Affordable QNAP TS-231P 2-Bay SOHO NAS Review
Bohs Hansen / 2 weeks ago
QNAP‘s TS-231P might be the right choice for you if you are looking for a powerful yet affordable NAS. The system will fit well into small and home offices (SOHO) and today I’m taking a closer look at it.
I will also talk a bit more about what a NAS is and what it can do for you. I will do that on the next page. First, we’ll take a closer look at the unit that I got here: QNAP’s TS-231P 2-bay NAS.
The TS-231P is built around an Alpine AL-212 dual-core Cortex-A15 processor which has a clock speed of 1.7 GHz. The processor is coupled with 1GB DDR3 RAM which eliminates the use of some apps that require at least 2GB to work. There are plenty of other choices for you, so you’ll probably find what you’re looking for.
The processor itself costs a lot less than an x86 compatible one while it still is able to deliver a great performance. The QNAP TS-231P can perform with up to 224 MB/s read and 176 MB/s write speeds. The processor also comes with enhanced hardware-based encryption engine, so you don’t need to compromise between performance and security. With AES 256-bit full volume encryption enabled, the NAS still delivers a throughput up to 179 MB/s.
The first thing that we notice about the connections is the dual RJ45 LAN ports. Normally, SOHO devices come with a single port to keep the costs down. But a single port isn’t always enough. With two, you have the option to connect the NAS to two networks or you can bundle them for failover protection or increased bandwidth support.
External storage can easily be attached through the three USB 3.0 ports. There are two of them on the rear, perfect for more permanent connections, and one on the front. The front-facing port is coupled with the USB one-touch-copy button for easy import and export functions.
You can also turn your TS-231P into a wireless access point, but that requires a USB-based wireless network card. Other possible connections are USB printers which become network printers when connected to your QNAP NAS.
Drive bays and expansion
Two drive bays seem like plenty when we consider that we have up to 10TB drives at our disposal these days. That offers us up to 20TB raw capacity or 10TB when redundancy is in effect. More than enough for most people’s needs.
The drive bays in this model don’t feature tool-less installation, but the total of 8 screws should be manageable, even if you’re completely lazy. We can still hot-swap and hot-plug our drives at will.
Virtualisation with Container Station
QNAP Container Station exclusively integrates LXC and Docker lightweight virtualization technologies, allowing you to operate multiple isolated Linux systems on the TS-231P as well as download apps from the built-in Docker Hub Registry.
It supports container import/export, permission settings, and an Online Document app for directly viewing, editing and storing files of various types on your NAS (including Office documents, images and text files).
The package also includes an informative dashboard and flexible user interface which guides you in managing multiple containers.