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Thecus N5550 preview: Speedy NAS with HDMI and USB 3.0

The Thecus N5550 is a NAS built around the Intel Atom D2550 with room for five hard drives. You could fill it with 4TB drives and end up with a little case with 20TB of storage. You don't have to go that that extreme, but you can start small and expand over time when you need more volume.

When you look at comparable NAS devices from Synology you could easily pay around £550, however the Thecus N5550 only costs around £408. It's significantly more affordable than the alternatives, and you still get a lot of quality for that price. Because it runs on an Intel Atom D2550 processor, it's very powerful compared to many other network drives. It not only guarantees a very high transfer rate when you are sharing files, but it can also handle other tasks with flying colours.

Calling the Thecus N5550 a NAS is almost selling it short, because it's much more than that. It's a network server for home or the office, and you can use it to download files, as a digital photo album, and for connecting IP cameras. You can connect it to a computer obviously, but also tablets and smartphones let you access it via apps. For iOS Thecus has three apps. Thecus Dashboard lets you monitor the NAS, ThecusShare grants you access to the files on the NAS, and there there is the even more comprehensive Thecus-Disk. For Android there is Thecus Dashboard and ThecusShare.

The Thecus N5550 is based on the latest Intel Atom processor. It's a relatively efficient processor that's sometimes used in netbooks. Compared with certain Intel Core processors, this chip is a lot slower. On the other hand, compared to the ARM-based processors you find in most NAS devices, it's a little powerhouse. You can read the rest of Thecus N5550 preview on