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NAS Reviews

Introduction

QNAP TS-209

At a Glance
Product QNAP Pro Turbo Station (TS-209 Pro)
Summary Powerful Small Business Network Storage Device
Pros • Hot-Swap RAID 1
• Gigabit Ethernet with jumbo frame support
• Full-featured
• Good Performance
Cons • Relatively Expensive

Last year when I did a review of the TS-101 from QNAP, I found it to be a powerful little NAS with a few drawbacks, the main one being limited availability in the US. Now, a year later, QNAP has improved their US distribution channels, and has come out with the TS-209 Pro Turbo Station, a higher-end unit geared more toward business users than home users.

Instead of being single-disk based like the TS-101, the TS-209 Pro supports dual hot-swappable drives and adds a number of high-end features. In this review, I'll check out the new capabilities and see how well QNAP's "Pro" line stacks up to similar units we've reviewed recently.

Note: The same capabilities, except for RAID 1, are available in the single-drive TS-109 Pro.

Check out the slideshowView the TS-109 Pro slideshow.

Setup

Physically, the TS-209 Pro is a fairly plain cube-like unit about the size of a couple of stacked hard-cover books. The removable front-panel supports a USB port, a power button, a copy/backup button, and a number of status LEDS. The rear (Figure 1, from the QNAP manual) has two more USB ports, a gigabit-capable Ethernet port (with jumbo-frame support), a fan vent, and a power connector, among other connectors.

TS-209 Rear Panel

Figure 1: TS-209 Rear Panel

The "Smart fan" reference in the diagram refers to the fan being variable-speed, dependent on the internal temperature of the system—a nice feature.

The TS-209 is a "Bring Your Own Disk" (BYOD) unit, but QNAP was kind enough to send me a unit with two Seagate ST3250620AS 250 GB 3.5 inch SATA drives pre-installed on removable drive trays. If you're installing your own disks, the instructions are well written and appear to be easy to follow. The TS-209 manual lists a number of disks that have been verified to work with the TS-209, so before you pick up drives, check the list. In Figure 2, you can see the drive bay, and the disk trays after the front panel of the unit has been removed.

Drive Bay

Figure 2: Drive Bay

Like most of these units, setting up the TS-209 was as easy as plugging it into thenetwork and powering it on. When the unit booted up, I noted the noise level, and judged it to be fairly low. As far as power-draw, I measured it to use around 20 watts when active and a very low eight watts when idle. I won't go into details on configuration of the unit, since it was basically the same process as with the TS-101, which I reviewed here, but in general, configuration was fairly easy, with a wizard walk-through of setting network parameters, user accounts, network share characteristics, etc.

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