Best QNAP 4-Bay NAS - NAS Buying Guide 2020

Best for Plex, Surveillance, Performance, Connectivity, Energy saving, Warranty, Transcoding, Buy Price


Qnap Desktop NAS TS-451+-8G 4-Bay RAID (8GB RAM)
The Best Backup NAS
Qnap Desktop NAS TS-431P2-1G 4-Bay RAID (1GB RAM)
The Best Download
Multimedia, DAS/NAS File Server
Qnap Desktop NAS TS-431P 4-Bay RAID (1GB RAM)
The Budget Media Server NAS
Qnap Desktop NAS TS-451+-8G 4-Bay RAID (8GB RAM)
The HD Transcoding an
Virtualization NAS
Qnap NASbook TBS-453DX-8G 4-Bay M.2 SATA SSD RAID (8GB RAM) + 10GbE
The Compact, Low Power Quiet
NAS Media Server
Qnap Desktop NAS TS-453B-8G 4-Bay RAID (8GB RAM)
The 4K Transcoding Media and
Virtualization NAS Server
Qnap NASbook TBS-453DX-8G 4-Bay M.2 SATA SSD RAID (8GB RAM) + 10GbE
The Portable Presentation & 
Team Collaboration Share NAS
Qnap Desktop NAS TVS-473e-8G 4-Bay RAID (8GB RAM)
The Business HD Video Editing NAS & Sharing.
Virtualization NAS Server
Qnap NASbook TBS-453DX-8G 4-Bay M.2 SATA SSD RAID (8GB RAM) + 10GbE
The 10GbE-Ready
4K playback, transcoding &
on-the-fly editing with QvPC
Virtualisation  Technology.


Even now as you read this sentence, you have created some form of data. Every day we use, create, need and store data. The growth and evolution in Network Attached Storage have been fast and as more people in 2020/2021 are finding the need for a NAS Server in their lives, the technology has evolved alongside it. Enclosures that can accommodate 4 media drives or 4-Bays, are NAS devices that are no longer aimed at just business users and IT professionals. Now everyone and his brother want to get their hands on a NAS solution. However, everyone’s NAS requirements are different. Some just want a cheap NAS or budget NAS to just tick a few boxes, others are looking to keep all their multimedia in a NAS based Plex Media Server and some have more advanced NAS ideas like running Virtual Machines and hosting hundreds of users from one location. We want to focus on QNAP NAS and the QNAP 4-Bay NAS range available to buy at SPAN.COM today.

Best 4-Bay QNAP NAS for Performance

How fast a NAS server will operate day today is important! Between Upload/Download speed, as well as Read and Write speeds internally, NAS Performance is possibly (after price) one of the most important things to consider when buying your NAS. Finding the NAS server platform that can perform the tasks you require, whilst not spending too much can be tricky as most NAS units in the QNAP 4-Bay range are all targeted at different audiences. One look at the NAS devices below shows that the TVS-472XT and TVS-473e are easily the most powerful. Featuring more advanced CPU and RAM options than the other NAS units, they are also some of the most expensive NAS devices available. If we move towards the middle of the pack, we see 4-BAY QNAP NAS units like the QNAP TS-453B and the TS-453Be at around half the price of the top NAS of 2020. Both these units feature excellent Quad-Core CPUs at well as arriving with 2-4GB of RAM and the ability to expand that memory to 8GB (16GB unofficially). Both these units can run several NAS based VMs, as well as functioning very well as NAS HD Plex Media Servers. As you would expect, the cost-effective NAS devices to the left are the least powerful and their price and hardware are designed to be reflected in this. 

 
TS-451 plus TS-453B IBQ-453Be-2G Qnap IBQ-431PP Qnap IBQ-431X-2G Qnap IBQ-473S-4G Qnap Qnap Desktop NAS TVS-473e-8G 4-Bay RAID (8GB RAM) IBQ-B453DX-8G Qnap
TS-451+ TS-453B TS-453Be TS-431P2 TS-431X2 TS-473 TVS-473e TBS-453DX
 £539.00  £605.00   £294.00 £345.00 £612.00  £836.00  £578.00
Celeron 2.0GHz Quad Core (up to 2.42GHz) Quad-Core Celeron® J3455 1.5GHz (Burst up to 2.3GHz) Celeron Braswell N3150 1.6 GHz Quad Core
(up to 2.08GHz)
Annapurna Labs AL-314, 4-core,1.7GHz Annapurna Labs AL-314, 4-core,1.7GHz AMD R RX-421ND Quad Core 2.1 GHz, Turbo to 3.4 GHz AMD R-Series RX-421BD quad-core  2.1 GHz   to 3.4 GHz Celeron® J4105 4-core 1.5 GHz processor (burst up to 2.5 GHz)
2GB-8GB 4GB-8GB DDR3 4GB-8GB 1GB 2GB 4GB-8GB 8GB-16GB-64GB
 8GB RAM
 
 intel-celeron  intel-celeron  intel-celeron         intel-celeron



Best 4-Bay QNAP NAS for Connectivity

The technology behind NAS is not new and although it seems intimidating, it's actually rather straight forward. A Network Attached Storage for Windows and Mac user is more than just Hard Drives you can access over the internet/network. Most QNAP NAS devices arrive with a multitude of ports ranging from USB and HDMI to Audio connections and Thunderbolt. You can even connect with a household IR remote control. Of course, the more you spend the more connections your NAS will tend to have, but this is not a strict rule and you will often find that if external means of connection are the most important factor in buying the right NAS for you, then you can save money on a cheaper NAS and still get a high level of NAS connectivity. Of all the NAS enclosures you can buy in the mid-range area, the QNAP TS-453Be is by far the most connectable, yet affordable. It features 2x HDMI ports, 5 USB 3.0, audio ports, 2 LAN ports, an optional remote control, a PCIe expandability slot for 10Gbe and SSD Caching and even a front-mounted LCD panel to give you real-time information. As you move further up the pack you will struggle to see more improvements on connections as the majority of the cost of a NAS goes into the software and that CPU and RAM. Though once you reach the £1000+ mark of 4-Bay NAS you will encounter Thunderbolt and multi-gigabit connectivity. That said, if you want a cheap NAS with excellent connections, the QNAP TS-451+ (though older) is still available to buy and is the one for those looking for performance on a stricter budget. One of the lower cost NAS devices, it includes USB 2.0, USB 3.0, HDMI and a remote. Alongside this, there are numerous budget options that arrive with Realtek processors and 10Gbe. Below is the best you can get and what they can give you.

TS-451 plus TS-453B IBQ-453Be-2G Qnap IBQ-431PP Qnap IBQ-431X-2G Qnap IBQ-473S-4G Qnap Qnap Desktop NAS TVS-473e-8G 4-Bay RAID (8GB RAM) IBQ-B453DX-8G Qnap
2xLAN 2xLAN 2xLAN  2xLAN  2xLAN +1SFP+  4xLAN 4X LAN 1X LAN +1LAN 10GbE
 2x USB 2.0  USB 3.1 10Gbps
Optional 
USB 3.1 10Gbps
Optional 
        4x USB 2.0
2x USB 3.0 5x USB 3.0 5x USB 3.0  3x USB 3.0   4x USB 3.0    4x USB 3.0  4x USB 3.0  3x USB 3.0
 IR Sensor  IR Sensor  IR Sensor       IR Sensor  IR Sensor  
   1 x USB 3.0 Type-C

+ SD Card Slot
           
 1xHDMI 2 HDMI (4K) 2 HDMI (4K)       2xHDMI 4K   1xHDMI2.0
 hdmi  hdmi hdmi        hdmi  hdmi
 




Best 4-Bay QNAP NAS for Expansion, Upgrades & Future Proofing

Even though you are purchasing this solution to resolve a storage issue today, you still have to think of the future. When you buy your NAS, it may seem like boundless terabytes of storage at the start, but all too soon, the hardware can struggle, the connections can see slow and the Terrabytes only have gigabytes free! If you are serious about future-proofing your NAS to ensure you get a network-attached storage device with a future, then think about expandability and upgrades early on and prepare for the future. Almost all QNAP 4-Bay NAS devices can connect a NAS expansion chassis. Several options are available, such as the TR-002 and TR-004 Hardware RAID solutions, 5 Bay QNAP JBOD expansion UX-500P or the 8-Bay NAS expansion UX-800P. Next, you can expand the memory so your NAS can multitask and handle more and bigger tasks. Lastly, there is the ability to upgrade the network connection itself. Almost all QNAP NAS arrives with 1GBe connections in RJ45 form. However, some arrive with or can be expanded with the ability to adopt 10GB, that is 10Gigabits per second (upto 1000MB/s) network connections. This is a form of connectivity that is appealing to photo and video editors, allowing them to edit files DIRECTLY on the NAS at a speed that is the same/higher than editing on the SSD on their local PC/Mac. In recent years it has become far more common and more affordable, hence the ability to upgrade to this connection being so attractive as a futureproofing option.

In terms of expandability and upgrade options, the clear winner here is the TVS-472XT, as it arrives with 10Gbe and TB3, but also can support more PCIe NICs for more ports, along with increased Memory upto 64GB od DDR4, as well as to multiple expansion units. The QNAP TVS-472XT 4-bay NAS is truly the unit to buy if you want a NAS that will grow alongside your business.

 


TS-451 plus  TS-453B IBQ-453Be-2G Qnap IBQ-431PP Qnap  IBQ-431X-2G Qnap IBQ-473S-4G Qnap Qnap Desktop NAS TVS-473e-8G 4-Bay RAID (8GB RAM) IBQ-B453DX-8G Qnap 
1 (UX-800P, UX-500P)  1 (UX-800P, UX-500P) 1 (UX-800P, UX-500P)   1 (UX-800P, UX-500P) 2x UX-800P or UX-500P 2 (UX-800P, UX-500P)  
               
   1 PCIe 2.0 x2 1 PCIe 2.0 x2     2 x PCIe Gen 3 (x4) 2 x PCIe Gen 3 (x4), one slot is pre-installed with a dual-port USB 3.1 Type-A card  
           2 x M.2 2280/2260 SATA 6Gb/s slots    4 x M.2 2280 SATA 6Gb/s slots
    10GbE optional  10GbE optional        10GbE optional  10GbE
  2GB-8GB RAM  4GB-8GB RAM  2GB-8GB RAM   1GB-8GB RAM  2GB-8GB RAM  4GB-8GB RAM Max 64GB  
 




Best 4-Bay QNAP NAS for Power Consumption & Noise

The amount of power that your NAS device will use is controlled by numerous factors, ranging from the CPU and Memory, the PSU on the device and the ports and connections it supports. Power consumption is becoming a more pressing issue now that people are more inclined to leaving there NAS devices on 24/7 and constantly synchronising and backing up to it. Clearly, from these results you can see that the power consumption on the QNAP TVS-472XT is by far the highest. If your primary concern in making your NAS purchase is power/watts used, then this is where many of the cost-effective NAS devices on the left will save you money both today AND tomorrow! However, for the perfect balance of ability VERSUS power consumption, then the QNAP TBS-453DX - an SSD optimized NAS that arrives with a newer gen intel CPU, 10Gbe and True 4K HDMI, but still lower power and noise levels.

Of course, NOISE is a factor for many users in close proximity to the NAS device in an office or home environment, so more metallic designed NAS chassis will always make a little more noise as the HDDs spin in access. Likewise, you will notice that the noise rises and falls directly with the power consumption due to parts, chips and hardware in general working harder and increasing background noise.  Once again, the perfect balance comes in the form of the micro-based SSD NAS based solutions, the QNAP HS-453DX and TBS-453DX.


TS-451 plus  TS-453B IBQ-453Be-2G Qnap  IBQ-431PP Qnap IBQ-431X-2G Qnap IBQ-473S-4G Qnap Qnap Desktop NAS TVS-473e-8G 4-Bay RAID (8GB RAM)  IBQ-B453DX-8G Qnap
 15.78W Sleep Mode 15W Sleep Mode 15W Sleep Mode  10.62 W sleep

11.32 W

 

33.24 W

 
33.24W Sleep Mode  

12.38 W

 20.56W Operating 30.04W Operating 30.04W Operating  23.72 W

26.19 W

 

56.23 W

56.23W Operating  

16.52 W

               
 16.9dB(A) 18.8dB(A) 18.8dB(A)  19.5 db(A)

19.5 db(A)

 

21.7 db(A)

21.7dB(A)  

15.8 db(A)

               
               

 

Best 4-Bay QNAP NAS Hardware Functionality

At the risk of being vulgar, It’s not about how big it is, but what you do with it! Never has a truer word been spoken (in storage at least) than when it comes to 4-Bay enclosure drives. In the area of what a NAS can do, it is often the case that the more you spend, the more you can do! It’s sad but true and if you have big ideas on your NAS, then you are going to have to be prepared to pay for it. As you can see from left to right, the options and abilities of the NAS grow with each unit and moreover, the depth and width of those services grow too. More cameras for your NAS Surveillance station, more Apple Time Machine Images to store, more virtual machines for you to run and the more complex media applications you can perform you can include. 

After that, the advantages move away from the potential of a CPU (eg an Intel Celeron vs an Intel i5) and maximum memory, and over to more comprehensive and broad hardware connectivity, with the top end featuring 10Gbe and Thunderbolt.


 TS-451 plus TS-453B IBQ-453Be-2G Qnap  IBQ-431PP Qnap IBQ-431X-2G Qnap IBQ-473S-4G Qnap Qnap Desktop NAS TVS-473e-8G 4-Bay RAID (8GB RAM) IBQ-B453DX-8G Qnap 
 USB Auto Copy USB Auto Copy

USB QuickAccess
USB Auto Copy  USB Auto Copy  USB Auto Copy   USB Auto Copy USB Auto Copy
USB QuickAccess
 USB Auto Copy
USB QuickAccess
 VLAN  VLAN VLAN  VLAN VLAN  VLAN VLAN  VLAN
 Time Machine Time Machine Time Machine  Time Machine  Time Machine   Time Machine Time Machine  Time Machine
 WOL WOL WOL  WOL WOL  WOL WOL  WOL
  USB Printer  USB Printer  USB Printer   USB Printer   USB Printer    USB Printer  USB Printer   USB Printer
  Yes (RAM of NAS >= 2 GB)
virtualisation-vmware
 Virtualization
virtualisation-vmware
Virtualization
virtualisation-vmware
  virtualisation-vmwareVirtualization  virtualisation-vmwareVirtualization  Virtualization
virtualisation-vmware
 Virtualizationvirtualisation-vmware
  DLNA®, AirPlay®, Chromecast™  DLNA®, AirPlay®, Chromecast™  DLNA®, AirPlay®, Chromecast™   DLNA®, AirPlay®, Chromecast™   DLNA®, AirPlay®, Chromecast™    DLNA®, AirPlay®, Chromecast™  DLNA®, AirPlay®, Chromecast™   DLNA®, AirPlay®, Chromecast™
 dlna  dlna dlna  dlna dlna  dlna  dlna  dlna

 

Best 4-Bay QNAP NAS for Speed and RAID

Buying a NAS to house all your data for you to securely access is all fair and well, but eventually sooner or later you are going to want to access it! The speed with which you can read, write, upload and download your data is dictated by things like the CPU, the RAM, the number of Gigabit LAN ports available and the, of course, the drives you choose. But like before, you will often find that the more you spend, the faster your access to and form data will be. However, there are exceptions to the rule. Noticeably the QNAP TS-453Be, for example, arrives at a modest price point but still features some impressive internal speeds, as well as the ability to upgrade the device to a 10Gbe connection down the line. Though the base speeds are possible thanks to that Quad-Core CPU, the expandable RAM and those 2 LAN ports, it can achieve almost the highest level of read and write speed at its price point.

However, for those that want their NAS performance speed to be utterly unimpeded by the potential bottleneck of a more CPU intensive RAID configuration, like RAID 5/6, then you will need a much for power file handing processors, such as an AMD Ryzen, Xeon or Intel Core. You will also need to look for NAS that have 10Gbe ports as standard, as these will feature Aquantia network controllers inside that will take alot of the hard work from the processor to maintain those top-end speeds. In this category, you need to look at QNAP NAS such as the QNAP TS-677, TVS-473e and TVS-472XT, as these three NAS arrive with hardware inside and out that can handle HDD/SSD media or BOTH in a cache setup with greater ease.


TS-451 plus  TS-453B IBQ-453Be-2G Qnap  IBQ-431PP Qnap IBQ-431X-2G Qnap IBQ-473S-4G Qnap Qnap Desktop NAS TVS-473e-8G 4-Bay RAID (8GB RAM)  IBQ-B453DX-8G Qnap
 224 (2 x GbE) (MB/s) 225(Link Aggregation)(MB/s) 225(Link Aggregation)(MB/s)  221(Link Aggregation)(MB/s)  1014(MB/s)  
2347 MB/s
 
1035MB/s(4-LAN Link Aggregation)(MB/s)  
817 MB/s
 
 225 (2 x GbE) 225(Link Aggregation) 225(Link Aggregation)  195(Link Aggregation) 580MB/s  
1764 MB/s
 
644MB/s(4-LAN Link Aggregation)  
686 MB/s
  RAID Recovery  RAID Recovery  RAID Recovery   RAID Recovery   RAID Recovery    RAID Recovery  RAID Recovery   RAID Recovery
   Storage Pool  Storage Pool  Storage Pool   Storage Pool   Storage Pool    Storage Pool  Storage Pool   Storage Pool
   SSD Caching  SSD Caching  SSD Caching   SSD Caching   SSD Caching    SSD Caching  SSD Caching   SSD Caching
               

  


Best 4-Bay QNAP NAS for PLEX Media Server

Plex Media Server, or simply PLEX, is one of the most popular ways that users choose to access their own digital media. It arrives with the slick and user-friend graphical user interface (GUI) that you would find on streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime, as well as the metadata inclusion of background information on your media and the imagery, but all using your OWN media. Practically all 4-Bay NAS from QNAP can be used as a NAS Plex Media Server and if you intend to stream HD media to other HD Media enabled Network Attached Storage Devices like Smart TVs and PC’s throughout the home, then you can afford to be choosy (with any additional spending mainly just increasing thumbnail, image and manipulate speeds. However, if you want to access 1080p HD media on your NAS Plex PMS, but want to stream it to your NAS devices with lower screen resolutions, less space to store media on the fly or NAS items that cannot play the original file format (eg .MKV or .m4b), then you have to think about Plex Media Server Transcoding on your NAS. As you can see, different NAS servers from QNAP feature different levels of Plex Media Server transcoding and choosing the right one for your media setup is important.


TS-451 plus  TS-453B IBQ-453Be-2G Qnap IBQ-431PP Qnap  IBQ-431X-2G Qnap IBQ-473S-4G Qnap Qnap Desktop NAS TVS-473e-8G 4-Bay RAID (8GB RAM) IBQ-B453DX-8G Qnap 
 Plex Server Plex Server Plex Server      Plex Server Plex Server  Plex Server
 Audio Audio Audio      Audio Audio  Audio
  SD (480p/576p)   SD (480p/576p)   SD (480p/576p)      SD (480p/576p) SD (480p/576p)  SD (480p/576p)
   HD (720P)    HD (720P)    HD (720P)       HD (720P)  HD (720P)   HD (720P)
   HD (1080P) *    HD (1080P) *    HD (1080P) *           HD (1080P) *      HD (1080P) *       HD (1080P) *
 plex  plex plex      plex  plex  plex

Whilst we are talking about transcoding, it is important not to mix up Plex Media Server transcoding and Native Transcoding on your NAS. Plex is a surprisingly resource consuming software. This is due to all the transcoding being required by media server device (the NAS). However if you are not a fan of Plex or just want to use native transcoding via DLNA, the QNAP Mobile and desktop Apps for Windows, Adroid, iOs and Mac, then native transcoding is your concern. As you can see from the details below, three of the NAS devices can transcoding all the way upto 1080p and 4K Media and if you are mostly concerned with high density media transcoding, these are the NAS devices for you!

 

 

TS-451 plus  TS-453B IBQ-453Be-2G Qnap IBQ-431PP Qnap  IBQ-431X-2G Qnap IBQ-473S-4G Qnap Qnap Desktop NAS TVS-473e-8G 4-Bay RAID (8GB RAM)  IBQ-B453DX-8G Qnap
 Offline           Offline  
  real-time   real-time   real-time            real-time
 hardware acceleration hardware acceleration hardware acceleration       AMD Radeon HD graphics hardware accelerated transcoding 
graphics card
 hardware acceleration
   Transcode Full HD   transcodes 4K   transcodes 4K      4K with graphics card installed    transcodes 4K     transcodes 4K
 1080p transcoding  4k transcoding 4k transcoding       4k transcoding 4k transcoding 
               
               

 

Best 4-Bay QNAP NAS for Surveillance and NVR Use

Default,  Max.  (optional license purchase)

Many users are coming around the idea of Home, office and retail NAS based surveillance. There are many advantages to Network Attached Storage Surveillance, NVR or NAS CCTV. As most QNAP devices arrive with HDMI ports and the ability to connect peripheral devices like keyboards and a mouse, they make excellent standalone Surveillance solutions. When making the choice for the right Surveillance setup around a QNAP NAS, always take a moment to check how many licences are included, the maximum number of cameras available and the QVPC sticker – as this will indicate whether you can create a standalone surveillance solution.

Additionally, in order to create the right surveillance set up in your home or office using a NAS drive, you need to consider how many IP cameras you are planning on using, as well as the amount of recording space you are going to need to have available. All QNAP NAS use the QTS software and operating system to operate, as well as any QNAP 4-Bay NAS that features a 64bit x86 CPU (Intel/AMD) supporting both Surveillance Station and QVR Pro. The more powerful the NAS, the more features and simultaneous cameras can be used at once in your surveillance setup. This will result in more and more recording space being required, so though all of these solutions are 4-Bay NAS drives, you will need a more powerful solution to support a safer RAID level, decent redundancy vs capacity storage performance and many cameras at once.


 
TS-451 plus  TS-453B IBQ-453Be-2G Qnap IBQ-431PP Qnap  IBQ-431X-2G Qnap IBQ-473S-4G Qnap Qnap Desktop NAS TVS-473e-8G 4-Bay RAID (8GB RAM) IBQ-B453DX-8G Qnap 
 Default: 2, Max.: 40 (optional license purchase) Default: 4, Max.: 40 (optional license purchase) Default: 4, Max.: 40 (optional license purchase)  Default: 2, Max.: 25(optional license purchase)  Default: 4, Max.: 72(optional license purchase)   Default: 4, Max.: 72(optional license purchase) Default: 4, Max.: 40 (optional license purchase)  Default: 4, Max.: 40 (optional license purchase)
 Surveillance App Surveillance App Surveillance App  Surveillance App  Surveillance App   Surveillance App Surveillance App  Surveillance App
               
 qvpc  qvpc qvpc        qvpc  qvpc
               
               

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