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Thecus N3200XXX NAS Server Review

Nemo    -   October 6, 2011
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Conclusion:

Back when we looked at the N3200PRO, we were impressed with the size and the fact that you were able to get RAID 5 in a small unit designed for SOHO/home use. In the N3200XX, you get that and more, with an upgraded design, upgraded hardware, and a thoroughly modern GUI based on AJAX technology. With the improved firmware comes a set of features to rival most larger units, with iSCSI, NAS Stacking, ISO image mounting, RAID level migration, and expansion. For a small unit, it has a big feature set and the performance to go with it.

We dinged the N3200PRO on its documentation and lack of an online help feature. The N3200XXX comes with its own online context-sensitive help feature, so that problem has been addressed. However, the quality of the user manual hasn't improved – it's poorly written, the English at times can be rather tortured, and several features weren't documented at all. We also saw problems with getting the Setup Wizard to recognize the unit initially, along with some minor problems with some of the other software, like the NAS stacking.

So, where does that leave us? The problems mentioned above are more annoyances than showstoppers. Disappointing to see, but not something that couldn't be addressed by Thecus in a future release. The full feature set should meet even the most demanding user's needs, especially in a home unit. The RAID 5 capability is certainly a plus, and its RAID rebuilding capability provides proven protection against data loss in the event of a hard drive failure. With the ability to use drives up to 3TB in size, you can store up to 9TB of data, which should be enough to last most users for a while. The N3200XXX could be a really great choice for any home or small office user, especially if Thecus could correct the few shortcomings we found.

 

Pros:

  • Excellent overall performance
  • Support for 3TB drives
  • Updated AJAX GUI
  • Robust feature set
  • Online RAID Volume Management
  • RAID 1 hot spare/RAID 5 support
  • eSATA support
  • Performance vs. price point

 

Cons:

  • Documentation lacking details and some features not documented
  • Setup Wizard Utility failed to detect NAS devices
  • Some aspects of software not ready for Prime Time
  • Cooling performance


 

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