The Good The QNAP TS-259 Pro offers top throughput speed, an overwhelming list of useful features, and an excellent Web interface. Also, it supports hot-swappable RAID configurations, Apple's Time Machine, and IP cameras for an automatic surveillance system.
The Bad The QNAP TS-259 Pro takes a long time to switch from one RAID setup to another and is expensive. Its surveillance system doesn't support motion detection, and it also requires some networking know-how to set up and operate.
The Bottom Line The QNAP TS-259 Pro is a dual-bay NAS server that offers great performance and features for a high premium. It's a device best suited for environments with high networking demand and for those who possess an intermediate to advanced know-how of networking.
QNAP TS-259 Pro
Introduced at CES 2010, the QNAP TS-259 is a big step-up from the previously reviewed TS-239 Pro and an excellent NAS server for those who are comfortable with networking. The server offers top performance compared with other dual-bay NAS servers we've reviewed. Also, its Ajax-based Web interface is more intuitive than that of the TS-239 Pro, which is already very robust and easy to use. The QNAP TS-259 comes with a well-rounded and generous feature set and is able to support up to two IP cameras out of the box. It's one of the few NAS devices we've reviewed that has dual-Ethernet, dual-eSATA, and a VGA port for an external monitor. If you can afford the hefty price tag of $600 (plus some more for storage), the QNAP TS-259 is well worth the investment, especially for home office or small business environments. If you're looking for a comparable but easier-to-use home NAS server, we'd recommend the HP MediaSmart EX495.
The TS-259 Pro has a simple, yet well-thought-out and aesthetically pleasing design. It has two front-access removable drive trays and supports two SATA hard drives. With current hard drives maxing out at 2TB, the NAS server is capable of offering up to 4TB of storage. You'll need to provide these drives yourself, however, as the TS-259 Pro doesn't include them. Nonetheless, you shouldn't have trouble installing the drives on the drive trays, provided you have a Phillips head screwdriver. Each tray includes a latch that can be used to easily pull it out of the drive bay for hard drive installation or replacement. If this seems too easy, the trays also have a security lock to block accidental or unauthorized pullouts.
On the front of the NAS server, you'll find an USB port for external hard drives and a Copy button, which will automatically copy the entire contents of the USB drive onto the NAS' internal storage. This is a great way to quickly back up a thumb drive. Unfortunately, there's no LCD on the front of the server to manage the copying or other functions of the device.