QNAP vs Thecus – Computing On Demand Review
Author: Joe DiFiglia
We all love our NAS. If you don’t have one yet, you will love your NAS. Sometimes picking the right one for you may be difficult. Really, it all boils down to what you need. In the last showdown, we matched QNAP vs Drobo, in this NAS Showdown we are going to pit QNAP against Thecus in a cage match to help you determine who deserves your money.
Ease of Use
QNAP and Thecus enter this with a NAS that can be configured to do just about everything. Both of these devices do more than just serve up files; they are a complete solution. This, however, takes its toll on the novice user. For the inexperienced user you will find yourself using the help functions more than the actual menu functions. Luckily, both manufacturer’s help menus are choc full of information. With QNAP and Thecus you are in the same boat. If you are not afraid to dive through menus, you will have no issues with either of these solutions.
QNAP and Thecus have tried to bundle everything under the sun into their NAS firmware. You have the ability to run FTP servers, Web File Manager, UPnP media server, iSCSI support, Surveillance Camera Support, MySQL Support, and a slew of other features. With their latest firmware release, QNAP even bundles in Anti Virus to enhance network security. QNAP goes the extra mile here by offering the enhanced features like Anti Virus and Real Time Remote Replication and therefore takes the cake.
Your NAS should give you the files you want quickly. That is why you have the NAS in the first place. QNAP and Thecus both perform well, but the faster processor and larger quantity of memory in the Thecus gives it a speed enhancement. So much so, that it is faster in some tests than our in house server. Thecus just wins when it come to speed.
Our benchmark was transferring a 46.6GB Blu-Ray ISO (Avatar) from the NAS to our workstation. We just initiated the file transfer and watched the networking tab in Windows Task Manager. We experienced around a 73 MB/s with Thecus and around 56 with QNAP.
Your NAS needs to be rock solid. After all, the point is to safely store data here. We have had products from both QNAP and Thecus in the lab here for months running day and night. Both products have performed without failure, even with the torture testing we performed. If you are worried about your NAS failing, don’t be. QNAP and Thecus have built a solid product. However, with the inclusion of the built in Mini-UPS, Thecus nudges out a victory here ensuring that you don’t lose any data should you lose power.
Most of us will leave our NAS on all the time, but we don’t want an electric bill that is more expensive than our car payment. We want a NAS that can perform its duties well and still be environmentally conscious regarding consumption. During normal usage, QNAP will squeak out some savings, but when things get moving Thecus will help keep your wallet stay a little fatter. In testing, the QNAP NAS uses less power when idle (29.82 watts) and in low power mode (15.88 watts), but maxing out the CPU during file transfers takes a toll and skyrockets the consumption to 121.8 watts. Meanwhile, at peak usage Thecus consumes only 55.68 watts and 54.7 during normal usage. Unfortunately Thecus nearly doubles the usage of the QNAP in low power mode by scoring 29.38 watts. Depending on where you think your data consumption lives, lots of transfers or lots of idle, take into consideration that your NAS will probably spend more time sitting there twiddling its thumbs than working.
QNAP and Thecus both run the same flavors of RAID. With the ability for both to provide protection for single or dual disk drive failure, they both can recover from a lost drive relatively easily by replacing the faulty drive(s) depending on your RAID configuration. If you should need to replace a faulty drive, the power Thecus packs into their NAS helps cut rebuild times down a hair thus giving it a slight edge.
This is a topic I never thought I would have to answer when discussing NAS products. Unfortunately, lately it seems like hard drive compatibility is becoming an issue for some NAS manufacturers, including QNAP & Thecus. Both maintain a list of hard drive manufacturers and models that they support. Make sure you purchase your NAS before you purchase your disks and check the compatibility sheets while you are shopping. If you don’t, don’t expect a smooth install.
Accessing your Data on the go is becoming more and more important. Both QNAP and Thecus offer you the ability to run FTP servers and web file managers. However, only QNAP offers you Android and iOS applications for a truly mobile experience.
I said it before and I will say it again. The QNAP is a nicely designed piece of equipment. The overall design makes it more than just functional, it is easy on the eyes too. The bright colors and 70′s type styling of the Thecus really can be eye catching, but for the wrong reasons. The display on the Thecus is better than that of the QNAP because it has the ability to display some simple graphics and more detail, but the yellow color makes me feel like I am in a Lemon Pledge commercial.
When it comes to pricing, both Thecus and QNAP are in the same arena. Neither of the two provide you with configured options for a complete solution and both offer some very similar functionality. However, when you take in to consideration that the Thecus comes packed with a Mini-UPS for that little extra slice of confidence and peforms as strongly as it does in benchmarking; you can’t help but feel inclined to purchase one. Couple that with only a $50.00 USD price difference and your decision becomes that much easier.
QNAP 6 / Thecus 6