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Thecus N2200 2TB review

Alan Lu
6 May 2010
Thecus N2200 2TB NAS box
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
387
inc VAT

Thecus' N2200 is a reasonably good NAS, but some of its features need refinement and it's too expensive at this price.

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Specifications

2 disk bays, 2TB storage supplied, 1x 10/100/1000Mbit/s Ethernet ports

Thecus' N2200 looks rather retro with its curvy metal case and the transparent push-open doors covering the two disk bays. Accessing the bays to remove the slide out disk trays is therefore very easy and the only screws involved are those necessary to attach the disks to the trays. The model we saw came with two 1TB SATA hard disks, although a barebones version without any disks is available for £150.

Both RAID 0 and 1 are supported and the discovery utility prompts you to choose one during initial setup. Configuring the N2200 using the web management interface is easy enough, but there's room for improvement. The cluttered interface often feels sluggish and various controls are confusingly labelled or poorly translated.

The controls for creating user accounts, organising them into groups and granting them access to shared folders are split between three different screens. This isn't very efficient if you have lots of users and folders to manage. It’s possible to automate the creation of large numbers of user accounts, but doing so involves using text configuration files which isn't as user friendly as we'd like.

Once set up, the N2200 works reasonably well but some of its features need polishing. We had no trouble using it as an iTunes music server. It can also back up the contents of a USB disk plugged into the front USB port or simply share the contents of the disk across the network. It refused to work as a printer server though, failing to recognise both our Samsung laser and Epson inkjet. Although it didn't have any trouble streaming videos and music to a network media player, it refused to stream the same files to a PC running Windows Media Player.

Files stored on the N2200 can also be accessed remotely over the internet using FTP. A timer allows you to schedule when the device will power itself on and off, with different times for different days if you prefer.

The N2200 wasn't as fast at copying files as we would have liked for a NAS at this price, especially when transferring small files, but it's still reasonably quick. Its RAID 1 performance closely matched its RAID 0 speeds and was in some cases quicker, so there's no penalty if you opt for the security of RAID 1. When configured as RAID 0, large files were written at 15.8MB/s and read at just under 26MB/s. Small files were written at a sluggish 6MB/s and read at just over 7MB/s. When configured as RAID 1, large files were written at 17.3MB/s and read at 24.8MB/s. Small files were written at just under 7MB/s but read at a faster 12.2MB/s.

We liked the easily accessible disk bays on Thecus' N2200, but some of its features are underdeveloped or buggy, while its performance is disappointing for a NAS that costs this much. At 19p per gigabyte, it's not especially good value. If you're nonetheless still tempted and can put up with its flaws, you'd be better off buying the barebones version and fitting two 1TB disks at a cost of around £60 each – this would save you around £100.

Basic Specifications

Price£387
Rating***

Storage

Capacity2TB
Formatted capacity1858GB
Default file systemXFS
Price per gigabyte£0.19
InterfaceSATA 300
3.5in drive bays2
Free 3.5in drive bays0
RAID modesRAID 0, RAID 1

Interface

Ethernet ports1
USB direct access ports (front/rear)0/0
Other USB ports (front/rear)1/3
eSATA ports (front/rear)0/0
Other portsnone

Networking

Ethernet connection speed10/100/1000Mbit/s
Universal Plug and Play supportyes
UPnP media serveryes
iTunesyes
Print serveryes
USB disk serveryes
Web serverno
FTP serveryes
Protocols supportedTCP/IP, SMB/CIFS, AFP, FTP, HTTP, NFS

Miscellaneous

Size138x117x210mm
Weight3.1kg
Vertical positioningyes
Ethernet cable includedyes
Additional featuresUPS support, photo server, power management
Power consumption idle17W
Power consumption active22W

Buying Information

Price£387
Warrantytwo years RTB
Supplierhttp://www.originestore.com
Detailswww.thecus.com

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