While network storage is popular with memory-hungry PC enthusiasts, it has proven particularly useful in office environments where exchanging large amounts of data between multiple desktop PCs can be problematic. After following its development for some time, the switch to NAS at my own workplace only made sense and now offers a central point for the daily exchange and storage of data.
With the availability of 2 terabyte hard drives, the majority of users will be satisfied with a 2 or 4 bay NAS solution. However, as data builds up over time, there are those who may need more – such as those involved in graphic design, photography, or video editing.
Performance and functionality are two things that you should definitely be aware of. Based on our experience in testing a range of devices, we can assure you that there can be great differences from offer to offer.
Typically, these devices require less CPU and I / O than the average computer because they are specifically designed to share files. Some offer transfer speeds of around 10 to 20 MB / s, while the more reputable models perform significantly better. Even so, even the latest high-end Synology products struggle to get the most out of a Gigabit Ethernet connection.
This is a legitimate problem when you consider that a budget DIY build based on a Core 2 Duo system on Windows can offer better throughput speeds. In our test of the Synology Disk Station DS-409 + NAS, a Core 2 Duo E7400 system loaded with a single hard drive that was shared with the operating system tools was faster than the Synology DS409 + with four hard drives in a RAID0 configuration.
Our search for a bigger and better alternative led us to one place: the QNAP TS-809 Pro Turbo NAS. Not only can this product hold more hard drives than we've seen before and support a total of eight, but it also has performance unmatched by any NAS device we've come across.