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Thecus N3200XXX NAS Server Review

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Application Server:

The N3200XXX is more than just a storage device, it's a fully functional server and Thecus has provided a way to extend the functionality through different applications and modules. The unit comes with the ability to function as an iTunes server, but there are many more modules you can install, such as the Web Disk and Piczza Photo server we've mentioned previously, along with additional modules, such as the Twonky media server, a web server, MySQL, mail server, a BitTorrent client, and many more.

iTunes Server

The N3200XXX can function as an iTunes server, making the music files in its iTunes_music folder available to other iTunes-enabled clients on the network. The last thing we discussed in the previous section was the Bonjour service. With this service enabled, along with enabling the iTunes Service, iTunes clients can find the N3200XXX under the name specified in the iTunes Server Name box. You can also specify a password users will need to access the music files, along with the rescan interval and one of nine different MP3 tag character sets.











Module Installation

You can install modules such as Web Disk and Piczza manually from an install file you can find on the installation CD or from the Thecus web site. You will need to unzip the file to a location on your local drive and use the browse button on the Module Installation page to locate it. Module installation files will have a .mod extension and once you have the file path you need to hit the Install button. You will need to confirm the install and then wait while the file uploads and installs. You can see the module now listed in the Module Management pane, but the first column labeled Enable shows 'No' for the Web Disk module. Over in the far right column there is an Action column with a right-pointing arrow that you need to click to enable the module. Once the module is enabled, you see the module name is now a hyperlink you can use to launch the Web Disk directly from within the UI. The arrow has been replaced by a check box you can use to disable the module. There is also an 'x' you can click on to uninstall a module.





Auto Module Installation

The Auto Module Installation feature is akin to a package manager in a Linux distro, such as Yum or Synaptic. It's an extremely useful feature for locating the most recent version of all the packages supported on the N3200XXX. You can highlight a module and click the Action icon to install the module from the online repository. From this point on it is identical to the manual installation, as you will have to confirm the installation and then wait while the module uploads and installs.




As with the manual installation, you must return to the Module Installation section and enable the module in order for it to become available. The new module can also be accessed from here using the hyperlink and you will notice two new additions to the home web page where you can now log in to the administration page, Web Disk or Piczza.




One of the other modules Thecus offers that is worth mentioning is the Dashboard, which allows you to monitor the status of the NAS over the network or Internet using an iPhone, iPad, or Android-based smart phone.

We're done here, so let's move on to the backup features on the N3200XXX.

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