Maxtor Shared Storage Drive


If Maxtor’s Shared Storage Drive unit seems like just a longer version of the company’s external USB 2.0 hard drive, that’s because it is. In other words, it’s a hard drive enclosure with a controller board that adds Ethernet support. OK, it’s not quite that simple, but you get the gist.

In fact, Maxtor strives to make consumer NAS uncomplicated. Plug the device into a network with DHCP support, insert the CD, and wham!—you’re up and running with a shared drive that any computer on your LAN can access, with the proper password. The USB ports let you share a USB printer on your network, or plug in a USB key or hard drive for additional network storage.

Unfortunately, none of the NAS units here support writing to NTFS, only FAT32 or Linux partitions. That’s a problem for people who want to share data from an already formatted hard drive. The Shared Storage’s hard drive (presumably made by Maxtor) has a 300GB capacity, 7,200rpm speed, and a 16MB cache.

Performance with the Shared Storage wasn’t stellar, but it was a good deal better than with the USB NAS adapters we tested last year (Sept 2004), which were painfully slow. When you factor in the simplicity of getting set up, the Shared Storage Drive makes for an easy, entry-level way to get network storage.

-- Gordon Ung

Month Reviewed: November 2005
+ Rio Bravo Style and simplicity in a tiny little package.
- Rio Lobo No automated backup ability; lacks Gigabit Ethernet.
Verdict: 7
MAXTOR 9:17 7MB/sec
LINKSYS 4:46 11MB/sec
INFRANT 5:08 23MB/sec

How we tested: We hooked up all four NAS units to a D-Link Gigabit switch and copied 3GB of data files from a 3.8GHz P4 570 machine equipped with Gigabit Ethernet. We also mounted each NAS unit as a network drive and ran SiSoft Sandra 2005's hard drive benchmark across the network.

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