The N2200 runs Thecus' new AJAX-based admin interface (Figure 4), which I touched on briefly in the N5500 review. Unlike QNAP and Synology, Thecus doesn't have a working demo site that you can log into and check out all the features of the new GUI. But this video tutorial will give you a good idea of what the new GUI is like.
Figure 4: Status page
Here is a summary of the N2200's feature set for quick reference:
- Network file sharing via SMB/CIFS, NFS, AFP
- Hot-swappable JBOD, RAID 0, 1 (NOTE! no individual volume mode)
- FTP with upload / download bandwidth control and secure mode
- HTTP / HTTPs file and admin access
- Network Backup: Once daily, weekly or monthly networked backup to other Thecus NASes using proprietary nsync protocol or to standard FTP servers. No compression or encryption
- Client Backup: Thecus Smart Utility (Windows and Mac OS)
- Pushbutton backup from USB drive
- ISO mounts
- User quotas
- Email alerts
- USB print serving
- Media servers: UPnP AV / DLNA, iTunes
- Web photo album
- BitTorrent / HTTP / FTP download service w/ scheduling
- Recording / monitoring from two IP cameras
The N2200 supports many of the features of its more expensive siblings. But there are key differences, which I've summarized in Table 1 using the N3200 Pro as a comparison model.
|Online RAID Expansion||No||No|
|Online RAID Migration||No||No|
|Wake On Lan||No||Yes|
|UPS Shutdown Sync||USB||No|
|Network Recycle Bin||Yes||No|
Table 1: N2200 / N3200 Pro Feature Differences
You can run more detailed comparisons using Thecus' comparison tool.
During my testing, I used the web admin interface RAID Edit feature (Figure 5) to attempt to change between RAID 0 and RAID 1. But when I hit the Remove RAID button, I lost contact with the N2200.
Figure 5: RAID Edit screen
When I reported this to Thecus, I learned that the web interface is misleading. Turns out you must use the Smart Utility to install the OS, which is kept on the drives, each time you change RAID mode. You also must use the utility when you first install drives. Fortunately, Thecus provides both Windows and Mac OS X versions of the utility. But users of Linux or other OSes will be out of luck.
Another significant (at least for advanced users) negative is that Thecus doesn't provide telnet or ssh root access to the N2200 (both Synology and QNAP do, however).
I initially thought (due to the web GUI misleading me again) that networked backup to standard rsync servers was now supported. But when I selected the Native Rsync Server option (Figure 6), I was not presented with anywhere to enter the rsync module name. So all connection attempts to an rsync server failed.
Figure 6: Nsync backup screen
When I checked with Thecus, I learned that they still support only their own proprietary "Nsync", but are working on supporting rsync. They admit that the GUI is misleading and will look at changing the GUI in a future firmware while they work on actually implementing rsync backup.
RAID Fail Test
I performed a quick drive-pull test with the N2200 configured in RAID 1. After about 30 seconds, the audible alarm started screaming and kept going until I re-inserted the drive. (The audible alarm can be disabled in the System Management > Notification admin page.) Rebuild started as soon as I reinserted the drive.
Like many products, you need to dig for drive fail indication in the admin GUI. There was no sign of the failure on the System Information Info or Status pages. But the log contained a RAID status is DEGRADED now entry and a The system N220' is recovering the RAID and rebuiding is in progress message from the drive re-insertion.
I didn't check the email notification, but it worked well when I tried it with the N3200 and I expect that it still does.