Thecus N3200 NAS Review

by Ed Lau on December 18, 2008

Performance

Thecus N3200

This will depend almost entirely on what drives you choose to use with the N3200.  Since Thecus did not include any to use for a baseline setup, we cannot comment on how fast the unit works.  Your results will vary.  I should note, however, that I found it to take unusually long to create my RAID 5 array but again, you might get different results with your own drives.

If you use the N3200 where you need to access it all the time (such as a media drive that you’ll use each day) then I would say you should find some fast HDs to put in it but if you are simply using it as a RAID 5 backup, then get the cheapest ones you can find.  1TB drives should be around the $100 mark if you can find a deal and most reliable names will have thrifty options available.

The drives stay relatively cool due to the heatsink-like design of the chasis and a fan positioned at the rear.  While it certainly isn’t silent, the N3200 is barely noticeable unless you’re really paying attention.

Conclusion

Thecus N3200

The N3200 is attractively priced at around $300 (street).  Unfortunately, there’s only a standard one-year warranty.  While I think it lacks the polish of a device such as the Drobo, it works very well and is simple to use.  While some may say that the Drobo has an extra drive bay at the same price, keep in mind that to use a Drobo as a NAS, you either need a router with USB support or purchase a $200 NAS attachment.  The N3200 has NAS capability out of the box.

If you’re looking for a simple NAS with plenty of features, give the Thecus N3200 a look.

The Goods

  • Easy to setup, straight-forward software.
  • Front panel LCD and buttons keep daily operations simple.
  • Drive bays are easily accessible.
  • Easy to expand with two USB 2.0 and a eSATA port.
  • Lots of features (FTP, torrent, camera server, Wi-Fi ready, etc.)
  • Well priced at $300.
  • Supports RAID 0, 1, 5.
  • Windows and Mac support.
  • Quiet operation.

The Bad

  • One-year warranty is short.
  • PCI-slot does nothing.
  • Takes forever to build a RAID 5 array.

Rating: 8.5/10

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