Today many of us are faced with an ever escalating amount of personal data that can at times seem like a major hassle to manage and maintain. Sure, the cloud is becoming an increasingly convenient way to store messages, emails, photos and even your lowly mp3 collection, but when it comes to the larger file sizes involved with maintaining your HD media collection, the emergence of the Home Cloud and Network Attached Storage takes on much more significance.
Storage device manufacturers are wise to the dilemmas that consumers face, and the fact is that not all of us are geeks that are willing to build our own storage device from the ground up using old PC parts as we perhaps were in the past. And why would you when there are some many great options out there from a wide variety of vendors?
Today we have a chance to hone in on a Home Cloud solution from renowned storage device vendor Thecus with a review of the company’s N2560 NAS (Network Attached Storage).
The Thecus N2560 Network Attached Storage
In the broader NAS world of 2015 you can identify two distinct categories of NAS; those based on the proprietary Windows Home Server OS and those based on a Linux (usually Debian) derived OS. The Thecus N2560 belongs in the latter category and is positioned as a the ideal solution for Small or Home Office environments. It features two SATA 3.5 inch hard drive bays, an Intel Atom processor, 2GB of RAM, lots of connectivity options, all housed in a compact sleek design that is optimized to look the part in your living room as well as your home office.
The Thecus N2560 can be found for retail at a price point of around $230-$240 USD which means that it is by no means the cheapest two-bay NAS option out there. Thecus are not aiming for the entry-level however, bringing together a storm of advanced features that includes low power and low noise operation, a HDMI output so it can be used as a straight up media streaming device, plus a plethora of apps and utilities designed to help you get the most out of your NAS.
Thecus N2560 NAS: Full Specifications
• Intel Atom CE5335 processor (1.6GHz Dual-core)
• 2GB DDR3
• 2 x SATA 3.0
• Supports RAID 0,1 and JBOD
• Hot-swappable HDD support
• Gigabit LAN 10/100/1000 Base-TX
• Wake-on-LAN Support
• 2 x USB 2.0 host port (rear)
• 1 x USB 3.0 host port (front)
• HDMI Port (rear)
• SPDIF (rear)
• Power, USB Copy and Reset Buttons
• 166mm x 114mm x 210mm
The retail package contains an Ethernet cable, power adapter plus power cord, quick installation guide, warranty card and the ubiquitous All in One Driver DVD. There are also four white plastic strips which you use to mount the hard drives.
If we consider the basic specification list of the N2560 we can immediately see that the device actually has a reasonable amount of performance packed into a small form factor device. Intel Atom processors used to be regarded as offering the bare minimum when it came raw horsepower, but the newer CE5335 is a low power multi-media processor that packs a PowerVR Graphics Processor from Imagination Technologies. The platform delivers solid playback of Full HD video streaming content and enough grunt to keep things snappy. The Dual-core Intel Atom chip is backed by a reasonably solid 2GB of DDR3 and manages to offer read and write speeds that are well within our expectations. In terms of pure hardware components, it’s difficult to find fault.