Never has our ability to accumulate data been as great as it is right now. With high-speed broadband and mobile devices bombarding us with files, managing multimedia storage for easy access to all our videos, music and photographs is getting to be a real issue.
This is where NAS (Network Attached Storage) solutions come in handy. The QNAP TS-453Be can sort out all your storage needs and them some. It’s a remote storage solution that can house four 3.5” or 2.5” hard drives, with space for an M.2 SSD.
The TS-453Be is effectively a Linux-driven PC powered by an Intel Celeron J3455 quad-core 1.5 GHz processor with 2GB RAM. It has full keyboard and mouse support via one of the five USB 3.0 ports, two HDMI slots, and two 6Gbe LAN ports. There’s also two audio-in sockets and one audio-out socket. This make the NAS more than capable of being used as a Home Theatre multimedia centre. It’s capable of 4K output via HDMI straight to your TV.
Having all your files available via the network is also very useful for small businesses. The TS-453Be making a very low cost, and easy to set up and maintain, file server.
Setting up the QNAP TS-453Be is straightforward. Unlocking the front of the device releases the smoked plastic cover revealing the four drive bays with removable caddies. Looking into the device, to the right there are clips for PCIe devices such as an M.2 drive and a 10Gbe LAN card. Install a 3.5” hard drive into one of the screwless pull-out bays or mount a 2.5” drive using the included screws.
With your storage installed, plug the device into your network connect it to the mains and power it on. I set the device up via HDMI connection to a TV and using a directly connected keyboard and mouse. I believe that you can do the same using a web-based interface via another PC on your network. The NAS formats you drive(s) offering you a selection of option including a RAID setup, very useful if you intend to use the NAS as a backup device.
The crisp interface gives administrators full control over the device. The built-in and third-party downloadable apps further increase the unit’s features and its integration into your home environment. You can browse the internet via Chrome and set the device up as a Plex media server. There are also apps for home surveillance and home automation.
The easy-to-use control panel allows administrators to set-up and control user access to files, including quotas. There’s also plenty of options to customise the device and perform housekeeping tasks. The device can also be used as an iTunes server, DLNA media server and even host a website as an SQL server.
There are also a range of Apple and Android apps that allow you to take control of the TS-453Be via your mobile device. As well as various multimedia functions using the Qmusic Qphoto and Qvideo apps, you can keep an eye on multiple QNAP NAS device using Qmanager. There are currently nineteen different mobile apps available to get the most out of the NAS.
The TS-453Be comes with a couple of network cables and very thin quick set-up guide. To be fair, this all you need to get you going. Once the device is up-and-running a very comprehensive and easy-to-follow help centre is available on the desktop, allowing user to fine-tune the device at their own pace. Whilst the digital user manual and knowledge base should get you the answers that you want, you can send a help request directly from the user interface.
The QNAP TS-453Be is such a versatile device, I be hard pushed to decide what to use it for. It makes for a great network storage solution, but at the same time works very well as a media server, then again, it looks snazzy enough to be the heart of your lounge multimedia set-up.