Qnap TS-412 Turbo NAS review
As one of the more affordable four-bay NAS devices on the market, the TS-412 aims to bring Qnap’s network storage expertise to a wider audience.
Practicality is at the forefront of the Qnap’s talents. It’s one of the few four-bay NAS drives at this price point to provide proper hot-swap drive bays. Either 2.5in and 3.5in hard drives will clip into the sturdy metal trays, and slot home with a solid thunk. The power supply is also reassuring. Unlike its rivals, it uses a locking connector, so it’s very hard to yank out by mistake.
Scattered around the TS-412’s silver and black body is an abundance of connectivity. A front-facing USB 2 port copies across data from external drives with a single dab of the Copy button, while twin Gigabit Ethernet sockets, two eSATA ports and three more USB 2 ports are found at the rear. Connected eSATA or USB drives can either act as targets for backing up the TS-412’s contents, or be shared over the network.
The setup process is excellent. Qnap’s Finder software locates the drive on the network, and then the web interface takes over. This guides you through the process of uploading the firmware to the installed drives, and suggests checking Qnap’s website for the latest firmware release. It’s then a matter of choosing the type of RAID configuration best suited to the installed drives – JBOD, RAID0, RAID1, RAID5 and RAID6 are supported.
Performance is a little behind the best, but despite its relatively modest 1.2GHz processor it’s still acceptably quick. Reading and writing large files to the drive saw the Qnap average 67.5MB/sec and 30.9MB/sec respectively. Small-file performance was disappointing, though, with read and write speeds shrinking to 5.7MB/sec and 2.5MB/sec respectively.
What the Qnap lacks in speed, it makes up for with features. The web interface can’t compete with that of Synology, but a search function makes it easy to drill through the myriad features without having to trawl through menus. Extra features are available via Qnap’s QPKG service, such as a Joomla server, Usenet NZB downloader or Squeezebox server.
The MyCloudNAS service makes remote access easy. Once activated, this opens up the relevant ports in your router via UPnP and provides remote access to the Qnap’s various features via your own MyCloudNAS.com web address. You can choose which services to make available, including the administration front-end, photo gallery, file explorer and BitTorrent service.
There are downsides to the Qnap, but these can be levelled at most four-bay NAS appliances. Despite the quiet 92mm fan at the rear, the four hard drives in the Qnap make a fairly intrusive noise. Power consumption is greater than its competitors, too; under load, the Qnap drew 33W.
Qnap’s TS-412 packs in a huge amount for the money, but the Synology DS411j is faster and more refined. Still, if the extra connectivity is useful to you, Qnap’s TS-412 is a feature-packed NAS at an affordable price.
|UPnP media server?||yes|
|Dimensions||180 x 235 x 177mm (WDH)|