We often both report on and test high-end NAS devices here at eTeknix, but that isn’t what everybody needs nor wants. Sometimes you want a budget-oriented and basic solution, and QNAP just released a new series of devices in this category. The two new NAS are called the TS-128 and TS-228 and are respectively 1-bay and 2-bay NAS’.
The new TS-x28 series is built around basically the same base as we saw in the TAS-268 NAS that we recently reviewed, just without the HDMI connector and dual Android system. The TS-x28 series is still a feature-rich NAS series for users that want to easily handle file backup and synchronisation tasks, both locally and through the internet.
Create your own personal cloud system without monthly subscription fees and storage limitations while you increase the security as all files are stored in the safety of your own home and on your own server. With the myQNAPcloud service, you get multiple remote access services to convenient access, manage, and share multimedia files located on your TS-x28 NAS from anywhere with a web browser. The mobile QNAP apps such as Qfile, Qphoto, Qmusic, Qvideo and Qmanager all work flawlessly with the new devices too. The Qsync utility is particularly useful as it supports file synchronisation across multiple devices and users can acquire the latest files from any device connected to the NAS whenever they need it.
Multimedia services are no problem with the TS-x28 series either, even though it doesn’t have the direct connection options. You can still stream through DLNA and other services to get all your media content directly on your TV and other smart devices. The Surveillance station also comes with 2 free IP camera channels for that home security setup that you might have considered for a while.
Overall, a tiny NAS that has all the basics and none of all the extras you possible don’t need nor want. Hardware wise it is powered by an ARM v7 dual-core CPU with 1.1GHz clock speed and has 1GB DDR3 memory. You get one USB 3.0 and one USB 2.0 port besides the Gigabit Ethernet port for connectivity. The TS-228 is available now for around £200, but I could only find placeholders for the price of the TS-128 at the time of writing. My guess would be around £160.
Synology released a new NAS that is a little different that what we’re used to seeing. First off it is very tiny and it is also a bit in reverse, but with good reason. The new Synology Diskstation DS416slim is a NAS for 2.5-inch hard disk drives and drives are plugged through the rear. With its measurements, 18.4 cm x 16.8 cm x 23.0 cm, and its low weight, 700 grams, the DS416slim is a ultra-small NAS that still packs quite a punch.
The Synology DiskStation DS416slim is built around an Armada 385 Dual Core 1.0GHz CPU and comes with 512 MB DDR3 memory. That is enough to allow this tiny unit to perform with up to 170MB/s read and 77MB/s write performance through a link aggregated windows connection. The CPU also features a dedicated hardware encryption engine.
As mentioned above, the DS416slim is capable of link aggregation and that is because it comes with two RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports on the rear panel. Whether you want to configure them for load balancing or failover protection is naturally your choice. The NAS also comes with two USB 3.0 ports for external storage and other devices, one on the front for easy access and one on the rear for more permanent connected devices.
The rear is also where you find the four drive bays that each can hold a 2.5-inch hard disk drive or solid state drive with a height up to 12.5mm. Without any real height limitation, the choice of drives to use is yours. The power consumption is rated at about 17 watts during access and just 11 watts during HDD hibernation, which also makes it a very power efficient NAS. The noise output is rated to 20.3 dBA.
As this is a Synology NAS, it naturally comes with their own impressive DSM operation system. The DSM system also just got a major overhaul and version 6.0 was just released as well. You get tons of streaming and backup options as well as mobile apps and security when you pick a DSM 6.0 powered NAS.
The new Synology DS416slim comes with a recommended retail price of £222.00 including VAT or €248.64 excluding VAT, and it is backed by a 2-year warranty.
In today’s review, I am taking a look at a NAS that comes with a twist that we previously haven’t seen out-of-the-box. I’m talking about QNAP’s TAS-268 NAS which is a 2-bay hybrid NAS that runs both QNAP’s QTS and Android at the same time. The TAS-268 doesn’t just have a twist in the operating system, the physical form also takes a different approach than most NAS on the market.
At the core, the QNAP TAS-268 is a normal NAS with the function that you would expect from such a unit. It doesn’t come with the most power processor, but in return, it also comes with a low price tag despite all the functionality. It is built around an ARM 1.1 GHz dual-core processor and comes with 2GB DDR3 memory. It also features an onboard 4GB flash memory to be used by the Android system. While this doesn’t sound like much, it should be plenty for this device’s functions.
Besides this 2-bay unit, QNAP also released a 1-bay unit with the only difference being the number of drives you can install. But it is the 2-bay unit that we’re looking at today and it supports RAID 0, RAID 1, JBOD, and single disk setup with two 3.5-inch hard disk drives. There are plenty of external connection options on the TAS-268 with one Gigabit Ethernet RJ45 port, four USB 2.0 ports on the rear and one USB 3.0 port on the front.
The front also features an SD card slot for easy and portable storage connection just as you’re used to from your Android phone or tablet – just much easier. You don’t need to remove any covers and battery as it is the case with many phones, instead, you have the SD slot right at the front of the device where you need it.
To complete the convenience experience, QNAP also added the one-touch copy button which allows just what the name promised, copy the content from the front USB port with a single press of the button. How the button shall react can be changed in the QTS system and it is capable of copy operations in both directions, both to and from the USB drives.
With a NAS like this that supports Android, we also need an HDMI port in order to connect it to our monitor or TV and the TAS-2688 also features this on the rear. It is accompanied by four USB 2.0 ports that come in handy for keyboard, mouse, and game controller connection in order to take even better advantage of the Android platform and all the available apps. You can also control the system through the use of the included IR remote control. The TS-268 supports HD and 4K H.265 / H.264 file formats, 4K H.264 with up to 15 frames per second and 4K H.265 with up to 30 frames per second.
Shouldn’t you want to connect the device via HDMI or maybe you just want to get your stored and linked media files onto more devices then you can take advantage of the common DLNA streaming that QNAP also supports. Consoles, Smart TVs, Mini-PCs and much more support this and it is probably the easiest method of streaming content.
Google Play also provides various media apps including YouTube, TED, Twitch and other video apps to be used directly on the NAS. You can install and stream movies, cartoons, TV series, news, and sports at any time in order to enrich your entertainment level.
QNAP introduced their myQNAPcloud system quite a while ago by now and naturally the TAS-268 also supports this. It isn’t just a simple and effective way to set up your new NAS, it also allows you to connect to the finished setup much quicker and easier. By acting as a simplified and locked-in dynamic DNS system it will allow you to easily connect to your NAS, securely, from anywhere in the world and any device as long as you and the NAS both have internet connectivity.
With that in mind, it is incredibly easy to create you own personal cloud system where you don’t have to rely on commercial or free options that thousands of other people use. Keep your files at home where you know who has access and who doesn’t. It is a breeze to sync files to the NAS via QNAP’s own Qsync as well as the Cloud Drive Sync app from the QTS app center that can sync files with Google Drive and Dropbox.
Both real-time and scheduled backups on Windows systems as well as with Time Machine on Mac OS systems is easily taken care of with QNAP’s NetBak replicator and it also features disaster recovery solutions including RTRR, rsync, and cloud storage backup (Dropbox and Google Drive) are also included. So all the bases are covered.
As previously mentioned, you naturally also get the ordinary NAS cross-platform file sharing capabilities from a centralized data storage. Whether you use Linux, Unix, Windows, or Mac OS, your connection is covered. And with the use of apps you get the same connectivity on your Windows Mobile, Android, or iOS system.
So far I have mostly been talking about the software functionality, but that’s just one of the great aspects on this NAS. The design is quite a bit different than we are used with a vertical unit rather than a horizontal oriented. This saves space on the desk with a smaller footprint which can be a vital factor near your entertainment system and similar likely placement scenarios.
The TAS-28 is also a very light unit due to a simple and clever design. Even better, the entire NAS can be set up completely tool-less for your convenience. There is a single thumbscrew at the bottom with which you can open up the chassis and the drive are mounted tool-less too with the included adapters.
Despite having a unique outer design, a lot of the internal design is something that reminds us of previous 2-bay NAS units – just improved with the tool-less drive mounting options and vertical instead of horizontal.
With all this talk about Android, we shouldn’t forget about the base QTS operating system. It provides a web-based user interface to help you easily manage files on the TAS-268. You can install various apps based on your needs to fulfill tasks like storage, backup, management and multimedia applications. File Station allows you to upload, download and manage files anywhere with a web browser. All of your photos, music and videos can be indexed by the built-in Media Library, and easily managed and shared with the Photo Station, Music Station and Video Station. The energy-saving Download Station is your 24/7 download center, allowing you to quickly download files to enrich your collection.
Android and QTS operating system
Organize & manage files and backup tasks in one centralized location
Synchronize files between computers, laptops, and mobile devices
Remotely access your files securely from your personal cloud
Stream your multimedia library via DLNA to other devices and your TV
Enjoy direct media playback via HDMI with HD videos and photos
Compact and streamlined chassis ideal for a desktop or living room environment
Packaging and Accessories
The TAS-268 comes in a simple white box with a representation of the NAS unit as well as the feature highlights.
The rear of the box contains some more information as to what’s so special about this NAS, but it’s kept short.
Opening up the box and we find a brand new NAS that is well protected with self-adhesive plastic film – you know the kind we all love to peel off once we get a new gadget.
Besides the NAS itself, there is a quick installation guide to help you get started quickly, a power supply brick and power cord fitting the region you bought it in as well as an RJ45 LAN cable.
There’s also a small remote control included that is about 3 inches long. Shown below are also the four HDD mounting brackets that simply snap into the drive and hold it in place.
The first NAS that I reviewed after I joined eTeknix was QNAP’s amazing HS-251 NAS, so it is a real pleasure today as I have the upgraded model in the testing area. I will take QNAP’s SilentNAS HS-251+ for a thorough spin in my testing area and check on its performance as well as show you the latest version of the QTS operating system that was released recently.
The HS-251+ NAS retains the same basic design that provides you with a completely silent NAS. There are no fans or other parts that can generate any noise apart from the storage drives you’ll be using. This design adds another bonus which is a dust-free inside. This is made possible because the entire chassis is used as a heatsink for the entire unit and inserted drives. There are no fans to draw dust and other unwanted dirt into the system. That makes it very easy to maintain, but it also means that it should be placed on top of a shelve rather than in a tight spot where it could have trouble getting rid of the excess heat.
QNAP’s HS-251+ is powered by a quad-core Intel Celeron processor and while some might take a step back here, it’s a great chip for the system. You get four cores that run at 2.0GHz and with a burst speed up to 2.4GHz, it consumes very little power, which also helps with the cooling, and it has more than enough power to drive a system like this. The CPU is backed by 2GB DDR3L RAM and the NAS has a 512MB DOM for the basic system.
Whether you want to mount 2.5-inch or 3.5-inch drives, the HS-251+ can take both. We only got two bays at our disposal here, so most people will probably choose the larger 3.5-inch drives that provide up to 8TB capacity for consumers at the time of writing. Smaller 2.5-inch drives do however run more silently and it produces less heat, so it’s something that is worth to consider in a system like this. The drive bays themselves are hidden behind a removable front that further helps to keep dust out while it also gives the NAS a sleeker appearance.
Connection wise we find two USB 3.0 ports and two USB 2.0 ports next to the two RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet ports. Sadly none of the ports are located on the front or front end of the sides, but it isn’t a big issue with a flat NAS like this. You can easily both reach and view behind the unit. The NAS supports both printer and storage sharing through the built-in USB ports and over the network, which is a thing that can make the household IT-setup a lot easier.
You can also expand the HS-251+ through the use of QNAPs expansion enclosures UX-800P and UX-500P with 8 and 5 drives respectively. This can provide you with up to 80TB raw storage capacity in the HS-251+ using 8TB drives.
Next to those more normal connections, the QNAP HS-251+ also has an HDMI port from which you can connect it directly to your TV and use it for media playback and even run other operating systems in a virtual environment directly from the NAS. The QNAP QvPC technology is awesome and I’ll be showing you some of those features on the following pages. The HDMI connectivity supports 1080p video playback and the NAS also comes with hardware transcoding capability, making the HS-251+ is an ideal companion at home for multimedia entertainment.
Included with the QNAP HS-251+ is also a remote control that makes the usage from the couch a lot easier, more convenient, and in a fashion one is used to from TVs, DVRs, CD players, etc. With this, it is easy to control the playback and navigate the menus without the hassle of a keyboard and mouse.
The newest QNAP operating system, QTS 4.2, brings an even smoother experience than the predecessors with its flat and modern design. QNAP have streamlined loading times and added an intelligent desktop and multi-window operation that makes controlling every aspect of your HS-251+ fully accessible and easy to use.
It’s easy to centralize your all your files and backups in one place with this NAS, as it allows you to create backup jobs to and from the NAS, sync with computers, tablets, and mobile devices as well as the cloud. The real-time and offline HD video transcoding allows smooth playback of all your files no matter what the connection is like and file formats that might not be supported.
You naturally also get all the other great features such as the headless 24/7 download center, surveillance station with up to 40 channels, official mobile apps for all key functions and management, app center with official and third-party apps to increase the functionality even more, alert functions via SMS and Email services, web server, FTP server, Radius server, VPN server, print server, Plex media server, and much more.
The QNAP HS-251+ also supports the Qsirch function that is a QNAP exclusive. It is one of the best search function available that will find anything that you’re looking for on your NAS with ease and a lot faster than any traditional method will. Simply type in as much as you know about what you are trying to find, including bits of the file name or even words/phrases in the document, and Qsirch will display a list of matches, complete with thumbnails, as you type.
Dual-core CPU with hardware encryption engine
Your personal cloud with centralized management, file storage, sharing and backup
Real-time & offline HD video transcoding for your mobile devices, PCs, and Smart TVs
Supports file synchronization between multiple devices to have most up-to-date files
Modern set-top design for your digital lifestyle
Storage is expandable through extra units
Packaging and Accessories
QNAP’s HS-251+ comes in a plain brown box with a sticker that shows us what is inside. We get all the details we need on the sticker itself, from hardware specifications to features, so it has everything it needs to have.
Next to the NAS itself, we find a Quick Installation guide, the remote control, a power adapter and power cable from the region where it has ben bought as well as two RJ45 LAN cables inside the box.
Synology officially released the DiskStation DS216+ which is the direct successor to the DS215+ and a NAS unit that I’m sure a lot of people have been looking forward to. The new DiskStation DS216+ has it all and looks like it is a solid server with great features.
The DiskStation DS216+ is built with an Intel Celeron N3050 dual-core CPU that has built-in AES-NI hardware encryption engine among other things. The CPU is backed by 1GB DDR3 memory and the system can provide excellent encrypted data transfer performance at over 113 MB/s reading and 109 MB/s writing. Another really cool feature is the real-time capabilities to transcode H.264 4K Ultra HD video. The DS216+ can handle one channel 4K transcoding or three channels with Full-HD transcoding at the same time. When coupled with the ability to utilize DVB-T/DVB-S sticks and the record function, you got everything you need in relation to media in one place. The Video, Audio, and Photo Stations offer all the media features you need and it also supports DLNA and AirPlay, and even Bluetooth and wireless transmission with the use of dongles.
The DiskStation DS216+ has most things when it comes to hardware and software. The LEDs on the front have an adjustable brightness as well as schedule abilities. There is a USB 3.0 port with one-touch copy button, two USB 2.0 ports, a Gigabit Ethernet connection, and a feature that I personally love to see, an eSATA port. The drives are hot-swappable and feature Synology’s screw and tool-less installation. The 92mm cooling fan located at the rear should also make sure that the NAS works as flawless under controlled temperatures and does so as silent as possible.
Besides the full setup of backup, restore, cloud, and other features that we love from Synology’s DiskStation Manager operating system, the DS216+ also introduces the Btrfs file system. Btrfs has advantages over EXT4 and comes with built-in data integrity check, more flexible Shared Folder/User Quota systems, advanced snapshot technology with a customizable backup schedule that allows for up to 64 copies of shared folder backups, and file or folder level data restoration. The Cloud Station with file versioning also reduces the storage consumption down to half when compared with the Ext4 file system.
So whether you need a full set of media capabilities, an easy backup solution, or business features such as Windows AD and LDAP, Windows ACL, Mail Server, VPN server, or Radius server, the DiskStation DS216+ has you covered. It is backed by a 2-year warranty and comes with an MSRP of £237.00 including VAT or €275.00 excluding VAT.
Dual-core CPU with AES-NI hardware encryption engine
Encryption performance at over 113 MB/s reading, 109 MB/s writing
Advanced Btrfs file system with built-in data integrity check
Single H.264 4K or triple Full HD video transcoding on the fly
Hot-swappable drive tray design for easy installation & maintenance
Brightness-adjustable front LED with schedule control
A versatile storage server for small offices
We can also spot a new feature within the product photos of this DS216+ NAS and while it is a feature that isn’t present yet, it should be on future models. At the first glance, the DS216+ looks like the previous Synology 2-bay models. It does have the new power button and one-touch copy button with built-in LED feature, but there’s another thing hiding in plain sight on the front. There is an unused and covered slot on the front that judging from the size could be an SD Card slot. We’ve already seen Synology add an SD card slot to their RT1900ac router, so it wouldn’t be far-fetched that we could see that added to the NAS lineup too.
With the advances in storage capacity on our drives, more and more people realise that a 2-bay NAS actually is enough for most people. With 8TB drives, you can have up to 16TB raw capacity or 8TB in a mirrored RAID setup, which honestly is plenty for most people. And storage doesn’t even have to be expensive. For example, you can get the 8TB Seagate Archive HDD for just £157.02. With that in mind, it’s time to take a look at Thecus’ newest family member, the N2810 2-bay NAS that is equipped with the newest generation Braswell CPU, supports encryption, and also 4K playback and transcoding.
Thecus new N2810 is using the Intel Braswell N3050 dual-core processor that has a base clock speed of 1.6GHz and a burst speed up to 2.16GHz. It also comes equipped with 2GB DDR3 ram that allows you to run a lot more at once from this device than a lot of other ones. N2810 also supports AES-NI encryption engine for increased performance and enhanced security. The memory is expandable all the way up to 8GB, in case the included 2GB shouldn’t be enough for you. It should however easily be enough for plenty of multitasking and seamless 4K playback.
The NAS has plenty of connection options with three USB 3.0 ports for maximized transfer speeds on externally connected storage as well as two LAN ports that allow for 7 modes of link aggregation. The N2810 is also equipped with an HDMI port for local playback and supports USB devices, Apple TV, and Chromecast. More traditional media apps such as Kodi (formerly known as XMBC) and Plex further increase the rich multimedia offering.
Thecus bundles both Intel Security and Acronis backup solutions with the N2810 to give an even bigger peace of mind when it comes to the security of your files as well as the device itself. Should local security and backup not be enough, then the N2810 also supports DropBox, Amazon S3, and ElephantDrive. There is also an app store with over 700 free apps and user profiles for Thecus OS 7.0.
The drive trays are lockable to prevent accidental ejection as well as keep people with long fingers away from your drives. The front USB 3.0 port comes with a one-touch copy button for easy backups to and from external drives.
“The N2810 steps up to the challenges that 4K playback creates and provides a robust hardware platform that is able to handle multiple tasks with ease,” said Florence Shih, CEO at Thecus Technology Corp. “With the recent development of our newest operating system, ThecusOS 7.0, we are elated to announce that the N2810 will be the first Thecus NAS to be released with the new software.”
The new Thecus N2810 NAS will begin shipping globally in February. Since we now know that the N2810 will ship in February and come with the brand new Thecus OS 7.0, we know also have a time frame on the OS and can expect it to be rolled out to other Thecus NAS around the same time or shortly after.
Synology has released quite a few new NAS lately and we’ve also reviewed multiple of them, but they got more waiting for customers that want to enter the world of NAS or upgrade their current solution. The newest member of the Synology family is the DS416j, a powerful yet affordable 4-bay NAS.
Synology’s DS416j is equipped with an Armada 388 Dual Core processor with 1.3GHz and it comes with 512 MB DDR3 memory. The Armada 388 should deliver plenty of power for this NAS and it also comes with built-in hardware encryption engine. Thanks to the choice of hardware, the DS416j is capable of serving you files with 112.82 MB/s when reading and 101.2 MB/s when writing. Encryption naturally takes some resources, but the DS416j is still capable of a performance around 50MB/s when reading and 37MB/s when writing. That is an increase of 58% in encrypted file transfers compared to its predecessor model.
The DS416j NAS comes with adjustable LED indicators for status, network, and all four hard disk drives. You can switch between four levels of brightness and also put them on a schedule where you turn them off when they aren’t needed. You get a single Gigabit Ethernet RJ45 connection as well as a USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 port on the rear of the unit. It sadly doesn’t have a front USB port, but we also have to remember that this is a budget device and it most likely won’t be the deal breaker for anyone.
Naturally Synology added their well known and great operating system DSM that will provide you will all the features you want and a lot more on top of that. You get easy cross-platform file sharing and synchronizing, download features, apps for playback and streaming of all sorts of media to DLNA and smart devices, as well as comprehensive backup solutions.
Synology targets home and personal users who seeks to get a massive storage capacity where they can build their own personal cloud or serve as a multimedia server. At the same time it targets those who either don’t have a big budget or just don’t want to spend a lot on their next NAS. Four-bay NAS units tend to be quite expensive, but the DS416j comes with a recommended retail price of just £220, and that already includes the VAT.
Ian “8Pack” Parry is one of the most respected overclockers in the world and renowned for setting various world records! Not only that, he employs his many years of experience and specialized expertise to help retailer, Overclockers UK produce extreme grade bundles as well as pre-configured dream systems. After focusing on the elite tier market, 8Pack has decided to cater towards the mainstream customer while only recommending hardware he would feel comfortable using.
The 8Pack Approved Gaming bundle includes an Intel Core i5-6400, 8GB (2x4GB) HyperX Fury 2666MHz DDR4 memory (upgradable to 16GB), ASUS Z170-E motherboard, Alpenföhn Brocken 2 CPU Cooler and 1g Thermal Grizzly which allows for multiple applications. This basic package retails for £329.95 and includes free next day shipping via DPD. By default, the CPU is capable of reaching 4.4GHz despite having a locked multiplier. This is because you can attain substantial speed increases using BCLK adjustments. If this seems like a daunting experience, then there’s nothing to worry about as 8Pack has outlined the recommended settings to easily reach the 4.4GHz figure. Furthermore, if you encounter any problems, he’s usually on hand to help out!
While the bundled air cooler is perfectly acceptable, some users might prefer a more visually pleasing alternative. For an extra £40.94, you can acquire the OcUK TechLabs 120mm All-In-One Watercooler which comes with a Silverstone FQ121 fan in black. This is one of the best water cooling fans on the market and maintains quiet operation. Overall, this is a fantastic bundle for users on a budget and incorporates possibly the best technical support available to consumers.
It’s also great to see a number of options in terms of memory capacity and cooler preference. Since the revelations about Skylake’s CPU strap, there’s no real reason to opt for an unlocked multiplier unless you want to simplify the overclocking process. However, in this case, the hard work has already been done by 8Pack with the hardware testing and recommended profiles.
It isn’t everyone that needs the fastest NAS model on the block with all sorts of fancy features, sometimes you just want something simple, effective, and cheap. ASUSTOR created a great NAS for just such a scenario and dubbed it the AS1002T. The AS1002T is a 2-bay entry-level NAS and today I’m taking a closer look at the NAS, its features, and performance.
ASUSTOR only just released the 10-series a little while ago and these are the first ARM-powered NAS devices from ASUSTOR. Next to this 2-bay unit that I’m reviewing today, ASUSTOR also created a bigger brother to it with 4-bays. However, it is the AS1002T that I’m reviewing today and this NAS is powered by a Marvell ARMADA-385 1.0GHz dual-core processor and comes with 512MB onboard RAM. That might not sound like much, but it should be plenty for normal file-serving and streaming purposes at home. The Marvell ARMADA-385 CPU offers both hardware encryption engine and floating-point unit, but it only consumes a small amount of power; a truly efficient little NAS with a power consumption of just 13.2W during operations.
The diamond pattern on the front together with the otherwise simple black layout gives the AS1002T a great design and it isn’t as boring as a plain black unit would be. It would look equally nice next to your entertainment system or TV as it would in your home office.
The 70mm fan on the rear of the unit provides the cooling and the NAS only produces 19dBA of noise during idle mode and 32 dBA during use. That’s not much at all which is a great thing, a device that will run 24/7 needs to blend into the background and be forgotten.
The AS1002T is a basic NAS that provides basic connectivity. It comes with a single Gigabit Ethernet connection that in itself is sufficient for most personal setups where low-end switches wouldn’t allow for link aggregation anyway. Adding more would just increase the price. You get two USB 3.0 ports that not only support storage drives but also USB UPS devices and printers that then easily can be shared over your network. WiFi and Bluetooth adapters are also supported on the AS1002T
The NAS features a completely tool-free installation with two thumbscrews on the rear of the unit to open it. Once they are out, you can simply slide the case apart and install your hard disks. The hard disk installation is tool-less too thanks to the included thumbscrews. A simple way to make it easy to install the drives and keeping everything cost-effective. The downside here is that you cannot swap slide out the hard drives as easy and during use as you would be able to with an NAS that features ejectable drive trays. Again, that would have been an unnecessary cost increase as most home users won’t swap drives at all. Once it’s running, it’s running.
Thanks to the ARM CPU, the AS1002T is a very efficient little NAS. It only consumes 13.2W during operation and 6.6W during disk hibernation. The AS1002T features automatic standby for both internal and external disks, auto fan control so it never spins more than needed, and power scheduling for on, off, and restart. These are all features that are great for the environment, hardware, and electrical bill.
The LEDs can be dimmed to fit just the scenario you put the NAS into and whether you want to see them or not. The AS1002T also features the LED Night Mode where it automatically adjusts the LED lights based on your settings.
Despite the low power consumption and eco-friendliness, the AS1002T NAS still performs great. It is capable of providing a read and write performance of up to 95MB/s reading and 110MB/s writing with the 3TB WD RED test drives that ASUSTOR used for the specifications.
Besides just being a network connected storage, the AS1002T is a great multimedia companion. The CPU’s built-in floating-point unit is able to quickly process large amounts of photo thumbnails, allowing you to instantly transfer and browse photos at any time. The rich variety of multimedia server applications is able to smoothly stream high-definition multimedia entertainment to devices such as UPnP/DLNA players, web browsers on computers, tablets and smartphones.
As I previously mentioned, the ARM CPU features a built-in encryption engine, allowing data to be completely protected from the moment it is first stored on the NAS. This means that you never have to worry about your confidential data falling into the wrong hands even if your hard disks become lost or stolen. The built-in hardware encryption engine features read speeds of over 39 MB/s and write speeds of over 31 MB/s for encrypted data. This is only about a third of the speed non-encrypted files would have, but it is still plenty for most operations that involve sensitive data.
ASUSTOR’s AS1002T is naturally powered by the ASUSTOR Data Master (ADM) 2.5 firmware that provides users with the latest enhanced core functions such as internal backup, shared folder based network recycle bins, and iSCSI LUN snapshots. Optionally, users can download more apps such as Syslog Server and DataSync for Microsoft OneDrive along with newly upgraded versions of existing Apps such as Photo Gallery and LooksGood. The NAS unit will of course also work with ASUSTOR’s mobile apps for tasks such as system management, file management, backup, downloading, media sharing, home surveillance and more, allowing users to have effortless and continuous access to their NAS while on the go.
Packaging and Accessories
The ASUSTOR AS1002T box is a simple white with all the relevant information right on the front, such as compatibility, basic features, and specifications, as well as a photo of the unit itself. The rear features a few more information in a variety of languages.
Inside the box, you will find an AC power adapter and a power cable that is suited for the region you bought the unit in. There is an LAN cable, software and manual disk, setup guide, and eight thumbscrews to mount the drives.
We’ve recently seen Synology release both the DS216se and DS216play, and now it is time for the DS216 to enter the market. Synology introduced the new 2-bay NAS and announced the immediate availability of the same. Synology’s DiskStation DS216 is the direct successor to the DS214 and it is quite an upgrade.
The DS216 is powered by a dual-core Marvell Armada 385 CPU that runs are 1.3GHz and is backed by 512MB DDR3 memory. The Marvel Armada 385 CPU comes with built-in hardware encryption engine that can increase the performance with encrypted files up to 49% while reading and 110% while writing compared to the DS214. Encryption becomes a thing more and more people want to utilize which makes this a great selling point. The CPU also features a floating point unit that especially speeds up the creation of thumbnails, but overall helps with the performance of the system.
With that hardware at its disposal, the DS216 can provide a read/write performance of 111.18 MB/s in writing and over 112.79 MB/s in reading.
Synology’s DS216 features one USB 2.0 port on the front where it also has a one-touch copy button and it has another two USB 3.0 ports on the rear next to the RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet port. Other than that, the DS216 doesn’t have any more connectivity, but what would you want more?
The two-bay NAS supports up to 16TB volumes with its two bays and 8TB drives, a storage amount that should be plenty for most people. The front panel is removable and behind it are two drive trays that support hot-swapping and easy tool-free installation.
A nice touch is that you can adjust the LED brightness on the front of the NAS, allowing you to tune it down where it otherwise would be too bright and just annoying. Perfect for living room placements where you don’t want a lot of blinking lights all the time. Other than that, the DS216 features all the other great functions that we know and love from the DSM operating system.
The DS216 is backed by a 2-year limited warranty and is available now worldwide for an MSRP of £204.00 and €240.00.
Today’s review is a real pleasure for me as I get to take a closer look and test an elite class business NAS with built-in 10GbE and high availability function. I got Thecus’ N7770-10G 7-bay business NAS on the table and I’m going to give it thorough testing to show you just how amazing it is.
When I review consumer class NAS devices, I often talk about how they are suited for all sorts of media and streaming needs as that is the main focus for that group. The Thecus N7770-10G does all this too and it does it great, but it isn’t what it was designed for. This is a business class NAS and as such it needs a whole other set of features and functionality. You get a complete backup solution that includes the use of external devices, cloud backup, snapshots, and client backup as well as total security thanks to Intel Security Antivirus, AES 256-bit encryption, and VPN server functionality. The N7770-10G still provides all the mobile connectivity and media streaming capabilities as well as centralized authentication control.
The Thecus N7770-10G NAS isn’t built around a low-power ARM or Intel Celeron CPU, instead it’s built with a full Intel Core i3-2120 dual-core processor that has a base clock speed of 3.3GHz. To go with that CPU, you get 8GB DDR3 ECC memory that is expandable all the way to 32GB, dual Gigabit Ethernet, 10GbE card pre-installed, and 7 drive bays for a lot of raw storage.
It is my personal opinion that we have been stuck at 1Gbps ethernet connections for way too long. While we had the ability to link those together to achieve better connections, it is old by now and today’s needs also increase the need for better connectivity. In that regard, I’m glad to see Thecus having this model with an included 10GbE adapter, making it ready for the step into the next speed category. It still features two Intel 82574L Gigabit Ethernet connections too, which you naturally all can link aggregate and trunk. Further, you get a total of six USB 2.0 ports where two of them are on the front and two USB 3.0 ports on the rear. The HDMI port further allows you to turn your NAS into the ultimate multimedia hub by connecting the NAS directly to your TV or monitor.
The N7770-10G supports RAID 0, 1, 5, 6 10, 50 and JBOD modes besides single disk usage. You can create multiple RAID volumes with different modes, only limited by the amount of drives you have available for the pool. Should a hard drive malfunction occur, changing one is simple thanks to online RAID migration and expansion, hot spare, and auto rebuild. You can also pick which filesystem you prefer as the N7770-10G supports EXT3, EXT4, Btrfs and XFS for increased flexibility and ability to suit many different types of environments. Users can simultaneously use different file systems across multiple RAID volumes to get the best of each one.
iSCSI Thin-Provisioning is a thing that many people still read past as they don’t really know what it is, but it is well worth getting the handle on, as you can manage your storage better and get better speeds. Connect through iSCSI for the fastest data transfer speeds available and make wasted disk space a thing of the past with thin provisioning’s flexible storage functionality. Windows Server, NT, and XP users will need to download the iSCIC initiator from Microsoft, but Windows 7, 8, and 10 users, for example, have it built right into the OS. If in doubt, just search for iSCSI from your Windows start menu search.
Two awesome features in Thecus NAS’ that often are overlooked, are the Disk Clone and Disk Wipe functions. Both can be extremely useful for both business and home users. The Disk Clone features allows you to copy the entire contents of a disk to one or many other disks while the Disk Wipe function allows you to permanently destroy a volumes data.
Business data is sensitive data and sensitive data needs to be protected. Thecus N7770-10G offers AES 256-bit RAID volume encryption that allows you to fully encrypt the entire RAID volume. Sensitive data also has to be sent and received with the proper security, for this you can set up the VPN server. It allows users to remotely access a secure network with the equipment already at hand.
Data Guard backup solution is the ultimate software as it provides both local and remote parts. Currently, data is backed up across RAID volumes and external drives. In addition, Data Guard uses innovative technology to sync data across the network to other NAS and servers. It makes managing NAS user-friendly and convenient. But there are many ways to backup your data and the Thecus N7770-10G pretty much supports them all.
With BTRFS support, users can enjoy the simplicity of snapshot backups. Snapshots of data at various time points can be manually or automatically made and just as easily later restored to rollback files or folders to previous states. Rsync is probably the most common used technique and Thecus supports this too. It gives great flexibility with remote backup capability, a flexible scheduler, and the stability of Linux-based transfer.
You can easily create your own cloud solution with the Thecus N7770-10G, but that doesn’t mean that the existing cloud providers should be counted out. There can be many reasons to use these services and Thecus supportsDropBox, Amazon S3, and ElephantDrive cloud backup functionality. The best here is that it is as easy to use and setup as all the normal and local sharing functions.
Data Burn is another great feature that comes in line with the previous mentioned Disk Clone and Disk Wipe features. With Data Burn, you can connect a CD, DVD, or Blue-ray burner and create physical optical backups of your data. In addition, it also supports burning of ISO image files instead. You can of course also use a connected optical drive to easily backup the data to your NAS.
When you buy a Thecus NAS like this, you also get a few extra software pieces that are well worth having. The hardware in itself is solid quality while failovers and redundancies are available for almost all systems. But you also need to protect your files and an Antivirus software is perfect for this. Thecus partnered with McAfee and includes their award-winning software for free.
Acronis True Image is also included for free and it is one of the easiest ways to manage your backups, I use it quite often on both a personal level and for my reviews setups. It is one of the easiest pieces of backup software available with a long set of functions and One-click protection setups.
Keeping an eye on the NAS while you’re on the go isn’t a problem either thanks to iOS and Android connectivity. With T-OnTheGo and the T-Dashboard, you can manage your NAS, and upload to and download/stream from your NAS using an iOS or Android device on the go.
Intel Core i3-2120 (3.3.GHz Dual Core) processor
8 GB DDR3 ECC Memory (Expandable to 32 GB)
10GbE card included
1 x HDMI port
Hot-swappable hard drives
RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, 50, and JBOD
Packaging and Accessories
The front and the back of the box look the same, and it looks stunning. There is no doubt looking at the package that we’re dealing with a premium NAS. The feature highlights as well as the NAS itself are shown clearly and easy to spot.
The side of the box goes more into detail on the specifications and package content. This is also where it will be marked what market it is intended for, which really only comes down to what power cable is included.
The other side shows the feature highlights and how it can be useful in pretty much any scenario. As the box says, A NAS for every need.
Inside the box we find a power cable for our region, a single RJ45 ethernet cable, four keys for the drive trays, screws for seven 3.5-inch drives and screws for seven 2.5-inch drives as well as a utilities disk, warranty card, and quick installation guide.
QNAP created their TS-251 Turbo NAS as a great high-performance solution for home users as well as small and medium-sized offices, and today I’m taking a closer look at what it has to offer and how well it performs in our testing area.
The TS-251 provides a high performance and high-capacity storage solution thanks to a great combination of QNAP’s advanced QTS operating system and some great hardware. It is an easy-to-use yet powerful NAS for data backup, file synchronization, remote access, home entertainment, and it is also ideal for users to build a personal cloud where they can access their data easily and secure, outside of the prying eyes of strangers and commercial hosting solutions.
The QNAP TS-251 is built with an Intel Celeron 2.41GHz dual-core processor that has a burst speed up to 2.58GHz. It comes with two DDR3L memory slots and is available in two models, one with 1GB RAM and the one I’m taking a look at today with 4GB DDR3L RAM in two 2GB modules. The TS-251 has 512 DOM storage for the system itself and comes with two hot-swappable trays.
Users of the TS-251 Turbo NAS get two Intel-powered Gigabit RJ45 Ethernet ports that support trunking and link aggregation. There is one USB 3.0 port on the front together with the One-Touch copy button and another USB 3.0 on the rear. You will also find two USB 2.0 ports there. The rear USB 3.0 port is excellent for expanding the capacity of the NAS with up to 8 more drives, making this a great starter NAS that can be expanded at a later time, should you need it. QNAP has the UX-500P and UX-800P expansion units that respectively provide 5 and 8 extra drive bays. They connect to the NAS through a single USB 3.0 cable, making it real easy to set up. That effectively means that you can have up to 60TB raw storage with a complete set of 6TB drives and the TS-251.
The two USB 2.0 ports are perfect for USB printers, pen drives, and USB UPS connection as well as for keyboard and mouse when you’re using the HD Station. This is also where the HDMI port comes into play, as you can hook the TS-251 directly up to a monitor and use it for direct media playback of 1080p videos with 7.1 channel surround sound as well as run virtualization systems.
The powerful Intel x86 processor in the TS-251 can transcode Full HD videos on-the-fly as well as offline, allowing you to play them smoothly on both PCs and smart devices. It allows for up to 5 devices to simultaneously view different videos stored on the TS-251 with on-the-fly hardware accelerated transcoding. Even devices that lack the computing power or have limited file format support will have a great experience and it doesn’t require any complicated and time-consuming file conversions done by yourself.
You can easily stream to all your devices whether they are Smart TVs, PlayStation, or Xbox systems as well as Hi-Fi systems that support streaming. Mobile devices, both Android and iOS, are supported and so is Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and Google TV. Plex Media server is also included which is one of the most popular ways to manage streaming content.
For the perfect media experience, you might also want to invest in the optional media remote. The TS-251 features an IR receiver and works like a charm with the QNAP RM-IR002 remote control as well as MCE remote controls. You can also turn your mobile devices into remote controls by installing the Qremote app. All in all, you’re covered when it comes to media features on the TS-251.
You can easily turn the QNAP TS-251 Turbo NAS into your own personal cloud solution thanks the myQNAPcloud. It provides an always-connected infrastructure for everyone, and all without complicated setups and extra services such as static IPs, redirects, and DNS setups. A few simple steps to register your NAS and it’s ready.
Constant synchronization is a breeze with Qsync where any file uploaded to the TS-251 will be made available for all linked devices, such as computers, laptops, and mobile devices. Qsync is especially useful for frequent travelers in managing files and ensuring that different devices have the most up-to-date files with great flexibility.
The TS-251 also offers various data recovery options such as Real-Time Remote Replication (RTRR) for real-time and scheduled data backup to remote Turbo NAS or FTP servers as well as synchronization of files to remote folders from local folders. The rsync protocol is also supported and it is a very popular and simple method to backup data to remote servers on a scheduled basis. Commercial and public cloud services are also supported for both backup and restoration from providers such as Amazon S3, Amazon Glacier, Microsoft Azure, ElephantDrive, Dropbox, and Google Cloud Storage.
Local backup is just as important and in many cases it is the main reason that people invest in an NAS. The TS-251 can do that thanks to QNAP’s NetBak Replicator that supports real-time and scheduled data backup on Windows, including Outlook email archiving. Mac OS X users can use Apple Time Machine for effortless backup, and both types of users can use the USB 3.0 port and one-touch backup button on the front to backup that external storage to the NAS. A wide range of third-party backup software such as Acronis True Image and Symantec Backup Exec are also supported.
I’ve previously mentioned the direct usage functionality of the TS-251 thanks to the USB and HDMI ports, and that all comes together thanks to QNAP’s exclusive QvPC Technology. It allows you to use the NAS directly as a PC with direct access to stored data, the ability to run multiple applications using Windows/Linux/UNIX/Android-based VMs, surf the web on Google Chrome, or enjoy Full HD videos with up to 7.1 channel audio via Kodi.
The Virtualization Station is another feature we get thanks to the QvPC technology and it transforms the TS-251 into a virtualization platform supporting multiple operating systems, fast virtual machine creation, virtual machine import/export, snapshot, and that enables desktop operations on web browsers. With the easy-to-use interface, you can centrally manage all of the virtual machines created on the TS-251 with minimal effort. You can also download VMs on demand from online VM markets and import them to TS-251 without any complex procedure. This feature requires at least 2GB of RAM, so the 1GB model is out of the running here. Thankfully I’ve got the 4GB model here. As previously mentioned, you can also upgrade the memory in the TS-251 at any point with standard SO-DIMM DDR3 modules.
The TS-251 can also be used as Surveillance Station and you can monitor this directly via the HDMI output in real-time with local display, and much more. Surveillance Station offers a professional surveillance solution with a user-friendly management interface, over 2,600 compatible IP cameras, and expandable IP camera channel licenses. Next to real-time monitoring it also supports video and audio recording as well as playback with a wide range of customizable settings. There are also Android and iOS apps available for this.
Downloading files can also be done directly by the NAS thanks to the download center. The new and improved Download center in QTS 4.2 means that the old QGet tool isn’t needed anymore and QNAP has ceased the support for this. The Download Station can download BT, Magnet, PT (Private Trackers), eMule, FTP, and HTTP, and all without the need to have a PC running. You can also install HappyGet app to back up abundant online videos to your TS-251.
QNAP NAS’ offer so much, it is tough to mention it all. In short, it does pretty much everything. There are a few things more worth highlighting such as the Signage Station that lets you creatively present your animated content such as personal animated resumes or life memory books. You get the Notes Station that gives you a private and secure way to share and collaborate on digital notes and Qsirch is probably the most efficient way to search for content on your NAS, it’s quick and effective, and it searches your content intelligently.
You also get the Photo Station and Music Station that help you share the photos and media you want while keeping other things private and limit the availability. Connect and stream internet radio, favorite songs from iTunes server and much more. The TS-251 can do it all.
Packaging and Accessories
The front of the packaging displays the NAS unit itself and the area of operation, in this case, High-Performance Home users and Small offices. Some of the main features are also presented right on the front and it is an overall great looking design. It’s simple, but not boring.
A personal cloud setup is getting more and more relevant as we are getting used to being connected everywhere we go. The rear of the box displays that and shows some of the ways that you can utilize that.
The two sides provide even more information, without being too cluttered. Overall a great package design from QNAP on the TS-251; I like it.
Inside the box, you’ll find a power supply and power cable from the region where it was bought, in this case, a UK power cable. There are two LAN cables so you can use both LAN ports right away as well as screws for 3.5-inch and 2.5-inch drives. Two small manuals help you getting started, setting it up and connecting it for the first time.
ASUSTOR just launched the new 31 series of NAS designed for the multimedia prosumer and with built-in 4K capabilities. The new series consist of two devices, the 2-bay AS3102T and the 4-bay AS3104T. The new NAS units are built around an Intel Celeron N3050 1.6GHz dual-core processor with a 2.16GHz Boost speed. It comes with 2GB built-in dual-channel DDR3 memory and can provide around 110MB/s transfer speeds in a RAID 1 setup.
The NAS connect through a single Gigabit Ethernet Port, which also explains the transfer speed ratings. They also come with one USB 3.0 port on the front and another two on the rear for extra storage connectivity. There is an Infrared receiver on the front and an HDMI 1.4b port on the rear that supports 4K UHD resolutions that make it ready to hook directly up to your 4K TV or monitor.
“ASUSTOR’s 31 series devices provide smoother multimedia playback via their enterprise-class core hardware and dual-channel memory,” said Johnny Chen, Product Manager at ASUSTOR. “The 31 series lowers the barriers for home users and prosumers who require 4K multimedia playback and secure cloud storage.”
The compact sized NAS units with the elegant looking diamond pattern pack quite a punch thanks to the Braswell generation CPU that provides enhanced multitasking and supports AES-NI encryption engine for increased access speeds on encrypted data. The systems don’t use drive trays that are hot-swappable, but drives can be swapped toolless thanks to the thumbscrews on the rear and inside.
ASUSTOR’s LooksGood app can be used on the AS31 series to view videos over the Internet as well as to watch and record live digital TV. LooksGood also features ASUSTOR’s Hyper-Transcoding technology which provides at least a tenfold reduction in video conversion times. This series also support real-time transcoding that allows users to enjoy a smoother streaming experience where the playback device otherwise could have limits in capabilities and bandwidth.
ASUSTOR has launched a new line of entry-level NAS devices called the 10-series and it is the first ARM powered series from ASUSTOR. The new NAS units AS1002T and AS1004T are powered by a Marvell ARMADA-385 1.0GHz dual-core processor and come with 512MB onboard RAM. That should be plenty of performance for normal file-serving and streaming alike.
Intel’s x86 based CPUs aren’t the cheapest on the block and opting for an ARM based solution can cut the costs quite a bit. The ARMADA-385 shouldn’t be discarded due to that as it comes with hardware encryption engine and floating-point unit while it only consumes a small amount of power; a truly efficient little NAS.
The AS1002T is a 2-bay NAS and the AS1004T is a 4-bay NAS, but other than that they are the same. You get two USB 3.0 ports where one of them is placed on the front as well as a single Gigabit Ethernet connection. Plenty to hook everything up and get a good performance. The NAS units are capable of providing read and write performance of 95 MB/s and 110 MB/s.
The diamond plate finish gives the units a nice touch and the installation is completely tool-less thanks to the hand-screw design. There is one more minor difference in the two units: The AS1004T comes with a 120mm fan where the AS1002T only has a 70mm fan.
“ASUSTOR’s 10 series was designed with both hardware performance and modern aesthetics in mind,” said Johnny Chen, Product Manager at ASUSTOR. “The devices also feature the convenient use of hand screws, which allows users to easily remove the outer cover and complete hard disk installation without the use of any extra tools.”
Both NAS units feature ASUSTOR’s ADM (ASUSTOR Data Master) 2.5 firmware that provides users with the latest enhanced core functions such as internal backup, shared folder based network recycle bins, and iSCSI LUN snapshots. Optionally, users can download more apps such as Syslog Server and DataSync for Microsoft OneDrive along with newly upgraded versions of existing Apps such as Photo Gallery and LooksGood. The NAS units will of course also work with ASUSTOR’s mobile apps for tasks such as system management, file management, backup, downloading, media sharing, home surveillance and more, allowing users to have effortless and continuous access to their NAS while on the go.
Key Features for the AS1002T and AS1004T
Marvell 1.0 GHz Dual-Core Processor
Pre-installed 512 MB Memory
1 x Gigabit Ethernet Port
Front of Device: 1 x SuperSpeed USB 3.0 (5 GB/s) Port, LED Indicators
Back of Device: 1 x SuperSpeed USB 3.0 (5 GB/s) Port, Power Button, Reset Button
Hand Screws, Easily Remove Cover and Install Hard Disks Without Additional Tools
Supports Hardware Encryption Engine
Supports RAID Volume Management RAID 0/1, Single, JBOD (AS1002T)
Intel has announced the expansion of its 6th generation Core processor line-up, revealing seven new models in its Skylake series. The chips, built-in the LGA1151 package, are compatible with motherboards running Intel’s 100-series chipset. The overclockers’ favourites the Core i7-6700K and the i5-6600K are to be joined by the i7-6700, i5-6600, i5-6500, i5-6400, i3-6320, i3-6300, and i3-6100 processors.
The Core i7-6700 and i5-6600 chips differ from the i7-6700K and i5-6600K in that neither has unlocked BClk multipliers, and both have lower clock speeds out of the box.
The i7-6700 has a 3.40GHz clock with 4.00GHz max Turbo Boost, compared to the i7-6700K’s 4.00GHz with 4.20GHz Turbo, and the i5-6600 clocks at 3.30GHz, climbing to 3.90GHz with Turbo Boost, with the i5-6600K offering 3.50GHz and 3.90GHz Turbo Boost. The i7-6700 and i5-6600 are priced at $312 and $213, respectively.
The other Skylake quad-core processors include the Core i5-6500, which clocks at 3.20GHz with 3.60GHz Turbo Boost, priced at $202, plus the Core i5-6400, with a 2.70GHz clock and 3.30GHz Turbo Boost, which will cost $187.
The last three chips, which comprise the dual-core line-up, are the Core i3-6320, Core i3-6300, and Core i3-6100. The $157 i3-6320 processor has 3.90GHz clock speeds, while the i3-6300, priced $147, clocks at 3.80GHz, and the i3-6100 has speeds of 3.70GHz and costs $117. Being i3 processors, none of the dual-core processors have Turbo Boost capacity, but all feature HyperThreading, offering four logical CPUs.
Intel’s quad-core Skylake processors boast a TDP of 65W, while the dual-cores are rated at 47W.
Thank you TechPowerUp for providing us with this information.
ASUSTOR has just launched four new NAS units and they are all part of the World’s first Braswell powered NAS units. The new NAS devices are the AS6202T 2-bay and AS6204T 4-bay NAS powered by quad-core processors while the AS6102T and AS6104T are powered by dual-core processors. The choice of CPU brings along quite a few advantages besides having an overall more powerful chip in your back and would be a great choice for both prosumer and SMB users.
Along with the new Braswell CPUs, the four NAS units feature EAS-NI hardware encryption, expandable memory, plenty of USB 3.0 and eSATA ports as well as HDMI and audio out for Ultra HD 4K direct connections. The system is utilizing dual-channel memory and can expanded up to 8GB.
The new units also come ready and pre-installed with the latest version of ASUSTOR’s operation systems, ADM 2.5, that brings along a lot of improvements and strengthening of the core functions. Better backup features and security, enhanced network recycle bins, and iSCSI LUN snapshots are just a few of those.
The four new NAS units from the 62 and 61 series are currently launching in global markets and should be available for purchase very soon. A four units include a 3-year warranty.
Most NAS systems are built around the same basic design, but not all of them. Once in a while a device comes along that is something just a little bit special and today I’m taking a closer look at just one of them.
I got the new and innovative QNAP TS-453 mini on the testbench, an NAS that features the easy-to-use QTS operating system, powerful hardware, and a unique top-loading mechanism for the drives. It also comes with one of the easiest and most convenient ways to replace or upgrade the memory. Thanks to the innovative design, the TS-453 mini has a very small footprint for a 4-bay NAS unit. It takes up 29% less space than a normal QNAP 4-bay unit such as the TS-453 Pro that we recently took a look at.
The glossy black design looks great, but it isn’t so great for photos. You can clearly see my camera in most shots and in some you’ll even be able to see the reflection of my monitor that is a good 5 meters away. This is mainly based on the photo lighting and won’t be as extreme in your own setup. You’ll have to take my word for it, it is gorgeous.
The TS-453 mini also comes with QNAP’s relative new myQNAPcloud key that allows for incredible easy setup as I’ll be showing you later.
You can even use the TS-453 mini as full-fledged PC thanks to the virtualization support in QvPC. It allows you to install basically any operating system from Windows to Android in a virtual environment and run it directly from the NAS. That is simply an epic feature.
The NAS has dual Gigabit LAN, USB 2.0, USB 3.0, and an HDMI out. This setup and QNAP’s QvPC technology allows you can use it directly with a VM setup or as HTPC. Connect the NAS to your TV or monitor, attach a mouse and keyboard, and you got a media station without the need for another PC.
You can adjust the LED indicators’ brightness in 5 steps from the dashboard so you don’t need to worry about them shining up your entire living room. The skyline LED indication will also remind you when the system is in sleep mode and you can schedule the times where it needs to be on and off.
The top of the NAS lifts off for easy drive access and it secures just as easy again. The powerful magnets in the top will pull the lid right into place and make sure it stays there.
The best feature is hidden on the bottom of the NAS, a single screw to remove a lid is all it takes to upgrade the memory in this system. It couldn’t be easier to upgrade the RAM in your NAS than this, although it isn’t really needed in this case as it is the model with 8GB RAM. Models with less RAM are also available.
As this is the TS-453 mini model with 8GB of RAM, we see that two modules are pre-mounted. You could still replace them, but there really isn’t any need here. The basic model comes with 2GB RAM.
The drive trays are very convenient to use and don’t require any tools or screws for 3.5-inch drives. You’ll need screws if you want to mount 2.5-inch drives in the caddies. Just pull the sides off the caddy, insert the drive and put the sides back on – all done. In fact, you can set up the entire NAS with a single tool and the only place you’ll need a screwdriver at all is if you wish to upgrade the RAM.
I’ve talked a lot about this NAS and I have barely touched the hardware yet. At the heart of the TS-453 mini you’ll find a quad-core Intel Celeron 2.0GHz processor with boost up to 2.41GHz.
This CPU will bring a lot more power to the table than seen from most ARM based NAS devices and it should be something that really shows a difference when dealing with the AES 256-bit volume encryption and comparing the benchmarks to non-encrypted drives. As previously mentioned, you can get this NAS with either 2GB or 8Gb DDR3 memory.
Within the package you find everything you need to get started. The NAS itself is protected with an adhesive film all the way around and you get two LAN cables, a PSU brick, easy setup guide, and an infrared remote control.
The QTS system is a great operating system that provides all the basics features natively. Anything that isn’t found among the basic features can be installed via add-on packages directly from within the management system.
The TS-453 mini is a little marvelous wonder with everything it can do. I’ve already mentioned some of the features, but there is so much more. Next to the QvPC technology for virtualization and HTPC usage it also features RTRR for easy data management and backup, NAS and iSCSI-SAN unified storage solution for server virtualization. It also supports VMware, Citrix, and Hyper-V and you can easy expand the raw storage capacity up to 96TB with the optional UX-800P QNAP expansion enclosure.
Security is an important feature and next to the AES 256-bit hardware encryption engine it also offers anti-virus and a multitude of backup solutions as well as cloud integration – both personal and public clouds. On the front you’ll find a USB 3.0 port with quick copy button that can be configured to work the way you’ll like it best and the system supports everything from third-party backup software such as Acronis True Image and Symantec Backup Exec as well as Real-Time Remote Replication, Rsync, and Amazon S3, Amazon Glacier, Microsoft Azure, ElephantDrive, Dropbox and Google Cloud Storage.
On-the-fly and offline transcoding help to create the best possible media experiences no matter what device you connect from and the SSD cache acceleration can be used to speed up the IOPS in environments where that is needed, which mostly will be enterprise scenarios.
Qsirch is a new google-like search feature that recently was added to QNAPs products. It requires some resources, but nothing this system can’t handle. In return, you get the probably fastest and best search solution found in any NAS system. A few keywords from meta-data, file content, or name and Qsirch will find your files.
Mobile devices are covered just as well as PC systems. There are a lot of apps available providing a direct connection to you NAS as well as synchronization options for your mobile devices.
The comprehensive Surveillance Station is of course also present and allows you to connect over 2700 different certified IP cameras to the NAS and monitor it in real time, record, and anything else you’ll want in a security station. Two camera channel are included and it can be expanded up to 24 channels.
QNAP expands their rack mounted NAS series even more, this time with the new TVS-471U four-bay NAS. There will be several models of this NAS where some come with single power supply and other with redundant PSUs. The last ones are recognizable by the RP in the naming.
Processor wise there will be two models to choose from, the TVS-471U-PT-4G with an Intel Pentium G3250 3.1GHz dual-core processor and the TVS-471U-i3-4G with an Intel Core i3-4150 3.5GHz dual core processor. Both models come with 4GB DDR3 RAM and can be upgraded to more.
Besides having four storage bays, RAM and a CPU, the new QNAP NAS also feature four Gigabit LAN ports and are 10GbE ready thanks to the PCIe expansion slot. You also get four USB 3.0 ports, four USB 2.0 ports, and an HDMI port. Inside it also features two internal cache ports.
The 4-bay rackmount TVS-471U series is capable of providing over 1,500 MB/s throughput and 128,000 IOPS for CPU-intensive tasks including Virtualization Station, serving large numbers of simultaneous connections, and 4K video playback and transcoding.
The newly added Qsirch helps finding files as fast as possible no matter how much storage you have, and you can have a lot. With the optional QNAP REXP-1600U-RP and REXP-1200U-RP RAID expansion enclosures, you can expand this system up to 1PB.
The QvPC technology eases the VM integration and allows you to use the NAS directly and have access to everything from the system itself. Monitor your surveillance feeds, watch 4K videos, or load files – not a problem.
The TVS-471U series is iSCSI-SAN unified storage and supports VMware, Microsoft and Citrix virtualization solutions to simplify virtual storage management and facilitates cross-platform file sharing for Windows, Mac, and Linux/UNIX platforms. Besides supporting Windows AD, LDAP directory services, and Windows ACL for efficient permission settings, the TVS-471U series also acts as a domain controller for Windows. Flexible backup solutions for Windows and Mac users and disaster recovery solutions including RTRR, Rsync and cloud storage backup are also included.
QNAP announced a new NAS unit in their lineup and this time it is a rack mounted one. The QNAP TS-431U Turbo NAS is a 1U network storage server for file sharing, backup, synchronization, and more – as they all are.
It is built around a Freescale dual-core 1.2GHz ARM processor and comes with 1GB DDR3 RAM, making it a budget-friendly yet powerful device that can deliver great multi-tasking performance as a business nNAS, enhancing productivity and providing a private cloud for easily and secure data access.
“The TS-431U provides an ideal solution for small businesses and workgroups who want high-performance networked storage with low acquisition costs but without compromising reliability and features,” said Jason Hsu, product manager of QNAP.
The TS-431U can perform up to 148 MB/s read and 119 MB/s write throughput with dual Gigabit LAN ports. The LAN ports support dual IP settings and port trunking modes for fault tolerance or link aggregation. The four USB 3.0 ports allows you to connect extra high-speed storage to the unit.
All essential business applications are supported, including cross-platform file sharing for Windows, Mac, and Linux, Windows AD, LDAP directory service, backup solutions for Windows and Mac, disaster recovery solutions with RTRR or Rsync and cloud backup to Microsoft Azore, Amazon S3, Google Cloud, Rackspace, IBM SoftLayer and HP Helion Cloud are all supported – to name a few features.
The new QNAP TS-431U should be available shortly and the current price listings start around €529 without drives. In return you’ll get a powerful 4-bay 1U rackmount model based on a Freescale ARM Cortex-A9 dual-core 1.2GHz processor with encryption acceleration engine with 1GB DDR3 RAM, four USB 3.0, one USB 2.0 and two Gigabit LAN ports.
Linksys is a well-known brand in the router business and it is a pleasure for me to take a look at their WRT1200AC router today. The WRT1200AC is a dual-band smart wi-fi router based around a powerful dual-core processor to provide great transfer speeds and reliability.
The design is a mix of a conventional box with a slight futuristic touch. It’s simple enough to please those who don’t want their router to stand out, yet it features enough distinctions for those who do want it to stand out. A great mixture of the two worlds and one that is striking similar to the WRT1900 router.
The front has individual LEDs for the WAN, LAN, eSATA, USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 connections as well as one for the 2.4GHz and one for the 5GHz band. Each of the four gigabit ethernet ports also has their own LED to let you know what port is active and which isn’t.
The rear side features the aforementioned four LAN and one WAN port, all full gigabit to support modern faster than 100MB/s internet connections. The USB 3.0 port allows you to attach modern and fast storage while the combined USB 2.0 and eSATA port allows you to connect both legacy and fast storage. There’s both a reset and sync button as well as a dedicated power switch for when you want to turn the whole thing off.
The Linksys WRT1200AC has two high-performance antennas and supports beam-forming technology for the best possible connection to your wireless devices. Both bands work simultaneously like they should for combined N400 and AC849 Mbps connections.
The router has a lot of ventilation holes on both the top and bottom to ensure that the router is properly cooled even when tasked to the limits and when running in hot environments. The four large feet keep the router firmly in place and you don’t need to worry about it shifting its position even when a cable is pulled or plugged.
Inside the package you find everything you need to get going with a wireless Linksys experience, the router itself and its two antennas, an LAN cable to connect it to your internet connection, an AC/DC power adapter and manuals to get started with everything.
The WRT1200AC also comes with all the software based features you’ll want. The wireless signal is protected by WPA/WPA2 encryption and the unit comes with a built-in firewall, parental and guest control, as well as scheduling and more.
If you shouldn’t be happy with the Linksys system and rather have something more familiar, then your in luck. The unit is built to be compatible with the open source router software, OpenWRT.
Synology launched two new NAS devices today and the first of them is the DS1515, a powerful and expandable 5-bay NAS for small and medium-sized businesses – or users who just want a little more than a normal SOHO device. It doesn’t just pack a quad-core processor, but also comes with four gigabit ethernet ports featuring failover and link aggregation for outstanding performance, it also features hardware-based encryption engine and blasting fast speeds.
“Growing SMBs expect a storage solution that is versatile and scalable for their future needs while minimising the initial investment. The DS1515 is engineered to address such needs, and provides the performance, reliability, and scalability to manage, protect, and share data,” said Jonathan Wang, Product Manager at Synology Inc.
The DS1515 can achieve 421 MB/s writing and 403 MB/s reading when using a RAID 5 configuration in a Windows environment, and even with encryption turned on, it still performs impressive speeds of up to 296 MB/s reading and 150 MB/s writing. It also supports the SSD read/write cache support that will boost the throughput considerable while minimising the overall costs per gigabyte of storage. The two eSATA ports allow you to scale the DS1515 for up to 15 drives with the use of the DX513 expansion units, with 6TB drives that would be 90TB raw capacity.
The second new NAS from Synology is the 19″ RackStation RS815, a scalable and compact 1U 4-bay NAS. The RS815 is very short with its 12″ depth, 37% shorter than its predecessor. It comes with a dual-core 1.33GHz MARVELL processor with floating point unit and 1GB RAM.
“More and more small businesses need a compact server that can handle a variety of workloads,” said Jonathan Wang, Product Manager at Synology Inc. “With RS815, we want to demonstrate how uncompromising performance and functionality are achievable even within a small footprint.”
The MARVELL Armada XP MV78230 processor coupled with the dual Gigabit ethernet ports can provide great speeds that exceed 216MB/s read and 121MB/s write speeds. With failover and link aggregation you’re covered whether you want higher bandwidth or extra security and you can also extend this unit. The 19″ RX415 expansion unit connects through the eSATA port and provides another four drive bays.
Both new NAS devices are powered by the award-winning DiskStation Manager (DSM) that provides all the features and functionality you could want from a NAS. They also both come with USB 3.0 ports for easy and fast storage expansion as well as backup jobs.
Mike Schropp, the man behind the Total Geekdom website, has been building LEGO computers for years. However, this is the first time Schropp has designed something saleable and he really outdid himself. After going through multiple design iterations, he finally settled on a compact 19.05 x 19.05 x 13.97cm system design.
The size of the system is said to be just as big as to fit a motherboard in, with Schropp explaining that his goal was to build something portable, endlessly customisable and packed with the power of a full desktop computer.
The base system is said to start at $999, coming with an Intel i3-4360 Dual-Core CPU, 8GB memory, a 120GB SSD and Intel HD4600 Graphics. It seems that there are only three case designs available, each of which come with a user-controlled LED light bar that encircles the top of the case and displays up to 20 different colours.
More details on how to get your hands on your own LEGO systems can be found over at Schropp’s website.
Intel has launched the brand new Braswell SoCs that will take the place of the current Bay Trail-D SoCs. The four new SoCs are built on the same 14nm process as Broadwell CPUs, with two dual-core and two quad-core models.
The two new dual-core Braswell parts that are in the Celeron line, the N3000 and the N3050. They both have GPUs with a base frequency of 320MHz and boost to 600MHz and 1MB of L2 cache. The Celeron N3000 has a base clock of 1.04GHz and boosts to 2.08GHz. The N3050 is clocked higher with a base clock of 1.60GHz and a boost of 2.16GHz.
The quad-core Braswell parts both have 2MB of L2 cache with a 640MHz GPU that will boost to 700MHz. The Celeron N3150 comes in with a base clock of 1.6GHz and boosts up to 2.08GHz. The Pentium N3700 has the same base of 1.6GHz but boosts higher, up to 2.4GHz.
All Braswell SoCs support up to DDR3-1600 memory and have a TDP of 6W, all except the N3000 which comes in with a TDP of 4W.
QNAP announced the release of the TS-251C Turbo NAS, a 2-bay compact NAS that is built around an Intel Celeron dual-core CPU and with a budget-friendly price tag. The TS-251 might be budget on the price, but it still comes with all the features you’d like for both Cloud services and home media centre. The TS-251C comes with features such as real-time/offline Full HD video transcoding for video streaming via DLNA, AirPlay, Chromecast and Plex Media Server, HDMI-out with XBMC media player, and all the usual apps and functions for cross-platform file storage, backup and sharing.
“The TS-251C is the ideal choice for users to quickly create a secure personal space for file storage, backup, synchronization, and multimedia,” said Jason Hsu, product manager of QNAP. “It comes with a surprising price tag that offers an incredible choice for budget-concerned users that want the best possible performance.”
The use of the x86 architecture allows for a lot more application to be installed and run compared to ARM architectures and could be the perfect solution for the growing needs of digital content storage in modern small offices and home environments. The dual-core Intel Celeron 2.41GHz processor is backed by 1GB DDR3L RAM and can provide up to 112 MB/s read & write speeds, even with full NAS encryption setup.
If you don’t want to use the media streaming functions that it has, then you can connect it directly to a TV via the built-in HDMI port and use the included HD Station and XBMC app instead. This is great for older TVs with limited playback abilities and eliminates the need for an extra HTPC.
2-bay tower model
Dual-core Intel® Celeron® 2.41 GHz processor
1GB DDR3L RAM
3.5” SATA HDD
1 x USB 3.0
2 x USB 2.0
1 x Gigabit LAN port
HDMI output (v1.4a, 1080p)
The new QNAP TS-251C Turbo NAS is available now
The new TS-251C Turbo NAS is said to be available now, but couldn’t find it listed at any shop at the time of writing. No word on pricing either, except that it will be cheap.
Thanks to QNAP for providing us with this information
QNAP announced a new affordable 4-bay 1U rackmount NAS, the TS-451U Turbo NAS. It is built around a dual-core Intel Celeron 2.41GHz processor that delivers better multi-tasking abilities. It is designed for scalability and the storage capacity of the TS-451U can be easily expanded with expansion enclosures to meet the needs of growing data storage.
“In the entry-level rack-mountable NAS segment, we are glad to be the first NAS company to introduce the energy-efficient, 64-bit Celeron®-powered TS-451U, which is designed for budget-conscious SOHO users to store and back up data without sacrificing performance,” said Jason Hsu, product manager of QNAP. “Coupled with feature-rich business applications, QvPC Technology, Virtualization Station and 1080p video transcoding, the TS-451U delivers the best cost-effectiveness for growing business data needs.”
The TS-451U Turbo NAS comes with 1GB energy-efficient DDR3L RAM but is upgradable to 8GB. It is powerful enough to deliver up to 220 MB/s read & write speeds with dual LAN ports and it also support full NAS AES 256-bit volume encryption to ensures the safety of sensitive data. The unit supports SSD cache, all possible RAID options, RTRR, rsync, cloud storage backup and much more. You can also expand the capacity all the way to 128TB RAW capacity with an expansion unit like the UX-1200U-RP enclosure, so the future storage needs should be secured.
The QvPC technology allows you to use the system directly by plugging in a keyboard, mouse and HDMI monitor. You can access stored data, run multiple applications using Windows, Linux, UNIX, or Android-based VMs created in Virtualization Station, surf the web, or even watch videos directly from the NAS. This feature is really awesome.
TS-451U Key specifications
Dual-core Intel® Celeron® 2.41GHz processor (burst up to 2.58GHz) with Virtualization Technology (VT-x)
1GB DDR3L RAM (expandable to 8GB)
2 x Gigabit LAN ports
4 x 2.5”/3.5” SATA 6Gbps hot-swappable HDD/SSD
4 x USB 3.0
2 x USB 2.0
1 x HDMI
single 250W power supply
supporting one expansion enclosure (UX-1200U-RP or UX-800U-RP)
The new TS-451U is available now and prices start from €628,03.
Thanks to QNAP for providing us with this information
Most NAS devices we look at are based on some Linux or BSD distribution, but once in a while something different comes along. I’m excited to take a look at the new Thecus W4000 four-bay NAS server today, powered with Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 Essentials (WSS).
Thecus are the first to bring WSS 2012 R2 to NAS users as you might remember from our press coverage back in October. The use of a WSS system offers a host of benefits to SMB users, including data protection, integrated cloud services and secure remote access.
The integration of an NAS into Microsoft’s cloud-based applications and services, including Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft Azure, has never been as easy before as with these new devices. The WSS NAS offerings look like they will provide users with an affordable and flexible solution with enough performance for SOHO and SMB environments.
The Thecus W4000 is based on a dual-core Intel Atom running at 2.13Ghz and it has 2GB of DDR3 RAM. The memory sadly isn’t as easy to upgrade as in some of Thecus other devices, but it is possible due to the use of standard sized SO-DIMMs.
There is plenty of connectivity options on the W4000 with two USB 3.0 ports on the front and two USB 2.0 ports, one eSATA, dual Gigabit Ethernet, a line-out, a D-Sub VGA, and a HDMI port on the back; if that shouldn’t be enough, the W4000 also has a PCIe x1 slot for add-on cards.
The features don’t stop there, as it also comes with an embedded SSD as boot drive and offers data deduplication for performance optimization, built-in automated client backup, Bitlocker drive encryption, and native NTFS support as well as online scan and repair.
Thecus have created a great looking devices with the W4000, no doubt. It looks like a NAS should, simple, yet it features a lot of minor curves and design options that break the monotonous a bit. Adding the USB 3.0 ports on the front is a smart move as it’s likely those that will be used most as ports for temporary connections while more permanent devices are connected via the rear connections.
The tower features horizontal mounted drive bays, which I believe to be better for the hard drives over time. At the top, we see the space for the OLED display and its four control buttons and on the side it has the iconized LEDs for connectivity and activity.
Thecus also added an unmentioned feature to the motherboard, an mSATA slot. It is located at the top of the motherboard and easily accessible without the need to take everything apart. The use of a standard SSD further allows you to upgrade or change drive depending on your personal needs.
Netgear announced the new ReadyNAS 3130 Series Network Attached Storage with a 1U form factor for easy rack deployment in businesses of any size. With four bays, this NAS has a capacity up to 24 TB and the processor supports up to 200 simultaneous users making it especially suitable for virtualized environments.
The new four-bay ReadyNAS 3130 has dual Gigabit Ethernet for connection and two USB 3.0, one USB 2.0, and two eSATA for expansion and backup. The CPU is an Intel Atom C2338 Dual Core 1.7GHz with 2GHz turbo mode and the system comes with 2GB ECC UDIMM. With its new CPU, ReadyNAS 3130 is virtualization-ready with iSCSI support, thin provisioning capability, and interoperability with VMware and Microsoft Hyper-V.
ReadyNAS 3130 is available as diskless unit (RN3130) or populated with four 2TB drives (RN31342E). The new diskless edition is available worldwide at an MSRP of $1,499. ReadyNAS business-class products are backed by the NETGEAR 5-Year Limited Hardware Warranty, 5-Year Next Business Day Shipping for part replacement, and 24×7 Lifetime Technical Support.
Thanks to Netgear for providing us with this information