Looking elsewhere within the ThecusOS we find the top right corner has ‘Admin’ options to change language, password and log out, plus three icons in the bottom right corner one of which turns out to be a shortcut for RAID Management (see above), the other takes us to Disk Status (a sub-menu of RAID Management) and a Network icon that seems to do very little at all.
The good news is that the top left ‘Settings’ icon turns out to be the trap door behind which all the more interesting possibilities lie. Within you will find a fairly vast array of icons that come under the moniker of ‘Control Panel’. Exactly why it is all hidden behind one seemingly innocuous icon makes very little sense to me at all. Within this area we find no less than twenty icons that individually speaking actually don’t do too much – you could probably have just created one configuration panel with tabs or the like and make the whole experience feel so much less cluttered. There are individual icons for Administrator Password, Power Management, Date and Time, System Log and Status for example. It’s almost like the design team were told to make the experience more visual, and then proceeded to place every single function and option behind a unique graphic icon.
Within the Control Panel you will find some of the more interesting settings for File Sharing and Privilege settings as well as Network configuration options including AFP, NFS, FTP, UPnP and WeService options plus DDNS settings and more. This can all be intimidating for all but the most advanced users but it’s good to see Thecus have striven to include many options that small office/SOHO users may need. You will also find a broad choice of Application Server options that include iTunes Server, Piczza and my personal favorite, Plex.
Thecus N2560: Final Thoughts
In terms of pure performance we found the N2560 to work very well in terms of its hardware. Read and write speeds are comparable to other NAS devices I have used. Backing up large data sets was smooth and went without a hitch. In fact, when it comes to simple file storage and delivery the N2560 worked like a charm. The biggest drawback to the entire experience was the software side which at times seemed to take a away much of the sheen that the hardware side probably deserves. In general the ThecusOS is similar to the UI that you would expect from a router, lacking the finesse that we used to seeing in a modern OS such as Windows 8 or OS X. Is this still acceptable in 2015? I just feel a touch disappointed.
There are other highlights however. After you have installed the T-Dashboard on your mobile device, you can also load up the T-OnTheGo app from Thecus which will connect your smartphone or tablet to the NAS so that you can enjoy your media content from anywhere in your home. Furthermore, Thecus include a Dynamic DNS service so you can access your NAS from anywhere in the world. The service works well although high frame-rate HD content may stutter due to bandwidth issues.
In general, the Thecus N2560 is a solid NAS that performs very well in everyday tasks. There are issues regarding software design with a user experience that would really benefit from a bit more polish and perhaps even a structural re-think.