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QNAP TS-451A-4G 4-bay NAS review

QNAP have aimed the TS-451A at the Home, SOHO and Workgroup markets. While it is indeed equipped to deal with all three potential environments, the NAS does lean more towards home use. With its 4K playback support and HDMI port, plus the streaming and other media apps that are available in the App Center, it would make a powerful home multimedia hub. And by using the HD Station app, the ability for the NAS to be used without needing a PC to be booted up is a real bonus.

As part of its business credentials, the TS-451A-4G has AES-NI hardware encryption, snapshot support and it also supports SMB/CIFS, NFS, and AFP protocols for file sharing across Windows, Mac, Linux/UNIX networks. Hybrid Backup Sync streamlines backup, restoration and synchronisation functions into one app, making data backups and restores more straightforward.

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Should you require extra capacity, the TS-451A-4G supports QNAP's expansion enclosures. This is in addition to the company's VJBOD (Virtual JBOD) technology which is a networked-based solution that utilises the unused capacity from other QNAP NAS units on the network to use as virtual disks for the TS-451A-4G.

You can even make the TS-451A-4G the basis for a 24/7 security system. This is possible by combining Surveillance Station with a group of IP camera's (2 free IP camera channels come with the device). The NAS supports up to 32 camera channels but additional licenses have to be bought for these extra channels.

Any NAS worth its credentials has to have an OS that's easy to install and use for newcomers to NAS. But the OS also has to have enough in-depth features to keep experienced users happy. QNAP's QTS is very, very good. It's one of the best around and is quick and easy to install, whilst also being easy to navigate around the graphically-rich interface.

One feature that does stand out is the QuickAccess port. This cleverly allows the TS-451A to be used even where there isn't a wired network or if  a network should go down. By connecting up the QuickAccess cable to a USB port on a device, folders and files on the NAS can still be accessed.

It seems a little strange that while a remote control is bundled with the drive, the potentially more useful QuickAccess cable isn't. This definitely seems a little mean considering the price of a USB cable versus a remote control.

You can buy the QNAP TS-451A-4G NAS from Amazon for a little over £400 inc. VAT HERE.

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Pros

  • Connectivity.
  • QTS software.
  • Ease of setting up.
  • QuickAccess port.

Cons

  • QuickAccess cable not bundled.
  • No physical security for the drive bay doors.
  • RAID 5 performance lagged behind in some tests.

Kitguru says: QNAP's TS-451A is a very capable NAS equally at home as the central hub of a home entertainment setup or as the backbone of a small office's file system.

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Rating: 8.5.

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