Thecus N3200XXX NAS Server ReviewNemo - October 6, 2011
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Web User Interface
Up to this point, all the configuration work has been performed using the administrator's account. Users can also log in to the server and manager their files through Web Disk. Users can also manage and share their photos through the Piczza photo server.
As we saw earlier in the Network Service configuration section, you must have enabled and properly configured the Web Disk Service. You must also have the Web Disk module installed, which we demonstrated earlier in the Module Installation section where we installed version 2.0.2 of the software. Web Disk is a file manager that allows you to access to the files on the NAS directly via your browser. You can upload files to the server, create new folders, rename files, move files between folders, and delete them.
From the home web page, you click on the Web Disk icon to log in under your user name. This brings up the Web Disk page. As you can see, the interface is clean and uncluttered – almost spartan in appearance. So spartan in fact, it might make you wonder where the controls are. You access the file and folder management tools by right-clicking in the right-side pane. This brings up a menu showing the normal cut/copy/paste/delete functions, as well as upload/download for loading files to/from the server. New folder is used for creating sub folders under an existing folder; you cannot use Web Disk to create folders on the root path – that capability is reserved for the administrator under the Storage section we examined when we were setting up the NAS. It's also nice to see you can upload up to 999 files at one time – on older versions of the software, we saw a limit of only seven files, something we raised as a complaint during the review of the N4100PRO. The display can be changed to list detailed information and you can sort the list by any of the headings. You can also highlight a specific file and use the Attributes option to list detailed information on a single file.
Piczza Photo Server
Piczza is a software package that enables the N3200XXX to act as a photo server. With this package, you can upload photos to the server, share them with others on the network, create photo albums, and more. You can also use it to tag people in photos and publish pictures to social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.
Piczza organizes photos in albums and you must select an existing album or create a new one in order to upload and display your pictures. Creating a new album involves choosing a name and determining who has rights to view the album's contents. Once you have set an album to work with, you can click the Next button to go to the upload page.
You can choose multiple photos at a time and then click the Upload button. Once the upload is complete, the system will build thumbnails of each item and then prompt you to go to the Manage option to edit information about each photo.
The Manage option allows you to enter a description for each photo, along with location information. Piczza also gives you the option to tag subjects in a photo by centering the cross-hairs over an area, left-clicking, and entering the person's name. The next option, View, presents a thumbnail view of an album's contents. Double-clicking a thumbnail brings up a full-size image of the photo along with its EXIF information. You, or someone else viewing your album, can also leave a comment about the photo. Piczza also provides links to several social networking sites, such as Twitter and Facebook, if you want to share your photos there. Gallery and Favorites are ways to view pictures from multiple albums, whether your own or other users' shared albums, from one place. Clicking on a picture in one of these collections brings up the same page as in the View option, with a full-size picture and EXIF information.
We've looked at two of the major applications for the user web interface, but there are many more as we saw when we went through the Module Installation portion of the Application Server configuration section. Time and space constraints prevent us from including them all in this review, but there are a couple worth noting, such the Download Manager 2 for managing BitTorrent and other types of file downloads, and Twonky Media server for sharing multimedia files to DLNA-certified media devices.