QNap's TS-439 Pro is a fast, feature-packed NAS, but make sure you need the level of features it offers before you pay its very high price.
4 disk bays, N/A storage supplied, 2x 10/100/1000Mbit/s Ethernet ports
Network-attached storage (NAS) devices are essentially mini computers designed for storing files.
A NAS device’s file-transfer performance depends less on the speed of the hard disks fitted and more on its network connection and internal components.
The TS-439 Pro is the first NAS we’ve seen that uses a 1.6GHz Intel Atom N270 processor. These are more often found in netbooks and are considerably more powerful than the processors we usually see on such devices. The Atom should be more than fast enough to handle NAS tasks, and in fact the TS-439 Pro is one of the fastest NAS devices we’ve seen.
Even when fitted with four disks and copying gigabytes of files, the TS-439’s fans were so quiet we could hear the usually inaudible hard disks whirring. The TS-439 is only an enclosure, so you’ll have to provide your own hard disks. The four disk trays are easy to access, but can be locked to deter casual thieves. We tested it with four identical 500GB disks, but you could use four 1TB disks instead. With four disks fitted, this NAS can be set to RAID 0, 5 or 6.
When set to RAID 0, you can use the full storage capacity of your fitted disks, but if one disk fails, you’ll lose all your data. When configured as RAID 5, you can use the storage capacity of only three of your disks, but if one fails, your data is still safe. RAID 6 offers even greater protection – your files will be safe even if two disks fail, but only half the disks’ capacity is available for storage. We were pleased to see that its RAID 5 and 6 performance was very similar to its RAID 0 speeds.
The TS-439’s interface is logically organised and easy to navigate, although it looks uncannily similar to the interface that Synology’s NAS devices use. Creating multiple user accounts, organising them into groups and setting which folders they can access is quick and straightforward. You can set up file downloads from a web or BitTorrent site. Even more extra features, such as a blogging server and a content management system for running websites, are available as plug-ins.
The TS-439 worked perfectly as both a UPnP media server and an iTunes music server. You can also use it to share a USB printer or the contents of a USB or eSATA disk across a network. There’s even a VGA port, so you can connect a monitor and USB keyboard and control the NAS using a Linux command line. We’re not sure why you’d do this, but it might be useful for troubleshooting.
QNap’s TS-439 Pro is very quick at copying files and packed with features aimed at enthusiasts. However, it’s very expensive, especially given that there no disks are supplied. If you don’t need the extra features, Seagate’s similarly priced BlackArmor is far better value.
|Default file system||ext4|
|Price per gigabyte||N/A|
|3.5in drive bays||4|
|Free 3.5in drive bays||4|
|RAID modes||JBOD, RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 6|
|USB direct access ports (front/rear)||0/0|
|Other USB ports (front/rear)||1/4|
|eSATA ports (front/rear)||0/2|
|Ethernet connection speed||10/100/1000Mbit/s|
|Universal Plug and Play support||yes|
|UPnP media server||yes|
|USB disk server||yes|
|Protocols supported||TCP/IP, SMB/CIFS, AFP, FTP, HTTP, NFS|
|Ethernet cable included||yes|
|Additional features||Download manager; IP camera manager, SQL support, php support|
|Power consumption active||53W|
|Warranty||one year RTB|