Designed for home and small-business use, the QNAP TS-451D2 ($469) is a four-bay network-attached storage device (NAS) with an eye towards serving up multimedia content to all of your devices. This small black cube is easy to manage, and offers a decent selection of I/O ports and apps. You can use it to stream media, back up critical data, create your own cloud server, and much more. The TS-451D2 is a cinch to install and manage, and it delivered solid transfer performance in our tests. Nevertheless, our Editors’ Choice pick for four-bay NAS devices, the Asustor AS5304T, is faster and offers a few more features.
Up to 216TB of Raw Capacity
The TS-451D2 uses a black enclosure that measures 6.51 by 6.3 by 8.64 inches (HWD) and has four front-loading drive bays with support for hot swapping. Inside the bays are lockable sleds that don’t require tools for drive installation. This NAS unit will accommodate 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch drives with a total internal storage capacity of 72TB, but as is the case with most of the NAS devices that we review, storage drives are not included. You can get up to 216TB of raw capacity if you pair the NAS with a 12-drive expansion unit.
The front of the enclosure hosts Status, LAN, Drive, and USB indicators, as well as a One-Touch Copy button, a power button, and a USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A port. The rear panel contains three additional USB 3.2 ports, two gigabit LAN ports, an HDMI 2.0 video output, a reset button, and a power jack. The TS-451D2 does not offer the multi-gig LAN ports that you get with the Asustor AS5304T, but it does support link aggregation. It also supports 4K video transcoding, and can be used for direct 4K video playback on external monitors or TVs via the HDMI port.
Under the hood are a 2GHz Intel Celeron dual-core processor, 4GB of DDR4 RAM, 4GB of flash memory, and Intel’s HD Graphics 600 silicon, part of the Celeron CPU. A single cooling fan is used to prevent internal components from overheating. Disk configurations supported include JBOD, Single, RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 6, and RAID 10.
The TS-451D2 is managed using the same user-friendly QTS operating system as other QNAP NAS devices, including the TS-230 and the TS-253D-4G. While you can manage the device from your phone using a handful of mobile apps, the QTS web console gives you access to everything in a single place. It offers a colorful Windows-like desktop that is populated with a handful of default tiles. More tiles are added as you download apps.
Use the Control Panel tile to access general settings, create users and user groups, and assign permissions to shared folders.
To access general settings, create users and user groups, and assign permissions to shared folders, tap the Control Panel tile. Meanwhile, the Storage and Snapshots tile takes you to a screen where you can create volumes and storage pools and check disk health. This is also where you manage Snapshots, block-level images of your files and folders rather than full-backup images.
The File Station tile is a file explorer that also lets you share content via a web browser. Music and video enthusiasts will appreciate the Multimedia Console, which lets you manage all of your stored multimedia content from a single dashboard. Here, you can transcode video, create thumbnails, and access all of your installed multimedia apps. To keep your data free of viruses, use the Malware Removal Tool to schedule malicious content scans and view an event log of previous scans.
To keep your data free of viruses, use the Malware Removal Tool to schedule malicious content scans and view an event log of previous scans.
Tap the App Center tile to download apps that let you use the NAS in dozens of extra ways, including as a media server, a backup repository, a web server, a surveillance camera control station, and much more. The TS-451D2 offers a reasonably generous total of 124 QNAP-branded and third-party apps. That’s more than what you get with the TerraMaster F4-421 (88 apps) but not nearly as many as you get with the Asustor AS5304T (280 apps).
Easy Installation, Decent Performance
Setting up the TS-451D2 was easy. I installed four Seagate 10TB Ironwolf drives, powered up the NAS unit, and downloaded the latest QNAP Qfinder Pro utility, which immediately recognized the device. I selected the NAS and was taken to a QTS screen where I clicked Start Smart Installation. I gave the NAS a name, created a password, and selected DHCP to automatically obtain an IP address. After waiting several minutes for the settings to be applied and for the drives to initialize, I launched the QTS management console. I used it to create a storage pool and a volume configured for RAID 5 with a total storage capacity of 27.2TB. It took several hours for the drives to sync up, at which point I was ready for testing.
To test file transfer performance we transfer a 4.9GB folder containing a mix of music, video, photo, and office document files between the NAS and a desktop PC connected to the same network and record the write and read speeds. The TS-451D2’s write score of 92MBps was identical to the that of the TerraMaster F4-421 but slower than the Asustor AS5304T and the Synology DiskStation DS1019+, both of which scored 98MBps.
The TS-451D2’s score of 89MBps on the read test was a bit faster than the TerraMaster F4-421 (87MBps) but not quite as fast as the Asustor AS5304T (96MBps) and the Synology DiskStation DS1019+ (94MBps).
If you’re in need of a high-capacity network attached storage device to store music, video, and other multimedia content, the QNAP TS-451D2 is worth a look. It offers four tool-free drive bays, competitive file-transfer performance, and a generous selection of ports, including an HDMI output for direct video playback.
You also get a decent selection of apps with this NAS device, including a Multimedia Console app that makes it easy to manage your multimedia content. But the Asustor AS5304T offers more than twice as many apps, delivers slightly better performance, and is equipped with two multi-gig LAN ports. As such, it remains our Editors’ Choice pick for multi-bay NAS devices.
Meanwhile, if you don’t need the enormous raw capacity that a four-bay NAS unit offers and don’t want to spend close to $500, the more affordable Asustor Drivestor 2 AS1102T is a better option. You only get two bays in this sub-$200 unit, but in return for a smaller capacity, you get multi-gig LAN ports, something the TS-451D2 lacks.
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