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Qnap's TS-101 Aims High, But Falls Short

Introduction

At a Glance
ProductQnap Turbo Station 9-in-1 NAS server
SummaryBYOD single drive SATA NAS with Gigabit Ethernet and many serving options, and decent Gigabit performance
Pros• Web server with PHP support
• Gigabit Ethernet with Jumbo Frame support
• RAID 1 support using external drive
• Windows and MacOS support
Cons• Backup application provided only for Windows
• BitTorrent feature is Windows only
• Limited U.S. availability

Earlier this year I reviewed a full-featured Network Attached Storage (NAS) box from Synology that packed a lot of capabilities into a small footprint. Along with the normal features you'd find in a consumer-level NAS device, it also supported Gigabit Ethernet, external USB and SATA disks, had an impressive software feature set and clocked in with top-of-the-line performance.

In this review, I'll take a look at a similar NAS box from Qnap that aims at the same power-user and small office market. The company's TS-101 is billed as a 9-in-1 server that also supports Gigabit Ethernet and SATA drives, and comes loaded with an extensive software baseline.

As I unpacked the box, I noticed that the styling of the TS-101 was a bit different from that of most boxes I've worked with in the past. The device had a more rounded look, it was slightly larger, and it was constructed of a heavy-duty aluminum, which gave it some nice heft. Along with a power cord and an Ethernet cable, two solid aluminum stands were included for support. The front panel sported a row of LEDs along with a power button, a "copy" button, and a single USB port. The back panel (see Figure 1) included two USB 2.0 ports, a 10/100/1000 Ethernet port, an eSATA port, a locking slot and a power connector.

Figure 1: TS-101 Back Panel

I noticed one thing missing: a fan vent. This box was designed to run without a fan, instead using the aluminum case for heat dissipation. The TS-101 is a bring-your-own-disk box, so setting it up involves installing a SATA drive. Qnap was kind enough to send me a unit with the drive already installed, but the included drive-installation instructions were complete and well written. Note that Qnap has a compatibility list (PDF link) of supported SATA drives; so check it before purchasing a drive.

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