QNAP TS-453 Pro-8G NAS Review

External Devices, System Status, Storage Manager, App Center

External Devices

All connected external storage disks, USB printers and UPS devices can be configured using these options.

System Status

The System Status window allows you to look at a summary of system and hardware, your network's status, all running system services and the resource monitor.

The resource monitor is crucial for monitoring the server's hardware. From here, you can keep tabs on CPU, memory, disk and bandwidth usage, as well as check the running processes and disk performance.

Storage Manager

The Storage Manager is one of the most crucial applications, so we decided to take a more thorough look at it. Through this app, you can configure the disks that are installed in the NAS. It offers plenty of features, so you better know what you are doing before you change an existing configuration.

Storage Manager tracks the model, size and status of all installed HDDs. Through it, you can format and check drives, as well as choose the RAID level that suits your needs. The TS-453 Pro supports the following RAID levels with four HDDs installed: RAID 0, 1, 5, 6 and 10. You can also configure the HDDs in JBOD (Just a Bunch of Disks), where all drives are seen as one big repository. The best options for increased data security are RAID 5 (at least three disks are required), which can tolerate the failure of one HDD, and RAID 6 (at least four drives are required), which can tolerate the failure of up to two disks.

Through the Volumes option, you can create, expand, remove, check, rename or format a volume. You can also create new shared folders inside of an existing volume. In addition, you should enable System Cache if you want faster speeds. Finally, if you decide to use an SSD to improve responsiveness, you will find some interesting options in the Cache Acceleration menu.

Like most advanced NAS servers, the TS-453 Pro supports iSCSI storage arrays. The Remote Disk menu allows you to add the iSCSI targets of other QNAP NAS or storage servers to the NAS as virtual disks for storage expansion purposes.

App Center

App Center is a management platform for installing add-ons. You can search for, install, remove and update already-installed apps. It's sort of like the Apple App Store for iOS.

In the App Center, you can check the activated camera licenses and add new ones, should you need more recording camera channels. You can also see which applications are currently installed and make them accessible to the log-in screen (if they support this feature, of course).

Applications are separated into categories. There are also lists of QNAP's selected applications and the recommendations they make. The list of available applications is pretty large, and you will find more with a quick online search. However, in order to avoid complications, you should only install applications that have been verified by QNAP.

Aris Mpitziopoulos
Contributing Editor

Aris Mpitziopoulos is a contributing editor at Tom's Hardware, covering PSUs.

  • blackmagnum
    Don't leave your old PCs sitting around go to waste... make a NAS box today!
  • elbutchos
    I know it is not supposed to support 16GB RAM but please guys bust this myth.
    Thank you in advance.
  • Aris_Mp
    This is not the NAS mainboard's fault but the CPU cannot support more than 8 GB of RAM.

    Check here: http://ark.intel.com/products/78867/Intel-Celeron-Processor-J1900-2M-Cache-up-to-2_42-GHz
  • coolgus
    Cool review, lots of info to process!!
  • milkod2001
    Any chance you guys could review: Zyxel NAS540

    I'd love to see how above reviewed product stands against €226 Zyxel NAS540.

    @blackmagnum old computers usually have old big inefficient CPU(overkill for NAS), sitting in big old, ugly,dusty case.

    For NAS you want something small, efficient, cool & quite. It's better to sell old PC and get NAS ready to go solution or build your own from scratch.

  • nekromobo
    Could you please test the Ts-453 or ts-451 with all SSD's array? Or just try the 3x HDD + 1 SSD cache acceleration disk and add results. Im really thinking of buying a SSD cache disk for my Qnap but can't decide. Also recommend what SSD to buy for? I hear SSD would need DZAT, not sure if Intal or Samsung supports that. Please investigate!
  • Aris_Mp
    In the next reviews I will do this (use a single SSD as cache). However I don't know if any of my next NAS reviews will be posted here.
  • Rookie_MIB
    I have a mobo with one of the J1900 chips (ASRock Q1900M) and it's a surprisingly capable little chip. Since it has a few PCI-e slots I'm tempted to turn it into a NAS with some SATA adapters.

    Slap in FreeNAS or just a good Linux distro w/raid and it'd be good to go.
  • Eggz
    Why are these expensive NAS boxes still on 1 Gbps interfaces? That's such an old standard! Aren't there 10 Gbps solutions in a similar form factor? I am pretty certain I recall seeing some small 10 Gbps NAS solutions that would be much faster, and I think someone would be able to make one for less money than this.
  • ykki
    Wouldn't AMD's AM1 platform be better?