3 disk bays, 1.5TB storage supplied, 2x 10/100/1000Mbit/s Ethernet ports
Thecus’s M3800 is almost identical to the company’s N3200 except that it comes with a graphics card.
This allows you to connect it to a TV and enjoy media files stored on it without the aid of a network media player. It has HDMI, component and composite video ports and an integrated receiver for the remote control.
We’ve never seen this feature before in a NAS device. Video format support is limited: our DivX videos played fine, but it couldn’t play any of our MPEG2 or H.264 files. Playback was also a little jittery after pausing or skipping backwards or forwards through a video file.
Unfortunately, neither iTunes nor a network media player recognised the M3800 as a valid media server. This is a shame, as they would have been better ways to enjoy your media than connecting the M3800 to your TV. We had no trouble sharing the contents of a USB disk across our network, but setting it up to share a USB printer was more time consuming than with the other NAS devices here. There’s no printer configuration wizard and the M3800 wasn’t automatically detected by Windows.
Thecus provides three 500GB hard disks, which can be configured as a RAID 0, 1 or 5 array. Thumbscrews hold the disk trays in place and are easily removed if you need to replace the hard disks. No matter which RAID level we chose, the M3800 was consistently the fastest NAS device here, matching or exceeding the speeds we’d expect from a fast USB external hard disk.
Creating user accounts and organising them into groups for easier administration is simple thanks to the logically organised web configuration interface. The interface for assigning users different access privileges to different folders is baffling at first, but it works well once you’ve deciphered it.
Thecus’s M3800 is fast and has plenty of storage, but it’s the most expensive NAS device here and costs 48p per gigabyte. For the extra £115 you pay over the price of the otherwise identical N3200, all you get is a poorly designed media player. It’s not a good buy.
|Default file system||ext3|
|Price per gigabyte||£0.48|
|3.5in drive bays||3|
|Free 3.5in drive bays||0|
|RAID modes||JBOD, RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5|
|USB direct access ports (front/rear)||0/0|
|Other USB ports (front/rear)||1/1|
|eSATA ports (front/rear)||0/1|
|Other ports||HDMI, composite, component, optical S/PDIF out|
|Ethernet connection speed||10/100/1000Mbit/s|
|Universal Plug and Play support||yes|
|UPnP media server||yes|
|USB disk server||yes|
|Protocols supported||TCP/IP, SMB/CIFS, AFP, FTP, NFS|
|Ethernet cable included||yes|
|Additional features||photo server, web cam support, web/FTP/BitTorrent download manager, media player, Active Directory support|
|Power consumption idle||24W|
|Power consumption active||32W|
|Warranty||two years RTB|