Overall, I really like the QNAP ReadyNAS TS869. There is a lot to talk about so I did separate video reviews for Hardware and Software. Here’s a summary of some important points.
All steel construction case is nice, and very dense. The hard drive bay caddies operate smoothly, very easily opening and closing.
The machine operates very quietly, which is nice. Still, it’s not totally whisper quiet so I wouldn’t place it right next to a TV, but I would put it in a media cabinet nearby.
There are independent lights on each caddy so you know which one is malfunctioning if you need to swap one out. This is particularly useful.
The USB copy feature in the front is really nice.
The overall processor power consumption has gone down without sacrificing too much in terms of performance. The Intel processor is a great improvement.
The 869 is $500 cheaper than the 809 I bought several years ago and the memory is upgradable. Mine has a memory slot but it is not as accessible as in the 869. Great improvement.
QNAP usually releases several software updates a year. They are still supporting firmware updates even for the unit I bought three years ago. Make sure to have a secure backup of the important stuff in your data before any firmware update. I haven’t lost anything, but I recommend it, just in case.
I never shut down my NAS. It’s always on and only gets rebooted when there is an update or a power outage. I do have mine set up on emergency power in case of a power outage. I haven’t had any major problems.
The main interface is pretty simple. You can use it to do network partitioning or aggregating. You can do service binding. There are several security options to set up alerts and more. You can also set the system what to do in different power outage situations.
The interface allows for autoupdates or manual updates.
Disk Management allows you to set up the volumes.
The Smart information is useful. I have mine set to email me when there is a smart error on any drive.
You can set up users, but be sure to keep the admin user because the SSH only works with the admin user. You can even set up quotas for each individual user.
The firmware includes features to enable Time Machine support for Apple users.
There are several good backup options: You can use the firmware to attach an external drive and set up specific volumes or files to backup. Or, you can attach a USB drive and backup all your USB keys. It’s set up to be very easy.
The Resource Manager allows you to “lift the hood” and shows things like bandwidth usage and processors running.
There are several default apps such as file management and music management. You can config your NAS to be a server for WordPress or iTunes, there are several options for content management, both home and business use.
There is antivirus built in and you can set up to run scans.
See my software review video part 2, if you’re interested in seeing SSH into the box.
Overall, the interface is pretty slick and would work at home or for small business. However, there is a good forum online if you have questions.
Make It Even Better
Overall, I’m very happy with QNAP. There are a few improvements I’d like to see:
- Include a battery backup in case of short power outage to finish writing the cache to prevent data loss.
- I wish there were a smaller cheaper expansion chassie that would allow me to add an additional array of drives but use the processing power off this one. That expansion option would be awesome for current QNAP owners.
- Create a fix in case of failure of more than 1 drive. (I talk about my ideas for this in the software video, Part 1)
Super Gadget Guy