I've been trying to get my hands on QNAP's new quad-core, 16-bay TS-1635 ever since it was announced. Marketed as a cost-effective business NAS, it's definitely not cheap at a little over $1,000, but looking at the competition we find QNAP is well positioned where it counts.
With dozens of hours testing storage devices under our belt in the last year alone, we have a pretty clear idea of what are the top devices you should buy right now, divided into five categories: Best performance SSD, best value SSD, best hard drives, best external storage device and best home/SMB NAS.
NAS servers provide a quick, easy and secure means of backing up important data. Compared to a dedicated server, a desktop NAS is considerably more compact, especially two-bay and four-bay models like the QNAP TS-453mini and Synology DS414slim on hand today. The two aren't really direct competitors, so this isn't a straight up Synology vs. QNAP battle, but rather a look at each company's approach to developing compact NAS solutions.
QNAP's latest two-bay NAS looks more like a set-top box than network-attached storage and that's no accident. It's becoming more common to see NAS devices replacing entire HTPCs, which makes it more practical for a design that can blend in with the kind of electronic gear you typically find around a TV.
Hoping to drive small and medium business sales, NAS-makers have been pushing to deliver enterprise features such as cloud storage, virtualization support, automated backup software and iSCSI support. There's also been an effort to include technologies such as Link Aggregation, which can increase network bandwidth when dealing with multiple users and also provides redundancy in case one of the links fails.
First seen over a decade ago, 10GbE is ten times faster than Gigabit Ethernet, but it's been largely reserved for pricey devices. With that in mind, we're checking out two new high-end SMB NAS devices: the QNAP TS-879 Pro and the Synology DS3612xs.
As one of QNAP's most affordable 4-bay NAS, we were unsurprisingly drawn to the TS-412. The device is fetching only $40 more than the older TS-410, but considering its Marvell processor runs 50% faster, we feel the TS-412 is a better value.
The QNAP TS-412 could displace Synology's $360 DS411J, but we're also curious about how it compares to NAS devices in the $500-$600 bracket. Assuming QNAP's latest product doesn't disappoint -- and they rarely do -- the TS-412 has a fair chance at becoming the "go-to" 4-bay NAS.