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.