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Review: QNAP TVS-471

Here we look at the QNAP TVS-471, a 4-drive NAS storage device that runs on Linux, can play back 4K video, operate as a home media server, and even has options to back up all your devices including mobile devices

Exploring the QNAP’s Functionality

Next, I started to explore the functionality. In the Settings menu, there are a number of apps that get installed. Chrome is installed by default, and Firefox is an option. This allows you to have the TVS-471 hooked up to your HD or 4K-compatible television and enjoy all the internet has to offer right on your TV. The main app is called QTS and it is basically the control for the system. It’s your admin program to manage the device. The first thing mine did was upgrade the firmware. This can be done via the keyboard directly on the TVS-471 or via a file download for your computer called QFinder. I got the firmware updated all via the cloud from my laptop and rebooted the system. To this point it really has proved pretty painless for a non-networking creative user.

Once the system was set up, it was time to start exploring all the things I can do with it. There is a link for Mobile apps on the bottom of the admin screen. All of them work on Android and a limited number also work on iOS: everything from files to manage your QNAP system, to apps that will allow you to stream terabytes of video and music from anywhere, right off the NAS.

It looks like I will be loading the video part for sure. This could be a great way to access your vast library of work for a customer anywhere at any time. You may carry a tablet with files loaded, but if you ever need a file you didn’t load it can be pulled from the server (as long as you remembered to back it up or store it there.)

The next step was downloading all the files to my computers that allow access to the features of the system so I can easily manage it when needed. Most are available for the Mac and all are available for Winds. You may want to check the QNAP site to see which are available for your system. A few are designed to work exclusively with a Windows PC. The utilities range from apps for managing your file system from within Windows Explorer to backing up your computer or just monitoring the system.

Again, I’ll mention that the process up to this point is simple. It consists mostly of installing applications on the computer and smartphone to fully utilize the system. One of the programs downloaded is called QFinder. Qfinder allows you to administer and maintain your NAS via network from anywhere. It will prove to be a valuable app for quick and easy administration when you aren’t around the keyboard and mouse you may install dedicated to the NAS. Figure 3 (below) shows a screenshot of the interface.


Figure 3. The QNAP interface. Click the image to see it at full size.

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