The N2100 is a bit bigger then the standard NAS devices I've been testing. The size is understandable, since it is designed to hold up to two user-supplied drives in its internal cage, unlike most others of this type that only hold one. Along with its RAID support, another interesting feature of this box is the fact that it uses Serial ATA (SATA). SATA is the successor to the old ATA standard and should provide better performance; this is the first consumer-level NAS device I've worked with that uses it. As I took the device apart to install two drives, I found it to be well constructed and simple to work with. The drives installed easily and securely.
Figure 1 shows the back of the N2100. Along with the fan vent and power connector, you can see two USB 2.0 ports and two 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports. On the left is a security slot so you can attach a locking cable to keep someone from picking up the box and walking away. The two Ethernet ports allow the box to act as a mini-switch, and the two USB ports on the back, along with the single USB port on the front, can be used either for a printer or for external storage. Thecus specifies that with the use of a USB hub, up to six external drives can be added.
Figure 1: Back Panel
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