QNAP Releases Budget-Friendly Dual-Core TS-x28 NAS’

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.

Key Specifications

  • TS-128: 1-bay mini-tower NAS
  • TS-228: 2-bay mini-tower NAS
  • ARM v7 dual-core 1.1GHz processor
  • 1GB DDR3 RAM
  • 3.5” SATA HDD
  • 1 x USB 3.0 port; 1 x USB 2.0 port
  • 1 x Gigabit LAN port

Radio Attack Lets Hackers Drive Away Your Car

When it was revealed I couldn’t believe my eyes. Someone walks up to a car and its locked, someone else walks up and can instantly get in and at the press of a button start the engine, no key required. Wireless key technology is now employed in cars all over the world and allows for users to avoid the hassle of finding their car keys, sadly it looks like a radio attack lets hackers do exactly the same thing without you even knowing.

A group of german vehicle security experts have studied how the radio hack uses your keys to break into your own key. The whole principle of wireless keys is that the engine and the doors will only work when the keys are within a certain range of the vehicle, this means that if you aren’t near your car it’s just an expensive piece of metal and technology.

Munich-based automobile club, ADAC, tested a hacking technique that uses the principle of “amplification” to fool your car into believing that the keys are actually closer than they actually are. In total, their study found 24 different vehicles were vulnerable, and it wasn’t just one manufacturer that was involved, 19 different manufacturers were vulnerable to the radio attack. What does this mean? Using this kind of attack someone can walk up to your car, and using a small pocket amplification device, unlock and drive away your car. No alarms,

What does this mean? Using this kind of attack someone can walk up to your car, and using a small pocket amplification device, unlock and drive away your car. The total cost of this hack? $225 for the device. Compare that to the cost of the Audi A3, A4 and A6, Ford Galaxy, Mitsubishi Outlander, Renaults Traffic and countless other models that are vulnerable to this attack.

The technique works by “amplifying” your keys signal. In reality, what happens is the key fobs signal is relayed through a pair of radios. Is this an example of technology being made too smart, at the cost of security, in order to save us a few seconds of inconvenience?

Synology Displays New NAS Units at Computex

Computex 2015 – We’ve seen the new Router from Synology already, but it wouldn’t be an NAS manufacturer if they didn’t bring those devices along too.

On display is the DS216se, a budget friendly NAS server perfect for home and personal use. The two-bay NAS unit allows for easy drive mirroring, network sharing and it is also DLNA certified for streaming to your TV, consoles and set-top boxes.

Moving up the scale a bit and we get to the DS215+, an NAS unit designed for Small and Medium Businesses. It delivers great performance up to 209MB/s reading and 139MB/s writing thanks to the dual-core CPU and dual-LAN ports with link aggregation and failover support.

You also get USB 3.0 and eSATA ports along to connect extra external storage including the Synology DX513 expansion unit.

The DiskSTation DS715 is a completely new unit and doesn’t succeed any previous units. It is built around a powerful quad-core 1.4GHz CPU that offers hardware encryption engine.

The DS715 SMB NAS comes with 2GB RAM and can deliver a great performance with up to 205.5MB/s reading and 77.62MB/s writing.

The dual LAN ports support failover and link aggregation as they’re supposed to and you can expand the unit with 5 more drives using Synology’s DX513 expansion unit.

Enterprise users are also covered well by Synology’s lineup, especially with their rack units. The RC18015xs+ for example brings a quad-core processor, up to 32GB RAM as well as advanced snapshot technology for flexible point-in-time data backup and recovery.

The RXD1215sas is a high-redundancy expansion unit offering dual high-speed 6Gb/s SAS modules and allows for stacking with up to 15 units for a total of 180 drives.

Man Breaks Into Neighbor’s Apartment Using His Phone and An App

Andy Greenberg from Wired has apparently shown us how easy it is to break in someone’s house nowadays. You don’t need sophisticated lock-picking skills or need to be a professional thief to do it. All you need is an app and an iPhone, as he puts it.

Greenberg used an app called KeyMe, which lets users 3D scan any key and uploads the images to the company’s cloud. Once that is done, you can head over to either one of their kiosks or order a 3D printed copy online.

He apparently went to his neighbor’s appartment, 3D scanned his key in a few seconds using the app and told him that he will be back in his apartment the next day ‘uninvited’. His neighbor did not believe him at first (who would believe you when saying you will break an entry with an iPhone?), but it did surprise him the day after.

KeyMe, KeyDuplicated and Keysave are apps that serve pretty much the same purpose, which is scanning keys. Some even let you scan more complex keys, such as car keys, having KeyMe stating it will even duplicate keys that “do not duplicate”. The service however describes the scanning process to be more complicated than just point the camera and take a picture.

KeyMe states that in order to duplicate a key, customers need to take it off the keychain, scan it on both sides against a white background and from approximately 4 inches away. However, Greenberg told that he did not follow any of the rules when he made his ‘stairwell creep-scans’.

With so many app alternatives and 3D printing aid nowadays, every commercially available piece of tech can be used to break into houses, amongst other ‘unintended’ uses. As Greenberg stated, breaking an entry nowadays has proven to be quite “idiot-proof”.

Thank you Wired for providing us with this information

Braebo Computers ‘Titan’ Budget AMD Gaming System Review

Introduction


When we take a wide look at the pre-built systems market in the UK, the number of names out there that one can choose from is growing on a near day-to-day basis. The scale at which each of these system integrators run does vary quite considerably and on the high-end of the scale where the big names such as Scan Computers and Overclockers UK dominate the market, competition is fierce and the number of systems that each name has to offer covers an incredibly wide range of budgets. When we look towards the other end of the scale, where getting your name out there is key, pitching just high-end systems that costs hundreds to buy is not exactly going to be an easy way of doing this. Instead of offering systems on the upper end of the performance scale, the other option is to create a line of budget friendly systems that contain a more modest level of performance making them ideal for the first time buyer who is just getting their feet into the door and the world of gaming on a PC.

Based in Rushden, Northamptonshire; Braebo Computers, compared to the big names out there, are a small company that was setup by two brothers since they started building systems for the public back in 2002. Since then they have developed a small range of systems, all with components from some of the biggest brands in the industry and whilst their operation my be small, they strive to offer excellent value for money with a customer service that would rival that of the market leaders. Building quality systems that are suited to your needs are where they excel and this ethos is what is driving them forward in a highly competitive market space.

The system that we are taking a look at today is one of their latest creations, offering an all-AMD based lineup consisting of the latest A10-7700k APU and an R9 270 graphics card, along with an SSD courtesy of Corsair, 16GB of memory from Crucial and off of this is spread out across one of Gigabyte’s top performing AMD boards – the F2A88X G1 Sniper. Alongside the system itself, our review package today consists of a full desktop setup that Braebo offer to all of their customers meaning that we have all the basic items needed to get the system up and running – ideal for the first time buyer. In this care package we have a 22″ monitor for AOC and a USB mouse and keyboard set from Microsoft. In addition the Titan comes with the lastest version of Windows 8.1 pre-installed and the added extra of a wireless card for connecting your new system into your home network. It looks as though all the basic essentials have been taken care of and ticked off, so lets take a look at the Titan system and see what it’s made of.

  • Name: Braebo Titan
  • Case: Xigmatek Asgard 381
  • MB: Gigabyte G1 A88X Sniper
  • CPU: AMD ‘Kaveri’ A10 7700k Quad Core APU @ 3.4GHz
  • Cooler: Stock AMD
  • RAM: 16GB Crucial CT2KIT102464BA160B 1600MHz (8GB x2)
  • SSD: Corsair Force LS 64GB
  • HDD: 1TB Seagate Barracuda
  • GPU: VTX3D AMD Radeon R9 270 2GB
  • PSU: Corsair CX600
  • ODD: 24x Dual-Layer DVD Writer
  • WLAN: Asus PCE-N10 802.11n 150Mbps
  • Monitor: AOC E2250S 22″ LED
  • Peripherals: Microsoft Basics Mouse & Keyboard
  • OS: Windows 8.1
  • Warranty: 3 year RTB – 1 month collect & return
  • Price: £799.99 Inc VAT / £699 Inc VAT without monitor, mouse & keyboard

Compared to the full on specifications of the systems that we have seen up to today, Braebo’s Titan is more modest and this all comes down to its target audience. When looking across the board at every pre-built system that can be bought, the main bulk of these are aimed directly at the mainstream consumer and up towards the super enthusiast, where money is no object and performance is everything. The Titan brings this all back down to earth with a more basic lineup of components that round-up to a price that is more suited to the entry-level end of the spectrum.

When we look at the accessory set of a pre-built system, on the whole it is made up of all the little extras that come with each individual component such as manuals, adaptors and cables. Braebo’s Titan is no different, although depending on the package that you opt for, you can choose to get a complete setup headed your way instead. in the complete package Braebo bundle in a 22″ AOC monitor and a Microsoft mouse and keyboard set, giving you everything that you need to get up and running.

Synology DS214Se ‘Special Edition’ 2-bay NAS Review

Introduction


Synology have been hot on the market recently with the release of the DS414 4-bay NAS – the latest revision to their popular 4-bay desktop range as it replaces the top-selling DS413. One of the main focus points of the DS414 is the price point for a pretty good level of performance. As we saw it may not be the fastest 4-bay system available, but when it’s priced considerably lower (>£100) than some of its rival units, it’s a bit of a no-brainer for anyone who is focussing more on raw capacity over performance.

Keeping on the same line, every NAS vendor has a few budget units in their product catalogue, however Synology have a more equal distribution across their range in the terms of performance and cost. As a brand Synology are not afraid to advertise that they build cheaper systems that offer lower performance figures and there is a good reason for this. When you take into account the overall cost of a typical 2 or 4-bay system with the cost of hard drives on top can easily tip over the £500 mark (or more if you go far a higher performance system); that price tag for some people does equate to a substantial chunk of money. For a number of users, the cost is simply too much to churn out. Typically those fighting the battle of cost is the home user, especially with today’s credit crunch here in the UK – where the cost of living when marked against your income is a bit out of proportion. As a result the goal is to get as much raw capacity as possible and for as little as possible.

As we’ve seen before, Synology use a simple naming system for their products, and those ending with a ‘j’ are built with capacity over performance in mind. To take things a step further, Synology have now re-written the rule book as they create a 2-bay system that is more budget conscious than ever. Bring forth the DS214Se. In the same way that the DS414 is the successor the DS413, the DS214 is the new model to the DS213 and the Se (Special Edition) marking puts this model in a position where it is even more budget friendly than before.

With the aim of the game keeping the overall purchase cost down, Synology have removed a number of features from the DS214 specification and have been more ruthless than ever. As a result, the DS214Se is going to be ideal for anyone who is a) on a very tight and b) not needing to run multiple features at the same time.

Whilst the systems specification has been cut down, the bundled extras include everything that you’ll ever need. Alongside the NAS, there is an AC power adaptor, Ethernet cable, a quick installation guide, warranty leaflet, and finally two sets of screws for fitting the drives and for holding the enclosure together.

Lockitron Smart Locks Means You Can Throw Out The Keys

Smart locks are starting to really become popular, last year I started following a company called Apigy Inc., which is planning to bring us Lockitron. Now I am starting to see information about a new startup called August which appears very much the same. After hearing about August, I looked up to see how many of these new locks are on the market, not looking very hard I was able to see that a big name lock producer, Kwikset. has also aimed to bring us a smart lock called Kevo. All of these locks using a bluetooth device, such as an iPhone or android phone you are able to use an app to unlock or lock a door. The lock is able to sense when you are near and automatically lock or unlock the door, or you can set it so that you need to tell it to unlock or lock from your device. With both setups you are able to log who enters and exits your house, you are also able to setup who is able to have access and for how long.

I haven’t found much information about how secure these new locks are, what kind of tests have been preformed on them. As far as I can tell though, Lockitron appears to just be an attachment to your current deadbolt while the August and Kevo appear to contain all of the hardware (Lock included)

There is no shortage of new smart locks that have been announced to come out soon. Are you interested in one? If so, which one would you prefer?

The Lockitron will start shipping July 15th. The August Smart Lock will cost $199 when it goes on sale later this year. And the Kwikset Kevo doesn’t appear to have a release date.

Source / Source / Source

PC Specialist £1000 Gaming PC Giveaway Winner Announced

It’s taken us a while but we have finally managed to go through all of the entries for our PC Specialist gaming PC giveaway that was run last month here.

Now we have to firstly admit, that there was some simply amazing entries and a lot of thought and effort went into each and every post. We did find a lot of “my grandmother’s dog is dying, so having this computer will cheer me up” posts, which we can only “sympathise” with but we wanted something that stood out, and the entries certainly weren’t short of that.

Some that really stood out for us were the guy who put his computer in his bed, and brushed his teeth with it, as well as the entry that was completely in Binary, which when translated gave a simple entry, but the method of execution was simply amazing, so kudos to you.

The one that stood out the most however was from member Roley Martin, purely because he made a rap video with an old style 8-bit backing track.

The video can be seen below and his entry, though it didn’t say a lot, the video pretty much did all of the talking.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=idghDbn0pg8[/youtube]

Link to the forum entry can be found here.

At first it seemed as though it was a generic entry, but as the video went on, we heard the eTeknix name and really got into the song and was simply blown away.

Congratulations Roley Martin, and we can only apologise that there can only be one winner, as we appreciate everyones efforts in this competition, but remember we have a lot more competitions currently open here.

All winner(s) have been contacted requesting address details for your prize(s) to be shipped out directly.

Asus Z77-A (Z77) Motherboard Review

Haswell and the Z87 chipset may be on the horizon, but the drive to have motherboards at all price points in the market for Z77 is as fierce as ever. A large number of users are seeking the budget options, both on the grounds of backwards compatibility and also their rich set of features for their competitively low price point. Not too long ago I took a look at two of Asus’ entry level boards – the P8Z77-V and the P8Z77V- LK – both of which impressed me with their performance for a mainstream board and at a really affordable price.  This doesn’t stop Asus from making things even more affordable though. Whilst the more expensive -V model had a very rich set of features that covered all grounds for someone that was upgrading their motherboard, both on compatibility and future proofing, the slightly lower spec board does (as expected) drop a few features – including HDMI.

The drop of HDMI is something that one would expect on an entry level board, but with the number of user looking for budget options rising and also the number of monitors that support HDMI rising at all levels, its a wonder why its not a standard feature these days. Fear not though as Asus have thought exactly the same and so this leads us towards the new board that we are looking at today. The Z77-A is an ~£80 board that not only offers up HDMI support out of the box, it also offers gamers features that they would expect on higher level boards with support for two way CrossFireX and SLI.

What may appear to be quite a bland set of accessories is bland for one particular reason. On the entry level end of the spectrum, bundling in tons of accessories does one thing to the price – increase it. On this end of the scale, the likely need for a CrossFire or SLI bridge is comparatively low as well as the need for four or more SATA cables – as a result Asus include the bare essentials which, in turn, helps to keep the price point down.