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Thecus TopTower N10850 review

A big 44cm NAS appliance, the 10-bay N10850 is cheap, fast and packed with features. However, build quality and design let it down.

Performance

For testing, we popped in six 2TB Seagate Barracuda SATA II drives and used the tidy web interface to create a RAID-5 array. It took seven hours to build, but all services were available during this time albeit with a reduced performance.

Speeds over Gigabit were high with drag and drop copies of a large video clip returning read and write speeds of 103MB/sec. FTP was faster with the FileZilla client reporting read and write speeds of 110MB/sec and 103MB/sec. General backup tasks won't take long either as our 22.4GB test folder with 10,500 small files was copied to a share at a rate of 68MB/sec.

For IP SANs, Thecus supports multiple targets and iSCSI thin provisioning but lags behind Qnap which also offers an automated LUN backup feature. However, we found targets easy to create and saw high raw read speeds with Iometer reporting 112MB/sec for a 100GB virtual volume.

Thecus N10850 - Free modules

The feature set can be bolstered by using the free modules available for download at Thecus' support site

Upgrades

Thecus has been busy adding new features which are implemented using free modules available on its support site. New cloud backup services include modules for DropBox and ElephantDrive but nothing yet to match Synology's ezCloud and Cloud Station or Qnap's MyCloudNAS.

An antivirus scanning module comes courtesy of McAfee's VirusScan. You can run manual scans of selected folders, schedule them at daily or weekly intervals and quarantine suspect files to a separate folder.

Thecus' IP Cam surveillance module is inferior to the alternatives from Qnap and Synology as motion detection isn't supported and you can't view live feeds. All you can do is take scheduled snapshots from multiple IP cameras at intervals of between one and sixty seconds and store them on the appliance.

Thecus N10850 -McAfee module

The McAfee antivirus module can be used to run manual or scheduled scans on selected folders

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