Thecus N5200 NAS

On the previous page we briefly mentioned Thecus N5200 main features: five bays for hard disk drives, support for RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10 and JBOD, three USB ports, one eSATA port and two Gigabit Ethernet ports. Thecus offers two N5200 models and we reviewed the simplest one, also called N5200B. N5200 RouStor (N5200BR) provides an integrated 4-port Gigabit router. Thecus also offers another product, N5200 PRO, also available with or without the 4-port Gigabit router, featuring iSCSI and network failover support (if one LAN port fails it redirects traffic to another port).

NAS products are usually sold without the hard disk drives, and you must buy and install them by yourself. In the US, however, Thecus also sells its N5200 NAS with five 500 GB or five 1 TB hard disk drives already installed.

Now let’s take an overall look at N5200. In Figure 2, you can see its front panel. There you can find an LCD display where you can locally monitor and control the unit (the traditional way of doing this is through a web-based control panel, which is also available), power and reset switches, one of the USB ports and several LEDs to indicate the status of the unit and the status of each hard disk drive installed. On the front panel you can also find the five hard disk drive bays, which on this model can be locked by the use of a key. Each bay is in fact a small drawer where each hard disk must be installed. No screwless mechanism is used so you have to install four thick thread screws to fasten each hard disk drive, but the unit doesn’t come with the necessary screws.

Thecus N5200Figure 2: Front panel.

Thecus N5200Figure 3: Hard disk drawer.

Thecus N5200Figure 4: Hard disk drawer.

Each bay supports hot swapping, which is a feature that allows you to replace defective hard disk drives with the system turned on. But before removing the defective drive, you need to shut it down through the unit’s control panel.

Thecus N5200Figure 5: SATA connectors allowing hot swapping.

In Figure 6, you can see the unit’s rear panel.

Thecus N5200Figure 6: Rear panel.

Gabriel Torres is a Brazilian best-selling ICT expert, with 24 books published. He started his online career in 1996, when he launched Clube do Hardware, which is one of the oldest and largest websites about technology in Brazil. He created Hardware Secrets in 1999 to expand his knowledge outside his home country.