A capable NAS drive, but slow writing performance puts it out of the running for an award.
Q nap is one of the many Taiwanese vendors producing NAS devices. The TS-251 is a mid-range, two-drive option aimed at home and small-office usage. Two hot-swap bays are located on the front, although the caddies are entirely made of plastic, and don’t have a lock to prevent removal.
Although the TS-251 does have business pretensions, it’s clear from the attractive white finish and hardware features that this is primarily a consumer device. Confirming this is the HDMI port, which, in tandem with the appropriate software, will allow you to use the TS-251 to watch downloaded video, or even live and recorded TV with the appropriate hardware adapter.
There’s a USB 3 port on the front, making it easy to plug in a flash drive or external hard disk. There’s a second USB 3 and a pair of USB 2 ports on the rear, and all USB ports support printers, Wi-Fi adapters and UPS control. There are also two Gigabit Ethernet ports to play with.
There’s a huge range of installable apps available, from cloud storage to PHP-based web platforms. A number of USB digital TV tuners are supported, and you can install a couple of different control and recording apps. There’s Surveillance Station for IP cameras, Moodle for creating your own education server, and home-automation apps too.
More good news for home users is the TS-251’s parsimonious power consumption. When sitting idle, it uses only half the energy of its sibling, the Qnap TS-453mini, at only 16W – and uses only a couple of watts more when under peak load.
With a 2.4GHz dual-core Intel Celeron processor onboard, the TS-251 promises a decent turn of speed, although our review sample offers only 1GB of DDR3 memory (there’s a more expensive 4GB version available). Performance was erratic in our tests. Its large contiguous file writing performance wasn’t stunning, representing one of the slowest results this month at only 56MB/sec – yet read performance was the second quickest, at 109MB/sec. Multi-file backup was in the middle of the pack, at 20MB/sec.
Pricing is similarly middle of the range. Overall, this is a decent NAS device with a fair range of features.
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