Since the year 2004, QNAP has been a well-renowned name in the market of network appliances; and with a record of the industry’s firsts, the company has recently introduced one of their most affordable yet efficient NAS devices which is the QNAP TS-453BT3. We’ve noticed that the relationship between QNAP and Thunderbolt has developed and progressed over the past few years, leading them to craft some of the best devices that allowed them to make their way to the workstations of video and photo editors around. The TS-453BT3 Four-Bay NAS is one of their newest pinnacles of the relationship.
Today, we’re checking out this specific NAS device from QNAP but before anything else, let’s see what’s inside the box of the TS-453BT3 Four-Bay NAS.
QNAP TS-453BT3 Review – Whats in the Box?
When we finally got our TS-453BT3, we took notice of the retail box and it was a bit similar to QNAP’s TS-453B; also, the accessories that were included in the box were similar to the other NAS device. The packaging is a bit plain if you ask us, but the way they securely kept the TS-453BT3 and all the other accessories needed to install the NAS device was great. Everything was neatly set in place and things were secure enough to avoid any unwanted damages.
Accessories that were in the box included the Ethernet cables, screws for the driver installation, a power cable, a quick installation guide, an external PSU, and a new fully featured remote control from QNAP.
QNAP TS-453BT3 Review – Bring the Tunder
The TS-453BT3’s chassis is an adapted form of the TS-453BT3-453B NAS Chassis that was released in the Spring of 2017. When designing the case, the company had two ideas: one was to keep the device compact and solid, while the second was to decrease noise while simultaneously keeping the ventilation and cooling high.
The front portion of the TS-453BT3 is similar to that of the TS-453B except for the hints of silver instead of blue, and the dual USB-C ports for every vital Thunderbolt 3 connection that is available. We also took note of the LCD panel which is present for providing real-time details about the NAS device, system access, LED lights specifically for highlighting the HDD’s health, network access, and a lot more. If you’re planning to move the device’s front panel, you will see the four fast-access drive bays that eject the load trays and plastic click. Additionally, the TS-453BT3 also supports the latest 10 and 12 Terabyte hard drives.
The Intel Quad-Core Celeron J-3455 is what powers the TS-453BT3 and it can take advantage of the Turbo feature to peak at around 2.4 GHz. Utilizing this CPU only means that the QNAP is packaged in encryption-acceleration which allowed us to safeguard all our data with barely any performance hits. Additionally, complementing the CPU is the 8 GB of DDR3L memory which is actually the maximum that is supported.
This four-bay NAS device supports the SATA 6 Gbps drives that backs-up to 40 Terabytes through the utilization of 10 terabyte drives. For now, their support list doesn’t display any 12 terabyte drives, but we believe that these will be added at some point since the rest of the system can readily handle this. In addition to the SATA drives, the TS-453BT3 also supports two M.2 SSDs, plus another device that can be added via the PCIe expansion slot. Any kind of SSD can be utilized as a caching solution which allowed us to get all the work done without really having to worry about important data kept in a slow mechanical disk. Since this TS-453BT3 is very effective, it’s no surprise that it can also support Thunderbolt 3 with two ports; it also includes a 10 GbE Ethernet port that comes with the dual 1 Gbps Ethernet port. Other types of connectivity can be utilized via the 5x – USB 3.0 ports, audio ports, dual HDMI 1.4b, an IR sensor with a remote control, and the OLED status display.
Sleek, Classy, and Trendy Appearance
The TS-453BT3 features a sleek sliding cover design that does not require any tool when it comes to installing the 3.5” hard drive – something that makes maintaining and setting up the NAS device easier for everyone. Its OLED front panel exhibits the system details which include the fan speed, CPU temperature, volumes, LUN, as well as the storage capacity of the hard drives; thus, allowing us to readily view and observe the overall system status.
This is the high-speed Thunderbolt 3 that features the SMB protocol which allows every Windows and Mac user to work together for media editing. This QNAP TS-453BT3 is the best choice for those who utilize the Thunderbolt 3 Mac and can also be utilized using the Thunderbolt 2 Mac with any suitable adapter.
The expanded bandwidth of the Thunderbolt 3 enables seamless video editing as well as quicker file sharing for video editors, photographers, and graphic designers. Two Thunderbolt devices can also be connected to the TS-453BT3 for simultaneous real-time audio and photo editing without any impact on the system’s performance.
Greater Efficiency and Connectivity
The pre-installed dual port Base T Expansion Card lets the Qtier Automatic Tiering Technology or caching to further improve the NAS device’s activity without occupying any of the TS-453BT3’s disk bays. Its 10G Base T port ensures that the NAS device can meet the 10 GbE requirements and can effectively regulate data transfers that require high bandwidth.
Direct Multimedia Viewing
By linking the TS-453BT3 to an AV or HDTV receiver using the HDMI output, you can instantly view content saved on the NAS device. It’s also possible to download and install various multimedia applications from the Ubuntu Software Center via the QNAP Linux Station. Additionally, QNAP’s HD Station also lets every user fully enjoy multimedia via HD Player or any third-party players like the Plex Home Theater.
Hybrid Backup Synchronization
The Hybrid Backup Sync allows users to easily sync or backup data on the TS-453BT3 to other remote servers, NAS devices, or cloud storage.
Snapshots | LUN
Snapshots can help safeguard data while block-level snapshots support faster restoration and backup, aiding in diminishing the effects of ransomware and malware attacks.
QSirch is known as QNAP’s search engine that can easily find every file kept on the NAS device. Qsirch can go through more than six thousand file formats and can utilize over thirty search conditions.
Transcoding in Real-Time
The TS-453BT3 features the advanced 9th Generation Intel HD Graphics so it can support real-time transcoding and dual-channel 4K H.264 / H.265 hardware decoding. This allows everyone to convert videos to universal file formats that can be played on numerous devices.
File Sync and Sharing
The TS-453BT3 supports AFP, SMB, and NFS which allows users to quickly and easily share files to Mac, Windows, and Linux / UNIX devices. Every file that is uploaded to the NAS device can be synced easily to all other linked devices like laptops, computers, and even mobile devices; users can also boost the flexibility of file sharing and collaboration.
- Processor: Intel® Celeron® J3455 quad-core 1.5 GHz, burst up to 2.3 GHz
- Architecture: 64-bit
- Graphics: Intel® HD Graphics 500
- Encryption Engine: AES-NI
- 8 GB RAM (2 x 4 GB DDR3L)
- 8 GB (2 x 4 GB)
- 2 x SODIMM DDR3L
- 4 x SATA 6 Gbps
- 5-inch SATA hard disk drives
- 5-inch SATA hard disk drives
- 5-inch SATA solid state drives
M.2 SSD Slot
- 2 x M.2 2280 SATA 6 Gbp/s SSD
SSD Cache Acceleration Support
- Drive bays 1 to 4
- 2 slots 1 to 2
- Optional: SSD using PCIe expansion slot
- The following are not hot-swappable: M.2 SSDs, SSD cache drives, SSDs using PCIe expansion slots.
10 Gigabit Ethernet Port
- 1 x 10GBASE-T RJ-45
Gigabit Ethernet Port
- 2 x RJ45
- 1 x PCIe 2.0 x2
- 2 x Thunderbolt 3
- 5 x USB 3.0 (Front: 1 x One Touch Copy; Back: 4)
- 2 x HDMI 1.4b (up to 3840 x 2160 resolution at 30 Hz)
- 2 x 3.5 mm dynamic microphone jacks
- 1 x 3.5 mm line-out jack
- 1 x speaker
- Monochrome OLED display with capacitive sensing Enter and Select buttons
USB One Touch Copy
- Front: USB 3.0 Type-A
- QNAP RM-IR004 remote control (MCE compatible)
Dimensions (H x W x D)
- 168 x 170 x 226 mm
- 61 x 6.69 x 8.90 inch
- 51 kg (5.53 lbs)
Power Supply Unit
- 120W, 100-240V AC, 50/60Hz
- System: 1 x 12 mm
QNAP QTS Software
Based mainly on Linux, the QNAP WTS Software is crafted to provide high-performance services and applications to fulfill everyone’s needs and requirements when it comes to storage management, file sharing, backup, multimedia, virtual environments, surveillance, and a lot more.
QNAP’s QTS continues to evolve and improve throughout the generations and it specifically advances on its user interface design, kernel, and its accessibility to feature-rich applications. There are a lot of benefits available on the newer QTS 4.3.3, making the experience with the software more efficient, easy, and pleasant. From system installation, technical support, and day-to-day usage, the QTS 4.3.3 makes every change and action count. Each improvement and development of the software is driven by a single goal which is to provide users with the best experience.
QNAP ensures that everyone’s experience with the NAS device is easy, and this begins with the process of installing the system. On the newest portal for Cloud Installation, we followed a simple step by step guide that actually made the whole installation process straightforward, easy, and seamless. Their Help Center integrates useful resources such as tutorials, manuals, compatibility lists, FAQ’s, QNAP Forum access and a lot more to provide assistance whenever necessary. The Helpdesk application also allowed us to directly send questions, feedback, as well as technical support requests / questions to the QNAP support team. So basically, it doesn’t matter if you’re a new or experienced user of NAS since you’ll be able to quickly acquire answers just by browsing through these helpful resources.
Insightful and visual resource monitoring is also present in the software since the further developed Resource Monitor provided us with an “at a glance” tool that made things easier. This is a very useful feature especially for home users to better understand the status of their NAS devices while business owners will be allowed to further manage and analyze their resource utilization. Aside from the useful graphs, extra metrics were added to provide administrators inclusive information and details about their NAS status. Just install the complete and new Resource Monitor in the QTS Application Center to experience useful and highly efficient status tracking and system management.
The QTS 4.3.3 also features QNAP’s Qtier Technology that empowers the NAS devices via Automatic Tiering (Auto-Tiering) that simultaneously aids in optimising storage adaptability across the SAS drives, SSD, and SATA / NL-SAS drives. Also with this technology, the QNAP NAS offers a tiering solution that boosts performance and recognises optimal storage efficiency, making it one of the best and most cost-efficient storage solutions for virtualisation that feature demanding and constantly-changing workloads.
The QTS 4.3.3 Software also features the Qsync – a multi-device file synchronization process that is made easy for every user. With the enhanced performance and further improved interface, the Qsync offers numerous ways for group file sharing and file syncing across multiple devices which better enhanced our collaboration and teamwork flexibility.
Lastly, the software gave us simplified file organisation with the use of the Qfiling feature; this allowed us to effectively organise various files which is a vital principle when it comes to managing and utilising such data. We consider this a very important feature of the software since we’re often faced with huge numbers of data spread throughout multiple folders; and as these grow, it gets more difficult and time-consuming when it comes to archiving and categorising the files.
The QNAP QTS 4.3.4 Beta
The QNAP Systems also announced the release of their QTS 4.3.4 Beta which is specifically for the ARM-based NAS devices of QNAP. For the new update, the QNAP devices that feature the Annapurna Labs processors (those with as low as 1 GB of RAM) will be able to support snapshots that make system protection more available for entry-level models. Moreover, every user can set snapshot reservation spaces to be able to have enough dedicated space for saving numerous snapshots.
Let’s take a quick look at the features of the QTS 4.3.4 Beta:
Brand New Snapshots and Storage Manager
This new feature stresses on the parallel significance of snapshot protection and storage management with an even more comprehensive and intuitive design for the user interface. LUN and Volume types can easily be identified and all of the snapshot versions and time of latest snapshots are accurately recorded.
ARM-based NAS Snapshots
Snapshots that are block-based offer a faster and easier data backup, as well as recovery solution to adequately safeguard these from potential malware attacks and data loss. The ARM-based NAS from QNAP now features an increased cost-efficiency.
This specific technology of the QTS Beta version shares one SSD RAID / volume with all other iSCSI LUN’s / volumes for a read-write or read-only cache to easily balance the capacity and efficiency needs of the user.
50 / 60 RAID
This helps strike proper equilibrium between protection, capacity, and performance for high-capacity and quality NAS with more than six disk bays. The Qtier can also be configured any time, plus it also adds IO Aware capabilities specifically for the SSD-tiered storage. This is to keep a cache-like reserved space to easily manage burst I/O in real-time.
File Station – Readily Supports USB Direct-Access to Mobile Devices
Link your mobile devices to NAS to begin storing, sharing, and managing mobile media in the File Station; snapshot contents can also be browsed directly via the File Station.
Full Solution for Digital File Management
The Qsync allows the cross-device file synching for excellent teamwork while the Qsirch simplifies the full-text file searches; as for Qfiling, this automates the organization of files.
Graphics cards improve QTS’ image processing efficiency so users can leverage the HDMI port on the graphics card for displaying the Linux or HD Station. The GPU PassThrough bolsters the capacities of virtual devices via the Virtualization Station.
Hybrid Backup Sync
This develops the restoration, backup, and synchronisation which make data transferring to remote, local, and cloud storage spaces easier.
The Qboost is a NAS optimization tool that aids in freeing up system resources, monitoring memory resources, and schedule applications to improve productivity.
360° Degree Videos and Photo Support
The Photo, Video, and File Station all support the display of 360° Degree media, while the Qfile, Qvideo, and Qphoto also support the 360° Degree format viewing.
Quick Media Streaming via VLC Player
Every user is able to install the QVHelper on their PC’s to readily stream media files from a NAS device from QNAP to any VLC player.
The Surveillance Station 5.1 from QNAP can readily maximize the efficiency of fisheye and high-resolution footage while also boosting the usefulness of the surveillance systems. With the Surveillance Station, users can also oversee their small offices and homes since the system can readily support over three thousand IP cameras; additionally, it also features two free camera licenses.
Past events can easily be viewed and observed via the instant playback feature, and users can also edit the cameras during online live viewing; this only means that users are not required to be in the local network to do this. Additionally, the Surveillance Station also assists the mobile to mobile surveillance application called the Vmobile which is available on Android and iOS.
Surveillance Station Features
Here is a quick list of some of the features of the Surveillance Station:
The Local Display function of the station can readily perform playback and monitoring via the HDMI display to deliver live, full HD video monitoring.
With the Surveillance Station, users can also monitor and manage numerous IP cameras on real-time via web browsers; plus, they can also acquire first-hand status of the monitored areas.
QNAP Dewarp Technology
This specific technology from QNAP is a universal fisheye dewarp technology that functions without affecting the main recordings. With the Qdewarp, users can readily select from numerous dewarping methods for various monitoring applications; additionally, these dewarping methods are not limited to vendor-centered dewarping modes.
Virtual Camera and Image Cropping
With the Virtual Camera feature on the Surveillance Settings page, users can define a certain focused area such as the entrance or exit of a certain place. Four cameras can be simulated as extended cameras of a single physical camera without needing any licenses.
ROI for the 10* R View
High-resolution cameras can cover larger areas compared to the classic types and the Surveillance Station is able to support the ROI mode right on the remote monitoring page. If users want to view the main and multiple regional images from the same camera in a single view, they can simply choose the five or seven split-view to easily define numerous focused areas on the overview image. Again, no extra camera licenses are required to do this.
Playback, Recording, and Dual Recording
The Surveillance Station offers responsive options to easily setup the IP camera recording which includes dual and smart recording. The smart recording function can instantly switch recording details to an increased resolution once alarms are triggered.
For users with low-bandwidth connections, they can enable the function for dual recording to save both lower and higher recording quality for further use.
Import / Export Camera Settings
If setting up numerous NAS devices with similar camera settings is required, users can simply export the settings from NAS 1 and import these to the other NAS devices.
The Surveillance Station provides users with an innovative desktop layout to compliment smooth and seamless working efficiency. Its multi-window format allows simultaneous multi-tasking while also enabling administrators to smoothly switch between tasks for better productivity.
Support for General Web Browsers
The Surveillance Station 5.1 readily supports numerous general web browsers; plus, real-time monitoring as well as video playback can be accessed via Windows or Mac utilities without utilizing a web browser. Just upgrade the QNAP NAS device to the latest version to fully enjoy a smooth and seamless video surveillance experience.
There are a couple of options available to you for setting up your TS-453BT3. You can either use the Cloud key which is located on the side of the unit or use the online setup process.
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.
So, we have have now heard about all of the awesome features that the TS-453BT3 NAS has, and there is a lot of them, but just how well does it perform? Well we can saftely say that the transfer speeds were just as awesome as the features it packs.
Making use of the blazingly fast Thunderbolt connection we received Write speeds of around 309MB/s which is brilliant. For the Read speeds this sat comfortably at around about the 530MB/s mark .
Streaming 720p, 1080p and 4K HD content over the local network was buttery smooth with no buffering issues experienced what so ever. This beast is an absolute dream to pair up with Kodi and Plex and is the perfect companion for the Nvidia Shield TV and other Android boxes.
The QNAP TS-453BT3 4-Bay NAS is priced slightly higher compared to the other 4-Bay NAS devices but with its efficiency, durability, and the fact that it is crafted for all power users around, it is definitely worth the price; this NAS device is also for those who can’t have poor performance hinder their workflow. Good thing that the TS-453BT3 didn’t skimp on anything so we very much recommend this NAS device to everyone for continuous and undisrupted activities.
Where to Buy
If you want to get your own NAS device from QNAP, you can purchase the TS-453BT3 4-Bay NAS at you local computer retailer for around $1,500AUD. You can check out QNAP’s official website for their official resellers, distributors, and online shops that offer the NAS device in your area.