Network Drives at IFA 2018: What’s New and What’s Hot?
The were several new NAS systems on show at IFA 2018, along with updated versions of previous systems. Here is a rundown of what we saw.
Note: This article may be updated at a later date.
Price: Around $350
QNAP showcased it’s 2018 version of the TS-251B NAS system. Aimed at the home/home office market, the small NAS box has a few interesting features. Equipped with an Intel Celeron J3335 dual-core 2.0 GHz processor and a choice of 2GB or 4GB of RAM, its PCIe expansion slot adds a variety of extra functions.
Onboard LAN is 1 Gigabit with dual RJ34 ports, but this can extend to 10 Gigabits via the QM2 PCIe expansion card. This card serves a dual purpose, as it can also house extra storage. Alongside the two drive bays, further storage is available through an M.2 SSD PCIe expansion card. Some flexibility is available here as the card can contain up to 4 M.2 SSDs, or 2 SSDs with a 10 Gigabit LAN port. A Wi-Fi card is also available, though M.2 SSDs cannot be fitted in conjunction with it.
The modular feature set and small form factor of this NAS make it a good contender for a home NAS unit. It comes with an HDMI port, and while transcoding is not possible, it would make an excellent media center alongside all of the features expected of home and small office NAS systems.
Price: Not Given
Terra Master showcased an eight-bay NAS system aimed at home and professional users alike. Featuring a Quad Core 1.5 GHz processor and 8GB of DDR4 RAM, it is capable of sustaining up to 96TB of storage (8 x 12 TB).
Alongside upgrading the number of drive bays, a software update was promised this month adding further functionality to the NAS with Docker along with other updates. Due to a new collaboration with Seagate, expect to see the Ironwolf drives sold in conjunction with Terra Master NAS systems in the future.
My Passport Wireless SSD
Price: 250GB ($191.99), 500GB ($289.99), 1TB ($499.99), 2TB ($774.99)
WD’s new Passport Wireless SSD (available on Amazon) came about through collaboration with professional photographers. As a standalone portable NAS, the previous version had a standard HDD and was prone to failure in harsh environments. The SSD version is less susceptible to this problem, and a silicon protective casing is designed to protect the unit in the event of it being dropped.
Available in various disk sizes, it is a fully functional Linux-based NAS system with a 6400 mAh battery. Devices connect to the box wirelessly, with up to 8 simultaneous connections possible. A connection is also available via SD card slot (configurable for automatic transfer) and USB 3.0 slot.
The My Passport app also can integrate with the Adobe Cloud allowing for the direct transfer of media into a working environment quickly. Plex and Twonky can be used with it, though the small form factor and battery requirements mean no transcoding. A use case presented to us by a WD representative was for car journeys with children—setting it up as a portable streaming hotspot for cartoons. While possible, this device seems to shine for media use, with up to 10 hours of battery life claimed when used in conjunction with one device.
Designed as the child unit to WD’s larger home NAS solutions, it works intuitively with them, though it should work perfectly as a standalone mobile storage solution with 250GB/500GB, and 1/2TB versions available.
NAS at IFA 2018
While there was little wholly new or groundbreaking in NAS at IFA 2018, some great systems were on show for users ranging from home and small office systems, to large-scale business uses.