QNAP’s products are an example to many second-tier manufacturers in terms of functionality. Although new firmware versions are released on a regular basis, the basic set of network features has long been polished off. I will now give you a brief description of the NAS’s settings and capabilities, most of which you can find in other such products. The differences only concern hardware features (e.g. a NAS may have two LAN controllers or a faster processor) or market positioning.
So, the TS-219P is connected to a LAN via a Gigabit Ethernet port. It supports manual or automatic address setup, connection speed selection (100 or 1000Mbps), and Jumbo Frames up to 9000 bytes. The NAS has an integrated DDNS client. For additional protection there is an integrated IP address filter and a system that prevents access if password guessing is detected. Importing SSL certificates is supported for integration into corporate networks. The NAS can be quickly and automatically identified on a LAN through UPnP and Bonjour protocols.
One or two HDDs can be used to store data. You can unite them into JBOD, RAID0 or RAID1 arrays. External drives connected via eSATA cannot be joined in. You can change the configuration of the disk subsystem without losing your data. For example, you can add one more drive to build a mirror array or replace the drives in a mirror sequentially to enlarge the storage capacity. This is a useful feature that is supported by few manufacturers as yet. You can monitor the status of your HDDs using SMART and run a file system check if you suspect errors.
The TS-219P supports the trendy iSCSI technology, too. It is not particularly interesting for home users but can be called for in business applications. With newer firmware, the NAS can work not only as a server but also as an iSCSI client.
Network access to data stored on the NAS is provided via all modern protocols: SMB/CIFS, AFP, NFS, FTP, and HTTP. Most of them have special settings. For example, you can assign the NAS to a domain on a Windows network or you can specify an AppleTalk zone. The FTP protocol has the highest number of parameters. You can change ports (including ports for passive mode), enable Unicode support, limit the number of sessions and the data-transfer speed. Encryption is supported, so you can organize secure access to files via the Internet. You can select the necessary 8-bit codepage for non-Unicode clients.
The integrated network recycle bin for SMB/CIFS and AFP protocols should be handy for incautious users. When a file is deleted, it goes first into this bin. It is only when you clean the recycle bin that the file is really lost.
A modern NAS must have an access control system and nothing more efficient than the conventional username/password has been invented as yet. For each user you can specify a disk quota and create a personal shared folder. Users can be united into groups. Unfortunately, there is no way to specify the real name, email or comment for a user. If you’ve got over a dozen of users, this may provoke some confusion. Besides the integrated user database, you can use Windows domain integration.
Users are assigned access rights to shared folders. After the first disk volume is formatted, the system automatically creates a few folders (Public, Qmultimedia, Qdownload, etc). You cannot remove them and the only way of shutting them down it to prohibit access to them for all users.
Access rights are assigned to users and user groups by setting checkmarks in a table with entries like No access, Read only, Read and Write.
The restrictions you specify work for Windows networks, AFP and FTP. The NFS protocol allows a single pair of parameters (access type/client addresses) for each resource. A handy feature is that the information about the size and number of folders is shown in a common table. You can also create comments for NAS resources.