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QNAP TS-469L-US Diskless System High-performance 4-bay NAS Server for SMBs
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3 out of 5 eggs Should have bought a Drobo 01/02/2014

This review is from: QNAP TS-469L-US Diskless System High-performance 4-bay NAS Server for SMBs

Pros: Populated with 4x Seagate NAS 4TB drives in a RAID5 configuration, it's relatively fast (able to more or less saturate a gigabit link for large-file transfers--up in the ~80MB/s range). The 4.x firmware has a GREAT web interface--it looks and functions like a windowed desktop, and is almost shockingly fast taking that into account. Relatively easy to configure. A decent selection of add-on services like Transmission (BitTorrent), Plex, media servers, and a variety of web things like Joomla or Zen cart. Direct video output to a TV via HDMI. Can be easily upgraded to 3GB RAM. Network recycle bin feature is great (saves deleted files on the server side, and purges them on a set timer, plus has granular control to not save particular extensions you specify--.tmp and such).

Cons: SEVERE known but undocumented firmware bugs with AFP. I got it to use as a fileserver for my Macs, Time Machine server for my Mac backups, and iTunes media server to host my iTunes library, all of which I had previously been doing with a Mac Mini, and due mostly to firmware bugs it currently fails somewhat or completely at all of those tasks.

The 4.0.5 (current) firmware has a bug where files being copied to the server via AFP (at least from 10.9) or even just accessed (probably due to metadata update) will get silently corrupted occasionally--somewhere between 0.1% and 1% of the time. There is no indication this has happened--the file is just toast when you go to open it later. If I hadn't done a diff after copying 100K files, I never would have known some of them were corrupt.

QNAP knows about this bug, but for some baffling reason does not have any indication on the firmware download page that AFP is very, very seriously broken.

Time Machine also doesn't work under 10.9, probably for the same reason.

Their tech support claims that these issues will be fixed in a 4.1.0 firmware update some time in early 2014 (the current beta of 4.1.0 does *not* fix them), but even if so the fact remains that they've left the current version of the firmware live, with about as serious of a bug as a NAS could possibly have, with no note whatsoever to that effect.

On an unrelated note, the freeware that provides the iTunes server functionality does work if all you want to do is provide access to your files to iTunes running on a computer. It will not, however, serve media of any kind to an AppleTV, nor does it understand the iTunes library format, so you just get a list of audio/video files, not any playlists you might have created. Depending on your needs this makes it somewhere between good enough and useless for that purpose (although I could blame Apple for a difficult-to-decipher protocol/library format, that doesn't change this product's utility to me).

Also crashed on me once so far while deleting a bunch of files via the web interface, which was disconcerting.

Other Thoughts: Given the AFP bug and limitations of the iTunes server, I'm wishing I'd just gotten a Drobo 5N--for the same price as the QNAP, it has an extra drive bay (for either more space or an extra disk of redundancy), presumably working AFP (or if not, it's no worse), and since the iTunes server doesn't do what I wanted anyway I wouldn't be losing anything.

Mostly, though, the fact that QNAP has a known silent-data-loss bug in shipping firmware and decided not to put a warning on the download page has soured me to the entire company. I'm simply not going to purchase anything even remotely mission-critical from a company that irresponsible in the future. Honestly, I can't believe a company in the NAS business would do that.

Heck, I would have been surprised enough that the 4.1.0 beta on their site in which the bug isn't fixed doesn't have it listed as a known issue. Yes, it's a beta, but when something is that critically broken you'd think it would be mentioned.


Anonymous's Profile

Display Name: Anonymous

Date Joined: 10/18/02

  • Reviews: 2
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  • First Review: 01/02/14
  • Last Review: 04/06/16
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