By Neil Bennett | on July 21, 2008
Price: 199 . 315 . 395 . 499
Pros: Innovative functions; easy to use software and Web interface; well priced.
Cons: A few set-up problems.
This model was reviewed as part of our group test of NAS drives.
Pitched at both home users and small businesses, the N3200 offers the best combination of price and performance. Its three-drive set-up may look odd (most RAID systems are based around even numbers of drives), but for a RAID 5 or RAID 0 array any number of drives over two works fine.
For RAID 1 it’s not great though, as you either have to mirror all of the drives, or have one non-mirrored separate drive, which isn’t ideal. The use of three drives keeps the overall cost of the unit down compared to four-drive models, though the overall maximum capacity is, of course, reduced.
Setting up the N3200 was hampered by poor naming of its two network ports. The rest of the set-up process using the Thecus Setup Wizard was painless, and the N3200’s Web interface is notable for being the easiest to use – no mean feat considering how many functions it has. Some of these are Windows only, but in general there’s a lot on offer.
Other innovations include the ability to attach a Webcam for a simple in-studio security system, and a eSATA port on the back for adding additional storage.
The n3200 was slower than the nippy Aspire EasyStore, but its performance was about same as the four-drive Iomega StorCenter 150D. Considering the significant price difference between the devices, the n3200 is a clear winner.
Total capacity of review unit: 1.5TB
Number of drives: 3