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

QNAP Launches New Powerful Dual-10Gbps Rack NAS’

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.

Both of these new QNAP series should be available now, so all that’s left to do, is to select which one you want.

QNAP Launches TDS-16489U Dual Xeon E5 Double Server

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.

Key Specifications

  • 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;
  • 4 x PCle slots;
  • 4 x USB 3.0 port

The new QNAP TDS-16489U dual-server is now available.

QNAP TAS-268 QTS and Android Combo NAS Review

Introduction


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.

Feature Highlights

  • Dual-core CPU
  • 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.

QNAP SilentNAS HS-251+ 2-Bay Passive-Cooled NAS Review

Introduction


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.

Feature Highlights

  • 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 Added Netflix Support to TAS-x68 Dual-Systems

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.

Best of CES 2016 – QNAP M.2 SSD NASBook

We saw a lot of great products at this year’s show, but the latest storage device from QNAP really stood out from the crowd. While deploying huge NAS systems is no bad thing, they offer lots of potential for storing huge amounts of data at a competitive price, the new M.2 SSD NASBook could be the future of NAS systems.

Offering up a super compact form factor, this little box runs quiet, hold up to four M.2 drives and offers up blisteringly fast performance. When it comes to building a connected home multimedia setup, or managing all of your personal data, this could be the perfect NAS for the job.

Equipped with 4 x m.2 SSD bays, support for 2280/2260/2242 SATA 6Gb/s SSDs, 2 RAM slots for up to 8GB of DDR3L RAM, a powerful Intel Celeron N3150 quad-core Braswell processor with built-in Intel HD Graphics, the NASBook can transcode 4K video in real-time! I know I would love one of these as part of my own home setup, it’s small enough and stylish enough to place under your TV, in your office, or anywhere for that matter. With the added bonus of great connectivity and a built in gigabit switch to make it a true hub for your home/office.

QNAP M.2 SSD NASBook

Check out our full CES coverage of the QNAP M.2 SSD NASBook here or check out our latest QNAP storage, news, reviews and competitions here!

QNAP Display TAS-268 Android Powered NAS @ CES 2016

CES 2016: We’ve seen all kinds of NAS hit the market over the years, but the latest from QNAP, the TAS-268 Android, really stands out from the crowd. It’s no secret that operating a NAS can be a little daunting for the average consumer, but Android OS is something a lot more people are familiar and comfortable with using. The Android-powered NAS boots right up to the Android desktop, giving you access to the Play Store and all the apps that come with it, meaning you can tap into Netflix, Amazon Prime, Plex, and so much more right out of the box.

With 2 x 3.5″ bays giving you up to 12TB of storage, this could be ideal for those who need to backup all their data from smartphones, tablets, desktop systems and more, while also offering a full suite of multimedia features for the family entertainment system(s). Those wanting to dive into more advanced features will still find the amazing QTS interface too, giving you the choice of an Android multimedia station and standard NAS at the touch of a button. With HDMI output, four USB ports, Gigabit LAN and more, this is a great little unit.

The unit is tool-free, making it very user friendly and QNAP also said there will be a more affordable 1-Bay unit available soon too. Stay tuned for more information on this one in the coming weeks.

QNAP HS-251+ Silent NAS @ CES 2016

CES 2016: The latest Silent NAS from QNAP, the HS-251+, is on display here at CES 2016, a well-equipped multimedia hub that supports 2GB of DDR3L RAM, up to 16TB of storage via 2 x 8TB hard drives, and as the name would suggest, completely silent operation thanks to its passively cooled design.

Equipped with a pair of Gigabit LAN ports, dual HDMI, high-speed USB ports and more, it offers up fantastic connectivity, allowing you to hook up to your home network and get the faster transfer speeds when you need them. It’s going to be great for those who use multimedia apps such as Plex, or even for those who need a compact and silent way to backup their important data. It’ll certainly beat out any of the current crop of smart TVs in terms of performance and features, making for a great AV setup upgrade or addition to your desktop.

With such a compact form factor and a completely silent design, this is certainly an attractive solution for those who don’t want, or don’t have the space for, bigger 2 bay NAS systems, which are often a bit noisier too. Would you add the 251+ to your network? Or do you prefer a bigger, more traditional NAS unit?

QNAP TSV0871T Thunderbolt NAS @ CES 2016

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.

 

QNAP Demonstrate M.2 SSD NASBook @ CES 2016

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.

 

QNAP Demo Latest Braswell Power NAS Range @ CES 2016

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.

 

Win a 2-Bay QNAP TS-231+ NAS!

Eager to win another awesome prize? Of course you are! We’ve teamed up with QNAP to give you all the chance to win one of their lovely new TS-231+ two-bay NAS devices, perfect for the connected home, streaming your multimedia files, backing up all your important memories and more!

“The TS-231+ is a powerful yet easy-to-use network storage center for backup, synchronization, remote access, and home entertainment. With the Notes Station, you can easily create digital notes on a secure private cloud and share with colleagues and friends at no extra cost. Powered by an advanced ARM® Cortex®-A15 dual-core processor and 1GB RAM, the TS-231+ delivers outstanding multitasking performance as a SOHO NAS featuring three USB 3.0 and dual LAN ports. See how TS-231+ can enhance your working productivity & digital life.”

  • Build a private cloud-based notebook to share with colleagues and friends with the Notes Station 2.0 and Qnotes mobile app
  • Organize & manage files and backup tasks in one centralized location
  • Full NAS encryption by volume-based technology and hardware acceleration
  • Synchronize files between computers, laptops, and mobile devices
  • Create a 24/7 surveillance center for your home/small office
  • Stream your multimedia library via DLNA, AirPlay & Chromcast and play on TV
  • Transcode videos offline and enjoy smooth video streaming even with restricted network connection

For more information on the TS-231+ check out the official product page here.

Thank you QUNAP for providing us with this fantastic prize, and good luck to everyone entering!

Win a 2-Bay QNAP TS-231+ NAS!

QNAP’s HD Station Just Got Better With JRiver Media Center Support

QNAP continues to improve the experience for their customers and the newest incentive is an upgrade to the HybdridDesk Station 3.0 app that now comes with integrated support for the renowned JRiver Media Center and thereby provides even more options and choices for the users when it comes to their media experience.

The HybridDesk Station, for those who don’t already know it, is a combination of technologies that allows you to use your NAS unit as a PC by simply attaching a keyboard, mouse and HDMI monitor to it. Among others, it uses multimedia transcoding, Virtual Machine (VM) integration, cloud integration, NAS connection technologies, and more.

JRiver Media Center is perfect to manage a large library of media files and even multiple media servers within the same network. The media center features cover art and metadata art to make the management easier and users can use the powerful media player for flawless direct-streaming of every multimedia format as well as multi-zone multimedia streaming.

JRiver Media Center doesn’t just stream video, you can also use it to record directly with yourself. It also covers music and files besides the motion picture features. It has functions such as equalizer, tempo, pitch, and sample rate available to satisfy audiophiles’ tastes too.

The HD Station 3.0 is supported by QNAP’s TS-x51, TS-x51+, HS-251/251+, TS-x53 Pro, TVS-x63, TVS-x71, TVS-871T, TS/TVS-x80, TS-x70 and TS-x79 series with QTS 4.2.0 or above firmware.

QNAP Releases TS-x53A IoT-Centric QTS-Linux Combo NAS Series

Network attached storage devices have evolved a lot in the last 10 years from somewhat underpowered systems with the single purpose of serving your files across your network to what they are today. We first saw the introduction of the HDMI port for direct media playback, I think it was Thecus who was first with this, but the other companies were quick to follow and now they all have these entertainment combo units. Qnap’s are easily identifiable by the QvPC feature that allows you to use your NAS as an HTPC replacement too.

It does however not stop here and the world of technology keeps evolving. We recently saw QNAP announced the Hybrid QTS-Android NAS lineup and now they’ve introduced yet another great combination, the new TS-x53A series that are the world’s first QTS-Linux dual system NAS. The new QNAP TS-x53A series will be available in four different models: A 2-bay, 4-bay, 6-bay, and an 8-bay version. The features and functions of the four new QTS-Linux NAS stay pretty much the same besides the amount of drive bays available.

The new TS-x53A series is powered by a 14nm Intel Celeron N3150 quad-core processor with 1.6GHz (2.08GHz Boost) and hardware encryption engine. It also features the 8th generation HD Graphics from Intel that allows the TS-x53A series to provide 4K UHD HDMI output with 3K H.264 hardware-accelerated transcoding and playback. The systems are available with either 4GB or 8GB DDR3L-1600 RAM and upgradeable to a maximum of 8GB. The small 2-bay model only features two Gigabit Ethernet ports while the other models all have four Gigabit Ethernet RJ45 ports, and all of them come with plenty of USB 3.0 ports too.

“The next-generation TS-x53A QTS-Linux Combo NAS series is specially designed as a Linux-based gateway for the IoT era” said Jason Hsu, Product Manager of QNAP, adding “Alongside its high-speed data transmission and advanced snapshot features, it supports versatile HDMI applications and 4K video playback & transcoding. The TS-x53A series greatly extends possibilities for work and multimedia use, providing users with a complete storage solution with higher value to cost.”

Technically you could already run QTS next to Linux with QvPC and the container technologies that QTS provides, but these new servers also provide the Linux Station that can act as a great base for Internet of Things (IoT) applications and development. You can naturally also run all other OSes such as Windows, Android, and MacOS through the container and virtualization station. The TS-x53A series can also provide a secure private cloud environment for file backup and sharing.

The NAS series features all the great things that we know from other QNAP NAS, but there is one more thing that sets this series a little apart. The TS-x53A series supports OceanKTV, QNAP’s NAS-based karaoke systems with two 6.3mm microphone jacks and one 3.5mm line-out audio jack. With all this storage available, you can build yourself an impressive karaoke box while you still enjoy all the other benefits.

QNAP Launches World’s First QTS-Android Combo NAS’ TAS-x86

QNAP have brought us some awesome technologies that expand the NAS’ usage abilities and they back once again with a new combination of devices. The newest two NAS devices don’t just run QNAPs own QTS operating system for normal NAS usage, they come with a combination of QTS and Android, allowing you to use the NAS directly with all your favourite Android apps. The two NAS are the TAS-168 1-bay unit and the TAS-268 2-bay unit.

The new QNAP TAS-x68 series uses an ARM v7 1.1GHz dual-core processor and has 2GB DDR3 RAM and 4GB flash memory. You get one USB 3.0 port on the front and four USB 2.0 ports on the rear next to the Gigabit Ethernet port and an HDMI port.

The combination offers terabytes of storage capacity as well as 4K H.265 and H.264 HDMI-out and makes the TAS-x68 an optimal and budget-friendly multimedia NAS with nearly unlimited apps available. And you also save yourself the trouble of getting an Android-based TV box. And there aren’t that many Android boxes that support 4K UHD yet, which the TAS-x68 does.

You got access to both the Google Play market and QNAP’s QTS apps, which should provide you with almost any function from enterprise features to fun games and streaming content. QTS 4.2 still supports all the normal NAS functions from cross-platform file sharing to backup functions, FTP, and WebDAV. VPN setups are also available in both QTS and Google Play, allowing you to tunnel your way to your designated target.

This could very well be the perfect NAS for heavy Android users as well as give new ones the ability to get a device that does a lot more than just store files. The new QNAP TAS-x68 series should be available globally now, which means they will arrive at your local resellers shortly. Early listings have the TAS-168 listed for €199 and the TAS-268 for €250.

eTeknix 2015 Christmas Buying Guide – Treat Yourself or Someone Else!

The time for holiday festivities is almost upon us and as the modern tradition of consumerism continues to grow, it becomes harder and harder to pick the right gifts for people every year, or perhaps it’s just me who struggles? Either way, we’ve sat around a Christmas fire, or just a general fire in November and December, getting into the gift buying state of mind and picked a range of our favourite products which we’ve reviewed here at eTeknix throughout 2015, as what better products to recommend than the ones we’ve had in our own hands and tested!

We’ve got a huge range of budgets covered here today, although I think it’s fair to assume that given we play around with graphics cards and a lot of enthusiast friendly products, there are some real wallet busters here too. Of course, you can use this guide to find some of the best products of the year to treat your family, friends and more, but there’s no reason why you couldn’t just spoil yourself too!


Rock Band 4 Band in a Box

Get ready to rock out this Christmas and no doubt many other days. Pick up the guitar, drum sticks, or just butcher your favourite song on the microphone. Rock Band 4 – Band in a Box is a fantastic gift and it’s a great thing to deploy at parties too, certainly beats the usual Karaoke chaos! It comes with the guitar, microphone, drums and the game for $249.99. To save costs, the standalone game with the guitar is just $129.99. In the UK, the Band in a Box is £219.99, while the guitar and game is just £109.99.

Check out the full review here.


Phanteks Enthoo Evolv ATX Chassis

The Phanteks Enthoo Evolv ATX Mid-Tower chassis is by far my favourite chassis of 2015, it just oozes high quality inside and out, with capabilities for high-end water and air cooling and so much more. It is available from Overclockers UK for £139.99 and is available in both Gun Metal and black.

Check out the full review here.


Raijintek Styx Micro-ATX Aluminium Chassis

What a fantastic little chassis this is! Built from beautifully finished brushed aluminium and available in a wide range of colours, this would make a great gift for someone building a new gaming system this Christmas. The Raijintek Styx chassis is available from Overclockers UK for just £64.99.

Check out the full review here.


be quiet! Silent Base 800 Chassis

Another expensive chassis on our list, but one of the best we’ve seen this year. If you’re wanting to build someone, or yourself, a gaming PC that not only looks great but is as silent as you could ever hope for, the Silent Base 800 Window is the way to go. It is available from most popular retailers for 149,90EUR/119 GBP/149,90 USD ex. VAT.

Check out the full review here.


Corsair Strafe RGB MX Silent Red Mechanical Keyboard

Featuring the innovative Cherry MX Silent Switches, the Corsair Strafe RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard is simply amazing to use. It’s packed full of features and is by far the quietest mech we’ve ever tested. A little expensive, but I’m sure anyone would be happy to unwrap this at Christmas. The Strafe is available for £139.99 from Overclockers UK, while the MX Red and the MX Brown are priced at £129.95. If you want the non-RGB version, you can find the MX Red and the MX Brown at £99.95 each.

Check out the full review here.


Thermaltake Commander Gaming Gear Keyboard and Mouse Combo

The TteSports by Thermaltake Commander Keyboard and Mouse Combo is a great gift for Christmas, it’s affordable, has a nice range of features and you get a keyboard and a mouse in a single nice and tidy (and easy to wrap) box! With prices around £23.99 it’s hard to say no to such a great deal! Readers in the US can pick one of from Newegg for an equally impressive $29.99.

Check out the full review here.


CM Storm Quick Fire XTi Mechanical Keyboard

RGB mechanical keyboards are everywhere this year, but the XTi from Cooler Master is my personal favourite so far. It’s no-fuss and bold design is great for home and office, gaming or work, with the added bonus that it’s incredibly durable and has some of the nicest lighting tones I’ve seen so far, even if it does only allow for a mixture of red and blue! You can pick up the XTi from Box for just £134, although there’s also a deal that includes a free mouse here!

Check out the full review here.


Corsair Scimitar RGB MOBA/MMO Gaming Mouse

The Gaming Scimitar RGB MOBA/MMO Gaming Mouse is packed full of features that will put a smile on any PC gamers face. With RGB lighting, excellent performance and a customisable keypad on the side, it’s one of the best mice we’ve ever tested. better yet, it’s only £69.95 from Overclockers UK.

Check out the full review here.


Logitech G502 Proteus Core Gaming Mouse

The Logitech G502 is a prime example of how great a gaming mouse can truly be. This is without a doubt the best mouse sensor we’ve ever tested and the rest of the mouse isn’t exactly lacking in features either. I’d be tempted to buy this one for myself this Christmas, but you could always treat someone else with it too. It’s available directly from the Logitech website (with free shipping) for just £69.99.

Check out the full review here.


G.Skill MX780

A relatively new entry on the peripherals market, the G.Skills MX780 is a fantastic gaming mouse, with a switchable left or right handed grip that makes it ideal for a wide range of gamers. With a retail price of just $59.99 it is exceptional value for a Christmas gift, and given its spec, it’ll go head to head with many of the best mice on the market.

Check out the full review here.


Corsair Void Headset

We were absolutely blown away by the Corsair Void series, some of the best sounding, most comfortable and best-looking headsets we’ve ever seen! They would make a great gift, but be careful, if you try them out before you give them away, you may want to keep them. The Corsair Void USB 7.1 RGB Headset is available from Overclockers UK for just £79.99. This is £10 cheaper than the Wireless headset which is £89.99, I prefer the wireless and think it’s not much more to pay for the extra tech, but you’re own preferences will obviously determine which model you prefer.

Check out the reviews for the USB 7.1, Wireless 7.1 and 2.0 headsets here.


Astro A40 TR + Mix Amp Pro

Eager to get the best of the best gaming headset for you or your loved one? Then make no exception, the Astro A40 TR Headset with Mix Amp Pro is the way to go. This is one that’s sure to leave a dent in your wallet, but as the old saying goes, you get what you pay for. Available from the Astro store for £200, plus around £48 for the optional Mod Kit, the Astro is expensive, but the sound quality, features and comfortable fit are priceless.

Check out the full review here.


Crucial BX200 SSD

SSD prices are dropping constantly and there really has never been a better time to invest. If it’s for your own system, you can give yourself a great upgrade without spending a fortune, but the smaller drive sizes make excellent gifts to those who could do with a performance upgrade on their system. The Crucial BX200 comes with an MSRP of £234.49 ($299.99) for the 960GB model and £66.49 ($84.99) and £116.99 ($149.99) for the smaller 240GB and 480GB models, plus the small boxes are super easy to wrap up as a gift.

Check out the full review here.


QNAP TS-251 2-Bay NAS

Give the gift of a connected home this Christmas, from streaming your movies around the house, to backing up those important files, there are a lot of benefits to owning a NAS. Not the cheapest of gifts, but it’s one of those products where if you buy cheap, you’ll likely regret it in the long run. The QNAP’s TS-251 Turbo NAS can be found at NewEgg for $384.99, at Scan UK for £295.32, or through Geizhals starting at €284.

Check out the full review here.


Sapphire Nitro R9 380X 4GB Graphics Card

AMD have created a mighty powerhouse with the R9 380X and the Sapphire Nitro is one of the finest examples. It’s fast, sleek and affordable, more than enough power for 1080P ultra gaming, or 1440p high gaming, making it a great addition to anyone who wants the latest PC games for Christmas. The Sapphire Nitro R9 380X is currently available from OverclockersUK for £199.99. NeweggUS currently has this card listed for $229.99.

Check out the full review here.


Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 Graphics Card

Spend a little more, get a lot more, the GTX 970 is a superb card, but one that may be getting a little expensive for those looking for a Christmas gift. With enough power to play anything on the market and even delve into high-end resolutions, it’s a strong contender for something to put under the Christmas tree, or even put on your own wish list. The Gainward Phoenix GTX 970 is currently available in the UK from SCAN for £273.56 and for an estimated $360 in the US.

Check out the full review here.


Nvidia GeForce GTX 980ti 6GB Graphics Card

It wouldn’t be Christmas if we couldn’t all hope and dream, but the Gigabyte G1 Gaming GTX 980Ti is currently one of the best cards on the market and we would be crazy not to suggest the best of the best. Available in the UK for the £599.99 it’s certainly not cheap, although we’ve seen some great deals bringing it down below £500, so it’s best to shop around. Just imagine the look on your partners face when they unwrap this monster on Christmas day!

Check out the full review here.


DDR4

Getting a little more back to reality and reasonable prices, DDR4 memory is dropping in price quite nicely now. It was super expensive at launch, but now you’ll often find DDR4 kits at equal or lower prices to their DDR3 equivalents. That makes them a great upgrade for Christmas, but make sure you have a DDR4 motherboard to go with it!

Check out our latest memory reviews here.


Shield Android TV

Snapped up a 4K TV in the Black Friday deals? The Nvidia Shield Console is the most powerful Android device on the market, and it’s the perfect media player for Plex, 4K content on Netflix and more. Even better, it’s also a very powerful gaming system, with many AAA games available to play, as well as game streaming features that will leave you wondering why this device doesn’t cost more than £149.99! You can buy the Shield TV and accessories directly from Nvidia here.

Check out the full review here.


Thermaltake Water 3.0 Extreme S

Think someone could do with a cooling upgrade for their system, or perhaps even parts towards a new system build this Christmas? Treat them to an AIO water cooler and they’ll be able to reduce the noise from their system and unlock its overclocking potential! The Thermaltake Water 3.0 Extreme S is a little expensive, but it’s still a competitively priced AIO at just £81.98 and would make a great gift, especially if you’re just going to treat yourself.

Check out the full review here.


Alpenfohn Atlas

The Atlas is one of the coolest coolers we’ve seen this year, a tiny form factor with big performance and virtually silent acoustics. Building a system for someone or upgrading your own, this is one cooler you’ll want to consider and given that it’s available from Overclockers UK for a very reasonable £42.95, it’s another great addition to our buying guide.

Check out the full review here.


be quiet! Shadow Rock Slim

Need a premium cooler but don’t want to pay a premium price this Christmas? The be quiet! Shadow Rock Slim is more affordable, but still packs some impressive performance figures. It’s available from Scan.co.uk for just £30.52 + shipping here in the UK and from Amazon.com for $49.90 + $9.80 shipping in the US.

Check out the full review here.


Inateck Mercury Box Bluetooth Speaker

Love your music on the go, when you’re out at the park, or anywhere for that matter? The Mercury box offers up a huge sound from such a tiny box. Built from aluminium and featuring a waterproof design, it’s one of the best mobile speakers on the market, great for listening to music wherever you are! Available from Amazon.com for just $48.99 and readers in the UK can get it from Amazon.co.uk for £49.99.

Check out the full review here.


OnePlus 10,000mAh Mobile USB Power Bank

The perfect stocking filler, a 10,000 mAh mobile battery. This has enough juice to charge most mobiles several times, and it’ll even recharge high-end devices such as iPads with ease too. Perfect for travelling, and best of all, it’s super lightweight and affordable. The power bank is £13.99/$14.99/€15.99 and you can order it directly from OnePlus.

Check out the full review here.


Gaming Systems

Nothing says I love you like a kick-ass gaming PC. Of course, budgets vary wildly from hundreds to even thousands of pounds/dollars, but that’s the joy of buying a PC, or building your own, there’s so much to choose from! With so many awesome system integrators around these days, you can’t go far wrong. Chillblast, CyberPower, PC Specialist, Vibox, Freshtech or Overclockers UK.

Gaming in the living room? Why not invest in a CyberPower Syber Steambox! Prices start at £485 and go right up to £1905, giving you a great choice to suit your needs, and your budget.

A whole lot of gaming for not a lot of money from Chillblast, with their very competitive Fusion NightHawk, a great option for those looking for their first gaming PC at just £599.

Got a little more budget to play around with this Christmas? The super fast gaming systems from PC Specialist that feature ASUS Maximus VIII hardware also come with the gorgeous Gladius mouse! Systems in this category start at £890 for the i5 and GTX 960 model, all the way up to £1670 for the i7 and GTX 980 Ti.

Another mid-budget powerhouse, this time from Vibox with their Element X. At just £649, this MSI R9 380 and AMD FX-6300 powered computer is great for gaming and would make a great gift this Christmas.

Time to bring out the big gun’s and really treat yourself? Or perhaps you just want your friend or family member to open a present they’ll never forget? The FreshTech Solutions Stealth Gaming PC is an absolute beast, powered by some of today’s latest and greatest hardware. Of course, it’s not cheap at £1412, but this is not your run of the mill gaming PC.

Overclockers UK offer a range of gaming systems, and general day-to-day PC’s just like another other, but with the big advantage that they’re also a normal PC component retailer. If you want to build your own system, customise a build or pick a pre-built system, you’ll find lots to play around with here.

Check out our full range of system reviews here.

QNAP Releases Qphoto Mobile App with CloudLink for iOS

QNAP’s Photo Station is one of the best solutions for easy storage of all your media with access and share functionality, and now Apple iOS users will be able to use that even better with the freshly released Qphoto mobile app for iOS. The new app will provide a great experience on both iPads and iPhones. With an app that has been specially designed for such a small amount of devices, we know that the experience will be great and optimized.

Qphoto includes various ways for managing photo collections. Users can quickly search for photos by dates or tags, flexibly browse photos and videos via time line, thumbnails, lists and folders, and also instantly up and download media to and from their QNAP NAS. Social media fans aren’t left out as they easily can share photos by email or social networks.

“The new Qphoto for iOS uniquely provides a customized design for vertical and horizontal layouts on iPad. It is convenient to use an iPad with the vertical display while being easy to browse content in a horizontal view,” said Cherry Chen, product manager of QNAP. “Qphoto’s customized user interface can bring the best browsing experience for users no matter what display orientation they use their iPad with.”

Qphoto for iOS also adds support for the CloudLink remote access service, allowing users to easily browse photos and videos on their QNAP NAS when away from home or office. A feature that has been requested a lot from the users. The new Qphoto supports iOS devices with iOS 7 and newer and you should have the latest QNAP NAS firmware (QTS 4.2 or newer) and Photo Station 5.0 or newer for the best experience and all features.

QNAP Releases Quad-Core TS-x51+ Series SOHO NAS

QNAP released the new TS-x51+ series of high-performance SMB NAS units consisting of the TS-251+ 2-bay unit and the TS-451+ 4-bay unit. The TS-x51+ series is built around a powerful Intel Celeron 2GHz processor and comes in two versions with either 2GB or 8GB DDR3 memory installed. The TS-x51+ series is an affordable and scalable solution with QvPC and Container based virtualization.

With the TS-x51+ series, you get dual Gigabit Ethernet network connectivity and the NAS supports both volume and folder encryption and the NAS is able to deliver up to 225MB/s throughput and up to 205MB/s transfer speeds with AES 256-bit encryption. You get two USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, and an HDMI-out for a monitor and direct usage.

The QvPC feature allows you to use the NAS as an HTPC replacement where you simply attach a monitor, keyboard, and mouse to use it as a cheap PC replacement where you can view the web, browse the local content, and much more. With Container Station support, users are able to run multiple virtualization systems from Windows over Linux to Android. With LXC and Docker lightweight virtualization, you can also download systems from the built-in Docker Hub Registry.

The TS-x51+ series also features the highly anticipate snapshot function, but that requires a minimum of 4GB RAM. The QTS 4.2 Storage Manager can easily create snapshots within seconds for both volumes and LUN.

The QNAP TS-x51+ series also supports real-time and offline transcoding and features all the amazing streaming capabilities from Apple TV over Chromecast to ordinary DLNA and Bluetooth devices.

Both the TS-451+ and TS-251+ support the QNAP UX-800P and UX-500P expansion enclosures for easy expansion of the available storage and get close to 100TB or raw storage out of these NAS.

The new QNAP 2-bay TS-251+ and 4-bay TS-451+ NAS should be available now, but I could not find a price listing yet. Expect them to arrive at your favorite QNAP reseller very shortly.

QNAP Launches TS-531P with 10GbE Support and Container Station

QNAP released a new and powerful 5-bay NAS with upgradeable memory, quad-core CPU, SSD cache support and 10-Gigabit Ethernet support. The new QNAP TS-531P features an Annapurna Labs Alpine AL-314 quad-core ARM Cortex-A15 processor with 1.4GHz, hardware encryption engine, and floating point unit, and it comes in two versions with either 2GB or 8GB DDR3 memory.

Right out of the box, the QNAP TS-531P features four Gigabit Ethernet ports that naturally support Link Aggregation and Failover, but you can expand it with either a 10GbE SFP+ or 10Gbase low-profile add-in card for even better connectivity. 10GbE is finally starting to make a proper entry into the market as more and more SMB devices start to feature what used to be reserved to the enterprise sector and it is something that I’ve been waiting for in a long time. The TS-531 supports add-in cards with up to two ports, allowing you a total of either 6 Gigabit Ethernet ports or 4 GbE and two 10GbE ports in this NAS.

This is an SMB NAS that comes with all the essentials in this area, which also means that the HDMI port for direct usage as HTPC that we see on personal oriented NAS devices isn’t there. There are however three USB 3.0 ports for expansion where one of them is located on the front for easy access together with the one-touch copy button. These ports can also be used to expand the storage abilities with up to two QNAP expansion enclosures, either the UX-800P 8-bay or UX-500P 5-bay units. With two 8-bay expansion units, you can have up to 168GB raw storage capacity using 8TB drives.

The TS-531P supports Container Station that allows users to operate multiple virtual Linux systems thanks to the LXC and Docker lightweight virtualization technologies. You can easily download more through the built-in Docker Hub Registry or create your own. It supports import and export and permission settings along with a flexible user interface, and informative dashboard. Container Station will also support the Online Document app that is currently in development. It will allow users to directly view, edit and store files of various types (office documents, images, and text files) on their TS-531P without the hassle of back-and-forth file transfers.

The QNAP TS-531P will naturally also support all the other great features that we have come to know from QNAP, from the comprehensive backup options that include cloud offerings over the powerful Qsirch search feature to the surveillance station and everything in between. It is available now starting from €513.41 and €648.81 respectively for the 2GB and 8GB models.

QNAP Qmedia App Now Available on the Roku Platform

One of the best things in owning a NAS is the ability to stream the content to all your available devices from a centralized storage, but everyone who has a smart TV that is just a few years old also knows the issues with having the proper codecs to view and stream all these files. This is one of the places where extra set-top boxes such as the ones from Roku come into play and they just became even better thanks to the official QNAP support.

QNAP announced the new availability of the free Qmedia app for Roku players and Roku TV models, allowing users to easily stream photos, music, and videos from their QNAP NAS devices to their TV through QNAP’s DLNA server function. When you couple that with the support for video transcoding and hardware acceleration, users can enjoy a better and smoother viewing experience of their rich multimedia collections.

The QNAP Qmedia app is now available as one of the streaming channels in the Roku Channel Store, integrating the Media Library from QTS with the same user interface that Roku users are familiar with for a consistent browsing experience.

The new Qmedia app for Roku requires your NAS to run the newest QTS 4.2 firmware and that you have turned DLNA on in your settings, but other than that it’s as easy as installing the app on the Roku and connect it to your QNAP NAS. If still in doubt, QNAP also released a small online tutorial to help you get it up and running.

What is your preferred way to stream the content from your NAS? Do you use your TV’s or consoles DLNA function, use Plex Media Server, or something completely different? Let us know in the comments.

QNAP Announces Fanless HS-251+ 2-Bay NAS

QNAP is ready with another NAS in their stylish and fanless series called the Silent NAS HS-251+. It features a quad-core Intel Celeron Processor with 2GHz and comes with 2GB DDR3L memory. The fanless and stylish design makes it perfect as a living room NAS which is further aided by the direct output via HDMI to a TV or A/V receiver.

Next to being able to play media directly via the HDMI port, the HS-251+ also features DLNA, Apple TV, and Chromecast support. You can connect Bluetooth and USB devices to the NAS and also control it via the included infrared remote control. You can surf the web directly from the NAS as well as play YouTube videos and a lot more.

The HS-251+ is also scaleable with QNAP’s expansion enclosures UX-800P and UX-500P to provide a total raw capacity up to 80TB. Attaching one of these expansion enclosures will also add some extra noise to this otherwise silent NAS. Up to eight extra hard disk drives will create a lot of heat and the expansion units need to have a fan built in to keep everything running as it should. It is still a great feature to be able to scale the NAS up once you run out of space.

The fanless HS-251+ is the best choice for those looking for a silent NAS and a Home Theatre PC/NAS combo. You can mount both 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch drives in the NAS and connect it via two Gigabit Ethernet ports. The new HS-251+ Silent NAS is now available.

QNAP Launches the World’s First Thunderbolt NAS TVS-871T

QNAP launched the world’s first Thunderbolt 2 Turbo vNAS that is ready for high-bandwidth data. The TVS-871T features 20Gbps bandwidth, 4K video capable Thunderbolt 2 connections and it is fully compatible with the Thunderbolt-ready storage expansion enclosures for even more raw storage capacity. The TVS-871T provides the high transfer speed of a DAS and the convenient accessibility of an NAS to make it as flexible as it is powerful. This is a very efficient storage solution for creative media professionals looking to streamline large 4K video and design workflows.

Thunderbolt 2 is relatively new and in that regard it might be limited to some people due to already existing devices and with that in mind it’s great to see that the TVS-871T also features dual 10Gb Ethernet in addition to the Thunderbolt 2 network. You can connect up to two Thunderbolt systems at the same time, which most likely will be Mac workstations. These workstations can process real-time video editing simultaneously and also take advantage of Apple time Machine for backups.

There are two base models available of this NAS, one with a Core i5-4590S 3GHz quad-core processor and one with an i7-4790S 3.2GHz quad-core processor. Both models come with 16GB DDR3 memory, AES-NI hardware encryption engine and one HDMI port for direct display attachment.

The 8 drive bays are hot-swappable and can take 2.5-inch or 3.5-inch drives. With the ability to attach up to six QNAP expansion enclosures, these units can provide up to 448TB raw capacity.

Next to the excellent DAS capabilities, it also works evenly good for NAS applications thanks to being powered by the latest QNAP QTS 4.2 operating systems. You can use it for file storage, backup, sharing, and synchronization. The awesome QvPC technology allows users to used it directly as a cost-effective PC substitute when a keyboard, mouse, and monitor is directly attached to it. You can access the stored data directly, run multiple VMs, surfing the web, enjoying 4K videos with Kodi, monitoring surveillance live feeds from IP cameras, and much more. All the features we love from a QNAP NAS.

Both the new Thunderbolt 2 Turbo vNAS TVS-871T and its storage expansion enclosures TX-500P and TX-800P are now available.

QNAP TS-251 High-Performance 2-Bay Prosumer NAS Review

Introduction


QNAP created their TS-251 Turbo NAS as a great high-performance solution for home users as well as small and medium-sized offices, and today I’m taking a closer look at what it has to offer and how well it performs in our testing area.

The TS-251 provides a high performance and high-capacity storage solution thanks to a great combination of QNAP’s advanced QTS operating system and some great hardware. It is an easy-to-use yet powerful NAS for data backup, file synchronization, remote access, home entertainment, and it is also ideal for users to build a personal cloud where they can access their data easily and secure, outside of the prying eyes of strangers and commercial hosting solutions.

The QNAP TS-251 is built with an Intel Celeron 2.41GHz dual-core processor that has a burst speed up to 2.58GHz. It comes with two DDR3L memory slots and is available in two models, one with 1GB RAM and the one I’m taking a look at today with 4GB DDR3L RAM in two 2GB modules. The TS-251 has 512 DOM storage for the system itself and comes with two hot-swappable trays.

Users of the TS-251 Turbo NAS get two Intel-powered Gigabit RJ45 Ethernet ports that support trunking and link aggregation. There is one USB 3.0 port on the front together with the One-Touch copy button and another USB 3.0 on the rear. You will also find two USB 2.0 ports there. The rear USB 3.0 port is excellent for expanding the capacity of the NAS with up to 8 more drives, making this a great starter NAS that can be expanded at a later time, should you need it. QNAP has the UX-500P and UX-800P expansion units that respectively provide 5 and 8 extra drive bays. They connect to the NAS through a single USB 3.0 cable, making it real easy to set up. That effectively means that you can have up to 60TB raw storage with a complete set of 6TB drives and the TS-251.

The two USB 2.0 ports are perfect for USB printers, pen drives, and USB UPS connection as well as for keyboard and mouse when you’re using the HD Station. This is also where the HDMI port comes into play, as you can hook the TS-251 directly up to a monitor and use it for direct media playback of 1080p videos with 7.1 channel surround sound as well as run virtualization systems.

The powerful Intel x86 processor in the TS-251 can transcode Full HD videos on-the-fly as well as offline, allowing you to play them smoothly on both PCs and smart devices. It allows for up to 5 devices to simultaneously view different videos stored on the TS-251 with on-the-fly hardware accelerated transcoding. Even devices that lack the computing power or have limited file format support will have a great experience and it doesn’t require any complicated and time-consuming file conversions done by yourself.

You can easily stream to all your devices whether they are Smart TVs, PlayStation, or Xbox systems as well as Hi-Fi systems that support streaming. Mobile devices, both Android and iOS, are supported and so is Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and Google TV. Plex Media server is also included which is one of the most popular ways to manage streaming content.

For the perfect media experience, you might also want to invest in the optional media remote. The TS-251 features an IR receiver and works like a charm with the QNAP RM-IR002 remote control as well as MCE remote controls. You can also turn your mobile devices into remote controls by installing the Qremote app. All in all, you’re covered when it comes to media features on the TS-251.

You can easily turn the QNAP TS-251 Turbo NAS into your own personal cloud solution thanks the myQNAPcloud. It provides an always-connected infrastructure for everyone, and all without complicated setups and extra services such as static IPs, redirects, and DNS setups. A few simple steps to register your NAS and it’s ready.

Constant synchronization is a breeze with Qsync where any file uploaded to the TS-251 will be made available for all linked devices, such as computers, laptops, and mobile devices. Qsync is especially useful for frequent travelers in managing files and ensuring that different devices have the most up-to-date files with great flexibility.

The TS-251 also offers various data recovery options such as Real-Time Remote Replication (RTRR) for real-time and scheduled data backup to remote Turbo NAS or FTP servers as well as synchronization of files to remote folders from local folders. The rsync protocol is also supported and it is a very popular and simple method to backup data to remote servers on a scheduled basis. Commercial and public cloud services are also supported for both backup and restoration from providers such as Amazon S3, Amazon Glacier, Microsoft Azure, ElephantDrive, Dropbox, and Google Cloud Storage.

Local backup is just as important and in many cases it is the main reason that people invest in an NAS. The TS-251 can do that thanks to QNAP’s NetBak Replicator that supports real-time and scheduled data backup on Windows, including Outlook email archiving. Mac OS X users can use Apple Time Machine for effortless backup, and both types of users can use the USB 3.0 port and one-touch backup button on the front to backup that external storage to the NAS. A wide range of third-party backup software such as Acronis True Image and Symantec Backup Exec are also supported.

I’ve previously mentioned the direct usage functionality of the TS-251 thanks to the USB and HDMI ports, and that all comes together thanks to QNAP’s exclusive QvPC Technology. It allows you to use the NAS directly as a PC with direct access to stored data, the ability to run multiple applications using Windows/Linux/UNIX/Android-based VMs, surf the web on Google Chrome, or enjoy Full HD videos with up to 7.1 channel audio via Kodi.

The Virtualization Station is another feature we get thanks to the QvPC technology and it transforms the TS-251 into a virtualization platform supporting multiple operating systems, fast virtual machine creation, virtual machine import/export, snapshot, and that enables desktop operations on web browsers. With the easy-to-use interface, you can centrally manage all of the virtual machines created on the TS-251 with minimal effort. You can also download VMs on demand from online VM markets and import them to TS-251 without any complex procedure. This feature requires at least 2GB of RAM, so the 1GB model is out of the running here. Thankfully I’ve got the 4GB model here. As previously mentioned, you can also upgrade the memory in the TS-251 at any point with standard SO-DIMM DDR3 modules.

The TS-251 can also be used as Surveillance Station and you can monitor this directly via the HDMI output in real-time with local display, and much more. Surveillance Station offers a professional surveillance solution with a user-friendly management interface, over 2,600 compatible IP cameras, and expandable IP camera channel licenses. Next to real-time monitoring it also supports video and audio recording as well as playback with a wide range of customizable settings. There are also Android and iOS apps available for this.

Downloading files can also be done directly by the NAS thanks to the download center. The new and improved Download center in QTS 4.2 means that the old QGet tool isn’t needed anymore and QNAP has ceased the support for this. The Download Station can download BT, Magnet, PT (Private Trackers), eMule, FTP, and HTTP, and all without the need to have a PC running. You can also install HappyGet app to back up abundant online videos to your TS-251.

QNAP NAS’ offer so much, it is tough to mention it all. In short, it does pretty much everything. There are a few things more worth highlighting such as the Signage Station that lets you creatively present your animated content such as personal animated resumes or life memory books. You get the Notes Station that gives you a private and secure way to share and collaborate on digital notes and Qsirch is probably the most efficient way to search for content on your NAS, it’s quick and effective, and it searches your content intelligently.

You also get the Photo Station and Music Station that help you share the photos and media you want while keeping other things private and limit the availability. Connect and stream internet radio, favorite songs from iTunes server and much more. The TS-251 can do it all.

Packaging and Accessories

The front of the packaging displays the NAS unit itself and the area of operation, in this case, High-Performance Home users and Small offices. Some of the main features are also presented right on the front and it is an overall great looking design. It’s simple, but not boring.

A personal cloud setup is getting more and more relevant as we are getting used to being connected everywhere we go. The rear of the box displays that and shows some of the ways that you can utilize that.

The two sides provide even more information, without being too cluttered. Overall a great package design from QNAP on the TS-251; I like it.

Inside the box, you’ll find a power supply and power cable from the region where it was bought, in this case, a UK power cable. There are two LAN cables so you can use both LAN ports right away as well as screws for 3.5-inch and 2.5-inch drives. Two small manuals help you getting started, setting it up and connecting it for the first time.

QNAP Releases Official QTS 4.2 Version

QNAP started the beta version of their QTS 4.2 operating system a little while ago and it was very successful as well as received with positive feedback from users all around. Now the official version of QNAP’s QTS 4.2 has been released and I can say first hand, it is great. QTS 4.2 doesn’t just feature a refreshed user interface with a flat design, frameless media viewer and a general better browsing experience, it also comes with a row of new features and improvements.

A refined multimedia experience is provided thanks to the multi-zone multimedia controls that allow users to centrally manage media via various streaming protocols and services. The Photo Station got a major UI overhaul too while the HD Station got more useful apps with multilingual and multi-tasking support. The File Station adds remote connections to public cloud services and also shared folders from a remote NAS. myQNAPcloud provides a new dashboard for users to centrally manage multiple NAS with stronger security mechanisms such as myQNAPcloud ID control and SSL certificates.

The Storage Manager adds a snapshot tool for volume/LUN backup and restoration. Several enhancements are included to improve business efficiency and performance such as SSD cache acceleration, QJBOD (JBOD enclosure roaming), cloud sync support for Google Drive and Dropbox. QTS 4.2 also introduces an industry-leading hybrid virtualization solution allowing users to run complete OS VMs with Virtualization Station and lightweight virtualization with Container Station that supports both LXC and Docker. Fewer restrictions and more options are both things we all appreciate. QNAP also added several security mechanisms to ensure data security, including 2-step verification, shared folder encryption, instant notifications to mobile devices, and VPN server with L2TP/IPsec support.

As a storage reviewed it also happens that I’m currently reviewing a QNAP NAS and had the chance to try the new QTS 4.2 myself in its final version, and it is great. It will take you about 2 minutes to get used to the new look after which you’ll love it.

Compatible QNAP models:

  • 24-bay: SS-EC2479U-SAS-RP, TS-EC2480U-RP, TVS-EC2480U-SAS-RP
  • 18-bay: SS-EC1879U-SAS-RP
  • 16-bay: TVS-EC1680U-SAS-RP, TS-EC1680U-RP, TS-EC1679U-SAS-RP, TS-EC1679U-RP, TS-1679U-RP
  • 15-bay: TVS-EC1580MU-SAS-RP
  • 12-bay: SS-EC1279U-SAS-RP, TVS-EC1280U-SAS-RP, TVS-1271U-RP, TS-EC1280U-RP, TS-EC1279U-SAS-RP, TS-EC1279U-RP, TS-1279U-RP, TS-1270U-RP, TS-1269U-RP, TS-1253U-RP, TS-1253U, TS-1263U-RP, TS-1263U
  • 10-bay: TS-1079 Pro, TVS-EC1080+, TVS-EC1080, TS-EC1080 Pro
  • 8-bay: TVS-EC880, TVS-871U-RP, TVS-871, TVS-870, TVS-863+, TVS-863, TS-EC880U-RP, TS-EC880 Pro, TS-EC879U-RP, TS-879U-RP, TS-879 Pro, TS-870U-RP, TS-870 Pro, TS-870, TS-869U-RP, TS-869L, TS-869 Pro, TS-859U-RP+, TS-859U-RP, TS-859 Pro+, TS-859 Pro, TS-853U-RP, TS-853U, TS-853S Pro, TS-853 Pro, TS-851, SS-839 Pro, TVS-871T, TS-863U-RP, TS-863U
  • 6-bay: TVS-671, TVS-670, TVS-663, TS-670 Pro, TS-670, TS-669L, TS-669 Pro, TS-659 Pro+, TS-659 Pro II, TS-659 Pro, TS-653 Pro, TS-651, TS-639 Pro
  • 5-bay: TS-569L, TS-569 Pro, TS-563, TS-559 Pro+, TS-559 Pro II, TS-559 Pro
  • 4-bay: TVS-471U-RP, TVS-471U, TVS-471, TVS-470, TVS-463, TS-470U-SP, TS-470U-RP, TS-470 Pro, TS-470, TS-469U-SP, TS-469U-RP, TS-469L, TS-469 Pro, TS-459U-RP+/SP+, TS-459U-RP/SP, TS-459 Pro+, TS-459 Pro II, TS-459 Pro, TS-453U-RP, TS-453U, TS-453S Pro, TS-453mini, TS-453 Pro, TS-451U, TS-451S, TS-451, TS-439U-RP/SP, TS-439 Pro II+, TS-439 Pro II, TS-439 Pro, TS-431U, TS-431+, TS-431, TS-421U, TS-421, TS-420U, TS-420-D, TS-420, TS-419U+, TS-419U II, TS-419U, TS-419P+, TS-419P II, TS-419P, TS-412U, TS-412, TS-410U, TS-410, SS-439 Pro, IS-400 Pro, TS-463U-RP, TS-463U
  • 2-bay: TS-269L, TS-269H, TS-269 Pro, TS-259 Pro+, TS-259 Pro, TS-253 Pro, TS-251C, TS-251, TS-239H, TS-239 Pro II+, TS-239 Pro II, TS-239 Pro, TS-231+, TS-231, TS-221, TS-220, TS-219P+, TS-219P II, TS-219P, TS-219, TS-212P, TS-212-E, TS-212, TS-210, HS-251, HS-210
  • 1-bay: TS-131, TS-121, TS-120, TS-119P+, TS-119P II, TS-119, TS-112P, TS-112, TS-110

QNAP Launches Intel Xeon Quad-Core Powered TVS-ECx80U-SAS-RP Series NAS

QNAP announced a new series of NAS devices for businesses that need nothing but the best, the new TVS-ECx80-SAS-RP series. The new NAS units are built around an Intel Xeon E3-1246 v3 quad core 3.5 GHz processor and come with either 16GB DDR3 RAM or 8GB DDR3 ECC RAM.

A great CPU and plenty of memory is just a small part of what makes this new series so great. QNAP releases four units in this series: The TVS-EC2480U-SAS-RP 24 x 3.5-inch 4U, TVS-EC1680U-SAS-RP 16 x 3.5-inch 3U, TVS-EC1280U-SAS-RP: 12 x 3.5-inch 2U, and the TVS-EC1580MU-SAS-RP with 9 x 3.5-inch and 6 x 2.5-inch bays in a 2U rackmount unit. All four units come with 4 x Gigabit LAN port and are 10GbE ready with optional add-in cards via two PCIe expansion slots. They supports 3.5-inch SAS 12Gbps, SAS/SATA 6Gbps hard drives and SSD, or 2.5-inch SAS/SATA SSD. The hard drives are, of course, hot-swappable and the untis also come with built-in 256GB mSATA modules for SSD caching. USB 3.0, USB 2.0, and HDMI ports are also part of each of these units.

All that hardware I’ve just mentioned is able to deliver an impressive performance with up to 3,800+ MB/s throughput and 268,100+ IOPS. If you should run out of space at some point, QNAP has you covered with their REXP-1620U-RP and REXP-1220U-RP RAID expansion enclosures of which you can attach up to eight of. That in return allows you over 1 Petabyte of raw capcity which is managed from a single unit.

Having a lot of data is one thing, you also need to be able to access it in a proper fashion. The TVS-ECx80U-SAS-RP series is an industry-leading unified NAS that supports Auto Tiering to deliver constant optimization of data across high-performance SSD, 12Gbps SAS drives and high-capacity SATA disks.

“QNAP’s Qtier Technology triggers storage auto-tiering for the TVS-ECx80U-SAS-RP series, allowing the right data to be placed in the right disks at the right time according to the access frequency of stored data,” said Alan Lin, product manager of QNAP. “The new NAS series realizes the optimal storage efficiency and boosts performance, making it the best storage solution especially for environments like virtualization that contain dynamically-changing workloads.”

There isn’t much that you can’t achieve with this new series, may it be your own cloud system or something completely different. You get all the usual features of a NAS unit of this caliber including QNAP’s great Qsirch for efficient searching of data in that giant storage pool.

The new TVS-ECx80U-SAS-RP QNAP NAS models and REXP-x20U-RP RAID expansion enclosures are now available and come with up to 5-years warranty where the first three years are default and included.

 

QNAP Launches AMD-Powered TS-x63U Series Rackmount NAS

QNAP announced a new NAS series and this time it is built around an AMD G-Series quad-core processor, the TS-x63U Turbo NAS. These new NAS units come as 4-bay, 8-bay, and 12-bay version and can be had with single or redundant power supplies. I for one love this and am pleased to see more NAS units being built around an AMD chip, something that can be highly beneficial for many people. The new TS-x63U NAS units feature four normal Gigabit Ethernet connections as well as a single-port SFP+ network adapter that provides 10 GbE connectivity for that extra speed.

The CPU used is a 64-bit AMD Embedded G-Series quad-core 2.0GHz SoC processor and the units come with 4GB DDR3L RAM pre-installed, but you can upgrade that to 16GB if it shouldn’t be enough for your needs. The NAS units also feature AES-NI hardware encryption engine that allows unmatched sequential read performance that exceeds 780MB/s with AES 256-bit full NAS volume encryption. Without encryption, the units can perform with up to 1090MB/s sequential throughput.

The TS-X63U Turbo NAS units run the latest QTS 4.2 operating system and they’re also able to run multiple applications on Windows, Linux, Unix, and Android-based virtual machines. You can operate multiple isolated Linux systems on the NAS as well as download apps from the built-in Docker Hub Registry by using the Container Station which integrates LXC and Docker lightweight virtualisation technologies. They also allow you to simplify virtual storage management for VMware, Microsoft, and Citrix virtualization solutions.

You can also expand the units with QNAP’s 12-bay and 8-bay expansion units and add up to 24 extra drive bays on top of the ones already built-in. The new NAS units should be available as of now, so all that’s left is to pick the one that suits your needs the best.

Redundant power supply:

  • TS-463U-RP:4-bay rackmount model
  • TS-863U-RP:8-bay rackmount model
  • TS-1263U-RP:12-bay rackmount model

Single power supply:

  • TS-463U:4-bay rackmount model
  • TS-863U:8-bay rackmount model
  • TS-1263U:12-bay rackmount model