QNAP TS-439 Pro Turbo NAS

The QNAP TS-439 Pro Turbo NAS is a great network storage solution.

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QNAP TS-439 Pro Turbo NAS
  • QNAP TS-439 Pro Turbo NAS
  • QNAP TS-439 Pro Turbo NAS
  • QNAP TS-439 Pro Turbo NAS

Pros

  • Comprehensive server options; RAID 0, 1, 5, 6 and JBOD configurations; built-in 256-bit AES volume encryption; hot-swappable drives

Cons

  • Steep learning curve; cost; no "secret question" option for retrieving lost passwords

Bottom Line

The QNAP TS-439 Pro Turbo NAS is a great device for tech-savvy SMBs looking for a networked storage solution, but novices need not apply.

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The QNAP TS-439 Pro is a four-bay network attached storage (NAS) device with a wide range of features. Its main downside is its steep learning curve. If you’re working in a small office environment and want lots of networked storage, then the QNAP TS-439 Pro is a worthy choice.

The design of the QNAP TS-439 Pro is utilitarian and solid. Each of the four easily removable drive trays is lockable, and the black LCD panel that sits above them lends the fascia a serious and business-like look.

The aluminium case provides sturdy protection from knocks and bumps. A ventilation strip on the left of the device allows hot air to escape, and a heat extraction fan sits at the rear of the device.

We found that after several hours of data crunching with three drives installed the QNAP TS-439 Pro began to heat up. Fortunately the fan made sure it never overwhelmed the system, but it does mean you’ll want to keep it operating in a relatively cool office environment.

The current firmware only supports 1.5TB hard drives and below, which is a pity given that 2TB drives like the Western Digital Caviar Green 2TB (WD20EADS) are starting to become available. Although the WD Caviar Green 2TB drive was able to work within a RAID configuration with several other drives, we encountered several connection failures when it was installed. QNAP has said that it plans to update the firmware to accept 2TB drives, but has not provided a timeline for when this will occur.

On the bottom left of the face-plate there is a "one-click" USB 2.0 port that provides a quick and easy way to transfer data from a compatible USB storage device onto the NAS device. Four more USB 2.0 ports can be found on the back of the QNAP TS-439 Pro, along with two eSATA ports, two Gigabit Ethernet ports and a VGA port.

The Gigabit Ethernet ports allow for fast networked access to the NAS device. Have two will let you connect to a wireless router with one port and wired network cable with the other, for example, or you could use the ports to connect to two different wired networks.

A 1.6GHz Intel Atom processor runs the device, along with 1GB of DDR2 RAM. This series of NAS units is the first to use Intel's low-powered Atom CPUs.

The TS-439 Pro uses the same largely text-based Web interface seen in the QNAP TS-639 Pro and provides the same server functions; 256-bit AES volume-based encryption provides security — but if you lose your password and your encryption key there is no way of retrieving the data.

The NAS device has other useful functions like MySQL database support, a download station that can schedule HTTP, FTP and BitTorrent downloads and remote Web access for retrieving your files over the Internet. iTunes and UPnP Media Server options can also be switched on to allow users with compatible media streamers to play music and movies directly from the QNAP TS-439 Pro.

Mapping network drives is a relatively simple process; you just need to locate the QNAP TS-439 Pro via either Windows or the QNAP Finder software that comes with the unit. Creating groups and setting user permissions is also easy, as long as you understand how to use the Web-based interface.

As was the case in the QNAP TS-639 Pro, however, novice tech users will find the complexity of the TS-439 Pro daunting. Although a more user-friendly interface would make this device better for the general consumer market, QNAP's target is business users who know what they're doing.

If you can handle the complexity of the Web interface, then the QNAP TS-439 Pro is a good choice, with a wide range of server options and excellent connectivity.

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