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NAS Reviews

2-Bay SOHO NAS
At a glance
ProductQNAP TS-228 2-Bay SOHO NAS   [Website]
Summary2-bay dual-core ARM-based RAID 1 class home & SOHO NAS for data backup and entertainment.
Pros• SD card slot
• Wide range of installable apps
Cons• No iSCSI support
• Only one USB 3.0 port
• Relatively slow write performance

Typical Price: $148  Shop Amazon

Introduction

I recently reviewed Synology's entry-level DS216j two-bay NAS. So it's only fitting to give QNAP a shot at showing what it can do for folks on a limited budget. The TS-228 is QNAP's cheapest two-bay product, joining the TS-231 and TS-231P in its SOHO / Home family.

The product table shows QNAP uses three different processors in its entry-level two-bay line. I'll reveal what's in the TS-228 in a bit.

QNAP TS-228, TS-231+ and TS-231p comparison

QNAP TS-228, TS-231+ and TS-231p comparison

As an entry level NAS, the TS-228 has a single Gigabit Ethernet port and one each of USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports and the drives are not hot swappable. The full version of the above table is here.

I'll be comparing the QNAP TS-228 with the aforementioned Synology DS216j Disk Station. The DS216j Disk Station is a logical comparison as Synology's entry level two bay NAS with very similar pricing.

The chart below, excerpted from our NAS Finder, compares the major features of the TS-228 and the DS216j.

QNAP TS-228 and Synology DS216j feature comparison

QNAP TS-228 and Synology DS216j feature comparison

The callouts below show the front and rear panel of the TS-228. The front panel has a single USB 3.0 port and a One Touch Copy button that lets you easily copy files to/from a flash drive. Located just above the copy button is a convenient SD card slot.

The rear panel has a reset button, the single Gigabit Ethernet port, and the USB 2.0 port.

QNAP TS-228 callouts

QNAP TS-228 callouts

Inside

The image below shows the component side of the TS-228's board. Removing the lone heatsink reveals the processor as a Realtek RTD1195PN. This is the first time we've spotted a Realtek processor in a NAS we've reviewed. Realtek doesn't have a public page for this device, but Google searches identify it as Dual Cortex-A7 SoC @ 1.1 GHz. It's also found in WD's My Passport Wireless Pro.

You can't see it in the photo, but there is a blower about the size of a 2.5" drive below the board that provides some air circulation inside the enclosure. It produced no audible noise in a quiet office environment.

QNAP TS-228 board

QNAP TS-228 board

The Table below shows the key component summary for the QNAP TS-228 and the Synology DS216j.

  QNAP TS-228 Synology DS216j
CPU Realtek RTD1195PN Dual Cortex-A7 SoC @ 1.1 GHz Marvell ARMADA-385 88F6820 @ 1GHz dual-core
RAM 1 GB DDR3 Micron MT41K256M16HA-125 (x2) 512 MB Hynix H5TC4G63CFR
Flash 4 GB (can't identify device manufacturer) 8 MB Macronix MX25L6406E
Ethernet In RTD1195 Marvell 88E1511 Gigabit Ethernet
USB 3.0 ASMedia ASM1074L 4 port USB 3.0 hub controller In CPU
SATA ASMedia ASM1153E USB 3.0 to SATA 6 Gbps bridge Marvell 88SE9170 2 port SATA controller (on drive backplane for AS1004T)
Table 1: Key component summary

The TS-228 drew 10 W with two of our stock WD Red 1 TB (WD10EFRX) drives spun up and 5 W in power save mode with he drives spun down. Fan and drive noise was rated very low. RAID 1 build time was ~ 2.5 hours for a 2 X 1 TB volume.

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