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Thecus N0204 miniNAS - Thecus N0204 miniNAS

By Dave Mitchell

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

8

Although Thecus has launched its new Ajax-based web interface this isn't yet ready for the N0204 so we had to make do with the older version. Thecus advised us it expects a free firmware upgrade to be made available for the N0204 by mid-September.

Client support extends to Windows, Linux and Macintosh users and the N0204 will also function as an FTP server where you can apply bandwidth limits to uploads and downloads. Share security is managed only by a local user and group database as the N0204 doesn't support AD authentication.

For multimedia you have a Mediabolic media server that lets you choose which folders to publish for streaming content from. An iTunes server is on the list and this service allows you to password protect your music folder. When a user logs into the appliance they are presented with the Web Server interface that allows them to access their own personal music, videos, photos and files and also the contents of connected USB storage devices.

Surveillance functions are provided as you can connect a USB webcam, capture images from it at selected intervals and store them on the appliance. IP cameras are also supported once the IP Cam module has been downloaded and installed but features aren't as good as those offered by Synology's DS409slim.

You can't view live feeds and can only take scheduled snapshots from multiple cameras and store them on the appliance. We tested this with an Axis PTZ network camera and were able to take snapshots from its live feed at intervals of between a half second and sixty seconds.

Backup tools are thin on the ground as Thecus doesn't include the FarStone DriveClone Pro software bundled with most of its larger NAS appliances. All you get is the Thecus Backup utility which is very basic. You can create scheduled full and incremental jobs to secure your workstation data to the appliance but its crude interface doesn't offer anything in the way of reporting.

The N0204 put in a reasonable showing in our performance tests with copies of a 2.52GB video to and from a Broadberry dual 2.8GHz Xeon X5560 server returning average read and write speeds of 28MB/sec and 15.5MB/sec. We found FTP speeds to be better with the FileZilla client utility reporting speeds of 42MB/sec and 19MB/sec with the same file.

Verdict

This pocket-sized package looks a good candidate as a portable NAS appliance. Performance is good enough for a general purpose storage device, the features belie its size and power consumption is extremely low.

morsch

August 29, 2009, 3:38 pm

It's not the price of the disks that would worry me, but the capacity. The biggest 2.5" drives are 500 GB (right?), so that means this NAS will have a maximum of 1 TB -- pretty small for a device dedicated to storage. That said, it is a cute little device, and storage density is only going to go up.

Tony Walker

August 29, 2009, 8:12 pm

The highest capacity 2.5" drives are now 1TB. Made by Western Digital. They also do a 750GB version. However, the 1TB drive (not sure about the 750Gb) is 12.7mm deep. Whether it fits is another matter. Thecus's specs also say support up to only 500GB though that could be based on available drives at the time.

xenos

August 30, 2009, 10:30 pm

I bet those drives cost a bomb!





I'm beginning to get to the point where a NAS box just isn't fast enough and doesn't have enough features. Getting very tempted by a Windows Home Server system, struggling to find what kind of specs would be suitable if I wanted to have say 2 HD video streams going at once and a few torrents and a backup job? Anybody got any recommendations, power consumption and price are very important! :-)

DA038

October 11, 2009, 8:05 am

this is one nice and small storage box in my home. i have 2 500 GB hard drive disks and measured the whole unit is just a little 10W. i download a lot and it is a good replacement for PC in turns of downloading. with my desktop, i need to worry about power consumption and it is sometimes unstable. it is quite energy saving and stable. just bought and will do more exploration.

Doc. Caliban

February 2, 2010, 10:18 pm

Has anyone tried the newer 12.5mm drives in this to see if they fit? Ready to order one today if they do.

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