QNAP's TS-119 Turbo is a 1-bay NAS device that provides iSCSI and media server capabilities in a small package. At first glance this NAS device looks like an external hard drive enclosure with a few add-ons, but the extremely quick throughput speeds and QNAP's redesigned remote administration interface justify this price point.
The TS-119 Turbo NAS device has a sturdy aluminium construction in similar fashion to the Iomega Prestige Desktop Hard Drive. Since the device itself is just an enclosure, you must supply your own 3.5in SATA2 internal hard drive. Inserting the drive is a simple task of pulling the enclosure apart from each end. The drive fits snugly into a metal bracket with screw holes; these aren't necessary to secure the hard drive but they help to prevent vibration and excess noise during drive operation.
Connectivity options include an eSATA port, two USB ports and a Gigabit Ethernet port, all present on the back panel of the TS-119 Turbo NAS device. An additional USB port on the front is accompanied by a one-touch backup button that in our tests automatically backed up data from USB flash drives and external hard drives with no fuss.
QNAP has embedded a 1.2GHz CPU and 512MB of RAM into the TS-119 Turbo NAS device making this the most powerful single-drive external hard drive we have seen to date. This power is put to good use, as the TS-119 NAS device also functions as an iSCSI target, so the drive can be attached to an iSCSI server.
The beefy processor certainly delivers fast throughput speeds. We tested the TS-119 Turbo NAS device with a 750GB Seagate Barracuda ES hard drive by conducting a range of file transfer and media streaming tests. It streamed 720p videos at an average rate of 16.9 megabytes per second (MBps) in Intel's NAS Performance Toolkit high-definition playback tests. Simultaneous playback and backup operations also returned a strong result, performing at an average of 21.3MBps. These benchmark tests are good, but do not match the Western Digital My Book World Edition results.
However, in our real-world file transfer tests the TS-119 Turbo NAS device outperformed the Western Digital My Book World Edition. Transferring 20GB worth of 3-4GB files from a 300GB Western Digital VelociRaptor, the TS-119 Turbo read at an average of 50.6MBps, wrote at 30.3MBps and performed a simultaneous read/write operation at 18.3MBps. Our small file write test — transferring 3GB of 1MB files — was still surprisingly fast. The NAS device wrote to the hard drive at 20.7MBps, read at 39.5MBps and performed a simultaneous read/write at 9.1MBps. For file transfers, the TS-119 Turbo NAS device is faster than other 1-bay NAS devices we have tested to date.
Remote replication and scheduled automatic backup functions are available to secure the data stored on the TS-119 Turbo NAS device. QNAP's Q-RAID 1 function is also available, which provides a software RAID 1 configuration between the internal hard drive and an external drive connected via the USB or eSATA ports. When the external drive is connected, file transfers are mirrored on both devices. If it isn't connected at the time, the NAS device will automatically sync any missing data to the mirrored drive once it's reconnected. This configuration is a one-way system, so you can't use it to automatically backup external hard drive data to the NAS device. We managed to set this function up fairly easily using a Maxtor OneTouch 4 Plus over USB 2.0.
A TwonkyMedia-powered UPnP media server is built in to the QNAP TS-119 Turbo NAS, and it can be configured to stream movies, music and photos to DLNA-compatible devices; there is also a built-in iTunes server. The TS-119 NAS device can interface with any of QNAP's surveillance products as a hard drive recording device, and the download station allows you to schedule BitTorrent, FTP and HTTP downloads.
Though the Web interface of QNAP NAS devices is usually a barrier for technical novices, the TS-119 Turbo NAS device's new AJAX-based interface is much easier to use. File browsers have been revamped and the administration page's two-pane layout makes it much easier to navigate. Using this page you can administer user groups and quotas, share folder permissions, volume management, and a host of multimedia and file sharing protocol settings.
Despite its price, the QNAP TS-119 Turbo NAS device is a fantastic way to back up your data and serve small media libraries. The iSCSI and Q-RAID1 features really make this NAS device stand out from the crowd.
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