The TS-419P II offers four USB 2.0 and two eSATA ports for external devices. The most popular usage for them is to connect an external disk for backup purposes. You cannot integrate disks connected via eSATA into the NAS's RAID arrays. The following file systems are supported: FAT32, NTFS, ext2, ext3, ext4 and HPS+. Each disk volume is represented by a dedicated shared folder that has a name like USBDiskN or eSATADiskN (where N is the number of the volume). By default, the admin is the only user to be able to read from and write to the external storage device, but these access rights can be changed. You can safely turn an external disk off from the NAS’s web-interface and format its partitions as FAT32, NTFS, ext3, ext4 or HFS+.
The TS-419P II is not very stable with USB hubs, but its four native USB ports should suffice for most applications. The front-panel USB port can be used together with the accompanying button in two modes: to copy data from an external disk to a shared folder on the NAS or to copy from a shared folder to an external disk. External disks can also be used for backup purposes: you can program the NAS to automatically back up data as soon as a disk is connected. You can even enable real-time synchronization so that changed files were backed up immediately. Otherwise, the backup task can run by a schedule.
Several printers can be connected to the NAS concurrently and shared on your LAN. You won't be able to use any extra features other than printing, though.
To make the NAS more reliable, you can connect an uninterruptible power supply to its USB port. The UPS will be reporting to the NAS so that when its battery is low, the NAS will shut down safely without losing any data. Multiple NASes can be used together with one UPS: one of the NASes works as a server for the others.
The NAS’s USB ports can also be used for a Wi-Fi adapter to connect the TS-419P II to a wireless network.
The server name is likely to be changed first. Then you can set up the integrated clock to have a correct log file and to be able to schedule tasks. The ports for the web interface (with and without encryption) can be changed, which may be necessary if your router cannot translate between different external and internal ports.
The TS-419P II offers some hardware settings, too. You can choose the operation mode of the cooling fan, disable the Reset button, turn off the sound alarm, and specify the timeout for switching HDDs when idle. The NAS can be powered up and down according to a schedule and current backup tasks. It can also be shut down remotely or started up automatically when there is power supply (the latter option is used together with an UPS). You can also shut down or reboot the NAS on this page.
Besides a log of system events and a list of current connections, the administrator can view a full report on operations on different protocols. The NAS can send event notifications by email, SMS or Windows Live Messenger. If you use email, you need to specify your SMTP server parameters. The other two options require your registration with the appropriate service. There can be two recipients of an email or SMS notification. You can choose the importance level of events to be sent via each of these services. Syslog is supported; the integrated server should be handy for small networks.
There are several pages for monitoring the NAS’s status. On the first of them you can view system information: name, firmware version, uptime, serial number, the IP and MAC addresses of the network interfaces, CPU and memory usage, PCB and HDD temperature. The second page shows you the currently running services. The third page shows real-time information about CPU load, memory and disk usage, network speed. You can also see a table of running processes here.
Standard options are available for managing the NAS’s configuration and updating its firmware. The latter operation can be performed automatically each time the administrator logs in.