NAS Attack: Network Storage From Thecus And Western Digital

Thecus N0204

Thecus’s N0204 is a small NAS device, which you should be able to place almost anywhere. Its dimensions of 88x63x133mm are anything but intrusive, and should allow for the device to reside in public places like your living room, if you have a use for networked storage there.

Since the NAS box is based on 2.5” hard drives, it is much smaller than other comparable products. As a result, there wasn’t any room left inside the device for a fan. Even still, Thecus wanted to be on the safe side in regard to ventilation, and simply integrated a fan with the included stand.

In addition to the interfaces and control elements we found on the WD MyBook World Edition II (USB 2.0, LEDs), Thecus also offers a USB copy button, used to transfer the contents of a USB 2.0 storage device onto the N0204.


The gigabit networking interface is also located on the rear side of the device, in addition to a second USB port, the power supply jack, and the power button. The rear section also serves as the access point to the hard drives. However, we recommend avoiding the rear USB port, as its implementation is limited to USB 1.1 transfer rates, and hence only 12 Mbit/s.

Free Hard Drive Selection

Thecus does not ship the N0204 with hard drives, giving you free choice to select the hard drive type and capacity. Our 2.5” hard drive charts are a useful guide to hard drive selection for the Thecus N0204.

Removable Frames for HDDs

The maximum capacity for this NAS device is currently reached if two brand new 640GB 2.5” drives are installed, yielding nearly 1.3TB. But these drives are still fairly hard to come by, which means that 1TB distributed across two 500GB drives should be a more attainable balance between cost, capacity, and availability. The 750GB and 1TB 2.5” drives announced by WD will be based on 12.5mm designs, meaning that they might not fit into this Thecus NAS.

Hard drives have to be installed into removable frames, which are made of metal and plastic. Their finish is nice and the only exception to the great impression is the stand, which you should not snap on with too much pressure.

Marcel Binder
  • usasma
    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).
  • evongugg
    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.

  • jblack
    Why in the world would RAID 1 perform better than RAID 0? --- You'd think at BEST they would be equal.
  • fromeast2west
    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.
  • jasperjones
    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 ;)
  • jawshoeaw
    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.
  • dje007
    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.
  • SchizoFrog
    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!!!
  • SchizoFrog
    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:
  • deanbug
    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.