2 Terabytes of backup storage for life only $45

zools-lifetime-backup-2tb-offer-cheapest

It’s becoming increasingly difficult to keep up with the ever-changing world of physical information storage. New hard drives and flash drives are constantly hitting the market and obsolescence is inevitable. There has never been a better time to store your data in the cloud, and cloud security has also never been better.

Get 1TB of cloud storage for just $45!

Cloud services, however, can be costly or they just don’t offer enough storage. You need a service that’ll securely back you up for life, and you need a service that won’t cost you thousands a year because you need terabytes of storage. This is especially prudent in a business scenario where you may have to provide cloud storage to multiple employees.

Zoolz Cloud Storage offers an elegant solution. You can get 1TB of cloud storage for data you access regularly PLUS with 1TB of cold storage that lets you store those important files you can’t afford to lose. The Instant Vault is easy to use — just drag and drop files via a web browser. The cold storage will allow you to automatically back up two devices at one time.

Store all of your most important files in a secure cloud

You can get 1TB of highly secure cloud storage data for just $45. Zoolz typically charges $3,600 for a lifetime subscription, but you won’t pay anywhere near that much. Incredible but true, you can save an amazing 98% with this time limited offer and back up all your data now!

Choose your desired package


Accuranker review 2019

accuranker review coupon 2019 2020

 

Accuranker is a very impressive tool that helps you to accurately monitor keywords for your websites. We were that impressed that we now run this tool daily and wanted to put together a mini Accuranker review.

This tool is aimed at users with single websites, right up to agencies with hundreds of sites. You can see at a quick glance how your keywords are performing daily, and you don’t even need to run a report, you can see live data on the website or get scheduled reports sent through to you by email.

Initial Accuranker setup

Initial setup is simple, just choose Google or Bing (or both) and select desktop or mobile (or both) to see how your keywords perform on these devices. Your package will include a limited number of keywords and this is different for each subscription level. Note that if you have, for example, a site with 10 keywords tracked, then checking results for Google Desktop counts as 10 keywords. If you add Google mobile too, this would then count as 20 keywords. Add Bing desktop and mobile into the mix and you’ll be up to 40 keywords. It’s easy to forget this when ordering a package, so make sure you get the right one for you. Their keyword allowance is quite generous though, especially given that Accuranker check them daily by default.

Google analytics linking

Impressively, this tool links into your Google Analytics account to pull even more data for you. As you can see from their image below, you can integrate with many more services such as DataStudio, Sheets and more:

accuranker review discount

So with this tool you can now see your ranking in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). The graphing software on the site is impressive, allowing you to drill down into each keyword’s ranking history with a few clicks.

Accuranker updates, good or bad?

AccuRanker is maintained by some clever people and updates come through quite regularly adding new functionality. All the updates we have seen have been useful and have added more value to the tool. You can also take advantage of their 14-day free trial to see if it is the right SEO tool for your needs.

An SEO tool for agencies

Agencies will love the automatic monitoring and reporting features. You can even send a scheduled report out to your clients, a great bonus. Different data export formats will suit most agencies (and beginners too). If you’re still using Excel and CSV for your reporting or metrics then this is easily available for export.

Competitor Monitoring

One great SEO trick is checking how your keywords stack up against the same ones for other websites. Accuranker monitors keyword competition and lets you know who ranks higher than you, which is great for beating your competitors. Accuranker also uses “Share of Voice” which is a cool name for their trickest feature. This allows you to view who has more share of the search engine results for given keywords. It’s a great metric to quickly see if you are pushing your competitors further away or if they’re catching you up.

Verdict

All in all, the clear layout, the impressive charting and reporting make this package the best we have seen for SEO reporting. We now use it daily to monitor and track our keywords too.

With a 14-day free trial, clear navigation and simple yet effective reporting, AccuRanker is now the keyword tracking SEO tool to beat.

 

Test Accuranker now

 


Krystal hosting review 2019 – VPS, Shared and Dedicated packages

 

Krystal are a UK-based host that offers configurable VPS, Shared and Dedicated packages. There’s not much choice in the UK hosting market so consequently there are some pretty steep prices out there compared to their USA datacentre counterparts. That said, Krystal seem to have all bases covered, let’s take a look at their offerings…

Krystal’s 2019 standard hosting features and guarantees

All Krystal plans share a common set of features, like premium control panel and a longer-than-most money-back guarantee. They have been in business since 2002 so they are here to stay and with over 90% of their customers recommending their hosting, it’s a no brainer decision.

The Krystal difference

Their CEO, Simon Blackler, gives his reasons why they are different to other hosts:

In 2002, frustrated by poor service and bad business practices, I created Krystal to provide an “Honest, Reliable & Personal” alternative to the large faceless hosting corporations. We’re named Krystal because the company embodies values often associated with precious crystals, such as quality, rarity and transparency.

Over the last 15 years our unique approach to business has won us a reputation for excellence and a loyal following.
We’re now the largest independent UK web host and are rated the best web hosting company by popular review sites.

We’re in business because we’re passionate about technology and solving problems.
I hope that you’ll join us today and experience the Krystal difference for yourself.

Well, it’s true that many hosts have poor service and some even downright shady business practices, but judging on the reviews coming back from established sites such as Trust Pilot, Krystal are a force to be reckoned with.

 

At the time of writing, Krystal offer entry-level hosting for £3.99 monthly with these features:

  • FREE 256-bit SSL certificate
  • FREE website builder
  • 100% SSD cloud hosting
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Optimised for WordPress & more

There’s a configurable VPS from £9.99 monthly with these features:

  • 100% SSD cloud VPS
  • Full root access
  • Free DDoS protection
  • Free dedicated IP
  • No setup fee

For businesses requiring PCI compliance, £29.99 monthly gets you:

  • Fully PCI-DSS Compliant
  • FREE DDoS protection
  • FREE 256-bit SSL certificate
  • FREE backups every 6 hours
  • FREE domain name for life

The big plus is that you get a 60 day money back guarantee with everything, so a full refund can be had and you lose nothing (except your time testing their servers). In our experience you’ll probably stay with them as the ping times are as good as anything we have seen on the UK market and server configuration options are up there with the best.

Verdict

What we really like is the company’s transparency. They are trying to do things differently and succeeding – a refreshing thing in the murky world of hosting. They use green technology, which means 100% renewable energy at all of their sites, which we love because reducing the impact of these datacentres is a must.

With a more-than-standard offering, Krystal have certainly raised the bar. For the price-conscious, the VPS and dedicated prices are spot-on, being considerably cheaper than the opposition such as FastHosts, Rackspace, Ionos, 123-Reg and more (comparison reviews coming soon). There’s 24/7 ticket and email support, extremely friendly telephone support (10:00 to 17:00 UK time), cPanel, free migration assistance, automated backups, PHP (5.6 to current) and all the usual stuff like MySQL, PHPMyAdmin, SSH, and even the ubiquitous Softaculous. What isn’t there to like? Click the link below to get hosting from what we believe is the best available for UK hosts:

Try Krystal free for 60 days


Campark ACT74 action camera review

campark act74 action cam review vs gopro hero session

I had been searching for a GoPro or similar action camera to record an upcoming driving day experience, so thought that I’d share my experiences here about the Campark ACT74 action camera and accessories that I finally bought.

This product is an Amazon best-seller so I read the reviews on there, looked at some decent YouTube GoPro and ACT74 comparison videos (shown below) and made my decision to purchase one. I was still quite sceptical, as often the positive reviews can be faked and likewise the negative ones can be from people overly fussy about irrelevant things (e.g. “there was too much packing material so I gave this item just one star…”). In fairness, the Amazon review system is overall a good indicator, especially when the number of reviewers for a product enters the hundreds.

So, this camera retails for UK £39.99 and is pitched firmly against the GoPro entry level Hero 5 Session. The latter, at the time of writing, is about £139.99 so there is a large price difference. You can effectively buy 3 Campark ACT74s for the price of one GoPro and treat yourself to some more accessories with the change! Another notable difference when comparing the two seems to be the 4k video. Surprisingly, the more expensive GoPro Session doesn’t have it but the cheaper CamPark does.

So is it worth sticking with the market leader (GoPro) and the company who actually popularised these sports cameras in the first place? After all, surely they have a wealth of experience in providing quality items, and quality is where the cheap brands fail, right? Read on…

ACT74 – First impressions

So the Campark ACT74 kit arrived the next day at no charge thanks to Amazon’s excellent Prime service. First impressions were of a well-packed item that comes in a very neat travel case. The case carries all the supplied accessories which were good quality items.

campark act74 accessories

campark act74 action cam review

The kit included:

  • An IP68 waterproof case, waterproof to 30 Metres. You would use this for underwater filming.
  • 2 batteries, each providing a recording time up to 180 minutes, available after a full charge of 2 hours
  • A USB charging cable
  • Wrist straps and camera enclosure
  • Cleaning cloth, sticky mount pads
  • Short wire strap and cable ties
  • Numerous plastic mounting brackets and thumbscrews

Coming with lots of accessories already gives this camera an edge. If it’s easy to mount then you can get up and running straight away.

Waterproof case testing

My test of the waterproof case involved initially submersing it in a deep sink; admittedly not the 30 metre depth test that it could have been! I did this without the camera in at first for 30 minutes, then with it inside once I was certain no drops came in. All seemed good, and there is a spare rear cover with a new seal supplied which is nice to have. Remember, each time you put the camera in this waterproof case that you will open and close the access flap (the rear cover), so it will be a point of failure for water ingress eventually. I found that I used the waterproof case for most filming rather than the supplied ‘open’ case that was also sent, but the latter leaves the lens open to dust, scratching, damage etc. and the bespoke waterproof case is not much larger than the camera itself.

The rear LCD screen

The rear LCD screen measures 2 inch (5cm) across the diagonal and has a resolution of 960 x 240 pixels which is fine for reviewing your footage. You can see the overall layout and whether the video is likely to be over or underexposed etc. In general the default exposure settings work well. The screen is bright enough to be seen on a sunny day. This obviously eats into the battery life to display anything, but cleverly the ACT74 automatically shuts off the screen to maximise life when it can.

Video and photos

Video output format is mp4  (H.264) which is about the most compatible for sharing or working with and supports 4K UHD. The photos have a resolution of 2MB, 5MB, 8MB, 12MB and 16MB but unless memory card space is really at a premium then you’d probably leave this set at the maximum. I’d say that current smartphones way exceed the quality of the photos  you get from the Campark ACT74, but you’ll probably be using this for filming rather than stills, and will more than likely have a smartphone with you at all times too.

Video resolution runs from 4K down to 720P in these increments:

  • 4K/30fps
  • 2.7K/30fps
  • 1080P/ 60fps
  • 1080P/ 30fps
  • 720P/90fps
  • 720P/60fps
  • 720P/30fps

If you’re not understanding the video resolution modes then, simply put, 4k is super sharp and you’ll only notice the difference on 4K televisions or PC monitors. 720P is still pretty good, especially if you’ll be sharing it or uploading to YouTube, social websites or similar. For most real-world usage, you’ll probably leave it in 1080P 60fps mode like I did and this will give you a good compromise of video quality against files storage sizes. Buying 2 memory cards helps to give you some more emergency storage and protects against card failure stopping your day’s recording.  Do read on for some important information on fake cards though!

Video output format is PAL (UK Standard before DVB-T) and NTSC (USA standard) through the HDMI port. There is a slow-motion recording setting too if you want to have a bit of fun.

Audio in my few weeks of testing was passable but nothing special, the microphone range is not huge and wind noise can be high on a blustery day. A borrowed GoPro Hero 5 session had similar audio quality though and I have seen that the more expensive models aren’t much better. It is what it is, and it’s one of the reasons why most action videos you see out there have music soundtracks.

Lens angle and exposure

The lens angle is a usable 170 degrees. For general sports camera use this seems very good and it complements a limited angle smartphone or SLR camera very well, giving you a much broader variety of video. One of my main aims is to have this as an in-car camera, recording track days and the like, and it performed very well on a recent test. I’ll upload a snippet for you to see later on. Exposure settings range from -3 to +3 and this gives you decent enough control. The auto-exposure settings worked well when I tested it against direct sun, shaded areas and indoor. Again, don’t expect stunning SLR-quality photos from this device, but that is the same for any currently available action cam including those from GoPro, Sony, Garmin etc.

Battery life, charging and specifications

Two batteries were provided in the kit which is great. They are the rechargeable Li-ion type. The kit doesn’t come with a standalone charger but the camera itself can be used to charge them so this isn’t a deal-breaker. Simply plug in the provided USB cable to the side of the camera and plug the other end into a USB output charger (1 Amp or greater) or your laptop/desktop computer. There is a dual charger available for a few pounds but I didn’t need this. For me, the less I need to carry the better.

The battery life is difficult to quantify as the unit shuts the screen off after a minute and the whole unit will auto power off after 1, 3 or 5 minutes if not in use. For a real world test, I managed to film for a whole day using the two supplied batteries. This gave me 4 hours of HD 1080p footage (which was filmed over a 7 hour period) and the second battery still had some life in it.

Transferring files

This is done through the USB interfaces of your computer. You select ‘USB mode’ when plugged in to a computer and you’ll see all your files there, accessible at USB 2.0 transfer speeds. Another way is to simply plug your Micro SD card into a card reader connected to a computer.

Other features

Language: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Polish, Russian, Chinese (Traditional), Chinese (Simplified), Japanese, Korean

Loop recording: Off, 2 mins, 3 mins, 5 mins

Time Lapse: Off, 0.5s, 1s, 2s, 5s, 10s, 30s, 60s

Ports: Micro USB, Micro HDMI, Micro SD card slot

Dimensions and weight

58mm x 40mm x 29 mm (L x W x D)
Weight: 61g (very light!)

The case is a textured plastic material, buttons are easy to use and have a reassuring ‘click’ when pressed. General build quality seems good.

Buying an SD Card for the Campark ACT74

campark act74 memory card sdhc class 10This camera supports a single micro SD card up to 64GB maximum. However, please note that there are an incredible number of FAKE cards on the market at the moment. What the sellers of these cards do is take a relatively inexpensive unbranded 8GB card or similar and change the settings on it so that it shows up as a 64GB card. They will then duplicate the writing on the card and put it in accurately copied packaging. The problem is because they can make upwards of £10 per card they are up for sale everywhere, even in big retail stores. Even the feedback from their buyers is often good because the buyer doesn’t realise it’s a fake until the 8GB is used up, which in the case of a camera that overwrites old files and can ‘loop’ all day long it may never be. Some cards do give errors in some devices though but unless you do some more advanced testing like I did, you’ll never know.

At this point I’ll mention that I have bought SDHC memory cards from a few places and received some fakes. In each case I got my money back but lost time messing about with returns systems and complaints procedures.

Anyway, for UK buyers I would definitely recommend buying at least 2 of these genuine 32GB SanDisk cards so you have decent capacity for a day of filming and the price is good.  Using 2 allows you to rotate them and also reduces your chances of missing the all-important filming if one of them dies (which memory cards do from time to time). They have a higher speed class too and this makes a big difference to the use of the camera, don’t buy the slower cards as they will drive you mad, making your device feel sluggish overall.

Verdict

If you’re reading this because you wanted to do a Campark ACT74 vs GoPro Hero 5 session comparison, then that’s where I found myself going a few weeks back. The current ranges of version 5 and 6 GoPros have some pretty negative feedback, especially for reliability, so that’s one reason I went with a cheaper camera. I’d hate to pay upwards of 3 times the price and have a microphone fail or similar and GoPro seem to have more than their fair share of hardware and software issues.

For a unit that can be used as an action camera, security camera, dash cam and webcam the Campark ACT74 really does excel. Add built-in time lapse, slow motion, loop recording features and top it all off with 4K video and you really can’t go wrong for the price.

 

View CamPark ACT74 at the best price on Amazon USA

 

 


HDD Regenerator review

HDD Regenerator reviewIt’s difficult for us to write an unbiased HDD Regenerator review because we use it all of the time in our repair shop.  It’s the single best tool out there for repairing corrupt hard drives, and we get lots of them in. That said, we’ll try to remain objective and give an honest review.

If I mention that we get on average 10 to 15 corrupt drives a week through our medium sized repair shop alone, then you’ll see why this is such a big problem. For you to decide whether it’s right for you, you first you may need to understand what happens to corrupt a hard drive and why your PC won’t start when there is corruption on the disk.

What is hard drive corruption?

Hard drive corruption happens quite often to laptop and desktop computers. This is generally because of a few things:

  1. The battery going completely flat (in laptops) or a sudden power cut before the system has had time to write all of its data to the hard disk
  2. Knocks or bumps to a laptop or desktop PC while in use
  3. The hard drive is mechanically failing.

The result is a hard drive that has one or more areas on it which are unreadable (known as ‘bad sectors’). These sectors may contain your data, such as documents or images, or a file that your operating system (Windows, Linux, Mac etc.) needs to read information from. If it’s a Windows file, then the whole installation is effectively rendered useless as Windows cannot start. Likewise Mac or Linux will refuse to power up. This can happen to computers, often when the power is suddenly cut or a software crash occurs. The dreaded ‘Blue Screen of Death’ can also result in drive errors.

How do I know if my hard drive has a fault or is corrupted?

Symptoms of this type of error are computers that boot so far into Windows then display a black screen. Many will restart automatically and end up ‘looping’. This is because Windows cannot find the files it requires, throws an error and your PC will restart automatically on seeing that error. Even safe mode will usually do this looping, a sure sign that you need a software tool to repair the hard drive’s bad sector errors.

The majority of hard drives with bad sectors have an incorrectly magnetized disk surface. Fortunately, there are solutions and the clever guys at Abstradrome have developed an algorithm which is used to repair damaged disk surfaces. This technology supports many types of hard disk drives and can repair damage that even low-level disk formatting can’t repair. Because of the way the repair is made, the existing information on the hard drive (e.g. your data and the important Windows files) will not be affected.

For our repair shop where we repair Linux and Mac devices as well as Windows this is simply a brilliant, cross-platform tool.

Get HDD Regenerator to fix your drive (opens in a new window) or continue reading the review.

 

HDD Regenerator review – the features

Let’s look at the features and benefits of this software

Program features

  • It can detect physical bad sectors on a hard disk drive surface.
  • It is able to repair bad sectors (magnetic errors) on a hard disk surface.
  • The product ignores your file system and scans the disk at physical level.
  • It can be used with FAT, NTFS or any other file system
  • It can read and repair unformatted or unpartitioned disks.
  • Starts within Windows environment (XP/Vista/7/8/10)
  • Bootable CD or USB flash drive allows the HDD Regenerator to work on a non-starting PC

This is an impressive feature set. The manufacturer also offers:

  • A no-quibble 30 day money back guarantee
  • Unlimited license period
  • Free 1 year minor upgrades (although the software works on all drives exceptionally well)
  • Large discounts on major upgrades

Main benefits

When a hard drive is damaged with bad sectors, the disk not only becomes unfit for use as there are areas which are damaged that you will ultimately write data to.  You then also risk losing information you have already stored on it. HDD Regenerator REPAIRS damaged hard disks without affecting or changing existing data so it is one of only a few tools that can actually do this task.  Currently we have found no products that outperform this one, so it is worth the investment.

Downloading the disk repair software

Purchase and download a copy here and install it to a working Windows computer. You can then create a bootable CD, DVD or flash drive that will run on your problem computer and scan the drive for bad sectors, the most common hard drive error that we see in our workshop.

If you’re a bit confused by this, the term ‘bootable’ means that it starts up from your computer and runs WITHOUT using your hard disk drive that has Windows on it. Clever stuff!

So, the program takes about 1 minute to install and, when started, it immediately scans the disk(s) on the PC it is installed on. This is no problem if it is installed on a friend’s or family member’s PC as it will be simply carry out a very quick scan of the ‘SMART’ data on the drive. What we now need to do is to create a bootable CD to insert on the dead (or dying) PC.

Create a bootable CD, DVD or USB pen drive

hdd regenerator 2019 fix drive error

Open the program from the tray icon (bottom right of the screen) or from the Programs menu’.  Select the bootable flash drive or CD/DVD option. Follow the on-screen prompts until you have created your bootable medium.

Insert this bootable media into your problem computer and run a full scan and repair. It could a few hours depending on the size of the hard disk and the speed of the computer.

Can HDD Regenerator repair my hard drive?

The vast majority of damaged hard disks can be repaired by regeneration and there is a full money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied. If the first found bad sector has been successfully regenerated, it is very promising and you can generally regenerate all bad sectors on your hard drive. If the first bad sector has NOT been successfully regenerated, then you will probably need to recover your data and replace your hard disk drive as soon as possible. A few bad sectors is acceptable but more than a few and we suggest replacing the hard drive because it will fail imminently. The latest generation of SSD drives give a significant speed increase to most systems, they are relatively cheap and you can copy over your data once recovered.

Personally we would advise purchasing this tool over any others currently on the market as the success rates are so high. HDD Regenerator is available direct from the vendor here at a price we think is a bargain for the power of the software:

Get HDD Regenerator now

If you wish to add your personal experiences to this hdd regenerator review, please contact me via the site or drop a comment below.

 


Meguiars Gold Class paste wax

Highly recommended is the Meguiar’s Gold Class Carnauba+ Plus Paste Wax. We use it on everything that has a painted finish, from cars to PCs, guitars, cabinets and more. It has a clear coat which is safe and simple to apply and remove. This premium formula uses only the best carnauba wax, fortified with long-lasting polymers to glide on and off smoothly, leaving a deep, rich carnauba wax glow.

For best results on cars with slightly faded or dirty paint finish, you don’t want to wax the top of it without making the best of the paint finish first. Follow this four stage process:

Step 1: Meguiar’s G1016EU Smooth Surface Clay Kit

Step 2: Meguiar’s G17216EU Ultimate Compound 473ml

Step 3: Meguiar’s G19216EU Ultimate Polish 473ml

Step 4: Meguiar’s G7014EU Gold Class Paste Wax 311g

Some features:

  • Luxurious Carnauba-polymer blend creates a strong, long-lasting protection to preserve your finish with a brilliant dazzling shine
  • Special blend of Carnauba plus protecting polymers that is safe and effective on all paint types
  • Improved formula creates an even more brilliant shine and leaves deeper reflections
  • Includes a Soft Foam Applicator
  • Premium wax. Easily to apply and easy to buff off
  • Unlike most paste waxes, this doesn’t leave much white residue

 
Buy on Amazon UK now


Brother HL-5350DNLT network capable mono laser printer review

Top quality network capable printer

With impressive all-round performance, the new HL-5350DNLT printer is a very capable mono laser.  With Ethernet network connectivity built-in and 500 sheet paper capacity this printer is ideal for use in large workgroups.  It can use secure sockets layer (SSL) encryption which can be useful in strict corporate environments.  It also lends itself to small home office networks too with low price and cheap replacement cartridges.  Expect around 8000 pages from a high yield cartridge.  Automatic duplex printing allows printing on both sides of the paper, so it reduces costs (and helps save the planet!).

With a 3 years on site warranty, this cheap laser printer is really good value.  Buy now before stocks drop!

Price when reviewed £319.  Latest deals and pricing at the bottom of the page.

Product Features

Media Feeder(s):2 x autoload – 250 sheets weight: 60 g/m2 – 105 g/m2 1 x autoload – 50 sheets weight: 60 g/m2 – 161 g/m2, Total Media Capacity:550 sheets, Max Media Size (Custom):216 mm x 406.4 mm, Output Trays Capacity:150 sheets, Media Sizes:ANSI A (Letter) (216 x 279 mm), Executive (184 x 267 mm), A4 (210 x 297 mm), A5 (148 x 210 mm), B5 (176 x 250 mm), A6 (105 x 148 mm), B6 (125 x 176 mm), Min Media Size (Custom):70 mm x 116 mm, Media Weight:60 g/m2 – 161 g/m2, Max Media Capacity:800 sheets, Media Type:Envelopes, transparencies, labels, plain paper, bond paper, recycled paper, Compatible with Windows 7:”Compatible with Windows 7″ software and devices carry Microsofts assurance that these products have passed tests for compatibility and reliability with 32-bit and 64-bit Windows 7., Consumables Included:1 x toner cartridge ( black ) – up to 3000 pages 1 x drum – up to 25000 pages, Connectivity Technology:Wired, Data Link Protocol:Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, Network / Transport Protocol:TCP/IP, Remote Management Protocol:SNMP, Telnet, HTTP, HTTPS, Networking:Print server, Power Consumption Operational:610 Watt, Power Device:Power supply – internal, Power Consumption Stand by / Sleep:80 Watt, Max Resolution ( B&W ):1200 dpi x 1

Sound Emission (Operating):53 dBA, Sound Emission (Quiet Mode):27 dBA, ENERGY STAR Qualified:Yes, Expansion Slots Total (Free):1 ( 1 ) x memory – DIMM 144-pin, Connections:1 x Hi-Speed USB – 4 PIN USB Type B 1 x parallel – IEEE 1284 (EPP/ECP) – 25 pin D-Sub (DB-25) 1 x network – Ethernet 10/100 – RJ-45, Weight:12.2 kg, Printer Type:Workgroup printer – laser – monochrome, Height:34.7 cm, Depth:38.4 cm, Width:37.1 cm,

Service & Support:3 years warranty, Service & Support Details:Limited warranty – 3 years – on-site – response time: 48 hours

 


QNAP TS-453A-4G 4 Bay NAS Enclosure with 4GB RAM Review

qnap ts453 453a review comparison

 

I have been in the market for a new NAS drive to replace the Synology NAS that has propped up my company’s data storage requirements for the last few years. As with many companies, we have outgrown our backup storage and so we opted to go for something pretty future-proof. Well, for the next five years anyway…

What I particularly like about the QNAP system is that it oozes functionality. Nothing elaborate in terms of style or base technology, but there are a raft of free apps to do just about anything you need to. This means that it makes good sense when you need to install for small, medium or large businesses as there is some scalability there. You can run Virtual Machines (VMs) on there so it becomes far more than just a dumb NAS box. It also integrates nicely with a Windows Server environment, taking identities from the Active Directory and bringing them over into its own environment.

Build quality

The box itself is quite well made and fairly compact. We went with a 4-bay unit that we popped some 4TB drives into and got our overall storage capacity up to 8TB (more on that later).

Features and concept

The TS-453A 4G NAS server is said to be designed for small to medium sized businesses, allowing its users to use the NAS as a storage device and a multitasking and multifunctional light-weight server. It is powered by a decent Quad-core Intel® Celeron® N3150 CPU and there is dual-channel 4/8GB DDR3L-1600 RAM (upgradable to 8GB).

There are 2 Gigabit LAN ports which allow connection to 2 separate networks and the hard drives are SATA 6Gb/s. The TS-453A can deliver up to 224 MB/s read speeds which is not too shabby.

Unusually the TS-453A can automatically increase the processor’s clock rate from 1.6GHz to 2.08GHz when performing CPU-intensive tasks.

There is AES 256-bit encryption for both full NAS volume and shared folders,  which ensures the safety of sensitive business data that may be stored on the drives.  A nice touch is that the TS-453A features an Intel® AES-NI hardware-accelerated encryption engine. This helps to drive transfer speeds theoretically up to 224 MB/s, which is a welcome boost to system performance & security.

Home video streaming users will like the 4K (H.264) video playback and 1080P/4K video real-time transcoding right from the NAS to an HD or 4K display. It also has 1080p video transcoding to convert videos to universal formats that can be smoothly played on PCs, mobile devices and Smart TVs. There is real-time and offline 4K video transcoding which we didn’t have chance to test but sounds good.

Interface

This QNAP box uses QTS, which gives a super-slick NAS experience. The interface is a no-frills, classic Linux look – functional and fast. We found that the intelligent desktop allows you to search for functions extremely quickly (there are lots of them!) and running multiple application windows was not a problem, even when we loaded multiple apps and tasks at the same time.

Disaster recovery

The TS-453A runs something called Real-Time Remote Replication (RTRR). In short, this supports real time and scheduled data backups to either an FTP server or another QNAP NAS. It also synchronizes files to a remote folder from a local folder. What we liked was the rsync support which pushed our data to our remote server at our pre-programmed schedule. If you are interested in this, the push/pull supports Amazon S3, Amazon Glacier, Microsoft Azure, ElephantDrive, Dropbox, Google Drive, Google Cloud Storage and a few more.

A nice feature is that you can restore files with the ‘QTS Storage Manager’ snapshot tool. You can:

  • take snapshots for both volumes and LUN (up to 256 snapshots per volume or LUN and maximum 1024 snapshots per NAS)
  • efficiently replicate volume/LUN snapshots via Snapshot Replica to remote servers (by copying only the changes made)
  • quickly clone a volume /LUN snapshot as a local volume without interrupting the system’s current operation
  • set up the system to automatically take a snapshot of the volume before backup via ssync/RTRR (even when the file is opened).

Server virtualization

synology qnap ts453 453a reviewYou can host virtual machines on your TS-453A via QNAP’s VM hypervisor called ‘Virtualization Station’. Access to these is provided by VNC or a web browser interface. The TS-453 and the VMs can share the same LAN port as it uses high-speed virtual switches and Software-defined networks (SDNs). We noticed little or no lag in our testing which was impressive.

QNAP’s ‘Container Station’ integrates LXC and Docker virtualization technologies, allowing you to operate multiple isolated Linux systems. For the Docker fans out there, you can also download apps from the built-in Docker Hub Registry.

File searching

QNAP’s file searching is impressive and when we loaded up a Gmail backup with over 15,000 emails it searched very quickly to locate our email, offering a preview of it. There’s also an online document app which adds edit and preview functionality to files.

Cross-platform file sharing

The TS-453 supports SMB/CIFS, NFS, and AFP protocols which means that you can file share across Windows, Mac and Linux/UNIX networks. Data, logs and ISO images of CDs and DVDs can be centrally stored on the TS-453A and protected by an integrated antivirus solution. The Windows Active Directory and LDAP services enable system administrators to configure user permissions by using an existing Windows AD server, LDAP server or built-in LDAP service. The TS-453A supports SAMBA v4 and can act as a Windows domain controller to manage privilege settings.

Hard drives

We went with the 4TB Western Digital ‘Red’ drives that are specifically designed for continuous use and general NAS usage. They are pretty much silent when spinning and come with the WD 3 year guarantee (register for this when you get the drives). We setup a raid array that gave us some redundancy but you could go all-out and combine all the drives into one big fat storage pool. Your call, but make sure that you have backup whichever way you go.  Pushing to Amazon S3 is a good call.

Verdict

All in all, this unit excels at being a NAS drive and adds superb additional functionality into the mix. It’s versatile and cross platform and doesn’t require additional software or licences to perform. The simple, clear interface makes some normally heavy technical tasks quite painless. It gives the current offerings from NAS mainstays such as Synology a real wake-up call to add some useful features to their operating systems because many SMBs need these additional tools now.

We’d suggest that you give it a try and we’re pretty confident that you’ll be a convert.

5 star rating

5 out of 5 stars – reviewed 23rd November 2017

 

View QNAP TS453 at the best price on Amazon USA

Crash Plan backup software full review

CrashPlan has been around for a while now and is looking like one of the best solutions out there for business and personal backups.

With no storage size limits, bandwidth caps or file-type restrictions, Crash Plan really has lots going for it. On top of this, there’s enterprise-class hardware and military-grade security with no extra fees payable.

What I particularly like about Crash Plan is that there is free backup to an external drive and any trusted, internet-connected computer. You can also subscribe to their robust cloud-based destination, “CrashPlan Central” and this is certainly worth the extra money. It’s as quick as any cloud-based backup we have tested and the interface is functional and quite slick.

See what Crash Plan can offer here


crashplan online backup


Tresorit pushes security above and beyond

TresoritI am certainly impressed by the way that Tresorit seems to be handling security and also the openness of their company about methods they use and reject.

Their recent blog post shows that they are really trying to excel in the online backup industry by pushing current protocols beyond the standard ‘accepted’ limits.

When we designed Tresorit, we were faced with two contrary options: using widespread, well-tested, standardized, industry standard protocols and creating (or implementing) new, stronger protocols. We decided to combine the best of these approaches: we use the strongest standard one, and extend it with our protocol on a way that if our protocol fails, it fallback to the standard one.

I worked for many years in the computer security and penetration testing arena and most encryption methods I previously struggled to get past are now easily cracked by anyone with a laptop, some free software and some common sense. Times move on and you can’t presume something is safe because there are no current published exploits for it.

Tresorit is a relatively new but forward-thinking company that seem to have got their security levels right rather than waiting on the day they are compromised to address this. Keep up the good work Tresorit and keep pushing the boundaries of encryption.

https://tresorit.com