QNAP's TS-119 Turbo NAS has a lot of secrets. Good secrets, mind you, but secrets nonetheless. In fact, we'd argue that it's the lesser-known facts about this drive that makes it so attractive. For starters, it works perfectly across Windows, Mac, Linux and UNIX platforms. And we've tried it out -- believe it or not, it really does work seamlessly across systems. Too many devices claim this and come up short, but this unit delivers on its promise. Additionally, it features iSCSI target support, and while we don't expect many TS-119 buyers to take advantage, at least it's there.
Then there's the UPnP, DLNA and iTunes server support. You buy a NAS, you end up with a streaming media server -- not bad. Then there's the automated BitTorrent service, which manages your uploads and downloads even when your PC shuts down. You can also enable the device to connect to the Internet to update its clock (for precise scheduled backups), and it can also emit real-time device status, giving you information about system resource usage, total memory, free memory, packets sent / received, system up time, CPU temperature, HDD temperature, etc. Furthermore, you can arrange for your system to warn you if it exceeds a certain temperature.
Click To Enlarge
Speaking of alerts, the TS-119 can email you if one (or several) of a few things happen. For instance, you can force the machine to alert you via email if your capacity reaches a certain threshold, which could certainly come in handy. Of course, it also boasts DDNS support, which allows you to register a domain name (www.mynasnamehere.com, for example) and access it via that domain name. Pretty nifty, for sure. Those who like keeping their power bills down should also appreciate the fact that you can schedule the unit to sleep after a certain amount of inactive time, and you can even set the drive to shut down / bootup at given times during the day.
QNAP also has a few other tricks up its sleeve here, with an 'External Storage Device' portal enabling users to format, partition and see the status of a connected HDD. You can also connect a USB-enabled printer to the device, enabling any machine with access to your NAS to send print commands remotely, so everything's waiting for you upon your arrival. Finally, the USB UPS support can monitor and manage the drive's interactions with a backup power supply. Heck, this thing even supports up to two network IP surveillance cameras -- let's see your vanilla external HDD do that.