We tested the QNAP NAS device – ideal for business and private environments

Author: Vedran Kovačević

We tested the QNAP TS-253 Pro, NAS intended primarily for smaller companies and enterprises (SOHO).  The x53 series is the newer version of the x69 series, and the biggest improvement is reflected in a stronger processor and more RAM, as well as faster speeds.

The tested QNAP device has an  Intel Celeron 2.0 GHz quad-core processor, 8 GB of DDR3L RAM and two 2,73 TB hard disks (SATA 6 Gb/s). It should also be mentioned that the disks aren’t included in the price and need to be bought separately. Along with SATA disks, QNAP can also be used with SSD disks. The NAS has 3 USB 3.0 ports (one in the front and two in the back), 2 LAN Gigabit RJ-45 ports and a HDMI port that allows for FullHD 1080p video streaming.   As for the external appearance of QNAP, the design is modern and fits with standard equipment in every system. The final production is of very high quality, and by the use of quality materials, the NAS boasts  reduced dimensions and weight compared to some previous models (15 x 10.2 x 21.6 cm, 2.92 kg).

When registering on the QNAP website, you are prompted to download Qfinder, a software that greatly simplifies working with QNAP, especially if you’re using more than one in the same networking. The software scans your network and lists all active QNAP devices, and allows you to access the NAS interface easily. The highly graphic interface, which is browser-based, looks very modern and is suited for everyone, even those who aren’t familiar with how NAS devices usually work. After logging into QNAP, you see a traditional desktop with all important applications and shortcuts for using the NAS quickly and efficiently.

Due to the use of the QvPC technology when making this QNAP, you can also use it as a personal computer. It supports Windows, Linux and Unix operating systems. All you need to do is connect the monitor, keyboard and a mouse and your NAS turns into a quite solid PC. The biggest advantage to this QNAP is its virtualization support – for VMware, Citrix and Hyper-V. Starting the virtual machine does not have a major impact on QNAP in terms of working memory overload or difficult and slow work.

QNAP can be used as an SMTP, FTP and MySQL server, which makes it applicable in many spheres. Also, you can use telnet / SSH ways of connecting. The Qsync application does a brilliant job of synchronizing data from all computers, laptops and mobile devices on the same network as QNAP. This makes the data easily accessible and available to all users, who can also share their data with other uses. The QNAP administrator has the ability to group users into groups, for easier administration. Another useful option is limiting the data space available for each user individually, to avoid lack of space due to too many (often unnecessary) files and data.

Among the many useful applications, we will only list a few. The first one is definitely Station Manager, which makes it easier to manage all documents, downloads, photos, music and video. There’s also the Storage Manager, which allows you to access information about hard disks in the NAS (total space, free space, RAID. basic diagnostics, error logs). App Center is used for downloading new and upgrading existing applications. Also available are many applications for network analysis, such as Logaholic, Piwik and Webalizer. As evidence that this QNAP is not intended only for business but also for private use, and we’ll list some applications that mostly used for multimedia and games: PhotoStation, MusicStation, DJStation, iTunes server, Tetris, Super Mario Bros …

As for protection and data security, QNAP offers the Backup Station application which allows data replication in real time (Real-time Remote Replication), with options being cloud back up to Dropbox, Amazon Glacier or ElephantDrive, or External Backup to a removable media. You can also enable antivirus software that functions as any other usual antivirus software (updates the virus database, scans the QNAP on a daily or weekly basis). For added safety, it’s possible to enable AES 256-bit encryption.

All in all, QNAP TS-253 is a very reliable NAS device of very high quality, suitable for both business and private environments. Alongside all the excellent features it boasts as a network storage device, its use can be extended to many other areas, which makes it extremely flexible and a universal part of each system.