With its small size, you wouldn’t think this is a 4 bay NAS. The QNAP TS-543B 4 Bay NAS has such a compact design; it’s quite impressive the engineers managed to fit all its components there. It measures just 168 mm x 170 mm x 226 mm.
This NAS comes in two versions that differ in memory from 4GB and 8GB of RAM. The NAS is powered by an Intel Celeron J3455 quad core J3455 CPU.
And despite its size, it makes for a powerful central station for a home network especially for media consumption.
However, if you’re not planning to use it for a home setup, it also packs a lot of business apps that is suitable for a small to an average sized office.
QNAP TS-453B Review – Whats in the Box?
Just like the TS-453B, its box itself is also just as compact and quite simple. There’s not much pictures on the box. In fact, it’s just a simple brown cardboard box with the QNAP branding on it. On the front, you’ll find the label that displays the memory. It has also a list of detailed devices as well as a list of its features.
When you look at its sides, you’ll see a few carriage icons at the top left corner as well as a HDD/SSD compatibility panel on the bottom.
Towards the back of the box, you’ll see a panel at the bottom left-hand side corner that says what the NAS can be used for which are Data Protection, Surveillance Station, Mobile Management, Private Cloud, File Sharing and also a Backup Station. But of course, it can do more and we will dive into that in a bit.
Once you open the box, you’ll find at the top another smaller box. This box contains the added accessories for the QNAP TS-453B NAS.
First we have the external power brick that comes in black. It has the standard kettle 3-pin design.
Next is the instruction manual which most products have.
Another thing inside the smaller box is the new and improved remote control by QNAP. This is to support the HDMI of the unit to connect to a video source. The remote doesn’t just have improved functionality letting the user assign apps on the buttons but the remote also have far better media control functionality compared to the old version of the remote. The remote utilizes standard AAA batteries that are used in most remotes as well.
The batteries are also included along with the screws to install the hard drive in a zip lock plastic bag.
The plug is also included. Different regions have their own varied power connector and the power connector that they add varies depending on your region.
On top of that, you have 2 gigabit LAN cables too.
After all of that, all that is left is the actual QNAP TS-453B itself inside the bigger box. The unit is tightly packed between white foam to ensure its protection. It might harder than usual to pull it out but just lightly either pull it towards you or pull it facing the ground to let gravity help. Once you see some of the foam out along with the unit, you can pull it out easily.
Besides the foam, the unit is also covered in plastic and once you actually hold it in your arms, it’s quite lighter than other NAS which is pretty amazing.
The design of the TS-453B looks pretty simple and compact. QNAP actually added a helpful OLED display that shows information about the disks, volumes, network and system of the NAS. Most NAS don’t include this feature so this is a big plus. If you use the enter and select buttons beside it, it will enable changes on the network settings. It’s hardly noticeable if it’s not lighted but actually, under these things are 4 small LEDs that indicates the status of the drives.
Towards the right side as you can see is finished in a dark blue front bezel that houses the power button and 4 LED indicator as well as its front ports. These 4 LED indicator lights are Status, LAN activity, USB and SD card activity. Below the SD card activity indicator light is the actual SD Card slots and under this is the USB QuickConnect port as well as a USB 3.0 port. Under that is the One Touch Copy button.
When you open the black empty space towards the front of the NAS, it will reveal the 4 drive bays which are protected by a black panel that you can slide on and off and also has a slide lock that holds it in place.
The drive trays are completely tooless and are made of plastic. It has grab handles so the user can easily pull it out. Inserting drive bays or anything similar can be annoying as sometimes. It’s not easy to pull it out. The drive trays also have small latches on them. The trays are able to accommodate both 2.5 and 3.5 inch drives with the larger drives being held by plastic strips which are fitted into the grooves of the trays.
Towards the top rear edge of the motherboard sits the PCIe slots that hide under the cover.
The QNAP TS-453B is powered by the latest 14 nm Intel® Celeron® J3455 quad-core 1.5GHz processor that enables the NAS to run tasks smoothly with no lag. It also provides a 225 mb/s read and write speeds.
At the rear of the NAS you can find all of the ports that you could need including:
- 2x Microspohe
- 2x HDMI
- 4x USB
- 2x Ethernet
All of the internals are cooled by a large cooling fan that runs quietly and keeps everything running at a cool temperature.
The QNAP TS-453B has an extended NAS functionality thanks to the PCIe Slot. You can install a QNAP QM2 card or use the NAS as a wireless access point when you install a compatible wireless network card. You can boost the USB connectivity as well when you install a USB 3.1 10 gbps card on the NAS.
The QM2 expansion card improves on the NAS as it allows the user to set up SSD caching or enable Qtier auto-tiering technology to optimize the performance of the NAS. The 10GbE-compatible models also allow the NAS to be used in 10GbE networks. The cooling module of the card allows the QM2 to maintain its high performance even when it is tasked with a lot of work.
The NAS has a new design with its sliding cover. Users are able to fit in new hard drives without the use of tools. The OLED front display panel shows system information such as temperatures, fan speed, hard drive capacity, volumes and LUN. This functionality gives the user quick information about the overall status of the system. You can also easily wake up the NAS with the help of the dust-proof capacitive touch buttons. You can also change the network IP settings and even the host password through it. This is extremely convenient. Being able to manage your NAS directly on it is such a convenience. Besides that, you can also shut down or restart the system through here which gives a NAS a very quick and easy management system for the user to control the NAS with.
QNAP TS-453B Features
You can directly access your files using the USB-C QuickAccess. The NAS has an innovative port that enables the user to finish the first-time installation and setup of the TS-453B without the need of network connectivity. The data that is stored on the NAS can also be accessed if you use the Qfinder Pro and a USB Type-C cable. And like most NAS, you can assign access rights to certain users to prevent them from accessing unauthorized files.
The QNAP TS-453B also has a good solution for data backup, file synchronization and especially for when the unexpected happens with disaster recovery. The Hybrid Backup Sync allows the user to back up their data from the NAS to local, remote and even cloud storage spaces. If there’s a system crash or hardware failure, the user can easily restore their data from their selected storage space therefore minimizing downtime and also reducing the overall data loss.
The user can share files easily on various devices as well including Windows, Mac and Linux/Unix devices. Files that have been uploaded to the NAS can be easily synchronized to all of the user’s devices including laptops, computers and mobile devices.
For people who want to run virtual machines on their NAS, the TS-453B also supports VMware VAAI and Microsoft ODX. The Virtualization Station also allows the user to access the virtual machine using a web browser or VNC. It supports multiple OSes, fast VM creation, VM backup & restoration, VM import/export, snapshot and a device management to centrally manage the user’s virtual machines if they have more than one.
The TS-443B can also be used as a VPN server using the QVPN. It combines a VPN server with a VPN client functionality essentially giving the user to access date safely in a private local network. And as mentioned earlier, using the VPN Client, the NAS can be used to connect to other VPN servers as well or a virtual private network using PPTP and OpenVPN. The VPN Client also allows the NAS to be able to connect to different servers all at the same time.
The QTS 4.3 which is the TS-453B’s operating system is well built for productivity, media consumption, etc. It also has a user-friendly user interface that lets users search for things quickly and easily, monitor system information and use various applications simultaneously. It also has its own app center that extends the utility of the OS.
File Station has a new interface as well as improvements both with file management as well as public cloud services. It also transfers files from the NAS to cloud services like Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, Microsoft’s OneDrive, Amazon Drive, HiDrive and Yandex Disk.
Sorting out files is also easier considering it is automated with the help of Qfiling. Qfiling automates file management and organization in various folders. This helps reduce the time needed to find the actual file that you need. A notable feature in this is that the user can categorize files and add filing conditions and add a schedule to file tasks making the whole process easier and less tedious.
With the advanced Intel HD Graphics, the NAS is able to support dual-channel 4k hardware decoding as well as real-time transcoding essentially allowing the user to convert videos to other file formats that can be read and played on various devices. You’re also able to install various apps that enhance the multimedia consumption since the QNAP Linux Station is integrated with Ubuntu OS. You can install various apps like Plex Media Server, KMPlayer, VLC and even LibreOffice if you need to work on other files.
IFTT or better known as “If This Then That” is a pretty helpful service especially for geeks who are obsessed with making their productivity or efficiency better. As the name suggests, you can essentially automate things when certain conditions are met. For example, you can automate it that if you take a new photo, it automatically also saves into the NAS. You can play around the service and you can pretty much come up with various ways on how to automate things for your NAS.
If you’re like me that have a lot of various emails, then you would like the QNAP QmailAgent and Qcontactz. These basically centralize, store and manage all your emails and contact information in one app making the process of checking your emails and contacts easier. Combined with the Qsirch search engine, you can also find specific emails or contacts easily within the app.
The TS-453B is also a good solution for 24/7 surveillance security. The Surveillance Station is a video management system that gives the user the ability to easily manage and watch surveillance cameras. The system is compatible with over 3,000 IP camera models and supports real-time monitoring, video and audio recording, playback that has numerous customizable settings that gives the user flexibility on how to manage their surveillance cameras. The Vmobile app which supports both iOS and Android enhances the user’s management and monitoring system allowing them to monitor their channels anytime and anywhere. The Vcam also turns your own device into a network camera that can send its recordings directly to the TS-453B. The default offers 4 free IP camera channels but you can expand it up to 40 if you want.
If you want to expand and further your surveillance, you might be interested in QVR Pro which integrates the QVR system into the NAS’ QTS operating system. This solution is capable of an independent storage space for surveillance data on the TS-453B. It can adjust proportions and monitor views of your IP cameras with a timeline that can provide video search.
And lastly, the VJBOD makes the storage of the TS-453B into virtual disks that you can might as local disks.
- Height: 168 mm / 6.61in
- Width: 170 mm / 6.69 in
- Depth: 226 mm / 8.90 in
- Weight: 2.33kg
- CPU: Intel® Celeron® J3455 quad-core 1.5 GHz, up to 2.3 GHz
- Graphics: Intel® HD Graphics 500
- System Memory: 8GB DDR3L (2 x 4gb) / 4gb DDR3L (2 x 2gb)
- Maximum Memory: 8gb
- Total Memory Slots: 2 x DDR3L SODIMM slots (For dual-DIMM configuration, you must use a pair of identical DD3L modules.)
- Drive: Hot-swappable 4 x 3.5”/2.5” SATA 6gb/s HDD/SSD
- GbE LAN Port: 2 x RJ45 Gigabit LAN port
- 10Gbe LAN Port: Optional 10 Gigabit LAN port via a PCIe expansion card
- USB 3.0: 5 x USB 3.0 Type-A ports
- USB QuickAccess: USB Type-C
- PCIe Slot: 1 PCIe 2.0 x2 slot
- HDMI Port 2 x HDMI v1.4b, up to 3840 x 2160, 30 Hz
- Audio Input: 2 x 3.5 mm microphone input jacks
- Audio Output: speaker, 3.5 mm line out jack
- Display: 0.96” monochrome OLED
- LED Indicators: Status/Power, LAN, USB, Drives, SD card, USB QuickAccess
- Buttons: Power, USB copy, Reset, Capacitive touch buttons (select, enter)
- Infrared Receiver: QNAP RM-IR004 remote control (compatible with RM-IR002 remote control)
- SDXC Card Reader: yes
- Other Interfaces: Kensington security slot
- Sound Level: Operating low speed 18.8 dB(A)
- Operating Temperature: 0 ~ 40˚C (32˚F ~ 104˚F)
- Power Consumption: HDD sleep: 15.00W, Typical Operation: 30.04W
- Power Supply: 90W AC adapter, 100-240V
- Fan: 1 x 12 cm
- Package Contents: NAS, QIG, 2 x RJ45 Ethernet cables, AC adapter, power cord, 2.5” drive screw kit
Using the Product
To be able to set up your TS-453B, you can either use the Cloud key which is located on the side of the unit or online.
Carefully follow the install wizard and you should be able to setup your NAS easily. You can also enable which operating system cross platform file management service you would need which is either for Windows, Mac or Linux.
Once you’re done with the initial setup, you can access the log in screen and start using your NAS. The log in screen will be a collage of images and you can also customize the log in screen should you wish to make it more personal using your own photos that you upload on the NAS.
QTS Operating System
The TS-453B uses its own operating system which is the QTS operating system. It has a visually appealing graphic user interface.
The main functions of the OS can easily be accessed by clicking on the icons on the desktop. The drop down menu at the top left shows options for the OS. Meanwhile the top right will activate the dashboard page that gives general system information about the NAS. This is a helpful feature and is very well placed at the top. If you want a quick overview and status of the NAS, you can easily click this. There are NAS out there that hide this overview feature inside the settomgs or even worse, deep inside the settings menu that it would take a while rummaging through the settings to get a general overview of your NAS. Sometimes they even split it into various areas and you would need to cycle through other pages to get other information about the NAS which can be time consuming and tedious.
Like many control panels of other operating systems, the QTS’ control panels is also divided in various groups namely, system settings, privilege settings, etc.
As the name suggets, the storage manager gives you the ability to control and manage your drives and volumes. It also shows the capacity of the NAS so you know which drive is getting full. Besides that, it also shows health information of each to isolate problematic drives.
Monitoring your NAS is easy as the Resource monitor’s GUI easily isolates certain information for the user and also includes detailed information about it.
There’s over 160 apps on QTS’ app center which will most likely cover every service you would ever need for your NAS.
As we’ve discussed, the QNAP TS-453B has a ton of features and has an amazingly beautiful OS with a well thought of GUI that lets users access specific settings without losing their way. It’s easy to install and also updated frequently. The new version specifically adds more features to the already big library of over 160 apps for the QTS.
The VM support is also a good feature. Yes you can setup VMs on other NAS as well but the fact that the TS-453B has been built and naturally has VM support is a huge plus. It has a network management tool that not only allows VMs and NAS to share the same network but also supports both T2E converters and Thunderbolt Residential Gateway services.
Also one of the more important features of a NAS is the ability to manage and backup files which the QTS handles quite well.
Managing and monitoring the NAS is also well handled as it is delivered in a nice clean interface complete with in-depth information about the processes currently being handled by the NAS in real-time. Add the OLED front display panel and this NAS is excellent and very convenient to manage.
Where to Buy
You can pickup the QNAP TS-443B for around $1,100AUD from your local retailer. For more information head on over to the QNAP website.