Articles: Networking

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Today’s network attached storage devices for home and SOHO users are normally based on one of two platforms: Marvell’s ARM for inexpensive products and Intel’s Atom for top-performance solutions. The former is more than enough to service a small network with several desktop PCs, notebooks, mobile gadgets and media players but if you need to run a lot of extra services and want to have some reserve of speed, the x86 platform would be more appropriate, especially as it is also superior in terms of support for external controllers and compatibility with drivers and applications.

Introduced early this year, Intel’s Cedarview CPUs have been steadily replacing their Pineview counterparts (such as the Atom D525 model which is widely used in NASes). They feature higher clock rates, lower power consumption and an improved graphics core.

Although the last feature doesn’t seem important for NASes, some manufacturers have decided to add media player features to their products by utilizing the graphics core’s HD video support and HDMI interface. Today we’re going to discuss one of the first multifunctional devices of this kind. It is the dual-disk N2800 NAS from Thecus.

Package and Accessories

The Thecus N2800 is shipped in a 28x25x23cm cardboard box that’s fitted with a carry handle. The box design is quite ordinary with a photo of the NAS and a description of its features and functions. There’s no table with specifications but you can learn some of them from the illustrations.

Besides the NAS, the box contains an external power adapter with cord, an Ethernet cable, fasteners for hard disks (both 3.5- and 2.5-inch ones), two keys for HDD bays, documentation and CDs. That’s quite a standard selection of accessories, suitable for most users.

The main CD contains Thecus Setup Wizard, a few add-on modules, a Thecus backup tool, electronic versions of user manuals and Adobe Reader to view them. The other CDs contain the Acronis True Image Personal 2010 backup software and the TwonkyMedia server, both with license keys.

The quick setup guide may be helpful for beginner users whereas the full user manual is over 130 pages long and covers several NAS models.

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