Introduction, Design Features
QNAP creates some severely swanky network trustworthy storage (NAS) drives, and a all-new TS-253B, designed for little offices or home energy users, is no exception. It comes bristling with new technology, and it redefines what we can come to pattern from high-end NAS boxes in a nearby future.
The many poignant core differentiator in this NAS section is that it includes a half-height PCI Express container that allows for a designation of several varieties of expansion cards. This container could be useful for adding expostulate caching (using solid-state memory on an discretionary card, that QNAP sells), including adding one of a new Intel Optane Memory 3D Xpoint drives or some other M.2 SSD for caching. Or we can use it to implement a 10Gbps Ethernet port, that is designed to concede for a many-fold opening alleviation over normal Gigabit Ethernet. Heck, we could even implement a wireless Ethernet label and spin a TS-253B into a place-it-anywhere media center, as it includes a remote control, too.
This new array of drives (known as a QNAP TS-x53B, where “x” equals a series of dissimilar tough drives we can put inside) is accessible in two-bay, four-bay, and six-bay models. All this leading-edge tech is going to cost you, though, as a two-bay indication we’re reviewing is a high $549 yet drives and with 4GB of onboard RAM, and $699 for an 8GB model. Make no mistake, yet a framework on this indication is small, this is a high-end line of NAS products designed for little business and SOHO usage, and for folks who will precedence a modernized capabities and accessible apps. If you’re a infrequent home user, we should opt for a reduction brazen indication with one or twin drives. (See, for example, our examination of a simple Seagate Personal Cloud.)
TS-x51 series, that were high-end inclination in their time, as well. These new models continue this tradition. The courage of a NAS embody an Intel Celeron J3455 CPU, a quad-core 1.5GHz chip that can boost to 2.3GHz. The onboard wiring are also able of AES-NI encryption, and depending on a model, it comes interconnected with 4GB or 8GB of DDR3L memory, as we mentioned above. Celeron chips might seem ho-hum if we see them in an standard bill desktop or laptop PC, yet they are a reward fortitude in a NAS drive. (Many NAS drives are powered by obtuse Intel Atom or ARM chips.) So this is a absolute NAS in terms of a hardware.
The NAS itself has an engaging design, as good as some facilities that, yet not unique, we’ve not seen in a strength in a NAS before. First of all, a expostulate trays are tool-less, and are extrinsic into a front of a section to concede for a painless installation. That’s zero new, of course, yet what is new is that once a expostulate trays are extrinsic and secure, a little cover slides over a front of a unit, obscuring a trays and giving it a sleeker look. Without a cover, a bays demeanour like this…
Adding to a high-tech interest is an OLED activity display, that is, as distant as we can tell, a initial on a NAS…
Using an OLED shade for this purpose is overkill, really, yet hey, a small row looks high-tech, sharp, and cool. Alongside, you’ll see twin capacitive-touch buttons that pierce adult information in a little window, with a readout including a IP residence of a LAN connection.
The rest of a TS-253B’s front image is equally snazzy, as NAS drives come. Prominent is a engorgement of connectors that make duplicating files from unstable storage utterly easy. There’s an SD-card reader, a USB 3.0 port, and (most engaging of a three) a USB Type-C port, in box we have a new-generation expostulate with a identical connector, or get one in a future. You can entrance a NAS directly around a ports in a front of a NAS, with no network tie required. Riding shotgun with these ports is a quick-copy button, too, to capacitate quick backups from USB-attached media to a inner drive(s).
Out back, a TS-253B is usually as loaded, and with lots of ports for a NAS drive, or during slightest many some-more than we typically see in one of this distance and drive-bay count…
First adult are a twin Ethernet LAN ports, that allows for surplus connectors for uptime defence or for pier assembly if we have a concordant router or switch. The latter, theoretically, allows for double a bandwidth opposite a connection, and is a underline designed for a NAS that will be portion many users concurrently. Also behind here are 4 USB 3.0 ports, that is twice a standard series we see, as good as twin HDMI ports as good in box we wish to run a dual-display media core off a unit. You can offshoot it adult directly to an HDTV for use as a media station, that is where a remote control comes in, as good as to a apart display.
Note that a HDMI ports are of a 1.4b variety, so they support 4K fortitude (3,840×2,160-pixel) video outlay yet usually during 30Hz, that might be a deal-breaker for those who wish to use this as a source device for lots of onboard 4K video. (It can run reduce resolutions during 60Hz over HDMI.) Also behind here are dissimilar audio jacks (see above, about a media-station scenario), a Kensington cable-lockdown slot, and a backplane opening for a aforementioned PCI Express container during a really top, that comes unoccupied.
Running a uncover is QNAP’s Linux-based QTS doing system, that is commissioned with some-more facilities (and entrance to some-more apps and utilities) than even a many IT-expert tellurian could ever wish to deploy.
As we remarkable above, this is an costly NAS that’s entirely commissioned and groundbreaking, so, naturally, it has a cost tab to match. We already discussed pricing for a two-bay model, yet maybe we imagination a few some-more drives? If so, a flagship six-bay indication with 8GB of RAM is a healthy $1,049, yet if we dump a RAM subsidy to 4GB, it’s “just” $899. The four-bay chronicle with 8GB of RAM will run we $849, while a 4GB chronicle will set we behind $709. To give we some context as to how costly this is, a recently reviewed four-bay Synology DS416 Slim is usually $289 yet drives, so a TS-253B is clearly reward and full-featured. You’ll wish to be certain we need a above-average connectivity and during slightest some of a specific underline set here before shelling out; we can get simple NAS models for many less.
When we initial connected a TS-253B to a network, we were educated around a plaque on a framework to go to a URL and form in a formula printed on a sticker. We did this, yet a program was incompetent to find a NAS. After steady attempts during this, we finally downloaded a accessible QNAP utility, Qfinder, that searched a network and located a NAS, yet setup still would not continue. We subsequent had to concede a Qfinder app by a Windows Firewall, and usually afterwards designation proceeded normally. From that point, it was a paltry event that concerned downloading a latest chronicle of a QTS doing system, wiping a twin drives we had forsaken into a trays, and installing a OS. All in all, it took usually a few mins once things were rolling.
From there, we had to emanate an director password…
Next, a setup slight configured everything, and, as we can see below, a estimated time was about 11 minutes. Not too shabby.
The following step asked us to configure an SMTP mail server, so that a NAS could e-mail us critical updates and notifications. This is a accessible underline for monitoring a NAS, yet we skipped it given we were usually going to be unresolved around prolonged adequate to get a crux of a device.
Et voila! Finally, we arrived during a desktop of a QTS doing system. QNAP shows we a few panels to assistance we know a blueprint of buttons and menus, yet altogether it’s easy to figure out, even for first-timers.
The categorical “desktop” of QTS is purify and uncluttered, featuring 6 icons by default along with additional controls and menus along a tip of a window. Time is displayed in a corner, and we can concede a dashboard to slip out display all kinds of information, including stream CPU and RAM usage, complement temperatures, expostulate status, and how many space is being used on any volume. You can also drag a particular widgets to a desktop if we wish to keep tabs on a certain aspect of a NAS’s performance.
Let’s take a demeanour during any of these icons on a desktop first, afterwards we’ll inspect some-more of a additional controls.
When we report a NAS expostulate with “advanced functionality,” this is what we mean…
If we were to try a options supposing by any of these icons, this examination would be 50 pages long. Everything is damaged down into accessible sections, yet as we can see, there are controls for all from doing common folders to modernized networking options, and afterwards some. It’s smartly laid out and easy to access.
This is a service (or an app, if we will) that gets commissioned by default and lets we navigate a NAS, saying all a files in all a common folders. Think of it as Windows Explorer for QTS…
You can supplement new folders, file them, and pierce them from a NAS to your internal machine. There’s an engaging choice when we click on movies, in that it asks we what fortitude you’d like a film to be transcoded in…
Once we make your selection, it sets it for destiny videos, yet there’s a drop-down menu we can entrance that lets we change it on a fly, too.
QNAP’s “Personal Cloud”
Many NAS vendors yield a underline that is mostly called a “personal cloud” function, and this one is no different. In hint competing with a functionality we can get from Dropbox, Google Drive, and other cloud storage services, many NAS companies now let we entrance your NAS device around a Web site or app. You can have entrance to approach some-more storage around your drives than is typically possibly around those cloud services yet profitable a low monthly fee.
QNAP’s doing is called “myQNAPcloud”…
We tested this, and it works as advertised. When we accessed a files around a browser interface, it looked like Windows Explorer, yet it did concede us to preview files, including movies, and simply share links to calm around e-mail or by duplicating and pasting links wherever we wanted.
NAS-based apps concede we to extend a functionality of a NAS over what it provides in batch trim. NAS apps are many like plug-ins for your browser or apps for your smartphone, yet taken to a whole new level. The series of apps accessible on a QNAP platform (which we entrance around a application called “AppCenter”) is simply staggering. We couldn’t even fit them all into one screenshot…
We can’t suppose contrast them all, or even half of them. Many are for modernized users, yet there are simple ones too like Video Station, Music Station, and Photo Station. Beyond that, though, a sky’s flattering many a limit; either we wish to run practical machines, run karaoke directly from a NAS, or set adult a notice camera, a QTS ecosystem has an app for it.
Also accessible for a QNAP ecosystem are a ton of mobile apps for remotely accessing your media around tablets and phones, as good as behaving some remote government of a NAS.
To a chagrin, we found that these apps are generally apart entities for doing things like photos, video, music, and a like. You’ll find Qmanager, Qphoto, Qfile, Qget, Qvideo, Qmusic, Vcam, Qremote, Qcalculator…and on and on. We found it frustrating that there’s not usually one overarching one for media (or, during least, if there was, we couldn’t find it easily). But a several sub-apps we looked during were all well-made and easy to use. A few are flattering nifty; Vcam, for one, lets we use your mobile phone as a practical sailing IP cam, streaming video to a NAS, while Qget lets we conduct several NASes from one mobile interface.
We generally favourite Qmanager, that we used for monitoring a NAS, and Qphoto, for looking during cats. Here are some screens of each…
Beyond puttering with a apps—which are a universe of their own—we afterwards set to using some grave opening tests on a TS-253B. That’s adult next.