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Review: Thecus N2560

by Parm Mann on 16 September 2013, 14:00

Tags: Thecus (4978.TWO)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qab2if

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ThecusOS 6

Rounding out the upgrades, Thecus has also taken the opportunity to equip the N2560 with the latest version of its NAS operating system, ThecusOS 6. As part of the package, there's the promise of a '5 Minute Complete Installation' that vows to have NAS newcomers up and running as quickly as possible. Aided by an 'Intelligent NAS' client utility (pictured below), the setup entails plugging in the power supply, attaching an Ethernet cable, booting up and completing the software-driven wizard.

The process is quick and painless from start to finish, and for users wanting quick access to the server from a client, the Intelligent NAS utility provides basic information such as server capacity and active BitTorrent downloads, as well as a means to navigate public folders. Thecus has clearly focussed a lot of its attention on the Intelligent NAS utility, where it predicts home/novice users will spend the majority of their time.

The advanced administration tools, however, are kept in the revamped web-based admin panel. From here, users can tap into all of the N2560's available features - including support for RAID modes 0 and 1, a dedicated FTP server, an on/off power schedule, and various backup options; both local and in the cloud.

There's no iSCSI support, but Thecus continues to offer a good wealth of features for Mac and Windows customers. However, while the NAS is well-stocked and easy to configure, Thecus's user interface is off the pace being set by other Taiwanese competitors, such as Synology, QNAP and Asustor. The problem here is that although ThecusOS 6 takes what looks like a windowed approach, only one window can be open at any one time.

The software therefore isn't geared for multi-tasking, and by stripping away the menu system from ThecusOS 5, getting from one function to another requires going back and forth on a regular basis. The interface, while serviceable, isn't as bold or revolutionary as it might have been. In use, ThecusOS 6 ultimately feels like a mild refresh over the previous release. If you're eager to try it for yourself, a live demo is now available at Thecus.com.

On the whole, the N2560 carries the familiar traits of many other Thecus NAS solutions. The hardware is geared for good performance and the feature set is extensive, but a couple of niggles detract from the overall package. There's certainly still room for improvement on the software front, and the lack of support for 2.5in drives may be a deal-breaker for some. Let's now find out if performance is up to scratch.