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Overview of QNAP NAS Models: Which to Choose?

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QNAP is a popular NAS vendor that provides a wide model line of network-attached storage (NAS) devices. There are many NAS models for home users, IT enthusiasts, small businesses, and enterprises. With many models available, choosing NAS that better meets your needs and budget is difficult. This blog post covers the classification of QNAP NAS devices and explains the main differences between them to help you select the right NAS. The article also contains a review of popular QNAP NAS models of different series to understand better what capabilities are provided by each.

Main Parameters of QNAP NAS

Let’s list the main hardware parameters, software, and features that impact your NAS choice.

The number of hard drive bays: 1-30

Processor: Intel, AMD, Marvell, Realtek, AnnapurnaLabs.

Connections: HDMI, USB 3.0, USB QuickAccess Port, built-in 2.5GbE, built-in 5GbE, built-in 10GbE, built-in 25GbE, built-in Thunderbolt 3, USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gbps), optional 10GbE, optional 25GbE, optional 40GbE, optional Thunderbolt 3.

Form Factor: Rackmount, Set-Top design, Tower.

  • Rackmount. This form factor is primarily used for enterprise NAS models. Rackmount NAS devices deliver high performance and have higher noise levels.
  • Set-top design. These are tiny and affordable portable NAS devices for home usage. The most silent NAS device without fans (fanless), for example, is QNAP HS-453DX.
  • Tower. NAS devices of this form factor are made for use at home, in the office, and in data centers. You can place such NAS models on a table, shelve, or other convenient places. The noise level is low. Fans are present.

Operating system: QTS, QuTS, and QES.

  • QTS is an operating system installed on most QNAP NAS devices and is based on Linux.
  • QuTS hero is a modification of QTS adapted to work with a 128-bit ZFS file system.
  • QES (QNAP Enterprise Storage) is an operating system based on the FreeBSD kernel and the ZFS file system.

Explanation of QNAP NAS Parameters

Intel and AMD provide 64-bit processors of the x86-64 architecture. Marvell, Realtek, and AnnapurnaLabs provide processors of the ARM architecture. Choose x86-64 processors for better performance and compatibility with applications. ARM processors consume less power and cost less. NAS models that have a built-in graphic adapter and an HDMI port for video output can display video on a monitor, for example, play video files stored on NAS.

Before choosing the NAS model, pay attention to the number of disk bays, and check if the NAS model supports connecting an expansion unit (also called expansion chassis or expansion enclosure). If all drive bays of your NAS are full, connecting an expansion unit allows you to install more disk drives on your NAS system. Check also the maximum supported capacity of disk drives that can be added to the NAS device. QNAP NAS devices are supplied without disks. You choose and buy disks separately. Don’t use hard disk drives of the green series to avoid any issues.

Hot swap is a feature that allows you to uninstall and install disks without powering off a NAS device. The hardware and software of NAS must support this feature. This feature is usually available on NAS models whose chassis is designed for quick access to drive bays without the need to unscrew the chassis screws. If you use RAID in your NAS, hot swap allows you to change a disk and rebuild the RAID without  downtime of your NAS.

USB ports are used to connect USB drives, printers, external network adapters, and other devices. Some QNAP NAS models support connecting a NAS device to a computer by using a USB 3.0 micro-B port, just like you would connect a USB HDD to a computer. However, there is a difference because you should use a network interface, not disk drives such as F:, G:, K:, which are usually used to access directly attached disk drives (in Windows for example). A virtual switch is used on a NAS device, and you can connect to your NAS by using the IP address of your NAS that is connected to your computer via USB. The name of this feature is USB QuickAccess.

The TVS series of QNAP NAS have more powerful specifications than the TS series, such as a more powerful CPU, additional PCIe slots, built-in transcoding engine, and so on.

PCIe slots are used to add a PCI adapter such as M.2 SSD without using a drive bay. Install a QNAP QM2 card, SSD drive, Ethernet adapter, Wi-Fi adapter, or a graphics card into a PCI Express slot to extend the functionalities of a QNAP NAS device.

eSATA ports are used to connect external hard disk drives and expansion units. An eSATA port cannot be used to connect a NAS device directly to a computer.

An integrated audio controller has audio output and input ports (mini jack 3.5 mm). This option is especially useful for users who use NAS as a multimedia station at home to store and play media files, including video and audio. Connect headphones or speakers to your QNAP NAS, and listen to the audio content. Install Music Station on QNAP NAS from the App Center to play audio files. QNAP Video Station is software for watching and managing videos stored on NAS storage devices.

RAM slots and a maximum number of supported RAM: The More RAM (random-access memory) you have, the higher the performance of your NAS is when copying files and running applications.

A built-in card reader with a slot for SD cards is convenient for copying files from SD flash cards used in cameras, multimedia players, servers, and other devices.

The number of RJ-45 ports for network connection. All modern QNAP NAS devices have at least one 1-Gbit Ethernet port (RJ-45). NAS models that have two or more Ethernet ports allow you to use port trunking (link aggregation) for better performance and higher bandwidth when multiple hosts are transferring data to/from NAS. With link aggregation, you can combine two physical links into one logical link. A switch must support IEEE 802.3ad.

For example, you have a NAS with two 1-Gbit Ethernet ports (1GbE) that are connected to a switch with 1-Gbit ports. Two computers (each computer has a 1-Gbit Ethernet adapter) are connected to the same switch and are transferring data to NAS. Each computer can fully utilize the 1 Gbit/sec bandwidth, and the total bandwidth of the NAS device is 2 Gbit/sec in this case.

As an alternative to dynamic link aggregation, you can configure multiple Ethernet ports on your QNAP NAS to use these modes: Balance-rr (Round-Robin), Active Backup, Balance XOR, Broadcast, Balance-tlb (Adaptive Transmit Load Balancing), and Balance-alb (Adaptive Load Balancing).

QNAP doesn’t provide a classification that allows you to see a NAS model name and easily identify the year of release and device class (unlike Synology). For this reason, a list of all currently supported QNAP NAS devices is provided below and is categorized by series. The first one or two digits usually mean the maximum number of disks that you can install into this NAS.

Available QNAP NAS Models

The full list of available QNAP NAS models in 2021 is provided in this list.

  • Enterprise – Dual Controller NAS:

ES2486dc, ES1686dc

  • Enterprise – All-Flash NAS:

TS-h2490FU, TS-h3088XU-RPs

  • Enterprise – SAS NAS:

TES-1885U, TDS-16489U R2

  • Enterprise – Enterprise NAS:

GM-1000, TS-h1886XU-RP, TS-1886XU-RP, TS-h886, TS-h686, TS-2888X, TVS-h1688X, TVS-h1288X, TS-1685, TS-h2483XU-RP, TS-h1683XU-RP, TS-h1283XU-RP, TS-2483XU-RP, TS-1683XU-RP, TS-1283XU-RP, TS-983XU-RP, TS-983XU, TS-883XU-RP, TS-883XU

  • SMB – Thunderbolt NAS:

TVS-1282T3, TVS-872XT, TVS-672XT, TVS-472XT, TS-453BT3

  • SMB – High-end:

TS-h1277XU-RP, TS-h977XU-RP, TS-2477XU-RP, TS-1677XU-RP, TS-1277XU-RP, TS-977XU-RP, TS-977XU,  TS-877XU-RP, TS-877XU, TVS-1672XU-RP, TVS-972XU-RP, TVS-972XU, TVS-872XU-RP, TVS-872N, TVS-672N, TS-1673AU-RP, TS-1273AU-RP, TS-873AU-RP, TS-873AU, TS-h973AX, TS-1273U-RP, TS-873U, TVS-873e, TVS-673e, TVS-473e

  • SMB – Middle-range:

TS-653D, TS-453D, TS-253D, TS-873, TS-673, TS-473, TS-1263XU-RP, TS-1263XU, TS-863XU-RP, TS-863XU, TS-463XU-RP, TS-463XU, TS-1635AX, TS-1253DU-RP, TS-853DU-RP, TS-453DU-RP, TS-453DU, TS-853BU-RP, TS-853BU, TS-453BU-RP, TS-453BU, TS-453Be, TS-253Be, TBS-453DX

  • SMB – Entry-level:

TS-1232PXU-RP, TS-832PXU-RP, TS-832PXU, TS-432PXU-RP, TS-432PXU, TS-431X3, TS-451DeU, TS-932PX, TS-832PX, TS-332X, TS-431KX, TS-431XeU

  • Home – High-end:

TS-451D2, TS-251D, TS-351, TS-451+, TS-251+, HS-453DX

  • Home – Middle-range:

TS-431P3, TS-231P3, TS-431P2, TS-328, TS-231P2, TS-431K, TS-231K, TS-131K

  • Home – Entry-level:

TS-230, TS-128A

  • Expansion Units – SATA Interface:

TL-D1600S, TL-D800S, TL-D400S, TL-R1200S-RP, TL-R400S

  • Expansion Units – SAS Interface:

TL-R1620Sep-RP, TL-R1220Sep-RP, EJ1600 v2, EJ1600, REXP-1610U-RP, REXP-1210U-RP

  • Expansion Units – USB Interface:

TL-R1200C-RP, TL-D800C, TR-004, TR-002, TR-004U

Features of QNAP Storage

In this section, I’ll explain QNAP features and general features of QNAP NAS devices.

RAID (redundant array of independent disks). All QNAP NAS devices use software RAID for better compatibility and flexibility. You can recover data after connecting drives to a Linux machine and mounting them to the software RAID. A Marwell SATA controller is usually used for NAS devices with a SATA interface. Hardware RAID is not supported on QNAP NAS.

Supported RAID types: RAID 1, RAID 0, RAID 10, RAID 5, RAID 6, RAID 50, RAID 60, and hot spare configurations. You can expand a RAID group and change the RAID type of the RAID group without losing access to data. If you decide to buy a new QNAP NAS and move disk drives from your old QNAP NAS (disks worked in RAID) to the new one, the NAS into which you insert disks with data automatically determines that the disks should work in RAID. The NAS will also suggest you continue using these disks in RAID of the same type as previously used.

Non-RAID modes: Single disk, JBOD (just a bunch of disks), and Hybrid Mount.

Supported file systems. QNAP NAS devices use only ext4 due to the high reliability of this file system. Use ext4 to format disk drives installed into NAS. Some NAS vendors allow you to use btrfs, but this file system is slower due to greater I/O latency and not ideal snapshot management (snapshots for block-based iSCSI LUN are not supported), which increases risks for operations and lowers efficiency (especially for 10 GbE connectivity).

Video Transcoding is the process of converting video files of different formats to a custom format, such as *.MP4, which is supported by most video players. On-the-fly transcoding tasks are used to convert and stream video in real-time while watching. In this case, more CPU resources are consumed. Background transcoding tasks are used to convert video in advance and decrease CPU usage, especially when multiple users want to watch video stored on NAS. Video files can be converted to different resolutions and saved in the @Transcode subfolder stored in the original folder with a source video file. Auto transcoding folder is used to convert the entire folder with video files. Select QNAP NAS devices with Intel or AMD 64-bit processors and at least 2 GB of memory to run transcoding. Use NAS as the Plex media server.

Supported network protocols: HTTP/HTTPS, Telnet, SSH, SNMP, SMTP, SMSC, LDAP.

Network protocols used for data sharing: SMB (CIFS), NFS, FTP, SFTP, TFTP, AFP, iSCSI.

Prefer using network protocols that support encryption for security reasons.

Qfinder Pro is a special utility that is installed on the client side and is used to search and manage QNAP NAS connected to the same network. This application can be installed on Windows, Linux, or macOS. When the search is completed, all QNAP devices found in the network are displayed in the interface of Qfinder Pro. This tool is useful to find NAS devices that are connected to the network but have not been configured yet and to obtain an IP address via DHCP. You can also use Qfinder Pro to update QNAP NAS firmware.

Support of installing Linux on NAS as a Linux Station package allows you to use Linux and run Linux applications on QNAP NAS with an x86-64 CPU. You can connect a monitor (to an HDMI port), keyboard, and mouse (into USB ports) to a QNAP NAS. You can also enable remote desktop connections and an SSH server on Linux. Container Station must be installed on NAS because Linux runs in a container.

Video Surveillance Station. QNAP NAS can be used as a surveillance station to record video from IP cameras to disks and view video from cameras in real time in a web browser. As an alternative, you can watch video from your cameras on a monitor connected to a QNAP NAS via HDMI. A Surveillance Station application must be installed. This feature is available for all Turbo NAS series (TS and TVS, for example, TS-128, TS-230, TS-231+, and TS-251.) Check the specifications of a particular QNAP NAS model to see whether this model supports QNAP features such as video surveillance. Different QNAP models provide a different number of free licenses for IP camera channels (2 to 8) and a maximum number of camera channels (8–80). You can buy more licenses for camera channels. See the full list of supported devices, the number of free IP camera channels, and the maximum number of supported IP camera channels on the official QNAP web page.

Now, when you know the main QNAP features and general NAS parameters, let’s review three popular QNAP NAS models of different classes and series to explore their features.

QNAP TS-231P3 Review

QNAP TS-231P3 is a two-bay NAS model positioned as a SOHO (small office/home office) solution. This NAS model is the successor of QNAP TS-231P and QNAP TS-231P2. QNAP TS-231P3 is affordable for most customers. This NAS is produced in a white chassis with the matte surface of the tower form-factor, and has two bays for 3.5" disks (2.5" disks can also be mounted, special holes are provided, SSD cache is supported). Disk drives are mounted with screws into bays with hot swapping and hot plugging. Disk trays are made of plastic. On the front panel, you can see the power button, one-touch copy button, one USB 3.0 port, and LED indicators. You can adjust the brightness of the LED light. A single 70-mm fan is used to cool NAS with disks. The fan speed can be adjusted. 19.2 db(A) is the reported level of noise, which is silent enough. Notice that hard disk drives make sounds that may increase the overall noise level of NAS.

QNAP TS-231P3 is based on the quad-core Annapurna Labs AL-214 1.7GHz processor, whose clock speed is 1.7 GHz (ARM-based). However, running LXC and Docker containers is supported on this NAS. Power consumption is extra low. Due to the ARM processor, this NAS model is not adapted for video transcoding.

External power supply is used to assemble NAS in a small chassis and simplifies the replacement of a power supply in case of failure. A connector for the 90W power supply is located on the rear panel. The weight of QNAP TS-231P3 without disks is just 1.46 kg.

The device is provided with 2 GB of DDR3 RAM, which is enough to store and share files. However, not all applications can run on NAS with the default hardware configuration. Upgrade memory up to 8 GB by inserting an 8-GB SO-DIMM module into a single slot instead of the default 2-GB module.

Unlike many other NAS devices of this class, QNAP TS-231P3 has two RJ-45 ports (one Gigabit Ethernet port and one 2.5-Gbit Ethernet or 2.5GbE port), providing wide options for network connection, including link aggregation. Jumbo frames are supported.

Three USB 3.0 ports are convenient for connecting external USB disks, card readers, other devices to copy data to/from NAS, printers, 5GbE external network adapters, UPS devices, and hubs. This feature is a good solution for a NAS device of a beginner class (most such NAS devices have one USB port). You can insert a USB Wi-Fi card into the NAS and configure a wireless access point on this NAS.

NAS expansion enclosure models are supported. If you use two disks of maximum capacity in your QNAP TS-231P3, and you have insufficient disk space, connect QNAP NAS expansion enclosure (an expansion unit) with additional disk bays to your NAS, and install more disk drives into your NAS system. Here’s the list of supported QNAP expansion enclosure models that are connected via USB: TR-002, TR-004, TR-004U, UX-500P, and UX-800P.

QNAP TS-231P3 can be used as a surveillance station. The maximum supported number of IP cameras is 16 (2 free licenses are included).

Specification:

Number of bays: 2

Expansion unit support: Yes

Disk interface: SATA (6 Gbps)

Maximum disk capacity: 18 TB

Hot swap of disks: Yes (for SATA drives)

External ports: 3 x USB 3.0 (type A), 1 x Gigabit Ethernet (RJ-45), 1 x 2.5-Gigabit Ethernet (RJ-45), Kensington security slot

Processor (CPU): 32-bit ARM Annapurna Labs AL-214 1.7GHz, 4 cores

Memory (RAM): 2 GB SO-DIMM DDR3 (8 GB max, one slot).

Sharing Protocols: CIFS/SMB NFS iSCSI FTP SFTP TFTP

RAID modes: RAID 1, RAID 0; JBOD, single disk

Features: NAKIVO Backup & Replication can be installed directly on the device; Surveillance Station

Dimensions: Height 169 mm x Width 102 mm x Depth 219 mm

Weight: 1,46 kg (without disk drives)

Form-factor: Tower

If you like characteristics of QNAP TS-231P3, but NAS with two disk bays is not enough for you, consider buying a similar 4-bay model – QNAP TS-431P3.

QNAP TVS-473e

QNAP TVS-473e is a 4-bay NAS device of the high-end series with powerful hardware, many different ports, and support of diverse QNAP features. This NAS is great for both home and office/business usage, and provides a wide set of capabilities. QNAP TVS-473e is an extended newer implementation of QNAP TVS-473. QNAP TVS-473e is manufactured in two modifications: TVS-473e-4G with 4 GB of RAM and TVS-473e-8G with 8GB of RAM (two 4-GB modules are installed). The maximum amount of memory is 64 GB. You can upgrade memory by installing SO-DIMM DDR4 RAM modules into four SO-DIMM DDR4 slots (4x16 GB). 512 MB DOM (Disk-On-Module) flash memory is used to store firmware. Two M.2 SSD slots are a useful option to install SSD drives without the need to occupy 3.5" SATA disk trays. I am reviewing QNAP TVS-473e-8G in this blog post.

QNAP TVS-473e is based on the powerful 64-bit AMD RC 421-BD quad-core processor (x86-64 architecture) with AMD Radeon R-7 graphics onboard. This NAS is manufactured in a grey chassis of the tower form factor with an internal power supply (ATX 250W) for better cooling with a fan.

The cooling system is effective. There are two fans on the rear pane. The bigger 120-mm fan is used to cool disk drives/other hardware inside the chassis, and a small fan is used to cool the power supply. A metal cooler and 60-mm fan on the processor are used for CPU cooling. A special construction is mounted inside the chassis for rational routing of the air stream for optimal cooling performance. Drive trays are made of plastic. 3.5" and 2.5" disks are mounted with screws into drive trays.

On the front panel, there is one USB 3.0 type A port, one USB 3.0 micro-B port (for USB QuickAccess), LED indicators, power button, quick copy button (USB One Touch Copy), LCD display with Enter/Select buttons, and infrared receiver for remote control. QNAP remote control is sold separately (QNAP RM-IR004 remote control is compatible with QNAP TVS-473e).

On the rear panel, there are four RJ-45 ports, three USB 3.0 ports, two HDMI ports, and three 3.5 mm mini-jack audio ports (1 x line out, 2 x dynamic microphone). Don’t use the speakers and the line-out jack simultaneously because only one audio output can be used at the same time. There are four 1GbE network adapters with RJ-45 ports that support link aggregation (also known as NIC teaming). Jumbo frames and Wake on LAN are supported.

Dual PCI Express slots (PCIe Gen3 x4) can be used to install 10Gbe network cards, QM2 cards, or Wi-Fi network adapters into NAS. Install M.2 SSD cards for caching to boost the speed of copying data on NAS and don’t occupy 3.5" drive trays. QNAP provides the Qtier feature that automatically moves hot data to SSD drives and cold data (rarely accessed data) to lower-cost drives or drives with higher capacity to optimize performance, disk usage, and cost-efficiency. With a PCIe wireless network adapter, configure a Wi-Fi access point on your NAS. Be aware that M.2 SSD generates extensive heat, and ensure that M2 SSD modules are cooled.

Use two HDMI ports to connect a monitor or TV to watch media content in 4K resolution at 30 FPS without loading network. For better compatibility of external media players, run video transcoding tasks on QNAP TVS-473e to convert video files to a format that is supported by a player on your device (for example, TV). You can attach a keyboard and mouse to USB ports. These features transform your QNAP NAS into a smart video control system.

Surveillance station is supported. Use QNAP TVS-473e NAS to record videos from IP cameras and monitor them in real time.  Four free licenses are provided, but you can buy additional licenses for IP channels. Maximum 72 IP channels are supported. Running Docker and LXC containers is supported.

Many network protocols for sharing data are supported by QNAP TVS-473e. You can configure the iSCSI initiator and iSCSI target on this QNAP NAS. Block-based iSCSI LUN storage is a good choice for virtualization storage. Use your NAS to store VMware VM files by connecting an iSCSI target to an ESXi host as a datastore for virtual machines. Install fast disks and a 10GbE network adapter for maximum performance.

Hardware configuration allows you to do a lot of tasks by using this NAS. MacOS users will be pleased to find Apple Time Machine support and iTunes server, but the Thunderbolt port is missing. If NAS with four disk bays is not enough for you, consider buying NAS models with 6 or 8 bays of the x73e series. If you have already bought QNAP TVS-473e and all your storage space is full, consider buying a supported QNAP NAS expansion chassis.

Specification:

Number of bays: 4

Expansion unit support: Yes

Disk interface: SATA (6 Gbps)

Maximum disk capacity: 18 TB

Hot swap of disks: Yes (for SATA drives)

External ports: 4 x USB 3.0 (type A), 1 x USB micro-B, 2 x HDMI, 4 x RJ-45 (1GbE), Kensington security slot

Internal slots: 2 x M.2, 2 x PCIe 3.0 x4.

Processor (CPU): 64-bit AMD RC 421-BD, 4 cores

Memory (RAM): 8 GB DDR4 (maximum 64 GB)

Sharing Protocols: CIFS/SMB, NFS, iSCSI, FTP, SFTP, TFTP

RAID modes: RAID 1, RAID 0; RAID 10, RAID 5, RAID 6; JBOD, single

Features: NAKIVO Backup & Replication can be installed on this device; Surveillance Station; running containers

Dimensions: Height 188.2 mm x Width 199.3 mm x Depth 279.6 mm

Form factor: Tower

Weight: 9 kg (without disk drives)

You can do almost everything with QNAP TVS-473e. If you need a similar NAS with more drive bays, consider the other two QNAP NAS models of the TVS-x73e series: QNAP TVS-673e and QNAP TVS-873e with 6 and 8 drive bays respectively. The advantage of using the AMD processor in these NAS models is the absence of security bugs in CPU implementation. As you recall, security bugs were found in modern Intel processors (such as Meltdown and Spectre that were discovered at the beginning of 2018). Security patches may decrease CPU performance.

TS-2483XU-RP Review

If the QNAP NAS devices explained above cannot provide enough capabilities for your business, consider buying QNAP TS-2483XU-RP, which is the ultimate enterprise solution for working with large amounts of data with high reliability. This NAS server is manufactured in the 4U rackmount chassis and has a powerful 64-bit Intel Xeon E-2136 6-core 3.3 GHz processor (x86-64 architecture). Frequency can burst up to 4.5 GHz during high loads. The advantage of a 4-unit case is the possibility to use full-height and full-length boards and cards. From the front panel, access drive bays, and all ports are located on the rear panel. Four 92-mm fans in the chassis are used to cool the components of this QNAP NAS server. The measured noise level is 28.7 db(A).

QNAP TS-2483XU-RP has 24 3.5-inch drive bays for SATA hard disk drives (HDD) and solid-state drives (SSD). 2.5-inch drives can be mounted into 3.5-inch drive trays. Owners of this QNAP NAS server can build 384-GB storage with 16-TB hard disks nowadays. Hot spare of disks is supported.

By default, there are 16 GB of DDR4 ECC RAM (two 8-GB modules) in this QNAP server. ECC memory can detect and correct errors to prevent data loss and downtime for critical applications. The server has 4 Long-DIMM slots for RAM, and the maximum supported memory capacity is 128 GB (4 x 32 GB) for the highest performance.

Four built-in RJ-45 ports of 1GbE Ethernet adapters can be configured to work in the link aggregation mode for better network performance. The alternative option is to use the server as the network gateway. There is also a Mellanox ConnectX-4 Lx network interface controller in this QNAP server that provides advanced features, such as analyzing network traffic without loading the CPU and direct memory access technology to transfer Ethernet frames. This network interface controller (NIC) is a smart network card with two 10GbE SFP+ ports and iSER support (including iSCSI extensions for RDMA protocol) to increase random access speed and decrease access time. This feature is useful for VMware virtualization storage. This NIC is pre-installed into the PCIe slot of the mainboard of the NAS server.

There are 6 USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports – two Type-C ports and four Type-A ports that provide the 10Gbps speed and the ability to attach diverse USB devices.

TS-2483XU-RP has 5 PCIe slots (Gen3 x4, Gen3 x8, three Gen2 x4 ports). You can install different expansion cards such as high-profile graphics cards, M.2 SSD cache cards, 40Gbe/25GbE/10GbE network cards, SAS expansion cards. QNAP provides universal 10GbE PCIe network cards with two SSD included and PCIe cards with four SSD drives for those who need only additional SSD storage without network adapters. The QTier feature is supported for disk arrays with SSD and HDD. Use a SAS expansion card to attach expansion enclosures such as REXP-1620U-RP, REXP-1220U-RP to install more disk drives into your storage system based on TS-2483XU-RP. Expansion modules for 16 disks are available. A graphics card can be used to run applications that use GPU. Read the compatibility list before buying a video card because not all PCIe video adapters are supported by the QNAP TS-2483XU-RP NAS server.

A redundant 800W power supply (800W x 2) for fault tolerance is a reliable solution that reduces the risk of failure and downtime. A power supply has additional power connectors for video cards that need additional power.

This QNAP NAS server is an ideal choice for a surveillance station because the device supports up to 128 monitoring channels (8 free licenses for IP channels are included). Over 5,000 IP cameras are supported. Running containers is supported, but there is no USB QuickAccess.

Specification:

Number of bays: 24

Expansion unit support: Yes

Disk interface: SATA

Maximum disk capacity: 16 TB

Hot swap of disks: Yes

External ports: 2 x Type-C USB 3.2 Gen 2 5V/3A 10Gbps and 4 x Type-A USB 3.2 Gen 2 5V/1A 10Gbps, 4 x 1GbE RJ-45, 2 x 10GbE SFP+ SmartNIC port

Processor (CPU): Intel Xeon E-2136 3.3 GHz (x86-64, 6 cores, 12 threads)

Memory (RAM): 16 GB DDR 4 ECC (128 GB maximum)

Sharing Protocols: CIFS/SMB, NFS, iSCSI, FTP, SFTP, TFTP

RAID modes: RAID 1, RAID 0; RAID 10, RAID 5, RAID 6, RAID 50, RAID 60; JBOD, single

Features: NAKIVO Backup & Replication can be installed; Surveillance station, Plex media server and video transcoding

Dimensions: Height 176.15 mm x Width 481.04 mm x Depth 672.02 mm

Form-factor: Rackmount

Weight: 20.67 kg (Net), 28.56 kg (Gross) without disks

TS-2483XU-RP is best suited for these purposes: video surveillance and recording, a file server (storing and sharing files), hosting VM files by using block-based iSCSI LUN, video transcoding, storing backups. This QNAP NAS server cannot be used to run heavy virtual machines/many virtual machines, perform artificial intelligence tasks, or as a Python computer node. Flexible capabilities to use SSD are provided – you can install SSD as a PCIe card, M.2 card, and 2.5-inch SATA drives.

Using QNAP NAS for Backup

QNAP storage is ideal for storing backups. This is important for data protection and operational continuity. QNAP NAS devices support installing different applications including backup software. NAKIVO Backup & Replication can be installed on many QNAP NAS devices to back up data regularly to QNAP storage and other destination locations, such as Amazon S3. NAKIVO Backup & Replication supports backup of VMware VMs, Hyper-V VMs, Amazon EC2 instances, physical Linux machines, Windows machines, Oracle databases, and Microsoft 365. I recommend that you choose QNAP NAS with x86-64 based processor for better performance and compatibility. Download the NAS installation package of NAKIVO Backup & Replication from the official website. Find the full list of officially supported NAS devices in the NAKIVO Help Center. And don’t forget about ransomware protection.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is QNAP? QNAP (Quality Network Appliance Provider) Systems Inc. is a corporation whose main specialization is producing network-attached storage (NAS) appliances. QNAP was founded in 2004.

How do I connect to a QNAP NAS? Use the web interface provided by your QNAP NAS. Enter the IP address of your NAS in a web browser. If you don’t know the QNAP NAS IP address, use the Qfinder Pro tool on the client machine. Then, configure SSH access on your NAS if you prefer the command-line interface.

Can I use a NAS as an external hard drive? Yes, you can. If your QNAP NAS model has a USB port for QuickAccess, you can connect your NAS to a computer with a USB cable. In this case, a virtual network connection is created, and disks of NAS cannot be accessed as disk volumes such as F:, G:, or H:, as it is usually done for traditional external USB disks in Windows. The idea is the same for Linux and macOS.

What is the best NAS for home use? It depends on what you need the NAS for. As for QNAP NAS devices explained in this blog post, QNAP TVS-473e is a better choice for the home user. If you need to use more disks, consider NAS devices with a higher number of drive bays from these series. If, for any reason, NAS devices that were reviewed in this blog post don’t meet your requirements, check the full NAS model catalog on the QNAP website to choose the best NAS for you.

Which NAS is better: QNAP or Synology? Each vendor provides useful features and capabilities. Read the blog post about Synology NAS models to make your decision.

Conclusion

QNAP is one of the leading NAS vendors producing many NAS models of different classes for different consumers. This blog post has covered QNAP features to help you choose QNAP storage that better meets your needs. Define how much storage space you need, how scalable your NAS should be, which additional features and CPU performance you need, and your price range to choose a suitable NAS with an optimal set of QNAP features. Using QNAP NAS as network backup storage is common. Opt for a QNAP NAS with 64-bit Intel or AMD processors and use NAKIVO Backup & Replication to back up your data to a NAS device.

Overview of QNAP NAS Models: Which to Choose?
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