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Qnap TS-453Be Review

Qnap’s TS-453B took our coveted Top 10 award for good reason as this little 4-bay desktop NAS appliance packs in every conceivable feature. However, Qnap has noted that many users may not want all these bells and whistles and prefer a smaller feature set at a lower price.

The TS-453Be is the latest member of Qnap’s new ‘economy’ line that removes a few hardware features in return for price drop. Base memory has been reduced and you can choose from two models with 2GB ($509) or 4GB ($549) capacities.

The TS-453Be employs the same 1.5GHz quad-core Intel Celeron J3455 SoC (System on Chip) and keeps the dual SO-DIMM slots so you can still upgrade to the maximum 8GB. This is simple as the slots are accessed by sliding out the drive carriers so you don’t need to remove the cover.

What’s missing?

A quick glance at the front of the appliance shows the QuickAccess USB 3 Type C port and SD Card slot have been blanked off while the OLED display has been removed. Qnap’s IR remote control handset isn’t included but is available as an optional purchase.

It’s business as usual at the back as the TS-453Be keeps the dual Gigabit and four USB 3 ports plus the dual 3.5mm audio-in and single 3.5mm audio-out sockets. Multimedia features haven’t been impacted either as the Celeron’s integrated Intel 9th Gen HD Graphics 500 GPU is routed through to dual HDMI ports for 4K H.264 video transcoding and playback.

Curiously, Qnap’s model comparison web page indicates that the 3.5mm audio sockets aren’t present on the TS-453Be. They most definitely are still there and the speaker-out socket worked fine with music sent through it from the Music Station app.

Even better, the TS-453Be keeps the PCI-Express expansion slot so you can upgrade it with Qnap’s dual-port USB 3.1 card or its QM2 adapter which has two actively cooled M.2 SATA SSD slots. For testing, we used Qnap’s QM2-2S10G1T card which has dual M.2 SSD slots and a 10Gbase-T port. We advise using Qnap’s expansion cards as they come with the required flat mounting bracket which most standard adapters don’t include.

10GbE performance comparison

Qnap provides plenty of cloud syncing and workstation backup apps

We test the 4GB version of the TS-453Be and will compare its speeds with the 8GB TS-453B we reviewed last year. For 10GbE testing, we used three 10TB Seagate IronWolf hard disks in a RAID5 array and hooked the appliance up to a Xeon Scalable Windows Server 2016 host.

With a share mapped to the server, we watched Iometer report raw sequential read and write speeds of 5.3Gbits/sec and 3.5Gbits/sec – almost identical to the TS-453B-8G. Real world speeds were in the same ballpark with drag and drop copies of a 25GB test file averaging read and write rates of 4.6Gbit/sec and 3Gbits/sec.

Our backup test returned very similar speeds too, with a 22.4GB folder containing 10,500 small files secured to the share at an average of 1.4Gbits/sec. For IP SAN performance, a 500GB target delivered Iometer read and write speeds of 5.2Gbits/sec and 1.7Gbits/sec so no significant differences there either.

Backup features

The TS-453Be offers great multimedia features including the slick Movie Station app

With four hot-swap drive bays and certification for Seagate’s 12TB IronWolf drives, the TS-453Be has the credentials to be a great backup repository. The latest QTS 4.3.4 has data protection features in abundance with the Hybrid Backup Sync app offering options for copying folders to a local backup location, the cloud or a remote Qnap appliance.

Qnap wins out for snapshot features as its Storage & Snapshots app supports standard EXT4 file systems and doesn’t require BTRFS. They’re easy to use as you can protect NAS shares and iSCSI LUNs, schedule them to run at regular intervals and recover data by restoring snapshots or using the File Station 5 app to browse share snapshots for specific files.

The Qsync Central app lets you create your own private backup cloud for Windows and Macs plus Android and iOS mobiles. We tested the client app on our Windows 10 PCs and ran real-time file syncing jobs between selected pairs of folders.

The Cloud Drive Sync app allows the appliance to sync local folders with OneDrive, Dropbox and Google Drive. We used it to run continuous syncing between a folder on the appliance and our Dropbox account and could set bandwidth usage limits plus restrictions on file types and sizes.

The best multimedia apps

HybridDesk Station enables the HDMI ports and you can remotely control its console with a web browser

Load up Qnap’s Music, Video and Photo Stations and you have a complete entertainment center in a box. We could browse our music and films, create playlists and select the speaker-out socket on the appliance for sending audio to.

After installing the HybridDesk Station app, we plugged in an HD TV to the appliance, logged on to the local interface, opened the HD Player app and viewed our movie, music and photo collections. Playback controls for movies are good and after installing the PhotoStation HD plug-in, we accessed the Photo Station app remotely and created slideshows from selected albums complete with background music.

The HybridDesk Station presented a desktop on our HD TV where we could load Chrome or Firefox browsers and use plug-ins for direct access YouTube and Facebook. Enable the remote desktop option and you can use a web browser to view the HybridDesk Station TV screen and control it remotely.

Conclusion

The TS-453Be is a great little NAS appliance and its low price makes it ideal for consumers and SOHOs looking for a big network storage repository teamed up with classy multimedia features. With the same CPU, performance doesn’t differ much from the TS-453B and the hardware features Qnap has removed to drop the price don’t detract from its overall usefulness either.

 

8 Total Score

The TS-453Be is a great little NAS appliance and its low price makes it ideal for consumers and SOHOs looking for a big network storage repository teamed up with classy multimedia features. With the same CPU, performance doesn’t differ much from the TS-453B and the hardware features Qnap has removed to drop the price don’t detract from its overall usefulness either.

Performance
8
Features
8.5
Build quality
8.5
Usability
8.5
Value
9
PROS
  • Great value
  • PCI-Express expansion slot
  • 10GbE performance equal to the TS-453B
  • Dual 4K HDMI ports
  • Top backup and multimedia apps
  • Snapshots support EXT4
CONS
  • Expansion slot requires adapters with flat brackets
User Rating: 4 (1 votes)

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