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TRENDnet TN-200 NAS Box Review

TRENDnet TN-200 NAS Box Review

Manufacturer: TRENDnet
UK Price (as reviewed): £71.99 (inc VAT)
US Price as reviewed): $102.80 (ex Tax)

If there's one criticism we have of high end NAS boxes from the likes of Synology and QNAP, it's their price. With most diskless 2-bay models starting at around £125, they can be a little too hefty an investment for many people first entering the world of NAS. This is all the more so if you've got enough old PC parts lying around to make up an old system. Pop something like FreeNAS on it and you're ready to go.

The operating systems of dedicated solutions are decidedly slick, though, and that is of course, along with their compact size, what you're paying the premium for. Nonetheless a quality cheaper option would be nice. Enter the TRENDnet TN-200, a 2-bay diskless NAS that retails for just £72 or just over $100.

TRENDnet TN-200 NAS Box Review TRENDnet TN-200 NAS Box Review
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So what do you get for the money? For starters, the TN-200 is pretty different to most other enclosures we've seen. Each of its two 3.5in slots are mounted vertically, although there are no vents in the roof to allow heat to escape. Instead, there's a mesh in the front and a 50mm fan at the rear. Although no doubt more than sufficient this fan is likely less capable than those in the likes of Synology's solutions, where its models such as the DS213Air have included 92mm quiet fans for some time.

TRENDnet TN-200 NAS Box Review TRENDnet TN-200 NAS Box Review
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However, hard disks aside it probably doesn't need particularly potent cooling looking at the TN-200's specification. The single-piece PCB sits at the base of the device and houses a Marvell 88F6-LG02 1GHz single core CPU. This is partnered with 256MB of DDR2 memory - fairly lowly specs for a modern NAS box then. The exterior is actually fairly well made and relatively attractive if gloss white is your thing, although there's just a Gigabit Ethernet Port as well as a single USB 2.0 port to shout about at the rear.

TRENDnet TN-200 NAS Box Review TRENDnet TN-200 NAS Box Review
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The front section offers a power button, activity and status lights for both hard disk bays and a one-touch copy button, all of which are illuminated. There's also a reset switch on the side. To get inside and install your hard disks, there's a locking switch on the rear of the TN-200, which allows you to pop the lid off. It's very basic inside, with no anti-vibration mounts, with your hard disks just slotting into metal runners. They're tool-free but do impose a fairly hefty grip on your hard disks and getting them out can be tricky.

TRENDnet TN-200 NAS Box Review TRENDnet TN-200 NAS Box Review
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We can't fault the TN-200 for simplicity, though - five minutes after unboxing it we were installing the latest firmware and ready to start creating volumes and transferring our test data. The interface is a little laggy, though, and it's more of a bare essentials-experience compared to the lavish app-laiden experience more remium models.

Specifications
  • Local connections Front: None, Rear: 1 x USB 2, LAN
  • Network connections 1 x Gigabit Ethernet
  • Storage Up to 2 x 4TB hard disk (not included)
  • Cables 1.5m Cat 5 Ethernet,
  • Cooling1 x 50mm fan
  • Features FTP server, independent download (via HTTP, FTP and BitTorrent), iTunes and DLNA support, External USB hard disk support, Apple Time Machine and Amazon S3 cloud backup support.
  • Dimensions (W x D x H) 105mm x 152mm x 185mm
  • Accessories None