A ver­sa­tile bare­bones NAS drive for hob­by­ists and business users

Mac Format - - RATED - Man­u­fac­turer: QNAP, qnap.com 2x Gi­ga­bit Eth­er­net, 2x USB 2.0, 2x USB 3.0, 1x HDMI 2.5” or 3.5” HDD and SDD Di­men­sions 168x102x225mm Good con­nec­tiv­ity Ver­sa­tile built-in apps Com­pli­cated to set up

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.

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