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NAS Reviews

SOHO / Home NAS Server
At a glance
ProductThecus SOHO / Home NAS Server (N2810)   [Website]
SummaryTwo-bay dual-core Intel N3050 "Braswell" Celeron-based NAS with upgraded operating system
Pros• Large library of downloadable apps
• BTRFS support for snapshots
• 4K video transcoding
Cons• RAM upgrade requires complete disassembly
• No eSATA port

Typical Price: $230  Buy From Amazon

Introduction

The N2810 is a two-bay NAS recently added to Thecus' SMB product family. Like several other recently reviewed NASes, including the Synology DS216+ and ASUSTOR 6102T, the N2810 is powered by a dual-core Intel N3050 "Braswell" Celeron CPU running at 1.6 GHz. All three products promote 4K Video transcoding as a major new feature - most likely enabled by the N3050 processor.

The chart below shows the Thecus' current Linux NAS lineup. While the Thecus site offers product comparison, the N2810 and N2810PLUS are so new that they don't yet appear in the comparison table.

Thecus Linux Product Lineup

Thecus Linux Product Lineup

The N2810 has its own Quick Installation Guide. The QIG is a short four pages and does not include illustrations for installing disks. There's also a new 164-page user manual, common to the N2810 series and N5810 series, that covers all of the features including those of the new OS7.

The image below, taken from the User Manual, shows the front and rear panel callouts. It's nice that the N2810 includes locking disk trays. Not called out on the rear panel, but present at the top of the case is a Kensington security slot for a security cable.

Thecus N2810 front and rear panel callouts

Thecus N2810 front and rear panel callouts

Inside

The image below shows the main board of the N2810. which appears to be OEM'd from Quanta Storage. The processor is covered with a heatsink. Below the processor is the single SoDIMM slot. To the right of the memory is the connector for the drive backplane.

Thecus N2810 main PCB

Thecus N2810 main PCB

For this review, we decided to compare the N2810 with the ASUSTOR AS6104T and the Synology DS216+ mentioned in the introduction. All three NASes use the same processor. But the Synology DS216+ appears to be at a slight hardware disadvantage with only 1 GB of RAM that can't be upgraded without voiding warranty. Both of the other two NASes are upgradeable to 8 GB. But upgrading the memory on the Thecus N2810 is much more difficult than upgrading memory on the AS6102T. You pretty much have to entirely disassemble the N2810 to get to the SoDIMM slot

  Thecus N2810 ASUSTOR AS6102T Synology DS216+
CPU Intel Celeron N3050 @ 1.6 GHz dual-core Intel Celeron N3050 @ 1.6 GHz dual-core Intel Celeron N3050 @ 1.6 GHz dual-core
RAM 2 GB DDR3 SoDIMM (expandable to 8 GB total, not easily) 2GB DDR3 Upgradeable to 8GB 1 GB DDR3
Flash 4 GB MTFC4GMCDM-1M WT ADATA IUM01-512MFHL (512 MB USB DOM) 128 MB DOM (?)
Ethernet Intel WGI210AT Gigabit Ethernet controller (x2) Broadcom BCM57781 (x2) Intel WG82574L (?)
USB 3.0 In CPU ASM1074 Etron Tech EJ168A (?)
SATA In CPU ASM1061 (x2) Marvell 88SE9170-NNX2 (?)
Table 1: Key component summary

The N2810 drew 12 W with two WD Red 2 TB (WD20EFRX) drives spun up and 9 W with drives spun down. RAID 1 rebuild was immediate when the bad block check was skipped. Noise was rated as low with most of the noise coming from the fan.

Features

The N2810 comes with the recently introduced Thecus OS 7.0. OS 7.0 has a lot cleaner and more modern look than Thecus' previous OSes, but doesn't break new ground. Thecus OS 7.0 has features similar to those seen in competing products such as an application (package) store, and a control panel for controlling most features. The image below shows the N2810 desktop.

Thecus N2810 desktop

Thecus N2810 desktop

The control panel shown below has five separate categories: Control; Privilege; Storage; Services; and Backup.

Thecus N2810 Control Panel

Thecus N2810 Control Panel

The image below shows the configuration details for the Services category. Each icon on the main control panel page has a submenu in the settings panel, and each submenu may have multiple tabs. This user interface is fairly intuitive and easy to navigate.

Thecus N2810 Services

Thecus N2810 Services

Thecus OS7 also provides support for monitoring. In the Control->Monitor menu, there are tabs for monitoring CPU, Memory Hard Disk activity, and Network activity. The image below shows Hard Disk activity.

Thecus N2810 OS7 Hard Disk monitor

Thecus N2810 OS7 Hard Disk monitor

We found iSCSI could not be configured using Firefox 46.0.1 because buttons needed to perform actions were not visible. iSCSI was successfully configured using IE11. Note that Thecus is one of the few NAS vendors that support iSCSI initiator, which is included in the N2810.

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