Thecus N4200 Zero Crash review

Thecus’ new N4200 Zero Crash aims to be the most reliable small and medium-sized business (SMB) NAS appliance on the market. In this review we see whether it lives up to its claims.

Along with excellent client support, you have extensive FTP services whilst access security extends to a local user database plus AD authentication. Thecus also provides update modules for a wide range of extra features with the IP Cam module adding basic surveillance.

This is inferior to that provided by Synology and Qnap as motion detection isn't supported and you can't view live feeds. The N4200 can only take scheduled snapshots from multiple IP cameras at intervals of between one and 60 seconds and store them on the appliance.

The download station module can be used by the appliance to retrieve remote files via BitTorrent, HTTP, FTP or eMule but this is also not as good as the equivalent feature offered by Synology and Qnap. However, along with web server and bi-directional USB copy modules, Thecus scores well for its mail server option as this module deploys the PhpXMail server on the appliance.

For real world performance testing we timed drag and drop copies of a 2.52GB video clip from a Broadberry dual 2.8GHz X5560 Xeon rack server running Windows Server 2008 R2. The dual-core Atom made a good impression with the N4200 returning average read and write speeds of 69MB/sec.

FTP speeds were even faster with FileZilla reporting speeds of 74MB/sec and 72MB/sec. IP SAN performance was also very good with Iometer returning a fast raw read throughput for a 50GB target of 106MB/sec.

The N4200 Zero Crash is quite unique as it currently offers the best fault tolerance for a desktop NAS appliance. It combines these with a good selection of general features so if you want the best protection for shared storage in a small business environment then this is well worth checking out.

Verdict

The N4200 Zero Crash certainly lives up to its name. Alongside a whole heap of useful business-related storage features, it offers excellent fault tolerance as standard making it a good choice for small businesses that want the best protection for their shared data.

Chassis: Desktop CPU: 1.66GHz Intel Atom D510 Memory: 1GB 667MHz DDR2 Storage: 2 x Afaya 128MB IDE DOMs; 4 x hot-swap lockable SATA drive bays Ports: 6 x USB2; 2 x eSATA Network: 2 x Gigabit Ethernet Software: Setup Wizard, Backup Utility and FarStone DriveClone Pro

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