Review: Thecus N5200XXX
If you are already a fan of Thecus, then the software feature set of the N5200XXX will be familiar to you. If you are new to the lineup, you will find nearly everything you are looking for in a network attached server. Thecus packs all the expected server goodness into their firmware, providing features like an iTunes Server, Photo Web Server, Media Server, FTP Server, Print Server, Download Manager, and more right out of the box. When you start adding in the additional software that you can load and you have a very robust Network Attached Server.
- IP CAM
- Mail Server
- RAID Volume Replication
- Rsync Backup
- BT Client
- Twonky Media Server
- USB & eSATA Schedule Backup
- Web Server
- Web Disk
The web administration will welcome you in one of two ways. For those that prefer a little more “Flash” there is a… you guessed it… Flash version of the welcome screen that features some moving bubbles for administration, certain modules, and a web file manager. Personally, the non Flash version seems a little more appealing.
The web administration is broken down into 9 different sections with each containing sub menus. Everything is where it should be and the search box provides a quick way of finding what you need without having to dig through all the menus. The home screen of the N4200PRO doesn’t show anything of any value though. It offers up the same type of shortcuts that QNAP does. My feeling is that the home screen should display some valuable information about your NAS such as capacity used, bandwidth utilization, log synopses, online users, power and restart functions, and items of that nature. Instead, you have to click through menus like Status to find out which services are running or go the Storage Menu to find out how much space you have available. Once configured, you shouldn’t have to visit these menus unless you want to make some changes. The welcome screen should be your one stop shop for NAS status.
There are no differences here when it comes to the administration of the unit. The consistency that manufacturers build into their lineup is what makes them so attractive. You know what you are going to get, all the time. The N5200XXX features the same RAID capabilities as their other units utilizing RAID 0/1/5/5+ spare / 6/10 (1+0) arrays and it can use EXT3, EXT4, ZFS, and XFS file systems. You are still getting out of the box iSCSI support for NAS stacking and you still get all the RAID expansion functionality that you would expect from a high end producer of NASs.
RAID migration in the N5200XXX is no different than it is for other models in the Thecus linup. You still have the ability to migrate from various RAID levels:
- RAID1 -> RAID5
- RAID1 -> RAID6
- RAID5 -> RAID5
- RAID6 -> RAID6
The Users and Group Authentication menu option contains all the things you need to create users on your NAS. It allows you to create users individually for ACL (access control lists) or groups for a more generic permissions structure. You can even configure the NAS for ADS (Active Directory Server)/NT support. For home users or small office users, the best feature of the user management interface is the ability to batch import users by means of a CSV file.
Submit files containing user names, passwords,
and group names separated by commas without any spaces,
each line represents one user.