The Home Server Show Podcast is always looking for new storage hardware to try out and review for our listeners. While at CES 2013 Dave stopped by the QNAP booth and talked with them about their line of network attached storage (NAS) devices.
QNAP has been generous enough to send us a 2-bay TS-269L Turbo NAS for us to review. The NAS has arrived so let’s get started with the unboxing.
Inside the outer shipping container I found the box for the QNAP TS-269L. The box has been designed for placement on a retail shelf to showcase the capabilities of the NAS.
The back of the box gives a brief overview of everything this NAS is capable of doing. What we are really after is what is inside the box.
The contents of the box included:
- TS-269L 2-bay Turbo NAS
- Power Cord
- Ethernet Cable x 2
- Power adapter Brick
- Screw Pack (for both 3.5 and 2.5 drives)
- CD-ROM Disc
- Quick Installation Guide
- Firmware Update Reminder Card
Looking at the front of the NAS there are 4 status LEDs for HDD1, HDD2, LAN and eSATA. There is also a lighted power button and a one-touch USB copy button along with a single USB2 port. The unit shipped with the 2 drive trays installed but there are no hard drives pre-installed in the NAS. Those are left to the user to purchase and install.
With the 2 drive trays removed you can look into the empty drive bays and see the 7cm fan on the back of the
NAS that provides cooling for the hard drives and motherboard.
The hard drive trays are stamped sheet metal with holes for airflow.
The trays are not a toolless design which may be a negative to some users. However QNAP has provided mounting holes for both 3.5” and 2.5” hard drives or SSDs. This allows the same tray to be used for either drive size without the need to use an adapter.
The trays incorporate a lever mechanism that helps with inserting and removing the tray from the NAS. The trays do not contain a lock to prevent removal as I have seen on some other devices. Here I have loaded a 3TB Western Digital RED drive for my evaluation.
The left side of the NAS includes air ventilation holes in the sheet metal enclosure while the right side is solid.
The back of the NAS includes 2x USB 2.0 Ports, 2x USB 3.0 ports, an eSATA port, 2x Gigabit Ethernet ports, an HDMI port, power supply connection and a 7cm fan for cooling. There is also a Kensington lock slot provide on the back for additional security if the user desires.
I think the interesting thing to note here is the inclusion of the HDMI port. QNAP has included the HDMI port to provide functionality that you won’t find in other NAS devices. I will cover the use of the HDMI port in a subsequent review.
- CPU - Intel Atom 1.86 GHz Dual-Core Processor
- DRAM – 1GB RAM (Expandable RAM, up to 3GB)
- Flash Memory – 512MB DOM (used for storing OS)
- HDD – 2 x 3.5” or 2.5” SATA 3Gb/s hard drive or SSD
- HDD Tray – 2 x Hot-swappable tray
- LAN Port – 2 x Gigabit RJ-45 Ethernet port
- LED Indicators – Status, LAN, USB, eSATA, Power, HDD 1, HDD 2
- USB – 2 x USB 3.0 port; 3 x USB 2.0 port
- eSATA – 1 x eSATA port
The NAS does not come with any drives installed so the first thing that must be done is installing 1 or 2 drives into the drive trays. For my evaluation I have elected to install a pair of 3TB Western Digital RED hard drives. QNAP provides a list of compatible hard drives on their website along with an Unofficial 3.5” HDD Compatible List.
After screwing the hard drives into their trays I slid them into the NAS and pressed the power button.
I then went to my desktop PC and inserted the CD-ROM that came in the box with the NAS.
The CD started and I was provided with the screen to select the device that I would be setting up.
The next screen provided a menu of choices but the QNAP Quick Installation Guide instructed me to install QNAP Finder.
After running through the typical installation questions, license agreements, and configuration questions the QNAP Finder was installed. Upon running QNAP Finder my firewall displayed a message asking me if I wanted to allow this program access.
Once the firewall was provided access for the QNAP Finder program it was able to locate the NAS on my network and displayed a message that the NAS was not configured yet. I was then provided the option to step through a setup wizard to configure the NAS.
The QNAP Finder program will then hand off the configuration task to a web browser to run through the configuration wizard. All of these settings can be configured manually if the user desires but QNAP has created the wizard to help out the beginner user configure their NAS.
The initial screen shows the steps that you will follow to configure the NAS
Rather than show you a series of screen shots I will step through the first few screens and describe what questions are being asked.
- The first step is to name the server (NAS).
- Step 2 is to setup your administrator password.
- Step 3 sets the date and time for the NAS and allows you to synchronize with an internet time server.
- Step 4 configures the NAS to either obtain an IP address automatically or you can fill in the settings yourself for a fixed IP address. I typically use address reservations on my router to provide the same IP address to boxes like my server or a NAS.
Step 5 Allow you to select which services you would like enabled on the NAS. For now I have left the default selections but in later reviews of the features on this NAS I will be enabling additional services. HINT: one of the features works with the HDMI port mentioned earlier.
Step 6 is the where you configure how the hard drives will be used. With 2 hard drives installed you have the options of Raid0, Raid1 or JBOD. I selected Raid1 for my setup. You are also given the option to select the file system (EXT3 or EXT4) and whether you want to encrypt the disk volume.
Step 7 is a summary screen showing all you choices. Once you press the Start Installation button in the lower right you are given one final message that the hard drives will be formatted and all data will be cleared. Selecting YES starts the process of setting up the hard drives.
A progress window is displayed while the system configures itself and sets up the hard drives for use.
Once the configuration is completed the NAS is ready to start using.
In Part 2 of my review I will go through updating the firmware and introducing the web based interface for the NAS. I will start setting up users on the NAS and investigating more of it’s capabilities.
And here is the video If you are interested in watching Dave’s interview with QNAP at CES 2013.