Thecus had a lot of success with their Windows-based NAS devices and now they’ve expanded that series with the new W2810PRO NAS. The new NAS comes equipped with an Intel Celeron N3150 quad-core processor, the same that we recently saw the N2810PRO launch with, it comes with 4GB DDR3 memory, and uses an SSD as boot drive.
Linux-based NAS run more out of the memory than Windows does and as such the use of a real SSD over a flash module is something that will make a huge difference for such a system. The quad-core processor is powerful enough to drive 4K experiences and thanks to it being a Windows version, it comes with a familiar interface. Integrating Microsoft services such as Office 365 and Azure Cloud Service is as easy as it could be on these devices as they’re running Windows 2012R2 Essentials as the operating system.
“Adding to the success of the original Windows Storage server 2012 solutions from Thecus, the W2810PRO provides increased power and speed performance to users”, said Florence Shih, CEO of Thecus Technology Corp. “This new Thecus Windows Storage Server is an ideal solution for individuals and businesses that are comfortable and proficient with the Windows platform to safely protect and effortlessly manage their valuable data.”
The 60GB boot SSD is more than enough for Windows itself and plenty of apps while the two drive bays give you up to 16TB raw storage capacity when using 8TB drives. That is a lot of power and storage in a small form factor. Windows Storage Server Essentials offers a host of features and functionality for organizations of all sizes including Data Deduplication and Storage Spaces for efficiency and protection, native support for Active Directory, and remote access through the P2P application, Orbweb.me. Users can further customize the W2810PRO to specific business needs as it supports third-party Windows Server add-ins.
Connection-wise, you get both an HDMI port and DisplayPort for direct usage, an S/PDIF for an audio connection, three USB 3.0 ports, and dual Gigabit Ethernet network connectivity.
Top Storage for 1-50 Employee Business
Office 365 & Microsoft Azure: Cloud Service Integration
Active Directory Domain Services: Scalable, Secure User Management
Data Deduplication: Performance Optimization
Enhanced Boot Drive: Embedded SSD
Windows License Included
Intel Celeron N3150 Quad-Core Processor
4GB DDR3 RAM
The new Thecus W2810PRO NAS is available starting today and it is an update well worth it. It packs more than double the power of the previous model, the W2000+, which was based on an Intel Atom dual-core processor.
Ransomware is some of the nastiest pieces of software in existence and in theory, it could hit anyone. Some people naturally have a greater risk, through the kind of work and tasks they do with their systems. But in theory, anyone can be unlucky enough to be hit with this kind of evil doing through security holes in the software being used.
This warning and reminder isn’t based on a specific new kind of ransomware, it is more to raise awareness of this kind of threats. Encryption-based ransomware such as CryptoWall, CryptoLocker, or TorrentLocker are on the rise, and they don’t just target Windows-based systems as many belief, they have also begun targeting network-based storage devices. Because of its stealthy nature and disastrous effects, ransomware is commonly perceived as a sophisticated, highly destructive, and unstoppable malware threat.
An advanced user isn’t really afraid of ransomware as they usually make backups of everything onto their network connected devices – or work directly from there via permanent shares and iSCSI setups. In the case of an infection, they simply wipe their system and install it again, and that would be the end of that story. Creators of this kind of nasty software know that and they want a piece of that pie too, which is why they have started to attack other systems besides workstations.
Where there is a threat, there is a way to defend yourself against it, at least in 99.9 percent of situations.
Update your operating system. Most people are up-to-date on their Windows and OS X updates simply because you’re being told when they’re available. But when was the last time you updated your NAS OS? Most NAS systems have automatic update features available and you should at the very least enable this for critical updates.
Install security software. A good anti-virus software is a good place to start and you’ll find solutions such as Avast or Intel security in your NAS’ app features. It will take up some resources to have it running, but those are resources that you should be happy to give up. Especially if you use the automatic download features found in all NAS units.
Disable Remote Desktop Protocol. Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) is a very common target for malware, which is why you should disable it if you don’t absolutely need it.
Install Mobile Apps and use Push Notifications. Applications for your smartphone and tablet are another great way to stay on top of your headless systems. Together with the push notifications feature you get up-to-date statuses from your system right into your pocket.
Beware of your actions. The golden rule is as it always has been, beware of what you do. Take the one second extra to hover a link and check the destination in the status bar before you click it, turn off features such as Hide file extensions for known file types, and don’t trust anything until you have verified the authenticity.
This time, the warning came from Synology, but in theory, it could have come from any of the big manufacturers. The bigger a company and brand gets, the more likely it is that their systems will be actively searched for vulnerabilities. Luckily Synology and other NAS’ have even more features that will help you in case that you get hit by this kind of malware.
A multi-version backup of all your files is naturally the best defense. If everything is backed up, then the evil ones can take their ransom demand and stick it where the sun doesn’t shine. Backup all your vital files from your system and onto your NAS is the first step and from there on you should have at least one more backup step – this could be a cloud solution, another NAS, or external drives, for example. Synology’s new Cloud Station Backup app can do all this for you through a single app, so it is as easy as it’s ever been. Hyper Backup is another awesome tool that lets you enjoy a full range of multi-version backup destinations from local shared folders, expansion units, and external hard drives, to network shared folders, Rsync server, and public cloud services. It can also isolate data for further protection from internet threats.
If your system supports Snapshot Replication through Btrfs file system, then you got another level of protection right there. Snapshot Replication allows you to replicate data from a primary site to an offsite location up to every 5 minutes and 15 minutes for LUNs, ensuring all your critical data in shared folders or virtual machines in iSCSI LUNs can be recovered quickly in the event of a disaster.
Synology also put up a mini-site that summarizes all these information along with the step to follow if you should have been effected. The fact that this site even was made, speaks for the severity of these attacks and how far they’re spreading. So be aware, practice safe surfing, and show an evolved behavior.
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.
ASUSTOR launched two new high-capacity enterprise-class NAS units, the AS6208T and the AS6210T. The only difference between the two units is that one has 8 drive bays and the other one has 10 drive bays. They are powered by an Intel Celeron (Braswell) 1.6GHz quad-core CPU with Boost speeds up to 2.24GHz. This is backed by 4GB dual-channel DDR3L memory which is expandable.
This is a great base for a powerful system that comes with hardware encryption support and 4K capabilities. All that power can be connected through the four built-in Gigabit Ethernet ports for a read and write performance up to 398 MB/s and 355 MB/s respectively in a RAID 5 setup.
There are plenty of USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports as well as two eSATA ports. With that amount of extra ports, you can expand the systems even further than with the 8 and 10 internal bays that each support up to 8TB drives.
It’s probably unlikely that a system like this will be used for as a multimedia hub, although it would be perfectly suitable for it. Instead, it is much more likely to be used for surveillance tasks. It is well equipped for both scenarios with its direct usage ability. It features both an HDMI 1.4b connector and an S/PDIF audio link.
As with all other ASUSTOR NAS units, these two new ones come with a 3-year warranty and a suggested retail price of $999 for the AS6210T and $899 for the AS6208T. That’s actually not bad at all.
Key Hardware Specifications
Intel Celeron 1.6GHz Quad-Core Processor (Automatic Overclocking to 2.24GHz)
Read Speed of up to 398+ MB/s and Write Speed of up to 355+ MB/s Under Link Aggregation and RAID 5 Configurations
4GB Built-in Dual-Channel DDR3L High Speed Memory (Expandable up to 8GB, 4GB x2)
4 x Gigabit Ethernet Ports
Front of Device: 1 x SuperSpeed USB 3.0 (5 GB/s) Port
Back of Device: 2 x SuperSpeed USB 3.0 (5 GB/s) Ports, 2 x USB 2.0 Ports, 2 x eSATA Ports
Supports Largest Capacity Hard Disks on the Market (8TB)
Smart Fan Temperature Control
The AS6208T and AS6210T both come built-in with the latest ADM 2.5.4 firmware providing RAID data protection, high-grade AES-NI hardware encryption technology, a 256-bit data encryption mechanism, firewall, network defender, antivirus software for installation and other safety mechanisms to keep data safe and secure. But you will be able to upgrade to the newest firmware very soon as ADM 2.6 is scheduled to be released in April.
When good isn’t good enough, then you’ll want great, and when looking for great, you can’t get past QNAP. They have just launched two new NAS series for the enterprise sector with plenty of storage capacity options, great connectivity, and strong CPUs. Perfect for enterprise users that don’t want to compromise. The two new series are the TVS-ECx80U-SAS R2 and the TS-ECx80U R2.
Both of these new NAS series feature two built-in SFP+ based 10Gbps Ethernet ports without increasing the price over the previous models without the R2 name addendum. Besides the two SFP+ connectors, the system also features four 1Gbps Ethernet ports. Overall, everything you need for an IOPS-demanding application setup such as virtualisation setups and database systems.
The TVS-ECx80U-SAS R2 series comes equipped with a powerful Intel Xeon E3-1246 v3 3.5 GHz processor and 16GB DDR3 non-ECC or 8GB DDR3 ECC RAM. A great hardware base for almost any setup. The TS-ECx80U R2 series provides models powered by an Intel Xeon E3-1246 v3 3.5 GHz processor too and these come with 4GB DDR3 ECC RAM. Further, the series offers options with an Intel Core i3 3.5 GHz processor and 8GB DDR3 non-ECC or 4GB DDR3 ECC RAM too.
There are quite a few models to choose from, in various sizes and with varying drive bays. They all have four DIMM slots, extra internal ports for caching, redundant power supplies, and much more.
Today’s review is a little bit special as I don’t just get the chance to test one of the newest NAS on the market, but also a new operating system at the same time. Thecus N2810 2-bay SMB multimedia NAS server with 4K playback is in the testing area and it comes with Thecus’ brand new ThecusOS 7.0.
Thecus N2810 NAS is powered by an Intel Celeron N3050 Braswell dual-core processor with 1.6GHz base clock and a 2.16GHz burst speed. This is a great processor for NAS usage as it’s both powerful and energy-efficient. On top of that, the N2810 supports hardware AES 256-bit encryption for that extra layer of security without impacting performance the way a software solution will. This is backed by 2GB DDR3 memory, but you can upgrade the system to a maximum of 8GB DDR3 RAM should you require more. The standard 2GB should still be plenty for normal usage scenarios and seamless 4K media playback.
Thecus opted for a full USB 3.0 setup which is a nice thing to see. Thanks to the USB bus’ compatibility you can easily use legacy devices while having maximum speed on your modern equipment such as high-end flash drives and external SSDs. There are two USB 3.0 ports on the rear and one on the front. The front port also features a convenient one-touch copy button that allows you to copy content to or from a USB drive with a single press of the button.
The two RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet ports on the N2810 support 10/100/1000 BASE-TX Auto MDI/MDI-X and Wake-on-LAN. You can naturally also set them up for link aggregation and Thecus allows you to set all seven modes: Load balance, Failover, 802.3ad, Balance-XOR, Balance-TLB, Balance-ALB, and Broadcast.
There is also the HDMI port for direct playback on your TV or monitor without the need for any other device at all. This is a feature we see more and more on modern NAS devices and it is one that I really love. While streaming is great, a direct connection allows for higher compatibility with formats and there are fewer points of failure or lag on the way. That said, the Thecus N2810 has absolutely no trouble streaming either, but we’ll get to that later.
Keen eyes will already have spotted the serial UART port too and that isn’t something that we usually see on NAS devices, it is however an awesome feature. We sometimes find the port on the PCB, but rarely on the device itself. UART stands for Universal Asynchronous Receiver/Transmitter and is part of the serial communication protocol.
The N2810 is the first Thecus NAS to run the completely new ThecusOS 7.0 operating system and user interface. The refreshed OS offers an easy to use and intuitive user interface and quite a lot of new features over the previous OS including the new Photo Station, Thecus App Center with over 700 apps, and user profiles. Besides the design and feature improvements, it also got a push in regards to the performance where it gets even more out of your hardware.
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. The built-in HDMI port allows you to transform the NAS into a multimedia hub by connecting it directly to your TV or media center to utilize the power of KODI. There are plenty of streaming options too with basic DLNA as well as Plex Media Server that can stream to your consoles with ease. The server can also automatically assemble iTunes, iPhoto, and Aperture content. Apple TV and Chromecast are both supported too, completing the circle of media abilities.
The N2810 is an SMB NAS and as such comes with a comprehensive list of enterprise-oriented features too, although none of them are limited to firms and enterprises, home users can take equal advantage of them. The Thecus System Failover feature is a fault tolerance process that creates mirrored data volumes. With at least two Thecus NAS available, data is copied by schedule and all changes are mirrored between the two NAS. While the second NAS is not visible, it communicates with the primary NAS. In the event of a power or network failure, a scheduled maintenance, or other unforeseen circumstances, System Failover automatically redirects operations to the secondary Thecus NAS, which then acts as the primary NAS.
Local failover is also achieved easily with a Thecus NAS and Snapshots. With BTRFS support, users can enjoy the simplicity of snapshot backups through BTRFS subvolumes. 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.
To complete the backup and failover abilities, the N2810 comes bundled with Acronis Backup Software that can backup all your data to the NAS with a single click as well as local backups and Time Machine support. Real-time remote replication (Rsync) is naturally also supported and it is one of the easiest to use and widest available backup methods.
Security is an important factor on a NAS, after all, it’s the device that holds all your files, memories, and data. Whether you’re an enterprise user or a home user, a virtual private network can come in very handy. The N2810 can operate as a VPN server and allow users to remotely access through a secure network.
Thecus also added Intel Security to the package that gives you an active defense against viruses that might have made it onto your NAS. The software protects you by scanning the files on your NAS and defending it against possible threats. Intel Security is the world’s largest dedicated security technology company and Thecus users will be able to benefit from Intel Security’s powerful software on their NAS entirely for free.
With the Thecus N2810, it is also an easy task to set up your own personal cloud service that will work with mobile iOS and Android devices with the use of Thecus’ T-OnTheGo app and your PCs. The mobile app enables users to access, copy, stream, and edit any data between their NAS and mobile device. Your own personal cloud, available from anywhere with internet access. The access from anywhere is made as easy as it could be thanks to the built-in DDNS feature that will give your NAS a name rather than a difficult to remember and mostly changing IP address.
You can also reverse the whole thing and use the public cloud systems together with the N2810 NAS. The system will work with DropBox, Amazon S3, and ElephantDrive cloud backup functionality. Guard your data with RAID at home and an additional level of protection in the Cloud. Just drag and drop files into the folder on your NAS and access them on any computer or mobile device with DropBox, Amazon S3 or ElephantDrive.
With currently available hard disk drives you get up to 8TB in the consumer sector and 10TB in the enterprise sector. With two drive bays at your disposal, that’s already a lot of storage and you can take maximum advantage of this storage thanks to iSCSI and the efficiency of iSCSI thin provisioning. 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.
Embedded with Intel Celeron N3050 Dual Core CPU
Running on the newly-designed and enhanced ThecusOS 7.0
Seamless 4K Multimedia Playback
Uninterrupted Accessibility with Thecus System Failover
Secure Remote Access with Virtual Private Network (VPN)
Faster Transfers: 2 LAN Ports for Link Aggregation
99% Virus Prevention: Bundled with Free Intel Security
Complete Client Side Protection: Bundled with Free Acronis Software
Packaging and Accessories
Thecus packed the N2810 in a beautiful box that clearly shows the intended usage, as a 4K capable multimedia center.
The rear of the box continues the beautiful full-colour wrapping with the feature highlights. There’s no doubt that you have a premium device in your hands when you look at the package.
It continues on the sides where the brand new Thecus OS 7 is presented on one side.
The second side reveals the hardware specifications, device size, and package content.
Inside the product is a quick installation guide and a product disk as well as the warranty card and product notes.
Besides the manuals and the NAS itself, there is also a power adapter with connection cord, two sets of drive tray keys, an RJ45 LAN cable, and a security latch for the power cable that can prevent accidental removal.
Just as you wouldn’t use a low-end graphics card for high-end usage, you shouldn’t use the wrong hard disk drive in your storage system either. There is a reason for every product and you should always pick the one suited for the task at hand, especially when you deal with your storage. Today I’m taking a closer look at Seagate’s impressive 8TB NAS HDD and we will take a look at how well it performs.
As said, when you pick your storage, you need to pick the right one for the task and not just grab anything you can find. This is particularly important when we talk about systems that have to run continuously and in environments with a lot of drives closely packed together. The Seagate NAS HDD goes beyond the standard desktop drives in this regards as it is built exactly for these scenarios.
Vibrations can damage your drives and the can also have a direct impact on your drives speed, and the more drives you install close to each other, the more vibrations you’ll get. The Seagate NAS HDDs are rated for usage in systems with up to 8 bays which gives you an impressive raw capacity of 64TB. The Dual-plane balance system enhances drive performance in aggressive NAS workloads for better vibration tolerance.
The Seagate NAS 8TB drive comes packed with 256MB cache, which is double that of the 6TB model. It uses the default SATA3 6GB/s interface that makes it compatible with pretty much any NAS system. The performance isn’t without either as it comes with a rating of 150 IOPS and above and a sustained sequential read performance up to 230MB/s, an exceptional performance for a mechanical drive. The pure capacity is pretty nice too considering the default 3.5-inch form factor and it has an areal density of 1333Gb per square inch. The average seek read and write latencies are rated to be 8.5ms and 9.5ms, or lower. The whole thing is rounded off with an 180TB per year workload rating, a 1 million hour mean time before failure, and a 3-year warranty.
The great performance comes from Seagate’s years of experience that the put into the hardware and also the firmware that controls the drive. NASWorks is optimized for use as storage drives and it has been tuned to deliver higher performance, a better reliability and interoperability with popular NAS enclosures, and it has the RAID Recovery feature that prevents the NAS from a full RAID rebuild if the RAID degrades. Extended error recovery controls correct data without the need for full drive rebuilds.
Performance isn’t everything, but as we’ve seen above, that part is well covered. There are two further factors that need to be considered before you decide which drives to use: Acoustics and power consumption. A drive that consumes a lot of power can quickly drive up the total cost of ownership and it’s also bad for the environment. The Seagate NAS 8TB drive has an average power consumption of 9W during active operations and an idle power consumption of 7.2W. When in sleep or standby mode, the drives will consume as little as 0.6W. The 8TB NAS HDD doesn’t make much noise either and is rated for just 2.6 bels during operation and 2.5 bels when idle.
Seagate also offers the optional +Rescue Data Recovery Services for extra peace of mind. With this extra service, Seagate has your back and can recover the data from a possible failed drive. Whether the error is due to mechanical failure or accidental damage, most data can be recovered when done right. It is a fast and easy recovery process where your data can be restored in 15 days or less. This is also a field that Seagate is very successful in with an approximately 90% success rate in data recovery.
So if you need drives for backup and disaster recovery, multimedia server and storage, file and print server sharing, archival, remote access, virtualization, or a private cloud storage, then this might be just the right drive for you.
8, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1TB capacity options
Seagate NAS HDDs are built and tested to provide industry-leading performance for small NAS systems.
NASWorks technology supports customised error recovery controls, power management and vibration tolerance for optimal performance and reliability with workloads up to 180TB/year workload rate limit (WRL).
NAS error recovery controls optimise drive health by helping to ensure drives are not dropped from the NAS and sent into a RAID rebuild.
Improved vibration tolerance and emission in multi-drive systems with dual plane balance.
Advanced power management supports multiple power profiles for lowpower, 24×7 performance.
Quiet drive operation enhances the customer experience in living room or office environments.
Optional 3-year Rescue recovery service plan protects against data loss from viruses, software issues, or mechanical and electrical breakdowns in a NAS or RAID environment.
It has been a little over half a year since Thecus introduced the support for Orbweb.me on their WSS-based NAS’. That was so successful that the support now has been extended to all of Thecus’ Linux-based NAS’ too. Whether you run the older Thecus OS 5.0 or the recently released Thecus OS 7.0, you can now have easy access to your NAS and everything that’s connected to it from anywhere.
Some might say, I already have access to it all from everywhere, that’s the point of a NAS. But the ease of which you have access to it, how easy it is to use, and the security behind it isn’t always the same. The Orbweb.me application brings a new remote access experience to Thecus Linux NAS from any web browsers such as Chrome, Internet Explorer or Firefox as well as mobile devices powered by iOS and Android.
Orbweb.me is a P2P (Peer To Peer) module that allows users to easily view, stream and manage files in their NAS anytime and anywhere. Best of all, you don’t need to know your IP address and it works well over shared connections too.
Orbweb4.0 offers several features including webcam monitoring with timeline view and snapshot. All these features further increase Thecus NAS functionality. The Orbweb.me application is also available to download for any windows PC in its basic version, but because of the partnership between Thecus and Orbweb, Thecus NAS include a subscription for the Orbweb.me Ultimate Version that otherwise require an annual $69.99 subscription fee.
Thecus NAS uses an arsenal of security protocols and features to maintain user´s data safety. To prevent data from coming under attack when data is being transferred, Orbweb.me uses AES 256-bit encryption to secure all data traffic.
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.
QNAP’s newest server, the TDS-16489U, is an amazing one that sets itself apart from the rest in so many ways. I want one so badly even though I have absolutely no need for this kind of power. This must be how a normal person feels when they see a Bugatti Veyron. But let us get back to the new QNAP dual server.
The TDS-16489U is a powerful dual server that’s both an application server and storage server baked into on chassis for simplicity and effectiveness. It is powered by two Intel Xeon E5 processors with 4, 6, or 8 cores each while supporting up to 1TB DDR4 2133 MHz memory with its 16 DIMM slots. These are already some impressive specs, but this is just where the fun begins.
The dual server has 16 front-accessible drive bays for 3.5-inch storage drives as well four rear-facing 2.5-inch drive bays for SSD cache. Should this not be enough, then you can expand that further by use of NVMe based PCI-Express SSDs too. The system has three SAS 12 Gb/s controllers built-in to couple it all together.
There are just as many connection options as there are storage options in the TDS-16489U. It comes with two normal Gigabit Ethernet ports as well as four SFP+ 10Gbps ports powered by an Intel XL710. Should that not be enough, then you can use the PCI-Express slots to expand with further NICs of your choice. The system supports the use of 40 Gbps cards too. It also comes with a dedicated IPMI connection besides the normal networking. The PCI-Express x16 Gen.3 slots can also be used with AMD R7 or R9 graphics cards for GPU passthrough to virtualization applications. A true one-device solution for applications, storage, and virtualization.
The TDS-16489U combines outstanding virtualization and storage technologies as an all-around dual server. With Virtualization Station and Container Station, computation and data from the guest OS and apps can be directly stored on the TDS-16489U through the internal 12Gb/s SAS interface. Coupled with Double-Take Availability to provide comprehensive high availability and disaster recovery, backup virtual machines can support failover for the primary systems on the TDS-16489U whenever needed to enable data protection and continuous services. QNAP Virtualization Station is a virtualization platform based on KVM (Kernel Virtual Machine) infrastructure. By sharing the Linux kernel, GPU passthrough, virtual switches, VM import/export, snapshot, backup & restoration, SSD cache acceleration and tiered storage.
“Software frameworks for Big Data management and analysis like Apache Hadoop or Apache Spark can be easily operated on the TDS-16489U using virtual machines or containerized apps, and with Qtier Technology for Auto Tiering the TDS-16489U empowers Big Data computing and provides efficient storage in one box to help businesses gain further insights, opportunities and values,” said David Tsao, Product Manager of QNAP.
With all the above, we shouldn’t forget that it still also runs QNAP’s QTS 4.2 operating system that provides everything you know and love from that. Included is the comprehensive virtualization applications that we’ve also seen on our consumer models, but this is where you truly can take advantage of what QNAP created and run multiple Windows, Linux, Unix, and Android-based virtual machines on your NAS. All the backup solutions and failover, from local to other NAS or the cloud. You can do it all. Share files to basically any device anywhere is made as easy as possible.
Should you still not have enough storage in this impressive unit, then you can expand with up to 8 of the QNAP enclosures and reach a seriously impressive 1152 TB raw storage capacity controlled by this single 3U server unit. The CPU power, dual system capabilities, virtualization options and impressive storage option will let you deploy an impressive system with a very tiny size and total cost of ownership compared to traditional setups.
16-bay, 3U rackmount unit
2 x Intel Xeon E5-2600 v3 Family processor (with 4-core, 6-core and 8-core configurations)
64GB~1TB DDR4 2133MHz RDIMM/LRDIMM RAM (16 DIMM)
4 x SFP+ 10GbE ports
hot-swappable 16 x 3.5″ SAS (12Gbps/6Gbps)/SATA (6Gbps/3Gbps) HDD or 2.5″ SAS/SATA SSD, and 4 x
2.5″ SAS (12Gbps) SSD or SAS/SATA (6Gbps/3Gbps) SSD;
If you haven’t invested in a NAS for your home yet, then it might be time to do so as it can make your digital life so much easier by being a centralized storage and media centre. Synology officially released the newest model of theirs and it might be the perfect unit as your first one. The new DS216j is built around Marvell’s Armada 385 dual-core 1 GHz CPU and it comes with 512MB DDR3 memory onboard.
The DiskStation DS216j is able to deliver a great performance despite the low-sounding specifications and can deliver an outstanding read/write performance of 112.75 MB/s in reading and over 97.6 MB/s in writing when connecting from a Windows environment. The system is equipped with a single RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet port and two USB 3.0 ports for high-speed storage and other USB devices .
The DS216j is focused on home and personal use where it allows you to build your own personal cloud or served as their centralised multimedia server effortlessly. Backup and sync files across NAS’, PCs, and mobile devices as easy as a few clicks to initialize a job after which everything runs on its own. You can also stream files to DLNA media players and devices, Chromecast, or Airplay with ease as well as attach USB speakers for direct playback from the NAS itself.
The DS216j is a budget and entry-level unit which shows in a few places. These aren’t bad things, just things that can cut production costs and provide you with a cheaper product such as fewer connection ports and the not having ejectable drive bays. Users can also adjust the LED indicators brightness based on four different settings as well as schedule it on demand.
Synology’s DiskStation DS216j is now available worldwide and comes with an RRP of just £126.00 including VAT or €145.00 excluding VAT. The DS216j NAS is backed with a 2-year limited warranty.
It has been about six months since Synology launched the Beta program for the new DiskStation Manager (DSM) 6.0 and we’re so very close to an official release. Today I’m taking a closer look at just this new operating system and will show you the new improvements and features.
This review is a little special for me as my NAS reviews normally focus a lot more on the hardware side of things as well as the performance. It isn’t that I don’t show the user interface and features, but there isn’t room to dive as deep into the system as there is today where I’m focusing on the operating system and apps alone.
There are a lot of new great enhancements in DSM 6.0 and one of the best is one that you’ll barely notice as a normal user because it’s going on behind the curtains. The new OS has been upgraded to a 64-bit architecture on compatible models. This will not only allow for a better overall performance by utilizing the modern CPUs a lot better, it also supports over 4GB memory allocation for one single process to deploy large scale applications.
Synology also took some of the previous built-in features and modularized them into packages instead. This ensures better system maintenance and update flexibility. The Modularization in DSM 6.0 includes Storage Analyzer, Hyper Backup, PHP, Web Station and Text Editor, Log Center with basic built-in functions in DSM and extensive functions via package download, WebDAV, and Snapshot Replication.
DSM 6.0 brings a lot of enhancements for both home users and enterprises alike. The High Availability Manager server is now able to handle split-brain errors a lot better and it doesn’t require a full data replication anymore to get back up and running. This can save you from valuable downtime and thereby profit loss. It also comes with improved upgrade efficiency and cluster binding, and best of all, it also supports Docker DSM
Backup and replication got new features too and some things got moved around to accommodate the new add-on packages. Any existing setups will automatically be moved to the new locations upon upgrading, so that’s not something you need to worry about. CSP support got added to the security features in order to prevent XSS attacks while TLS and SSL profiles can be adjusted according to your browser capability and settings. Another nifty new security feature is that you can add and manage you most frequently used devices as trusted devices that don’t need a verification code every time you log in.
There are several new and pretty awesome features in DSM 6.0 beta, where on of them is the Docker DSM. Businesses can create a multi-tenant environment with flexible resource control and secure isolation. All Docker DSMs run independently from each other and provide additional features such as live migration. Synology’s multi-version backup provides snapshot and replication to one or more remote sites, up to every 5 minutes, and block-level incremental backup and cross-version deduplication is also included. You’re well covered here.
The SSD cache feature allows you to use up to 12 SSDs now, but that amount is naturally for the big enterprise models and the home-use NAS don’t come that kind of drive-bay amount. When SSD cache is enabled on a volume with advanced iSCSI LUNs, the performance can be improved up to 30%. You can now use different SSD models to create an SSD cache.
This is truly an upgrade that worth the shift from 5.x to 6.0 with the amount of features added, and I’ve only mentioned some of them up until now. The search feature won’t just search file and directory names now, it can also search the files actual content as well as meta tags to find just the thing you’re looking for. You can use 802.1X network authentication for wired networks and organize your firewall rules into different profiles.
There’s also a new Spreadsheet feature with co-editing, historical versions, tag, and file sharing link as part of Note Station. Offline editing, one-click email clipping, and instant table-chart conversion is also part of the deal. Apple Watch users can now enjoy the Note Station even more as it is now compatible with the Watch. Owners of an Apple Watch can now check notes directly on their wrist, or create new notes via voice input.
MailPlus server comes with active-active architecture, load balancing, and content filters and allows you to have a great mail solution running right from your own location. The clients are browser- and mobile-based and feature physical mailbox, virtual labels, auto-filter, and sticker.
Cloud Station Server and Cloud Sync now provide users with flexible synchronization of files within specified subfolders in addition to shared folders. Small file syncing has now become over 8 times faster than before which is great as those small files often come in big groups. Synology also revamped the Video station for this new version. It now supports offline transcoding, on-screen buttons, and Windows 10. DS Audio got Apple Watch support now too, to allow users to select songs, playlists, and broadcasts directly.
It has been about three years since ASUSTOR introduced the ADM operating system, now they’re ready with the public beta on the newest version, ADM 2.6. The new ADM version enhances a lot of core functions in the operating system and it is one well worth checking out for ASUSTOR NAS owners. Among the improvements in ADM 2. beta, we find an even better MyArchive function, advanced iSCSI LUn snapshot configuration, and a more flexible cloud storage system as well as an improved Portal experience.
One of ADM’s strongest points and one of the features that I love most on the ASUSTOR NAS is the MyArchive feature. It allows you to use internal drives in a more flexible way that allows drive ejection at basically any time. This allows you to use drives in the same way you would optical drives, only with a lot more storage capacity and the abilities that come from HDDs. That feature is better than even with ADM 2. beta as it now allows for N-1 drive bays to be assigned as MyArchive drives which mean that you can use all but the main drive for it. Further, you can now format the MyArchive drives as NTFS and HFS+ on top of EXT4 to allow for easy connection to Windows and Mac OS systems when not in use in the NAS’. Also, you can self-define tags for each disk for easier management and identification, each MyArchive drive can be configured to automatically mount on up to 20 trusted NAS devices, supports AES 256-bit encryption by password, electronic key, or physical USB device. As an ASUSTOR NAS user myself, I can say that I love every one of these new features.
MyArchive isn’t the only place that got improvements. Account management also got easier with the new ADM beta version and now includes batch-creation of user accounts, including import function from text and CSV files with integrity check. You can also create scheduled iSCSI LUN snapshots now to take regular snapshots based on specific time periods.
Along with the ADM 2.6 beta enhancements, ASUSTOR 31, 50, 51, 61, 62 and 7 series users can also upgrade to the ASUSTOR Portal beta and URL-Pack, allowing them to stream from even more popular media sites. There’s a newly added hardware accelerated Chromium browser next to Crome, you get smooth streaming of YouTube 1080p videos, and can stream from sites such as Iqiyi, Sohu, Tudou, Youku, Vimeo, MetaCafe, US Stream, Crunchyroll, and Vudu directly on your TV.
You can find all the detailed information about the ADM 2.6 Beta program on the official minisite or just go ahead and upgrade your NAS right away. Keep in mind tho, this is a beta version, so there could be possible bugs.
ADM 2.6 beta Update Highlights
Upgrades the GNU C library from eglibc 2.13 to glibc 2.22
Upgrades the Linux kernel for AS50/51/70 devices to the latest 4.1 long-term support version
Increases supported MyArchive bay number to N-1
Adds NTFS, HFS+ support for MyArchive disks
Supports AES-256-bit encryption for MyArchive disks (in EXT4 format only)
Supports batch creation and importation of ADM accounts
Supports scheduled iSCSI LUN snapshots
Supports intermediate certificate importation
Supports hardware accelerated Chromium for optimized YouTube performance
Adds URL-pack app to offer more popular streaming video websites
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.
Thecus announced the launch of two new enterprise-grade NAS with 12 and 16 bays and packed with plenty of features and connectivity while running on Haswell Xeon processors. The new N12580 and N16850 offer massive scalability on top of their cross-platform file sharing, schedulable snapshots, and resilient data integrity for a working environment that won’t let your enterprise down.
The two new servers come equipped with the Intel’s Haswell Xeon E3-1231 v3 3.4GHz processor and the C224 chipset. They are equipped with 16GB DDR3 ECC RAM but support up to 32GB each. Four RJ45 LAN ports allow for plenty of connectivity and the units come with plenty of USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports too. Inside the NAS’, you’ll find an 8-lane (x1) or 4-lane (x2) and 1-lane (x1) PCI-E slot for further expansions. All that coupled together should make the N12850 and N16850 deliver lightning fast, persistent throughput speeds while offering the requirements necessary to efficiently complete CPU-consuming tasks and serves more concurrent tasks at the same time.
“Businesses today are seeking a NAS system that can best handle the demanding day-to-day high storage needs that occur in the workplace. Our new enterprise-class N12850 and N16850 NAS series are the solution. With advanced data protection and integrity mechanisms, these rackmounts NAS provide the ideal choice for storing a business’s crucial data.” said Florence Shih, CEO of Thecus Technology Corp.
With native support for both SAS and SATA drives, users can experience the superior storage performance of 12G SAS and 6G SATA drives for a flexible storage environment. These new models are 10GbE ready and support High Availability for system redundancy. The units also deploy Daisy Chaining via SAS technology which offers connections to four additional D16000 units, allowing users to reach storage capacities of up to 640TB. Impressive.
These new units also come with some new features which include Virtualization, Volume encryption, Free Intel Security, Thecus App Center and User Profiles. This new enterprise series delivers significant improvements in design, performance, and user experience.
Intel Haswell XEON processor
16GB DDR3 ECC RAM
AES-NI hardware encryption engine
Redundant power supply
4 x USB 2.0 ports, USB 2 x 3.0 ports
1 x VGA port
6G SATA and SAS 12G compatibility
Hot-swappable hard drives
RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, 50, 60 and JBOD
The new Thecus N16850 and N12850 servers are expected to begin shipping globally in April, so that will be very soon and the wait won’t be long.
Even with the best of routers, you can run into trouble with insufficient coverage on your wireless networks and that is where repeaters come into play. Mostly we see small repeaters that plug directly into the wall socket and aren’t much bigger than a socket and switch put together, but ASUS’ latest repeater dubbed the RP-AC68U breaks with that norm.
The newly presented ASUS RP-AC68U is a dual-band wireless AC1900 repeater shaped like a pillar and with a list of advanced functions that make it stand out even more from the crowd. The stylish RP-AC68U features four internal high-performance antennas (3 transmit, 4 receive) and allows users to easily extend coverage of an existing 802.11ac Wi-Fi network with fast speeds of up to 1900Mbps.
The rear of the wireless repeater shows just how much this repeater goes out of the norm as it comes with five Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports built-in as well as a USB 3.0 port for connecting storage devices to your network. The USB port supports ASUS AiCloud and can act with simple NAS functionality and as your own personal cloud server with apps available for both iOS and Android devices. The RP-AC68U can also be used in Access Point mode to add ultra-fast Wi-Fi convenience to any existing wired network.
The illuminated red accents can be turned on or off by a convenient touch sensor incorporated in the ASUS logo on the front and the installation and setup is just as easy. The repeater features a simple one-touch setup with WPS and it has LED signal strength indicators for both bands. This allows you to easily find the optimal placement for the repeater.
Pricing and availability are yet to be announced. It surely won’t be the cheapest repeater on the block, but it also provides a lot more functionality than we’re used to from such devices. It is as close as it can be to a router without being one.
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.
QNAP released their new innovative dual QTS and Android-based NAS a little while ago now they’ve improved more upon it with the addition of Netflix support. Android has grown into on of the largest app platform that can run on a lot of different types of hardware, including NAS servers. The QNAP TAS-168/268 uses this to its advantage and it is the first Android-based NAS that supports Netflix. Users can now simply download the free Netflix app from Google Play and get all the benefits from streaming service directly on their TV or monitor.
Users will simply need to connect their TAS-168/268 NAS to an HDMI display and they’ll be able to enjoy all the benefits of this dual-system. Enjoy the numerous programs and multimedia content on Netflix with a smooth and convenient streaming experience. You can also attach a keyboard and mouse to directly to the NAS besides using the included remote control to take control of the playback.
“Netflix is one of the most popular Internet video streaming services in the world, and we are pleased to announce that it is compatible with our Android-based TAS-168/268 NAS.” said Hanz Sung, Product Manager of QNAP, “with the addition of Netflix, TAS-168/268 users can further maximize their home entertainment options by streaming their favorite movies and TV shows to a big screen in their living room.”
The QNAP TAS-168/268 are powered by an ARM v7 dual-core processor and come with 2GB DDR3 RAM. It is officially certificated by Google and Netflix isn’t the only available multimedia app. With access to the entire Google Play library, you got nearly endless possibilities in games and applications. There is no need to purchase an extra android TV box when your NAS already has these capabilities on top of terabytes of storage. The system can handle 4K (H.265 & H.264) HDMI output which makes it the optimal budget-friendly multimedia NAS that provides near-unlimited entertainment possibilities.
We will also have a full review ready for you shortly on the QNAP TAS-268, so stay tuned for more.
ASUSTOR’s latest NAS feature could be one of the most useful features yet to be added, but it does come with a few things that you should pay attention to before you get too excited. The new feature is called QuikFynd and while it sounds like a frying pan from IKEA, it is an awesome search feature for your NAS.
The first thing that might come between you and the usage of QuikFynd is that it is limited to the x86 based models. This is however a logic limitation as it is a feature that requires some proper performance in order to deliver a workable experience. Also, most ASUSTOR NAS are X86 based, so users of ASUSTOR 2, 3, 6, 31, 50, 51,61, 62, 70 series devices combined with the latest ADM 2.5.2 version and onwards can now find the comprehensive search app QuikFynd in their App Central.
“With data become digitized in exponential amounts, businesses and individual users alike, all face the problematic task of accurately searching for items from amongst thousands of files and terabytes of data. QuikFynd provides a convenient search solution, allowing users to quickly search for target files stored on their NAS according to content, file name or tags.”
After installation, users can open the dedicated interface from the ADM desktop and begin searching or use one of the mobile apps that also should be available now. You have the full privacy of your files as everything is stored on your own server at home.
There is one more thing with ASUSTOR’s QuikFynd that you should pay attention to. There are two different versions of this feature, a Lite version that is free or a Pro version that you’ll need to pay for. Both versions offer search by names and meta-data tags, streaming over local networks, search history, recent items, access from a browser, and access from mobile apps. The Pro version also allows for full-text search, location details from GPS tags, search text within images, stream to remote devices, and result-highlighting.
ASUSTOR is letting you try the Pro version for 3-months without costs, but after that, you’ll have to pay either $20 for a year’s subscription or $60 for a lifetime subscription to the QuikFynd Pro features. As previously mentioned, the apps can be found through your App Central within the ADM and you can find all the details and subscribe on the official website.
ASUSTOR released a new version, although it’s only a beta version for now, of their Photo Gallery NAS feature. The new version brings a lot of new features as well optimizations and speedups on existing function. The new Photo Gallery 2.0 Beta is available now and it is compatible with all ASUSTOR NAS devices running ADM version 2.5.2BDF1 and onwards.
The new Photo Gallery 2.0 Beta offers multi-level folder structures, increased thumbnail processing speeds, and more sorting functions than before. New features also include auto rotation to correct orientation of uploaded images, a concealable side navigation bar that shows album folder structures, and an intuitive search function. Customizable browsing quality based on the device and network environment was also added in order to give you the best experience. Those are all great things that I’m sure will be welcome among the ASUSTOR NAS users.
This latest version of Photo Gallery is using a new database technology that makes most of these functions possible, such as the multiple levels of folders as well as the greatly increasing thumbnail processing speeds that will give you a much smoother browsing experience.
We take more and more digital photos every day and the larger the collection grows, the harder it gets to sort and manage them. We want this to get as easy as possible and the new Photo Gallery 2.0 Beta version offers some new improvements here. You can now switch between Album and Browse modes when viewing photos. Users can also customize the browsing interface according to their preferences where customizable items include language, hide and show the number of comments, show the total number of photos on a page, image aspect ratio, and the ability to prioritize image quality or speed according to the usage environment or device. Another new feature is the ability to auto-rotate photos based on the information stored in the image file. This can save many hours of work manually rotating all your panorama shots, for example.
“In our modern technological age, the total output of digital photos is growing significantly every day. The ability to manage all these photos has become a key issue for many individuals,” said Vincent Tseng, Product Manager at ASUSTOR. “Photo Gallery allows users to save time and effort while helping them to centrally manage all of their photos. Users will be able to effortlessly browse and share all of their favorite photos with friends and family around the globe.”
The new Photo Gallery 2.0 Beta is available directly from the Beta Apps section in your ASUSTOR App Central and it is also available as a direct download for devices that don’t have an active internet connection. There’s also a new Android app, AiFoto 2.0 beta, available to work with the new Photo Gallery 2.0 Beta. A new iOS version will also be available soon.
Key features for the Photo Gallery 2.0 beta version
“Album” and “Browse” viewing modes: “Album” mode, organizes all the photos from the various subfolders of an album into a single level for convenient browsing while “Browse” mode allows users to browse through photos in detail according to the album and subfolder infrastructure.
Multi-level folder structure support: In “Browse” mode users can create multiple levels of subfolders. And for second level folders can assign permissions, providing flexibility for permissions management.
Concealable side navigation bar: Provides album thumbnails and total photo count for each album.
User preferences: Individual users can decide whether to show the total number of comments and whether or not to have the side bar automatically open to the location of the current album being viewed. Users can also change the interface language and configure image quality according to browsing device, optimizing the browsing experience.
Intuitive sorting: Ability to sort images in ascending or descending order according to file name or time taken.
Adjustable browsing: Supports photo wall, 1:1, 4:3 and 16:9 image ratios for display along with an ability to scale down images to a minimum of 0.60 times. The number of photos shown per page can also be configured (50, 100, 250, 500, 1000).
Automatic image rotation to correct orientation, saving time and energy.
Comprehensive search function: Can use keywords to search within specified albums and folders. Can also specify search criteria such as file name, album name, file description, comments, commenter, time taken, time uploaded and tags.
One-click sharing to social media (Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Plurk, email)
Intuitive drag and drop management: In “Browse” mode, supports directly dragging and dropping photos to move them.
Can configure album cover and tags (for a single photo or batch of photos).
Slideshow viewing mode
Provides comment function for users to interact with each other.
Supports a wide range of image formats: RAW, PNG, JPEG, TIFF, GIF
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.
We’ve already had the pleasure of a single drive review of Seagate’s Enterprise NAS 6TB HDDs and today it has become time for the RAID review. Thecus provided me with five of these drives, but I’ll only be using four in this review today. Four is a magic number when it comes to RAID and the fifth drive would most likely be set as global spare in most systems anyway, so no point in added it. Four drives also give us a great consistency with other RAID reviews done in the past.
Seagate’s Enterprise NAS drives come in capacities ranging from 1TB and all the way up to 8TB, but I only got the 6TB models in today. The Enterprise NAS series is designed for cloud-based systems and NAS application. They offer support for the use in systems with up to 16 drive bays which is a double up compared to what consumer NAS drives offer. It is very important to use a drive that is properly suited for your area of operation and not just pick any random cheap drive from the shelve. A farmer wouldn’t use an SUV to plow his fields either, it’s just not built for the task. So forget all about misleading Backblaze reports as the figures, features, and warranties speak for themselves here.
The 6TB Seagate Enterprise NAS HDD comes with 128MB cache and a spindle speed of 7200RPM. This is quite a bit more than the variable speeded drives that come with a maximum speed of 5400RPM. This makes the drives a little louder, but the Enterprise NAS HDD is surprisingly silent compared to other 7200RPM drives and only generates 2.5 bels during idle and 2.7 bels maximum during seek operations.
The average seek times are set to 8.5ms reading and 9.5ms writing. The performance is rated with up to 216MB/s sustained data rate and an average read/write rate of 154MB/s. You can run the drive in harsher environments as the Enterprise NAS HDD will work from zero to 70 degrees and can withstand up to 70Gs shocks at 2ms read and 40Gs at 2ms write. This 6TB version is built with 12 heads total for the 6 1TB disks it houses.
The Enterprise NAS drives have a long endurance and great workload ratings. The endurance is rated for 300TB a year and they have a 1.2 million hour mean time before failure rating. Seagate is also backing these drives with a 5-Year warranty and also offers optional 5-Year Rescue Data Recovery options.
The available Rescue Data Recovery Service options can save the day when the worst case scenario happens. It is an extra feature that you might want to consider when dealing with your important data. Any company is more or less lost when they lose their digital data. Seagate Recovery Services (SRS) can save the day in the following situations: RAID controller failure, Lost RAID configuration, accidental reconfiguration, accidental re-initialization of the RAID array, power surges that cause multiple drive failures simultaneously, missing RAID partitions, reformatted RAID partitions, virus damage, natural disaster, human error and drive failures. Most data can be recovered in-lab with a nearly 90% success rate.
The drives are built on customer proven technologies coupled with the newest density platters that allow for lower power consumptions, smaller overall footprint, and lower total cost of ownership over previous drive generations. The RV sensors provide strong reliable performance and the controller is flashed with NAS-optimized firmware for balanced reads and writes.
The drives naturally support ATA8 streaming commands, NCQ, and are performance tuned for RAID applications. On-the-fly ECC algorithms make sure that the data arrives as it should and S.M.A.R.T. allows you to check on the drives status and health.
The PCB of the Seagate Enterprise NAS 6TB HDDs is well protected and the HDD controller and motor controller both feature heat transfer pads to help them stay cool in hot environments. The 128MB cache on the HDD is provided by an SK Hynix chip.
Enterprise-class reliability and performance for cloud-based storage and NAS applications in 1- to 16-bay enclosures
1.2 million hours MTBF for enterprise-class reliability
300TB-per-year workload rating for mid-range NAS and cloud-based storage
Backed by the Seagate 5-Year Limited Warranty
7200-RPM spindle speed performance
Double the cache size, 256MB multisegmented on 8TB capacity, 128MB on the other sizes
Dual-stage actuators to deliver precision seeks every time
SATA 6Gb/s interface for easy integration into NAS and RAID rackmount systems
RV sensor for sustained performance and reliability
Optional 5-year Rescue Data Recovery Service plan protects against data loss in NAS and RAID environments.
The specifications are taken directly from the manufacturers homepage at the time of the review and might as such be subject to possible future changes.
Even with SSDs driving the news cycle more and more, HDDs are still around and kicking. One of two major HDD firms Seagate has just launched their highest capacity NAS HDD with a whopping 8TB of storage space. The drive is oriented towards NAS users with NAS-specific features and RAID and comes with a 3-year warranty.
With 8TB of capacity, the new drive will be perfect for the home NAS in creating a personal cloud or simply for mass multimedia storage. Another major market is the burgeoning SOHO segment as more and more people start running small business’s and working from home.
The drive operates at the standard 7200rpm without resorting any exotic methods like helium fill. Using standard PMR (parallel magnetic recording), it packs 1.33TB per platter with a total of 6 platters. This backed up by 256MB of DRAM cache and connected over an SATA 3 interface, not the SAS commonly used by enterprise. Peak transfer rate should be about 216MB/s though that is a best case scenario unlikely to be encountered in real life. The rest of the lineup includes 1TB, 2TB, 3TB, 4TB and 6TB drives for those that don’t need such a massive drive. the only problem for such a large drive is backing up and restoring in case of drive failure.
The latest NAS from QNAP was on display at CES 2016, and it’s a serious powerhouse targeted at the professional video and image editing market. To facilitate the needs of those who do a lot of multimedia processing, the TVS-871T Thunderbolt comes equipped with an Intel Core i7-4790S, although an i5-4590S is also available; each comes equipped with 16GB of DDR3 RAM.
You’ll find a lot of great features here, such as QTS 4.2, Qsirch, mobile access and more. Connectivity is amazing too, with dual thunderbolt ports, 2 x LAN and 2 x 10GbE ports (10GBased-T), four three USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0. This means we’ve got wide support for high transfer speeds over network, direct to PC and MAC.
Of course, this 8-bay powerhouse won’t come cheap, and prices will be $4399 and $4799 for the i5 and i7 models respectively.
CES 2016: Not everyone has room for a full-size NAS, and some people would just prefer a slimmer and quieter unit in general if given the option. The new NASBook for QNAP looks perfect for those who demand a highly portable unit, but even more so for those who want a compact size with big performance.
Equipped with 4 x m.2 SSD bays, with support for 2280/2260/2242 SATA 6Gb/s SSDs, in raid 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, 5+ hot spare, JBOD and, of course, separate volumes. There are 2 RAM slots for up to 8GB of DDR3L RAM, a powerful Intel Celeron N3150 quad-core Braswell processor and built in Intel HD Graphics. That means 4K video playback with real-time transcoding!
Equipped with QTS 4.2.1 OS, as well as all the high-end NAS features that come with it, the NAS also has two HDMI ports, two USB ports, audio jacks, IR receiver, and a built-in Gigabit switch! Overall, this is a seriously well-equipped multimedia powerhouse, perfect for a home entertainment setup.
CES 2016: The latest range of NAS from QNAP may look fairly similar to the current range, but they’re so much better than ever before! The new TS-253A comes equipped with an updated 1.6GHz quad-core processor and 4GB of DDR3L RAM (upgradable to 8GB). The new CPU setup not only means faster processing and performance in general, but it’ll also unlock the power needed for Ultra HD 4K and 2K video playback, ideal for those of you who use a HTPC, Plex, or the built-in media functions on the NAS its self.
To add to the multimedia performance, you’ll now also find a pair of HDMI ports, and two microphone sockets for Karaoke functions. Overall, a pretty fantastic setup, and don’t worry about storage, as there is also the 4-bay, 6-bay and 8-bay models featuring the same set of upgrades.
Finally, the NAS now features native Linux OS, so you can boot directly to the desktop OS or right into the NAS, giving you a whole host of extended functionality. We’ll have details on pricing for you shortly, look out for full reviews in the coming weeks.