Thecus N2810 & Western Digital My Cloud Mirror
The Thecus N2810 is the last product of the group that truly looks like a traditional NAS. The N2810 is the most expensive system, but it is also the most powerful. It features an Intel SoC and dual Gigabit Ethernet ports that provide seven different link aggregation modes. All three of the USB ports are 3.0, and an HDMI port provides direct-to-monitor video playback. Thecus enabled all of its software applications for this system, and it even released its new Thecus OS 7 operating system in tandem with the NAS.
The N2810 ships in a full-color retail package with several paper manuals, a software disk that includes Acronis software for backing up your computers, and access to Thecus' extensive library of software applications. Accessories include an Ethernet cable, external power supply, keys for the locking drive bays and a cable clip to secure the cables to the back of the system (to ease cable management).
The system features three USB 3.0 ports, and two of the ports are on the back of the system for expansion purposes. Thecus tied the USB port on the front of the NAS to a one-touch-copy function. The Thecus NAS is the only system with locking drive bays and a metal exterior shell in our comparison pool, and the company supplies four keys for the two drive bays.
Dual Ethernet ports provide users with several connectivity options. You can run the system on two separate networks, or combine the ports for performance and/or redundancy.
The N2810 has ample processing power to make use of the dual Ethernet ports. It features an Intel Braswell SoC processor and 2GB of system memory from the factory. The Intel processor can use up to 4GB of system memory in a dual-channel configuration, and this is the only system in our roundup that users can remove the SODIMM modules and replace them with 1x 4GB stick. Increasing the system memory gives users a smoother user experience and the ability to run more applications at one time. The additional memory also boosts simultaneous file transfers and provides higher speeds.
WD My Cloud Mirror
The second-generation Western Digital My Cloud Mirror is the oldest product in our roundup, but it continues to be a big seller. Western Digital is the fastest growing NAS manufacturer and has products in many retail chain stores. Retail availability is a big advantage, and it provides local warranty coverage from a physical store, which for many users equates to extra peace of mind.
The system is unique in the roundup because it is the only system to ship with hard disk drives. WD offers the system in five different configurations that range from 4TB to 16TB.
All of the systems focus on simple setup and operation, but unlike many of the other systems, the My Cloud Mirror doesn't offer many third-party application packages. The system focuses on automatic PC, phone, and tablet backup as well as cloud access (accessing your data over the internet).
We used the My Cloud Mirror 4TB for our tests. The NAS ships in a full retail package that includes a wall-wart-style power supply with attached cable, an Ethernet cable and a quick start guide.
The My Cloud Mirror is the NAS made for your mother (or another non-technical person), and as such, it is the easiest of all of the systems to setup and manage. With that comes, or in this case, goes, many advanced features found on some of the other units in this review. The system features two USB 3.0 expansion ports on the back.
The WD NAS provides similar hardware to the Synology DS216j. Users get 512MB of system memory coupled with a low-power Marvell SoC processor. Western Digital offers some application packages to enhance the usability of the system, but the library is very spartan in comparison to the other products.