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Black Friday 2022 Deals on QNAP NAS

24 novembre 2022 à 09:13

Bargains and Deals on QNAP NAS Drives this Black Friday 2022

Whether it is a brand new purchase that you have been researching these past months OR you are looking to upgrade your old TS-253 Pro, TS-453A or TS-453Be NAS, there seems to be ALOT of planned discounts globally for the current and previous generation of QNAP NAS drive systems. With several high-profile SMB NAS systems in the TS-x64 and TS-x53E series having been released in the Spring/Summer of 2022, this is likely to be the time that these systems see their very first significant discount (especially now that Synology has introduced/revealed/released the DS1522+, DS923+ and DS723+ Winter). Additionally, there is still stock of the older QNAP TS-x53D, TS-51D and even TVS-x72 around, so almost certainly these will be on offer across multiple retailers, at some great discounts. Below is my breakdown of the QNAP NAS systems for budget buyers, Plex Media Server, fast backups, surveillance and even something for the video editors after a 10GbE/Thunderbolt NAS solution – the majority of which will be on offer this Black Friday Day. Alongside this, I will be updating this page regularly throughout the week with further Prime Day deals that myself and my team spot throughout the week in everything from NAS, to DAS, from routers to switches and from HDDs to SSDs! Before we go any further though – What are the MAIN deals you should look for this Black Friday 2022? Let’s begin.

————–  Useful Links  —————

US Amazon Amazon Black Friday Page

UK Amazon Amazon Black Friday Page

Amazon Warehouse (20% Off Everything) – USA

Amazon Warehouse (20% Off Everything) – UK

Amazon Warehouse (20% Off Everything) – Germany

TOP QNAP NAS Deals to Watch Out For on Black Friday 2022

Even though there will likely be numerous deals on QNAP NAS systems (largely focused on desktop NAS systems of course), the following three NAS Drives are the ones I recommend for those on a tight budget, those looking for an affordable media/plex server or those looking to do a little bit of EVERYTHING! I have linked each to Amazon in order to check how much it will be on offer during Black Friday, but they will all likely be on offer in numerous locations during the event too. Here is what I recommend:

QNAP TS-464 NAS Drive – This is the new Prosumer desktop 4-Bay NAS from QNAP. Arriving with a fantastic hardware architecture, such as an Intel Quad Core N5105, 4-16GB Memory, M.2 NVMe Bays, PCIe Upgrade Slot, USB 3.2 Gen 2, HDMI 4K and more, this is a real compact powerhouse of a system and almost certainly will see good offers across multiple sites – Check HERE

Alternatively, the QNAP TS-464 NAS is also going on a Black Friday sale over on Box. You can find it HERE

QNAP TS-453E NAS Drive – Released a few months after the QNAP TS-464, the TS-453E is a marginally less scalable box BUT it makes up for it with incredible base-level hardware at a fantastic price (even when not on offer). Another (newer) Quad-Core Intel Powered CPU in the J6412, it also arrives by default with 8GB of Memory, NVMe SSD bays, 2.5GbE network ports and all this in a very compact casing. With great performance in Plex Media server, as well as the majority of QTS 5.1 applications, the TS-453E is the Prosumers NAS for home users who don’t need/want to pay extra for upgrades down the line. – Check HERE

QNAP TS-453D NAS – This Summer 2020 released QNAP NAS is continuing to see discounts in a number of locations, as Synology continue to roll out the new TS-X53E and TS-X64 generation desktop NAS devices. However, the TS-453D is still a fantastically solid NAS, with a Quad Core Intel Celeron CPU, 4-8GB of Memory, 2.5G, TONNES of different local ports and even has a PCI e Upgrade slot for 10GbE, More 2.5GbE ports or combo cards. You ca find the offer for this over on eBuyer HERE

QNAP TS-233 NAS Drive – A much more modest system than the two NAS I just mentioned, the TS-233 is a low-power, low-impact 2-Bay NAS (also available in the TS-133 1-Bay and TS-433 4-Bay) that runs on a Realtek Quad Core 64bit ARM processor, 2GB of DDR4 memory and is still able to support a large number of QNAP Applications (including the QVR Elite surveillance App, AI-Powered Photo Tool QuMagie, the Hybrid Backup Sync 3-2-1 Backup service and more. With energy prices increasing noticeably in 2022, this is very much a 24×7 NAS for those keeping an eye on the meter! Check HERE

Best All Rounder QNAP NAS

Best Plex & QNAP NAS

Best Budget QNAP NAS

QNAP TS-464 NAS Drive

QNAP TS-453E NAS Drive

QNAP TS-233 NAS Drive

 


BEST QNAP Black Friday 2022 Deal – QNAP TS-464 NAS

When QNAP launched their 2022 generation of hardware, the unit that REALLY stood out from the pack was the TS-464 NAS. This system pretty much delivered EVERYTHING that NAS buyers have been asking/demanding for at this price point for the last 6-7 years. The most powerful and capable Intel celeron featuring in NAS yet, DDR4 memory upto 16GB. M.2 NVMe SSD  says for caching OR storage, 4K HDMI, two 2.5GbE bays, 10Gb/s USB ports AND a PCIe slot to improve the system’s network ports and/or storage even more! The TS-464 was such a beast that when launched, it IMMEDIATELY SOLD OUT EVERYWHERE!!! It took the better part of 4-5 months after release (April/May 2022) of the TS-464 to start seeing stock availability become a little more stable. Fast forward to now on Black Friday 2022 and the TS-464 is now much more available AND it has started seeing it’s price point drop.

Now, although the price change can be attributed a little to the amount of time that the TS-464 has been available to buy, it has also been caused by the release of QNAP’s big rival ‘Synology’ releasing their DS923+ NAS 4-Bay. I can definitely see the QNAP TS-464 NAS appearing on a few limited sales over the Black Friday period, though do not expect the stock to be especially high – so be quick on this one!

QNAP TS-464 NAS

CPU: Intel N5105 4-Core Celeron
Memory:Bays: 4-16GB
M.2 NVMe Bays: 2x m.2 NVMe, Caching and Storage Pools
Network Ports: 2x 2.5GbE
USB: USB 3.2 Gen 2 x3
KVM: Yes
Network Upgrade: Yes
Powered by an Intel® Celeron® N5095, quad-core processor (burst up to 2.9GHz), the TS-464 features two 2.5GbE RJ45 ports and Port Trunking for up to 5Gbps combined bandwidth. With M.2 PCIe Gen3 and PCIe Gen 3 slots, the TS-464 provides flexibility in extending NAS functionality, allowing you to install a QM2 card for M.2 SSD caching, or Edge TPU for AI image recognition and various 10GbE/5GbE network cards. The TS-464 comes with 4 GB RAM for running light VMs and Containers, and supports multi-cloud backup, cloud storage gateways, 4K HDMI output and real-time transcoding, alongside expandable storage capacity and feature-rich apps to perform as a cost-efficient, reliable 2.5GbE NAS.
Links


 

BEST Surveillance NVR NAS Black Friday 2022 Deal – QNAP TS-453D

Arriving at a price point that is a pinch higher than some might expect (especially those weighing up between the TS-453D and TS-453Be), this serves as a more compact and affordable alternative to the TVS-473e and TVS-472XT. The TS-453D NAS is something that QNAP should be proud of. It is a great entry into their already impressive range of desktop NAS devices, finding an excellent balance between home and business users. If you are looking for a brand new ‘powerful on a budget’ NAS to consolidate your home media, Set up a Surveillance network, run virtual OS environments, sort through photo media, support your relatives 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 TS-453D has alot to offer you. It gives you a great base to start using the QTS platform, as well as a good means to upgrade your storage internally at a later date (expansions in memory to 8GB, expansions in storage with the TL & TR Series, expansion in NVMe, 10Gbe both in the QM2 range and more). When it comes to surveillance though, the fact the TS-453D has KVM support, is upgradable in about 5 different ways AND has 8 camera licences with QVR Pro, means that it is a fantastic Surveillance NAS indeed. Plus, now that you can upgrade AI services thanks to the m.2 connected $29 MTU upgrade card. As you can see from the graph below, pricing has been tremendously dynamic since the launch of the TS-464 and TS-453E NAS:

That said, If you are an existing TS-453Be or TS-453B owner, this might not seem like the jump you were waiting for. Likewise, the odd choice of PCIe Gen 2 x2 may present an internal bottleneck for some.

QNAP TS-453D NAS

CPU: Intel J4125 4-Core Celeron
Memory:Bays: 4-8GB
M.2 NVMe Bays: No
Network Ports: 2x 2.5GbE
USB: USB 3.2 Gen 1 x 3, USB 2.0 x2
KVM: Yes
Network Upgrade: Yes
The new-gen Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) trend has driven higher bandwidth demands for wired and wireless network connections. By integrating Intel® Celeron® J4125 quad-core 2.0 GHz processor and 2.5GbE connectivity, the TS-453D not only provides modern businesses an excellent NAS solution to upgrade to 2.5GbE environments for productive daily backup/restore tasks, but also provides gamers with ample storage for their vast game collections. Up to 5 Gbps transfer speeds can be made by setting port trunking with the two built-in 2.5GbE ports. The TS-453D also supports PCIe expansion, multi-cloud backup, cloud storage gateways, 4K HDMI output and real-time transcoding, alongside expandable storage capacity and feature-rich apps to perform as a cost-efficient, reliable 2.5GbE NAS.
Links

QNAP NAS to Watch Out For this Black Friday 2022

Below is a list of the QNAP NAS that I would recommend for different users. Each has been picked for this list based on their ability to perform a certain task/service (backups, Plex Media Server, Surveillance, Video Editing, etc) and I have supplied links to amazon for each (to check stock and price status), as well as links to the amazon warehouse pages (as it will be a 20% off this Black Friday) and even links to our NASCompares price comparison pages. Take a look and see if these systems meet your needs and your budget this Black Friday 2022.

QNAP TS-133 1-Bay – Budget NAS

Powered by quad-core 1.4 GHz processor, the TS-131K provides 1 drive bays storage space to securely store your important files and data, while allowing you to easily share files with family and friends. Featuring a compact pure white minimalist design, the TS-131K can easily integrate with any home décor and takes up very little space. The TS-131K comes with lockable drive trays, ensuring the drives will not be accidentally removed or fall out and cause data loss. The TS-131K provides comprehensive local, off-site and cloud backup and secure Snapshot technology to help create a reliable backup and disaster recovery plan. In the event of a system crash or accidental file deletion, you can quickly restore the system to its normal state
 

 

Look for Current Offers:

Look for Amazon Warehouse Offers:

20% off During Black Friday

 


 

QNAP TS-233 2-Bay – Small & Quiet NAS

Run your own personal cloud storage and enjoy easy file access, sharing, and syncing with the TS-233. Designed to enhance collaboration and increase remote work productivity, the TS-233 also features rich multimedia applications and provides a complete home entertainment portal.
 

 

Look for Current Offers:

Look for Amazon Warehouse Offers:

20% off During Black Friday

 


 

QNAP TS-431KX 4-Bay – Value 10GbE NAS

Powered by quad-core 1.7 GHz processor, the TS-431K provides 4 drive bays storage space to securely store your important files and data, while allowing you to easily share files with family and friends. Featuring a compact pure white minimalist design, the TS-431K can easily integrate with any home décor and takes up very little space. The TS-431K comes with lockable drive trays, ensuring the drives will not be accidentally removed or fall out and cause data loss. The TS-431K provides comprehensive local, off-site and cloud backup and secure Snapshot technology to help create a reliable backup and disaster recovery plan. In the event of a system crash or accidental file deletion, you can quickly restore the system to its normal state.
 

 

Look for Current Offers:

Look for Amazon Warehouse Offers:

20% off During Black Friday

 

Black Friday 2022 – QNAP NAS Drives for PLEX

One of the big appeals of a QNAP NAS drive is to use it as a Plex Media Server. Plex (if you didn’t know) is just as slick, fast and beautiful in design as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and HBO Now, but instead of streaming/renting your content, you play the movies, tv shows and music that you own! Having your own Plex Media Server QNAP NAS is fantastically appealing and a much more financially appealing choice than paying monthly for content you do not get to own. Below are the best 3 QNAP NAS deals this Black Friday for a Plex Media Server in 2022.

 


 

QNAP TS-453E 4-Bay – RAID 5 Plex NAS

The TS-453E features 2.5GbE connectivity, 8GB RAM, and M.2 slots for NVMe SSD caching to deliver high performance for applications such as surveillance systems, virtual machines, file servers or backup servers. Dual HDMI outputs also provide direct multimedia playback and robust surveillance monitoring. QNAP will provide long-term availability and support for the TS-453E, providing a great choice for businesses requiring matching NAS models deployed in multiple locations.
 

 

Look for Current Offers:

Look for Amazon Warehouse Offers:

20% off During Black Friday

 


 

QNAP TS-464 4-Bay – Best All-Round NAS

Powered by an Intel® Celeron® N5095, quad-core processor (burst up to 2.9GHz), the TS-464 features two 2.5GbE RJ45 ports and Port Trunking for up to 5Gbps combined bandwidth. With M.2 PCIe Gen3 and PCIe Gen 3 slots, the TS-464 provides flexibility in extending NAS functionality, allowing you to install a QM2 card for M.2 SSD caching, or Edge TPU for AI image recognition and various 10GbE/5GbE network cards. The TS-464 comes with 4 GB RAM for running light VMs and Containers, and supports multi-cloud backup, cloud storage gateways, 4K HDMI output and real-time transcoding, alongside expandable storage capacity and feature-rich apps to perform as a cost-efficient, reliable 2.5GbE NAS.
 

 

Look for Current Offers:

Look for Amazon Warehouse Offers:

20% off During Black Friday

 


 

QNAP TVS-672XT 6-Bay – 10GbE & TB3 NAS

Powered by an 8th generation Intel® Core™ processor, the high-performance TVS-672XT NAS features both 10GBASE-T and Thunderbolt™ 3 high-bandwidth connectivity for tackling heavy workloads and smoothly transferring, displaying and editing 4K videos in real-time. With M.2 SSD support and the ability to install a graphics card, the TVS-672XT provides the ability to boost performance and create a scalable working environment for collaboration and high-speed file sharing. The TVS-672XT is driven by high-quality hardware that delivers optimum performance, comprehensive multimedia features, expandable storage capacity, and numerous other NAS functionalities to inspire greater creativity and accomplishments!

Look for Current Offers:

Look for Amazon Warehouse Offers:

20% off During Black Friday

 


 

Black Friday 2022 – QNAP NAS Drives for Business

Storing your photography or Video Editing archive for post-production on a QNAP NAS is something that has grown in popularity in the last few years. Now in 2022, not only can a QNAP NAS be used to store your photos/video, but with upgraded connections to 10Gbe, Thunderbolt 3 to 10Gbe Adapters and link aggregation becoming more affordable, buying a QNAP NAS this Black Friday 2022 for your post-production and live editing is easier than ever before Below are three great options for editors looking for a QNAP NAS Deal today.

 


 

QNAP TS-473A 4-Bay – Best SMB Scalable NAS

The TS-473 is powered by a high-performance and energy-efficient AMD R-Series CPU and provides two PCIe slots for greater functionality. You can install a QNAP QM2 expansion card to add M.2 SSD caching/10GbE connectivity; a compatible wireless card to use the TS-473 as a wireless access point; and an entry-level graphics card to boost system performance for 4K video performance. The TS-473 allows you to flexibly deploy a wide range of applications with a more affordable budget.
 

 

Look for Current Offers:

Look for Amazon Warehouse Offers:

20% off During Black Friday

 

 


 

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

Powered by an Intel® Core™ i3/i5 processor, the high-performance TVS-872X NAS features built-in 10GbE connectivity for boosted virtualization performance and streamlined backup and application workflows from multiple workstations. The TVS-872X also supports M.2 NVMe SSDs for cache acceleration, PCIe expansion, multi-cloud backup, 4K HDMI 2.0 output and real-time transcoding, alongside expandable storage capacity and feature-rich apps to perform as a cost-efficient, reliable, and multifunctional NAS solution.
 

 

Look for Current Offers:

Look for Amazon Warehouse Offers:

20% off During Black Friday


Hot Tips when you Buy a NAS this Black Friday 2022

In order for you to get the very best NAS deals this Black Friday, here are some hot tips that I have personally used for the last few years to get the very best deals.

Amazon Warehouse Deals are 20% lower

For those that aren’t aware, Amazon has a whole section of their website that is dedicated to pre-owned and opened items. This includes both NAS, hard drives, SSD and more for your storage. During Amazon Black Friday 2022, the discount on these broken-seal items will be increased by an additional 20% and for those looking for an insane bargain, this will be irresistible.

Another tip when buying NAS or Hard Drives from Amazon Warehouse is that although (as they are broken seal/used/returned items) they have a shorter warranty from Amazon, you will almost certainly be able to claim the FULL warranty coverage from Synology, QNAP, WD or Seagate. They just want your serial number and a receipt of purchase – this will not state the amazon reduced warranty.

Amazon Warehouse for different countries can be found below:

Amazon Warehouse (20% Off Everything) – USA

Amazon Warehouse (20% Off Everything) – UK

Amazon Warehouse (20% Off Everything) – Germany

Latest Deals Update and Notifications

If you want to make sure you see the LATEST Black Friday deals for NAS (as new ones are added every hour) then I would recommend checking the official Amazon Prime page regularly. It will also include the very latest Lightning Deals too

US Amazon Amazon Black Friday Page

UK Amazon Amazon Black Friday Page

Amazon Prime for FREE

The prices listed on Amazon for NAS during the Black Friday event are only available to Prime members. If you are not a member, don’t worry, as you can use the 30-Day free trial to sign up for a Prime, or just pay for 1 month of Prime as a student and get it at 50% off. Then after you finish your purchase, you can cancel your subscription. The other bonus of this is that you will qualify for fast, next day delivery for free. I would recommend however that you do not cancel your subscription until you have received your order and tested your item.

As then you will still be able to take advantage of the fast and free return policy extended to Prime members. This is especially useful when buying NAS Hard Drives and you are worried about broken drives!

Improved Delivery on your NAS Black Friday Deal

It is a well-known fact that Amazon Prime membership includes free next day delivery and Amazon has even upped the stakes by stating that they will be providing the fastest-ever Black Friday delivery of just 14 minutes between the cart and the courier, last year we saw and heard numerous examples of delivery issues with Black Friday deals, adding 2-3 days on supposed next-day shipping.

If any of your Amazon Prime delivery dates are not the 24 hours turn around that they promise, then definitely complain to Amazon after you receive your goods (not before) as they will almost certainly have a deluge of customer enquiries after Black Friday 2022 and  in an effort to conclude the matter, you might get an additional discount, a gift vouchers or more. Currently, the trending ‘gesture of goodwill’ gift is a free month of Prime membership.

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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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How to PROPERLY Backup Your Google Photos to QNAP NAS

21 novembre 2022 à 18:00

How to 100% Backup Your Google Photos Account to ANY QNAP NAS Drive

If you have made the switch from your limited/paid subscription cloud service from Google in favour of buying your own QNAP Server, then you will know that, for the most part, the storage potential of your new NAS drive has better scalability and longevity in your storage than the cloud. That said, there are still a few services that Google has offered users for quite a few years that have so much of your data in them, that you want to make sure that it is carried over to and/or backed up to your qnap NAS). Creating a Backup or Sync job between most cloud services like Google Drive and a QNAP NAS has been a service that has been available in several ways for years. HOWEVER, Google Photos, the service that backs up all the photos you take on your android device (Phone, Tablet, Chromebook, etc), has always been tricky/impossible to backup in a fluid and native feeling way – TILL NOW! Thanks to QNAP’S new MARS application (Multi Application Recovery Service), this has a specific Google Photos backup and synchronization routine in place that allows users to connect their Google Pictures and Albums to the QNAP NAS, then action backup to the NAS storage ad-hoc or on a schedule as needed. So, today I want to show you exactly how to do it. Let’s start.

The Difference Between a Google Photos Backup and Google Drive Backup

Before we go further, it is worth highlighting that this is not the first guide I have written that covers synchronizing and/or backing up your Google Data to a QNAP NAS. However, my previous guide was on how to backup your Google Drive and Google Photos Data via the Google Takeout service (video here too). A few years ago, Google would store the Google Photos data and Files via Google Drive, which made accessing this data much, MUCH easier. However, in recent years Google separated the Photos data into separate Google Photos software services and that made a seamless and automated backup of this data much harder. It is only now with the QNAP MARS tool that we can natively backup the photos, without using a manual download from the Google Takeout service in the middle.

What You Need to Backup and Sync Google Photos with a QNAP NAS

The setup and execution of using MARS to back up your Google Photos account to your QNAP NAS are really easy, only need to be done once and can be very easily configured at any time. t is also worth highlighting that it is possible with even very, VERY cost-effective QNAP NAS systems. As long as your NAS supports QTS 5 (and therefore has access to the MARS free app in the QNAP App Center), you have everything you need. So, to confirm, in order to use this guide you will need:

  • A QNAP NAS Drive – Obviously
  • Access to the NAS via a Web browser and account privileges to install Applications
  • Access to your Google Photos Account
  • A QNAP NAS running QTS 5 / QuTS 5 or Higher
  • The QNAP free MARS App
  • (Optional) Have Multimedia Console and QuMagie installed on Your QNAP NAS

The optional steps are only going to be needed if you want to create a smart photos NAS setup that includes AI-powered photo recognition (faces, things and subjects), as well as integrating the Google Photos collection that you are pulling over to the NAS in with your existing QNAP  NAS Photo collection.

Backing Up Your Google Photos Account to your QNAP NAS Step By Step

These are the steps you need to follow to create a connection between your QNAP NAS and your Google Photos account, for backup or Synchronization services. There are also additional steps that allow you to add browse these photos more effectively in the QNAP QTS platform with Multimedia Console and QuMagie (with AI photo recognition), but these steps are optional.

Step 1 – Log into your QNAP NAS and QTS GUI via the web browser and head into the Application Center

Step 2 – Download and Install the MARS application

Step 3 – Run the MARS Application and select the Google Photos option on the left-hand side

Step 4 – Select the ‘Add Service’ option on the top right, name the connection (anything will do) and then click ‘Connect Google Photos’

Step 5 – Enter Your Google Photos login information and give QNAP MARS access rights

Step 5 – Select the Backup Option on the left, select ‘Google Photos’, name the backup job and then select the ‘Source’ Browse Button

Step 6 – Select the Google Photos Account you connected earlier

Step 7 – Now select the ‘Destination’ Browse Button and highlight where you want the Google Photos to be stored on the QNAP NAS

Step 8 – Select the ‘Multimedia Console’ option if you already have the App installed to ensure it gets indexed

Step 9 – Select ‘ALL’ if you want the entirety of your Google Photos Account Backed Up, or Select Individual Albums here

Step 10 – Select if you want the Google Photos to QNAP NAS Backup to be Manual or on a schedule

Step 11 – Select the Backup Schedule to be at the least inconvenient time (1AM?)

Step 12 – If you want to create separate Backups select the version number and retention policy here

Step 13 – Run the Backup Job to test that all is working!

Step 14 – The Images from your Google Photos Account should now be in the folder of your QNAP NAS you selected

Step 15 (Optional) – Install Multimedia Console if you want the QNAP to Index the Album for NAS Photo Apps to Use

Step 16 (Optional) – Select the QNAP Photo App (QuMagie or Photo Station) and then add the Google Photos Backup Folder You Made

Step 17 (Optional) – Select the ‘Indexing’ Tab if you want to run Index tasks at certain times and with certain priorities

Step 18 (Optional) – Use the QNAP QuMagie AI Powered App with the Google Photo Backup Folder Indexed to Browse the best way

Step 19 (Optional) – QuMagie will begin to identify Faces, Objects and Subjects and begin to process them

And that is it! Now you can use the QuMagie Application to have a much smarter, quicker and better-catalogued photo collection on your QNAP NAS – as well as now adding your Google Photos collection. This can either be used as another layer of Photo backup OR as a means to browse your decades of photos with AI-supported services to catalogue them much ,MUCH quicker, from the privacy and comfort of your home network (i.w NO INTERNET REQUIRED!). Thanks for reading and I hope this guide helped you!

 

Why Choose QNAP NAS after Google Photos?

Of all the brands in NAS, QNAP is one of the most innovative and generally considered to be one of the most flexible brands in terms of their software architecture. Whereas the previous brand, QNAP, will typically ask you to do things their way, QNAP is a great deal more customisable in its software and hardware architecture, allowing you to do things in a way you’re already familiar with and the NAS drive will adjust accordingly. With a greater range of hardware solutions on offer than most other NAS brands, the portfolio can be a touch intimidating. There are significantly more applications available on the software, mobile devices and desktop clients than any other brand and this applies to both photography and generally data. This large degree of flexibility and hardware options can often be to their detriment, as users that want their hand held a little or just want something to work straight away out of the box might find a QNAP a bit of a steep climb by comparison to Google Photos. That said, the software user interface accessible via your web browser is more stylized and comparable to that of Windows and Android, considerably more customisable than any other NAS software but this is presented at the expense of the relative ease of QNAP’s software. Most popular photo backup solutions in the portfolio include:

TOP QNAP NAS Deals to Watch Out For on Black Friday 2022

Even though there will likely be numerous deals on QNAP NAS systems (largely focused on desktop NAS systems of course), the following three NAS Drives are the ones I recommend for those on a tight budget, those looking for an affordable media/plex server or those looking to do a little bit of EVERYTHING! I have linked each to Amazon in order to check how much it will be on offer during Black Friday, but they will all likely be on offer in numerous locations during the event too. Here is what I recommend:

QNAP TS-464 NAS Drive – This is the new Prosumer desktop 4-Bay NAS from QNAP. Arriving with a fantastic hardware architecture, such as an Intel Quad Core N5105, 4-16GB Memory, M.2 NVMe Bays, PCIe Upgrade Slot, USB 3.2 Gen 2, HDMI 4K and more, this is a real compact powerhouse of a system and almost certainly will see good offers across multiple sites – Check HERE

QNAP TS-453E NAS Drive – Released a few months after the QNAP TS-464, the TS-453E is a marginally less scalable box BUT it makes up for it with incredible base-level hardware at a fantastic price (even when not on offer). Another (newer) Quad-Core Intel Powered CPU in the J6412, it also arrives by default with 8GB of Memory, NVMe SSD bays, 2.5GbE network ports and all this in a very compact casing. With great performance in Plex Media server, as well as the majority of QTS 5.1 applications, the TS-453E is the Prosumers NAS for home users who don’t need/want to pay extra for upgrades down the line. – Check HERE

QNAP TS-233 NAS Drive – A much more modest system than the two NAS I just mentioned, the TS-233 is a low-power, low-impact 2-Bay NAS (also available in the TS-133 1-Bay and TS-433 4-Bay) that runs on a Realtek Quad Core 64bit ARM processor, 2GB of DDR4 memory and is still able to support a large number of QNAP Applications (including the QVR Elite surveillance App, AI-Powered Photo Tool QuMagie, the Hybrid Backup Sync 3-2-1 Backup service and more. With energy prices increasing noticeably in 2022, this is very much a 24×7 NAS for those keeping an eye on the meter! Check HERE

Best All Rounder QNAP NAS

Best Plex & QNAP NAS

Best Budget QNAP NAS

QNAP TS-464 NAS Drive

QNAP TS-453E NAS Drive

QNAP TS-233 NAS Drive

 

QNAP NAS Advantages

  • By far the most hardware-equipped NAS brand
  • The largest number of applications for media and backups
  • A wider range of supported 3rd Party platforms and services
  • Very software/folder path customizable
  • Excellent indexing/thumbnail generation (Multimedia console)

QNAP NAS Disadvantages

  • It can be a touch intimidating on day 1
  • Less suitable for ‘setup and forget’ users

 

 

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

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

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

 

QNAP TS-453E NAS – Power Consumption Tests

14 octobre 2022 à 16:30

How Much Does it Cost to Run a NAS 24×7? QNAP TS-453E

The growing cost of electricity and how much you need to factor this into your budget is quite a valid concern. Due to any one of about a hundred different global factors (local conflict, slow renewable energy uptake, monopolizing energy companies with powerful lobbying – take your pick!) most of us in 2022/2023 have seen increases in energy costs. In this energy-aware climate, it can be appreciated that a NAS drive (a 24×7 appliance) seemingly has its cost to the end user in terms of electricity as something of a vague number. With so many kinds of NAS available in the market, featuring a mix of CPUs, PSUs, Bays and utilities, PLUS the wide range of HDD/SSD drives in the market to choose from – there are just so many variables when trying to work out how much power your NAS drive is using and how much that is translating to in your monthly energy bill! So, today’s article is about working out how much electricity the new 2022/2023 generation QNAP TS-453E NAS and four (current maximum capacity in the NAS HDD world) WD Red Plus 4TB HDDs will consume, as well as how much that equals to you in £, $ or € per day, month and year! Let’s begin.

The QNAP TS-453E NAS
Current Price/Availability on Amazon –$699+
The WD Red Plus 4TB HDD (x4)
Current Price/Availability on Amazon –$79
Intel J6412 CPU, 4-Core 2.0-2.6Ghz Celeron CPU
8GB 3200Mhz non-ECC Memory, 2.5GbE
4 Terabyte Capacity – SATA 3.5″ Form Factor
5400RPM – 64MB Cache – 4x 1TB Platters

NAS Power Use Test Setup

Choosing the appropriate NAS drive for these tests was always going to be tough. I DO intend on repeating these tests with several different NAS drives after this in some follow-up articles (the larger article that I will be adding to can be found HERE), but wanted this test to be focused on one of the newest releases for home users by QNAP (and the TS-453E is their latest prosumer devices and already quite popular). This NAS has been paired with the WD Red Plus 4TB HDD, by far (even in 2022) the most popular storage tier/scale in the HDD lineup. The aim here is to identify the difference between using newer gen CPUs and Larger drives vs using older-generation devices and smaller-capacity media. This will involve 2x tests on each NAS+Media configuration. Here is a breakdown of the hardware configurations and test architectures:

  • QNAP TS-453E NAS, Default Celeron+8GB Memory Setup over 1/2.5GbE
  • 4x WD Red Plus 4TB (QNAP Test in RAID 5)
  • During ‘ACTIVE’ 24hr Tests, the NAS was prevented from going into standby/idle. 1 VM running, 1-Core and 1GB Memory, 2x IP Cameras recording non-stop, drive S.M.A.R.T tests scheduled to be hourly
  • During IDLE 24hr Tests, the VM was deleted, VM and Surveillance Software disabled, ALL S.M.A.R.T tests disabled and network cable (1GbE network, 2.5GbE Port) disconnected.
  • The first day of operation (which includes initialization and RAID creation) not counted (but visible at the start of the graph).
  • Power was monitored with a GOSUND SMART KIT Smart Plug, Mini 13A – Find HERE

The initial 24 hours (used for system initialization and RAID configuration) were NOT included in the power usage monitoring, as although they appear on the graph they are one-off single-event scenarios. Each test (Active vs Idle) was conducted for 24hrs and the overall electricity usage was displayed in kw (kilowatt). But what is the difference between Active and Idle activity? Why does it matter?

What is the Difference Between a NAS Drive ‘Active’ and in ‘IDLE / Standby’?

Although a NAS is designed to be in operation 24×7 and is consuming electricity when running, the actual reality of this and the extent to which it is consuming it is actually alot more nuanced. Most home users who have a NAS system will use the NAS directly for a significant;y smaller portion of time per day than it is actually powered on for. Perhaps to stream a movie or a couple of TV episodes, run a daily backup, have a couple of cameras in/outside their home that are sending recordings (or more likely just alerts and associated captures) to the NAS and that is about it. They will periodically do more than these, maybe a VM, more sophisticated backup or use some of the other services ad hoc, but the result is that in most domestic/bog standard home scenarios, a NAS will be switched internally to Idle/Standby after no pro-active use quite quickly and spend 80-90% of the time in low power modes. Business users might well be using the system 24×7 for sync’d tasks and on-going camera recording, but even then, this will be a lower %  of system resources in use. So, in order to find a comparable and relative means to study the electricity use of a NAS and it’s cost, I have conducted two tests per NAS+HDD configuration. The first, a 24 Hour Active test, with the system using a decent % of it’s CPU+Memory, a swell as the HDDs not being given the chance to switch to Idle/Standy (by constantly writing AND performing S.M.A.R.T tests hourly). The idle tests involve all of those apps, services and scheduled operations being cancelled and the network cable being disconnected from the NAS (for another 24hrs). From here we can work out the cost of an hour of power usage by either setup in high activity and near-zero activity. But how can we work out the COST of the electricity used by the NAS in that time period?

How Energy Costs in these NAS Tests were Calculated?

The results of the energy usage are then cross-referenced by ‘sust-it.net’ and calculations of the cost of the used electricity per day, month and year was calculated for the UK, U.S, Germany, Australia and Canada. Now, using a select energy tariff is much harder, as there are quite literally thousands of different energy providers globally, each with their own pricing on the cost of energy per ‘kWh’. So, I used the national average calculations that were provided by ‘sust-it’ for each of those areas. Some are clearly more up-to-date than others (i.e the United Kingdom Avg Energy cost tariff is dated October 2022, whereas the Canada’s average energy cost is from way back in March 2020), however, these will still provide a good basis for understanding what a NAS drive is going to cost you in electricity when it is in operation. The national tariff averages used in this article for each region are as follows:

UK: Energy Price (October 2022) electricity rate of 34.00 pence per kWh.

USA: Average (Feb 2022) electricity rate of 14.80 cents per kWh.

Germany: Average (June 2021) electricity rate of 31.93 Eurocents per kWh.

Australia: Average (March 2022) electricity rate of 23.59 cents per kWh.

Canada: Average (2020) electricity rate of 8.50 cents per kWh.

Source – https://www.sust-it.net

There are the rates that we will be using to calculate the running costs of the QNAP NAS system (and more importantly its WD Drive setup and CPU usage).

Click to view slideshow.

Test #1 – QNAP TS-453E NAS and 4X 4TB WD Red Drives

TS-453E
TS-453E

I set the QNAP TS-453E NAS and WD Red 4TB Hard drives up in the following configuration for the Active tests:

  • QNAP TS-453E NAS PSU = 100W External PSU, Intel Celeron J6412 Quad Core 2.0-2.6Ghz, 8GB DDR4 3200Mhz Memory
  • WD Red Plus 4TB HDD, RAID 5
  • QVR Pro 9 and 2x Reolink Dome IP Cameras (24hrs Active)
  • QNAP Virtualization Station, 1x Windows VM, 1 Core, 1GB Memory (24hrs Active)
  • QNAP Storage Manager (QTS 5.1) and S.M.A.R.T Tests per Hour (24hr Active)
  • Reported Average power requirements of a WD Red Plus 4TB (Single):
    • Read/Write: 4.7
    • Idle: 3.1
    • Standby Sleep: 0.3

Let’s see how those results translated into your potential energy bills.

QNAP TS-453E NAS and WD Red Plus 4TB HDD Test Results:

0.03125kW use per Hour in full access/use and 0.0204166kW use per Hour in idle/standby:

1hr Active Use (KW) UK Power Use £ U.S Power Use $ Germany Power Use € Australia AU$ Canada CA$
Per Hour £0.01 0.0046 0.01 0.0074 0.0027
           
1hr Idle Use (KW) UK Power Use £ U.S Power Use $ Germany Power Use € Australia AU$ Canada CA$
Per Hour £0.01 0.003 0.0065 0.0048 0.0017

Here are the results for 24 HOURS OF ACTIVITY (no standby time or drive hibernation)

24hr Active Use (KW) UK Power Use £ U.S Power Use $ Germany Power Use € Australia AU$ Canada CA$
Cost Per Day £0.25 0.1104 0.24 0.1776 0.0648
Cost per Month 7.738 3.358 7.3 5.402 1.971
Cost Per Year 92.856 40.296 87.6 64.824 23.652

Here are the results for 24 HOURS OF IDLE/STANDBY with no system use and ethernet/network connection disconnected

24hr Idle Use (KW) UK Power Use £ U.S Power Use $ Germany Power Use € Australia AU$ Canada CA$
Cost Per Day £0.17 0.072 0.156 0.1152 0.0408
Cost per Month 5.037 2.19 4.745 3.504 1.241
Cost Per Year 60.444 26.28 56.94 42.048 14.892

So, what about if you were to only use the NAS at active use for around 25% of the day (i.e 6hrs of active with backups, multimedia, etc) and 75% of the day as idle (i.e 18hrs unused):

6hr Active Use and 18hr Idle Use (KW) UK Power Use £ U.S Power Use $ Germany Power Use € Australia AU$ Canada CA$
Cost Per Day £0.19 0.0816 0.177 0.1308 0.0468
Cost per Month 5.71225 2.482 5.38375 3.9785 1.4235
Cost Per Year 68.547 29.784 64.605 47.742 17.082

Stay tuned, check below to see if other NAS power tests have been published and recommended to you, or watch the video version of these tests (which goes into more detail on the current predicaments in the energy crisis facing many of us in 2022, 2023 and beyond.

 

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

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

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

 

WD Red Pro 22TB and QNAP NAS 10GbE Tests – RAID 0 vs RAID 5 vs RAID 6

26 septembre 2022 à 18:00

QNAP TS-464 NAS 10GbE RAID 0/5/6 Testing with the WD Red Pro 22TB HDDs

When you buy a new NAS and drives, one of the most important long-term decisions that you will make is choosing your RAID level. A RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) is the process of combining multiple media drives together into a single area of storage (a Storage Pool). Different RAID configurations provide different benefits and although it is not impossible to switch/change your RAID level years down the line it is not particularly straightforward, is quite limited in the range of RAID change options and often just makes you wish you had picked better the first time around! That is one of the main purposes of today’s article, to understand the performance differences between the big three RAID configurations that people choose for their first NAS system – RAID 0, RAID 5 and RAID 6. In order to achieve this, I have opted to use the 2022 released QNAP TS-464 4-Bay NAS, combined with a 10GbE upgrade and alongside this I have fully populated the device with FOUR of the new massive capacity 22TB WD Red Pro series Hard drives. What we have here is a fully-featured, Prosumer NAS system with an external 1,000MB/s external throughput and a potential 88 Terabytes to play with! This will be a great way to test the performance potential of RAID 0 vs RAID 5 vs RAID 6 for users who are considering a modest scale 4-Bay NAS and want to make sure they pick the right RAID configuration for their needs right – FIRST TIME!

Skip Ahead? Use the links here to skip ahead to the Appropriate Test:

RAID 0, 10GbE Testing, QNAP TS-464 and WD Red Pro 22TB HDDs

RAID 5, 10GbE Testing, QNAP TS-464 and WD Red Pro 22TB HDDs

RAID 6, 10GbE Testing, QNAP TS-464 and WD Red Pro 22TB HDDs

Before we get started, if you are interested in emulating these tests for yourself, or are keen to achieve these results in your own setup and want to know the devices I used in these tests, you can use the links below to find each item on Amazon in your local region. Using these links will result in amazon sending a small % back to us here at NASCompares that goes directly back into our site and services, allowing us to continue making these articles, videos and more – Thanks in advance!

Hardware Used in today’s Tests

Note – If you would rather WATCH these tests in video form, you can watch the WD Red 22TB and QNAP TS-464 NAS Performance Tests here on the NASCompares YouTube Channel. Alternatively, you can watch my review of either the QNAP TS-464 NAS or WD Red Pro 22TB NAS Hard Drive below:

 QNAP TS-464 NAS Review WD Red Pro 22TB Review

QNAP TS-464 NAS & WD Red Pro 22TBs – The Test Setup and Hardware Used

These tests were conducted in a Windows 10 client machine environment over 3 days (factoring RAID rebuild times and cool downs) and all three RAID configurations (RAID 0, 5, 6) were conducted with four WD Red Pro series 22TB hard disks. The benchmark software used for these tests was Atto Disk Benchmark, as it provides a very wide range of test setups – as well as working much more smoothly with iSCSI targets/LUNs in windows and providing clearly information to display to the layman for this article. Additionally, given that just one of the WD 22TB hard drives can achieve more than 250MB/s throughput, I went ahead with a 10GbE, point-to-point connection between my PC and the NAS, using a QNAP 1st party 1 Port 10GbE card and the Sonnet Solo 10GbE Thunderbolt to 10GbE adapter. Here is a breakdown of the specific test setup components:

  • QNAP TS-464 4-Bay NAS with QTS 5

  • WD Red Pro 22TB NAS Hard Drives x4, RAID 0 or RAID 5 Configuration (dependingClick to view slideshow.
  • 20TB iSCSI LUN via the Default iSCSI Manager Target, connected to the Windows PC with the iSCSI initiator as a local appearing drive for Atto Disk Benchmark
Click to view slideshow.
  • Local PC Network Adapter using the Thunderbolt-to-10GbE adapter
Click to view slideshow.
  • Windows 10 Pro PC, Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-8750H CPU @ 2.20GHz 2.20 GHz, 32GB DDR4 2666Mhz Memory, Internal Samsung 970 Pro 1TB SSD

  • MTU / Jumbo Frames set to 9K on both the NAS and the Network Adapter, Direct Connection (LAN-to-LAN), no network switch
Click to view slideshow.

Before we go further though, we need something to measure against. Here is the default performance of a SINGLE WD Red Pro 22TB NAS Hard Drive, using the QNAP QTS Storage Manager Benchmark Tool:

As you can see, even on it’s own, a single WD Red Pro 22TB HDD can largely saturate even a single external 2.5GbE connection. So, at the very least, you are going to get 240-260MB/s with just the one drive. So, let’s get down to business! I performed a wide scope of tests, so let’s go through those results!

QNAP TS-464 NAS, RAID 0 10GbE Performance Tests

The first RAID we are testing in our WD Red Pro 22TB and QNAP TS-464 NAS setup is RAID 0. In a RAID 0 configuration, ALL of the available capacity of the drives you select is available BUT you have no redundancy (i.e no safety net if a drive fails) and in the event of one of your HDDs going bust, you almost certainly lose ALL of your data (this can be very marginally negated if you spend some time deciding on a spanning or stripe style RAID protocol). So, why do people choose RAID 0 if it has such a high cost in the event of drive failure? Well, there are the massive storage benefits of course, but there is the other big bonus that the NAS will be reading and writing ALL the drives at once, hugely increasing the maximum performance that can be achieved. Also, as RAID 0 has no redundancy and no CPU resources are being used to calculate parity (a blueprint of data that is used for data restoration) which further increases performance AND lowers overall system hardware use. Therefore I expect the performance of the WD Red Pro 22TB HDDs to be very good in a RAID 0 configuration over 10GbE.

ATTO DiskBenchmark 64MB File Test, 512B-to-64MB I/O Size

Peak Write Performance – 803MB/s  /  Peak Read Performance – 837MB/s


ATTO DiskBenchmark 256MB File Test, 512B-to-64MB I/O Size

Peak Write Performance – 803MB/s  /  Peak Read Performance – 835MB/s


ATTO DiskBenchmark 1GB File Test, 512B-to-64MB I/O Size

Peak Write Performance – 814MB/s  /  Peak Read Performance – 835MB/s


ATTO DiskBenchmark 4GB File Test, 512B-to-64MB I/O Size

Peak Write Performance – 806MB/s  /  Peak Read Performance – 730MB/s


ATTO DiskBenchmark 16GB File Test, 512B-to-64MB I/O Size

Peak Write Performance – 803MB/s  /  Peak Read Performance – 805MB/s


QNAP TS-464 NAS, RAID 5 10GbE Performance Tests

Next, I wanted to test the most popular RAID configuration for 4-Bay NAS drives like the QNAP TS-464 – RAID 5. In this configuration, it pools the four 22TB WD Red Pro hard disks together, but thanks to a system of data being striped across the disks during writing (i.e. data is written across the disks in a 1, 2, 3, etc pattern continuously AND one disk on each stripe having parity data (a blueprint of the data written on the other disks in that particular stripe), it means that in the event of a drive dying, you can rebuild the data that was on the broken drive from the remaining data on the other disks and the availability parity data. This also means that in order to maintain a balance of combined storage and ensure space for parity data, a RAID 5 will result in 1 drive’s worth of data capacity being educated from the overall total. So, in the case of the TS-464 and four 22TB Hard Drives, you would get 66TB of available data (as 22TB of that is used for parity data provisioning). Additionally, although you are still reading AND writing from multiple disks at once, the calculation, creation and maintenance of parity data in a RAID 5 has a negative impact on the total performance, as the system is using more resources (CPU+Memory) in order to keep things running smoothly in your storage pool. Modern NAS systems have done an excellent job of choosing very capable CPUs and RAID 5 configurations in recent years have been substantially better in performance. However, a RAID 5 will still have a lower degree of performance to a comparable RAID 0 hardware setup. Here is how the RAID 5 on the WD Red Pro 22TBs and the QNAP TS-464 NAS performed:

ATTO DiskBenchmark 64MB File Test, 512B-to-64MB I/O Size

Peak Write Performance – 800MB/s  /  Peak Read Performance – 779MB/s


ATTO DiskBenchmark 256MB File Test, 512B-to-64MB I/O Size

Peak Write Performance – 517MB/s  /  Peak Read Performance – 781MB/s


ATTO DiskBenchmark 1GB File Test, 512B-to-64MB I/O Size

Peak Write Performance – 535MB/s  /  Peak Read Performance – 781MB/s


ATTO DiskBenchmark 4GB File Test, 512B-to-64MB I/O Size

Peak Write Performance – 520MB/s  /  Peak Read Performance – 687MB/s


ATTO DiskBenchmark 16GB File Test, 512B-to-64MB I/O Size

Peak Write Performance – 525MB/s  /  Peak Read Performance – 724MB/s


QNAP TS-464 NAS, RAID 6 10GbE Performance Tests

Our final test of the QNAP TS-464 NAS was a configuration setup up of a RAID 6 on the four WD Red Pro 22TBs. Now, a RAID 6 is highly comparable to a RAID 5 (discussed above), but instead of 1 drive of failure protection (the redundancy/safety net), you have TWO drives of safety. You need at least four drives in order to setup a RAID 6, but most users who consider RAID 6 are using much, much larger bay configurations and you generally find RAID 6 in homes/businesses where the data on the drives is mission critical, priceless or utterly impossible to recreate (from company accounts to photos of your children growing up!). Now, alongside the expected drop in capacity being 2 drives lower (so in the case of this configuration of 4x 22TB HDDs, you have 44TB available to storage data), the system’s overhead in creating parity/blueprints of the current data in efforts to maintain that two disk redundancy/safety net is twice as much, so performance will decrease further. So, let’s see how the QNAP TS-464 and the WD Red Pro 22TBs faired in performance over 10GbE in a RAID 6 set up:

ATTO DiskBenchmark 64MB File Test, 512B-to-64MB I/O Size

Peak Write Performance – 809MB/s  /  Peak Read Performance – 780MB/s


ATTO DiskBenchmark 256MB File Test, 512B-to-64MB I/O Size

Peak Write Performance – 399MB/s  /  Peak Read Performance – 781MB/s


ATTO DiskBenchmark 1GB File Test, 512B-to-64MB I/O Size

Peak Write Performance – 430MB/s  /  Peak Read Performance – 781MB/s


ATTO DiskBenchmark 4GB File Test, 512B-to-64MB I/O Size

Peak Write Performance – 444MB/s  /  Peak Read Performance – 625MB/s


ATTO DiskBenchmark 16GB File Test, 512B-to-64MB I/O Size

Peak Write Performance – 422MB/s  /  Peak Read Performance – 623MB/s


QNAP TS-464 NAS + WD Red 22TB RAID 6 Tests – Verdict & Conclusion

Overall, the performance that the QNAP TS-464 NAS and those 22TB WD Red Pro HDDs provided in each RAID configuration was pretty much what I would have expected. The Celeron CPU inside this NAS is a much more middle-of-the-road processor compared to more ‘file system’ and ‘general throughput-focused’ alternatives in the AMD-embedded Ryzen, Xeon or Atom that are found on other bulkier NAS systems, so it was always unlikely to saturate a full 10GbE connection with just four drives, even in a RAID 0 with an Intel Celeron processor. However, the RAID 5 configuration regularly hit the 600-700MB/s mark in this 4 disk RAID 5 configuration which, considering we are still talking about mechanical HDDs (even at 22TB and 265MB/s per drive) is pretty impressive! The RAID 6 performance clearly took the wind out of the sales of this 4-Bay though and unless you were using a larger 6-8 Bay configuration (such as the TS-664 or higher), this NAS hardware configuration struggled at the double parity level. Overall, the WD Red Pro 22TB hard drives perform exceptionally well and were consistent in their operation and the QNAP TS-464 NAS did exactly what it promised! If you are looking for a huge amount of capacity in a compact package, this potential 88TB 4-Bay desktop NAS combo is pretty incredible!

 

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

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

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

Which Backup Method is Best? NAS vs Cloud vs Tape vs USB

23 septembre 2022 à 18:00

What is the Best Way to Backup Your Data Every Day?

I know it is not going to be shocking news when I say that Data is really, really important. That should not come as a staggering fact. If you found this article thanks to a rather perceptive google search, then clearly you think data is very important too. It is all too easy to rely on your data living on multiple machines in your office or home. Centralized backup is a very unappealing idea. For a start, it is expensive. You will spend hundreds, if not thousands of pounds on storage, then you find out that you need to have it in ANOTHER location too (as otherwise, it isn’t truly a backup) and then worse still it isn’t even being spent on making more space, but actually to duplicate your old data and not be used. You are spending all this money on what can be described as a remarkably large insurance policy. Worse still if you have all the machines in your home or office backing up to a device in that same location, almost all data safety and storage experts will scream to high heaven that this is still not enough. Sadly this is true, because not only do you put yourself at risk of complete critical loss in the event of fire or flooding, but also in the case of theft you end up having all your eggs in one basket and making the thieves lives much easier. So ultimate you have to stop thinking about this only in terms of how much this storage is going to cost. If you think like that, you will never move past stage one. No, you have to think about how much will this data cost you to LOSE. Your personal media (family, events, memories), your client’s data or perhaps your surveillance data. Take a moment and think how much it would cost your business right now if you lost your data – hundreds? Thousands? Close the business? The ideal backup solution should always be based on the cost of loss, not gain! Although a little trite, it is still a reliable rule of thumb to have a 3-2-1 backup solution operation that looks like this:

  1. Primary Data (Where data is initially created/collected, the PCs, the Macs, the Phones, etc)
  2. On-site Backup solution (where multiple devices are backup’ed up to internally, also more commonly referred to as the bare-metal backup)
  3. Off-site/different location Backup (where the copy of the on-site backup lives that is separate network and/or physical location. This can range from another NAS, to a cloud provider and even a USB drive)

Stages 2 and 3 should be encrypted in case they are stolen/entered, as well as feature login credentials and an admin system in the event of them being occupied/accessed illegally. Today I want to focus on the 2nd and 3rd stages of your backup routine and help you decide the best ways to spend your budget on the most effective safety net and recovery system for your needs.

Backup and Redundancy – DO NOT GET THEM MIXED UP!

Way, WAY too many NAS (network-attached storage) or DAS (direct-attached storage) owners think their data actually have a backup layer in place when they refer to their RAID configuration, their versioning or their snapshots. These are NOT backup methods and are actually designed primarily as a means of recovering your data in the event of an HDD/SSD dying, an accidentally deleted file or rolling a file back to a previous revision. Think of RAID/Snapshots/Versioning as ‘safety nets’, The only work from INSIDE the infrastructure NOT outside of it. If the NAS server or RAID enabled DAS box does, then there is a very high chance that your data cannot be recovered via these methods (not impossible, just touch and certainly not foolproof). Below is a video that breaks down a number of different Backup and Redundancy methods inside a single NAS system:

How Expensive is a 2-Stage Backup and Do I need it?

The cost of a 2-stage backup (i.e having 2 backups of your data) operation can be measured by the amount of data you/your company produces on a daily basis. Additionally, depending on your commitment to holding onto your data (so, for business, you might have a 6 year or 12-month retention policy) there are ways to make economies in between the stages. However, whether you are a home user of a business user, there are few instances where a double-layered backup is not ideal. Let’s look at this from a business and home user point of view:

Why Business and Enterprise users need an Extensive Data Backup Plan

Example. Your company has 10 employees. Each has their own workstation and they contact clients on a daily basis to drum up new sales, fulfil existing quotes and maintain a customer relationship manager (CRM). You have both #1 AND #2 stage backups (so local PCs and A NAS in-house maybe) covered. Plus you have business insurance in case of a fire or flood. One morning you arrive to find your office has been flooded/burnt/burgled/struck by lightning and everything is fried. At first, you think, lucky we have insurance. They will pay up for whole new office equipment, PCs and your server. However, what about all that customer data? Not only can the insurance company not replace it but they will not pay its consequential value (with VERY few insurance policies covering data recovery services). So now you have to start from square 1. Plus now you also have a bundle of rather angry customers from the previous days and weeks whose requirements go unfulfilled. This coupled with starting your business network from scratch, employees salaries continuing as normal and several IT guys (or 1 guy working for days) setting everything up from scratch again (this WILL be the case from fire, flood or theft) could easily KILL a company. Now, in that context, isn’t a few thousand put towards an off-site #3 Backup so bad? Thought not.

Why Home and Private users need an Extensive Data Backup Plan Too

Ok, so a home user has a smaller ecosystem to maintain and now the mission-critical data and the life or death nature of your information is less so. Or is it? Example #2. What about all those important house documents you’ve scanned? Those TV shows and movies you bought on a one time download? What about your wedding picture or those of your children growing up? Those videos of your friends and relatives that are no longer with us? Not to be bleak, but it is often the case that although much of a person’s data is not of huge financial value, it is still utterly and completely irreplaceable in the literal sense.

Likewise, if your many devices (phones, computers, hard drives) get corrupted, hacked with malware/ransomware or simply broken, don’t you want the peace of mind of knowing that there is always a backup of EVERYTHING? If you are copying the data of all your devices to a large hard drive enclosure in your home, this is NOT a perfect backup. It just protects you from the loss of one or more of your mobile/individual devices. Additionally, the minute you start deleting files on your phone/laptop to ‘make some space because it is already backed up on the NAS‘, your NAS is not a backup, it is the single repository for that data!  So, as you can see, the need for a reliable true backup is paramount regardless of whether you are a home user or business user. However accepting that you need a backup is not enough, you need to know what to consider when choosing the right backup. Home users and their data volume/frequency can always consider USB backups of course, which can be good but only upto the time that the last backup took place AND on the assumption that the USB drive is stored offsite periodically.

What are the factors I need to take into account when considering my Backup Solution?

Choosing the best full backup for your data can be a little difficult. With so many variables ranging from cost to size to speed and more, it can be easy to go around in circles and still end up choosing nothing. In almost all cases, the deciding factor is cost. However, this is closely followed by speed. Having a backup is all well and good, but if it takes too long to finish, it can often be slower than the speed at which you create data and create a bottleneck. Likewise, if you choose an unsuitable connection of choice between your primary backup storage and/or off-site 2nd backup storage, then they may communicate inefficiently. Below are the main overheads to consider when choosing your backup.

Distance & Speed – How far is the 2nd backup going to be from the primary backup and/or primary data source? Unless you are considering fibre cabling between different physical sites, you are going to be limited by your upload/download speed and if your network is busy with multiple users, then you will need to provision priority of service to these backup connections, or else risk it affecting day to day operation (particularly VoIP connections – a growing necessity in 2022 with shifting patterns in the way we are working during/ost pandemic). The local connections between your client devices in-house and the primary backup may well only be using an internet network/LAN to communicate, but that can still become oversaturated. So be sure to provision switches where appropriate too (we will touch on 10GbE later)

Power (Watts etc) – The power of the hardware inside the primary (bare-metal) data storage device, secondary backup target and (depending on your setup) even the power of your client hardware in house is also an important factor to take into consideration when scaling and provisioning an appropriate backup strategy. Critical power failure (i.e a power cut) in one or more of these locations can not only result in some data not being backed up, but more importantly can compromise the backups themselves, with some systems suffering critical hardware failure and SSD/HDD damage in the process. It is HIGHLY recommended for users who are considering a private server for their data have it connected to the mains power via a USB device, in order to allow the system to still operate in the event of power failure AND shut itself down safely.

Physical Media – The server of choice for your primary backup is only half of the battle. The media that you are storing the data too can make a huge impact too. Many have their own maximum speed or capacity, so even with a super-fast enclosure and/or connection, you will be bottlenecked by the drives themselves. All media types e.g. HDD, SSD or Tape have their own maximum performance and some are lower than the connection maximum and some are faster and therefore end up creating a limited speed inadvertently. This can be negated in a number of ways. These range from the use of RAID (redundant array of independent disks) that combines media into single storage pools that benefit from redundancy (i.e a safety net if one drive dies) and/or increases in performance. Additionally, you can look at SSD caching, a service that is particularly popular in private NAS servers released after around 2018 and continues to be included in most systems. SSD caching allows the system to have one of more SSDs installed and then utilize the increased performance they offer to benefit write actions (i.e you write data onto the SSDs first and then the NAS moves it over to the slower HDDs afterwards) and/or read actions (where the most frequently accessed files are cloned onto the SSDs and it speeds up their access to client devices) though this is less useful for backups, it is still a useful option.

The Media connection internally – As mentioned, the SATA port on most commercial HDD/SSD has a maximum of 6 gigabits (Gbs) in SATA III – SAS at 12 Gigabits. All of these are internal and are maximum bandwidths available to each media drive installed in each bay. However, realistically, most typical Hard Drives max out at 272MB/s at the very top end (and even then, this is using enterprise-grade HDDs) and most conventional 2.5″ SSDs (with the exception of U.2 and U.3) max out at about 550MB/s). So you are going to need several of these drives inside your primary backup system in a decent RAID configuration to facilitate performance AND redundancy (like a RAID 5 or RAID 5). For your external/2nd backup target, a lot of enterprise users take advance of cold storage such as tape drive media. Designed to be used for data that needs to be held for insurance/archive for years and years, the current highest generation of tape architecture is is LTO-9 = 400MB/s in uncompressed/RAW form and 1000MB/s in compressed, with storage capacities per tape hitting 45 Terabytes! However, a full backup would take (at best, so with everything at full!) over 12 hours to transfer. Additionally, tape backup is fantastically expensive and therefore largely enterprise only as an option.

The external connection – Lastly and possibly the most overlooked part, is the communication between your primary client devices to send data, the primary backup data and the secondary backup. Not just the speed, but the resilience and future-proofing. You need to consider what connection you are going to use today, tomorrow and years from now. The last thing you want is to saddle yourself with a connection now and later when you upgrade your primary hardware on individual clients or locations, end up with a device you cannot access or use with an unchangeable bottleneck. Then your data just becomes a chore to access at best and potentially days or weeks or time to restore. Popular connections and their speed between host and client devices are:

Network Backups (backups that share a LAN or vLANs in a greater network)

  • 1GBe LAN/Ethernet = 1Gbit/s, or 100-109MB/s
  • 2.5GbE LAN/Ethernet = 2.5Gbit/s, or 250-270MB/s
  • 5GbE LAN/Ethernet = 5Gbit/s, or 500-545MB/s
  • 10GbE LAN/Ethernet = 10Gbit/s, or 1000-1024MB/s

USB and local Backups directly connected and stored offsite

  • USB 3.0 (3.2 Gen 1) = 5 Gbit/s
  • USB 3.2 Gen 2= 10 Gbit/s
  • USB 3.2×2 = 20 Gbit/s
  • Thunderbolt 3 & Thunderbolt 4 = 40 Gbit/s

Fast Local Backups or Direct Connections over large distances

  • Fibrechannel / FC – 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, and 128 gigabit per second rates depending to start
  • Tape Based backups, such as LTO 7,8,9 – 300/360/400MB/s uncompressed and 750/900/1000MB/s compressed
  • Cloud storage – dependant on connection. Additionally, factors such as upload and download speeds, fair usage policies and more affect the performance. If you are fortunate to have a 1 Gigabit internet connection, that means around 100MB/s for download speeds and a fraction of that for upload speeds

So, as you can see, there are many choices out there for a means of sending backup between the 1st, 2nd and 3rd parts of your backup environment.

What is the Difference in Speed and Cost between different Backup Solutions?

And so to the meat of the subject. Different solutions cost money and in the interests of SPEED, below i have detailed numerous solutions that will provide a backup solution of upto 10TB of storage. All Costs and speeds are based on a solution that is an acceptable distance away for maximum efficiency. Perfect speed results were provided with http://www.calctool.org/ , however, it is worth noting that these are ‘perfect situation’ based and it would be tough to see this maximum threshold. you will comfortably see around 10-20% below this, but that is fine. Finally, it is always worth remembering that the speeds mentioned below are based on an initial 10 Terabyte backup. After that, there is the likely possibility that future backups will be much more granular (this can also be referred to as differential backups, where only the changed files are backed up each time afterwards). But some users may wish to take advantage of time managed backups, where a full backup per day is kept, for X number of days (when eventually the newest backup will overwrite the oldest on rotation).

ALSO IMPORTANT – In all examples where a 4TB SSD (which average around £350-400 over SATA) is mentioned, you can use a 4TB HDDs at around £75-100 (brand depending) to save a considerable sum – but you will effective quadruple or more the time the initial backups will take. Likewise, future incremental backups will be significantly reduced also.  In examples where the SSD would have been substantially bottlenecked by a connection, I have used HDD as you will not need to spend the extra.

The Best Value 1/2.5GbE based Backup Solution for 10TB of data

For a solid LAN based backup (with optional internet access as needed for off-site work) I would recommend the Synology DS220+ 2 Bay Pentium NAS at around £250. Alongside this, you will need a smart Switch (to take advantage of LAG and 2GbE, 2x 10TB HDD at £230 each as you will not see any speed difference on a network connection with SSD (RAID 1). This will cost around just under £800. Alternatively, there have been other improvements in the base level ethernet connectivity in 2-4 Bay NAS solutions in the last few years, with 2.5GbE or even 5GbE available on the likes of the QNAP TS-x53D, TS-x73A or Asustor Lockerstor 2/4 series. These solutions arrive at only a fraction more and although they can possibly add another £100-200 to the price tag, this can be offset by time saved in the backup operations AND by purchasing a 4-Bay NAS over a 2-Bay and leveraging the price vs the redundancy vs the capacity (eg instead of 2x 10TB in RAID 1, purchasing 4x 3TB and getting better performance and an extra 2TB in RAID 5).

What do CalcTool.org have to say about 1GBe

CalcTool.org

Over 1 Gigabit per second, in a perfect scenario – just over 20 hours. Realistically closer to 25 or 30 hours. SO the first few backups should be conducted over the weekend but all future ‘difference only’ backups should be fin at 12-hour intervals without harming the bandwidth too much, Likewise, you can scale this down as you utilize link aggregation (also known as port trunking, when ports are combined) and/or 2.5GbE/5GbE to reduce this figure down to 8 hours or just 4 hours respectively.

The Best Value 10GBe Network-Based Solution for 10TB of Data

In order to create the perfect cost-effective yet powerful 10GBe Network-based backup solution (so 10x faster than normal LAN) I would recommend the QNAP TS-431X3 with 10GBe  (at around £450) with SFP+ Connection and  SFP+ Cables with transceivers attached (Cable price dependant on length and transceivers). Additionally, you will need a 10GBe switch (at least £150 realistically), and for MAXIMUM speed 4x 4TB Seagate Ironwolf 125 SSD (at £450 per drive) in a RAID 5 which slows things a pinch but gives you the safety of 1 drive worth of redundancy. Of course, you can downgrade to Seagate Ironwolf 4TB Hard drives (at £85 per drive) and save over £1500, but you will see a noticeable dip in performance of around 200-400MB/s (NAS dependant). So the choice is yours. Lastly, you will need a 10GBe interface on the machine(s) you are backing up from in order to maintain the 10GBe throughput (or alternatively just have the NAS on a 10GbE connection and the clients all on 1GbE with bandwidth being shared as appropriate). In total this will cost around £2400+ for the SSD based solution and just £900-1000 for the HDD solution. None of this is set in stone, of course, you can scale things in a number of ways, using bigger NAS solutions (i.e. more bays) or using multiple 10GbE connections in LAG/Trunked connections.

What do CalcTool.org have to say about 10GBe

CalcTool.org

The performance will largely be dictated by the distance of the backups, choice of HDD or SSD and types of files. However, over 10 Gigabit per second, in a perfect scenario – just over 2 hours. However this is a little optimistic and in practice, it will realistically weigh in closer to 3+ hours, as the complexity of the files (thousand so smaller emails and documents or fewer BIG media files, everyone is different). This of course is for the first few backups of a FULL 10 Terabytes of data. Later with incremental and ‘difference only’ backups, you will see times slashed heavily for the better.

The Cost of Thunderbolt 1, 2 or 3 Backup Solutions for 10TB of data

Fast becoming a connection of choice for photo and video editors in both the Mac and Windows community, Thunderbolt is the no-fuss connection that promises speed, without the technical nonsense. Much like before you can choose to go with SSD drives for supreme speed (at a hefty price tag) or HDD if you want to make economies. Below are the options best suited for a Thunderbolt 1 (although still legacy, still is in use), Thunderbolt 2 and Thunderbolt 3 Backups:

  • TB 1 DAS, 4-Bay, Cable, 4x 4TB SSD, RAID 5 enabled = £3000+ —- 2Hours + Backup time with SSD population / 3.5+ Hour for HDD Population
  • TB 2 DAS, 4-Bay, Cable, 4x 4TB SSD, RAID 5 enabled = £3500+ —-  1 Hour + Backup time with SSD population / 2-3+ Hour for HDD Population
  • TB 3 DAS, 4-Bay, Cable, 4x 4TB SSD, RAID 5 enabled = £4500+ —- 30-45min + Backup time with SSD population / 1.5 Hour for HDD Population

What do CalcTool.org have to say about Thunderbolt 1, 2 and 3

CalcTool.orgThunderbolt does not lose speed over distance, however, most conventional cables you can buy max out around 5 metres and the ones included with the above enclosures arrive at 1-1.8m. In a real-world scenario you can realistically double this length of time listed above in the initial backups. However, it will MASSIVELY improve with subsequent backups. With the exception of a few, most Thunderbolt backups arrive with only Thunderbolt ports, so in order to maintain the speed levels of this backup, you need to either ensure that it is connected to your centralised depositary via Thunderbolt, or if it’s backing up multiple devices, that they are using a good networking device, as Thunderbolt Direct attached storage only allows a single connected device at any one time.

The Price, Speed & Suitability LTO-7, LTO-8 and LTO-9 Tape Backup 10TB Solutions

In the case of LTO / tapes, this kind of storage for 10TB can be incredibly inefficient for an extra layer of storage. You can purchase much smaller 1 and 2 tape frames/storage devices, but for what you are paying and the overall accessibility for all machines involved, it isn’t great. If you were regularly backing up 5x or 10x this amount of storage, it would be a different story. Internal operations can be upto 1000MB/s with compressed data and 400MB for raw uncompressed data. SO unless you are synchronizing between two LTO tape loading machines, you will almost certainly use uncompressed. However these are internal operations and as we are discussing backing up from existing systems to a storage device, we have to focus on the external connection. Most likely 10GBe network or 12GB/s SAS will be the means of backing up to your tape device. But Cost is hard to pin – easily £2000-3000 and upwards, over at least two tapes (capacity differed at each LTO generation) etc. Most likely around over  1-3 hours transfer time, but hugely impractical at this scale and most likely much higher in practice. Definite a good option for those at the enterprise tier, but anything less will be squandering their budgets significant with a weak ROI.

The Best Value USB 3.2 Gen 2 Backup Solution for 10TB of data

The latest available version of USB, also known as USB 3.1 Gen 2, is easily the cheapest way to store a 10TB backup at a very respectable 10 Gb/s (comparable to Thunderbolt 1) speed. You will need to ensure that the connected device(s) that you are backing up too/from use the newer USB 3.1 Gen 2 port to ensure you do not get bottlenecked at 5 Gb/s, but this Highpoint 6124V RAID 5 enabled USB 2 Gen 2 DAS enclosure arrives at £350+ and if populated with either 4x 4TB SSD or 4x HDD (same price difference as before), RAID 5 enabled = £2100+ for an SSD Based solution and just £700+ for a HDD based version

What do CalcTool.org have to say about USB 3.1 Gen 2?

CalcTool.orgWith the best drives available you will have this 10TB localized backup over USB 3.1 Gen 2 finished in just over 2 hours. However taking system overheads into consideration, as well as the RAID 5 into account (something you could counter with a RAID 10 and 4x 6TB HDD perhaps) you are looking at between 2.5 and 3.5 hours completion. Additionally, a number of NAS Drive vendors have started implementing USB 3.2 Gen 2 in their systems, which means that a 10Gb/s USB DAS solution can be used as a means of creating a secondary backup by connecting it with your primary backup and running one of the many free backup/sync tools that NAS systems include with your purchase. Just remember that in order for this to be a truly safe 2nd tier backup, it cannot constantly reside in the same location as the primary backup.

Is Cloud Suitable as a 10TB Backup solution?

You may wonder why I have not suggested the cloud as a regular backup yet. It is certainly appealing. No parts are needed, just a healthy internet connection. You already have all the hardware you will need to establish this kind of synchronised backup – this should be by far the cheapest and easiest backup, right? Well yes and no. It IS cheap – in the short-term. Even if you take into account that your Business internet connection costs, from as little as £10 to £50 a month, reaching much higher once you consider fiber channelling, it is still pretty attractive. However you have to consider the time this backup will take and how it will affect the bandwidth throughout your business – otherwise, you will need to be conducted them overnight due to limit consumption. Some brands, such as Synology with their C2 platform, have rolled in an additional cloud service alongside their bare-metal solution. This is intended to be used as an alternative means of accessing an existing storage area that is synchronized with your NAS/local solution remotely (as well as benefiting from significantly easier remote access to data). NAS+Cloud can serve as a great 2-3/double backup option, as well as ensuring that your backups are in very different physical locations. Lastly, with intelligent caching and background synchronization between the NAS-THE CLOUD-CLIENT HARDWARE happening, a lot of the actual backing up can be hugely incremental and lessen the impact on the end-user, whether they are local to the NAS or remotely communicating with the C2 cloud (or 3rd party clouds such as Google Drive and Dropbox that are synced with the NAS). But what about the cloud on its own, not used in tandem with a NAS/Private server?

The first thing to factor in is the data being sent TO the cloud. Remember we are talking about Uploads, not downloads (downloads and a backup should only be considered during recovery, not day to day operations). Most internet services advertise incredible download speeds, but backups are almost exclusively upload based and upload speeds are normally a 10th or less than advertised download speeds. lastly, we can talk about costs. As although the initial costs are much less, let’s go for £50 a month for a dedicated high upload speed connection privately (closer to £500 for a business line) for your off-site backup. That is £600 a year. In 5 years, that is £3,000 (a cost that is the same or higher than most of the solutions discussed previously). The real kicker is that after those 5 years, you either have to continue paying to maintain this backup OR buy a suitable local storage drive to download it too – something you could have had ALREADY by going for the other solutions and thereby saving you thousands of pounds more.

I took the trouble of using the awesome tool at http://www.thecloudcalculator.com/ and if you have a 30Mbps upload speed (fairly respectable and the entry point outside of central city hubs). backing up 10TB initially would take  33 Days, 22 Hours, and 27 Minutes, 11 Seconds

That is horrendously long and you cannot just assume this is a one-off and negotiable with incremental backups and difference-only changes. You need a reliable and adaptive backup solution – not one that will do the job as long as you work within its limits. If you want to entertain the idea of a cloud-based backup of 10TB on a regular basis, we have to look into fiber and at least 2Gbps (so 2000 Megabits) to get to 12 hours for an overnight full backup (non-incremental). This is going to cost a small fortune and unless you intend to take advantage of this speed during the day-time, is a huge outlay for something that is not hugely accessible or reliable.

So, those are your options. Remember you are not limited to just ONE option and each of these solutions can be used in combinations, depending on your budget, physical environment, internet speeds or volume of client devices. In summary:

NAS BACKUPS USB DAS BACKUPS THUNDERBOLT BACKUPS TAPE BACKUPS CLOUD BACKUPS
Price (more ★ = Higher Price) ★★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★★★ ★★★★★
Value (more ★ = more for your money) ★★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★★
Scalability (more ★ = can grow more) ★★★★★ ★★★★★ ★★★★★ ★★★★★
Complexity (more ★ = more complex) ★★★★★ ★★★★
Speed (more ★ = faster) ★★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★★
User/Usage Type Home & Business Home and Local Home and Local Enterprise Remote
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New QNAP TVS-h474, TVS-h674 and TVS-h874 POWERHOUSE NAS Revealed

9 septembre 2022 à 18:00

The QNAP TVS-h474, TVS-h674 and TVS-h874 NAS – THINGS JUST GOT SERIOUS!

If you have been holding out for the perfect desktop NAS in 2022/2023 and avoiding the temptations of older systems on sale or recent releases that didn’t quite tick the right boxes for you –  then you might have done EXACTLY the right thing now that the QNAP TS-hx74 series has been revealed!  I have been following NAS for quite a few years and although I personally find the subject very interesting, I appreciate that many others see NAS drives are functional ‘setup-and-forget’ devices that you might need to research every 5-7 years when you need to upgrade (much like when you buy a new TV and have to suddenly understand what’s new/futureproof). However, occasionally, a solution comes along that genuinely changes things dramatically and much like it’s predecessor QNAP TVS-x72XT series back in 2018, the new QNAP TVS-h474, TVS-h674 and TVS-h874 desktop NAS systems are genuinely insane in the amount of future-proofing they bring to the table! Alongside being the first commercial NAS systems to introduce the use of Intel 12th Core processors (i9, i7, i5, i3 and Pentium), these are the amount the first range of PCIe 4×4 M.2 NVMe SSD and PCIe Gen 4 x16 upgradable NAS drives in the world right now. Add ZFS Support, GPU Card upgradability, up to 128GB of DDR4 ECC memory and 2.5/10GbE and you are looking at an insanely capable range of systems coming from QNAP here. Let’s discuss EVERYTHING we know about the TVS-hX74 NAS series and what makes them so OP in 2022/2023.

The QNAP TVS-hx74 NAS Series Hardware

As previously mentioned, the QNAP TVS-h474, TVS-h674 and TVS-h874 are the follow-ups to the popular TVS-472XT, TVS-672XT and TVS-872XT released in the closing stages of 2018. In the 4 years since their initial release, that thunderbolt 3 product series ended up being diversified into a standalone 10GbE version and a 5GbE version – all of which using 2/4/6 Core, 8th Gen Intel Core processors and PCIe 3 architecture. The newer 4, 6 and 8-Bay x74 series have pretty much ramped up every element of their predecessor’s architecture (even the USB ports) and although the CPU is the main reason for this tremendous upscaling of the result of the hardware architecture, you do still get some fantastic hardware under the bonnet generally. That said, it’s worth highlighting that the scaling of the hardware between each capacity tier (and even sub-versions at each tier) means that depending on which system in the series you choose, some hardware options might not be available. The TVS-h874-64GB 8-Bay version is the full Intel i9 16 Core version with full PCIe4 support and 10GbE, whereas the most affordable tier is the TVS-h474-8G 4-Bay with PCIe 3/4 architecture, a Dual Core Pentium Gold and 2.5GbE. Let’s quickly compare the hardware architecture of the three NAS systems and their sub-versions:

Feature TVS-h474 TVS-h674 TVS-h874
Front
# of SATA Bays 4x SATA 6x SATA 8x SATA
M.2 NVMe Bays 2x M.2 (Gen 3×2) 2x M.2 (Gen 4×4) 2x M.2 (Gen 4×4)
CPU Intel Pentium Gold G7400 Intel i5 12th Gen i5-12400

Intel i3 12th Gen i7-12100

Intel i9 12th Gen i9-12900

Intel i7 12th Gen i7-12700

Intel i5 12th Gen i7-12400

Cores 2-Core / 4 Thread i5 6 Core / 12 Thread

i3 4 Core / 8 Thread

i9 16 Core / 24 Thread

i7 12 Core / 20 Thread

i5 6 Core / 12 Thread

CPU Speed 3.7 Ghz i5 Max 4.4Ghz

i3 Max 4.3Ghz

i9 Max 5.1Ghz

i7 Max 4.9Ghz

i5 Max 4.4Ghz

Graphics Intel UHD Graphics 710 Intel UHD Graphics 770

Intel UHD Graphics 730

Intel UHD Graphics 770
Memory 8GB Default 16/32GB 32/64GB
Memory Max 128GB SODIMM DDR4 (2 Slot) 128GB SODIMM DDR4 (2 Slot) 128GB SODIMM DDR4 (2 Slot)
PCIe Slots 2x PCIe (Gen 4×16, Gen 3×2) i5 / i3 = 2x PCIe (Gen 4×16, Gen 4×4) I9 / i7 / i5 = 2x PCIe (Gen 4×16, Gen 4×4)
Rear
Network 2x 2.5GbE 2x 2.5GbE 2x 2.5GbE

2x 10GbE (Intel i9 Only)

HDMI 1x HDMI 1.4b (1080p x 60FPS, 4K 30FPS) 1x HDMI 1.4b (1080p x 60FPS, 4K 30FPS) 1x HDMI 1.4b (1080p x 60FPS, 4K 30FPS)
USB 3x USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gb, A+C) 3x USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gb, A+C) 3x USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gb, A+C)
Fans 1x System, 1x Core, 1x PSU 2x System, 1x Core, 1x PSU 2x System, 1x Core, 1x PSU
Expansions 2x 4/6/8//12/16 Bay 2x 4/6/8//12/16 Bay 2x 4/6/8//12/16 Bay
Size 188.2 × 199.3 × 279.6 mm 188.2 × 264.3 × 279.6 mm 188.2 × 329.3 × 279.6 mm
PSU 250W 250W 350W
Warranty 2 years (ext to 5yr) 2 years (ext to 5yr) 2 years (ext to 5yr)
Check Online Availability CHECK CHECK CHECK

So, let’s dig a little deeper into those CPUs.  With QNAP slowly revealing more and more PCIe 4 upgrade and expansion cards (such as the 2x10GbE+2xPCIe4 NVMe Combo card QM2-2P410G2T and the Dual Port 100GbE QXG-100G2SF-CX6), the necessity for their business class and desktop enterprise solutions to utilize these cards is going to be tremendously important. However, PCIe 4 bandwidth is what makes these cards possible, as a single PCIe4 lane provides approx 2,000MB/s compared with the 1000MB/s of PCIe3 – even when you add x4 or x16 lane multipliers that form the architecture of PCI slots, that still means a difference of 16GB vs 32GB of potential bandwidth. The barrier for many though is that PCIe4, although established in many motherboards and accessories, is not quite as widely supported in server-class CPUs till around 2021 onwards. This (alongside a hugely powerful onboard embedded graphics component) is what continues to push QNAP to utilize the Intel Core family of CPUs in this product tier over the years. With CPUBenchmark scoring for these CPUs ranging from 6,600+ to 36,000+, you have some series Xeon/EPYC challenging processors here and when you consider these are DESKTOP solutions, not rackmount, that is especially impressive!

Comparing the full range of five early 2022 released 12th Gen Intel Core processors available, it becomes abundantly clear that the 8-Bay system and it’s options for the i5, i7 and i9 are the most powerful option, scaled according to it’s larger capacity for storage and throughput (with a higher equipped 350W PSU compared with the 250W in the 4/6-bay tiers). Interestingly, with the exception of the Intel Pentium Gold processor, the rest of the processor family has a hugely impressive 4-5Ghz turbo/burst performance level available per core and the 6-16 Core architecture (and upto 24 threads) means that everything from high-performance database creation, heavy Virtual Machine deployment, video editing and large scale surveillance is going to be an absolute doddle!

Next up, we need to discuss the SSD support on the TVS-hX74, as this is another excellent advantage to the support of PCIe 4. In the last 2 years or so, we have seen huge commercial availability of PCIe 4 x4 m.2 NVMe SSDs in the market and with it, drive media that can hit over 7,000MB/s (7GB/s) throughput! All of the TVS-hx74 NAS systems have 2X m.2 NVMe SSD slots internally (though the TVS-h474 is PCIe Gen 3, the 6 and 8-Bays are PCIe 4×4), which means that you have the option to either use the M.2 bays for SSD caching, RAW storage pools of RAID enabled PCIe4 SSD media or a combination of the two with QTier (currently not supported in the ZFS system QuTS, but is available in EXT4 QTS) which combines them into 1 mixed media storage pool that intelligently movs files between the HDDs and SSDs to where they are most appropriate for access (i.e more frequently accessed media is moved to the SSDs so it further speeds up access for the end user).

PCIe 4 Support really is the main thing that sets this NAS family apart from the QNAP NAS solutions released in recent years. Alongside the increased PCI lanes made available the system/chipset so you can add more ports, memory and hardware in general, it also affords higher bandwidth to them that you would normally expect. Most 2021/2022 generation desktop NAS are PCIe Gen 3, and the bulk of 2020 and earlier NAS are PCIe 2. Typically, only Business class and rackmount solutions would prove exceptions to the rule. Below is how each PCIe tier compares in availability, transfer speeds and sclaed multiplication:

The rest of the system architecture is quite comparable to the rest of desktop NAS systems. The QNAP TVS-h474, TVS-h674 and TVS-h874 arrive with 2x PCIe upgrade slots (one at x4 and the other a CPU direct x16), a 4 fan architecture (1x for PSU, 2x for storage and 1x for the CPU+Memory+SSD+Network controller), HDMI and 3x USB. The HDMI is a little disappointing, arriving at HDMI 1.4b architecture, so that means 1080p at 60FPS but 4K at 30FPS (though internet/network streamed media is unaffected and this CPU can handle 8K). The USB Ports are USB 3.2 Gen 2, so that means the connection of 10Gb/s storage and peripherals, as well as KVM support with the HDMI port and allowing 2x expansion devices from QNAP that arrive in x2/x4/6/8//12/16 Bay scaled configurations – all of which support the latest generation of 22TB WD/Seagate hard drives.

The QNAP TVS-hx74 NAS Series Software

Although already touched on above, it is worth reiterating that the QNAP TVS-hX74 arrive with a choice of the QNAP QTS EXT4 File system software/GUI AND the option to choose the ZFS based QuTS Hero software/GUI at no additional cost. The software found with the ANY of the TVS-h474, TVS-h674 and TVS-h874 can be broken down into 2 sections. namely those of the advantages that QNAP QTS already bring to a business user, and then the widespread system and storage advantages that QTS hero and ZFS bring as well. For those unfamiliar with the QNAP operating system, it arrives with hundreds of free applications, can be accessed from a web browser or desktop client, arrives with many, many apps for mobile on IOS and Android and is definitely in the top two operating systems you can get for network-attached storage devices. Often compared with their biggest rival Synology NAS and DSM, QNAP QTS GUI is designed in a way that will definitely appeal more to Android and Windows users, giving you everything you will need from a network-attached storage device in 2022/2023 and arrives with constant updates for added features and security. To learn more about the EXT4 QTS 5 platform, you can watch my full review below:

QNAP File 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 QNP intelligent, multi-layer tiering system that works to optimize your SSD and caching configuration
  • 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 backup network between your devices
  • QuDeDupe / Deduplication tools – Allowing you to conduct backups between multiple devices and directories, but allows same-data in numerous locations to be only held once (but recorded in all locations) to allow smaller backups and lesser bandwidth consumption. Once again, remember that you will need to upgrade to 16GB of memory in order to take advantage of these more advanced ZFS utilities in practice.

Then you have KEY applications that are used on the QNAP NAS system that moves into tailored data access and use, such as:

  • 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

Above are a few of my software overviews that cover the general GUI and system of QuTS Hero on the TS-h886, as well as RAID rebuild and storage management overviews of the system to give you some idea of what the TS-x73A range can and cannot do:

Space Saving Efficiency – Inline data deduplication, compression, and compaction reduce file size to conserve storage capacity and optimize performance.

Intelligent Memory Cache – Main memory read cache (L1 ARC), SSD second-level read cache (L2 ARC), and ZFS Intent Log (ZIL) for synchronous transactions with power fail protection are simultaneously supported to boost performance and security

RAID Z – Multiple RAID levels allow flexible capacity utilization. RAID Triple Parity and Triple Mirror deliver higher levels of data protection.

App Center – Apps for backup/sync, virtual machines/containers, content management, productivity, and more features can be used to expand the application potential of these NAS

All in all, the fact that the TVS-h474, TVS-h674 and TVS-h874 arrive with the option of the ZFS or EXT4 versions of the QNAP Software and GUI is a large part of what makes these NAS appealing.

The QNAP TVS-hx74 Series – How Much Will the TVS-h474, TVS-h674 and TVS-h874 NAS Will Cost?

Details regarding the pricing and availability of ANY of the TVS-h474, TVS-h674 and TVS-h874 NAS are still unconfirmed. On the one hand, the fact that QNAP has revealed information on these solutions likely means that release is not hugely far away, however, we are still very much living in a pot-pandemic world as far as technology is concerned and although the global supply chain and production lines in the east are better than they were, they are by no means ‘back to normal’. Additionally, the hardware shortages as a result of poor semi conductor availability will likely means that even when this series is released, that available quantities will be a small % of demand. Most likely this NAS series will arrive in Q4 of the year and approx £850-3000+ (hardware configuration and local currency/tax dependant).

 

 

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QNAP NAS Attacked By Deadbolt AGAIN – What Happened?

6 septembre 2022 à 23:00

New Reports of Deadbolt Ransomware Attacks on QNAP NAS via Photo Station

It would appear that the Deadbolt ransomware attack that has been a persistent pain for QNAP (and other NAS brands) in 2022 continues to remain current, with new reports emerging of further attacks of NAS systems in September 2022. The vulnerability that has been reported to be being exploited is in the QNAP Photo Station application and although a day one patch for the application for all current use QTS software systems has been issued, it has still resulted in users being hit in this new wave of attacked by the deadbolt ransomware group. Although the scale of this latest attack does not match that of previous attacks by the group, it is worth highlighting that the encryption of how this ransomware deploys and presentation to the user upon execution have changed a little, so even if you are not affected, it might still be worth getting clued up on this. In this article, I will cover everything that is known so far about this Photo Station vulnerability that was exploited, why deadbolt is still a thing, how it attacks, what you can do to avoid it and what can you do if you have been hit.

How Does Deadbolt Attack QNAP NAS?

Deadbolt Ransomware’s methodology in attacking your system has not changed much at all since its first attacks. We will touch on in a bit about why deadbolt is still around and the nature of software updates vs vulnerabilities, but for now we can discuss this specific instance. A vulnerability was found in Photo Station for QNAP NAS QTS/QuTS this week and this vulnerability created a small hole in the access control of the NAS that could be used to exploit as an attack vector for ransomware to be executed. It would still require your NAS to be setup in a weak remote access state (i.e. you allowed internet access to your system without sufficient layers of encryption, protection and/or authentication, such as a VPN, Firewall or disabling UPnP – will touch on these later) in order to reach ‘photo station’, but if it could, it could then execute the command to the QNAP NAS to encrypt it’s contents, create a ransom text not and modify the login screen to show the deadbolt warning. This one:

QNAP highlighted this vulnerability on their security advisor page, here under ID QSA-22-24 and state that they detected a new DeadBolt ransomware campaign on the morning of September 3rd, 2022 (GMT+8). The campaign appears to target QNAP NAS devices running Photo Station with internet exposure. This is not via the myQNAPCloud services, but rather users allowing remote access with open router ports, but no VPN or restrictive access rules in place. QNAP issued the following statement:

QNAP Product Security Incident Response Team (QNAP PSIRT) had made the assessment and released the patched Photo Station app for the current version within 12 hours. QNAP urges all QNAP NAS users to update Photo Station to the latest available version. QuMagie is a simple and powerful alternative to Photo Station. We recommend using QuMagie to efficiently manage photo storage in your QNAP NAS. We strongly urge that their QNAP NAS should not be directly connected to the Internet. This is to enhance the security of your QNAP NAS. We recommend users to make use of the myQNAPcloud Link feature provided by QNAP, or enable the VPN service. This can effectively harden the NAS and decrease the chance of being attacked.

Additionally, this warning that is displayed to the end user also has an additional note directed towards QNAP themselves that highlights that they are willing to share the nature of the exploited vulnerability for 5BTC. See here:

Now, as nefarious and immoral as you might find the Deadbolt ransomware attackers and what is being done here, we also have to put the spotlight on QNAP. In their defence (I will go into more detail on this later on in the article), they are a software developer that provides a range of tools and services to maintain many backups of your data, hugely configurable security options/variables to their system, a remote access cloud portal that acts at a checkpoint in myQNAPCloud, they provide regular updates to their software/service applications with automated update options and they provide a public security advisory panel and can only remain a single step ahead of vulnerabilities. HOWEVER, when vulnerabilities are found in their platform and services (even if patched out – which relies on users remaining updated), it continues to bring into question the strength, depth and attention to detail of their security teams during development. It is true that QNAP is not the only brand that has been successfully targetted by deadbolt (see Asustor HERE and Terramaster HERE) as well as not being the only brand targetted by malware (see Synology Synolocker HERE) , but QNAP still seems to persistently be the one that gets hit most. Ultimately, ARE QNAP NAS SAFE? We discussed this over on the YouTube channel back on Febuary 2022

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

Why Is Deadbolt Ransomware STILL HAPPENING?

First and foremost, it is INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT that users understand the risks of allowing remote access to their NAS system (not just QNAP, but ANY NAS Drive) without specific port discipline, a VPN, a Firewall and/or custom admin credential/enabling. In the case of this recent resurgence of the ransomware attack that was executed by the Deadbolt group, it is important to note that it is made possible by two KEY VARIABLES! Weaknesses and Opportunity.

Now, with weakness, this stems from a vulnerability is found in a software/application – not uncommon and ALL software can only be one step ahead of those looking to break it. to give it a little context. In 2022 there have been 671 vulnerabilities found in Microsoft software services, 22 in Synology NAS software services and Apple iOS has had 79. This is not to besmirch their software/platforms, but ultimately the minute a software maker releases a new version/update (often to plug vulnerabilities that were found), the nefarious will then get to work on finding vulnerabilities in which to exploit for financial gain. That is why software updates are so incredibly important! However, a weakness is no good without access and/or an opportunity.

An Opportunity (in the context of ransomware and malware attacks) can largely be defined as an open door (no matter how small) that can be used to inject a command to the NAS as an administrator (eg. encrypt everything). THIS is where one of the biggest misconceptions (and indeed finger-pointing) happens when an incident of ransomware, malware or data loss occurs. A vulnerability in a software platform (especially when the bulk of software in common use today is built on Linux universally) is only any use when it can be executed. So, in the case of a NAS vulnerability, such as the Photo Station vulnerability that has been identified, it can only be exploited if the NAS user has allowed external access to their NAS via the internet. This access may well be behind user login credentials, but lacked the barrier of a VPN, a Firewall setup with amply restrictions, trusted access credentials/identity, limited/zero admin control, 2-step verification, specific port access to a GUI and many other restrictions/limitations/authentications that can be enabled. Not all these hurdles and/or barriers are as effective as others (with some vulnerabilities being built on backend access), but all/most of these should be considered when allowing any form of external access to your NAS outside of your local network. Equally, you NEED to become more acquainted with your router! Get into your router and reactive UPnP settings, as this eliminates the possibility of applications on your NAS inadvertently opening ports remotely without your direct knowledge.

  • Disable the Port Forwarding function of the router: Go to the management interface of your router, check the Virtual Server, NAT, or Port Forwarding settings, and disable the port forwarding setting of NAS management service port (port 8080 and 433 by default).
  • Disable the UPnP function of the QNAP NAS: Go to myQNAPcloud on the QTS menu, click the “Auto Router Configuration,” and unselect “Enable UPnP Port forwarding.”

Do keep in mind though that you might well be using external UPnP services on your router for other things in your home or office environment.

What is UPnP Port Forwarding?

Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) is a way of quickly forwarding the ports in use to other devices on a network automatically with one setting change and no additional configuration needed. UPnP Port Forwarding is widely used by many network devices, allowing them to communicate with each other more efficiently and to automatically create workgroups for data sharing, among other applications.

Is UPnP Port Forwarding safe?

UPnP is not a secure protocol. It uses network UDP multicasts, no encryption and no authentication. Since UPnP is not authenticated, one device could request port mapping for an another one. Hackers can abuse UPnP to attack through malicious files to infect your system and gain control. Despite its convenience, UPnP may expose your device to public networks and malicious attacks. It is recommended that your QNAP NAS stay behind your router and firewall without a public IP address. You should disable manual port forwarding and UPnP auto port forwarding for QNAP NAS in your router configuration

How Many QNAP NAS Users Have Been Affected by Deadbolt?

Getting the numbers on how many users have been impacted by this recent attack by the deadbolt group on QNAP NAS devices is exceedingly hard to identify. On the one hand, as this photo station vulnerability has been identified and effective in QTS 5 it has the potential to be high, however, it still heavily relies on having a system set up in a comparatively weak remote access configuration AND having a specific application with access credentials running. This is further reduced in scope as the Photo Station has been largely overtaken in use by QNAP users by the AI-powered QuMagie application. Still, the Photo Station application still has several ‘professional photographer’ services/structural qualities that keep it in use. The Bleeping Computer website identified 182 submissions to the ID Ransomware site reported for ‘Deadbolt’ (which requires uploading an encrypted file, attacker address and/other identifies for clarification of an attack type) with a spike that started on the 3rd of September (necessitating the patch o nthe 4th Sept). How many of the previously submitted reports in August 2022 were related to this photo station vulnerability (at that point unidentified) and how many were repeats by any one user or related to a QNAP NAS that was not updated since the early phase of the Deadbolt ransomware attacks of Jan 2022 cannot be confirmed. Nevertheless, these are still noticable numbers and can comfortably be classed as victims hitting the 3 digit mark.

Source for the below graphic and article – https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/qnap-patches-zero-day-used-in-new-deadbolt-ransomware-attacks

Alternatively, you can use server/internet service monitors such as censys to search for reported text that is used in the Deadbolt ransomware note. However, this is not the most precise and only further highlights that only QNAP themselves and Deadbolt know the extent of impact of this campaign. Unlike the original Deadbolt attacks of Jan 2022 of QNAP devices, research and strategic advisors at Unit42 noted back in May ’22 that the attack/injection of the ransomware and how it is presented to the user changed (though seemingly still using the same exploit that remained in systems that were not updated, therefore still vulnerable to the exploit in older QTS/QuTS versions and/or continued use in weak internet-facing access scenarios:

Unit 42 is observing a new wave of attacks of the Deadbolt #ransomware targeting QNAP NAS devices involving a new lock screen with updated JavaScript. Cortex Xpanse discovered ~3000 instances of infected devices. Details at https://t.co/uj0TOqACxu pic.twitter.com/RmSzZOAsTq

— Unit 42 (@Unit42_Intel) May 16, 2022

There has been no substantial analysis of the latest version of DeadBolt, but Unit 42 said in it’s May summary that the ransomware program made some significant changes since the March campaign. Specifically, the DeadBolt program now uses revised JavaScript code with a stronger SHA-256 implementation, building on the previous, lower-level ‘SubtleCrypto’ cryptography. Unit 42 researchers said this was likely changed to a stronger standard to accelerate the key verification process and also to ensure the verification works on browsers that do not support the SubtleCrypto API.

What Should You Do To Protect Your QNAP NAS from Deadbolt Ransomware Attacks?

If you are using the QNAP Photo Station application, then you need to suspend using it until you have updated to the latest version. It is worth highlighting again that this vulnerability will ONLY affect you if you have your QNAP NAS directly connected to internet access services (i.e NOT using a VPN or the myQNAPcloud link service). Updates for Photo Station have been issued for QTS 4 and QTS 5 on the brand’s official app portal of your NAS and directly downloadable from their official website:

  • QTS 5.0.1: Photo Station 6.1.2 and later
  • QTS 5.0.0/4.5.x: Photo Station 6.0.22 and later
  • QTS 4.3.6: Photo Station 5.7.18 and later
  • QTS 4.3.3: Photo Station 5.4.15 and later
  • QTS 4.2.6: Photo Station 5.2.14 and later

Outside of QNAP Photo Station, it is incredibly important that users maintain a secure layer/barrier between your NAS and your external internet connection. To protect your NAS from the DeadBolt ransomware, QNAP strongly recommends securing your QNAP NAS devices and routers by following these instructions:

  1. Disable the port forwarding function on the router.
  2. Set up myQNAPcloud on the NAS to enable secure remote access and prevent exposure to the internet.
  3. Update the NAS firmware to the latest version.
  4. Update all applications on the NAS to their latest versions.
  5. Apply strong passwords for all user accounts on the NAS.
  6. Take snapshots and back up regularly to protect your data.

Now, QNAP myQNAPCloud services are not the same as just opening your NAS connection from LAN only to LAN+Remote. myQNAPCloud creates a connection between the NAS and the QNAP access servers via a secure portal (with encryption, SSL certificates and other configurable options that can prevent interception via this tunnel). Then, if you want to create a connection remotely with your NAS, you do so via the QNAP access server – as opposed to the directly NAS connection. This DOES result in a drop in file transmission speeds remotely (as you are moving through an additional transit point), but increases security and authentication substantially. The alternative to this would be to use restrictive/specific open of ports on your router AND recommended use of a VPN – which is definitely a valid and ‘best of all worlds’ solution, but a little more technically advanced than many users are able to configure effectively/securely). If you want to set up a remote myQNAPcloud connection, you need to:

  1. Log on to QTS as an administrator.
  2. Open myQNAPcloud.
  3. Disable UPnP port forwarding.
    1. Go to Auto Router Configuration.
    2. Deselect Enable UPnP Port forwarding.
  4. Enable DDNS.
    1. Go to My DDNS.
    2. Click the toggle button to enable My DDNS.
  5. Do not publish your NAS services.
    1. Go to Published Services.
    2. Deselect all items under Publish.
    3. Click Apply.
  6. Configure myQNAPcloud Link to enable secure remote access to your NAS via a SmartURL.
    1. Go to myQNAPcloud Link.
    2. Click Install to install myQNAPcloud Link on your NAS.
    3. Click the toggle button to enable myQNAPcloud Link.
  7. Restrict which users can remotely access your NAS via the SmartURL.
    1. Go to Access Control.
    2. Next to Device access controls, select Private or Customized.
      Note: Selecting Private allows only the QNAP ID logged in to myQNAPcloud to access the NAS via the SmartURL. Selecting Customized allows you to invite other QNAP ID accounts to access the device via the SmartURL.
    3. If you selected Customized, click Add and specify a QNAP ID to invite the user.
  8. Obtain the SmartURL by going to Overview.

The final thing to do is to have two applications running on your QNAP NAS regularly. Malware Remover and the QNAP Security Counselor. The Malware tool is for scanning your system for existing threats that may have been installed/engineered inside your system. It then isolates, quarantines as appropriate and removes. The Security Councilor tool is designed to periodically check the security of your entire system, find any potential for an opening that a vulnerability could be exploited via, then makes recommendations on how to close it. This latter tool can be configured via a number of pre-set profiles that scale in severity, but can also be set to custom variables too. These (alongside having updates on both the QTS/QuTS OS and apps via the app center set to automatically download and install) should be among the FIRST things you set up on your QNAP NAS.

It is also REALLY important to note that these applications analyze and identify KNOWN vulnerabilities. They are not omnipresent and, much like in the case of the Photo Station vulnerability that has been identified here and a day 1 patch issued, until it IS recognized as a threat/attack-vector, it will not be seen

What Should You Do If Your QNAP NAS was Hit By Deadbolt Ransomware?

Unfortunately, as it stands, there is little resolution in place to reverse Deadbolt ransomware encryption without paying the 0.05 BTC to the attackers. Some users have reported that snapshots have been useful in reversing the impact (heavily dependent on your retention policy and location, as you still need the original file in a comparable form for snapshots to work). However, a full means to reverse deadbolt is not available.  Previous attacks were able to be reverse using data recovery tools such as PhotoRec to restore them to their original version on an external drive, but success in this method with deadbolt has not been exactly positive. If you have no backup in place and your data is truly irreplaceable, then paying might be the only option (at least in the short term). You can follow the instructions that are attached to the Deadbolt warning page on your QNAP NAS GUI. If you have lost access to this GUI in an QNAP update (understandable that you might action this in the vein hope of halting/reversing damage), here is a Deadbolt Decryptor tool (this still requires the encryption key however) – https://www.emsisoft.com/ransomware-decryption/deadbolt

There are several useful references and setup pointers listed in the exceptionally long QNAP forum port HERE and here are their recommendations for you in the event you have been hit:

  • If you have full external intact backups, reset your NAS and restore from backups
  • If you have no backups and don’t intend to pay, try Qrescue (if your NAS has more than 50% free space and was not written to, chances are ‘OK’ to recover most files)
  • If you decide to pay, here is a ‘user’ story’ (Make sure that all auto-updates are disabled during the decryption, so the process is not interrupted)
  • To find your decryption key after paying the ransom check here.
  • If you are missing the ransom note and bitcoin address (removed by a QNAP firmware update or Malware remover) check here

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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