Modern NASes are not limited to storing data. They offer much more functionality, resembling dedicated servers in this respect. However, storing data remains their priority, so they need advanced backup features. The integrated backup system is fully automatic. The TS-469 Pro can copy its shared folders to Rsync servers and supports real-time remote replication. It can act as a server for these protocols, too. The RTRR server can work with local external disks and FTP servers. Backup copying for external disks is set up separately. You can program backup jobs by specifying the source and destination, operation schedule, and limitations on the date, size and type of files. The Copy button on the front panel can be assigned a dedicated backup job. You just need to choose the required folders, direction and mode (copying or synchronization).
Backup tools integrated into modern OSes can be used on client systems, for example Windows Backup & Restore and Time Machine.
The NAS supports cloud storage services. The current firmware can save backup copies to Amazon S3, ElephantDrive and Symform. The latter service is interesting for its payment scheme: you can pay by giving away your disk space for other users.
Also a cloud-related feature, MyCloudNAS simplifies the setting-up of different remote access scenarios for inexperienced users by employing QNAP's dynamic DNS service and port translation on an UPnP-compatible router. You only have to provide a unique network name and check the checkboxes next to services you need. The router must have an external IP address.
The rest of the extra services are available in the Applications group. We’ll give you a brief description of each here:
- Antivirus: based on the ClamAV code, this application can scan files for viruses, can be scheduled to process specific folders and can update virus signatures via the internet.
- DLNA Media Server: the TwonkyMedia server can stream content to compatible players, supports a large number of file formats, can use file tags for sorting and indexes files in folders specified by the user.
- Download Station: can download files via BitTorrent, FTP and HTTP, supports RapidShare, Magnet Link and RSS.
- iTunes Server: the Firefly server is used to maintain an iTunes library.
- LDAP Server: the LDAP sever can be used to maintain a user database.
- Multimedia Station: using a dedicated user database, this server provides access to multimedia files via a web-browser. It has integrated video playback options. Transcoding is offered for files in incompatible formats.
- Music Station: this service provides browser-based access to music, has a dedicated user database, can work with DLNA servers on the LAN, and supports playlists.
- MySQL Server: a popular database server that can be used locally or remotely. You can install the phpMyAdmin module to manage it.
- Photo Station: having a dedicated user database, this photo publishing service supports several view modes and allows posting comments.
- RADIUS Server: this access control server may be useful for wireless access points.
- Surveillance Station Pro: the video surveillance system supports up to 12 IP-cameras (with the TS-469 Pro model) and works in Internet Explorer only.
- Syslog Server: this server collects, stores and displays event logs from network devices.
- TFTP Server: the TFTP server may be useful for certain network tasks such as remote booting-up.
- VPN Service: the remote access server with support for PPTP and OpenVPN can help you create a secure channel on your LAN.
- Web File Manager: it is a handy and functional browser-based file manager that can open files in Google Docs and helps you provide access to other users via a direct link.
- Web Server: hosts websites with php and MySQL support. Virtual hosts can be created.
Besides the increased number of available services, we can note the changed licensing policy for the video surveillance service. The TS-469 Pro comes with a license for one camera only. You have to purchase licenses for more cameras separately.
Mobile gadgets being so popular nowadays, QNAP offers a few apps for Android and iOS:
- Qfile provides access to files via a local or internet connection. You can download files and upload photos, provide direct links to files for other users.
- Qmanager checks out the NAS’s status, event logs, backup jobs and file download jobs. You can also use this app to enable/disable NAS services, shut the NAS down or reboot it.
- QMobile is a mobile version of Multimedia Station which allows listening to music, viewing photos and videos. It supports uploading photos from a mobile phone to the NAS.
You can also find third-party apps, mostly paid ones, in the respective app stores.
The modern approach to extending the default functionality of a NAS is to use ready-made software packages that can be installed by any user. QNAP uses applications in QPKG format which are available in the catalogue integrated into the NAS’s web interface. You don’t even have to download the installation package separately, although the latter option is possible too for third-party packages.
As of the time of our writing this, the catalogue included over 35 applications for the TS-469 Pro, including content-management systems, multimedia streaming servers, file download tools, cloud storage systems, etc. The most interesting of them are Asterisk, Java RE, Joomla, MLDonkey, Plex Media Server, PS3 Media Server, Tomcat, Transmission, TwonkyMedia, WordPress, XMail. These applications are well-known and you can easily find their descriptions on the Web.
QNAP was among the first to offer console access to its NASes via telnet and SSH. The TS-469 Pro supports this, too, providing more tweaking opportunities for experienced users.