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Features

Here is a summary of the N4200's feature set for quick reference:

  • Network file sharing via SMB/CIFS, NFS, AFP
  • Hot-swappable JBOD, RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10 with hot spare for RAID 1, 5, 6 and 10
  • Online RAID expansion and RAID level migration
  • FTP (and -SSL) with upload / download bandwidth control
  • HTTP / HTTPs file and admin access
  • Joins NT Domain / Active Directories for account information
  • Network Backup: Once daily, weekly or monthly networked backup to other Thecus NASes using proprietary nsync protocol or to standard FTP servers. No compression or encryption
  • Client Backup: FarStone DriveClone PRO 5 (Windows only)
  • Scheduled Backup to USB and eSATA drives (via installable module)
  • iSCSI target (5) and initiator
  • ISO mounts
  • User quotas
  • Email alerts
  • Logging
  • USB print serving
  • Apache webserver (via installable module)
  • Media servers: UPnP AV / DLNA, iTunes
  • Web photo album
  • BitTorrent / HTTP / FTP download service w/ scheduling
  • Webcam recording and playback

Thecus uses a same-features-across-the-product-line strategy that has become fairly common. So you might want to see the N7700PRO review for more feature commentary.

Also, like other vendors, Thecus has a module system (Figure 6) that allows features to be added to the base OS feature set. The N4200's list included one module not found when I reviewed the N7700PRO, namely NZBGet download.

N4200 module list

Figure 6: N4200 module list

I'm happy to report that Thecus has finally added support for rsync targets that actually works. The Rsync_Backup module GUI is shown in Figure 7 and includes fields for target server IP, port, path and subfolder along with a Test Connection button.

Rsync module
Click to enlarge image

Figure 7: Rsync module

Thecus has retained some of its trademark admin GUI funkyness, however. When I connected the Iomega drive via eSATA, it showed up ok in the Disks menu, but didn't display a button allowing the drive to be safely ejected. And I had to go hunting to find the eSATA share, which I found inside the pre-defined usbhdd share.

I've already mentioned the two key N4200 hardware differentiators, i.e. the optional USB 3.0 ports and built-in battery backup. I'll note that neither is documented in the "All In One V5" user manual, nor can any evidence of their existence found in the admin GUI.

I was going to ask Thecus what to expect from the battery backup feature. But I decided to just yank the AC cord and see what happened. Shortly after the plug pull, the N4200 began beeping every three seconds and the OLED screen showed an ALERT: AC Lost message. But no evidence could be found in the admin GUI Status, Info or any other pages. There was a single AC Lose log entry, however.

The short beeps lasted for about a minute, when the system started a series of longer beeps for about another minute, then executed an orderly shutdown. The system did automatically restart when power was restored, however. Note that there is no option to disable this behavior.

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