Home users and Small Business owners can often benefit from technologies that are normally out of reach for some general consumers. Home users may benefit from having a file server for sharing media, transferring large files between PCs, or even remote access while away. Small Office users can utilize the same features as well, while also benefiting from automated backup capabilities, centralized printer management, or even hosting a domain. The problem is, many of these things often require a level of understanding or experience that many home or SOHO users may lack or simply may not have the time to learn. For larger businesses, network administrators are staffed to make these technologies available, however, SOHO users are typically more budget constrained and either pay a consultant as needed or sometimes just put it off until later, both of which can end up being more costly in the event of a problem.
Today we are going to evaluate two NAS (Network Attached Storage) solutions that bring a host of powerful features within reach of most small office / home office users. These two Linux based systems aim to deliver a robust collection of useful features in small, economical packages that require little experience to implement. The first unit is the QNAP 9-in-1 NAS Server TS-101 Turbo Station. This is a single hard drive solution that targets the home user and home office consumer with features that make it adaptable to a slew of applications. Whether the goal is a simple storage server and backup solution or powerful media server, the TS-101 Turbo Station can handle it, while also acting as a print server, or downloading BitTorrent files without a PC, and much more.
The second unit is the QNAP NAS Server TS-201 Turbo Station which targets the Small Office user and will certainly appeal to some home users as well. This device is a two drive solution that offers many of the same features as the TS-101 while adding two hard drives bays and hot swap capabilities. The dual drive functionality offers the flexibility of added performance with RAID 0 or security with RAID 1 disk mirroring, with support for capacities totaling 1.5 Terabytes.
Whether you are a home user, run a home office or manage a small business, both the QNAP 9-in-1 NAS Server TS-101 Turbo Station and NAS Server TS-201 Turbo Station have the features to fit a multitude of usage scenarios. In the pages ahead, we are going to give a thorough account of each feature these compact NAS systems bring to the game. We'll assess the installation processes from installing the hard drive to installing the units on a network, and then we'll review the features each unit brings to the table in an effort to paint a very clear picture of what each is capable of.