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Features

Like many other NAS vendors, Thecus implements the same feature set across its NAS lines. Here's an updated summary of the features found in the 2.02.02 firmware. (I used 2.01.05 firmware for the performance review.)

General Features

  • Hot-swappable JBOD, RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10 with hot spare for RAID 1, 5, 6 and 10
  • Optional AES256 volume encryption
  • SMB/CIFS, HTTP/HTTPS, NFS v4, AFP file access
  • Online RAID expansion and RAID level migration
  • FTP/SFTP with upload / download bandwidth control
  • HTTP / HTTPs admin access
  • Bonjour / UPNP support
  • Joins NT Domain / Active Directories for account information
  • Dual Gigabit Ethernet ports supporting Load balance, Failover, 802.3ad, Balance-XOR, Balance-TLB, Balance-ALB modes
  • IPv6 support (very basic)
  • iSCSI target and initiator support
  • iSCSI Thin Provisioning, MPIO, MCS, Clustering and Persistent Group Reservation supported
  • ISO mounts
  • User quotas
  • Email alerts
  • Logging
  • USB print serving
  • Scheduled power down/up
  • Programmable idle disk spindown
  • Apache webserver (via installable module)

Backup

  • Scheduled Backup to USB and eSATA drives (via installable module)
  • Schedulable To/from rsync backup with optional encryption and compression
  • Apple Time Machine support
  • Client Backup: Acronis True Image (Windows); Thecus Backup Utility (Windows/Mac OS X)
  • ACL backup/restore
  • Schedulable DOM backup

Media

  • BitTorrent / HTTP / FTP download service w/ scheduling
  • iTunes server
  • UPnP AV / DLNA media server (via installable module - Twonkykmedia)
  • Picazza photo album (via installable module)
  • Video surveillance support (via installable module)

Mobile

  • Remote monitoring and admin app (Thecus Dashboard - iOS and Android)
  • File and media access app (ThecusShare - iOS and Android)

Thecus has steadily improved its feature set and is very competitive to QNAP and Synology at this point. In some cases, Thecus is a bit better, with its support for iSCSI initiator, for example. On the other hand, with all the other file access methods supported, the lack of WebDAV support shows that work still needs to be done.

I have traditionally complained about Thecus' admin GUI. But it has improved to the point where the differences are more approach and polish vs. function. So unless they backslide (or the competition gets a lot better) I think I'll stop picking on Thecus for its GUI.

Thecus has continued to add more downloadable modules to enhance NAS features. The list of 19 shown in Figure 4 now includes modules for:

  • Linking to Dropbox storage
  • Backup to ElephantDrive
  • Record, playback and monitoring of IP cameras

I'd like to see a Squeezecenter module to support Logitech's Squeezebox players added at some point to eliminate QNAP and Synology's advantage there.

Installable module list

Figure 4: Installable module list

The last module listed adds McAfee VirusScan to your Thecus NAS. With it, you can designate up to 10 scan tasks, each of which has the controls shown in Figure 5. Note that you only have on-demand (Now), Daily and Weekly scan options; there is no scan on file add/change option.

McAfee Virus scan module

Figure 5: McAfee Virus scan module

You can grab virus signature updates manually or schedule them to be auto-updated daily or weekly. A quick scan of a 1.9 MB 138 file folder took only three seconds, according to the N4800's log. Note that you must be running firmware 2.02.02 or higher to load the VirusScan module.

For more feature details, you can use the online emulator and check out the gallery below.

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