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Software

The Web Administration Interface has been considerably improved from our 2007 review of the N2100 Y.E.S. Box. Not only does the software look far more impressive, but Thecus has added a great deal of features.

The left panel contains a number of menus starting with one titled System Information where you can view general information such as CPU activity, fan speed and up time along with the status of countless services.

The System Management menu lets you set the time and date, upgrade firmware, schedule on/off times, set the admin password, save/restore system configurations, reset to factory defaults, shut down and reset among other things.

Various Network Services are present, such as Samba, which allows file and print sharing between computers running Windows and Unix. It is an implementation of dozens of services and a dozen protocols, including the NetBIOS over TCP/IP (NBT), SMB, CIFS and many more.

Also supported is AFP (Apple Filing Protocol), a network protocol that offers file services for Mac OS X and the original Mac OS. In Mac OS X, AFP is one of several file services supported including Server Message Block (SMB), Network File System (NFS), File Transfer Protocol (FTP), and WebDAV.

A big part of the Web Administration Interface is the Application Server which does with iTunes and Media Server installed by default. However, Thecus offers more modules that can be installed from their website such as Bi-directional USB copy, Download Manager 2, Mail Server, IP Cam, MySQL Server, Piczza (Photo Server), RAID Volume Replication, Rsync backup, Twonky media server, USB & eSATA schedule backup and the Web Server.

The ability to install these extra modules makes the N3200XXX very flexible and powerful. Download managers have become a big part of today's NAS devices so one of our favorite features is the Download Manager 2, which lets you download files directly from the Internet and store them on Thecus N3200XXX without turning on your PC.

The DLM2 module supports popular download methods such as BitTorrent, HTTP and eMule. Another great feature is the Piczza Photo Server module which makes editing, organizing, and sharing photos very easy. You can create galleries and bookmark certain photos by adding them to your favorites.

By default, Thecus offers most of the software features you'll find on competing products and that functionality is further extended with the module system. Being able to choose what you want installed on your NAS device is a great idea and it means that there could limitless options if Thecus continues releasing modules.