Network Storage: Three NAS Units Rounded Up

If you're in the market for a storage upgrade, you have some important decisions to make. First off, there's the choice to build your own solution or buy one from an established vendor. If you choose the former path, know that there are tons of options, which we'll explore in a future story. Here, we'll be going down the latter path.

In this article, we're going to present three network-attached storage (NAS) devices from well-known vendors Qnap, Promise, and Co-World.

These devices are as different as their makers. This becomes increasingly evident as we start digging into their performance benchmarks and describe their overall capabilities, storage capacity, and target markets / audiences.

For Home Networks and PC Enthusiasts

Here's a list of the machines we examine in this story:

* The Promise NS2300N
* The Qnap TS-509Pro
* The Co-World ShareDisk Pro 400

Each of these machine aims at a different target market and offers different capabilities and special features. Case in point: the Promise NS2300N has been designed for the home-user market. It is a sort of "little brother" to the small-office oriented NS4300N that we reviewed in our story Promise NS4300N: NAS For Small Offices

By comparison, the Qnap TS-509 Pro straddles the boundary between the enthusiast and the small business market, thanks to its capacity, features, and functions.

The Co-World ShareDisk Pro 400 is in the same boat as the Qnap unit in that it offers both home and business features. But this NAS device employs a proprietary network direct-attached storage (NDAS ) technology and really leans more toward the business side of SOHO and small office applications. NDAS is a lesser-known technology that exists largely in the shadows of NAS equipment. It does not offer all the bells and whistles that users of NAS devices have come to expect, such as streaming multimedia services. Instead, NDAS requires device drivers to attach to and interact with PC clients.

In the pages that follow we will describe the features and functions that these devices deliver in more detail and discuss their network throughput and performance characteristics.

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18 comments
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  • chaugh
    TYPO!!!

    and you see that heritage in the TS-590 Pro.

    What's a TS-590?
    -2
  • cknobman
    If you want something simple to share data at home I cant figure out why anyone would buy a cheap NAS that gives less than 15 mbps or something outrageous costing over $700. Why not build your own using low power cpu that would perform much better than the cheap NAS devices and still come in hundreds of dollars less than the overpriced NAS devices?
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  • dje007
    I have a Qnap TS-639 and love it
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  • yourhighness
    cknobmanIf you want something simple to share data at home I cant figure out why anyone would buy a cheap NAS that gives less than 15 mbps or something outrageous costing over $700. Why not build your own using low power cpu that would perform much better than the cheap NAS devices and still come in hundreds of dollars less than the overpriced NAS devices?


    THIS
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  • yourhighness
    More on this Topic....?

    Hitting the link for the last page just gives me a blank pop-up box....

    Using Chrome.
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  • yourhighness
    yourhighnessMore on this Topic....?Hitting the link for the last page just gives me a blank pop-up box....Using Chrome.

    Grabbing the link from the drop down works fine, but from the conclusion page going to the next page is broken.
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  • theJ
    yourhighnessMore on this Topic....?Hitting the link for the last page just gives me a blank pop-up box....Using Chrome.


    That's all it is. More ads so they can pay the bills.
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  • theJ
    Nevermind, read the question wrong. Need edit button.
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  • Anonymous
    If you want to build your own rock-solid RAID NAS, and do so with cheap old hardware, check out my guide on building a Linux RAID-5 NAS. I wrote this guide so even someone who has never worked with Linux before can get it up and running, and maintain it, very easily! Hope this helps someone out there!
    Go to my site at: http://cobraftp.serveftp.com and click on Linux.. then at the top is the PDF, which is labeled "Linux RAID-5 How-to Guide"
    -1
  • Anonymous
    how did you exclude the new Readynas NVX? seems kinda silly without that leader in both functionality and performance involved
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  • midnightgun
    I own a Synology CS-407e. Simple and just works. Leave it on all the time and just don't worry about it. Love it.
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  • snarfies
    I've said it before and I'll say it again - I don't know what this site's obsession is with NAS devices, but the NS3200N is the first NAS ever reviewed here that isn't an overpriced and underperforming piece of garbage! Shame I didn't know about it sooner - I just dropped $300 on a Mini-ITX Atom 330 MB and case to make my own NAS, and I haven't even bought the two drives for my RAID1 yet. I hope I'll get better results...
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  • WyomingKnott
    Your opion is sought: Why not buy an HP MediaSmart system? It costs less than the Qnap device and seems to be similarly capable?
    1
  • voodooaddict
    WyomingKnottYour opion is sought: Why not buy an HP MediaSmart system? It costs less than the Qnap device and seems to be similarly capable?


    I'm wondering the same thing. Why wasn't one of the MS Home Server units included. None of these units are putting out blazing transfer rates.

    The only thing I can figure is that these NAS units could be used for business as well as home use. Where the MS Home server is really just for home use.

    I don't know about anyone else here, but I wouldn't use any of these devices for critical live biz data. Setup as near-line backup devices, sure. But not live data.
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  • Anonymous
    Actually.. this review is a bit short.. not a comparison for all nas boxes.. just a chumped up silly list of nas boxes that he writer found at the time. rather pathetic actually.
    just to spin a spanner.. try freenas.. www.freenas.com
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  • Anonymous
    Drobo anyone?
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  • gm0n3y
    AnonymousDrobo anyone?


    I was thinking the same thing.
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  • Anonymous
    My opinion of QNAP is that it is an overpriced piece of garbage. When it works, everything is great, but when it goes wrong, make sure that you have taken an IT degree before even attempting to fix it. It is not user friendly at all, doesn't give any meaningful error messages, sometimes works, sometimes doesn't, with no clue as to what the problem is. Don't buy it.
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