2 expert reviews - 0 user reviews
When the subject of storage arises, the direction always seems to be 'more'. I certainly can't seem to recall ever having heard someone say they had too much storage and were looking to reduce the amount of free space. We have all probably experienced the situation where we thought we had an absurd amount of storage that would never be filled, only to find ourselves scrambling to delete files because storage space was getting low. Let's face it, we're all facing a need for increased amounts of storage, especially as our collections of multimedia files grow. Whether it's music, videos, or photographs, you're going to need the ability to safely store and back up an increasing amount of data. A recent study sponsored by storage giant EMC, titled Extracting Value from Chaos, found that the amount of data generated worldwide is doubling every two years. Some users might shrug their shoulders and wonder what the big deal is, especially with the availability of 3TB drives from the leading hard drive manufacturers. Besides the problems of addressing volumes greater than 2.1TB, which we won't go into here, throwing larger volumes at the problem ignores some of the greater benefits of turning to a solution such as network attached storage (NAS) servers.
Just over four years ago, we reviewed our first Thecus product: a dual-bay NAS powered by an Intel IOP 80219 processor and 128MB of DDR RAM. Although we appreciated many aspects of the Y.E.S. Box, it wasn't without flaws. Its GUI was ugly and clumsy, its setup process and quick start guides were confusing, and it had lousy documentation. Unless you were a network wiz, configuring the N2100 could be somewhat challenging. Worst of all, the N2100's performance was miserable -- we're talking slower than some USB 2.0 thumbdrives with a peak transfer rate of around 13MB/s. Looking back at the review, it's incredible how far we've come in terms of cost and functionality in just a few years. While pricing on NAS devices hasn't changed much, virtually everything else has. The N2100 Y.E.S. Box was set at $300 sans storage and two 500GB desktop hard drives were $260 -- roughly triple today's pricing. In fact, 2TB 5400RPM desktop drives start at only $80, and today's budget NAS devices are considerably more powerful and functional. Some of the better offerings rival and often beat the performance of a mid-range desktop system, all while serving as a torrent box, a hub for your photos, music, and videos, a mail and print server, a backup station and much more.