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NAS Buyers Guide 2022 – A Handy Guide for NAS Beginners

8 juin 2022 à 01:33

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

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

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

Is a NAS and a Server the Same Thing?

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

What is NAS Drive?

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

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

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

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

Applicable to all

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why Choose Synology NAS? Advantages and Disadvantages

synology-all-black-logo-for-banner

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

PROS of Synology NAS

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

CONS of Synology NAS

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

Synology DS220J NAS – $180

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

RECOMMENDED – Synology DS920+ – $535

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

Synology DS1621XS+ NAS – $1899

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

Best Budget NAS

Check Amazon Below for Current Prices/Stock

Best Mid-Range Solution

Check Amazon Below for Current Prices/Stock

Best Business Solution

Check Amazon Below for Current Prices/Stock


Why Choose QNAP NAS? Advantages and Disadvantages

QNAP_logo1_hnlgpk_ptkfgi

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

PROS of QNAP NAS

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

CONS of QNAP NAS

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

QNAP TS-233 NAS$205

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

RECOMMENDED – QNAP TS-464 – $599

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

QNAP TVS-872XT NAS$2200

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

Best Budget NAS

Check Amazon Below for Current Prices/Stock

Best Mid-Range Solution

Check Amazon Below for Current Prices/Stock

Best Business Solution

Check Amazon Below for Current Prices/Stock


Why Choose Asustor NAS? Advantages and Disadvantages

asustor logo

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

PROS of Asustor NAS

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

CONS of Asustor NAS

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

Asustor Drivestor 2 NAS$165

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

RECOMMENDEDAsustor LockerStor4 G.2 $550

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

Asustor LockerStor 10 Pro NAS $1299

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

Best Budget NAS

Check Amazon Below for Current Prices/Stock

Best Mid-Range Solution

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Best Business Solution

Check Amazon Below for Current Prices/Stock


Why Choose WD NAS? Advantages and Disadvantages

wdfulllogo

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

PROS of WD NAS

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

CONS of WD NAS

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

WD MyCloud EX2 NAS$159

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

RECOMMENDEDWD MyCloud Pro – $450

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

WD MyCloud EX4100 NAS$349

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

Best Budget NAS

Check Amazon Below for Current Prices/Stock

Best Mid-Range Solution

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Best Business Solution

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Why Choose TerraMaster NAS? Advantages and Disadvantages

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

PROS of TerraMaster NAS

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

CONS of TerraMaster NAS

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

Terramaster F2-423 NAS$289

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

RECOMMENDED – Terramaster F5-422 – $599

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

Terramaster T12-423 12-Bay NAS $1399

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

Best Budget NAS

Check Amazon Below for Current Prices/Stock

Best Mid-Range Solution

Check Amazon Below for Current Prices/Stock

Best Business Solution

Check Amazon Below for Current Prices/Stock



Why Choose Buffalo NAS? Advantages and Disadvantages

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

PROS of Buffalo NAS

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

CONS of Buffalo NAS

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

Why Choose Netgear NAS? Advantages and Disadvantages

NETGEAR_Logo

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

PROS of Netgear NAS

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

CONS of Netgear NAS

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

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

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

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Updated Guide to Installing KODI on Your QNAP NAS in 2022

9 mars 2022 à 01:38

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


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


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

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

Let’s get started.

KODI on QNAP NAS Gude – Step 1 – Installing Applications


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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


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


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


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


KODI on QNAP NAS Gude – Step 17 – Browser Responsiveness


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



 


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



 


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


 

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Terramaster NAS Devices Being Attacked By Deadbolt Ransomware

1 mars 2022 à 11:49

Deadbolt Ransomware Attacking NAS Drives Again – This time it is Terramaster


It pains me to make this post, but yes, Deadbolt ransomware has once again attacked NAS drives and this time the target is Terramaster devices. Although exact details on the attack vector of this ransomware are yet to be confirmed (though I will be updating this article as more information arrives), it looks like a very similar attack to those that affected Asustor last week, using very similar display methods of highlighting the means of paying the ransom, as well as similar ways that people have been alerted to it on their individual systems. Likely candidates at the time of writing point to this either being based around a UPnP weakness (similar to a previous ransomware exploit that was used) or weak network management (either in the ports used or in 3rd party applications poking holes in your firewall etc in order to facilitate remote access). As mentioned, the details are still rather murky and the first reported hit by users online was around 10 hours ago, so similarities in how people have arranged their network/system services are slowly getting pieced together. If you DO own a Terramaster NAS drive right now, I would make the following recommendations:

  • Run a Backup! But check you have not been already hit by the deadbolt ransomware and inadvertently overwrite your ‘god’ backups. I would STRONGLY recommend where possible (space/budget) running a completely new and independent backup of the whole system or at the very least your irreplaceable/mission-critical data
  • Disconnect your system from ANY internet connection unless you are 100% confident that your network security is secure (even a VPN doesn’t avoid the fact some apps and services open router ports as a necessity)
  • Check your system logs for any large number of IP login attempts. Not strictly necessary in this case as the attack vector is still unconfirmed at the time of writing, but check nonetheless
  • Power Down your device unless you are 100% confident that you are untouchable. Although deadbolt is actioned INITIALLY over the internet to push command to the system to conduct a large scale encryption command, delete the encryption key and amend the login screen to their own payment window and key entry. So, if you are BEING attacked by deadbolt ransomware, disconnecting the system from the network internet is not enough (as from THAT point, all operations are being conducted locally (ie inside the system). So power down your device until Terramaster issue a patch to close whatever this exploit is that deadbolt is utilizing
  • At the time of writing, we are still awaiting further information on the deadbolt Active Process (i.e in the task/resource monitor). When that is established, you can use SSH and a suitable command client to patch in and kill the process, HOWEVER, you should disable SSH for now if you HAVE NOT been hit, as this manner of control is how the bulk of ransomware attacks are conducted automatically
  • Change credentials for the admin account. Although TOS 5 (previewed last month here on YouTube) has the option to disable the admin account (as well as a kill switch for all remote access), the current version of TOS 4 does not have this functionality
  • Change your local network and remote access ports from the default 8000, 8080, 8001 etc to something randomized

IF your Terramaster NAS is COMPLETELY isolated from the internet (and you are 100% certain of this, eg you directly PC-to-NAS interface your system OR you run the NAS on an isolated vLAN in your network behind a bunch of layers), then you can largely ignore the above.



 


UPDATED 02/03 08:00 GMT


Since the deadbolt ransomware’s first targetted attacks yesterday, Terramaster has rolled out a new firmware update (TOS version 4.2.30) and they strongly recommend users who have not yet been affected to upgrade now. The update will be available from the usual system settings, software update menu from within the TOS web browser GUI in the window below:



Also, you can choose to manually download the TOS 4.2.30 update directly on TerraMaster official website->SUPPORT->DOWNLOAD page (see image below) here – https://support.terra-master.com/download/



It is VERY IMPORTANT that users understand the following details before they update their Terramaster NAS to this latest firmware updated version:

  • If you install this update, it WILL NOT recover/unencrypt files that have been hit by deadbolt (i.e. files that now carry the ‘.deadbolt’ encryption in their name/format. This update closes the vulnerability that allowed the deadbolt group to inject a command towards your terramaster NAS and carry out the attack.
  • If you install this update, it will remove the black deadbolt entry screen to your Terramaster NAS when accessing it via the web browser. However, in doing this, you will also lose the (arguably crap) option to recover your files by paying the ransom group, getting an encryption key and decrypting your data. Although unaffected users and those who have zero intention of engaging with the deadbolt group will be happy with this, some users who have lost mission-critical /irreplaceable data that might consider this option might want to think about this update a little further. When Deadbolt hit Asustor NAS devices last week, when Asustor issued a firmware update, they also added a small add on in the app center that allowed the end-user to still access this screen in an isolated fashion to still keep the option of getting an (arguably illegally) paid for solution to recovery.
  • Right now, users are attempting to perform recovery with deadbolt files via linux mounted drive setups. It is a painfully slow and low success % operation (as in user base) but if your data is important to you and/or/if you want to resume access to your NAS whilst keeping the encrypted data to one side, I recommend removing the HDD/SSD media (keep track of which drive in which bay) and replace the drives in the Terramaster NAS and re-initialize. Then you can reintroduce those drives to the NAS or to a linux machine in the event of a recovery method becoming possible.

Back to the Original Article.

What Do We Know About the Terramaster NAS Deadbolt Ransomware Attack?


The bulk of the details even at this early stage of the terramaster NAS deadbolt ransomware attack bear alot of similarities to those of the Asustor attack last week (Read the article on that plus all the updates and MOST IMPORTANTLY the comments of that article as there is alot of information on how people have responded/adapted to when this hit them). Most users understood that their Terramaster NAS system was in the process of being hit by deadbolt Ransomware in two very clear ways, one arguably worse than the other. The first was that many of the more value series Terramster NAS systems (2/4 Bay systems at the Dual-Core level) had a sharp and very noticeable rise in system fan activity (and HDD LED lights kicking off incessantly) as the encryption command pushed the system very hard indeed. If you were fortunate enough to spot this early, then there is a reasonable chance that the % of files encrypted would be very low. However, a larger proportion of users found their NAS system was mostly/completely encrypted overnight (or whilst they were out of sight/earshot of the NAS) and their first knowledge of the attack was to be greeted by this (now depressingly familiar in 2022) deadbolt login screen:


Important Message for TERRAMASTER
All your affected customers have been targeted using a zero-day vulnerability in your product. We offer you two options to mitigate this (and future) damage:


1) Make a bitcoin payment of 5 BTC to bc1qhkeecsgmzf2965fg57ll3enqyj7y094lxl5nzm:


You will receive all details about this zero-day vulnerability so it can be patched. A detailed report will be sent to [email protected].


2) Make a bitcoin payment of 15 BTC to bc1qhkeecsgmzf2965fg57ll3enqyj7y094lxl5nzm:


You will receive a universal decryption master key (and instructions) that can be used to unlock all your clients their files. Additionally, we will also send you all details about the zero-day vulnerability to [email protected].


Upon receipt of payment for either option, all information will be sent to you in a timely fashion.


There is no way to contact us.
These are our only offers.
Thanks for your consideration.


Greetings,
DEADBOLT team.


If you are unsure if you have been hit by the deadbolt ransomware attack (i.e. you can still login fine and the login screen has not changed) but want to do a quick checklist on things to monitor. Here is a brief to-do list:

  • Your Remote mounted storage is suffering delayed responses/file opening (eg mapped drives, SMB mounts, etc) as this could mean that these are in use by the system and being encrypted. The same goes if you have a recently accessible remote mount that is now inaccessible
  • Search for .deadbolt in the file manager search bar. It is not the quickest, but any file hit by this will have the .deadbolt file extension
  • Your regular overnight backup(s) failed or took way, WAY too long, as this indicates a large amount of HDD activity taking place at the same time as your regular backups and even 3-4 hard drives in a RAID 5 will struggle to maintain even marginally good input/output actions when these larger volume activities are run simultaneously
  • Your system fans are increasing as drive activity has increased notably (encryption is a hefty task for any system to conduct, especially on the entire storage pool/volumes/etc
  • Your HDD/SSD LEDs are going NUTS! This also applies if you are using larger than 8TB drives or larger Seagate Ironwolfs NAS drives, Ultrastar, Red Pros, EXOs, etc as these Pro/Ent class drives make some real noise in heavy crunch activity such as large scale encryption

Currently (01/03/22 930AM GMT) Terramaster has yet to issue a formal statement on this or a firmware update, but the attack is around 12 hours old at most. Still, this is now the 3rd Deadbolt attack to hit NAS brands in the last 6 months (Asustor and QNAP previously) and alongside the earlier attack of a vulnerability in TOS at the start of the year. There are hopes that the current TOS 5.0 update (still in Beta) will feature improvements in it’s network security and how much access installed apps have to the core system administration.

What Does Terramaster Advise to Prevent the Deadbolt Ransomware?


Terramaster has responded to this recent Deadbolt ransomware attack of their NAS systems with the following statement:


Recently, we have received reports of some TNAS devices being attacked by Deadbolt Ransomware. Based on the case analysis, we initially concluded that this was an external attack against TNAS devices. To protect your data from Deadbolt, please take action now!


If your NAS works normally, we suggest you take the following countermeasures:


1. Upgrade your TOS to the latest version;


2. Install good anti-virus software on your computer, TNAS device and router to help you detect and resist malicious threats;


3. Disable port forwarding on your router. After disabling this function, you will not be able to access TNAS through the TNAS device bound to the DDNS external network.


4. Disable the UPnP function on your TNAS. After disabling, your PC, multimedia box, TV and other devices may not be able to access TNAS through UPnP protocol, please use DLNA, NFS, SMB protocol to access TNAS instead.


For more detailed measures, please refer to the following link:


https://www.terra-master.com/global/press/index/view/id/1143/


 


If you find that your NAS has unfortunately been affected by Deadbolt Ransomware, please follow the steps as below:


  1. Remove the LAN network cable from your TNAS device immediately.


  2. Power off your TNAS; x.86 models: short press the power button; ARM models: long-press the power button 3 seconds.


  3. Do not initialize your NAS as this will erase your data. 


  4. Please contact the online support on our official website or email to [email protected] directly.


Additionally, there is a great deal of activity in the last 12 hours on the official support forums on this, with a Terramaster Customer Representative issuing the following response to an initial enquiry on deadbolt ransomware attacks:



Right now, Asustor has yet to issue further information on recovery on this (unless I have updated this article above with further information), but I would recommend following the steps provided by other NAS brands in the wake of a ransomware attack such as this:

  • Change your password.
  • Use a strong password.
  • Change default HTTP and HTTPS ports. Default ports are 8000 and 8001 respectively.
  • Change web server ports. Default ports are 80 and 443.
  • Turn off Terminal/SSH and SFTP services and other services you do not use.
  • Make regular backups and ensure backups are up to date.

Until the attack vector is established, I would recommend going ‘all in’ on updating your security settings. Although a lot of the changes relating to password changes seem unrelated to this, without having a complete throughline on similarities between users, it is best to dot every i and cross every t!

Is There A Solution, Restoration or Recovery Method Currently Available to Deadbolt Affected Terramaster NAS?


As it stands, there is no resolution available from Terramaster NAS if your files have been encrypted by Deadbolt ransomware. other than paying the ransom (which would suck!) many are looking at methods of recovery using linux based mounting of the drives and accessing any snapshots in a BTRFS volume (or using PhotoRec/TeskDisk in the hope of reverting the files), but even then, there is little currently possible to recover affected files. That may not always be the case and I would still recommend keeping the encrypted files (in a 2nd location if you need to format your terramaster for continued use) as recovery methods might become available in weeks/months from now. Terramaster issued an updated press release on this with further instructions on disabling specific services, We suggest you take the following countermeasures:

  1. Upgrade your TOS to the latest version;
  2. Install good anti-virus software on your computer, TNAS device and router to help you detect and resist malicious threats;
  3. Disable port forwarding on your router. After disabling this function, you will not be able to access TNAS through the TNAS device bound to the DDNS external network.
  4. Disable the UPnP function on your TNAS. After disabling, your PC, multimedia box, TV and other devices may not be able to access TNAS through UPnP protocol, please use DLNA, NFS, SMB protocol to access TNAS instead.

  1. Disable RDP, SSH and Telnet when not in use;


Additional Changes Here:


  1. Change the default port of FTP. When you use the FTP protocol to access, please pay attention to bringing the port, such as ftp://192.168.0.1:1990.

  1. Set a high security level password for all users;

  2. Disable the system default admin account, re-create a new admin account, and set an advanced password;
    Note: For versions after TOS 4.2.09, you can set the administrator account without using the default admin username when installing the system. If it was upgraded from a version before TOS 4.2.09, you need to reset the system configuration, then you can customize the user name.

  3. Enable firewall and only allow trusted IP addresses and ports to access your device;
    a. Go to Control Panel > General Settings > Security > Firewall.
    b. Create a firewall rule and choose the operation of allow or deny.
    c. Fill in the IP range you allow or deny access to. If you fill in the network you want to deny access to, please fill in the subnet address correctly, otherwise it may cause your existing devices to be unable to access TNAS.

  1. Avoid using default port numbers 5443 for https and 8181 for http. After changing, please enter IP:Port in the browser address bar, such as 192.168.0.1:8186.
  2. Enable automatic IP block in TOS Control Panel to block IP addresses with too many failed login attempts;

  1. Backing up data is the best way to deal with malicious attacks; always back up data, at least one backup to another device. It is strongly recommended to adopt a 3-2-1 backup strategy.

 


If your Terramaster NAS was NOT affected, I would still recommend disabling remote/internet access., as the act vectors are not clear and there are reports from some users right now that state that they had the latest firmware, they were still hit. Therefore right now there is so much unconfirmed info here to allow remote access (in my opinion) and until further info is made available, I strongly recommend disconnecting your Terramaster NAS from the internet (wire AND via the software settings) and getting your backups in order. I will update this article soon as more information becomes available.


 

WD Red Pro 20TB NAS Hard Drive Released

1 mars 2022 à 01:00

WD Red 20TB NAS Hard Drives Now Available


Good news for anyone looking at buying a new NAS system and wanting to max out their storage on day one, or users looking up increasing their existing storage, with the release of the new WD Red Pro 20TB NAS Hard Drive. Arriving with the same level of robust and high workloads of the previous Red Pro HDDs, this new 20 Terabyte model arrives with NAS specific engineering and larger scale rackmount servers in mind. As this is a new, professional series hard drive at the 20TB capacity level, you can fully expect the WD Red Pro WD201KFGX to cost a pretty penny! So, let’s discuss the hardware of the new hard drive and see if it should be your next storage purchase in 2022?

WD Red 20TB WD201KFGX Full Hardware Specifications


The hardware inside the WD Red Pro 20TB WD201KFGX is centred around heavy-duty storage use, in a 24×7 server environment. Although arriving at a slight pinch lower in workload and durability than WD Gold or Ultrastar drives, this 20TB is still going to result in some solid performance that only data-center/hyper scale users are ever really going to exceed. Let’s go through the hardware specifications


  • Model ID – WD201KFGX
  • Storage Capacity – 20TB
  • Interface – SATA
  • Recording Technology – Conventional Magnetic Recording (CMR)
  • Form Factor – 3.5″
  • RPM – 7200
  • On-board Cache – 512MB
  • Transfer Speed – 268MB/s Reported Maximum
  • Load/Unload Cycles – 600K
  • Annual Workload Rating – 300TB
  • Active Power Use – 6.9W
  • Idle Power Use – 3.8W
  • Standby/Sleep Power Use –  1.6W
  • Warranty – 5 Years
Although the performance of the new WD Red Pro 20TB is a pinch lower than the 18TB (272MB/s vs 268MB/s), this is still a very small differences and the 20TB WD201KFGX is still higher in sequential Read/Write than the rest of the WD Red and WD Red Pro series.

What WD Say the New Red Pro 20TB WD201KFGX Features


Western Digital have always been remarkably proud of their WD Red NAS series of hard drive (and SSD in recent years) Media.   The WD Red Pro 20TB is no exception and they detail exactly what sets it apart from other Pro and Non-Pro class media.



Control Rapid Data Growth – Engineered specifically for NAS systems with up to 24 bays, WD Red™ Pro hard drives are optimized for multi-user NAS environments and are designed to handle high-intensity workloads in 24×7 environments. WD Red™ Pro is ideal for protecting, archiving, and sharing rapidly growing data with many users or multiple data-hungry applications.


Exclusive NASware™ 3.0 Technology – Our exclusive advanced firmware technology, NASware™ 3.0, enables seamless integration, robust data protection, and optimal performance for NAS systems operating under heavy demand. Built into every WD Red™ Pro hard drive, NASware™3.0’s advanced technology improves storage performance by increasing compatibility, integration, upgradeability, and reliability.


Built for Optimum NAS Compatibility – WD Red™ Pro drives with NASware™ technology take the guesswork out of selecting a drive. Optimized for NAS systems, our unique algorithm balances performance and reliability in NAS and RAID environments. Simply put, a WD Red™ Pro drive is one of the most compatible drives available for NAS enclosures. But don’t take our word for it. WD Red™ Pro drives are a reflection of extensive NAS partner technology engagement and compatibility-testing.


Larger NAS Bay Shock Protection – WD Red™ Pro drives are equipped with a multi-axis shock sensor that automatically detects subtle shock events and dynamic fly height technology which adjusts each read/write function to compensate and protect the data. This combination of technology further protects the drives in larger NAS systems with up to 24 bays and helps increase hard drive reliability.


3D Active Balance Plus – Our enhanced dual-plane balance control technology significantly improves the overall drive performance and reliability. Hard drives that are not properly balanced may cause excessive vibration and noise in a multi-drive system, reduce the hard drive life span, and degrade the performance over time.


Error Recovery Prevention – Built specifically for RAID and NAS environments, WD Red™ Pro drives come equipped with error recovery controls as part of NASware™ 3.0 technology to help reduce drive fallout in RAID applications.


Western Digital has been using OptiNAND technology to increase the capacity of new drives. To support OptiNAND, the WD Red Pro 20TB comes with an iNAND UFS flash drive (EFD). There has been no formal confirmation of the NAND memory capacity of the disk. According to Heise Medien, a German news site, a Western Digital management said that the disk contained 64GB of NAND.



WD Has always prioritized the use of their WD Red Pro series of Hard drives when deploying NAS systems with larger numbers of individual drives bays, as well as in recent years ensuring that larger capacity HDDs arrived either on the Pro tier first or exclusively in the long run (as these larger drives are considerably more industrious in design and architecture. But what is the Difference between a WD Red and WD Red Pro NAS hard drive?

When will the WD Red Pro 20TB NAS Hard Drive Be Released?

Although the pricing on the WD Red 20TB NAS Hard Drive is still going to be very much based on your region, the drive has already appeared available for sale in a number of online retailers (with several listing 1x unit of this drive at $760 (though you would need to factor tax, profit margin, etc), as well as the drive appearing on the brands’ official product pages HERE, so the release is pretty much immediate. That said, stock on these larger drives at initial launch is always a little thin on the ground and we can expect global availability on this drive to be quite low at the start.

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Asustor NAS Uninitialized Repair After Deadbolt Ransomware – Getting Back to ADM, Avoiding the Black Threat Screen & Seeing What Remains of your Data

25 février 2022 à 10:05

Getting Your Asustor NAS System Up and Running Again After Ransomware Attack


It has now been a few days since the initial attack of Asustor NAS systems by the deadbolt ransomware attack and although full recovery is still not a complete option for a lot of users (without having to take the agonizing step of paying the group for an encryption key – gah!), there have been steps by users, the linux community and Asustor to mitigate some of the damage for some and for those unaffected, allow them to use their systems with a little more confidence and comfort. Below are some instructions that will be of use to users who are currently in the following situations with their Asustor NAS:

  • When the encryption/attack first started (or you first noticed the NAS activity) you powered down your system abruptly and your NAS now shows as Uninitialized’
  • You Have the Asustor NAS working, but are being greeted by the black deadbolt threat screen that you want to navigate around WITHOUT using SSH/Command line
  • You are in either of the above two positions AND you have snapshots or a MyArchive routine setup on your NAS

If any of those three setups are how you would describe the position that you/your Asustor NAS is currently in, then you may well find this guide useful. However, DO remember that you are still dealing with your data and although this guide has been provided for the most part by the band themselves (with additions by myself – Robbie), you should immediately have a backup of your data (even if it’s encrypted in case of a system failure etc) and/or an external drive ready to move any/all data over too. If you caught the ransomware encryption early, then you might still have a  good % of your data still ok. Observing numerous affected machines have shown us that the encryption/changes begin at the system level (ie so it can change the index screen and renaming, etc), so in some cases, some people have reported that they caught it in time for some data to have been RENAMED (i.e the .deadbolt prefix that is affecting access or older structure in some cases) but not actually encrypted. So, this guide is about getting you into a position to access your Asustor NAS GUI and whatever the state of your data is. After that, you may still have no option but to format your system, wait for any kind of brand/community recovery method or (and I do not say this lightly, as the thought of continuing this kind of behaviour is disgusting) pay the ransom to get your data back. I appreciate that this is S&!T but some business users might have little choice. Let’s discuss access recovery options. If you are unaware of everything that has occurred to asustor and the deadbolt ransomware, you can use the attached video below:


Asustor NAS – How to Get Your NAS Running Again If It Is Saying Uninitialized


If you powered down your NAS abruptly when you saw the black threat screen OR unusual activity on your NAS (either by pulling the power cord or holding the power button for 5-10 seconds), then chances are that as the encryption hits the system files first and was in progress, that your NAS is not showing as ‘uninitialized’. This is because the system software is no corrupted. Yesterday Asustor released a new firmware update that closed the vulnerability (they claim, I have not verified personally yet). So, the following steps in the guide using the client desktop software Control Center and an internet connection (can be just on your PC/Mac and you directly connect with your Asustor if you choose) will allow you to access your NAS login GUI.



If you have shut down before, please connect to a network. If you enter the initialization page, please follow the instructions below to update your NAS:


Step 1

  • If you enter the initialization page and have an Internet connection, please press Next.

  • Please click Live update and then click Next.


Step 2

  • If you’re on the initialization screen and not connected to the Internet, please download ADM from ASUSTOR Downloads to your computer.
  • Once done, manually update ADM by uploading the ADM image file from your computer as shown below.
  • Please press Next.


Step 3

  • Update.
  • After the update has completed, you’ll be able to return to ADM.

Asustor NAS – If You Are Still Seeing the Black Threat Deadbolt Ransomware Screen


If you have access to your NAS drive BUT are faced with the black threat login screen replacement that replaced the previous one AND have followed the previous steps to install the latest firmware, the next three steps should allow your to navigate AROUND this and remove it entirely.


If the ransomware page remains after you connect to a network:

  • Please turn off your NAS, remove all hard drives and reboot.
  • When the initialization page appears, reinsert the hard drives.
  • Please follow the instructions above to update your NAS.

Asustor NAS – How to Restore Data with Snapshots, MyArchive Backups or Mirrored Volumes


Now, the next step is not going to be an option for everyone. Once you have logged in and accessed the extent of the file damage by encryption (eg, % of files affected, are they encrypted completely OR just renamed? etc). The following steps will be of use to those of you who are running a BTRFS setup and setup snapshots and/or the MyArchive backup/sync storage service. This part of the guide also includes the means to install a ransomware tool that (I know, ANNOYINGLY) gain access BACK to the black encryption entry screen. So if you have no choice (I am not judging you, the importance of your data is your call) and are going to choose to pay the ransom as it is going to cost you less than not retrieving your data, then you can use this ‘ransomware status’ tool to gain access back to the payment screen, encryption key window and ultimately allows you to pay the hackers. Again, it’s your call.


If you want to restore data and you have more than one volume installed on your NAS, use MyArchive drives, or have previously made Btrfs snapshots, please refer to the following instructions below. Restore all backups that you may have. Alternatively, if you have Btrfs snapshots, use Snapshot Center to restore previous versions of files and erase changes done by ransomware.



If regular backups were not kept and you want to enter the decryption key to retrieve lost data:


  • Confirm details and press Install.

  • Wait for installation to complete.

  • Reload the webpage to enter the ransomware screen again. You’ll be able to enter the decryption key.

  • If you want to return to ADM, you can do this in one of three ways. You can add backup.cgi after/portal/ in the address bar of your browser, you can hold the power button for three seconds to shut your NAS down and turn it on again or you may use ASUSTOR Control Center or AiMaster to restart your NAS.


 


  • Afterwards, it is imperative to uninstall Ransomware Status from App Central.


 

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Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

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

Asustor NAS Drives getting hit by Deadbolt Ransomware

21 février 2022 à 18:30

If you own an Asustor NAS and are reading this – CHECK IT NOW


Original Article – As of around 1 hour ago, multiple users online are reporting that their Asustor NAS systems have been attacked by ransomware known as Deadbolt. Much like the ransomware attack of QNAP NAS systems of the same name, this is a remote-command-pu#sh encryption attack that takes advantage of a vulnerability in the system software to command the system to encrypt the data on the NAS system, but with the added twist in this recent update of adding a new login GUI style space screen asking for 0.03BTC.


Updated 24/02 09:45 GMT


Asustor has just released a firmware update for their ADM 4 systems (HERE) for users who have not been hit by the Deadbolt ransomware attack, who are keeping their systems offline and/or powered down until the security issue/vulnerability was identified and neutralized. Here are the Asustor details on this:


An emergency update to ADM is provided in response to Deadbolt ransomware affecting ASUSTOR devices. ASUSTOR urges all users to install the latest version of ADM as soon as possible to protect themselves and minimize the risk of a Deadbolt infection. ASUSTOR also recommends taking measures to guard against the potential harms of Deadbolt in accordance with the previously announced protective measures. Please review the measures below to help increase the security of your data on your ASUSTOR NAS.

  • Change your password.
  • Use a strong password.
  • Change default HTTP and HTTPS ports. Default ports are 8000 and 8001 respectively.
  • Change web server ports. Default ports are 80 and 443.
  • Turn off Terminal/SSH and SFTP services and other services you do not use.
  • Make regular backups and ensure backups are up to date.

In response to increasing numbers of ransomware attacks, ASUSTOR has committed to an internal review of company policies to regain customer trust. This includes, but is not limited to increased monitoring of potential security risks and strengthening software and network defenses. ASUSTOR takes security very seriously and apologizes for any inconvenience caused.


Updated 23/02 21:03 GMT


Much like the deadbolt attack on QNAP devices earlier in 2022, in the changed index GUI on affected NAS’, the deadbolt team are offering to provide information to ASUSTOR about the zero-day vulnerability used to breach NAS devices and the master decryption for all affected users to get their data back. The DeadBolt link includes a link titled “important message for ASUSTOR,” which displays a message from DeadBolt for the attention of ASUSTOR. DeadBolt orchestrators are offering to details of the vulnerability if ASUSTOR pays them 7.5 BTC, worth $290,000. DeadBolt is also offering ASUSTOR the master decryption key for all victims and the zero-day breakdown explained for 50 BTC, worth $1.9 million. The ransomware operation states that there is no way to contact them other than making the bitcoin payment. However, once payment is made, they say they will send the information to the [email protected] email address.



Updated 06:50 GMT



Asustor has issued the following statement and recommendation for those who are (or believe they have been affected by the Deadbolt ransomware):


In response to Deadbolt ransomware attacks affecting ASUSTOR devices, ASUSTOR EZ-Connect, ASUSTOR EZ Sync, and ezconnect.to will be disabled as the issue is investigated. For your protection, we recommend the following measures:


Change default ports, including the default NAS web access ports of 8000 and 8001 as well as remote web access ports of 80 and 443.
Disable EZ Connect.
Make an immediate backup.
Turn off Terminal/SSH and SFTP services.


For more detailed security measures, please refer to the following link below:
https://www.asustor.com/en-gb/online/College_topic?topic=353


If you find that your NAS has been affected by Deadbolt ransomware, please follow the steps listed below.
1. Unplug the Ethernet network cable
2. Safely shut down your NAS by pressing and holding the power button for three seconds.
3. Do not initialize your NAS as this will erase your data.
4. Fill out the form listed below. Our technicians will contact you as soon as possible.


https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScOwZCEitHGhiAeqNAbCPysxZS43bHOqGUK-bGX_mTfW_lG3A/viewform


Regarding filling out the technical support form, this is likeLy to help the brand identify the scale of the issue, but also allow a faster sharing (to those affected) of any recovery tools that might be possible. However, the culprit is looking increasingly like the EZ Connect Asustor Remote service. This has been further backed up by the fact that the official Asustor ADM demo page has also been hit by the Deadbolt ransomware (now taken offline). Additionally, many users who powered down their device during the deadbolt attack, upon rebooting their NAS system have been greeted with the message in the Asustor Control Center application that their system needs to be ‘re-initialized’. The most likely reason for this is that during the encryption processes, the core system files are the first files that get targeted and if the system was powered down/powered off immediately during this process, it may have corrupted system files. We are currently investigating if a recovery via mounting a drive in a Linux machine is possible (in conjunction with roll-back software such as PhotoRec).



If your Asustor NAS is in the process of being hit (even if you simply suspect it) as your HDDs are buzzing away unusually (and the HDD LEDs are flickering at an unusual hour), then it is recommended that you head into the process manager and see if the encryption process has been actioned by Deadbolt. The following suggestion of action was suggested by NAScompares commenter ‘Clinton Hall’ :


My solution so far, login vis ssh as root user


cd /volume0/usr/builtin
ls


you will see a 5 digit binary executable file For me it was 22491. I use that in the following command to get the process ID


ps | grep 22491


from this I got the Process id 25624. I kill that process


kill 25624


I then remove the binary file


chattr -i 22491
rm -f 22491


Now, restore the index as above


cd /usr/webman/portal
chattr -i index.cgi
rm index.cgi
cp index.cgi.bak index.cgi


Now for the fun part…. a LOT of file had been renamed (not encrypted) to have .deadbolt appended to the end of the filename… So rename them back


(note, you may want to do this folder by folder and check it is working). The following will do for the entire /volume1


cd /volume1
find . -type f -name "*.deadbolt" -exec bash -c 'for f; do base=${f##*/}; mv -- "$f" "${f%/*}/${base//.deadbolt/}"; done' _ {} +


After these are all renamed, everything should work. Probably a good idea to reboot to restart the services etc.


Also, I’m not sure if the above will definitely traverse the [email protected] etc… so I did this manually


cd /volume1/[email protected]
find . -type f -name "*.deadbolt" -exec bash -c 'for f; do base=${f##*/}; mv -- "$f" "${f%/*}/${base//.deadbolt/}"; done' _ {} +


If you have not been hit, I would recommend you action the following from within your Asustor NAS (or better yet, where possible) power the device down until an official statement and a possible firmware patch is issued.

  • Disable EZ Connect
  • Turn off automatic updates
  • Disable SSH (if you do not need it for other services)
  • Block all NAS ports of the router, and only allow connections from inside the network

Updated 19:30 GMT


More details are coming up and it looks like (at least looking at the messages on the official Asustor  Forum and Reddit) the vulnerability stems from a vulnerability in EZConnect that has been exploited (still TBC). User billsargent on the official Asustor forums has posted some useful insights into how to get around the login screen and also details on the processes:


Take your NAS OFF of ezconnect. Block its traffic incoming from outside.
This overwrites the index.cgi with their own. In /usr/webman/portal there is a backup copy of your index there.
To remove theirs, you need to chattr -i index.cgi and replace it with the backup.
But you’ll also have to kill the process. Mine had a process that was just numbers running. I killed it, then deleted it. In /tmp there was another binary that was just numbers.
This is probably not possible to fix without a reset but you can get back into your portal with the above info. Right now though mine is still immediately replacing the index.cgi. 


And:


I am assuming you have ssh capabilities? If so you just need to ssh in and login as root and run these commands. This should help you get back into the portal.


cd /usr/webman/portal
chattr -i index.cgi
rm index.cgi
cp index.cgi.bak index.cgi


If you look at the index.cgi they created before you delete it, its a text script.
I am still in the investigative stages but nothing in my shares have been locked up with this yet. Just things in /root so far.
I’ve pulled out a ton of LTO tapes to backup my data. I think this is going to require a full reset. I hope asustor releases a fix for this but I will never again allow my NAS to have outside access again.


For clarification. This is what my /usr/webman/portal directories looked like. the .bak file is the original index.cgi.
I apologize if my posts seem jumbled up a bit. I’m trying to help and also figure this out as well. So I’m relaying things as I find them in hopes that others will be able to at least get back to their work.


Thank you to Asustor user billsargent for the above and full credit to him on this of course.


(Continuing with the Original Article from 21/02 17:30 GMT)


Although it is still very early in the actioning of this encryption attack, these attacks are slowly starting to emerge on forums right now, as well as twitter, see below:

やばい!!家のASUSTOR製NASがDEADBOLTとか言うランサムウェアに攻撃された!QNAP製のNASに最近入るってのは見たけど、まさか自分のNASもやられるとは…
そこまで大事なデータ入れてなかったのが不幸中の幸いだけど700GBくらいのデータ死んだのショックASUSTOR NAS使ってる人すぐネット切断した方がいい pic.twitter.com/gBFu8yx4hG


— sudara (@sudara_hodara) February 21, 2022



Additionally, this splash message contains a call-out to Asustor themselves (much like the QNAP NAS deadbolt attack) that states a message and a link for the brand to open a discussion (i.e pay) towards a master key and details of the vulnerability they have exploited:


“All your affected customers have been targeted using a zero-day vulnerability in your product. We offer you two options to mitigate this (and future) damage:”


Details are still emerging, so I will keep this article short and sweet for now (and add more later as details emerge), if you own an Asustor NAS drive, check it immediately! Regardless of whether you have enabled remote access via EZConnect or not (as that is not necessarily the key to the attack vector and possible remote DLNA port changes by your system, for example), check it now and ideally disconnect it from the internet. Currently, there is not enough information to ascertain if this relates to a case of ‘out of date firmware’ having an existing vulnerability or something inherent in the current firmware. Regardless, check your system and where possible, disconnect it from the internet until further details are confirmed here, on reputable sites such as Bleeping Computer or via direction from Asustor themselves.



Once you log into your NAS, check your logs and check your processes. If you have the means to backup to a NEW location, do so. DO NOT overwrite your existing backups with this backup unless you are 100% certain you have not been hit by deadbolt ransomware.

What to Do if you have been hit by the Deadbolt Ransomware


If you have been hit by the vulnerability, you will likely be unable to connect remotely with your NAS files/folders. Even if you can, you need to check whether you can open them or they have been encrypted to a new format (the extension/ .type or file will have changed). The following users commented onreddit and there are similar threads that we can see on their setup and how they got hit.


IF you still have access to your files, get your backups in order!!!!!


Otherwise, if you have been hit by this, then you need to disconnect your system from the internet. Killing any processes in the task manager is an option HOWEVER do bear in mind that doing so might corrupt currently encrypting files and therefore stop any kind of recovery. I am checking with a couple of affected users (as well as reaching out to Asustor as we speak to see if a suitable course of action can be recommended. Some users who have restarted their system or immediately pulled the power and rebooted have found that their system now states that it needs to be reinitialized.


One big factor to keep in mind right now is that not is still unclear if a) the deadbolt ransomware can be killed as a system process in the Asustor control center (I do not have an Asustor NAS that is affected in my possession right now) and b) if switching your system off DURING the deadbolt attack can lead to the data being unsalvagable as the encryption is partway through. So, disconnect from the internet (physically and via EZConnect for now) and if you can see youR CPU usage spiking and/or your HDD LEDs going nuts, you are likely being hit.

My Asustor NAS is Saying it is Uninitialized


DO NOT RE-INITIALIZE YOUR NAS. At least not yet, if you have already powered your NAS as a reaction to the attack (understandable, if not the best choice without knowing the full attack vectors or how this affects the encryption) and you are being greeted by the option to reinitialize in the Asusto Control Center application, then power the device down again. But again, I only recommend this action right now for those that already reacted to the attack by shutting down their system/restarting already post-attack

If I am not hit by Deadbolt, Should I disconnect my Asustor NAS from the internet?


For now, YES. As the act vectors are not clear and there are reports from some users right now that state that they had the latest firmware, they were still hit, there is so much unconfirmed info here to allow remote access (in my opinion) and until further info is made available, I strongly recommend disconnecting your Asustor NAS from the internet (wire AND via the software settings) and getting your backups in order.


I will update this article soon as more information becomes available.


 



 


 

Are QNAP NAS Safe?

2 février 2022 à 01:05

Are QNAP NAS Drives Safe Enough to Use in 2022?

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

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

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

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

PSA – GET YOUR BACKUPS IN ORDER!

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

shawshank redemption book

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

Get a Backup in place

More Ransomware Attacks than Any other NAS Brand?

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

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

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

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

The Nature and Practice of Firmware Updates – Prevention & Cures

“Remind me Tomorrow” click

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

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

System Updates and Updates that are QNAP Forced?

Forced? Optional? Access Penalties?

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

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

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

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

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

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

How Backups and Data Storage are Still being Misunderstood

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Sad Truth about Servers, Security and Vulnerabilities

Vulnerability > Update > vulnerability > update > rinse > repeat

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

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

Click Below to Read

 

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

 

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

 

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Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

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

QNAP NAS Attacked By DeadBolt Ransomware

26 janvier 2022 à 15:08

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

— Curated Intelligence (@CuratedIntel) January 27, 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

So, fairly brazen stuff!

What Does the DeadBolt Ransomware do to my QNAP NAS?

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

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

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

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

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

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

1: Turn off the Port Forwarding function of the router

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 


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

 

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Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

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

Best NAS for Photography to Buy in 2022

17 janvier 2022 à 01:10

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best Value Photography NAS Drive – The Synology DS920+ NAS

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

Current Price/Availability on Amazon $550+

Hardware Review – HERE

YouTube Video Review – Watch

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

Click to view slideshow.

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

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


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

 


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

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

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $1150+

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

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

Click to view slideshow.

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

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


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

 


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

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

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $1799

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

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

Click to view slideshow.

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

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


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

 


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

 


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


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

 

SEARCH IN THE BOX BELOW FOR NAS DEALS

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

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

 

Recommended 8-Bay NAS Drive to Buy in 2022

12 janvier 2022 à 01:52

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $1099

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

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

Click to view slideshow.

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

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


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

 


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

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

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $1799

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

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

Click to view slideshow.

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

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


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

 


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

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

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $2899

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

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

Click to view slideshow.

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

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


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

 


 

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

 


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


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

 

SEARCH IN THE BOX BELOW FOR NAS DEALS

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

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

 

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

5 janvier 2022 à 01:13

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $350-400

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

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

Click to view slideshow.

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

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


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

 


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

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

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $1499+

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

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

Click to view slideshow.

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

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


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

 


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

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

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $1150+

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

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

Click to view slideshow.

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

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


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

 


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

 


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Best 10GbE NAS to Buy in 2022

31 décembre 2021 à 01:10

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $549

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

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

Click to view slideshow.

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

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


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

 


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

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

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $999

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

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

Click to view slideshow.

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

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


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

 


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

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

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $2999

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

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

Click to view slideshow.

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

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


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

 


 

 

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

 


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


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

 

SEARCH IN THE BOX BELOW FOR NAS DEALS

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

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

 

Best Plex NAS to Buy in 2022

24 décembre 2021 à 01:10

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

If you have been looking at buying a Synology or QNAP NAS drive in 2022 for use as a Plex Media Server, then chances are you are doing this because you are sick of paying for a bunch of online streaming services OR you have an enormous physical library of discs that you own in your home that you want to watch conveniently on an Amazon FireTV, Roku Box or home Console, disc free! It’s not a big ask, is it! Do you remember when watching movies and boxsets from your sofa was easy? You owned a few hundred DVDs or Blurays, you popped in the disc for what you wanted to watch, then you watched it. It had a few extra steps that Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video and Disney+, BUT you owned what you watched and you were in control of what you wanted to see. The dominance of subscription streaming services was unquestionable and for a while, it genuinely felt like it was the best option for ease of access to a huge library of multimedia that you only really wanted to watch once or twice anyway – all for just $5-10 per service. However, it got complicated. We went from 3-5 media streaming services, to suddenly HUNDREDS, with Films/Boxsets appairing on exclusive platforms (in some cases actual tv seasons being divided across different services too). This also led to TV shows being available/featured on a streaming service considerably shorter, due to the show-owner realising that timed exclusivity and switching streamingly platforms is much more lucrative in the long run. So, the streaming services STOPPED being so convenient, stopped being such good value – with most households now having/needing 3-4 different subscription services (so, in most cases Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+ and the cable TV/Sky provider service) and spending $400-500 a year, and not owning a single piece of media or having control of when things are not available. Add to that the rather bias search abilities of these platforms pushing ‘suggested’ content and you cannot help but pine for those simple days of sitting on the sofa and watching that DVD. It is for this reason that many have made the jump over to Plex Media Server. To find out more about what Plex, a Plex Media Server NAS are and what they do, watch the video below:

A free service that allows you to stream the media YOU own, but still features slick graphics, user-friendly GUI, descriptions, trailers, thumbnails, reviews and more. Today I want to discuss the best three NAS drives for use as a Plex Media Server. There are literally thousands of different NAS devices on the market that can be used for Plex (it is a fairly low resource demanding tool in its smallest form) but the extent to how much you will use it, the number of users you want to share with, the volume of media and the quality of the content (e.g 4K, 1080p, etc) make a HUGE difference to which NAS you should choose for your Plex Media server. So my three PLEX NAS recommendations for 2022 are based on the best Budget 1080p Plex NAS, the best 4K Plex NAS and finally, the Best EVERYTHING Plex NAS for 2022. Let’s begin.

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

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

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

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

Best Value 1080p 4K Plex NAS Drive – The Synology DS920+ NAS

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

Current Price/Availability on Amazon $550+

Hardware Review – HERE

YouTube Video Review – Watch

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

Click to view slideshow.

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

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


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

 


Best Powerful 1080p & 4K Plex NAS Drive – QNAP TVS-872X

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

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $1799

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

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

Click to view slideshow.

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

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


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

 


Ultimate Plex Media Server NAS – The QNAP TVS-h1288X

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

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $2899

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

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

Click to view slideshow.

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

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


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

 


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

 


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


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

 

SEARCH IN THE BOX BELOW FOR NAS DEALS

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

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

 

Recommended 4-Bay NAS to Buy in 2022

23 décembre 2021 à 01:01

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $450

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

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

Click to view slideshow.

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

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


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

 


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

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

Current Price/Availability on Amazon $550+

Hardware Review – HERE

YouTube Video Review – Watch

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

Click to view slideshow.

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

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


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

 


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

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

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $1300+

Hardware Review – HERE

YouTube Video Review – Watch

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

Click to view slideshow.

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

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


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

 


 

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

 


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

 

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Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

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

 

The Best 2-Bay NAS to Buy for 2022

17 décembre 2021 à 01:20

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $199

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

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

Click to view slideshow.

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

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


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

 


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

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

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $285+

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

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

Click to view slideshow.

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

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


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

 


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

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

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $325

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

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

Click to view slideshow.

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

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


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

 


 

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

 


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


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

 

SEARCH IN THE BOX BELOW FOR NAS DEALS

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

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

 

QNAP TS-364 NAS Review – Too Niche?

8 décembre 2021 à 01:26

The QNAP TS-364 NAS Drive Review

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

QNAP TS-364 NAS Review – Quick Conclusion

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

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


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

QNAP TS-364 NAS Review – PACKAGING & ACCESSORIES

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

QNAP TS-364 NAS Review – Design

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

QNAP TS-364 NAS Review – Ports & Connections

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

QNAP TS-364 NAS Review – Internal Hardware

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

QNAP TS-364 NAS Review – Software & Services

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

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

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

QNAP TS-364 NAS Review – Conclusion & Verdict

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

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

Quieter than I expected in use

Newest Gen Intel Celeron CPU available on NAS right now

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

Good balance of HDD and SSD Storage Support

VERY compact deployment

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

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

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

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

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

HDMI 1.4b not HDMI 2.0/a

 


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