Features - BitTorrent, Multimedia, PHP Webserver
Finally, I wanted to explore some of the "9 in 1" server features that the TS-101 provided; one uncommon feature in the TS-101 is something that Qnap bills as a "Download Station". This, it turns out, refers to the ability of the device to do automated BitTorrent downloads. Unfortunately, I couldn't test this feature under OS X, because it is only supported using Internet Explorer. Instead I turned to my XP installation and brought it up.
Figure 13 shows a Linux Ubuntu download in progress. This feature seemed to work well - configuration settings were available for limiting bandwidth, limiting simultaneous downloads, changing ports, and so forth.
Figure 13: Download Station
When I saw that Qnap advertised the TS-101 as a "Multimedia Station," I assumed that it would run a UPnP server like a number of other NAS are starting to do, but that's not what Qnap had in mind. Instead, the multimedia capabilities referred to a built-in photo album application. When you deposit your digital photographs in the multimedia folder, they are automatically indexed, thumbnails are created, and a web page is generated. Figure 14 shows a page that was generated based on some of my photos, music and movies.
Figure 14: TS-101 Photo Album application
From this page I could view my pictures, cycle through a "slide-show", zoom in, get info, and so on. The movies and music could be selected for playback in my web browser using standard browser plug-ins. The feature worked fairly well, but I guess I expected a bit more from a "Multimedia Station".
The TS-101 also has the capability to act as a general-purpose web server with both PHP and database support. This combo gives the product the ability to be a powerful little LAMP-like server in a footprint the size of a toaster. Figure 15 shows the only configuration setting for this server. As noted in the figure, the database support is provided by SQLite.
Figure 15: Web Server Setup
The default web page for this server gave a little information on how to upload files, but there was nothing on how to create and/or use the embedded database server, so if you are interested in this feature, you're on your own.
The final interesting feature I'll touch on is what Qnap bills as "Q-Raid". This feature allows an external USB or eSATA drive to be used in a RAID 1 (mirroring) mode. This gives you extra data protection in case of disk failure. I wasn't able to test this feature since I didn't have a spare empty disk on-hand, but Qnap's documentation makes it look fairly easy to set up and use.