In our last QNAP review, we mentioned how we hate buying something and when you get it home, have to run out and purchase additional items. Once again, QNAP does a great job of providing all the additional parts needed to get the TS-459 Pro up and running. The box for the TS-459 Pro included the power cord, two Ethernet cables, mounting screws for the hard drives, hard disk keys, the TS-459 NAS and a CD-ROM with software for setting up the NAS.
The front of the TS-459 Pro looks like any other QNAP 4 Bay NAS complete with LED indicators allowing instant status of the four internal hard drives, LAN, USB and eSATA connections. Also on the front are the power button and a One-Touch backup button for easy backups. This is an interesting backup feature, allowing one way copying from your USB drive to a pre-selected folder on the NAS or from a pre-selected folder on the NAS to the USB drive.
The back of the TS-459 Pro is where we can see some differences between the two systems. The TS-419P used an AC to DC power converter which I personally hate because of the large brick in the middle of the cords. One power cord makes cable management so much easier and the TS-459 Pro has now gone that route. You can see at the top right the 2 x eSATA connections and below that, the 4 x USB connections.
There are also the 2 x 1 gigabyte Ethernet connections which allow connections on two separate networks or the ability to use port trunking. Port trunking allows two Ethernet ports to be bonded into a single Ethernet port. This usually requires a switch with this type of capability. I experimented with the different port trucking options such as Balance-rr (Round Robin), Balanced-tlb (Adaptive Transmit Load Balancing) and Balance-alb (Adaptive Load Balancing). All three of these options didn’t require a special network switch and just had to be configured to use. Round Robin seemed to perform the worst compared to using a single Ethernet connection, where as the Adaptive Load Balancing did the best increasing the Read and Write transfer rates by about 4-5 MB/sec. There is not much performance increase for using two Ethernet connections. Of course, I am still only using a single connection on the other end which could explain the small increase.