Qnap TS-251Turbo NAS Review

9/23/2014 11:23:54 AM
The one NAS to rule them all

The modern home NAS solution has evolved over the years into something rather extraordinary. No longer are they simply networked boxes housing a hard drive and serving your collection of media, there's considerably more that the home and small office user demands from a networked storage solution.

Qnap have pulled out all the stops, here, and are now offering a complete package in the form of the TS-251. This is an extremely high performance and high capacity networked storage solution that takes the traditional operation of the NAS device and turns it on its head.

Qnap TS-251Turbo NAS front view

Qnap TS-251Turbo NAS front view

Inside this two-bay NAS you'll find a dual core Intel Celeron CPU at 2.41GHz, and 1GB of DDR3L RAM - which is expandable up to 8GB - along with 512MB of flash memory. You can fit two three and a half, or two and a half inch SATA drives in the hot swap cradles which slide into the unit and lock into position.

The rear of the TS-251 features a HDMI port, a pair of gigabit Ethernet ports, two USB 2.0 ports, and a single USB 3.0 port along with the power and a pin hole reset. The front contains a further single USB 3.0 port, the power button, one touch copy button, a strip of LED indicators and of course the two drive bays.

Qnap TS-251Turbo NAS rear view

Qnap TS-251Turbo NAS rear view

Driving all this is a customised embedded Linux operating system called QTS 4.1, which allows you to configure the TS-251 and setup the RAID levels for the inserted drives. The Ul is large, colourful and extremely easy to use, and offers you the ability to tweak the NAS unit to your particular specification or to delve deeper into its inner workings for a more advanced level of configuration.

The services the TS-251 offer via the NAS Management facility include the usual DLNA server, but with the added ability to hardware transcode video in real time up to five different device simultaneously; the myQNAPcloud wizard can publish the TS-251 NAS services to the internet; advanced file synchronisation through Qsync, backup station, advanced music management and serving, a Torrent download station, and a built-in antivirus layer.

In addition, there's also a VPN service, MySQL server, network based surveillance station and server, and many more services via the Qnap App Centre, such as virtualisation, Dropbox support, Google Drive Sync, Drupal, and even an app based version of Super Mario Bros.

The Qnap TS-251Turbo NAS is a compact unit with a lot of power behind it

The Qnap TS-251Turbo NAS is a compact unit with a lot of power behind it

The installation of the TS-251, with two drives fitted, is very quick indeed. Within a matter of five minutes we had a pair of 1TB drives wiped, RAIDed, and were back on the login screen ready for a system update and the installation of some selected apps. Obviously, the Celeron CPU and 1GB RAM helps push the TS-251 along at a rate of knots, and keeps it up to speed even when the device is pushed to the limit through serving media, transcoding, and when being used as a web and backup server.

As you can imagine we were immensely impressed with the Qnap TS-251's capabilities and performance. There simply isn't enough room to do it justice in a single page review, however. Suffice to say there are enough features for the home or small office user to get their teeth into.

Whether you're just planning on sharing photos and video, or you have more lofty aims that involve NAS integrated virtualisation or setting up a surveillance server, the Qnap TS-251 will be more than capable of delivering the goods.


·         Price: $686

·         Manufacturer: QNAP

·         Required Spec: One orTwo SATA drives, network port, internet for more apps and updates


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