 3years of forensic level data recovery services though (which caching NAS users might want to have in the event of ‘trapped data’ during write caching operations and a critical system failure/power-cut) which is very unique to the brand. However, overall the WD Red SN700 has the superior architecture here. Below is how the building blocks of the WD Red SN700 and Seagate Ironwolf 510 result in throughput, IOPS and Durability at each capacity tier (based on officially provided figures):

240/250GB Seagate IronWolf 510

Released March 2020

ZP240NM30011 – $69

WD Red SN700

Released September 2021

WDS250G1R0C$55

Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 2,450MB 3,100MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 290MB 1,600MB
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 100,000 220,000
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 12,000 180,000
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) 435TB 500TB
DWPD 0.9-1.0 DWPD 1.0DWPD
480/500GB ZP480NM30011 – $119 WDS500G1R0C$79.99
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 2,650MB 3,430MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 600MB 2,600MB
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 193,000 420,000
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 20,000 380,000
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) 875TB 1000TB
DWPD 0.9-1.0 DWPD 1.0DWPD
960/1000GB ZP960NM30011 – $209 WDS100G1R0C$152.99
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 3,150MB 3,430MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 1,000MB 3,000MB
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 345,000 515,000
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 28,000 560,000
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) 1,750TB 2000TB
DWPD 0.9-1.0 DWPD 1.0DWPD
1920/2000GB ZP1920NM30011 – $409 WDS200G1R0C$289.99
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 3,150MB 3,430MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 850MB 2,900MB
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 270,000 480,000
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 25,000 540,000
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) 3,500TB 2500TB
DWPD 0.9-1.0 DWPD 0.7DWPD
1920/2000GB N/A WDS400G1R0C$649.99
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB N/A 3,430MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB N/A 3,100MB
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 N/A 550,000
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 N/A 520,000
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) N/A 5100TB
DWPD N/A 0.7DWPD

Overall, it should come as no surprise that the WD Red SN700 SSD is the notable leader here in practically all official benchmarks over the slightly older Seagate Ironwolf 510 SSD, thanks to that improved architecture. Most notably in write performance and IOPS in general, it had a clear lead even in the lowest available capacities. Of course, these are officially provided performance figures and represent maximums based on the highest available hardware at the time of release. Let’s take a look at how these two SSDs compare in our own tests.

How Did the Seagate Ironwolf 510 and WD Red SN700 SSD Compare in OUR Tests?

Moving away from the official performance stats provided by WD and Seagate, I wanted to see how the Seagate Ironwolf 510 and WD Red SN700 compared in my own tests. Testing of these two SSDs will be broken down into 3 main parts, a CrystalDisk Benchmark test, Atto Disk Benchmark Test and an AJA media test. In each test, the SSD was in the 2nd storage slot (i.e not the OS drive). Each test was conducted three times and the system was left for 1 minute between tests to allow the SSD time to stabilize. The specifications of the test machine are:

Test Machine:

  • Windows 10 Pro Desktop System
  • Intel i5 11400 Rocket Lake – 6-Core 2.6/4.4Ghz
  • 16GB DDR4 2666MHz Memory
  • Intel B560M mATX Motherboard
  • OS Storage, Seagate Firecuda 120 SSD
  • Test SSD connected to Secondary PCIe Gen 4×4 M.2 Slot

CrystalDisk 1GB Test File – Read, Write, 70/30% Mixed and IOPS Performance

CrystalDisk is still highly regarded as one of the most reliable tools for measuring storage media performance. Though it does create somewhat high-end results that may not be truly indicative of your own real-world setup, it can be used to display maximum potential throughput and IOPs at each tier. The first test for the Seagate Ionwolf 510 and WD Red SN700 was on a 1GB test file:

WD Red SN700 SSD

Seagate Ironwolf 510 SSD

Overall Winner: The WD Red SN700 SSD

CrystalDisk 4GB Test File – Read, Write, 70/30% Mixed and IOPS Performance

The next test was to perform the same parameters in CrystalDisk on the WD Red SN700 and Seagate Ironwolf 510, but this time with a 4GB test file (larger files may result in higher sequential performance, but lower comparative IOPS):

WD Red SN700 SSD

Seagate Ironwolf 510 SSD

Overall Winner: The WD Red SN700 SSD

ATTO DiskBenchmark 256MB Test File – Read, Write

Switching things up, I then moved testing the Seagate Ironwolf 510 and WD Red SN700 SSD over to ATTO disk benchmark. A far more detailed tool that spreads performance testing over different file and block sizes. I started with the smallest ‘full range’ test file of 256MB (as smaller would reduce the range of block sizes). Here is how each SSD compared:

WD Red SN700 SSD

Seagate Ironwolf 510 SSD

Overall Winner: The WD Red SN700 SSD

ATTO DiskBenchmark 4GB Test File – Read, Write

Sticking with ATTO DiskBenchmark, I then moved the testing of the WD Red SN700 and Seagate Ironwolf 510 onto a x16 bigger test file of 4GB. This would certainly shift where the peaks in performance would sit and hopefully produce a clearer disparity between these two SSDs:

WD Red SN700 SSD

Seagate Ironwolf 510 SSD

Overall Winner: The WD Red SN700 SSD

AJA 1080i Media Test 1GB Test File – Read, Write

I then switched to AJA, a popular media testing tool for video formats. Most SSDs will suffer over-saturated Memory/DRAM/SDRAM as sustained large file tests go on. The 1GB file test of AJA on the WD Red SN700 and Seagate Ironwolf 510 is still a small enough value not to be a problem though and we chiefly focused on the disk playback/reads graph to see how they compared in peak performance and also throughout the transfer:

WD Red SN700 SSD

Seagate Ironwolf 510 SSD

Overall Winner: The WD Red SN700 SSD

AJA 1080i Media Test 16GB Test File – Read, Write

Then we used a much, MUCH heavier test in AJA of 16GB on the Seagate Ironwolf 510 and WD Red SN700 SSD. Unsurprisingly this can often overflow the SSD cache/memory on board and result in a dip in performance as the SSD bottlenecks internally. So, when conducting this test, we are looking at peak performance AND how long the SSD maintained that performance before a potential dip. Here is how these two SSD compared:

WD Red SN700 SSD

Seagate Ironwolf 510 SSD

Overall Winner: The WD Red SN700 SSD

WD Red SN700 vs Seagate Ironwolf 510 SSD – The Results

It will come as little surprise that in the case of comparing the WD Red SN700 and Seagate Ironwolf 510, the more recently released and more modern architecture WD SSD was the victor in the majority of tests (both official 1st party and my own). Although it has taken WD almost a year and a half to release a competitor NAS NVMe SSD to Seagate’s entry, it is unquestionable the better performing drive as it takes advantage of numerous newer innovations in SSD architecture that have been developed and released in that time. The Durability across the entire range of the Ironwolf 510 series and three years of inclusive forensic level data recovery do make the Seagate Ironwolf an attractive choice in 2021, but in NAS use, general use and performance overall, the WD Red SN700 wins the day.

The WD Red SN700 NVMe SSD Wins on:

  • Overall Read Performance
  • Overall Write Performance
  • 4K IOPs
  • Price Point per GB/TB
  • Capacity (4TB Max)

The Seagate Ironwolf 510 NVMe SSD Wins on:

  • Data Recovery Services (Rescue)
  • On-Board Over Provisioning
  • TBW and DWPD Overall

 

 


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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

 

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Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

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

 

#RunWithIronWolf and #WDRedNAS . This unit was supplied by @seagate and @WesternDigitalCorporation .The review provided was free of bias and my own independent opinions

QNAP TS-364 NAS Review – Too Niche?

8 décembre 2021 à 01:26

The QNAP TS-364 NAS Drive Review

QNAP are now very much in the process of slowly rolling out their new Prosumer and SMB series for 2022, but when it comes to the unit that they are slowly releasing, you can definitely see that they are being a great deal smarter (tactically) than previous generations. Alongside the release of the NVMe focused TBS-464 back in late October, the next unit in this series to arrive is the incredibly unique and unusual QNAP TS-364 NAS Drive. Today I want to review this rather different NA system and ultimately answer three main questions, 1) Is this a suitable alternative to a 2/4-Bay? 2) Is this TOO niche, even for a subject that is already as niche as NAS? And 3) Ultimately does it deserve your data? This 3x Hard drive and 2x NVMe SSD system (that 2nd storage detail is always way, way too overlooked) is formed in a similar shape to the previous 3-Bay systems before it but also arrives with the latest choices in internal/external hardware architecture that we have grown to expect in 2021/2022 from QNAP. With some users who look at 2-Bay solutions and the 50% storage loss of RAID 1 as a dealbreaker, whilst still looking at 4-Bay systems as capacity and price based overkill, is a 3-Bay NAS drive such as the TS-364 from QNAP what you have been searching for all this time? Let’s review the QNAP TS-364 and decide if this system is just right OR just a little too niche? Let’s go.

QNAP TS-364 NAS Review – Quick Conclusion

Once again, QNAP (in my opinion of course) are still very much the true innovators of the NAS hardware industry, seemingly exploring and almost always delivering on solutions that change what we expect private home/business servers to look like, support and provide. The TS-364 3-Bay (TECHNICALLY 5-Bay if you want to be accurate about it) has one heck of a balancing act to perform, providing more than the typical 2-Bay desktop chassis like the TS-253D and TS-264 are promising, whilst not leaning TOO heavily on the TS-453D and TS-464 to make itself or those redundant in price or approach. I think it MOSTLY sticks the landing and what you have here is the best example of this series that QNAP has ever produced, managing to balance the price point and value just right. In my introduction, I asked three questions. 1) Is this a suitable alternative to a 2/4-Bay? – It DEFINITELY is a good option, for those that are stuck between the rock and a hard place of 2 or 4 bays! 2) Is this TOO niche, even for a subject that is already as niche as NAS? – No, I think this system provides a valuable and till-now often overlooked section of the buying market. And 3) Ultimately does it deserve your data? – I think if you are a 2-Bay buyer, then spending the tiny bit extra for this 3-Bay is a no brainer, but if you are looking at 4-Bays, then the 3-Bay TS-364 might lack the extra storage potential, PCIe upgrades and base level connectivity long term of current prosumer 4-Bays like the TS-453D and TS-464. Overall, I like what the TS-364 is offering here and I think it fits well in the QNAP portfolio and solutions available to the end user.

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


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

QNAP TS-364 NAS Review – PACKAGING & ACCESSORIES

The retail box of the QNAP TS-364 NAS is fairly standard stuff, with the typical brown box design and a product-specific label. It is at this tier that a solution will almost exclusively be an eShop/Online only purchase, so therefore any concerns about packaging will be much more geared towards protection in transit from movement and shock damage. On that score, I would stay that the less than usual shaped TS-364 NAS chassis is well protected.

The TS-364 NAS chassis itself arrives in quite an impressive surrounding of hard foam from all corners. Indeed, this foam takes up more than 40% of the retail box and will amply protect this unit virtually completely in it’s transit from Taiwan to..well.. everywhere. Alongside the TS-364 unit itself, there is also a box of accessories in a separate kit carton.

The accessories that are included with the TS-364 are fairly typical of QNAP (with a small exception) and are pretty much everything you are going to need in order to get started with your NAS (with the exception of HDD/SSD media that you will need to buy separately).

The TS-364 features an external power supply unit, likely for reasons of space, easy replacement and maintaining better internal temperatures. The external PSU on this rather modest-sized NAS arrives is 65W and QNAP state that it has been recorded at 32.8W power use when in active use – this includes the internal fan in operation at all times.

The TS-364 also features the support of both Hard Drives and M.2 NVMe SSDs, something I will cover in more detail later. The accessory kit arrives with additional click’n’load HDDs install pods and two M.2 SSD heatsink panels that are adhesive-backed and designed to be applied directly onto the controller of any installed NVM.e SSDs in the NAS allocated bays.

As glad as I am that QNA has included heatsinks for the M.2 slot media that you might install in the TS-364, these are remarkably small and a bit underwhelming. On the one hand, the space for the M.2 bays inside the TS-364 is a little small, but there is still amply space for a larger full-2280 length heatsink. Whether this smaller m.2 heatsink is being provided because of space, overall active system temp provisioning or as it is a general part on their production line – it’s still a bit of an underwhelming inclusion, as in a heavy use 24×7 environment, I am unsure how effective these will be.

Overall, I am happy with the compact presentation and accessories, though I wonder how protected it is when shipped fully populated. Let’s take a look at the design of the QNAP TS-364 NAS.

QNAP TS-364 NAS Review – Design

The external chassis of the TS-364 is a rather unusual one that will almost certainly split opinion. For a start, it manages to be both smaller AND bigger than both your average 2-Bay and 4-Bay. As peculiar as that statement might sound, let me explain.

The front of the TS-364 NAS chassis is an almost perfect square, at 142mm x 150mm – shorter than more 2-Bay NAS systems that stack their HDD media vertically internally, as well as narrower than a 4-Bay that has that extra HDD bay. However, in depth/length, it’s a different story as the TS-364 is 260mm deep – that is noticeably deeper than more other desktop NAS chassis (even most 8-Bay systems). This is because the system clearly uses a vertically airflow system, which draws air through the system using a system of front-mounted vent holes and a large rear active fan. There are no holes/vents on the sides, in order to maintain and capitalize on this active airflow.

Alot of the ventilation o nthe front is surprisingly well hidden. The LED panel on the front of the device (which has lights that indicate system access, network activity, HDD health, HDD health and connectivity) neatly surrounds the larger side vent panel very well.

It is only when you angle the chassis up that the ventilation on that front panel under the LEDs is exposed, as well as the base level vents under the HDD media bays and those that are going to pass air directly over the m.2 SSD bays. It’s a neat design move.

The actual chassis design itself might look a bit retro/naff for some and the plastic, white choice in colour/materials is another area that some might not be enormously keen on, but you cannot really fault the venting choices here. Likewise, if this chassis had been metal, it would have noticeably increased the ambient noise level. It is already reported at 20.5  bd(A) which is already higher than when I had it in operation for Plex and software testing – coming soon), so overall I like the design choices here.

The TS-364 also features a useful front-mounted USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5Gb/s) port that can be used for local backups (either direction), peripheral devices, network upgrades (up to 5GbE too, over USB, using QNAP’s own adapter) and more. I have always championed this remarkably underestimated and old skool’ connection of desktop devices and am pleased that this rather compact system still features it.

The overall design of the TS-364 is going to be of little importance to those that plan on setting up the devices in an unseen corner/attic/storage room – but for those that want to desk mount the system nearby, perhaps directly connecting using the aforementioned USB-to-5GbE adapter for high speed local work might find the TS-364’s oddly long shape to be problematic. Still, for what it is trying to achieve and in order to facilitate three hard drive bays and cool 2 M.2 NVMe bays, I think the system did the right thing. Now, let’s talk connectivity.

QNAP TS-364 NAS Review – Ports & Connections

The connectivity of the TS-364 NAS is something that I think falls somewhere between ‘good stuff’ and ‘just enough’. Remember that QNAP is currently the only brand to have a featured series of 3-Bay devices in their portfolio to fill a surprisingly user-ready middle ground between prosumer and business storage users. Alot of the external connectivity’s good and ‘meh’ comes down to those pesky CPU PCI lanes again. The fact that in order to maintain a good price vs performance point, brands tend to rely on Intel Celeron processors at this tier. These processors have a decent enough level of PCI lanes to spread across storage bays and connectivity, but it is still a finite amount. The result is that those two internal M.2 bays result in a tiny amount of ‘wing clipping’ in the external connectivity. Let’s go through them in a bit, but first, back to cooling!

As mentioned earlier, the TS-364 internal temperature handling comes down to well-placed vents, well placed internal heatsinks and that rear fan. The TS-364 features a 92mm single rear fan that takes up over 50% of the rear of the chassis, DIRECTLY behind those SATA HDD storage bays. It’s RPM can be adjusted of course, but it is recommended to leave it on automatic. Even in very light usage, any particularly noticeably noise came from the HDD media more than the fan.

The first cool thing in connectivity is that the TS-364 is one of the first Prosumer/lite-SMB solutions from QNAP at this scale that includes USB 3.2 gen 2 (10Gb/s) ports. Both are USB Type A and support everything from my powerful USB accessories and tools, to external storage drives of up to 1,000MB/s. It’s a bit odd that this is not the USB on the front of the chassis with 1-touch copying (where someone who regularly but ad hoc connects a drive for work/school to backup FAST), but better to have it than not at all.

Another nice connection choice is the default 2.5GbE network port on the TS-364. QNAP has pretty much set 2.5x standard gigabit connectivity as the standard on 80-85% of their hardware and almost certainly it will be 100% in the next year or so. The act that this is arriving at the same price point at 1GbE means, as well as being completely backwards compatible is a definite bonus.

There is the minor complaint that it is a single ethernet port (not the 2x 2.5G on the TBS-464 or the 2x ports that will almost certainly arrive in the likes of the TS-264, TS-262 or even TS-x53E series at some point far into the future no doubt), but again, at this price point, it’s a tough complaint to keep up with. Below is the reported maximum by QNAP in this connection, but also it is a shame that this system lacks the 10GbE (SFP+) port of the TS-332X before it. Though this is likely that blasted CPU PIC limitation again, plus the TS-332X had a shocking weaker CPU by comparison.

The QNAP TS-364 also features an HDMI output, much like the rest of the SMB Intel-powered devices from QNAP. This means that the system can support a parallel GUI via an HDMI TV or monitor, as well as Keyboard, Video Mouse (KVM) support with the use of USB wired peripherals, Bluetooth adapter connected wireless peripherals and several network remote controls (plus the QNAP QRemote application for Android and iOS). The TS-364 features HDMI 1.4b, so 1080p at 60FPS and 4K at 30FPS, which is a slight downgrade on the HDMI 2.0 available on other TS-x64 NAS systems revealed so far.

I am working on a 2021/2022 revisit of HD Station from QNAP, but below is the Setup guide and overview of the application from last year that still covers a lot of the platforms abilities and features:

The external connectivity of the TS-364 is a good mix of useful, if somewhat safe choices by QNAP. I like what is here but the bits that shine do seem to have the tiniest pinch of compromise about them (2.5G but a single port, 10G USB but not on the front, HDMI but 1.6b rev). Let’s open up this NAS system and take a look at media drive installation and those internal hardware specifications.

Accessing the inside of the TS-364 is easy, with the removal of three rear screws, the chassis comes apart in two halves, revealing the internal storage bays, the memory upgrade slots and the Intel Celeron CPU inside. Let’s discuss that internal hardware in detail.

QNAP TS-364 NAS Review – Internal Hardware

The TS-364 does not support any kind of hot swapping, as it does not use external removable trays. Instead, it features the three SATA storage media bays in a cage arrangement, with the two m.2 SSD media bays, SODIMM memory slots and CPU+heatsink neatly located underneath in the fan’s air path.

The three SATA hard Drive trays do not require a screw driver to install the media, though installation of SATA SSDs is going to prove difficult/impossible without an adapter. The trays themselves are also a little flimsier than those found in a system that supports hot-swapping (i.e removal whilst the system is in operation).

The trays are a U shaped surround that features four-pin clips each that hold the 3.5″ SATA Hard drive in place. Clearly the usual trays that QNAP use in their system’s would be unsuitable large in this chassis, but these still feel a little underwhelming. Your TS-364 NAS can be operated with as little as a single HDD inside, but with all three bays populated you can take advantage of RAID configurations like RAID 5 for a better balance of storage, performance and redundancy (i.e a safety net if a drive dies). The latest 18TB and 20TB drives slot neatly into the chassis, which means a potential 60TB of raw HDD storage can be achieved in the TS-364 – for such a small physical size and just three bays of storage – that IS impressive!

Revisiting the subject of CPU PCI lanes leads to one part of the TS-364 architecture that may disappoint. Each of the M.2 NVMe SSD slots is PCIe Gen 3 x2 in bandwidth. This means that each slot can provide a potential 2,000MB/s of performance. However, the majority of modern PCIe Gen 3 SSDs arrive in Gen 3×4, normally hitting the 3,000-3,400MB/s performance mark. It is still great to have the flexibility of Hard Drives AND NVMe SSD, but it is still a shame that each slot has this unavoidable bottleneck internally. The fact they are included is still a HUGE bonus overall though, with the system supporting the use of these M.2 SSD bays for caching, raw storage pools or tiered storage alongside the HDDs RAID.

The CPU and memory used in the TS-364 are also of a good standard for a 2021/2022 Prosumer/SMB NAS release. Alongside an Intel Celeron CPU, it also arrives with 4GB of DDR4 2666Mhz memory (which can be upgraded to the maximum 16GB supported by the CPU). 4GB is still very decent about of base-level memory on this NAS and the fact that QNAP has included 2666Mhz memory (when older-gen units have always had 2400Mhz) is also a good sign for the brand’s future releases too. But the CPU is where I really want to focus.

The Celeron series is one that is generally refreshed every 18-24months by Intel on their production line. However, because of semi-conductor shortages and the effects of the pandemic in 2020/2021 on production lines, the result is that the Intel Celeron series most recent revisions have been remarkably erratic and the result is that the Celeron CPU of the newest TS-x64 series from QNAP actually spans three different (but VERY similar CPUs).

In the case of the TS-364, it arrives with the Intel N5105 or N5095. Both are 2.0Ghz in architecture that can be boosted to 2.9Ghz by the system when needed, as well as supporting on-broad graphics (so the support of transcoding and handling graphical data like 4K media and 3D images) to the same degree, AES-NI inline encryption and a great floating point. Aside from very minor differences around encoding/decoding and a slightly raised TDP (so, the amount of heat vs power draw) on the N5095, they are pretty much identical. Both are a nice jump up from the 2017/18 generation Intel Celeron J4115/J4125 that is used in the previous generation and at this price point, I am happy with this chip. Expect Plex testing and Virtual Machine testing soon.

Overall, the internal architecture of the QNAP TS-364 NAS at its £350-400 price (TBC at launch), which will almost certainly be lower on most e-retailers, seems a reasonable price for the architecture here. Let’s talk a little bit about the software included with the TS-364, known as QTS 5.

QNAP TS-364 NAS Review – Software & Services

Alongside the hardware of the TS-364 NAS, you also receive the complete software and services package of QNAP QTS (currently in version 5.0). This is a complete operating system. similar in design and presentation to Android OS, it runs hundreds of applications, services and functions, as well as arriving with many mobile and desktop client applications that allow you to interact with the data on your NAS in a much more tailored way. Alongside this, the QNAP QTS software on the TS-364 also includes a few extra SSD tools for anti-wearing on the SSDs, better SSD profiling and even options to separate the media into storage, caching or tiered storage where appropriate. The performance and services of QTS have been covered many times on this channel, so reviewing it’s individual performance on the TS-364 NAS is a difficult task, as we have to look at two key things. Is QTS a good software platform and is QTS 5.0 a substantial update on QTS 4.5? On the first score, I can comfortably say that QNAP NAS software and services have truly come into their own and the balancing act of supplying the end-user with the flexibility to use the system ‘their way’, whilst still keeping it user friendly is the best it has ever been. Is it perfect, no. In its efforts to make itself customizable in every way possible, QTS develops an inadvertent learning curve that may catch some novice users unaware. Likewise, although QTS 5 has done a lot of work on its presentation of information and notifications, there is still the odd moment of ‘TMI’ when switching between services on the fly. QNAP’s NAS software is still easily one of the most adaptable in the market right now and allows users to have a truly unique storage environment if they choose and although not quite as user-friendly as Synology DSM, it counters this by being fantastically flexibly by comparison (from file/folder structure to 3rd party services support and connectivity). In order to see the extent of the latest version of QNAP TS 5.0 use the links below to the written review and video below released in late 2021:

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

Tests of the QNAP TS-364 on how it performs as a Plex Media Server, host for Virtual Machines and more will be conducted shortly over on NASCompares YouTube channel. I recommend visiting there to learn more. Below is the video review for the QNAP TS-364 NAS

QNAP TS-364 NAS Review – Conclusion & Verdict

Once again, QNAP (in my opinion of course) are still very much the true innovators of the NAS hardware industry, seemingly exploring and almost always delivering on solutions that change what we expect private home/business servers to look like, support and provide. The TS-364 3-Bay (TECHNICALLY 5-Bay if you want to be accurate about it) has one heck of a balancing act to perform, providing more than the typical 2-Bay desktop chassis like the TS-253D and TS-264 are promising, whilst not leaning TOO heavily on the TS-453D and TS-464 to make itself or those redundant in price or approach. I think it MOSTLY sticks the landing and what you have here is the best example of this series that QNAP has ever produced, managing to balance the price point and value just right. In my introduction, I asked three questions. 1) Is this a suitable alternative to a 2/4-Bay? – It DEFINITELY is a good option, for those that are stuck between the rock and a hard place of 2 or 4 bays! 2) Is this TOO niche, even for a subject that is already as niche as NAS? – No, I think this system provides a valuable and till-now often overlooked section of the buying market. And 3) Ultimately does it deserve your data? – I think if you are a 2-Bay buyer, then spending the tiny bit extra for this 3-Bay is a no brainer, but if you are looking at 4-Bays, then the 3-Bay TS-364 might lack the extra storage potential, PCIe upgrades and base level connectivity long term of current prosumer 4-Bays like the TS-453D and TS-464. Overall, I like what the TS-364 is offering here and I think it fits well in the QNAP portfolio and solutions available to the end-user.

PROs of the QNAP TS-364 NAS CONs of the QNAP TS-364 NAS
Best example of 3-Bay NAS series so far

Quieter than I expected in use

Newest Gen Intel Celeron CPU available on NAS right now

2.5GbE Ready and has 2x USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gb/s)

Good balance of HDD and SSD Storage Support

VERY compact deployment

4GB Memory by default and 16GB Max is good upgradability

Surprisingly small, fo so much storage (long-ish though)

QTS 5 has more 1st Party applications and services than any previous version

The lack of 10GbE from the TS-332X is a shame (PCI Lane related)

The NVMe SSD Bays are PCIe Gen 3 x2 (PCI Lane related)

HDMI 1.4b not HDMI 2.0/a

 


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