If you browse our reviews of NAS units, from small to enterprise level, from QNAP, Synology or any other vendor, one thing stands out: they are all in my favourite “colour” black...
Not so the new QNAP TS-230.
It has a light blue-ish (like baby blue) tint over the whole box which I wasn’t sure I’d like. But I’ve taken a liking to it as will many new users dipping their toes into the daunting NAS world.
So, has QNAP managed to make the entry level unit not only more affordable but also easier to use for newbies?
Let’s find out.
First a bit on who would benefit from having a Network Attached Storage device.
We’ve written extensively about the many benefits when you're using a NAS unit.
We’ve often pointed out how easy it is to access data if you have several users that need it.
But what about if you’re the only one in your family or business? Is a NAS unit still beneficial?
We all could use a nifty, affordable wirelessly accessible unit for most of our data.
I’ll just mention the huge amount of video material we create on our mobile devices. Unless you have a top-of-the-wozza (Aussie slang for absolute best) smartphone you’ll soon run out of storage on them.
You can offload to a computer of course but also to a NAS for easy sharing or projecting on your TV and which also gives you the redundancy you need.
Media streaming is also something we all like to do and is easiest to accomplish on a NAS.
Being an entry model means that there’s not much scope for upgrading within the box itself so you have to be pretty sure the TS-230 will suit your needs for at least a few years. It’s not a speed demon and the internals are not upgradeable but quite sufficient for most households.
The biggest investment as always will be in the drives you need to install: only 2 bays to fill so try to get the biggest capacity hard drives you can afford. Generally, anything between 2 and 6TB should be reasonably affordable.
You’ll also have to make a choice about redundancy.
Generally, that’s easier to do with higher capacity drives as you’ll have to set aside a fair bit of capacity if you have only two drives and one of them fails. The TS-230 can also use the full capacity of both drives. Or just run on 1 drive...
The drives can be installed without any tools.
That is once you’ve figured out how the top comes off... It’s a little bit finicky.
Once installed and switched on you’ll notice how quiet the variable fan is. At 18dB you can’t actually hear it. And it also translates in low power draw (just under 5W in standby mode).
Talking about power: the unit comes with a power brick which means the actual NAS is very small (188x90x156mm) and the most vulnerable part of NAS units, the power adapter, is easily and cheaply replaceable.
The QNAP TS-230 is a great entry into the somewhat mysterious but oh so handy world of Networked Attached Storage.
It’s like everything you do in the Cloud now but then all under your own control. And probably cheaper and safer in the long run. Plus it is a good backup machine against ransomware!
With a 5 year warranty it’s a safe bet you’ll have years of good use out of this unit.
The online pricing can range a fair bit but you should be able to buy the TS-230 under AUD400.
Do check out the QNAP product page for more technical details.