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Backup

  • Rsync Target Server – Configure NAS as an Rsync target. You can enter up to 3 allowed IP addresses and can optionally upload a public or a private key.
  • ACL Backup/restore – this feature lets you back or restore up your access control list for a specified RAID Name
  • Data Burn – There are three modes: Write Files/folders to disc; Write image to disk; and Write files/folder to image. This is a feature on theN6850/N885/N10850.
  • Data Guard – this is where you configure backups. You can configure to a remote NAS, to files/folders/devices on the local NAS or to Amazon S3. A backup wizard helps you create backup jobs.
  • Amazon S3 – this takes you to the same backup wizard as found in Data Guard.
Thecus OS6 - Data Guard has a backup wizard to help configure backup jobs
Thecus OS6 - Data Guard has a backup wizard to help configure backup jobs

External Devices

  • Printer – this menu lets you remove documents from the queue and restart the printer service. Of course, a USB printer needs to be connected to a USB port on the NAS.
  • Uninterrupted Power Source – This menu lets you configure and control a UPS attached to a USB port on your NAS. It has an extensive list of manufacturers and models in the drop down configuration boxes. You can configure notification times as well as shutdown your NAS when the battery charge on the UPS drops to your specified level.

Thecus OS6 - UPS Manufacturer support

Thecus OS6 - UPS Manufacturer support

Hands On

I did some extra poking at the Media server, XBMC Media Center and Mobile apps. Staring with the Media server, I loaded video, music and image files into the appropriate folders in \NAS_Public\_NAS_Media. Both the Twonky media server and the iTunes server enumerated the files correctly.

Using my standard DLNA test media streamer, at WDTV Live device, I tested music, video and images. All played as expected. The only problem that I ran into was one that I’d seen before on other NAS products. When I tried to view images, I ended up with highly pixelated images. Apparently, the media server indexes the thumbnails that the server automatically creates when you copy image files to the folder being watched by the server. I don’t know if there’s a workaround, but it does make viewing images through a DLNA server fairly useless. It would be nice if you could configure the media server to not index files smaller than, say, 10KB. That might solve the thumbnail problem.

Thecus is making a push to have its SOHO NASes double as diskful media players by equipping them with HDMI ports and media add-ins. Scott took a look at Thecus' early efforts about a year ago and wasn't that impressed. At that time, the media capability was centered around its Local Display module.

Local Display is nowhere to be found in ThecusOS 6, at least in the 2560 that I'm using for review. But XBMC is still available, so I downloaded and installed it, plugged my HDMI monitor into the port on the back of the NAS and rebooted. After rebooting, the XBMC server loaded and the splash screen appeared on the HDMI monitor.

Thecus OS6 - XBMC

Thecus OS6 - XBMC

In order to navigate, I plugged a USB mouse into one of the spare USB ports. I was then able to play video, music and images from the files stored on the NAS. In addition, I was able to log into another NAS and navigate to a folder that contained image files that I could also view. In addition to playing multimedia files, there’s a tab for Weather. There’s also a program tab where you can download additional programs including five additional XBMC programs.

After the short time I spent with XBMC, I don't think I would use it or have it influence my purchase decision. In the end, I think my conclusion is the same as Scott's. "… Thecus has more work to do before promoting HD media playback features on its NASes and a lot more to do before you can swap out your HTPC for one of its NASes."

Thecus has several mobile apps. The one that you’ll undoubtedly find the most useful is T-OnTheGo, available for both Android and iOS platforms. The description Google’s Play Store includes a warning that your version of Thecus OS must be up-to-date. That means for OS6—you should be running build_205. For devices running ThecusOS5 64 bit, you need to be running 2.04.01.2. Check out this link for a full description of the features.

Thecus describes T-OnTheGo as “a comprehensive cloud management solution for various file spaces with a smooth UI and excellent performance. This powerful new app allows you to manage files, read documents, view images and play videos directly from your Thecus NAS while you’re on the go.” You can use these QR codes to download these apps to your mobile devices.

QR Codes for the Thecus T-OnTheGo mobile app

QR Codes for the Thecus T-OnTheGo mobile app

Indeed, it is a full featured product, so you’ll probably want to download the documentation for your mobile OS (Android, iOS). It runs on WebDAV and uses port 9800 and 9802 (secure). I was able to play video, music and photos on both platforms.

The second app is the Thecus Dashboard. To use the app, you have to install the server side app (Dashboard) in the NAS application menu. The app is supposed to be available for both the iOS and the Android platform, but I couldn’t find it on the Google Play store. The QR code from Thecus' support site sent me to a web page that didn’t exist.

I did, however, download and install it on my iPad. It’s an iPhone app, so not optimized for the iPad, but it does work. Dashboard allows you to turn on/off protocols and to monitor statistics of your Thecus NAS on your local or on a remote network.

I’ve included a brief gallery to show T-OnTheGo on both platforms as well as Dashboard on the iPad. You can find these Thecus apps, as well as several third party apps here.

Final Thoughts

ThecusOS 6 is a small step forward for the company's NAS operating system. Thecus has always had the reputation for having the least user-friendly user interface. While they have made improvements over time, this latest effort in the form of ThecusOS 6 is going to do little to change that impression.

OS 6' biggest innovation is the streamlining and automating of both OS and application / module updates and easy access to its new App Center. The "complete make-over, which promotes a faster, smoother and more fluid transition during NAS management" promised on the Live Demo page just isn't there.

In some ways, ThecusOS 6 is a step backward, primarily due to its flat menu system that requires constant navigation back to the home screen to switch between functions. And the GUI didn't seem any faster or smoother than the old OS 5.

Many SOHO/SMB users are just looking for shared storage. Once they create a share, set up users and map a share, it’s questionable how often they’ll log back into the NAS to make any changes. For me, the limited number of new features and the slightly different UI found in Thecus OS6 aren't enough of a difference to influence my decision one way or another to purchase a Thecus.

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