QNAP TS-251+ Network Attached Storage Review

Much like in a business environment but on a smaller scale, we as home users, have an insatiable appetite for data. Our internet connection bandwidth has increased to the point where some can get speeds of 1 gigabit per second. Application sizes have increased. Some game installs reach 50 GB in size. Digital cameras allow us to snap hundreds of pictures in a single session. Not only have our data needs changed, but our networking needs have too. Homes now have multiple PCs, phones, and tablets. How can you share your data with your family? A NAS or network attached storage device could very well be the answer. A NAS not only allows you to share you data with multiple users but can also help keep your data safe. QNAP very recently introduced their newest dual bay NAS; the QNAP TS-251+. This NAS features an Intel Celeron Quad-Core 2.0 GHz CPU and supports up to 16 GB of RAM and 8 Terabyte drives. The NAS has the ability to connect to a TV or monitor and act as a media center/player or a light use PC for browsing the web.

Review Sample Provided by: QNAP
Product Name/Link to Website: QNAP TS-251+-8G
Product was given in exchange for work done to produce this review.

Packaging

Much like other QNAP products, the TS-251+ packaging is very simple. There is a small product sticker on the front of the NAS that details the specifications and features.

 

Inside, the TS-251+ is tucked away in a foam shell. The accessories are packaged away in an additional cardboard box.

QNAP TS-251+

Except for the hard drives, the included accessories are all you will need to get the TS-251+ up and running. The included accessories include, dual Ethernet cables, power supply, screws for SSDs and hard drives, a quick start guide, and a media center remote.

DSC_7465

Hardware Specifications

CPUQuad-Core Intel® Celeron® 2.0GHz (burst up to 2.42GHz)
Floating Point Unit
V
GPUIntel® HD Graphics
Hardware-Acclerated TranscodingV
MemorySystem memory:

TS-251+-2G: 2GB DDR3L RAM (1 x 2GB)
TS-251+-8G: 8GB DDR3L RAM (2 x 4GB)

Total memory slots: 2 SODIMM
Expandable up to: 8 GB

NOTE:
1. When installing two memory modules, please ensure that they are the same size and ideally use the same type of RAM for both memory slots.
2. For the information of RAM module installation and compatible NAS models, please refer to the QNAP RAM Module Installation Guide

Flash Memory512MB
Drive2 x 2.5″ or 3.5″ SATA 6Gb/s, 3Gb/s HDD or SSD; hot swappable trays

NOTE:
For the HDD compatibility list, please visit https://www.qnap.com/compatibility

Expansion UnitMax. 1 (UX-800P, UX-500P)
Gigabit LAN Ports2
USB2 x USB 3.0 (Front: 1, Rear: 1)
2 x USB 2.0 (Rear)
IR ReceiverYes (QNAP RM-IR002 remote control)
HDMI1
LED IndicatorsPower/Status, LAN, USB, HDD1-2
ButtonsPower, Reset, USB Auto Copy
Alarm BuzzerSystem warning
Form FactorTower
Dimensions (HxWxD)168.5 x 102 x 225 mm
6.63 x 4.02 x 8.86 inch
Weight (Net / Gross)1.28 kg (2.82 lbs) / 2.32 kg (5.11 lbs)
System Fan1 x 7cm, 12V DC
Kensington Security Slot1
Power SupplyExternal Power Adapter, 60W, 100-240V
Power Consumption (W)S3 sleep: 0.57
HDD standby: 10.56
In operation (typical): 18.09
Temperature0 – 40 °C
Humidity5~95% RH non-condensing, wet bulb: 27˚C

 

Software Specifications

Operating System
QTS 4.2 (embedded Linux)
File System
  1. Internal Hard Drive: EXT4
  2. External Hard Drive: EXT3, EXT4, NTFS, FAT32, HFS+
Supported Client OS
  1. Windows 7 (32/64-bit), Windows 8 (32/64-bit), Windows Server 2003/2008 R2/2012/2012 R2
  2. Apple Mac OS X
  3. Linux & UNIX
Power Management
  1. Wake on LAN
  2. Internal hard drive standby mode
  3. Scheduled power on/off
  4. Automatic power on after power recovery
  5. USB and network UPS support with SNMP management
  6. System sleep mode (S3)
Supported Browsers
  1. Microsoft Internet Explorer 10+
  2. Mozilla Firefox 8+
  3. Apple Safari 4+
  4. Google Chrome
Access Right Management
  1. Batch users creation
  2. Import/Export users
  3. User quota management
  4. Local user access control for CIFS, AFP, FTP, and WebDAV
  5. Application access control for Photo Station, Music Station, Video Station, and File Station
  6. Subfolder permissions support for CIFS/SMB, AFP, FTP, and File Station
Multilingual Support
  1. Chinese (Traditional & Simplified), Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish
Domain Authentication Integration
  1. Microsoft Active Directory (AD) & Domain Controller support
  2. LDAP server, LDAP client
  3. Domain users login via CIFS/SMB, AFP, FTP, and File Station
Storage Management
  1. QNAP flexible Volume/LUN with thin provisioning and space reclaim
  2. RAID 0 / 1, JBOD
  3. Supports storage pools
  4. Supports snapshots (4GB System RAM required)
    1. Supports Volume/LUN snapshot (Max 256 snapshots)
    2. Snapshot manager
    3. Snapshot clone
    4. Snapshot vault
    5. Snapshot replica
    6. Snapshot agent for Windows VSS and VMware
  5. Online volume expansion
  6. Online storage pool expansion
  7. Online RAID capacity expansion and online RAID level migration
  8. SMART data migration
  9. Storage expansion via a QNAP UX-500P/UX-800P expansion unit
  10. JBOD enclosure roaming
  11. SSD read-only/read-write cache
  12. Bad block scan and hard drive S.M.A.R.T.
  13. Bad block recovery
  14. RAID recovery
  15. Bitmap support
myQNAPcloud Service
  1. Private cloud storage and sharing
  2. Free host name registration (DDNS)
  3. Supports myQNAPcloud SSL certificates (DDNS)
  4. Auto router configuration (via UPnP)
  5. Web-based file manager with HTTPS 2048-bit encryption
  6. CloudLink for remote access without any complicated router setup
  7. myQNAPcloud connect for easy VPN connection (Windows VPN utility)
Networking
  1. TCP/IP (IPv4 & IPv6: Dual Stack)
  2. Dual Gigabit NICs with jumbo frame (failover, multi-IP settings, port trunking/NIC teaming)
  3. Service binding based on network interfaces
  4. Proxy server (Squid Proxy Server via App Center)
  5. Proxy client
  6. DHCP client, DHCP server
  7. Protocols: CIFS/SMB, AFP (v3.3), NFS(v3), FTP, FTPS, SFTP, TFTP, HTTP(S), Telnet, SSH, iSCSI, SNMP, SMTP, and SMSC
  8. UPnP & Bonjour Discovery
  9. USB Wi-Fi Adapter Support

* Not all services supports IPv6.

Qsync
  1. Syncs files across multiple devices with SSL support
  2. Selective synchronization for only syncing specific folders
  3. Use team folders as a file center for greater team collaboration (maximum sync tasks:32)
  4. Shares files by links via e-mail
  5. Policy settings for conflicting files and file type filter support
  6. Version control: up to 64 versions.
  7. Incremental synchronization for HDD space saving
  8. Unified privilege management
  9. Unified configuration management
  10. Supports central configuration mode
  11. Supports remote erase / restore
  12. Supports shared folders sync
  13. Supports Windows & Mac OS
Security
  1. Network access protection with auto-blocking: SSH, Telnet, HTTP(S), FTP, CIFS/SMB, AFP
  2. CIFS host access control for shared folders
  3. FIPS 140-2 validated AES 256-bit volume-based and shared folder data encryption*
  4. AES 256-bit external drive encryption*
  5. Importable SSL certificates
  6. Instant alert via E-mail, SMS, beep, and push notification service
  7. 2-step verification

* The data encryption functions may be unavailablenot available in accordance with the legislative restrictions of some countries.

Web Administration
  1. Movable Icons and personalized desktop
  2. Smart toolbar and dashboard for neat system status display
  3. Smart fan Control
  4. Dynamic DNS (DDNS)
  5. SNMP (v2 & v3)
  6. Resource monitor
  7. Network recycle bin for file deletion via CIFS/SMB, AFP, and File Station
    1. Automatic Cleanup
    2. File Type Filter
  8. Comprehensive logs (events & connection)
  9. Syslog client/server
  10. System settings backup and restore
  11. Restore to factory default
  12. Mobile app: Qmanager for remote system monitoring & management
Powerful All-in-one server
File Server
  1. File sharing across Windows, Mac, and Linux/UNIX
  2. Windows ACL
  3. Advanced folder permissions for CIFS/SMB, AFP, FTP
  4. Shared folder aggregation (CIFS/SMB)
Download Station
  1. PC-less BT, FTP/FTPS, and HTTP/HTTPS, Thunder, FlashGet and qqdl download (up to 500 Tasks)
  2. BT download with Magnet Link and PT support
  3. Scheduled download and bandwidth control
  4. RSS subscription and download (broadcatching)
  5. BT search
  6. Proxy support for BT download

 

FTP Server
  1. FTP over SSL/TLS (Explicit)
  2. FXP support
  3. Passive ftp port range control
Notes Station
  1. A handy note-taking tool for everywhere you go via your private cloud
  2. Direct and quick backup from Evernote with re-editing availability
  3. Supports Google Calendar
  4. Import/Export PDF file
  5. RSS live feed and auto update
  6. Online quick preview of multimedia attachments
  7. Notes encrypt/decrypt
  8. Smart snapshot for version control
  9. Collaborate on notes with multiple users
  10. Provides Chrome Extension: Notes Station Clipper (Clip web page content to your notes)
File Station
  1. Supports mounting a Cloud Drive (such as Google Drive, Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive, Amazon Cloud Drive, Yandex Disk and Box)
  2. Supports mounting remote shared folders through FTP, WebDAV or Microsoft networking (SMB/CIFS)
  3. Supports opening documents via Office Online, Google Docs or Chrome Extension (Edit Office files in Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides)
  4. Supports ISO Mounting (Up to 256 ISO Files)
  5. Supports thumbnail display of multimedia files
  6. Supports sharing download links and upload links
  7. Supports sharing to other NAS users
  8. Drag-n-drop Files via Chrome and Firefox Browsers
  9. Photo, music, and video preview and playback with hardware-accelerated transcoding
  10. File Compression (ZIP or 7z)
  11. Creation of and sending download links for sharing public files with expiration date and password protection
  12. Supports displaying subtitles (*.SRT, UTF-8 format)
    1. Video seeking support for video playback during on-the-fly transcoding
    2. Supports slideshow playback in media viewer
  13. Mobile App: Qfile for file browsing and management
HD (HybridDesk) Station 3.0
  1. Playback videos, music, photos on TV with KODI via HDMI
  2. Watch various online content such as YouTube, Flickr, Picasa, Shoutcast, etc.
  3. Web browsers (Chrome, Firefox)
  4. Supports multi-lingual keyboard, input and mouse
  5. Supports QNAP Qremote app and the official KODI remote app
  6. Supports user login permissions
  7. A variety of applications are available including Skype, Plex, and more

Note:
– The playback and quality of some video files may be affected by the system’s CPU and GPU decoding abilities.
– Up to 7.1 channel audio passthrough is supported

Transcode Management
  1. Transcode video files to 240p, 360p, 480p, 720p and 1080p resolution
  2. Automatic video transcoding for watched folders
  3. Hardware accelerated transcoding support
  4. Embed subtitles into videos for background transcoding
Virtualization Station
  1. Supports Virtual Machine (VM) creation to run operating systems such as Windows, Linux, Unix and Android
  2. Supports VM import and export
  3. Supports VM cloning
  4. Supports VM snapshots
  5. Supports VM backup and restore
  6. Support three different networking modes: Isolated, External-only and Bridged
  7. VM console can be displayed via HDMI output – QVM
  8. HTML5-based shared remote console
Backup Station
  1. Remote replication server (over rsync)
  2. Real-time remote replication (RTRR) to another QNAP NAS or FTP server
  3. Works as both RTRR server & client with bandwidth control
  4. Real-time & scheduled backup
  5. Backup versioning for RTRR
  6. Snapshot support for RTRR/Rsync
  7. Encryption, compression, file filter, and transfer rate limitation
  8. Encrypted replication between QNAP NAS servers
  9. Desktop backup with QNAP NetBak Replicator for Windows
  10. Apple Time Machine backup support
  11. Data backup to multiple external storage devices
  12. Third party backup software support: Veeam backup & replication, Acronis True Image, Arcserve backup, emc retrospect, Symantec Backup Exec, etc.

 

Signage Station
  1. Supports dynamic content including videos, images, music, and text
  2. Supports multi-user collaboration
  3. Supports searching using keywords
  4. Supports sharing by email and social network
  5. Supports design software: iArtist Lite
  6. Supports account authority management
  7. Supports playback on various browsers (Chrome, Firefox, IE, Safari)
  8. Supports most viewed, latest released and different categories content list
Print Server
  1. Max number of printers: 3
  2. Supports Internet Printing Protocol
  3. Print job display and management
  4. IP-based and domain name-based privilege control

 

Storage Plug & Connect
  1. Creating and mapping shared folders by QNAP Windows Qfinder
  2. Creation of and connection to iSCSI target/LUN
Photo Station
  1. Show photos by thumbnails, list, timeline, or folder view
  2. Supports virtual/smart albums
  3. Validity control for sharing albums
  4. Tag photos with text, colors, and ratings
  5. Slideshows with background music and different transition effects
  6. Animated thumbnails for videos
  7. Geotag photos and display them on Google maps
  8. Advanced search by tags, metadata, etc
  9. Supports uploading photos/videos to Picasa, Flickr, Weibo, YouTube
  10. Supports face detection (with the Photo Station Extension)
  11. Supports PDF to image conversion (with the Photo Station Extension)
  12. Share slideshows links to social websites or by email
  13. Supports Facebook friends login
  14. Backup/Restore album configuration
iSCSI (IP SAN)
  1. iSCSI target with multi-LUNs per target (Up to 256 targets/LUNs combined)
  2. Supports LUN mapping & masking
  3. Online LUN capacity expansion
  4. iSCSI LUN backup, one-time snapshot, and restoration
  5. iSCSI connection and management by QNAP Windows Qfinder
  6. Virtual disk drive (via iSCSI initiator)
  7. Stack chaining master
  8. Max No. of virtual disk drives: 8
Music Station
  1. Play or share music via web browser*
  2. Automatic classification via Media Library
  3. Supports streaming music to multiple devices.
  4. Supports changing album covers via Google search or uploading photos.
  5. Internet radio (MP3)
  6. Up to 8 music alarms
  7. Mobile app: Qmusic for music streaming and management

* DRM-protected content is not supported.

Surveillance Station
  1. Supports over 3,000 IP cameras
  2. Includes 2 free camera licenses, up to 40 camera channels via additional license purchase
  3. Instant playback to check recent events
  4. Online editing to edit cameras during live view
  5. Visual aid by e-map
  6. Playback and speed control using the shuttle bar
  7. Video preview on playback timeline
  8. Intelligent video analytics (IVA) for advanced video searching
  9. Surveillance client for Mac
  10. Mobile surveillance app: Vmobile (iOS and Android)
  11. Mobile recording app: Vcam (iOS and Android)
iTunes Server
  1. Audio and video sharing for Windows & Mac iTunes
VPN Server
  1. Secure remote access: PPTP、L2TP/IPsec & OpenVPN VPN services
  2. Max number of clients: 30
Video Station
  1. Show photos by thumbnails, list, timeline, or folder view
  2. Supports virtual/smart collections
  3. Validity control for sharing collections
  4. Tag videos with text, color, and ratings
  5. Animated thumbnails for videos
  6. Share video links to social websites or through email
  7. Sort videos automatically into defined classifications
  8. Display movie information from IMDB
  9. Display movie posters from IMDB or user upload
  10. Supports displaying subtitles (*.SRT,*.ASS, *.SSA)
  11. Supports searching for subtitles online
  12. Supports importing subtitles
  13. Supports Facebook friends login
  14. Supports custom video classification
  15. Supports multi-zone video display
  16. Video seeking support for video playback during on-the-fly transcoding
  17. Mobile app: Qvideo for online video browsing and management
VPN Client
  1. Supported VPN protocols: PPTP & OpenVPN services
  2. PPTP Authentication: PAP, CHAP, MS-CHAP, MS-CHAPv2
  3. PPTP Encryption: None, AES 40/128 bit, AES 256 bit
  4. OpenVPN Encryption: None, AES 40/128 bit, AES 256 bit
  5. Transmission package monitor
  6. OpenVPN port control
  7. OpenVPN link compression
Cloud Backup Station
  1. Amazon S3
  2. Amazon Glacier
  3. WebDAV-based cloud storage
  4. Microsoft Azure
  5. OpenStack
DLNA Server
  1. Supports DLNA/UPnP TVs and players such as PlayStation 3/4 and Xbox 360/One
  2. Supported audio formats: AIFF, APE, DSD (DSF, DFF), FLAC, M4A, M4A Apple Lossless (ALAC), MP3, Ogg Vorbis, WAV (PCM, LPCM), WMA, WMA PRO, WMA VBR*
  3. Support CUE indexing file for APE, FLAC audio format.
  4. Video and Audio On-the-fly Transcoding

*DRM-protected content is not supported.

AirPlay & Chromecast
  1. Streams videos, photos and music from NAS to Apple TV via Qfile or QAirPlay&Chromecast
  2. Streams videos, photos and music from NAS to TV with Chromecast via Qfile , Qvideo or QAirPlay&Chromecast
Q’center (NAS CMS)
  1. Multiple NAS monitoring
  2. Utilization history reports
  3. Unified configuration management
  4. Visual display reports
  5. Monitor NAS behind NAT router with Q’center Assistant
  6. Virtual appliances supported for Hyper-V and VMware
App Center
  1. Over 100 official and community software add-ons
Designs and specifications are subject to change without notice.

 

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