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Qnap TS-453D Review

TS-453D Front viewQnap’s TS-453D may be deceptively small but this little 4-bay desktop NAS appliance is packed to the rafters with business-class features. It exemplifies Qnap’s march to bring multi-Gigabit to the masses as it sports a pair of 2.5GbE ports and even has a spare PCI-Express slot so you could conceivably upgrade it to 5GbE or 10GbE speeds.

Taking over from the three-year old TS-453B, it replaces its predecessor’s elderly 1.5GHz quad-core Intel Celeron J3455 CPU with superior 2GHz quad-core Celeron J4125 and supports up to 8GB of faster DDR4 memory. Multimedia is firmly on its menu, as the J4125 SoC (System on Chip) incorporates an Intel HD Graphics 600 GPU piped through to its rear HDMI 2.0 port for 4K video transcoding and playback.

There are a number of other differences as although TS-453D employs a similar chassis, the OLED display and touch buttons behind the smoked front panel are no longer present. More changes are evident as the SD Card slot and Qnap’s USB QuickAccess port have gone while at the rear, the dual 3.5mm audio-in and a 3.5mm audio-out sockets have also been removed.

TS-453D Rear

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TS-453D Build quality and expansion

data protection from QNAP

Data protection services include manual and scheduled snapshots for NAS shares and iSCSI LUNs

The TS-453D exhibits the same solid build quality as the TS-453B with the font panel easily removed to access the four drive carriers. These are the tool-free variety and we fitted three 14TB Western Digital Red Plus NAS drives for performance testing.

The model on review is the 4GB version and Qnap has provided this on a single SO-DIMM module leaving the second slot free to upgrade to the maximum 8GB. You don’t need to remove the chassis cover to achieve this as both slots are located to the right-hand side of the drive bays.

To access the PCI-E slot, the main section of the plastic cover is retained with three screws and removed by pulling it back and to the side. Qnap offers an impressive range of upgrade options including a dual-port USB 3.2 Gen 2 card, 2.5GbE, 5GbE plus 10GbE network cards and even a Wi-Fi 6 adapter.

We installed Qnap’s QM2-2S10G1T card which combines dual M.2 SSD slots and a 10Gbase-T port. The appliance supports a wide range of industry standard adapters but we recommend using Qnap’s own models as the TS-453D requires them to be fitted with a flat mounting bracket.

2.5GbE and 10GbE performance

HybridDesk Station

Attach an HD monitor to the TS-453D and you can use the HybridDesk Station to directly access a wide range of apps

We started with performance testing over 2.5GbE and hooked the appliance up to a Netgear MS510TX multi-Gigabit switch. Our host system was a Dell PowerEdge T640 Xeon Scalable tower server running Windows Server 2019 which was connected to the switch’s 10GbE copper port.

The TS-453D delivers good speeds with a mapped share returning Iometer sequential read and write rates both of 2.3Gbits/sec. Real world performance is equally good with drag and drop copies of a 25GB test file averaging read and write speeds of 2.3Gbits/sec and 2.2Gbits/sec. Backup performance was acceptable as we secured a 22.4GB folder with 10,500 small files to the share at 1Gbits/sec.

The Celeron’s integral AES-NI engine is very efficient as copying our 25GB test file to an encrypted share returned a respectable 1.6Gbits/sec. IP SAN performance is up there too with a 500GB target returning Iometer read and write rates both of 2.3Gbits/sec.

With the appliance connected to the host over 10GbE, we saw speeds ramp up nicely with the share delivering Iometer read and write rates of 5.5Gbits/sec and 5.9Gbits/sec. The 25GB file copy saw read and write speeds increase to 4.8Gbits/sec and 3.2Gbits/sec, our backup test averaged 1.4Gbits/sec while IP SAN read and write throughout increased to 5.5Gbits/sec and 5.7Gbits/sec.

Data protection

QTS software

The QTS software offers plenty of multimedia applications for accessing all your stored movies, music and photos

Qnap is aiming the TS-453D at small businesses as well as home and remote workers so data protection features need to be good. Rest assured, the QTS software delivers a wealth of services including snapshots for NAS shares and iSCSI LUNs and the Hybrid Backup Sync (HBS) 3 app for managing local, remote, Rsync, cloud and iSCSI LUN backups.

Desktops and servers can be secured to the appliance using Qnap’s free NetBak Replicator utility which can be downloaded from the appliance’s support web pages. It’s easy to use as its quick start wizard immediately found all the Qnap NAS appliances on our network and displayed available shares for the selected model.

The user interface is very intuitive and you can choose the auto-backup option for continuous protection, create a custom backup schedule or run an instant backup of your chosen drives, folders and files. Recovery is undemanding as you view your backups, choose what you want restored and decide on a destination.

TS-453D Multimedia services

Attach an HD monitor to the appliance’s HDMI port and it’ll provide a menu option to install the HybridDesk Station app. Add a keyboard and mouse as you can login in and use the desktop menus on the monitor to directly access apps such Chrome and Firefox or YouTube and Skype services.

Load the HD Player app and you can access all your stored movies, music and photos. The PhotoStation HD plug-in provides remote access to the Photo Station app where you can create slideshows accompanied by background music.

The Multimedia Console brings all the various Station apps under one roof for easier management. After loading the Music, Video and Photo Station apps, we used the Multimedia Console to choose their source folders, assign access permissions and run media indexing and thumbnail generation.


We thought the TS-453B was a great NAS appliance and the TS-453D has just stolen its crown. This 4-bay desktop NAS appliance offers a fantastic range of features and gets a welcome upgrade to multi-Gigabit speeds.

The spare expansion slot adds a lot of extra upgrade options, Qnap’s QTS software is packed with great apps and the price tag of $499 for the 4GB model on review is excellent value. Performance over 2.5GbE and 10GbE is very good and it’s noticeably faster than the TS-453B making this new model a worthy upgrade.

QNAP TS-453D 4-Bay Desktop NAS
Qnap TS-453D Review
9.1 Total Score
TopTen for this Excellent 4 Bay

The spare expansion slot adds a lot of extra upgrade options, Qnap’s QTS software is packed with great apps and the price tag of $499 for the 4GB model on review is excellent value. Performance over 2.5GbE and 10GbE is very good and it’s noticeably faster than the TS-453B making this new model a worthy upgrade.

Build quality
  • Excellent value
  • Dual 2.5GbE network ports
  • PCI-E expansion slot
  • Good multi-Gigabit performance
  • Feature-rich QTS software
  • Expansion slot restricted to Qnap adapters

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