The most important thing about keeping your data safe is that whatever backup or redundancy setup you choose, it has to be easy. If you need to remember to make backups, you’ll forget. For me personally, I’ve opted to go with a RAID1 solution, where my data is written to two separate disks. This means my data is safe from drive failure, and since I’m using a version control system, I don’t really need any kind of rotating backup scheme. That’s why I got a QNAP TS-210 a couple of weeks ago, and so far I love it.
I’m no expert when it comes to NAS devices (this is my first one), and so I’m not saying the QNAP is better than the similarly priced Netgear ReadyNAS Duo or the Synology DS210j. I couldn’t find any comparative reviews, so I went with the one I thought looked cool and had the best hardware specs. I did want to go with a specialist brand as opposed to something like the WD “World Edition”. I’ve never really trusted consumer solutions, and WD isn’t my favorite brand.
Installing two 1,5TB Samsung EcoGreen drives into the TS-210’s plastic enclosure was as easy as screwing them in place and connecting a couple of cables. The process is described in a Quick Start Guide and shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes. Once you’re done, you connect the drive to the network, and locate it using a small utility called “QNAP Finder”. The initial setup process is easy enough, although it involves downloading the latest firmware (95MB) and takes a little time.
The device’s web interface is among the best I’ve seen for any type of device. There’s a silly slider-type menu that sorta mimics the Mac OSX dock, but it’s needlessly complex. I was happy to find it can be disabled in favor of a more conventional icon-based menu. From there on in, the screen layout is excellent, with the TS-210’s many features arranged and categorized very conveniently.
I found it very easy to format the drives, set them up as RAID1 and set up network shares (Samba). I connected the NAS to my computer directly in order to copy my stuff onto it, and then moved it to my router. I’m on wifi at the office, and I’ve been working “off of” the QNAP since then. Large files take a little longer to open, but nothing serious.
This may be an entry level NAS device, its feature set is amazing. There’s a download client (bittorrent), iSCSI support, a web server, FTP, automated backups, remote rsync and many other things of which I’ve yet to find out what they mean. I could even run WordPress off of it if I’d want to. I guess that’s what you get for buying a NAS from a manufacturer that specializes in professional solutions.
I have yet to set up FTP and other types of remote access, but so far I love the QNAP. It feels like a very solid product, and that’s important for a product that’s designed to safeguard your valuable data.