Consumer Reviews
by Lyle Smith

QNAP TS-451+ NAS Review

Designed for home and SOHO users, the QNAP TS-451+ is a 4-bay, high-performance NAS compatible with the latest QTS 4.2 interface. The TS-451+ can scale up to 12 drives (which amounts to a respectable 72TB in raw storage) using the QNAP UX-800P expansion enclosures, making it ideal for data backup, file synchronization and sharing, remote access and multimedia applications. It also has the ability to create a secure private cloud for quick and efficient data access.

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by Lyle Smith

QNAP TVS-463 NAS Review

The TVS-463 is a NAS solution designed for home to business applications with the ability to expand the total raw storage capacity up to 160TB using the UX-800P QNAP expansion enclosure. In addition, the TVS-463 is 10GbE-ready when using the optional PCI-E network expansion, which allows for high performance and persistent throughput.  The TVS-463 comes equipped with a AMD 2.4GHz quad-core x86 processor with 4GB DDR3L-1600 RAM (upgradable to 16GB) as well as five USB 3.0 ports, two HDMI ports, and two Gigabit LAN Ports. This functionality allows the TVS-463 to be used as a PC via its QvPC Technology; users simply plug in a monitor, keyboard and mouse and they are now able to operate the NAS using HybridDesk Station on the screen. Users can also run multiple Windows, Linux, Android-based virtual machines with the Virtualization Station.

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by Tucker Mindrum

SanDisk Ultra +Cloud USB 3.0 Flash Drive Review

SanDisk's new Ultra +Cloud flash drive comes with 128GB of storage, separated into 64GB on the drive itself and 64GB on the cloud. Users can access data stored on the cloud remotely from any computer, or use SanDisk's mobile app to manage data from a smartphone or tablet. Both the web interface and mobile app have fairly comprehensive usability, with a straightforward setup and surprising number of features for a flash drive. The Ultra +Cloud includes standard encryption capabilities and compatibility with SanDisk's RescuePRO file recovery software. In order to develop the cloud aspect of the Ultra + Cloud Flash Drive, SanDisk licensed Bitcasa's cloud storage platform. Bitcasa Platform enables secure file storage, access, and sharing for multiple platforms and the web.

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by Ed Hardy

Synology DiskStation DS216play Review

One option for those looking for network-attached storage (NAS) to store and stream up to 16 terabytes of video is the DiskStation DS216play from Synology. This 2-bay NAS can handle playing 4K video across a local network as well transcoding it so it can be streamed to a range of devices, including tablets and phones. Synology's new offering is built around an 1.5 GHz dual-core STM STiH412 Monaco chip. This is the source of the H.265 (HEVC) hardware-based transcoding, but only in Synology's own Video Station app. At this time, Plex isn't supported. A floating point unit helps speed up thumbnail generation.

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by StorageReview Enterprise Lab

In the Lab: Dell UltraSharp 27 Ultra HD 5K Monitor (UP2715K)

The Dell UltraSharp 27 Ultra HD 5K (UP2715K) is touted as the industry’s first 5K monitor designed for media professionals or others looking for an Ultra High Definition monitor. Coupled with high-quality, built-in speakers by Harman Kardon, Dell’s new monitor features 14.7 million pixels at an optimal native resolution of 5120 x 2880 (seven times greater than a 1080p monitor), which allows it to boast some serious color definition: both precise and accurate.

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by Adam Armstrong

NETGEAR ReadyNAS 212 Review

The NETGEAR ReadyNAS 212 (RN212) is a NAS aimed at home users and small offices. The NAS has two bays and a maximum capacity of 12TB, populating both bays with 6TB drives. The NAS uses a quad-core 1.4GHz ARM Cortex processor that allows them to deliver real-time 1080p high-definition video transcoding, according to NETGEAR few other consumer NAS can claim real-time HD transcoding. NETGEAR goes on to say that this NAS, along with its 4-bay model (RN214), are the first ARM-based designs to support this transcoding feature in a cost-effective solution.

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by Adam Armstrong

Synology DS216se Review

The Synology DiskStation DS216se is Synology’s latest affordable 2-bay NAS aimed at small home office and home users. The DS216se is ideal for users looking for a budget-friendly method of setting up a private cloud, a full-featured server, or a media server. The DS216se uses Synology’s award winning DSM as an operating system. Though this is a lower-cost and “se” or single-edition option, its still comes will all of the features that DSM has to offer.

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by Adam Armstrong

Synology DS416 Review

The Synology DiskStation DS416 is its newest 4-bay NAS aimed at small to medium businesses or home users that need a high performing, higher capacity storage server or private cloud. The DS416 comes with an Annapurna Labs Alpine AL-212 dual-core 1.4GHz, 32-bit processor and 1GB DDR3 giving claimed average speeds of 220MB/s read and 140MB/s write. Synology further claims that the DS416 can also transfer encrypted files at speeds of 146MB/s read and 65MB/s write. As with all of Synology’s DiskStation and RackStation devices, the DS416 has the award-winning DiskStation Manager (DSM) as its operating system.

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by Tucker Mindrum

WD My Cloud OS 3 Review

WD has revamped its web and mobile interface for all My Cloud devices with My Cloud OS 3. They seem to have modeled this new interface after some of the other successful interfaces, pursuing a simplistic and functional design with some new features. This OS still provides remote access to content stored on My Cloud units, but WD has made it much easier to share or sync files, and administrative functions are more streamlined.

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by Lyle Smith

Crucial BX200 SSD Review

Crucial has released their newest addition to their economy line of drives with the BX200 SSD, Micron’s first TLC-based solid-state drive. Like their BX100 before it, the BX200 is firmly targeted toward budget-minded consumers and those looking to upgrade their hard disk-based system to solid state technology. There are significant benefits and performance gains when leveraging SSDs; even with the more budget-friendly drives. As such, the BX200 allows users to experience speedy load times with their applications, system boot ups that occur almost instantly, and improve the overall performance to every day applications. Coupling its equipped Silicon Motion SM2256 Controller, 4-channels of Micron NAND flash and custom firmware, the BX200 also offers ultra-low power consumption.

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