Door, locks, display
On the front Thecus put a door, behind which the disks are located, each one with an individual lock. The case is made out of metal, but the handles on the trays are in plastic. The trays will take 2.5-inch or 2.3-inch disks. There is a USB 3.0 port on the front, while most NAS devices only have a USB 2.0 port here. It's quite handy, because now you can transfer files rapidly to a memory stick or external hard drive. On the front of the NAS there is a display that indicates the status of the NAS. It's always nice to have if you for some reason are unable to get it connected it will tell you whether it has been assigned an IP address.
On the back there are two gigabit network connectors, which you can use in different ways. In a business environment you could set one of them as a failover so it serves as a back-up in case your primary connection fails. At home, if you have a high-end switch that supports LACP, you can bundle channels in order to create a very fast connection between your computer(s) and the NAS.
You could also create two separate networks, one for your computers and another one for your media devices. That way you would benefit from the highest possible bandwidth. You will see later on that the Thecus N5550 is fast enough to take advantage of the bandwidth on both network ports.