by April 3, 2007 0 comments

We had set many expectations for the N4100 after reviewing its younger
cousin, the N2100 last month. In fact, the first impression was quite good as it
looks quite nice in black and shiny silver finish, but we were a little taken
aback when we could not see any USB ports on it. So we thought it was just
another simple, good looking NAS box with nothing fancy like the N2100, which
could connect external USB storage to it for data backup.

So what does the N4100 have?
To start with, it can hold up to four SATA hard disks as against two in the
N2100. Note that these HDDs are not included with the package and have to be
purchased separately. It also supports RAID 0, RAID 1 and RAID 5 for more
stability and fault tolerance. On the other hand, the N2100 only supported
levels 0 and 1.

It comes with dual 10/100/1000 Mb per second Ethernet ports which is good as
you can connect it directly to a PC and 1the office network together. The
installation and setup part is quite easy and simple. It took us around 8 to 10
mins to set up and install the hard disks and another 5 mins to install the
software. The hard drives are hot swappable, which means that they are installed
in racks in the NAS box that can be removed any time and a new one can be
installed making the device more flexible and the rack drives are locked with a
special key.

There are two LEDs in front of each hard disk slot. The blue one indicates
whether the power is on or not. The second LED shows hard-disk activity when
green and error when red. Similar to the N2100 and the QNAP TS-101 (also
reviewed in January 2007 issue), here also the administrator can make user
accounts and assign groups to them. Similarly, FTP access can be enabled through
which we were able to access the files on the NAS. The Thecus N4100 is
browse-able by users via Internet Explorer.

The storage device comes with a soft reset button. It took us about 1 min 25
secs to transfer 1 GB of MP3 files over a Gbps network from the PC to the N4100
storage device which is very neat as compared to the 3 mins 40 secs taken by the
N2100 when both were tested at RAID 1. BOTTOM LINE: The device gives good
performance with stability, but at this price without HDDs, it might be an
expensive option to go for.

Price: Rs 47,000 + Taxes
(1 yr warranty)
Meant For: SOHO users
Key Specs: CPU: Intel I/O processor, 16 MB Flash, 200 Watt ATX
power supply
Pros: RAID 0/1/5 modes ready, Dual 1 GBPS Ethernet ports, two
cooling fans Cons: Cost is high as it comes without HDDs
Contact: Tejas Sheth, Apical Impex, Mumbai. Tel: 9821349177,
SMS Buy 130482 to 6677

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