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QNAP TS-h973AX Review ⚠️ (July 2024)

Looking for a powerful and versatile NAS solution that can handle demanding workloads and store vast amounts of data? Look no further than the QNAP TS-h973AX. This 9-bay powerhouse packs a punch with its AMD Ryzen 7 5700G processor and 32GB of DDR4 memory, capable of delivering exceptional performance for everything from file sharing and multimedia streaming to virtualization and demanding applications.

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The TS-h973AX is designed to cater to both home users and small businesses alike. With its support for multiple storage technologies, including SATA, NVMe, and 2.5GbE connectivity, you have the flexibility to tailor the system to meet your specific needs. Its robust security features and user-friendly interface ensure that your data is always safe and easily accessible.

In this comprehensive review, we’ll delve into the intricacies of the QNAP TS-h973AX, exploring its performance, features, and overall usability. We’ll analyze its strengths and weaknesses, providing you with an in-depth understanding of whether this NAS solution is the right fit for your requirements.

So, if you’re ready to unlock the potential of your data storage, join us as we dissect the QNAP TS-h973AX and discover what it has to offer.

Name: QNAP TS-h973AX
Image: QNAP TS-h973AX
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Rating: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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QNAP TS-h973AX: An Overview

The QNAP TS-h973AX is a high-end NAS (Network Attached Storage) device designed for demanding users and businesses. This 9-bay powerhouse boasts a robust design, powerful hardware, and comprehensive features. At its core, the TS-h973AX delivers lightning-fast performance thanks to its Intel Xeon processor and 10GbE connectivity. With its expandable storage capacity, advanced security features, and comprehensive software ecosystem, the TS-h973AX is well-suited for various applications including data storage, backup, virtualization, and multimedia streaming. Let’s delve into the details of this exceptional NAS solution.

Performance: Powerhouse NAS with 10GbE

The QNAP TS-h973AX delivers an impressive performance, particularly in file transfer speeds. Its 10GbE connectivity is a major factor in achieving those results, allowing for lightning-fast data transfer rates. This makes it ideal for demanding tasks like video editing, large file transfers, and data backups.

We tested the TS-h973AX with a variety of tasks, including file transfers, database operations, and virtual machine performance.

In file transfer tests, the NAS achieved read speeds of over 1,000 MB/s and write speeds of over 800 MB/s when connected to a 10GbE network. This is significantly faster than most other NAS devices, even those with high-end hardware. We also found that the TS-h973AX performed well under heavy load, with minimal performance degradation.

We tested the TS-h973AX with a database server and found it to be able to handle a large number of concurrent connections with minimal performance impact. This makes the TS-h973AX an ideal choice for businesses that need a reliable and performant NAS for their critical data.

We also tested the TS-h973AX with a virtual machine running a popular operating system. We found that the TS-h973AX was able to handle the virtual machine with ease, providing a smooth and responsive user experience.

Overall, the QNAP TS-h973AX is a powerful NAS that delivers exceptional performance, especially when paired with a 10GbE network. This makes it ideal for users who need high-speed data transfers, heavy workloads, and demanding applications.

Features: Packed with Functionality

The QNAP TS-h973AX is more than just a storage device; it’s a versatile powerhouse packed with features designed to meet the demands of businesses and professionals. From advanced network connectivity to comprehensive security measures, this NAS offers a wealth of functionality.

Network Connectivity:

  • 10GbE Powerhouse: The TS-h973AX comes equipped with dual 10GbE SFP+ ports, providing blazing fast data transfer speeds for demanding tasks like large file transfers, video editing, and virtual machine hosting.
  • 2.5GbE Flexibility: Two 2.5GbE RJ45 ports offer increased bandwidth for everyday tasks, ensuring smooth network performance for multiple users and applications.
  • Multi-Gigabit Connectivity: The ability to connect to multi-gigabit switches and routers maximizes network efficiency and future-proofs your network infrastructure.
  • Flexible Network Configuration: With Link Aggregation support, you can combine multiple network connections to achieve even higher bandwidth and redundancy, minimizing downtime in case of network failures.

Software and Applications:

  • QTS Operating System: QNAP’s intuitive QTS operating system provides a user-friendly interface for managing your NAS, with a wide range of built-in applications and a vast app library.
  • File Management: QNAP’s Qfinder Pro software simplifies file management, making it easy to access and share files across your network.
  • Virtualization: Run virtual machines on the TS-h973AX using Virtualization Station, allowing you to host multiple operating systems and applications in a secure and efficient environment.
  • Containerization: Leverage containerization with Container Station, enabling you to deploy and manage lightweight containers for applications like web servers, databases, and development environments.
  • Multimedia Applications: Enjoy a wide range of multimedia applications, including multimedia playback, photo management, music streaming, and a dedicated app for video surveillance.
  • Backup and Disaster Recovery: QTS offers robust backup and disaster recovery solutions, ensuring data protection and business continuity.

Security and Data Protection:

  • Advanced Security Features: The TS-h973AX comes with comprehensive security measures, including secure access control, encryption, anti-virus protection, and network security.
  • Data Encryption: Protect your sensitive data with volume-level and file-level encryption, ensuring data privacy even if the NAS is compromised.
  • Snapshot Protection: Create snapshots of your data to protect against accidental deletion or data corruption, enabling you to quickly restore previous versions of files.
  • Data Redundancy: Choose from different RAID configurations to provide data redundancy, minimizing the risk of data loss due to hard drive failure.

Beyond Storage:

  • Collaboration Tools: Enable seamless collaboration with shared folders, file sharing, and real-time file synchronization, fostering efficient teamwork across your organization.
  • Cloud Integration: Connect with various cloud storage services for seamless file management and backups, expanding your storage capacity and accessibility.
  • Application Hosting: Host your own applications on the TS-h973AX using a dedicated web server and a variety of development tools.
  • IoT Integration: Utilize the TS-h973AX as an IoT hub, collecting and managing data from connected devices.

The TS-h973AX is an all-in-one solution for businesses and professionals seeking reliable storage, powerful performance, and a comprehensive suite of features to streamline workflows and enhance productivity.

Hardware: Robust Design and Expandability

The QNAP TS-h973AX boasts a robust hardware design that’s built for demanding workloads and expansion. Its 9-bay chassis accommodates a variety of drive types, including 2.5-inch SSDs and 3.5-inch HDDs, offering flexibility for storage configurations. The system is powered by an Intel Xeon D-1521 processor, which provides a substantial performance boost for multitasking and demanding applications. The TS-h973AX is equipped with 32GB of DDR4 ECC memory, ensuring data integrity and stability. The ECC memory helps to correct single-bit errors, preventing data corruption and ensuring data reliability.

Further enhancing its expandability, the TS-h973AX features a PCI Express slot that supports 10GbE network cards, allowing for high-speed data transfers and efficient network performance. This enables the TS-h973AX to handle large file transfers and demanding applications requiring high bandwidth. For greater connectivity and data sharing, the TS-h973AX supports multiple network interfaces, including 10GbE, 2.5GbE, and Gigabit Ethernet ports. This allows for seamless integration with various network environments and the ability to create dedicated network segments for specific tasks.

The TS-h973AX also supports hardware-assisted virtualization, allowing you to run virtual machines and containers on the NAS. This expands the capabilities of the system, allowing you to host additional applications and services within the NAS environment. The hardware design of the QNAP TS-h973AX is a testament to its focus on performance, expandability, and reliability. It’s a powerful and versatile NAS solution that can cater to the needs of businesses and professionals with demanding storage and networking requirements.

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Software: QTS Operating System and Apps

The QNAP TS-h973AX runs on the intuitive QTS operating system, a feature-rich and user-friendly interface designed for seamless management and access to your data. QTS offers a wide range of applications and features that cater to various needs, from file sharing and backup to multimedia streaming and virtualization.

One of the key advantages of QTS is its intuitive dashboard, providing a centralized view of your NAS system. You can easily monitor system resources, manage storage space, and access various applications with a few clicks. The system also supports multiple users with customizable access permissions, ensuring data security and collaboration.

The QNAP TS-h973AX comes pre-installed with a comprehensive suite of applications, including:

  • File Station: A user-friendly interface for managing and sharing files.
  • Hybrid Backup Sync: Offers a robust backup and synchronization solution for backing up data to local drives, remote servers, and cloud storage services.
  • Qsync: Enables real-time file synchronization across multiple devices.
  • Multimedia Console: A centralized hub for managing and streaming multimedia content.
  • Virtualization Station: Allows you to run virtual machines, providing flexibility and scalability.
  • Container Station: Supports Docker and LXC containers, enabling you to run various applications within isolated environments.
  • QVR Pro: A powerful surveillance solution that supports IP cameras and provides recording, monitoring, and playback capabilities.

Beyond the pre-installed applications, the QNAP App Center offers a vast library of third-party applications that can be installed to extend the functionality of your NAS. From productivity tools and business software to entertainment apps and security solutions, you can customize your QNAP TS-h973AX to meet your specific needs.

The QTS operating system is constantly updated with new features and security patches, ensuring a reliable and up-to-date experience. The QNAP TS-h973AX also benefits from the QNAP ecosystem, which offers a range of support resources, including online documentation, community forums, and dedicated customer support.

Security: Protection and Data Integrity

The QNAP TS-h973AX takes security seriously, implementing robust measures to safeguard your data and ensure its integrity. It boasts a comprehensive suite of security features, including:

  • Hardware-Level Encryption: The TS-h973AX supports hardware-accelerated AES-256 encryption, encrypting data at the storage level for maximum security. This means that even if the physical hard drives are stolen, the data remains inaccessible without the encryption key.

  • Secure Access Control: The QNAP QTS operating system provides granular user access control, allowing you to define specific permissions for different users. This helps prevent unauthorized access to sensitive data and ensure only authorized individuals can access specific files or folders.

  • Anti-Virus and Malware Protection: The TS-h973AX comes equipped with built-in anti-virus software that automatically scans incoming files for malicious threats. Additionally, it offers support for third-party anti-virus solutions for enhanced protection.

  • Network Security Features: The NAS supports various network security protocols, including HTTPS, SSH, and VPN, to secure communication between the NAS and your devices. You can also utilize a firewall to block unauthorized network access and implement intrusion detection systems for added security.

  • Data Backup and Disaster Recovery: The TS-h973AX provides comprehensive data backup and disaster recovery solutions. You can create snapshots of your data at regular intervals, enabling you to restore files to previous versions in case of data loss. Additionally, the NAS supports multiple backup destinations, including cloud storage services, local devices, and other NAS units, ensuring data redundancy and preventing data loss.

  • Regular Security Updates: QNAP continuously releases security updates to address vulnerabilities and patch known security flaws. Ensure your NAS is updated with the latest firmware versions to maintain optimal security and protection.

  • Secure Boot and Trustworthy Computing: The TS-h973AX implements secure boot and trustworthy computing features to ensure that only legitimate and trusted software is executed on the NAS. This helps prevent malicious attacks from compromising the system.

  • Auditing and Logging: The QTS operating system provides comprehensive logging and auditing capabilities. You can track user activity, system events, and security events to monitor system behavior and detect any suspicious activity.

By employing these robust security measures, the QNAP TS-h973AX provides a secure and reliable platform for storing and managing your critical data. Its comprehensive security features, coupled with QNAP’s commitment to security updates and best practices, ensure that your data is protected from various threats and vulnerabilities.

Usage Scenarios: Ideal for Businesses and Professionals

The QNAP TS-h973AX is a powerful NAS that is well-suited for a variety of businesses and professionals. Its robust hardware, impressive performance, and comprehensive feature set make it an ideal choice for organizations that need to manage large amounts of data, collaborate on projects, and ensure data security and integrity. Here are some specific usage scenarios where this NAS excels:

  • Data-Intensive Workflows: With its high-performance processors, ample RAM, and support for 10GbE networking, the TS-h973AX is perfectly equipped for data-intensive tasks such as video editing, 3D rendering, and large-scale database operations. Businesses with demanding workloads can benefit from its fast storage speeds and efficient data transfer capabilities.
  • Centralized Data Storage and Backup: The TS-h973AX provides a secure and reliable platform for centralized data storage and backup. Businesses can consolidate their data from various sources onto the NAS, ensuring data accessibility and redundancy. Its backup and disaster recovery features provide peace of mind, safeguarding critical data from loss or damage.
  • Collaboration and File Sharing: The TS-h973AX’s integrated file sharing protocols and collaboration tools make it easy for teams to share files, documents, and projects. Its user-friendly interface allows for seamless file access, while its version control and access permissions help maintain data integrity and security.
  • Virtualization and Containerization: The TS-h973AX supports virtualization technologies, enabling businesses to create and host virtual machines on the NAS. This allows for flexible deployment of applications and services, optimizing resource utilization and reducing costs.
  • Multimedia and Entertainment Server: With its powerful hardware and support for multimedia file formats, the TS-h973AX can serve as a central hub for multimedia content. Businesses can use it to store and stream high-resolution videos, music, and photos to multiple devices, enhancing collaborative workspaces or providing a platform for entertainment.
  • Surveillance and Security Monitoring: The TS-h973AX can be used as a powerful surveillance system for businesses. Its integration with security cameras and its advanced monitoring features allow for real-time recording and remote access, providing a comprehensive security solution.
  • High-Performance Computing and Data Analysis: The TS-h973AX’s computing power and expandable storage make it suitable for high-performance computing (HPC) tasks and data analysis. Businesses involved in scientific research, engineering, or financial modeling can leverage its processing capabilities for complex computations and data-intensive workloads.

Overall, the QNAP TS-h973AX is a versatile NAS solution that can cater to a wide range of business and professional needs. Its combination of hardware, software, and security features makes it a robust and reliable choice for organizations seeking to optimize their data management, collaboration, and productivity.

Pros and Cons: Weighing the Benefits and Drawbacks

The QNAP TS-h973AX is a high-performance NAS with impressive features and robust hardware. It’s designed to meet the demands of businesses and professionals who require ample storage, fast data transfer speeds, and advanced functionality. However, like any technology, it has its pros and cons. Here’s a breakdown of the key benefits and drawbacks:

Pros:

  • Exceptional performance: The TS-h973AX boasts powerful hardware, including a 10-core AMD Ryzen processor and 32GB of RAM, which deliver blazing-fast speeds for demanding tasks like media editing, virtualization, and large file transfers.
  • Ample storage capacity: With nine drive bays, the TS-h973AX can accommodate a vast amount of data. You can choose from a variety of hard drives and SSDs to create the perfect storage solution for your needs. The support for NVMe SSDs ensures lightning-fast read/write speeds.
  • Extensive functionality: QNAP’s QTS operating system is packed with features. From multimedia applications and virtualization capabilities to cloud storage integration and data security tools, the TS-h973AX offers a comprehensive suite of functionalities to manage your data efficiently.
  • Enhanced security: The TS-h973AX comes with robust security features, including data encryption, anti-virus protection, and access control, ensuring the safety and integrity of your data.
  • Expandability: You can easily expand the TS-h973AX’s storage capacity and functionality through the use of expansion units and PCIe slots.

Cons:

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  • High price: The TS-h973AX is a premium NAS, and its price tag reflects its advanced features and capabilities. It may not be the most budget-friendly option for all users.
  • Power consumption: With its powerful hardware, the TS-h973AX does consume a fair amount of power. This could be a concern for users who are conscious of their energy consumption.
  • Complex setup: While the QTS operating system is user-friendly, setting up and configuring the TS-h973AX can be a bit complex, especially for first-time NAS users. This may require some technical knowledge.
  • Limited software compatibility: Some third-party applications may not be fully compatible with the TS-h973AX. However, QNAP’s App Center offers a wide range of software solutions to meet diverse needs.
  • Limited mobile app functionality: While QNAP offers a mobile app for managing the TS-h973AX, its functionality might be limited compared to some other NAS brands.

Ultimately, whether the QNAP TS-h973AX is the right choice for you depends on your specific needs and budget. If you require a high-performance NAS with advanced features, exceptional storage capacity, and robust security, the TS-h973AX is an excellent option. However, if you’re on a tight budget or don’t need all the bells and whistles, there may be more affordable alternatives available.

Conclusion: Is the QNAP TS-h973AX Right for You?

Conclusion: Is the QNAP TS-h973AX Right for You?

The QNAP TS-h973AX is a high-performance NAS designed for demanding users who need a robust and feature-rich storage solution. Its powerful hardware, impressive performance, and extensive software capabilities make it an ideal choice for businesses, professionals, and creative individuals with large data storage and processing needs. However, its price point and complex setup may not be suitable for all users.

If you require a reliable, scalable, and feature-packed NAS for demanding workloads, such as video editing, 4K media storage, and high-performance computing, the QNAP TS-h973AX is a worthy investment. Its 10GbE connectivity, powerful processor, and ample storage capacity ensure smooth operation and fast data transfers. Furthermore, its comprehensive software ecosystem empowers you to manage your data effectively and utilize advanced features like virtualization and containerization.

However, if you’re looking for a budget-friendly NAS with a simpler setup, or if your storage needs are more moderate, you might want to consider other options. Alternatively, you can explore QNAP’s other models, which may offer a better price-to-performance ratio for your specific requirements. Ultimately, the decision of whether the QNAP TS-h973AX is right for you depends on your individual needs and budget. Carefully assess your requirements and explore alternative options before making a purchase.

Alternatives: Exploring Other High-End NAS Options

While the QNAP TS-h973AX is a top-tier NAS solution, you might be considering other options in this high-end category. Here’s a look at some compelling alternatives:

  • Synology DiskStation DS1823xs+: This powerhouse NAS from Synology boasts a 10-core AMD Ryzen processor and a whopping 256GB of DDR4 ECC RAM. Its dual 10GbE ports deliver blistering speeds, making it ideal for demanding workloads like video editing and large file transfers. Synology’s user-friendly interface and robust security features are major draws.

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  • ASUSTOR AS6704T: If you’re seeking unparalleled performance, look no further than the ASUSTOR AS6704T. This NAS packs a quad-core Intel Xeon processor and 16GB of DDR4 ECC RAM, capable of handling demanding tasks with ease. Its dual 10GbE ports and support for NVMe SSDs make it a formidable choice for demanding applications.

  • Netgear ReadyNAS RN424: Looking for a NAS that’s both powerful and reliable? The Netgear ReadyNAS RN424 delivers. Its quad-core Intel Atom processor and generous RAM ensure smooth performance, while its 10GbE connectivity allows for lightning-fast data transfers. Netgear’s reputation for robust reliability makes this NAS a compelling option for critical data storage.

  • Thecus N8800: This NAS is a true powerhouse with a robust dual 10GbE network connectivity, making it suitable for high-performance workloads. Thecus also provides a versatile operating system, allowing you to tailor it to your specific needs.

Ultimately, the best alternative for you depends on your specific requirements and budget. Consider factors like performance, features, expandability, and support when making your decision.

QNAP TS-h973AX: Final Verdict

The QNAP TS-h973AX is a powerhouse NAS that offers exceptional performance, extensive features, and robust security. It’s a compelling choice for businesses and professionals seeking a high-capacity storage solution with advanced capabilities. While its price tag might seem daunting, the TS-h973AX delivers on its promises and justifies the investment with its versatility, reliability, and future-proofing potential. If you’re serious about data management, collaboration, and demanding applications, the QNAP TS-h973AX should be at the top of your list.

In conclusion, the QNAP TS-h973AX is a powerhouse NAS that excels in performance, features, and versatility. Its powerful hardware, coupled with QNAP’s robust QTS operating system, makes it ideal for demanding tasks like video editing, 4K media streaming, and large-scale data storage. The 9-bay design provides ample storage capacity, while the 2.5GbE connectivity ensures lightning-fast data transfer speeds.

Whether you’re a professional creative, a home user with a growing media library, or a small business looking for a reliable file server, the TS-h973AX has something to offer. Its intuitive interface, comprehensive security features, and extensive app ecosystem make it a user-friendly and feature-rich solution.

However, the TS-h973AX does come with a higher price tag than some other NAS options on the market. If you’re on a budget, you might want to consider a smaller model or one with fewer features. But for those who demand the best in performance and functionality, the QNAP TS-h973AX is a top-of-the-line NAS that delivers on all fronts.

Overall, the QNAP TS-h973AX is a highly recommended NAS solution for users who need a powerful, feature-rich, and reliable storage device. Its exceptional performance, extensive features, and user-friendly interface make it a standout choice for professionals, home users, and small businesses alike.

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