Your digital butler, that's how you could call a NAS. If you don't necessarily want to pay big bucks, QNAP has an interesting model on offer. A model aimed at those who want a lot of functionality, while not breaking the bank. This TS-431P2 is available for about 400 dollars according to our price comparison tool.
QNAP is the main competitor of Synology. Both Taiwanese companies focus on the network disk market and have their own vision. A good example is that Synology only makes pure file servers, but their main competitor also releases onto the market variants that you can use as a media player via the built-in HDMI connection. A handy addition if you download a lot and if you can and want to place your network drive in your living room.
Recently we took a look at the Synology DS918+, a high-end model that can be equipped with, among other things, two NVMe SSDs and is capable of top performance thanks to the built-in Celeron processor. The basis of this QNAP is different: it is formed by an Annapurna Labs AL-314 quad-core ARM processor. Also in appearance, the model differs slightly from the products we have seen more often from QNAP; for example, it has no metal housing. There is also no display, an addition that QNAP often includes with the more luxurious variants. This makes it clear that the positioning is a lot lower than that of some other family members.
So it's all a bit more no-nonsense, which isn't bad at all if you're just looking for a network drive for home and don't need any frills. After all, this saves you money. Two versions of the 431P2 exist. The inexpensive variant has 1GB of memory on board, for about 100 dollars more QNAP delivers you the same thing, but with four times more memory. It is not an exaggeration to call this a very hefty price increase.
The TS-431P2's plastic housing looks modern thanks to its white-silver colour combination. You have to install the discs in the four plastic drawers using screws. This is a bit less attractive than the competition, as you generally don't need a screwdriver these days. QNAP trays are suitable for both 3.5 inch and 2.5 inch drives. Below you can see the prices of two versions. The 431P2 is delivered on board with 1GB and 4GB. The model we have looked at in this test is the luxury variant with 4GB of memory on board.