QNAP TS-219P+ Network Attached Storage Review Author: faceless105 -- Posted: 2011-04-12
One area that I don't think we get into nearly enough is networking. Whether this is for a home setup or a small office, I think it's a bit of a cornerstone for most hardcore tech DIY'ers. One area we'll be looking at today is external storage, and we have a great solution that provides a bunch of features that can be taken advantage of. Today, we'll be taking a look at the QNAP TS-219P+ NAS.
I will start this one off by saying, unlike most of our reviews, this one will warrant a bit of tech knowledge when reading it, but for the most part everything should be easy enough to understand. With that said, lets get this review started.
When you open the first lid, you're greeted with a great little message, thanking you for trying out their product and hoping you enjoy using it as much as they enjoyed developing it. Below are links for support and other useful resources. I really love stuff like this, it's great to see companies voicing some pride in their products, especially since it's the first thing you'll see, and I thought it deserved a mention.
The System Specs... HDD - 2 x 3.5" and 2.5" SATA II HDD (Ships without drives of course) LAN Port - 1 x Gigabit RJ-45 Ethernet port LED Indicators - LAN, eSATA, HDD 1, HDD 2 USB - 3 x USB 2.0 port (Front:1 Back: 2)
* Supports USB printer, disk, pen drive, USB hub, and USB UPS, etc. eSATA - 2 x eSATA port (Back)
These specs are just skimmed over for the highlights. For the full details, click here.
Now lets get to know the TS-219P+...
The QNAP TS-219P+ NAS box is a really excellent setup for any small business. It's also pretty ideal for any home user who wants to go a bit above and beyond. I will say that these are a small investment, so it's great to know what you're looking to get out of these before you purchase them, but this one right here is likely a great point to start looking.
The QNAP TS-219P+ NAS box as you can see from the pictures has a tower format. The size is close to a small tower style UPS, just not nearly as deep. Setting everything up is also incredibly simple. Installing the drives is just like installing them on most somewhat higher end cases, or any removable hard drive trays(for those who have done that).. The tray will unlatch and slide out. To install the drive, screw it into the bottom of the tray, then slide the tray back in and latch the tray in place.
Odds are you'll spend more time deciding where you want to store the NAS box than you'll spend actually setting it up.
Once you do find a location for the NAS box, it's time to plug it in, and connect the provided Ethernet cable. You'll hear it beep once to let you know it's on, and in 1-2 minutes or so you'll hear it beep again to let you know it's all booted up.
Configuring the TS-219P+ was extremely simple, and doesn't require hardly any background knowledge. QNAP includes a nice step by step process for everything, but it should be largely intuitive. The first step is like most things, drop in the CD and install the software. It comes with three programs.
- QNAP Finder
- QNAP NetBak Replicator
The Finder is the only one that felt required. This locates the TS-219P+ on the network and makes it very easy to launch the config tools, which I have to say have an excellent interface. QNAP has really gone the extra mile to keep everything extremely clean looking but still giving you all the fully loaded options you'd expect.
The NetBak Replicator will allow you to setup directories on your computer to keep mirrored on the TS-219P+.
The QGet is great for the home user, and creates a drag and drop solution to storing files.
The config options are all web based, but don't let this fool you on their capabilities. Even I was pleasantly surprised with the range of features offered. I'm just going to skim over these since there's too many to really spend a lot of time going into detail over.
The TS-219P+ offers a pretty wide range of options right off the bat. From the below image, you can see options for just the basic file management, some of the features include a multimedia station, surveillance station, web server, and mysql server.
Additionally, if you want to play with the configuration settings, there's still plenty of option for this. If you'd like to view or change the RAID configuration this can be done through the web console, and as drives are being formatted, the progress listing will actively update for you.
Another very handy feature that the drive comes equipped with is backing up your data. If you are running RAID-1, you may not feel the need for this right away, but it's always good to have the option. Additionally, you can setup remote replication, which you might want to look into for off site backups.
As a web developer I can also appreciate the ability to run your own web server and mysql server. This feature likely targets the small businesses out there as well as home developers since it would give them something fairly dedicated to work from. I will caution though that for small businesses, if you use the TS-219P+ as a web server, be sure that you have a solid understanding of the network and web security around it, especially if you are using the TS-219P+ for additional storage of anything sensitive.
Here's are some additional screen shots of the TS-219P+ in action. I also know there is a lot of areas to cover on this, so I'll likely do a follow up review soon to cover some of the more advanced features in better detail, so if you have any technical questions, don't hesitate to let me know!
The TS-219P+ is a bit of a small investment (and most NAS setups are), which is why we recommend you really research which NAS box can serve your needs best. As for overall usability, and a wide range of features, the TS-219P+ has left me very impressed. For a home or small office setup, this should be a great addition.