Client support is particularly good as Windows, Linux, Unix and Mac users can access the appliance and security extends to lists of local users and groups plus integration with an Active Directory server. During shared folder creation you can decide on read and write access rights and set a global quota limit and individual quotas for each user as well. The IP Filter is a unique feature, which lets list of addresses be created which can be blocked or allowed. Support for PHP and an integral MySQL server means you can also use the appliance as a web server.
Business environments need good backup facilities and QNAP offers a reasonable range of tools. First up is remote replication where you select a source folder on the appliance and schedule a daily weekly or monthly job that will copy it to a remote Turbo Station. Handy features are encryption and file compression plus the option to run incremental replication where only new and modified files are copied on subsequent runs. For client backup you only get the NetBak Replicator Windows tool, which provides a more basic selection of features. A setup wizard helps choose the appliance and destination folder and you then select the source files on your workstation and schedule the job at regular intervals. It worked well enough during testing but note that it only supports a single backup job on each workstation. Last up is the Download Station, which is used for retrieving remote files using BitTorrent, HTTP and FTP although this is also severely limited by the lack of any scheduling facilities.
In the performance stakes the TS-209 posted some reasonable if uninspiring results. We copied a 690MB video file from a Supermicro Pentium D 3.2GHz PC to the appliance and back again over Gigabit Ethernet in 51 seconds and 44 seconds for write and read rates of 13.5MB/sec and 15.7MB/sec respectively. FTP speeds were in the same ball park as using the FileZilla utility we uploaded and downloaded the same file at rates of 14.1MB/sec and 14.7MB/sec.
There’s no denying the TS-209 Pro is offering a wealth of features at a very reasonable price although performance isn’t particularly exciting and the client backup software is very basic for an appliance aimed at business usage.