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NAS Reviews

Introduction

QNAP TS-409

At a Glance
Product QNAP Turbo NAS (TS-409 Pro), (TS-409)
Summary Four-drive BYOD NAS with support for RAID 0, 1, 5, 5+ hot spare and 6.
Pros • Hot-swappable drives
• Online volume expansion and RAID migration
• Automatic rebuild to hot spare
• Built-in LAMP server, DLNA multimedia server, FTP, iTunes
• USB support for external storage, UPS or up to 3 printers
Cons • Media Center didn't function well with large music library
• Thumbnails didn't automatically generate
• No US-based phone support

If you’re considering a NAS to expand your network storage, you have three different types to choose from. First, there’s the simple, single-drive device that merely adds storage capacity but provides no fault tolerance. All of your data is stored on a single drive, and if that drive crashes, you’ll lose your data (unless you’ve done proper backups). 

Next, there are two-drive models. Virtually all of the NAS manufacturers offer two-drive models. You have the option of RAID 0, RAID 1, or JBOD. If you configure for RAID 1, all of your data from one drive is mirrored onto the second drive. 

However, it’s the four-drive NASs that offer the most options for fault tolerance. When you start looking at four-drive devices, you’ll notice that in these devices, different manufacturers include different features for RAID configuration. Some allow for RAID 0, 1 and 5. Other devices include RAID 10, RAID 6, or RAID 5 with a hot spare. More importantly, some support hot swappable drives. In this review, I’ll be looking at the QNAP TS-409 Pro.

Last fall, we reviewed the QNAP TS209. In that review, Jim Buzbee found that the TS209, a dual-drive version of the TS101, was a full-featured, hot-swappable NAS with full LAMP server capabilities. The feature set of the TS-409 mirrors that of the TS209 with additional RAID capabilities available in the four-drive model. Thus, I won’t spend much time describing features already covered in previous reviews.

Note NOTE: Like the TS-209, the 409 comes in two versions: the TS-409 and TS-409 Pro. Following the approach taken with the TS-209, both 409 versions use the same hardware and differ only in support for Active Directory and NFS in the 409 Pro.

Product Tour

Front Panel

Figure 1: QNAP TS-409 Front Panel

The front panel of the TS-409 is quite similar to the TS209. There are seven LEDs as identified above, along with one of the unit’s three USB 2.0 ports. The One Touch Copy Button allows you to copy the contents from an external USB storage device to a pre-defined volume on the server, or depending on your configuration, copy from the NAS to the USB storage device. 

The screened front panel is secured with only a flimsy plastic tab-and-slot style latch. For security, I would have preferred a front panel that locks to physically secure the drives, or at least a latch that will withstand more wear and tear.

Rear Panel

Figure 2: TS-409 Rear Panel

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