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Thecus W5810 5-bay NAS review

Windows-based NAS devices are pretty rare and Thecus is one of the very few companies that offer a full range of devices using a Microsoft platform both in the SMB/SOHO market space and in the Enterprise segment.


Most people new to the NAS market want a simple to use interface where most of the important tasks are clearly labelled and easy to get to, usually via an icon of some sort. If that is what you are looking for, unfortunately, the W5810 will not be the ideal device for you. For someone new to the Windows Server platform, it’s a bit of a daunting prospect.

If you are accustomed to the Windows Server environment then all well and good, you’ll be able to sort out Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 Essentials without too many problems. The somewhat complex nature of the W5810 is not aided by a lack of any decent supplied documentation. Two pages of the guide deal with the installation procedure up until the start of the configuration wizard of Windows Storage Server Essentials and that is it. A further page guides you through the system recovery procedure.

In a NAS environment, the OS has got a way to go before it becomes anywhere near as user-friendly as any of its competitors.

Having said all that a very big plus point in using the W5810 is the way it will seamlessly integrate into a Windows based business network. It also provides support for Microsoft’s Online Services; Azure Active Directory and Azure Backup, Office 365 and Intune as well as Exchange Server to manage emails.

Another major plus point for SMB users is the automated client back up and recovery service. Once the client software has been loaded on a system linked to the W5810 it will appear in the devices view of Dashboard and from then on it will be automatically backed up on a daily basis. When these backups take place and for how long they are kept is fully customisable.

One thing you should do however is to move the location of the backup folder which sits on the SSD by default to save filling the SSD up with data in a very short space of time. Client recovery can be done on a file or folder basis or by using a USB Flash drive … a full restore from the last stable backup.

We found the W5810 for £641.99 on Insight HERE

Pros

  • Separate drive for the OS.
  • Client Backup and recovery service.
  • Windows Storage Spaces.
  • Seamless integration into a Windows-based business environment.

Cons

  • The software isn’t as user-friendly as it could be.
  • It’s not the fastest NAS we’ve seen.
  • Lack of documentation.

Kitguru says: If you have a working knowledge of the Windows Server environment or have the time to get to grips with the software, the W5810 is a very capable NAS for SMB use. It’s just not as user-friendly to the first time user as most of the competition. Experienced users only.

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Rating: 8.0.

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