Relatively fast read speeds; useful software utilities; integrated iTunes and DLNA media servers; quiet.
Small capacity; no integrated BitTorrent client; no eSATA port.
Secure and faster than the average NAS, but will you outgrow it?
If you don’t need a lot of storage, Seagate’s diminutive BlackArmor NAS 220 can be tucked into a bookshelf or the even the corner of your desk where it will quietly serve the needs of a small office or workgroup with as many as 20 PCs. The NAS 220 has two drive bays and can purchased with either one or two terabytes of capacity; we reviewed the 2TB model, which is street-priced at $279. Note that since the drives come from the factory in a mirrored configuration (RAID 1), usable capacity is actually 1TB.
The NAS 220 is housed in a steel enclosure painted gloss black (keep a feather duster at hand if you’re the fastidious type). Remove three very small Phillips screws and pull off the three-sided cover to access the 7,200RPM drives, which are user-replaceable, but not hot-swappable. Unlike Western Digital’s WD ShareSpace , you’re not limited to using Seagate drives. But since the NAS 220 doesn’t support online RAID expansion or migration, most people will never access the drives unless they fail.
Finishing our look inside the box, we see Marvell’s 800MHz 88F6192 system-on-chip on the motherboard, paired with 128MB of soldered-on DDR2 SDRAM. The chip integrates a two-port SATA controller, a two-port USB controller, and a Gigabit Ethernet controller. This processor handles most of the compute workload, including running the RAID software. As mentioned earlier, the NAS 200 comes from the factory in a RAID 1 configuration, but the system also supports RAID 0 and JBOD.
The front panel harbors a power switch, a reset button, and LED indicators for system and drive status. Flip the box around and you’ll find two USB 2.0 ports, an Ethernet port, a jack for the external power brick, a Kensington slot for physical security, and a very quiet cooling fan. The NAS 220 does not support eSATA, so external expansion opportunities are limited to adding USB 2.0 hard drives (if you’re not using the ports for NAS-to-USB backup, connecting to an uninterruptible power supply, or sharing a printer, that is). NAS-to-NAS backups can be performed over the network (either on demand or on a schedule); bare-metal restores can also be performed over a network.
The NAS 220 comes configured as a single volume with two shares: Download and Public. Volumes can consist of one or more drives or part of a single drive. Share folders can support CIFS, FTP, and NFS file protocols; files can be protected from unintended deletion by activating the BlackArmor Manager Recycle Bin service. Seagate’s Drag&Sort Service automatically saves downloaded media files into the appropriate share (MP3s to a music folder, JPEGs to the Photos folder, and so o n). A user with administrator privileges can create additional volumes, public and private and shares, and user accounts; establish storage limits (with a grace period) on a per-user basis; and otherwise manage the NAS either locally or remotely via the Internet, using Seagate’s free Seagate Global Access services. Individual users can also use Seagate Global Access to view, download, and share files they’ve stored on the NAS 220.
|Seagate BlackArmor NAS 220 ||Synology Diskstation DS409+ ||Western Digital WD ShareSpace|
|Size||2TB in RAID 1 ||6TB in RAID 5 ||8TB in RAID 5|
|PC to NAS, small (min:sec)||0:58||0:38||1:36|
|PC to NAS, large (min:sec)||2:30||1:31 ||4:44 |
|NAS to PC, small (min:sec)||0:21 ||0:16||0:47|
|NAS to PC, large (min:sec) ||0:53||0:39||1:57 |