QNAP NAS Buyer's Guide: How to pick the best NAS for you

NAS
NAS (Image credit: Windows Central)

QNAP is a well-established brand in the network-attached storage (NAS) space. The company has a catalog of NAS models available, but it's easy to make an informed decision without messing up your NAS deployment. This guide will walk you through how to choose based on model numbers, and we'll even recommend a few to shortlist.

Breaking down the numbers

QNAP TS-231

Source: QNAP (Image credit: Source: QNAP)

Like other NAS manufacturers, QNAP utilizes model numbers to differentiate its catalog. The company uses several prefixes with TS and TVS being the most common. The number immediately after the prefix denotes how many drive bays are present while the numbers and letters thereafter are specific for that NAS model.

Usually, it's the higher, the better. For instance, the TS-230 has two bays and is less capable than the TS-251+.

Comparing models

Here's a comparison table with a few of the latest models from QNAP.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
CategoryTS-231KTS-453DTS-653DTVS-882
CPUAnnapurnaLabs Alpine AL-214
Quad-core 1.7GHz
Intel Celeron J4125
Quad-core 2.0GHz
Intel Celeron J4125
Quad-core 2.0GHz
Intel Core i3-7100
Dual-core 3.9GHz
RAM1GB (1GB max)2GB (6GB max)8GB (8GB max)8GB (64GB max)
Drive bays2468
Capacity32TB
2 x 16TB
64TB
4 x 16TB
76TB
6 x 16TB
128TB
8 x 16TB
Transcoding-H.264 (AVC)
H.265 (HEVC)
MPEG-2
VC-1
4K 30 FPS
H.264 (AVC)
H.265 (HEVC)
MPEG-2
VC-1
4K 30 FPS
H.264 (AVC)
H.265 (HEVC)
MPEG-2
VC-1
4K 30 FPS
Ports2x 1Gb LAN
3x USB 3.2 Gen 1
2x 2.5Gb LAN
3x USB 2.0
2x USB 3.2 Gen 1
2x 2.5Gb LAN
3x USB 2.0
2x USB 3.2 Gen 1
4x 1Gb LAN
5x USB 3.2 Gen 1
3x HDMI
WarrantyTwo yearsTwo yearsTwo yearsTwo years
Price$229 (opens in new tab)$631 (opens in new tab)$773 (opens in new tab)$1,895 (opens in new tab)

The thing with QNAP NAS models is they're usually more pricey than other offerings, but you get far better-equipped servers. The more affordable range that includes the TS-231K is better suited for a small home with a few users. Then you have the TS-453D and TS-653D that can run Plex Media Server with Intel Celeron processors.

QNAP NAS like the TVS-882 is where things get real interesting (and expensive). With the baseline model housing a 7th Gen Intel Core i3 processor, it has ample performance to handle some 4K transcoding, and so much more. You can pay even more for Intel Core i5 and even an i7 with a further six bays.

The best way to buy a NAS is to decide on how many drive bays you require. Don't need to store too much? You could get away with just two bays. If you're planning to go all out with media and more, four or more bays may be a better suit.

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds is Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

4 Comments
  • QNAP buyers guide.... but using a Synology title image... Classic. But seriously.....the generic NAS that seems to be used quite often shows 2 Synology NAS units...
  • LOL, that is funny
  • Its almost like they do this stuff on purpose lol
  • I just got myself a Terramaster F4-210, it is not as powerful in CP{U or memory as the Qmaps, but it is a lot cheaper and just for normal storage it is fine.