Conclusion and Final Thoughts
While the QNAP TAS-268 is not the fastest NAS we’ve tested, it is none the less functional. If you consider the NAS has only 2 GB of ram and cannot be upgraded and a dual core 1.1 GHz CPU, the NAS does pretty well. But speed isn’t everything. A combination of ease of use, functionality, and performance are the requirements that will get most homeowners to purchase a device such as this.
From an ease of use standpoint, let’s start with the installation of the hard drives. QNAP makes it very simple to install the hard drives in the TAS-268 and as long as you’re using 3.5″ drives, the installation does not require any tools. The hard drives slide into their spots and is held in place by a set of keepers for each drive. Set up is done well with the help of a wizard once the user logs into the device for the 1st time. The wizard does a good job of explaining what each setting is and what it does. Within about 5 minutes and after answering a few questions, you can have the NAS up and running.
The QTS interface is easy to use and simple to navigate. If a user gets hung up on a setting, the help file is quite good at explaining the settings as well as giving external links to deeper explanations of the settings. If you choose to use the device solely as a network storage device, the functions can stop there. But with the inclusion of USB and a HDMI port, the NAS can be used as a media center, light weight PC for web browsing or for playing games compatible with Android. I like the fact that the HDMI based user interface is Android based. I have used Android on my phones and tablets and I am pretty familiar with it. From my testing, all of my Android apps ran flawlessly on the QNAP TAS-268. Streaming from Netflix was flawless. One thing that you will need to do is set the resolution to match your TV or monitor. By default, the Android OS displays movies in 1280×720 but does support 1920×1080 and 4K as well.
Performance is on par with that I expected from the NAS based on the CPU and memory. This NAS is designed to be a lightweight storage unit. While it’s not too far behind the others in the Intel tests, the larger files were around 30MB/s and the MP3 copy averaged around 10 MB/s.
The QNAP TAS-268 is compatible with other QNAP software including software that ships your data to an online cloud provider. Just because it has RAID don’t assume your data is completely safe. RAID offers minor protection.
At less than $250.00, the QNAP TAS-268 would be a great addition to any small network that needs shared storage. A pair of 4 TB hard drives can be purchased for about $120 each. For less than $500 you can put 8 TB of network storage on your network. The combination of performance, features and price net the QNAP TAS-268 the Modders-Inc MUST HAVE Award. If you’re looking for simple storage and a simple media player, the QNAP TAS-268 NAS may just fit for you.