A versatile barebones NAS drive for hobbyists and business users
The TS-251 from QNAP is an impressive piece of kit – but it is most definitely not a NAS drive for beginners. This two-bay drive unit is sold ‘unpopulated’, it’s up to you to provide your own drives. Installing them is easy enough, as the two drive bays pop open with a flick of a switch. The white plastic chassis looks quite smart, but feels rather flimsy so you’ll probably want to keep it in a safe corner.
Tucked around the back you’ll find two Gigabit Ethernet ports for network connection, two USB 2.0 ports and one USB 3.0 port. There’s another USB 3.0 socket on the front as well, so that you can quickly connect an external hard drive or printer. It even includes an HDMI port so that you can plug it straight into an HDTV and play your videos without having to use a computer.
If you have the technical knowledge needed to wade through the 300-page PDF manual then you’ll find that the TS-251 includes
A bit complicated for beginners, but will appeal to those who like to build their own systems.
built-in apps for playing music, photos and videos, as well as performing backups, automatic file downloads or even connecting to networked surveillance cameras. That will be overkill for people who just want a straightforward network drive to back up their files, but the TS-251 is a versatile storage system that will certainly appeal to more knowledgeable hobbyists and IT managers. Cliff Joseph
We’re not sure how well the plastic casing would take a bash from a door or accidental kick.