QNAP TurboNAS TS-219+ 2-bay NAS device

QNAP TurboNAS TS-219+ review: A feature-rich, 2-bay network storage device

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QNAP TurboNAS TS-219+
  • QNAP TurboNAS TS-219+
  • QNAP TurboNAS TS-219+
  • QNAP TurboNAS TS-219+

Pros

  • Lots of useful server features
  • Easy to set up and use

Cons

  • iTunes streaming is a little fiddly
  • Some features could be better documented

Bottom Line

The QNAP TurboNAS TS-219+ has plenty of features that are suitable both for small business and home users. It's relatively easy to set up and use and it can accommodate 3TB hard drives.

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The QNAP TurboNAS TS-219+ is a two-bay network-attached storage (NAS) device that can accept SATA 3.0 hard drives up to 3TB, for a total capacity of 6TB. It has one Gigabit Ethernet port for connecting to your network, and extra drives (or even printers) can be shared via the QNAP's three USB 2.0 and two eSATA ports.

It's a comprehensive network storage solution for home and small business users, and it has many of the same software features as the 4-bay TurboNAS TS-412. It can be used as a repository for media files, as a UPnP media streamer, or as a backup location for all your data (it supports Apple's Time Machine, too). Furthermore, you can set it up so that you can access your data remotely; like the TS-412, it has the built-in MyCloudNAS service that's simple to set up and use — you can still use DynDNS if you wish.

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Setting up the TurboNAS TS-219+ isn't difficult. After you insert two hard drives (preferably of the same capacity and performance specifications), you can use the supplied QNAP Finder software to find the NAS on your network and connect to it, and then use the supplied wizard to complete the NAS' configuration. The wizard takes you through all the services that can be set up, such as the Web server, iTunes server and Multimedia Station, before allowing you to select the configuration of your drives.

The TS-219+ supports either RAID 0 or RAID 1 modes, but you can also elect to have drives set up as one large volume instead. We recommend RAID 1, which mirrors data on both hard drives, as this can protect your data in the event of a single hard drive failure. The drive bays are hot-swappable, which means you can remove a faulty drive and install a new one without powering down the NAS. Drives installed in the NAS will be formatted using the EXT4 file system, but drives attached to the NAS' USB or eSATA ports can also use NTFS, FAT32 or HFS+.

Once configured, you can enter the drive's Web administration page to check out all of its features. You can create new shared folders, add users and even implement quotas for users. Shared folders will show up in Windows 7 when you browse the network, making it easy to plonk files into them.

Like we experienced with the TS-412, the iTunes server won't work unless you store all your files in the 'multimedia' folder, which may mean having to keep a duplicate of files on the NAS. If you have a media streamer, such as the Netgear NeoTV NTV550, attached to your network, then you can easily browse all of the media files that are located in the NAS' shared folders.

We recommend connecting the TS-219+ to your network using a Gigabit Ethernet connection, as this will provide the best performance when moving data to and from the NAS, but there is an option for a wireless dongle if you want to store the NAS in a location where only wireless access will be feasible.

The performance of the NAS was solid during our tests (using Gigabit Ethernet), and it performed all of its intended functions without a hassle. We're used to setting up and using QNAP NAS devices, but we're sure that new users will find it just as hassle-free to set up as we did. However, there are a lot of features packed in to this NAS device and it can be a little intimidating. You can click on the little question mark to bring up the help file if you don't understand something in the interface, but explanations for advanced features are not deep enough.

You may only buy the TS-219+ with the intention of storing and streaming media files, but in time you might find its ability to record directly from an IP camera to be a benefit, too. You might also want to take advantage of its built-in BitTorrent capability (using the QGet app) so that you can download torrents without leaving your PC on all night. You might even want to use it as a Web or FTP server. There are also iOS and Android apps available (QMobile) so that you can stream content to your portable devices.

Indeed, there are plenty of things to do with the QNAP TurboNAS TS-219+. Pick it up if you want a comprehensive and relatively easy to use NAS with two drive bays. If you can afford it (and it's only $100 more), go for the four-bay version instead as allows you to use a higher storage capacity while still protecting your data.

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