Storage Wars NAS Roundup: Thecus, QNAP, Netgear

Thecus N4800 Setup and Software

The Thecus N4800 is super simple to install and configure. The menus are all straightforward and hold your hand from start to finish so you never feel overwhelmed, regardless of your experience level.

We typically don't care what setup menus look like, so long as they get the job done, but it's kind of cool Thecus went with a brushed aluminum motif. Our infatuation with the aesthetic aside, Thecus did a great job turning what could be a complicated setup routine into a simple task that really boils down to mashing the Next button. Experienced networking gurus may opt to change some of the default configurations, but most users will just breeze through the menus.

Once installed, it's time to log into the Web interface. It's obvious Thecus paid attention to making the GUI (graphical user interface) as user friendly as possible, which is something networking newbies and less experienced users in general will appreciate. The home screen, as shown above, displays a series of icons designated as Favorites so you can access the most used functions without having to dive into thick of things every time you tweak your setup.

All the options are separated into expandable categories on the left hand side. As we dug through the menus, we didn't discover any options that should have been placed somewhere else, so it's fairly simple to find what you're looking for. If you get stumped, the search function works surprisingly well -- just type in a search term and the results appear in a drop down menu.

Despite the fact that the UI is easy to navigate, there are plenty of advanced settings to play with. The N4800 supports a number of protocols and functions, like FTP, iTunes streaming, backing up to Amazon's S3 cloud, setting user quotas,NAS stacking, iSCSI, scheduled backups, and the list goes on and on.

An open module ecosystem extends the N4800's functionality even further, one of which is required to pipe content directly to an external display via HDMI. There are a number of other modules available as well, both first- and third-party.

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