Most people can probably get away with networked hard drives in their home, but if you have serious data storage needs you really should look into investing in a proper NAS device.
The 419P+ is the new version of QNAP’s home/small business-focused four bay NAS. It runs a 1.6GHz Marvell processor, 512MB DDR3, 16MB flash and bays for four 3.25in or 2.5in hard drives.
On the back are two eSATA ports, two GbE ones, three USB 2.0 and the power connection. Operation is simple, just install as many hard drives as you want and boot it up. You can then access the control panel over the network using a software application called QNAP finder.
This allows you to design the RAID array, set up shares and control the functions of the device. It allows you to set it up as an iTunes server or to stream media to Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 via a Twonkymedia server. There are a myriad options for the home or small business user, all easily set up via the application.
It is this software sophistication, as well as the ability to run up to four 3TB hard drives that really makes the QNAP 419P+ shine. More advanced users will like being able to use it as an iSCSI initiator to set up a storage area network, but for most this will provide a solid, single location to store everything from backups to their media.
This is a much more costly solution than some of those on the market, but ultimately it comes down to your needs. The QNAP 419P+ has enormous storage potential, and a comprehensive feature set that means it will work with nearly anything you throw at it. The hot swappable nature of the RAID array means you can start small and expand over time, and the inbuilt 1.6GHz processor, while not outstanding, really does enable the NAS to work smoother and faster than a lesser solution. This is yet another great addition to the QNAP lineup.