I studied the possibility of adding a NAS into my home network for some time. NAS stands for Network Attached Storage. It is basically a small home server that can provide additional storage and/or backup solution even.

You can either build one or buy one. Building is lot of fun if you know what you do and have time for setting up the result. If you build one you can even have a lot of performance. If you buy one ready-made device you will not really need to worry about setting it up, you are provided with handy wizards. That is my way, I am far from being an expert.

I read a lot of reviews, figured out that I would either pick a Synology or a QNAP device. They are the best as far as I understand.

Checked out the specs and prices on both sides and then finally went for a QNAP TS-419P II device. It has 4 bays, you can either use 3.5″ or 2.5″ discs. I went for 3.5″ SATA discs, 3 terabytes each. My strategy is to start with 2 discs at once, these will be set up as Raid1 or Mirror configuration.

This will provide good data safety, since data is duplicated. You get some speed benefit as well, since data can be read and written at increased speed. Only capacity will suffer, you don’t get double capacity. However if you add 2 more discs you can upgrade to Raid5, where you get a lot of storage and good data safety as well.

Installation is easy. You read the manual and follow the steps. Mount the drives, fix them with bolts, be sure to choose right size depending on disc size. You need different for 2.5″ and 3.5″ discs. The trays slide in place and the drive connectors get connected when you lock them in place.

If you have gigabit speed router you can have decent speed even with a slow hard drive. Since I wanted to have silence, I went for 5400 RPM discs that are cool and silent. The more speed you want the more heat and noise you have to tolerate. A note on discs: always choose discs that are approved by the NAS manufacturer. Then it will work for sure.

In a review of the predecessor model you can see what speeds are possible. My very simple testing of moving favourite car show episodes from the computer to the NAS showed approximately 50 megabytes per sec speed. Decent enough for me.

Sound is depending on what you perform on the device. The device can be set up to go into sleep (or standby) after a defined time period of inactivity. Then the disks shut off and only the cooling fan will run. It is controlled by temperature sensors, can be adjusted either manually or automatically. Rather quiet, even in a living room. You can even define a shutdown and startup schedule if you want to save energy. The device can wake up on LAN input.

If you have disc-intensive operations the discs will sound as well. This noise is depending on the type and amount of discs you use. I haven’t got an accurate device to measure noise, however on my phone there is an application that can measure noise levels. More like a gimmic than accurate results, though.

When the discs were doing some copying I held the phone close to the device and measured noise. There was some background noise (my wife doing something in the other room), so this is far from being scientific. Anyhow, a picture of the readings. Low figures are like idle fan noise, high numbers are peaks of disc noise and ambient.

Only fan noise: 27 dB

Peak: 54 dB

It is important to choose hard drives so that their seeking noise is not disturbing. Softer tonality can be less disturbing than sharp “metallic” seeking noise.

Both Synology and QNAP has browser-base interfaces. You type in the IP-adress of your NAS and access then through graphical interface. Even I can fathom it.

You can do a lot of settings, it would be beyond the scope of this short review to talk about them. There is handy live demo on the homepage of both manufacturers, so you can try out how it works.

Right now I am moving all my RC-related files onto the NAS, so that they are both safe and won’t take up space on the computer itself.

All-in-all I am very satisfied with the device, can recommend it.

With best regards,

Sir Crash a Lot