Backups, streaming, more: QNAP’s sophisticated home server & app store

Once upon a time, network attached storage (NAS) was just that: a hard drive or two which could be plugged into your local router and used for storing large files you wanted to access anywhere, or backing up your data from your main PC.

Nowadays, of course, they can be so much more. If you’re a small business looking for a back-up server or way of letting employees access critical files without using public cloud services, or you just want a really good way of storing all those gigantic movie files at home, the QNAP TurboNAS TS-251 may be just what you’re looking for.

From NAS to the private cloud

The box itself is less a traditional NAS drive and more a powerful cloud server which can be used for everything from document sharing to making webcams available online, all the time. At its core, it’s a two-bay drive housing which can hold up to 12TB of data at a time. Drives can be configured as standalone or in RAID configurations for faster access or back-up.

The TS-251’s secret weapon, though, is its 2.41GHz dual-core Celeron processor. That’s a fully fledged PC CPU which allows it to run a full graphical desktop interface rather than the typical, difficult to set-up, command fields of yore. It also means that it has access to a fully fledged app store, just like the one on your mobile phone, which adds new features and functions at the click of a mouse.

QNAP Dashboard

The virtual desktop you’ll see when you log into your server.

Want to keep a webcam up and running 24/7 for added home monitoring? Just plug it into the TurboNAS TS-251 and download the app. Got “smart home” equipment for turning appliances off and on over the web? The TurboNAS TS-251 has an app for bringing those all together too.

For home users, the TurboNAS TS-251 can share videos and music using UPnP or Plesk, and has a built in BitTorrent client for downloading too. For businesses there’s apps for hosting websites or even converting a spare monitor into a digital signage solution.

Don’t let the relative simplicity of its exterior fool you. This is a sophisticated machine with hidden depths that could take months to explore. Want to find out more? Check out QNAP’s website here or our review here.

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