With users facing a huge demand for storing data, sharing content, and processing media, many are seeking a dependable NAS system that offers a balanced mix of affordability and quality performance. With the TS-451+, users will benefit from its storage scalability and unparalleled performance for both the home and professional user. Backed by its highly intellectual QTS operating system, this product functions as a user-friendly and powerful data backup, file syncing, multimedia sharing, and remote access. The TS-451+ is perfect for those who desire a highly secure and easy access to the cloud.
Intended mainly for small-scale businesses, small offices, and homes, the QNAP TS-451+ is an all-around NAS tower providing users with QTS compatibility, functionality, and raw power. Is the QNAP TS-451+ as good as it sounds? Let’s jump in an take a look in our QNAP TS-451+ review.
QNAP TS-451+ Review – What’s in the Box?
Package contents include:
- 1x QNAP TS-451+ 2G 4 Bay NAS
- 1x Installation Guide
- 1x External PSU
- 2x Ethernet Cables
- HDD Mounting Screws
- 1x Power Brick
- 1x IR Remote Control
The QNAP TS-451+ – Another Great Looking NAS from QNAP
The TS-451+ takes a completely different appearance. Now it boasts a white enclosure with a front silver frame. The frame contains LED indicator lights, a power button, a copy button, and USB 3.0 port. The USB port has now been moved to the front. This was done to prevent one from reaching the rear I/O when hooking a USB-based device.
Currently, the unit has four drive bays with a maximum storage support of 32TB (when utilizing 3.5” 8TB drives). The device is only limited to supporting UX-500P and UX-800P models. This gives you the ability to attach as much as 8 disks to the unit
A label situated on the unit shows an HDD sequence. It won’t be of much help since the trays haven’t been numbered and the lack of stickers aren’t enough for numbering all HDDs. According to the manufacturer, the lack of stickers make it easier for HDDs to be installed on any slot without any server operation issues. One of two sides contain holes for ventilation.
A rear fan grill takes up a lot space. On the right are where I/O ports are housed. This latter contains two USB 2.0 ports, two Ethernet ports, one USB 3.0 port, and an HDMI port. A power-input socket and reset switch can be found within the enclosure.
QNAP revealed that only its first batch of units will only come with a warranty sticker on the enclosure. The rest will have its sticker available on the motherboard, making it easy for users to open the the TS-451+ for upgrading memory.
A label can be seen at the bottom part of the unit covering power specifications. Rubber feet are also situated at the bottom to prevent the structure from moving around. An arrow situated close to the top points to a nearby lock. The lock can be pried open by sliding it to the left (after all screws are removed) to fully open the enclosure.
Unfortunately, the trays lack any form of locks, making the TS451 only ideal for home use where physical security isn’t a priority.
In terms of hardware, the unit runs on an Intel Celeron quad-core processor with a speed of 2.0GHz. On its own, the device runs on 2GB of DDR3 RAM. Two additional SO-DIMM memory slots can also be seen to cater to as much as 8GB of total memory.
Storage Manager and Backup Station:
Its Storage Manager has gained several new features. Its Storage Manager 4.2 now has the ability to look into the status of HDD allocation for RAID groups aside from certain HDD data. The QTS 4.2 Storage Manager showcases current storage volumes, pools, and iSCSI LUNs on the same platform for simpler management and setup of housing configurations.
Present volumes and pools can be branched and detached. Threshold are easily adjusted with minimal or no service interruptions. Provisioning (thick and thin) are supported. As a result of the 4.2 version, migration of data has significantly removed with JBOD expansion enclosure that doesn’t require network connectivity. Control of version and snapshot are included for incremental roll back of data.
Its Storage and Backup features are bundled with Storage Manager. For further options, utilizing the Backup Station is recommended. Essentially, options found within the Storage Manager allows for storage of information in the unit. Options seen under the Backup Station allows the duplication of data on the NAS to other locations.
The Snapshot functionality is finally available on the TS-451+ for swiftly returning to a certain state in case of data loss scenarios. Taking snapshots can easily be done by navigating to the Storage Space (under Storage Manager). Snapshots can be taken either automatically or manually.
At the moment, QNAP has no option in saving a snapshot to varying drives or volume. But it does have several ways of backing up a snapshot.
Backing Up and DATA Sync:
Aside from having the ability to take snapshots, the latest firmware offers version control support. Version control functions with its QSync app in backing up data. The app is compatible with Mac, Android, iOS, and Windows operating systems. It works hand in hand with the recently revamped QSync Central Station to control both users and devices.
Within the QSync Central Station, one can easily make shared files, team folders, and folders intended for other users. As much as 64 versions of a certain can be saved. Instead of getting saving each file, the unit will only showcase the latest version of a certain file labelled under the File Station.
One aspect that certainly makes the unit rather unique compared to its competition is having its own HDMI port. While getting such feature configured takes a bit of time, having the convenience to link an NAS device to a device is ultimately compelling.
Setting up initially involves a configuration and installation of the HDStation. Since an HMDI port will be used, it’s important never to assume it as a “high definition station” application. Rather, it’s a HybridDesk Station — a term in which the platform operates on when the unit is hooked to a TV. Within the tool, TV-related apps can be installed including (but not limited to): LibreOffice, Chrome, and Facebook.
Another essential functionality that the TS-451+ possess is its personal cloud service. Nowadays, NAS users want to avoid storing their personal data in popular cloud services offered by Google and Apple, while enjoying remote access from anywhere around the globe.
The solution is through QNAP’s MyQNAPCloud. By means of a simple download, installation, and operation on a cloud link, the platform is constantly updated with the TS-451+ to allow for data access within the system. QNA has made an affordable SSL certificate offer that ensures secure encryption between one’s browser and device.
The cloud service is simple to set up and use — as long as one understands the pros and cons of putting anything over the internet.
Virtualization and Containers:
The unit offers support for two kinds of virtualization. One is in the form of a VMware-like virtual machine while the other is a container — via a Docker Engine allowing for any container installation.
Similar to that of Synalogy, QNAP provides a plethora of mobile apps for any compatible smartphone and tablet to use any stored media within the TS-451+. The manufacturer has a suite apps for Windows Mobile users.
A majority of apps begin with the letter “Q.” Each app can easily be identified (ex. Qphoto, Qvideo, Qmusic, and etc…) and are a breeze to navigate. A Chromecast button is easy to use and is located on the top right hand corner.
QNAP TS-451+ Specifications
- Quad-core Intel® Celeron® 2.0GHz (burst up to 2.42GHz)
- TS-451+-2G: 2GB DDR3L RAM (1 x 2GB)
- Total memory slots: 2 SODIMM
- Expandable up to: 8 G
- 4 x 2.5″ or 3.5″ SATA 6Gb/s, 3Gb/s HDD or SSD
- Hot swappable trays
Network and Ports
- Gigabit LAN Ports x2
- 2 x USB 3.0 (Front: 1, Rear: 1)
- 2 x USB 2.0 (Rear)
- Yes (QNAP RM-IR002 remote control)
- Power/Status, LAN, USB, HDD1-4
- Power, Reset, USB Auto Copy
- System warning
- 169 x 160 x 219 mm
Weight (Net / Gross)
- 3 kg (6.61 lbs) / 4.3 kg (9.48 lbs)
- 1 x 12cm, 12V DC
Using the QNAP TS-451+
The manufacturer made a decision to insert the installation guide leaflet within the box as opposed to using a disc. The guide will point you to an online- address in setting up the NAS.
The internet-based guide aids in setting up the NAS in easy-to-understand manner:
- Install the HDDs and connect the necessary cables.
- Power the NAS on.
- Open a browser window.
- Navigate to start.qnap.com.
- Key in the cloud key found in the installation guide (a local installation option is available in case the NAS came without a key or no internet access is available).
- A registration prompt will inform in creating a myQNAPcloud account.
- Follow the set-up instructions on the Quick Setup menu.
- Wait for the remaining process to finish.
Login and Interface:
The new login page is appealing to the eyes. A Qfinder is needed to get within the login page after setup or the NAS’ IP address can be typed into any browser, where an admin password will be requested (the default password is “admin”). After entering the login details, the user will be led to the QTS 4.1 window. After entering the QTS, a notification will inform the user of a firmware upgrade before installation.
QTS can tailor just about everything a user needs. For starters, icons can be rearranged and moved to the desktop as well as accessing basic admin logs, features, and external devices. The interface allows newbies to gain full control of full-fledged NAS servers like that of the TS-451+. It also offers multi-language support — a boon for users who want to toggle between languages.
The menu has options to shut down, reboot, logout, change passwords, jump to the QTS page, and place NAS in sleep mode. It also allows in configuring all (or any) admin options.
Such admin options allow to specify a user’s e-mail address, switch profile pictures, upload new wallpapers, and change passwords. A plethora of other options are available for configuration. A help resource is handy and can be accessed by clicking on the question mark situated at the top right corner.
The dashboard has a modern design and is easy to follow. It offers important information which include system stats and HDD details. The resource monitor is critical since it showcases bandwidth, CPU, and RAM use. The hardware category keeps track of system temperature, HDD status, and fan speed. An online user portion shows the number of users currently connected to the device.
If a user wants to block or break off an IP address or user, all it takes is to click on the name of the user or IP address and its corresponding action.
Dashboard widgets can be dragged from the window directly to the desktop. The dashboard color will change with the system’s overall health status. This gives you a glimpse whether things are running normally like they should.
On first entry, the user will be greeted by a Quick Start after login. Quick Start offers a swift-yet-informative tour to familiarize the major features of the NAS. To explore some capabilities of the NAS server, it’s recommended to go for the guided tour, especially for newbies who haven’t tried a QNAP product.
Expand the TS-451+ Using Apps
The HD station is where Chrome, XBMC, and other tools can be set up, allowing users to browse online or play NAS content through TV (via an HDMI interface). Users will likely see this as an interesting features since it ultimately makes HTPCs and multimedia players useless. With that in mind, this station is proven to be extremely useful in any business scenario since accessing the NAS admin UI can be done without a client present.
Using the HD Station
Before proceeding the installation of the HD station, connect the unit to a TV armed with an HDMI port. Currently, there are several ways in controlling the HD Station:
- Via an official QNAP remote controller.
- Via an MCE remote controller.
- Via a wired mouse and keyboard.
- Via Qremote (a remote app intended exclusive for the HD Station — ideal for those with an iOS or Android device).
Here are the steps needed to begin using the HD Station:
- Click on “Applications.”
- Under “HD Station,” click the “Get Started Now” button to install the HD Station.
- The device automatically installs the HD Station.
- Choose which apps are needed to install with the HD Station (ex. Chrome, Codexpack, MyNaas, XBMC, and others).
The QTS software provides you with a great application called Video Station which allows you to sort your media files via categories such as TV Shows and Movies and then use the Video Station to playback your videos. The software is easy to use and only requires you to navigate to the settings menu and then select the folders on the NAS that you would like to use in the Video Station. Once you select a file you are able to specify what type of video content is in each folder such as TV Shows or Movies.
Once you have added some video files they are located in the left hand side menu under their related category. You are able to browse through these categories and see the videos that are located within. If you want to watch one of the videos it is just a matter of double clicking the video to play it using the inbuilt media player.
Right clicking on a video file opens up a menu that offers you a range of options including the option to play, open, download, add to collection, share, delete and the ability to add tags.
The Video Station worked as it should however I do recommend using something such as Kodi or Plex in order to fully get the most out of the QNAP TS-451A and your media.
Although file browsing and file management aren’t the most exciting things in the world it is still something that we do day in and day out and is critical in being able to keep our media library organised. QNAP has included the File Station in their WTS software which aims to make file management straight forward and simple and thanks to the great interface it achieves this.
The file station is similar to the file browser you use on your computer every day and it provides most of the functions you require. You are able to browse your files on the NAS using the folder and file browser, manage your files with common create/edit/delete functionality, rename files and transfer them all over the place. Using the File Station you are able to share any files you wish with other people by generating share links which can be shared with other to provide them with direct access to the specified files and folders.
The next app on the list is the QNAP Photo Station. The Photo Station is similar to the Video Station in the sense that it provides you with the ability to store, organise and archive your photos. When you first load the Photo Station you are presented with another helpful quick start screen that gives you a good overview of the capabilities of the Photo Station.
The Photo Station allows you to organise photos saved on the TS-451A into galleries and then share those galleries with friends and family. You are able to add tags to your photos to reference friends and family that are in the photos as well as tags to make it easier to search. There is an advanced search functionality that allows you to easily find any photos you need within a huge collection of photos.
You are able to browse your photo library and view any photos that you would like including the details of each photo such as file format, dimensions etc.
Once you have organised your photos you are able to share them with friends and family using the built in share function. The share function allows you to share the photos to Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Plurk, Renren, Flickr, Weibo and email. If you don’t use any of the social networks you are able to generate a share link which you can give directly to the person you want to share with.
This station allows for direct download to NAS without logging into any computer. It offers support for FTP, BT, HTTP, Magnet, and RapidShare links. The station can execute file downloads directly on the NAS without any third party software. Its web-based interface manages and finishes download tasks through a browser. If a QGet app is installed, a user can handle downloads on Turbo NAS servers all at the same time.
This station lets a user organize any music collection into the cloud. Music files uploaded on the NAS can be accessed through a browser without any third party software for playback. The track being played will show the song title, album, and genre. Continuous and random playback options are available. Favorite radio channels can be added to the Music Station.
This station lets a user create digital memos on-the-go via a private cloud. Integration of images, files, videos, and audio housed within the NAS are done in a cinch.
The myQNAPclou service gives a user access to NAS service over the internet. It offers a host name registration, NAS IP mapping (in an event where its IP is dynamic), and local network auto-port mapping (of UPnP routers). It has the option for remote access through the internet. The installation wizard will assist in the service setup.
CloudLink offers direct remote access to the NAS without any router re-configuration. It comes with myQNAPCloud support and other mobile/computer applications intended for QNAP servers.
This station allows for a virtualized desktop process within the NAS, thus allowing for multiple management of virtual machines. Its intuitive UI makes it simple to manage virtual machines on top of the NAS. The internet-based interface makes it all the more possible to handle operating systems including UNIX, Windows, and Linux.
QNAP Surveillance Station
The QNAP TS-451+ Surveillance Station is a network surveillance Video Management System that offers:
- Support for more than 2,500 wired and wireless camera models
- Extended license management.
- Support for multiple browsers.
- Enhanced and versatile camera control.
- 64-channel live viewing (single display).
- 128-channel live viewing (multiple server monitoring).
- 5 alarm events.
- 7 event actions.
- Intelligent Video Analytics.
- Visual Aid (visualizing deployment layout of IP cameras).
- VMobile app (remote monitoring via a tablet or smartphone).
Currently, the TS-451+ has a maximum of 24-recording channel support. But it only comes bundled with licenses good for two. Additional licenses can be bought from the manufacturer’s online store to utilize more channels.
Using the Surveillance Station:
Here are the steps needed to begin using the Surveillance Station:
- Download and install the Surveillance Station (found in QNAP’s App center) as it doesn’t come pre-installed with the device.
- After user credentials are entered, the system will lead to the Surveillance Station’s web interface.
- The web panel can be used to set up IP cameras. Keep in mind to install compatible wired/wireless IP cameras supported by the Surveillance Station.
- After camera setup, make the necessary configurations.
- Configure alarms according to certain events (either via advanced or traditional mode). Advanced mode offers additional options.
- Under System Settings, set the full length per file recorded.
- Define how the system will react once storage space of recordings reaches a certain threshold; the certain number of days specified for alarm-triggered or non-triggered recordings; configuration of alarm-recorded functions; setting access permission to NAS-controlled cameras; and RTP port range setup.
- To utilize Chrome’s monitoring functionality, pre-install the QVR app.
File Transfer Speed
The file transfer speed of the QNAP TS-451+ was great when both sending a file to the NAS and downloading it from the NAS. Sending a 10GB file to the NAS it achieved an average transfer rate of 102.43MB/s. Downloading the same file from the NAS it saw an average speed of 82.48MB/s.
Noise and Temperature
The TS-451+ operates on a lone rear fan, allowing for quiet operation while keeping the device cool. With an ambient temperature of 24-degrees Celsius, the CPU ran at 41-degrees Celsius on idle while the hard drive were around 37-degrees Celsius, all within normal computer temperature range.
Where to Buy
If you are interested in picking up a NAS and the QNAP TS-451+ takes your fancy, you can pick one up for around $629AUD from your local computer retailer.