When we speak of innovation and shifting the way we think about acquiring our data, it’s fair to say that one of the most innovative brands out there would be QNAP NAS. Just recently, we have seen extremely groundbreaking electronic devices coming from this brand, and have seen lesser brands attempting to imitate them.
From the Thunderbolt NAS to directly connected storage NAS, QNAP has been the very first to introduce a contemporary NAS hardware. With that, we’re going to talk about their TS-351 NAS. We’ll have a look at what makes it better compared to the other similar devices, how great it works, and if it’s something you’d choose over the other NAS around. It’s really an affordable and innovative device that features a 3-bay mix of SSD technology and a hard drive, but is it just as promising as QNAP claims it to be?
Let’s go and check it out.
QNAP TS-351 Review – What’s in the Box?
Upon receiving our QNAP TS-351 NAS, we were quite surprised when we laid eyes on its retail packaging. We liked how QNAP made its exterior simple but really sturdy, so you won’t have to be worrying about the device getting damaged while in transit. Mind you, we’re still quite on the old-school side, and in this age of online retail, it’s really nice to see such a classic-looking retail box.
There isn’t really much to see on the box’s exterior: just a couple of information about the device, some of its features, and that’s it. Everything was kept nice and clean.
When we opened up the outer box, we saw the QNAP TS-351 itself, together with a number of necessary accessories to make it work. These extras included an Ethernet cable, an AC adapter, a power cord, two M.2 SSD heatsinks, and of course, an installation guide. This is another thing that we like about NAS’ from QNAP: they include all the things that you’d need to start using your network attached storage device, and they made sure that setting things up will be a breeze.
QNAP TS-351 Review
Let’s now take a closer look at this QNAP TS-351 NAS device. It features a slightly retro design which we think is pretty cool. It also comes with numerous LED lights located on the front panel. These lights stand for system health, access to your internal SSD bays, and the drive’s behavior. It’s nice that you can lessen the LED light brightness, and it’s also good to know that the QTS software is free with this product. Just like a lot of NAS devices today, the TS-351 comes with a USB front-mounted copy button and port. It may appear like an insignificant thing to focus on, but for people who have used NAS devices for so many years, it’s these little things that make their way into such affordable yet efficient NAS devices that make us all happy. Plus, it’s always handy to be able to backup an external drive to a NAS device, or vice versa, with just a click of a button.
With that said, this device also features outstanding ventilation that you will require, coming in a nice white plastic external chassis that is over a metallic internal frame. This gives you a better balance of low power consumption, system noise dampening, and temperature control while using the device.
Ports and Connections
When you take a look at the TS-351’s rear, you will see a number of different connections and ports. There is a combination of old and new ones which is really great if you’re looking for a great all-around NAS device. If you look closely, you’ll find that the rear of the NAS’ chassis is almost entirely fan which is made to better assist the cooling that we’ve mentioned about earlier. The ports making up the rest of the chassis is something that we’d call a mixed bag and we’re pretty good with it.
There’s this one specific feature on the TS-351 that we’re really glad that QNAP maintained, and it’s the inclusion of the HDMI. The brand was the very first to give us an inclusive NAS software solution that has an HDMI. This is more than just a port, and by installing the free Hybrid Desk Station app, it will open up a ton of sub applications to use with an HDMI monitor, remote control, USB mouse & keyboard, and Bluetooth dongle.
Now with the media focus, the QNAP TS-351 also includes a speaker along its rear that, though quite modest, can be utilized for things like music playback, customized alerts, and a lot more. A lot of the QNAP applications for mobile, desktop, as well as those that can be accessed through the QTS software via your web browser, can offer you the choice to play music from the QNAP TS-351’s speaker. This, combined with the verbal notifications that details and shares everything that needs attention to be delivered via speakers, makes the TS-351’s speakers a really cool and neat addition.
When it comes to the USB ports, the one located at the front is the USB 3.0, and the other two rear ports are the USB 2.0. We were wondering about this, but QNAP claimed that these ports are mainly designed for non-storage use but can still be used for this.
For us to reach the internal media bays, you will be required to remove the two rear screws before sliding away the front panel. Once you’ve done this, you can start finding the internal bays, the primary controller board, then reach the memory to upgrade beyond the usual 4GB.
The hard drive bays are housed in a different direction compared to what you’ve anticipated. Under these, you will find the three NVMe SSD bays and beneath these, you will find the memory bay. The three available hard drive media bays are all slot loaded, and comes with a hard, toolless, plastic installation design. The QNAP TS-351 is compatible with any SATA-based drive and backs the latest hard drives starting from the 500GB ones all the way to the 14TB NAS drives.
You can begin utilizing the device with just one HDD, or you can choose to completely populate the QNAP TS-351 with three drives, using well-known RAID setups like the RAID 5 or RAID 1 plus a hot spare. Just as mentioned, there are 3 M.2 SSD slots under the hard drive bays. These can be used individually, or completely populated in the RAID environment. The bays also support the PCIe-based M.2 SSD, but before you get all excited about it, remember that it is a PCIe x 2 Gen 1. It means that they support SSD at 500MB/s each which is still a very impressive inclusion to this affordable device. Despite this, the bays give you faster storage options, multiple caching bonuses, and auto tiering when utilized.
Lastly on the primary board, you will see a little version of the motherboard that you would find in a classic shuttle PC. On this, there is an Intel-based CPU that this NAS device comes with, plus two slots for the memory.
The high-performing QNAP TS-351 makes use of the Intel Celeron J-1800 dual core 2.41GHz processor, and features 2GB / 4GB DDR-3L memory that is can be upgraded to 8GB. Not only that, but it also supports SATA 6Gbps and 3Gbps disks, enabling AES 256-bit encryption for shared folders & full volumes, real time transcoding, media streaming, and a lot more.
QNAP TS-351 does not only let you build a RAID 5 collection on your NAS device with just a few disks, but it also comes with the M.2 SSD slots and the effective auto-tiered storage that displays enhanced system performance.
The solution runs with the latest QTS operating system that gives you a complete set of capabilities that are necessary for file management and multimedia entertainment in your home environment.
Elegant Appearance + Efficient Airflow
The QNAP TS-351 sports an elegant mixed with a stylish exterior that blends well with its industrial design concept. This is to give every user an effective airflow that is simultaneous with improved cooling, as well as seamless performance even under heavy loads. This tool-less hard drive installation gives you an easier maintenance and system setup, while the front panel LED lights aid in viewing the system’s status.
Secure your Data against Ransomware via Snapshots
Snapshots completely record the metadata and the state of your NAS system to keep your files protected. Via File Station or Storage and Snapshots Manager, managing snapshots is made easier and if an error occurs, you can immediately restore the system. QNAP’s snapshots are block-based and only record data that have changes. Aside from saving storage space, it also lessens the required time for data restoration and backup.
Solutions to Increase Productivity
The TS-351 is integrated with applications to store, search, archive, and synchronize your files. This is the smartest solution for you to professionally manage your files and easily access these when using various devices. You can also sync files with your friends’ devices, organize immediately and search for specific files, and automatically organize your media files and documents. The TS-351 helps you save time which leads to increased productivity.
QNAP’s exclusive backup application, the Hybrid Backup Sync, mainly backs up, restores, and synchronizes tasks to make transferring of data from your TS-351 to remote servers, cloud storage, USB storage, or another QNAP NAS easier. Through Qsync, your NAS files are accessible via computers and mobile devices connected to the TS-351 anytime. You can also effortlessly back up Mac or Windows data to the TS-351 via Time Machine from Apple or NetBak Replicator from QNAP.
Your NAS Acts as a Surveillance Solution
The new QVR Pro from QNAP is a surveillance solution that lets you designate a separate storage for surveillance on your NAS and take advantage of the managing storage from the QTS. The QVR Pro also simplifies camera management, live view, playback, as well as allocation of storage space. To keep track of your cameras wherever you are, you can use the QVR Pro Client mobile application; another option is to utilize USB webcams as ONVIF network cameras via the OUSB Cam 2 application.
RAID for Additional Data Security
QNAP supports the redundancy of RAID on multiple bay models for your data to stay intact in case drive failure occurs. During the initialization process of the NAS, you can implement RAID which is easy to do.
A Center for Multimedia
The TS-351 is a great multimedia hub since it allows you to easily connect and stream to devices in various ways. It is also capable of transcoding hardware and it features high potential storage space.
Strong Security Features
QNAP helps protect your data by utilizing advanced security features including bit encryption. AES-256, two-step verification, snapshot support, and more.
Intel® Celeron® J1800 dual core 2.41 GHz processor, up to 2.58 GHz
2 GB DDR3L (1 x 2 GB)
8 GB (2 x 4 GB)
2 x SODIMM slot
512 MB NAND Flash
Hot-swappable 3 x 3.5″/2.5″ SATA HDDs/SSDs
1 x HDMI v1.4a
Gigabit Ethernet Port
1 x Gigabit RJ45
1 x USB 3.0
2 x USB 2.0
1 x Built-in speaker
1 x 3.5mm line out jack
Status/Power, LAN, USB, HDD 1-3, M.2 SSD 1-2
Power, Reset, USB One-touch-copy
Buzzer or Smart voice prompt
Dimensions (H x W x D)
142 x 150 x 260.1 mm
5.59 x 5.9 x 10.24 inch
Power Consumption (W)
HDD standby: 13.21 W
In operation: 25.63 W
Using the Product
Before we start with its performance, we just have to state that the QNAP TS-351 is extremely quiet even when it’s fully populated. This is one of the reasons why you should consider having this device over a 5 or 4-bay NAS. Its CPU can readily handle the heaviest and most modern tasks from Plex media servers or even the Apple Time Machine. It can even handle large-scale backups, snapshots, and a whole lot more. Please was able to transcode all of our media files without any issues at all and we enjoyed buffer free streaming on our Roku.
What we really liked about the QNAP TS-351 is that it backs a lot of 3rd party applications on both your local Mac or PC system and the QTS app store. Plus, you can also utilize the device as a regular ISCSI device or diversified LUN target for your current 3rd party applications. This is to use and benefit from the network storage in a way that appears like a local storage.
Generally, this QNAP TS-351 is very well designed and manages to exhibit an impressive collection of functions and abilities. This is due to the hardware that is featured in this device, and is also designed with outstanding floating point to multitask.
We were able to transfer files to and from the NAS very quickly and the NAS handled everything that we threw at it.
Just like every quality piece of modern technology, the QNAP TS-351 is more than just a hardware or device once you get your hands on it. It comes with the QTS operating system which is really useful and beneficial for every user. If you aren’t that familiar with the system, it features a ton of free applications that can be accessed via desktop client or web browser. It also has a plethora of apps specifically for mobile on Android and iOS which are the top two operating systems for network connected storage devices.
The QTS 4.3 0.5 lets you have all the things you’ll need from a network linked storage device, and what’s great about this is that it comes with continuous updates for increased security and features.
The QTS performs really well and functions perfectly on the TS-351 with the exception of apps like the virtualization VM manager software, as well as some high-performing rendering tasks. This NAS device will provide you with all the support that you’ll need from the QTS, and will function perfectly as your home or business NAS device.
It will also support you and even up to 20 users simultaneously, and up to 50 intermittently as necessary. It comes with specialized user account management and creation, as well as a multi-layered protection and security from malware, viruses, intrusion detection, ransomware, and more. Also, we can definitely say that the first party applications on the QTS are very impressive so we’re giving the TS-351 a double thumbs up for its software and general performance.
When it comes to new and innovative ways to access your data, we think QNAP is one of the best solutions in the market. For the past few years, the company has been using pioneering technology to create the best NAS devices. From Thunderbolt to direct attached storage NAS devices QNAP has been one of the first companies that created the most modern NAS in the market.
Upon getting our hands on the TS-351, we wondered if this is another great QNAP device. Our tests have proven that it does not only have the excellent hardware, but it also offers excellent performance. What’s best about this is that you get all this at a very affordable price and we think that you get more than what you pay for with the TS-351.
Overall, the TS-351 is a low-cost yet high-performing NAS device that is best used for homes and small businesses. If you are looking for a multimedia-enabled NAS devices within a low price range, we highly recommend the TS-351 from QNAP since this is the best performing NAS that you can get if you’re on a budget.