Our little hearts were ablaze with excitement when we busted open the chunky Buffalo TeraStation Live. And with good reason; on paper, the four-drive NAS device looked like it was going to be an easy winner–its two terabytes of total storage in a RAID-5 configuration made us smile.
We’ve long encouraged our readers to embrace the power of a dedicated home server—we love the flexibility an always-on rig provides to host media, important documents, and other vital data. But, it’s not a simple proposition—XP isn’t particularly well suited to server duties, and setting up and maintaining Linux can be a challenge. That’s where Windows Home Server steps in.
You can never have too much speed or too much storage, and the Linksys WRT350N makes it easy to have both. This router took first place while running in 802.11n-only mode and second place while running in mixed 802.11b/g/n mode. And its Storage Link feature enables you to plug in any USB storage device to add NAS functionality—the only router in this roundup to offer such a feature.
We’ll get the bad news out of the way first. QNAP’s TS-109 Pro NAS device is more an enclosure than a NAS box–the storage part of the equation is BYO. Thankfully, NAS devices’ speeds are primarily determined by the connection and the interface of the device itself–purchase a decent hard drive, you’ll be sticking it into one of the fastest NAS boxes we’ve tested.
Installing the OWC NASPerform to a computer via a network is a confusing mix of simple and complicated. The installer program itself is a welcome relief from the typically agonizing process of having to play with IP address and configuration screens. But that doesn’t mean OWC has spared you from a headache: You have to not only type in a 20-digit device ID just to connect the NAS box to your rig but also input a “write key,” which is printed on a label on the enclosure, if you want more than read-only access. So much for simply dragging and dropping files or controlling users via a handy web interface!
The 2TB LaCie Ethernet Big Disk is appropriately named, we suppose. Other potential monikers: the LaCie Ethernet Big Headache, the LaCie Ethernet Sucks at Networking, or perhaps even the LaCie Ethernet Where Did My Drive Go. We jest, but there’s truth to our ramblings–the LaCie Ethernet Big Disk is horrific as a network-attached storage device, mainly due to our frequent failures to get Windows to even see the drive.
When we first got the Myshare into the Lab, we were a bit taken aback by its simplicity. There’s no fancy software to accompany the 500GB device; it’s actually two 250GB drives striped using RAID 0. If you want to access the Myshare, you have to go through Windows Explorer, just as you would with any other network drive.
We fondly recall reviewing this unit’s connected brother in arms, the My Book Pro Edition II (March 2007). The products are virtually identical, featuring two 500GB hard drives locked in a RAID 0 configuration that gives you one honkin’ terabyte of space. The difference, of course, is that you access the World Edition II through an Ethernet cable instead of a FireWire or USB connection.
Asus has solved one of the most common problems download junkies face: By marrying a Wi-Fi router with a hard drive and built-in BitTorrent client, the company has eliminated the need for you to leave your power-hungry PC running 24/7.