Thecus N3200XXX NAS Server ReviewNemo - October 6, 2011
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There are several services supported by the N3200XXX used for various file sharing purposes ,such as Samba/CIFS, AFP for Apple computers, NFS, FTP, TFTP, and Bonjour. Let's sort out the alphabet soup mess of acronyms by looking at each one separately below.
This service is used to allow Linux-based systems to share files over the network with Windows PCs using the Microsoft Server Message Block / Common Internet File System (CIFS). The File Access Cache is enabled by default and will help increase performance of single-client access to folders on the NAS under the CIFS protocol. You should leave this enabled unless you start experiencing 'Delayed Write Failed' errors in Windows; then disabling this option may help. The Samba Recycle Bin option allow for a recycle bin similar to Windows to hold deleted files on the N3200XXX. Samba Anonymous Login Authentication requires users to log in with a user name and password even on folders marked as public. The Samba Native Mode is for those on a Windows ADS environment with the Windows Server running in native mode. The next two options, Optimize Block Size and Server Signing, are not referenced in the Thecus documentation.
The N3200XXX supports Apple networking via the Apple Filing Protocol (AFP), enabling you to support computers running the Mac OS X and Mac OS operating systems. Once enabled, you can change the Mac character set, specify an AppleTalk network zone, and enable support for the Time Machine backup utility.
You will need to enable support for the Network File System (NFS) protocol in order to communicate with Linux/Unix-based systems. This service is disabled by default.
You can set up the N3200XXX to act as a FTP server by enabling the File Transfer Protocol (FTP) service. This will allow you to exchange files directly with another computer. You have the option to change the standard FTP port number (21) and the passive port range. You will also need to enter these settings in the port forwarding section of your router. You can also change the standard character set, decide whether to allow anonymous access, and set the upload and download bandwidth allowed using the slider bars at the bottom of the screen. FTP service is disabled by default.
The N3200XXX also supports the Trivial File Transfer Protocol (TFTP), a simple protocol generally used for automated transfers between computers on the same network, such as configuration or boot files. Once you enable this service, you can choose which network connection on the N3200XXX to use, the port number, and the share folder containing the files. Since there is no authentication capability in TFTP, only public folders are included in the drop down list. You also need to specify the folder permissions, which include Read, Write and Overwrite.
Web Disk (HTTP)
Enabling Web Disk allows multiple users to manage their files over the network or Internet. Web Disk is disabled by default and you will need to enable either Web Disk or Secure Web Disk service in order for users to be able to access and manage files using a browser. As we mentioned earlier in the System Management/UI Login Functions section, the Web Disk module must also be installed from the installation CD provided with the N3200XXX. Since Secure Web Disk uses SSL/TLS protocol, you must also provide the proper certificate information.
The Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) service should be enabled in order to support the UPnP media server. Enabling UPnP also helps other users to find the N3200XXX on the network. Once enabled, you can also key in a description of the server.
Bonjour is used by Mac OS X to discover devices and services on the network. It is also used by iTunes to locate shared music on a network. This service is disabled by default, but you will need to enable it if you want iTunes on another computer on the network to automatically detect any shared music files on the N3200XXX.
We're finished with the network services available on the NAS and we're ready to examine the applications and modules available on the server.