QNAP TS-219 Turbo NAS device

QNAP TS-219 Turbo NAS device

QNAP's latest 2-bay NAS device has a sleek and sexy design

Aimed at home users, QNAP's TS-219 Turbo is a two-bay network-attached storage (NAS) device which looks sleek and has a competent feature set. It can transfer files quickly, has iSCSI target capability and you can set it up via a Web interface that's easy to understand.

The TS-219 Turbo NAS device breaks QNAP tradition by having the drive bays covered by a glossy black faceplate. The bays are still accessible from the front, but you will have to go through the relatively painless extra step of unscrewing and removing the plate. This design is best suited to those who intend to install the drives and leave them be; those who want to hot-swap regularly can purchase the QNAP TS-219P Turbo NAS device instead, which offers the same functionality in an upright design with exposed drive bays.

QNAP provides a USB port on the front panel and a one-touch backup button; this can be used to back up files from an external USB drive, as well as back up a share volume on the NAS device to a USB drive. There are two USB ports around the back and a Gigabit Ethernet port. An eSATA port, which would offer faster file transfers than USB 2.0, is noticeably missing.

The TS-219 Turbo NAS device has a Marvell 1.2GHz CPU and 512MB of DDR2 memory; the same as the 1-bay TS-119 Turbo NAS. Though the TS-219 Turbo NAS has to cope with an additional hard drive, the processor and memory still provide adequate power.

We conducted our testing with two 1.5TB Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 hard drives in a RAID 0 array, connected via Gigabit Ethernet to our testbed, which has a 300GB Western Digital VelociRaptor. In Intel's NAS Performance Toolkit, the QNAP TS-219 Turbo NAS device delivered good results. It streamed 720p high-definition video at an average of 25.5 megabytes per second (MBps), and recorded the same footage to the NAS device at 33MBps. These speeds are slightly better than the single-bay TS-119 Turbo NAS.

The QNAP TS-219 Turbo NAS device was also faster than the TS-119 Turbo NAS in our real-world benchmark tests. It wrote 20GB worth of 3-4GB files at a rate of 31.5MBps and read those same files at 67.1MBps. It also copied these files from one folder to another on the NAS device at a rate of 19.6MBps. In our small file tests the NAS device wrote 3GB worth of 1MB files at 17.8MBps, read them at 30.6MBps and performed a simultaneous read/write operation at 9.9MBps. It is faster than QNAP TS-119 Turbo NAS when it comes to large files but slightly slower overall when dealing with a larger number of read/write operations. Nevertheless, these speeds make for a much more appealing option performance-wise than the 2-bay Linksys by Cisco Media Hub NMH405, for example.

We found the Web-based interface attached to QNAP's Firmware 3.0 much more user-friendly than we have been used to with other QNAP NAS devices. The home page takes design cues from the Cover Flow interface available in Apple's iTunes and iPod interfaces, which is often more distracting than useful. However, the heavy use of icons and a two-pane administration interface is much more welcoming to novices compared to the traditional QNAP Web interface. The standard bevy of administrative functions are available, including user and quota management, sharing protocol settings, multimedia configuration as well as volume management and backup options.

Using the Web interface, you can schedule BitTorrent, FTP and HTTP downloads, as well as access QNAP's forums and support documentation. The TS-219 Turbo NAS has iTunes server and TwonkyMedia-powered UPnP server functionality, so you can serve media files across the network. Businesses can attach the NAS device to an iSCSI-capable server.

Though QNAP hasn't added anything extraordinary to the TS-219 Turbo NAS device, it has a solid feature set and it's fast.

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