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People today want to store more and more valuable information. To her need access 24/7 from any location, and it just do not happen.
"Traditional" methods, such as buying another disk for your PC or external storage can not boast of neither the one nor the other quality. A convenient and reliable solution of such problems can be networked storage (NAS), as its possibilities are much wider than a simple file storage and covered not only domestic, but also office tasks. What - are investigated by the example of QNAP TS-431.
Model TS-431 is equipped with four slots for drives that are installed with plastic sled. Mounting holes to enable them to be installed without problems as the NAS 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch drives.
Slots for drives, as well as the power button, LED indicators and a USB 3.0 port located on the front panel. On the rear panel handed down two more ports USB 3.0, two Gigabit Ethernet, port eSATA, power connector and Kensington lock.
Basically, the storage body is made from opaque white plastic, but on the front panel has a silver paste, and the rear panel is entirely made of metal and has slots for ventilation. Note that despite the use of active cooling, NAS fairly quiet, and more distinctly heard the noise of hard drives during read and write. For many users, this is unlikely to be an issue, but if you like to sleep in complete silence, and the NAS will be in the same room, this feature should be kept in mind.
Preparing the QNAP TS-431 for operation with the most simple: the device must be connected to the network and the router (cable for this is supplied), and then - go to the menu "My Network Places" and double-click on the icon «TS-431." The browser opens the web interface NAS, which runs on the operating system of QTS. Thanks recognizable icons and panels, on the development of QTS will not need a lot of time and work with it no more difficult than any other operating system is already familiar to you.
Have QTS OS interface and an unusual feature: support display modes for different types of devices. Desktop provides a familiar windowed mode, and for tablets with touch screens - the single screen mode, where applications open at once on the screen.
So, what can TS-431? Let's start with the most obvious - the storage of files. The NAS supports a large number of hard disk drives with SATA interface up to 8 TB (details in the compatibility list on the manufacturer's website). This means that the maximum amount of memory without the use of NAS backup can reach 32 TB - this more than enough for even the largest collections and backups. However, to store such large amounts of data need not to everyone, so a portion of the storage devices can be used for greater safety information by combining multiple disks in RAID-array. TS-431 supports flexible disk space management: to store the most important information two drives of the four can be combined into a RAID 1 (mirroring), and the remaining two drives, for example, to store movies and music. Slots for drives are hot-swappable, which is important when using the device in the office and at home: in the event of failure of one drive can be replaced immediately without turning off the device work and downtime.
Load files and work with them, you can directly through the web interface, but it is much more convenient to include in the setup QNAP TS-431 protocol and the necessary to operate the device as a common network resource. QTS system supports the SMB protocol for Windows, AppleTalk for Mac OS X and NFS for Linux, as well as a versatile FTP.
No less attractive than the option to store important data for home use are the entertainment features of the device. NAS can serve as a full-fledged media server, with the possibility of QTS really wide. The user is offered a variety of options for playback of content, ranging from a simple display it in the browser and to organizing iTunes- or DLNA-server for playback on mobile devices and "smart" TVs.
If the possibility of pre-installed software still seem insufficient, the Company Centers Application (App Center) you can install a functional analogs. For example, for QTS one of the best available media servers - Plex. It allows you to conveniently organize collections of music, movies, TV shows and photos loading content information (descriptions, covers, posters and other data) from online sources, and then translate the content on any device. Use Plex in a browser can free subscription is required only to play through mobile applications that exist not only for Android, iOS and Windows, but even under the "smart" TVs from different manufacturers.
It should be noted among the available applications and a torrent client Transmission. With remote access, you can download new movies from anywhere, quietly leave the device working all night, and then - to watch a movie from any home device.
To start the installation of any third-party applications from the App Center is done by pressing a single button, and then load its icon appears on the desktop.
Most software applications are in the middle of a business purpose, but may be of interest to enthusiasts and for personal use. Among them, there's an app for p2p-sync BitTorrent Sync, private "cloud" storage OwnCloud, different engines for the creation of full-fledged websites, including Joomla, Drupal, WordPress and DocuWiki, as well as many other tools for business use and for developers. This justifies the use of 431 QNAP TS-not just at home but in a small office, as a general file storage and server for various tasks. NAS from QNAP may even act as a server surveillance: the device can be used free of charge up to two IP-based cameras, and more will have to purchase an additional license.
More "office" than a "home" feature of the operating system are QTS and flexible configuration rights. Like any other OS, QTS allows you to create individual users and groups with different access rights to the folder (you can deny access or to give read-only), system settings, and even applications.
It should be noted in the QTS and function of data backup. We have already talked about the possibilities of working with files on the device, but, you see, you would not like to manually copy store important files. To do this, QNAP has provided applications and services for backups to the computer, including the function of Time Machine. Additionally, you can back up data from the NAS to popular cloud storage services. In addition, the function RTRR (Real-time Remote Replication) allows you to copy data between different types of storage facilities: computers, different NAS, cloud services, and a local folder on the drive. To set RTRR sufficient to indicate the path to the folder and, if necessary, specify a username and password, after which a function can be easy to forget: it will automatically copy files in case of changes. Well, set up replication between folders on different drives of NAS, we can reduce the already low probability of a total loss of critical data virtually to zero.
This is not all the features of fine-tuning the NAS, which offers QTS, but the full story about them is beyond the scope of this article. Only briefly mention that the QNAP TS-431 can be a server VPN, RADIUS, SQL, and has many other built-in tools (disk quotas, built-in anti-virus) that allow you to create from the device full-fledged office server that does not require any deep knowledge, no large investments. Such opportunities are excessive for normal household use, but will be very useful for advanced users, and, especially in business.
Unfortunately, it was not without a spoon of tar. First, a tested version QTS there are problems with the localization of certain terms. For example, the TRIM command is translated as "truncation SSD», and some menu items may have different names in the certificate, and the control panel. Secondly, for online video playback QTS uses an outdated plugin VLC, which is not supported by a number of modern browsers, including Chrome. Therefore to play the video in the browser is better to use the above Plex, that has more functionality and works without problems.
Of course, for such a device should have access not only to your home or office, but also from any other location, so you can download the file you want to take advantage of installed applications, add the torrent file to download list or watch already download movies. To do this, the portal myQNAPcloud.com need to register your account, after which the user will be given a special free network address. Enter it in your browser, it gets to the desktop QTS, as if the device is in the local network. Everything works as simply and transparently.
Another way to access the NAS, while away from home - via the mobile application. On Google Play and the App Store for warehousing QNAP has a whole set of programs, including a file manager Qfile, media players Qphoto, Qvideo and Qmusic, download manager Qget, cloud service notes Qnotes, client monitoring IP-based cameras Vmobile and some other applications. They allow you to comfortably enjoy the NAS even without access to a computer. For example, Qfile able to upload and download files, with for uploading photos and videos on the NAS has special functions that turn Qfile a full-fledged cloud client, but, at the same time, you do not need to worry about a sufficient amount of free space in the cloud and monthly pay for each additional gigabyte.
And say little about the hardware stuffing QNAP TS-431. The NAS is installed dual-core ARM processor with Cortex-A9 cores and 1.2 GHz, 512 MB of RAM (and the same internal reserved for the operating system and programs). QTS on this machine is fast enough, but not immediately: when you open a certain menu for a couple of seconds, the waiting animation. Performance filling enough for trouble-free use of the device in almost any scenario, including streaming multiple Full HD video with high bitrate, but for recoding a video in Plex «on the fly" it is already enough. In other words, TS-431 copes well with the vast majority of problems, despite the fact that refers to an entry-level devices.
QNAP TS-431 is positioned as the most affordable in the line of four disk NAS manufacturer, the average retail price of the device is 38,000 rubles. For the money the user is not only "hardware", but also a convenient device management via the operating system QTS and mobile applications, as well as access to all future updates and programs in the middle of the application, the ability to store huge amounts of information with redundancy, large "entertainment" and "business" opportunities.
Do I need a multimedia processor in a single home or office Technopark, it depends solely on the need to organize a centralized secure storage with easy access to the files. And if there is such a need, the price gradually fades into the background, since the creation of this instrument "improvised" means the power of a little, and hardly compares to the convenience of ready-made solutions
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