To test out the functionality of the Y.E.S. box, a pair of Seagate 320GB SATA II drives were used. We configured them in a RAID 1 array for data redundancy. To connect to the N2100, a Linksys WRT54GS 10/100 router was used. We unfortunately will not be able to test the N2100 on a true gigabit network but we will compare the differences shortly in the forums.
To test out the Y.E.S. box out we worked in iTunes, moved files around, streamed music and video. On multiple computers (3) streaming music was not a problem and preformed flawlessly. The same can be said for video as well. The interface was easy to navigate but the manual could have been a bit more robust. All in all, the entire experience was a positive one.
While file transfers were being done, we HTTPâ€™d into the box to check on the CPU usage. While the files were moving along reasonably well, the CPU usage was up around 100% when it wasnâ€™t completely loaded down. This resulted in a bit of difficulty accessing the box at times but with some patience, we were able to get in and monitor the system resources.
To copy and back up the contents of our test thumb drive, all that was needed was to place the USB drive in the front jack and simply press the front button. This automatically transferred all of the contents into the usbcopy folder on the Y.E.S. box. This is nice for someone like me, or anyone for that matter that uses their flash drive constantly, to be able to back up anything that you might have on it of value.
All in all, the Thecus N2100 Y.E.S. box left us very impressed. The ease of use when setting up the NAS box could be slightly daunting for networking novices, but with some time, and close examination of the manual, most anyone can set up this device with relative ease. While we are talking about the manual, the only physical documentation included in with the N2100 was the quick install guide.
The full manual can be found on the driver disk in the form of a .pdf file. While it covers everything that the Y.E.S. box has to offer, there are places where it could be a bit more in depth but overall, all but the newest of users can easily figure things out. At the end of the day, the Thecus Y.E.S. box has earned a solid 9 out of 10 with an editorâ€™s choice award. Not many NAS boxes offer RAID like this one does and then, not many are in this price range. While the end user has to provide their own hard drives, the box itself can be found online in the mid $200 dollar range, placing it well within reach of small businesses and home users alike.
As stated earlier, check back in the forums for updates to the performance of the Thecus N2100 Y.E.S. box when used on a gigabit network compared to the 100 base network that we used in this review.
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