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QNAP TS-251A: NAS for Cloud Storage

QNAP TS-251A

With a QNAP TS-251A, you can build a Network Attached Storage (usually known as NAS) in your home and/or office. NAS enables the following common usage:

  • Additional file storage: Before your computer, laptop, or other digital devices run out of file storage spaces, you need a central location where you can copy your files across for backup.
  • File backup: Your computer does not run out of file storage. You need an additional disk to backup all your important data, in case your computer hard disk fails in the future.
  • File sharing and collaboration: You can copy a file to your NAS and let your other family members access it. An example is both of you can update the same spreadsheet file that is on the NAS disk.
  • File backup (that enables automatic synchronization of files among multiple devices or disks).
  • Personal cloud: You can enable multimedia streaming.

QNAP TS-251A is a NAS that is easy to install. It provides the USB QuickAccess port which enables you to quickly complete your first time NAS installation.

  • TS-251A is great cloud storage solution for backup, synchronization, remote access, and entertainment.
  • QNAP TS-251A is powered by a high-performance 14nm Intel Celeron N3060 dual-core 1.6GHz processor.
  • TS-251A supports 4K video playback and transcoding.
  • It lets you build a personal karaoke system with OceanKTV.
  • It enables one of the best audio-visual experiences with HDMI output and the free remote control.
  • Linux Station supports Ubuntu with direct output via HDMI.
  • The Virtualization Station & Container Station allows a hybrid approach to virtualization.
  • The storage utilization of multiple QNAP NAS units can be supported by Virtual JBOD (VJBOD).

Now you can directly copy and paste files directly onto your TS-251A, and access your files from any of the devices of your choice.

Let’s explore on how we can best use NAS (through QNAP TS-251A).

Qsync Enables File Synchronization Across Cloud and Multiple Devices

Qsync can turn QNAP TS-251A into a safe data center for file synchronization with relatively large capacity.

  • The best useful part with Qsync is, it lets you have the most up-to-date files on all your different devices.
  • Upload all the files to QNAP TS-251A, and your files will be available to all the devices that are linked to the TS-251A. The devices may be computers, laptops, tablets (such as iPad) or mobile devices (e.g. Android, iPhone, etc).
  • With Qsync, you can enable group file sharing for team projects and/or collaboration.
  • You can centrally configure through Qsync.
  • In case you have lost one of your devices, you can remotely erase the Qsync folder from the lost device. This lets you avoid data breaches.
  • Besides the USB QuickAccess port, two other transmission modes are Ethernet NAS mode and iSCSI SAN block-based mode.

QTS – Simple and Powerful User Interface

qts

QTS is a user interface which lets you be more productive and efficient with your QNAP NAS (TS-251A). One of the most up-to-date version of QTS is 4.3.6.

QTS has a desktop-like visual interface that allows you to access to many functions quickly, create desktop shortcuts or group shortcuts, monitor important system information in real-time, and open multiple application windows to run multiple tasks concurrently.

With QTS, you can break the barriers of devices, platforms, and geography to bring optimized cloud experiences and include advanced features (such as volume/LUN snapshots, remote connections) to public cloud services in File Station, multi-zone multimedia system, and more.

The user interface of QTS makes your NAS experience smarter, smoother and more spectacular.

Cross Operating System File Sharing and Centralized Data Storage

QNAP TS-251A enables cross operating system file sharing and centralized data storage.

  • TS-251A supports file sharing across multiple operating systems (OS) including Windows, Mac, Linux/UNIX networks.
  • You can centrally store all the data, logs and ISO images of CDs and DVDs in your TS-251A.
  • The Windows AD and LDAP services enable system administrators to configure user permissions with an existing Windows AD server, LDAP server or the built-in LDAP service.
  • Your QNAP TS-251A can be protected by an integrated antivirus solution.

Qsirch Enables Quick File Search

Qsirch

In QNAP TS-251A, Qsirch lets you perform quick file searching.

  • Qsirch lets you search through eml files in your TS-251A through customized criteria such as date, size, sender and recipient.
  • Qsirch can remember your search history. You can navigate to files you have previously searched for.
  • With Qsirch, you can preview thumbnails, content abstract and keyword hints.
  • Qsirch Helper is a Google Chrome extension that allows you to search for files on your TS-251A NAS.

Access Files in QNAP TS-251A

QNAP TS-251A allows three modes of data/file transmission.

  • USB QuickAccess port
  • Ethernet NAS
  • iSCSI SAN block-based

The three data/file transmission modes can work independently, and can simultaneously run without bandwidth interference (when multi-tasking).

Direct access to files with the USB QuickAccess port

You can use the USB QuickAccess port to complete the first time installation and setup of your QNAP TS-251A without any network connectivity.

You can also access files and data stored in your TS-251A through Qfinder Pro and a USB 3.0 A-Male to Micro B-Male cable (or a USB 2.0 Micro B cable).

QfinderPro and USB QuickAccess support Windows 8.0 (and above) and Mac OS X 10.7(and above). You may need to install drivers when you are using other versions.

Before starting firmware installation, you should download QNAP utility “Qfinder Pro” based on your operating system.

You can assign access different rights to different users for access of different folders.

Note that when you purchase your new QNAP TS-251A, usually a USB cable is not included.

USB QuickAccess mode

Through the USB QuickAccess Mode, you can access files and data stored in QNAP TS-251A using the Qfinder Pro when you connect a PC computer (or Mac) to its USB QuickAccess port.

For security reason, you need to configure the authentication modes in Network and Virtual Switch in the QTS management interface.

  • All NAS Users (default): A NAS username and password are required to use QuickAccess to access data in your TS-251A.
  • Everyone: Allows everyone to access data in TS-251A NAS using QuickAccess with no username or password required.
  • Selected Users and Groups: Only authorized users/groups can use QuickAccess to access data in TS-251A NAS, and a username or password is also required.

Ethernet NAS mode

With the Ethernet NAS mode, you can use Qfinder Pro to find the Ethernet IP address to connect to your TS-251A.

Through Ethernet networking, simultaneous file sharing across multiple devices using SMB/CIFS, NFS and AFP protocols for sharing across Windows, Mac and Linux/UNIX networks is possible.

iSCSI SAN block-based mode

After creating an iSCSI target in TS-251A, you can access the iSCSI with your computer using the NAS IP.

  • Use ATTO Xtend SAN or SNS globalSAN as iSCSI initiator for Mac.
  • Use the Microsoft iSCSI initiator for Windows.

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