Published on April 11th, 2015 | by Greg0
QNAP TVS-463: Next Gen Network Storage
If you have data, then some of it is important- and chances are, you’re not backing it up, and you aren’t making it as accessible as it could be. Cloud storage might be all the rage, but it’s not secure and it isn’t particularly private. Sure, you could burn a bunch of CDs, or rely on thumb drives or external storage to keep copies of your important documents. But you’re better off automating the process as much as possible, and enjoying a whole host of side benefits, from being able to easily share files across your network to saving energy by not needing to keep your desktop chugging away as a filer server.
The QNAP TVS-463 isn’t just your average network attached storage device, or NAS. We’ve seen a whole host of models in the past, and the promises and potentials are similar- but closer than ever to being fully realized. The new TVS-463 improves on the QNAP predecessors in many ways, though it does have one Achilles heel as well. Over the past few weeks, we’ve been putting it through our tests, and came away mighty impressed. If you need a feature-rich high-capacity storage solution and you are willing to spend some time on the learning curve, then you’ll definitely find plenty here to like.
Let’s start with the basics: there are a couple of varieties, and this is a quad-bay unit that accepts four hard drives of your own choosing. It comes “bare”, or without drives, allowing you to choose the storage capacity yourself. It also comes in two flavors, with either 4GB or 8GB of memory. The QNAP will accept either 2.5 or 3 1/4-inch SATA drives and they are hot-swappable. On the front you’ll notice an LCD display and indicators, a single USB port, and a pair of buttons for copying data and for power. Around the rear are the power connector and dual ethernet ports, along with four additional USB ports, and more importantly: all of them are USB 3.0. And that’s not close to the best part, because also on the back are the HDMI connectors. Instant super-powered home media box!
Of course, none of the features work with some serious internal hardware as well, and thankfully the QNAP TVS-463 is the most powerful network appliance we’ve seen. Powered by an AMD 2.4GHz quad-core processor, there’s even a Radeon graphics processor built-in. One of the biggest tests you can run is trying to transcode a 1080p video- that is, to take it from one video format and have it converted to another, while streaming. And here, the QNAP performed flawlessly, even offering subtitle support. As a prosumer or enthusiast model, it’s not for an absolute novice- it runs on Linux and to take full advantage, you’ll have to wade through some custom apps. A complete list of their first-party applications can be found via this link, but suffice to say that they’ve thought of just about everything: media server functionality including photo and music management, simple and powerful backup and data recovery, as well as signage and surveillance apps which we didn’t look into deeply. DLNA, AirPlay and mobile support, and yes, third-party and BitTorrent apps round out a very full list.
The metallic gold tint is a nice shift from the traditional black. On the downside list, there is no 4K support unfortunately. But worse, we did find that the QNAP TVS-463 runs hot- the front and side appear relatively poorly ventilated- and noticed temperature issues when using high-performance drives or pushing the NAS. Beyond those two issues, the QNAP TVS-463 is definitely the best all-around network storage device and media box that we’ve tested. It’s also among the most expensive- the TVS-463 runs around $860 as tested. Most single home users probably don’t need a NAS in this class, but for a small office or family business, it’s ideal.