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NAS Attack: Network Storage From Thecus And Western Digital

NAS Attack: Network Storage From Thecus And Western Digital
By , Patrick Schmid

Network-attached storage (what we commonly refer to as NAS) is probably the easiest way to make data easily accessible in a connected environment, as it facilitates the exchange of files and eliminates redundant storage. It often also introduces additional network features, as most NAS boxes aren’t just simple storage devices anymore.

Thecus believes that NAS devices powered by small and quiet 2.5” hard drives make the most sense, and Western Digital sent us its latest high-capacity NAS product for review.

Network Storage for All

The market for NAS devices has undergone a similar fragmentation as the hard drive market, as there are devices for consumers, prosumers, and small business applications. Simple NAS devices utilize a single hard drive, while more versatile and powerful boxes utilize at least two drives, adding a redundancy option through RAID 1. Professional NAS solutions are typically RAID 5-capable and support between four and eight hard drives, enabling high-capacity storage as well as a comforting degree of data safety.

We received Western Digital’s MyBook World Edition II, which is based on RAID 0 or RAID 1 and two 2TB 3.5” WD Caviar Green hard drives. The second candidate in this review is the Thecus N0204, a BYOD-type product (build your own device), meaning that you can use two 2.5” SATA drives of your choice. There are few similarities between this pair, apart from the fact that both are NAS devices.

High Capacity by WD, Small Dimensions by Thecus

The MyBook World Edition II offers significant storage capacity starting at around $500 (for the 4TB model), offering a dual drive 3.5” solution. Thecus instead focused on reducing the physical footprint of external storage with its miniNAS N0204. The enclosure starts at roughly $150, but you still have to add two drives, which will effectively take you to $250-400. You’ll find detailed product information, feature discussion and performance evaluation on the following pages.

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  • -2 Hide
    usasma , October 9, 2009 11:04 AM
    Nice review. I would have appreciated it when purchasing my latest NAS device (Netgear DNS-323).

    I've lost faith in the W-D MyBook type devices recently - having had several that have failed due to issues with the circuitry in the case (NOT with the hard drive itself).
  • -2 Hide
    evongugg , October 9, 2009 11:11 AM
    It would be nice to benchmark a FreeNAS or Openfiler box next to these units. My FreeNAS was free, made of left over parts and is very fast.
    It also has a whole lot of features.


  • -2 Hide
    jblack , October 9, 2009 2:57 PM
    Why in the world would RAID 1 perform better than RAID 0? --- You'd think at BEST they would be equal.
  • -2 Hide
    fromeast2west , October 9, 2009 4:48 PM
    An Atom powered mini-server should be able to match these on both price and power consumption, and destroy them when it comes to features.

    I like the idea of a NAS, but haven't seen any company produce one for a price that is in line with performance they offer.
  • -1 Hide
    jasperjones , October 9, 2009 6:07 PM
    Thanks for the review!

    Can you comment on fan noise? Is it audible when the devices are idle?

    Asking cause I live in a cozy Manhattan studio ;) 
  • -1 Hide
    jawshoeaw , October 10, 2009 4:55 PM
    The NAS concept continues to be overpriced I think. Still haven't seen a fast 802.11N device. There is something to be said for a simple design with fewer parts to go bad (so the homebrew NAS box is cheaper but more fault prone) - I'd like to see some longevity figures, though of course I would not expect toms to sit around for a couple of years waiting for the NAS to break. Maybe something like the consumer reports long term testing of cars.
  • -1 Hide
    dje007 , October 10, 2009 10:25 PM
    Thecus’s support is the crappiest I have seen in a long time stay away from them plus there code is bad the only thing it has going for it is linux, if you are looking for a good nas with the ablitly to fix issues your self try QNAP they have a VGA output and give you root access.
  • 0 Hide
    SchizoFrog , October 11, 2009 4:33 AM
    This review is rubbish... out of the whole genre of NAS it includes 2 individual items, is that it, 2, just 2???
    But lets get to the real nitty gritty... Nas is all about network performance, so where are the details about the inbuilt processors and technical specs? There is so much more to account for when buying and setting up a NAS item than just 'Oh look, we can open this box... OOOHHH!!!'
    Talk about N00B article... FAIL!!!
  • 0 Hide
    SchizoFrog , October 11, 2009 5:17 AM
    jblackWhy in the world would RAID 1 perform better than RAID 0? --- You'd think at BEST they would be equal.

    You obviously have no understanding of RAID and its configurations... No offence intended but go read:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAID#Standard_levels
  • 0 Hide
    deanbug , October 12, 2009 5:17 AM
    I see both points. In theory 0 should have better read/write than 1, but it is limited to the source/destination speed of the drive.

    IMHO raid 1 or 5 is for consumers that really want their data, or for businesses. 0 is for people that don't care about data, gamers for fast map load times, or Ninja's:) 

    (had to have some fun

    Obviously there are other uses, for both, but I think those are the most common.
  • -1 Hide
    deanbug , October 12, 2009 5:19 AM
    I see both points. In theory 0 should have better read/write than 1, but it is limited to the source/destination speed of the drive.

    IMHO raid 1 or 5 is for consumers that really want their data, or for businesses. 0 is for people that don't care about data, gamers for fast map load times, or Ninja's:) 

    (had to have some fun)

    Obviously there are other uses for both, but I think those are the most common.
  • 0 Hide
    elbestion , November 16, 2009 10:21 PM
    I have a Western Digital My Book World Edition II. The reason I bough it is to
    have it as a FTP server, that way I can access files across the LAN and WAN. The NAS came
    with MIONET, which in my opinion it simply sucks!! I want to give users the right to download
    files across the internet, you could use that with MIONET, but first of all the interface
    sucks, it requires JAVA, and it's slow. Plus, in order for me to give a user permission
    to access a folder on my NAS, that person must first create an account on MIONET,
    WHAT KIND OF CRAP IS THAT ???? Now, I am trying to find a way how to do this without MIONET.

    The manual says you can do this but it says you must be an "advanced user", I called Western Digital
    customer support and they said they can't provide me with that information because only
    advanced users can do this and I must know how to do this myself. WHHHAAAT!!!

    I can't seem to find anything on google so I am asking all of you if you can perhaps help
    me set this up, I have already been able to access my NAS from the WAN by opening ports 21
    on my router and enabling FTP on my NAS, however, it is extremly unsecured, Why? because
    any person can simply type in my private ip address in their browser and somehow they
    are able to access my NAS. I don't know how this happens, it's driving me nuts. really. I want
    users to access my NAS with a password and username. Can someone Please help me with this problem,
    I would gladly appreciate it. PLEASE HELP!!! Thank You.

  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , November 24, 2009 5:14 AM
    Answer: Login to your NAS as admin using it's ip. Goto users and start making some accounts and assign what folders these accounts have access to. Give password and your done. I cant even get mine to be seen from the internet - only my LAN and I have it set as a freakin DMZ in my router!
  • 0 Hide
    elbestion , November 24, 2009 9:57 PM
    Never mind that posting because I found an alternative to that worthless MIONET service. You have to "hack the device" and open some ports on your router, it is not something diffcult. Here is the link to hack it, once you do that you pretty much install like another service on the NAS. Now, I can access my NAS and download files from my school, and I can make folders for my friends in my NAS so they can access it across the web and download anything I put there, pretty much it is a FTP server. You can set a username and a password, it is awesome. It's a shame that Western Digital couldn't implement a nice and easy way to turn that NAS into a FTP server.

    http://highlevelbits.free.fr/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=42&Itemid=68&lang=en
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , December 2, 2009 9:31 AM
    I don't want to hack my device. Could you please explain how did you access your files through WAN with FTP? When I tried to access my files through local IP it asks for a pass. So i think it'll also ask for a pass for the WAN access.. But I couldn't access my NAS. What knd of port forwarding shoud I do to access my NAS on WAN?
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , December 2, 2009 10:24 AM
    10 mb / second .. and fast ?? you do not know what is fast and whatt is slow man.
  • 0 Hide
    gmiller2575 , January 8, 2010 6:55 PM
    I agree that that FreeNas should have been compared as well. On that note, why hasn't anyone from Tom's built one yet??? I would love to see what you guys come up with. Also, what about adding DLNA/Media Sharing as a test/benchmark. Many people are using NAS as a media hub now instead of just storing Word documents...
  • 0 Hide
    gmiller2575 , January 8, 2010 6:56 PM
    I agree that that FreeNas should have been compared as well. On that note, why hasn't anyone from Tom's built one yet??? I would love to see what you guys come up with. Also, what about adding DLNA/Media Sharing as a test/benchmark. Many people are using NAS as a media hub now instead of just storing Word documents...
  • 0 Hide
    eppitapp , January 10, 2010 8:27 PM
    so how does i know what harddrive to change if one of the has failed? or what drive to buy and insert again? so the backup build up on both disk again, so i got the same files at both disk??
  • 0 Hide
    eppitapp , January 10, 2010 8:28 PM
    from the My Book World Edition II?
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