I found the TS-439 very easy to setup and use. The NAS served up files at reasonable speeds, and the performances of NFS was excellent. I am happy with the media server functionality and it was very simple to get my media served up to my PS3. I would have liked a manual or other comprehensive documentation for Twonky, though. Also, I had some issues with the finer configuration points such as setting the UIDs so that I would have proper permissions on all my files. I should mention that I contacted technical support with a number of my questions, and they were quick to respond and very helpful.
My most significant disappointment was the Torrent functionality of the Download station. Without peer blocking and anonymous networks, this client won’t be useful to most people. For this reason, I’ll be sticking with Vuze running on my Linux box. It means that I’ll be using 75 Watts of additional power, but the extra security and privacy is worth it.
A quick comment on the sound produced by the NAS: The process of expanding the RAID from 3 to 4 drives was quite noisy and should be comparable to reconstructing the RAID after a drive failure. That is due to the fact that all of the drives were constantly reading and writing. In general, the NAS is fairly quite; it makes about as much noise as a desktop computer. It’s perfectly reasonable to keep in your office or server closet, however I wouldn’t want it in my entertainment center.
At an MSRP of $900 with a range of significantly lower prices (starting at $725) available from retailers, the QNAP TS-439 NAS is still a bit pricey. There are much less capable 4-bay NAS units starting around $255, but many of these units don’t support all the protocols (i.e. NFS or AFP), the data protection options (i.e. replication to an external drive), or the overall configurations (i.e. SSH login to edit internal configuration or install Linux packages) available on the the TS-439. Clearly the TS-439 stands out in it’s complete flexibility; other NAS units offer similar features, but few expose the ability to tinker with the OS or to add packages that can turn the TS-439 into a low power consumption web server with a complete content management system and a database if you desire.
Legit Bottom Line:
For a user willing to pay the $900 price tag for a fully featured NAS, the TS-439 Pro Turbo NAS is a good choice. It is well-designed and has flexibility that power users will appreciate. It has tons features, but a number of these require workarounds and the Torrent client has an unresolved issue.