Thecus N4100PRO NAS Server ReviewNemo - July 19, 2010
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Web User Interface
The configuration process we've just gone through was all accomplished using the administrator account. If you're a user with an account set up on the N4100PRO you can access the folders/files to which you have rights via the Web Disk interface. The N4100PRO also provides a separate interface for managing photos and photo albums called Photo Server.
In order for Web Disk to be available, you must first have the HTTP/Web Disk service enabled under the System Network section. Web Disk is a web-enable file management system that allows you to access public folders on the N4100PRO as well as folders to which you have been granted access. Once in the Web interface, you can browse folders, create new folders, upload files from the local computer and delete, rename and move files and folders.
You access Web Disk using your browser and the IP or NETBIOS server name. Once the page displays you would choose the Web Disk tab and provide your login credentials. You can see the folders in a typical tree structure in the left-hand pane with its contents displayed on the right. You can right click on a folder to add a subfolder and provide the name in the subsequent dialog. Alternatively, you could highlight a folder or file in the right pane and use the New File/Directory icon at the top.
You can upload files from another location using the upload feature which limits you to seven files at a time. Conversely, there is a download feature that allows you to download files onto your computer's local drive. The Web Disk file manager also allows you highlight a file/folder and delete, rename and move/copy it. The move/copy is performed by highlighting a file and dragging it to its new location where you will be prompted to specify whether it is a move or copy function. This is a welcome addition to the Web Disk interface as the rename and move copy functions were missing when we looked at the Thecus N3200PRO. The system will also prompt you for confirmation before deleting a file, unlike on the N3200PRO.
The N4100PRO provides a way for users to upload photos to the server and share them with other users on the network. It is accessed similar to Web Disk using the Photo Server tab and logging in using your user id. Once you've logged in for the first time you will see you user name which represents a folder for you photos. You will need to create album(s) in this folder to hold you images. The server makes this easy using a set of instructions for using the web publishing wizard in Windows or by manually creating an album.
In Windows XP this is fairly easy and you simply highlight the photos to upload from the client PC and choose the "Publish this file to the Web" option in the Explorer pane on the left. The Web Publishing Wizard will appear and walk you through the process. Be sure to not use use blanks or other invalid characters when specifying the album name. Windows 7 offers similar capability though the Publish to Web Task. Once complete, you see the album on the NAS with the photos you uploaded. You can view thumbnails of the photos or view them individually or as a slide show. EXIF information, if available, can be toggled on and off for each photo. You can also choose to upload files manually if groups of 10 where you can annotate each photo with a subject and description. You can go back later and edit the photo information if needed.
That finishes the user interface portion so let's check out the specifications and features before diving into the performance results.