The main setup pages have an overwhelming range of settings available for tweaking. The web server – with php and mySQL support – settings sit here. Simply enable the server and drop html and php files to the Qweb folder and you’re away. There are also configuration options for iTunes, FTP and FTPES servers, IP camera support, remote Nas replication, Telnet, system logs plus hard drive and Raid information.
Browser access reveals a slick coverflow interface
It’s almost the perfect setup, until you visit the Power Management and realise it doesn’t do proper scheduled on/off. You can opt to schedule a daily shutdown, a daily restart or a daily power-on, but not a combination of off and on, which other Nas boxes manage to do. It also won’t respond to Wake-on-Lan packets, which would be useful if you only had scheduled off enabled on the TS-219P.
One of the more interesting aspects of the TS-219P, and all Qnap Nas boxes, is the QPKG Plugins page where additional applications can be installed. Qnap preinstalls phpMyAdmin and Joomla, while Qnap also provides downloads of SqueezeCenter, an app that streams audio, MLDonkey P2P software, WordPress blogging software, SABnzbd+ newsgroup downloader, AjaXplorer file explorer, and XDove, an email server.
These applications are easy to install and make the TS-219P far more versatile than most other Nas boxes. Apple's Time Machine isn’t supported natively, but a few users have reported the hacks listed on Qnap’s forum get it working.
To test file transfer speeds, a 901MB file was copied in Windows Explorer across a Gigabit router. Jumbo frames were disabled and our 2GHz Core 2 Duo test PC had XP and a 1GB software Ram disk installed, so it didn’t have to access its own hard drive.
The QPKG plugins page allows installation of numerous applications including wordpress
Click for a full-sized image
Bear in mind that FTP and Vista transfers produce quicker results, but our tests represent the typical, every day experience. The TS-219P was fitted with two 1TB Western Digital RE2-GP hard drives, as were the other Nas drives in our graphs.
Yeah but look at all it can do....
I've had a 209 since November last year and in the time up to now I've only just begun to realise what it can do.
Initially I just wanted a mirrored NAS that I could store all my movies and music on after having lost 300GB worth in a hard disk crash, but soon after I realised it could:
- Stream via uPnP via built in Twonky Server
- Act as an iTunes server
- host an FTP server accessible over the internet for uploading and downloading files.
- Same as above over HTTP
- Design and Host my website, forum and blog.
- Forward IP information to a 3rd party DNS company
- Stream music through a web interface over the internet
- Host an Email server
- Host 2 printers and share them over the network
- Act as DHCP server for the network
- Connect to IP cameras on the network and act as a server for them
- backup to a USB drive via a one touch button (slow as hell for an initial load but can properly sync rather than wipe and reload everything on the target drive).
- Act as a TimeMachine backup drive (with a bit of tweaking)
- Act as a torrent and HTTP/FTP download server.
- Join the Mule file sharing network
And I'm sure there's more I'm leaving out, I've used quite a few of these features but not all of them. Sure, there are some I will likely never use but I doubt anyone will manage to use ALL of the above.
And the QNAP team are constantly pushing out updates with new features, and the QPKG facility allows third party software to be installed and accessed via the web interface.
I'm more than satisfied with my decision to buy the 209, even though transfer speeds aren't that great. If the 219 addresses these issues then I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a good all round NAS product.
The alternative of course is to spin your own NAS using a SheevaPlug. 1.2Ghz ARM based Kirkwood processor, 512MB RAM, 512MB Flash, SDCard, USB2, 1Gb Ethernet. $99 Runs Ubuntu from flash, with plenty of room for your own stuff, stick a Western Digital MyBook Mirror on the USB port and bobs yer uncle so they say..
This what I have done, and I get the best of both worlds, near NAS formfactor, NAS power consumption, ultimate configurability and a enough resources to do the most CPU intensive tasks (like transcodiing on TwonkyMedia).
"Sure you can put together a small pc cheaper and use it as server, but in the end I bought a QNAP NAS and am happy with it:"
And I'm just about to do the same. Been considering a NAS box for while, this is the first one I've seen that ticks all the boxes for me.
I've actually got most of the services running on a couple (or three) PCs under Linux already. However, our sixth power cut in the last month has highlighted how much use the whole family makes of the servers, not just yours truly. So one of these, a small UPS, a couple of 1TB drives that I've already got (had been planning to upgrade a server anyway) and that should be the last time I have to talk the wife through restarting the servers. And I get my playpen servers back!
Man, it's beautiful ! And no, ARM is the way for NAS devices. Not Atom - with it's ancient x86 architecture.
Reasons I went for a QNAP NAS and not a PC as server
Sure you can put together a small pc cheaper and use it as server, but in the end I bought a QNAP NAS and am happy with it:
- small footprint
- reasonably fast
- reasonably silent
- low power (and this ARM version needs much less power than the atom one!)
- hackable out of the box, but already very complete