QNAP TS-259 Pro review: QNAP TS-259 Pro

The TS-259 Pro offers a comprehensive access over the Internet. You can not only access the files (but download and upload) but also its Download Station, Surveillance Station, and so on. In order to do this, however, you will need to know how to configure each service, namely mapping the IP address of the server and forwarding certain port to it. While this is not hard for advanced users, novice users won't be able to do the setup themselves. Nonetheless, we really loved what the server offers in regard to how you can access it over the Internet.

The TS-259 Pro can support two IP cameras out of the box. Synology is the second NAS vendor that also offers support for IP cameras, but its NAS servers only support one camera out of the box and you must buy additional licenses for extra cameras. We tried out the TS-259 Pro with an AXIS 213 PTZ network camera and were happy with the results. It was very easy to set up the camera with the NAS via its Web interface. You can use this interface to view live images with full pan, zoom, and tilt functions. Unfortunately the TS-259 Pro doesn't yet support recording based on motion detection, only scheduling. This is the point in which we found QNAP trailing behind Synology in regard to support of the Surveillance Station features. You can find the long list of IP cameras that the TS-259 Pro supports here.

Unlike Synology NAS servers, the TS-259 Pro supports Apple's Time Machine. Like the HP Mediasmart EX495, the TS-259 Pro can allocate a potion of its internal storage to be used as backup space for any Macs that run OS X 10.5 or later. We found this worked well in practice.

As a network storage device, the NAS' primary feature is to provide storage space for the network and in this the TS-259 Pro excels. The NAS supports SMB protocol, which means it can be easily be accessed on a local network, just as you would access any Windows computer. The NAS also supports Macs very well. Any Mac OS X computer in the network will find the TS-259 Pro automatically and add it to the storage device list on the Finder.

We were pleased with the performance of the TS 259 Pro in both RAID 0 and RAID 1 configurations.

In RAID 1--the configuration that offers high data security at the expense of storage space and performance--the QNAP TS-259 Pro scored 268.1Mbps in writing and 350.6Mbps in reading, which is noticeably higher than the 240Mpbs and 322.3Mbps of the Synology DS209+ . These numbers are just slightly slower than those of the HP MediaSmart Server EX495, which has the advantage of being powered by a Pentium dual-core processor and 2GB of RAM.

In RAID 0, the speed-optimized configuration, the QNAP TS-259 Pro trumped all competitors in the Write test with 299.2Mbps, becoming the fastest NAS server we've reviewed. In the Read test the server registered 361.5Mbps, slower than the 380.4Mbps of the HP MediaSmart Server EX495, but still the fastest among dual-bay NAS servers.

In all, the QNAP TS-259 Pro is one of the top performers among dual-bay NAS servers we've reviewed so far. The server's performance was consistent, and it worked smoothly throughout our testing process. It also remained quiet and cool even during heavy loads.

CNET Labs NAS Performance Scores
(Via wired Gigabit Ethernet connection)

(Longer bars indicate better performance)
QNAP TS-259 Pro (RAID 0)
QNAP TS-259 Pro (RAID 1)
Synology DS209+ (RAID 0)
Synology DS209+ (RAID 1)
QNAP TS-239 Pro (RAID 0)
QNAP TS-239 Pro (RAID 1)
Patriot Valkarie Dual-Bay (RAID 0)
Patriot Valkarie Dual-Bay (RAID 1)

Service and support
QNAP backs the TS-259 Pro with a one-year warranty, which is short for a storage device. Technical phone support number is available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT, Monday through Friday. At its Web site, there are also downloads of new firmware and applications, as well as a forum where you can find help from other users or search for existing solutions.

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