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on January 21, 2013
The ZyXEL NAS310 is a nice little package, But I think it takes a little reading of the Users' Guide to come to grips with how it is best used. Especially if this is your first taste of a modern NAS. The Guide, a nearly 600 page PDF included on the CD that comes in the box, sounds intimidating as all get out ("600 pages, Oh My!") but is easily skimmed and the table of contents and index can usually point you in the right direction quickly..

I was looking for something that would be faster than my old USB-ethernet device that published a couple USB drives to my LAN, but was pretty slow. This ZyXEL gadget does the trick.

I keep the data files for a couple applications on the network so I can access them from different computers running the same software. And this works much better with the ZyXEL (except when the internal HDD has to "wake up" then there's maybe 5-10 seconds lag while it spins up). You can adjust the HDD sleep time from the std 15 minutes of no activity.

I also wanted to be able to plug in an external drive (USB or eSATA) and have that drive usable on the LAN. Specifically, I have two clients for whom I do some work and want to be able to give each it's own HDD and to be able to add them or delete them from the LAN when appropriate. The NAS310 has an eSATA and a pair of USB 2.0 ports that can be used for just that. But it was not clear to me how this worked.

So I called their tech support before buying and asked, But I was told it couldn't work like that...the disc contents would become part of the larger data container. To me that sounded like the contents of the external drive would be shared out with the internal drive. And that almost unsold me. But some snooping on ZyXEL's user forum revealed how this worked...the tech support guy and I misunderstood each other.

When you boot the thing up with its internal disc for the first time it reformats the drive and reserves a piece of the drive for it's own operating system's use. Then it establishes a standard set of directories: admin, music, video, etc. All of which are visible to Windows Explorer (I presume Finder as well, but cannot address any macintosh connectivity). Adding directories and managing permissions on the standard ones should be done thru the ZyXEL software...which resides on the device and is reached by browser. I had problems accessing the "admin" folder until I changed the permissions, using the ZyXEL software, not Windows.

Now, if you have an external drive, formatted NTFS, or FAT32 (dunno about Apple formats) for instance, you can plug it in to either USB port or the eSATA port. It will show up not as a drive in Exploder, but as a directory in the NAS310 tree.

This directory will be named the same as the model # of the drive. You can change this. The drive will not be reformatted. The ZyXEL won't mess with the external drives format or data (unless you tell the software to merge the external with the internal in some raid configuration, which I did not want to do). All files saved to the external directory will be on that drive when it is disconnected. You can have more than 1 drive so connected at the same time and all will be recognized. When you power down that external drive it will shortly vanish from the directory tree with no fuss no muss.

The external can also be used to back up the internal (software is provided for this).

On the whole I am tickled with my NAS310. As I understand it the larger 320 and 325 work is pretty much the same way.


After a year I can say I really like this thing. Hasn't skipped a beat. I have a couple other drives plugged into it thryu estat and usb and they are accessible.

Mostly though I have a directory on the NAS internal drive mapped as drive X on my two desktops. I keep data files for applications I use on both desktops on the X:drive so they are available to both. When booting or awakening from sleep I usually need to use my file manager (Directory Opus) to access the drive to "wake up" the connection so other applications easily see it. Not a big deal.

My android tablets and phones easily see it.

I do not try to run media servers from it as I'm a book reader not a TV or Movie "media" person.
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on June 6, 2012
Reviewed: Zyxel NSA325. It supports 2 x 3.5" SATA drives, has 2 USB2 ports (back) and a single USB3 (front) & has Gigabit Ethernet. 1.6GHz Marvell processor is faster than older NAS devices (faster than the 800MHz CPU in the D-LINK DNS-320 or the 1.2GHz CPU in the DNS-325) and 512MB memory allows multiple functions at same time.
Drive guide rails must be attached to each drive via screws. Note that the pointy end of the rails must face INWARD (i.e. on the same side as the SATA connector). The quick install sheet doesn't mention this and it's easy to overlook from the diagram. The reason for the specific orientation is that you use a tool (located behind the drive cover) to remove an installed drive from its bay and this tool clips onto the exposed end of the drive rails. Also when installing be sure to insert the drive so that the SATA connector will mate with the drive (it will not if you insert the drive the wrong way and you could cause damage). ZyXEL needs to have better instructions. The front door is a little flimsy though, be careful when removing/installing to avoid breaking the tabs that keep it in place.
Note that drives are NOT hot-swappable, do not remove/insert with the power on. Drives up to 3TB are supported with newest firmware (note if you have old firmware you will need to temporarily install a smaller drive, create a volume, then use the firmware check function in the web interface to update firmware before installing 3TB drives).
RAID 0/1 are supported. RAID 0 uses the combined storage space of both drives but has no redundancy. RAID 1 mirrors contents on both drives so if one fails your data is still safe.
+ You can connect a (APC brand) UPS to the NAS via one of the USB ports and it will auto-shutdown when UPS battery is low (you can adjust when the shutdown occurs based on the UPS reported capacity remaining). A nice touch and one that will help prevent data loss. I tried it with a Tripp-Lite UPS and it wasn't recognized so it looks like only an APC will work.
+ You can set the UPS to always power on after a power failure, useful if acting as networked storage.
+ You can spin down drives if no data transmission occurs in a specified time (adjustable in minutes)
+ Supports "wake-on-lan" so device can turn on and service incoming requests even if powered off.
+ NAS uses external 12V 5amp power adapter. This is better than an internal power supply as it is easily replaceable if it fails.
+ Interestingly the NAS has an internal clock (powered by a CR2032 battery) and can be set to power on/off via time schedule.
- There is no "network activity" LED at the front panel (the LED is on the Ethernet jack). I would have liked to see a front panel LED. This is important as use of one of the back USB ports will block the network LED on the jack.
- I do not think there is a way to migrate to larger capacity drives without backing up/replacing drives/recreate RAID/restoring the array.
- Download Manager feature (more on this below) cannot download files that require authentication from websites (i.e. files that require login). This is a shame as this would been much more useful.
- This NAS takes LONG to boot. This may cause a problem if used as network storage as PCs may boot quicker than the NAS!
- For some strange reason the CPU temp is reported incorrectly (12 deg Celsius) on the NSA status page after some time in operation. It still seems to work correctly so this may be a minor bug.
+ Front panel USB connector is USB3 for fast copy from/to external USB3 devices. This is just for copying data from/to an external drive, I don't think connection to a PC is supported.
+ NAS has CPU temp sensor.
+ The fan is a 3-wire fan (has RPM sensor so the NAS can determine fan speed). The fan label mentions that has a hypro bearing, which supposed to be a long-lasting bearing. The fan is very quiet, practically silent.
+ Web-based interface is nice and clean, with attractive icons. The admin setup webpage is logically organized. You can check the CPU temp/CPU load/free memory from the admin page.
+ ZPilot feature allows you to drop files/folders to an "always-on-top" icon to copy to the NAS. Optionally you can have the NAS sort files into specific folders based on the file type.
+ Add-on packages really expand functionality of the NAS. For example installing the SMART package allows you to see the status (temperature, SMART status, model & serial #) of the installed drives.
+ Firmware update is totally painless, one click will check for new firmware, another click downloads & installs it. You don't need to download it from a PC then upload it to the NAS. However note that you must have drive(s) installed and a volume created to use the auto-update feature as it needs to download firmware to the volume. If no drive(s) are installed it will not work.
+ Has "Download Manager" built-in file download function & bittorrent client. By logging into the NAS and either entering the URL of a file to download OR uploading a .torrent file from your PC you can have the NAS download files unattended without having your PC on and running. A nice feature, especially for downloading large files such as Linux ISO images.
OVERALL it's a good media server for the price and I recommend it. But also check out the ZyXEL NSA320 2-bay Network Attached Storage and Media Server as it is similar but about half the price. The NSA320 uses a slightly slower 1.2GHz CPU (but has the same 512MB memory), but doesn't have dropbox features or USB3 port. You probably DON'T want the older NSA2xx series because these use a much slower CPU/less memory and transfer performance is not as good.
UPDATE: I now have multiple NSA325s and the only thing I have found problematic is the web interface. There have been times when the NSA325 is still on and working but I cannot login to its IP address (to get the web interface to display). Other times the web interface will be extremely slow to respond or even stop responding entirely. Also, the "firmware upgrade notification" message keeps appearing even though I'm on the latest firmware (which is annoying, even though I click "do not remind me"). Power resetting fixes the web interface problems but I should not have to do this. These problems have persisted even through firmware updates and I am disappointed that such basic bugs have not been dealt with.
UPDATE2: One of the 2 drives in one NSA325 dropped dead. I found this odd so investigated a bit and found a flaw. The single cooling fan was failing (very slow RPMs) and the drive overheated until failure. There are 2 things wrong that could have helped prevent this: (1) Even though the system monitors the RPM of the fan there is no warning that I could find except in the log. A fan failure SHOULD send an email and/or beep the buzzer to signify that something is wrong. (2) The enclosure only has intake vents on the bottom, not the top. This means that hot air will be trapped inside the enclosure should the fan fail. As a result of this experience I recommend buying 60x10mm Replacement Ball Bearing Computer Case Fan with TX3 Connector FAN6X1TX3 (Black) and replacing the original fan. The fan is a standard 60mm x 10mm with a 3-pin "CPU heatsink" connector. Also, once a week login to the web interface and check the fan speed for indication of failure (so you can catch failures early). Other NAS units such as the DS413j have dual fans for redundancy.
A more expensive and larger capacity NAS alternative is the Synology DiskStation 4-Bay (Diskless) Network Attached Storage DS413j. (See my DS413j review for more).
I hope this is helpful!
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on November 2, 2012
After a few days of tinkering with it, finding, researching and resolving a few minor issues (mostly of my own making), I can say it's not a bad little piece of kit. There just needs to be better documentation on some of the more common problems that can show up. Remember, G**gle is your friend.

Unboxing: When the package with this little unit and my two drives came in the mail I was very excited. The Amazon package was relatively large and bulky, but when I opened it up and began pulling everything out - first the packing pillows, then the two hard drives, and finally the appliance, itself - and began unwrapping it, I was amazed at how small this little unit is. For what all it can do, I was actually expecting something twice its actual size. This thing's tiny! It's positively adorable! But, although it's clad in plastic, it doesn't feel insubstantial or fragile like a toy. It has some weight to it, especially once you install the drives. You could actually club someone with it and do a fair amount of damage, though you'd probably break the housing in the attempt. With the little rubber feet it sits sturdily on just about any surface.

Setup: I ordered two Seagate Barracuda 7200 3 TB 7200RPM SATA 6 Gb/s NCQ 64MB Cache 3.5-Inch Internal Bare Drives (ST3000DM001) to go with the unit and they work great. Jump on these while they're still relatively cheap and you'll be a happy camper. I mounted the rails on with no problems, slid the drives into place in the housing and turned on the unit. I gave it time to boot - yes, the one reviewer is correct, it does take a bit of time for it to do so, about 2 minutes or so - and then installed the included NSU software. Once installed it promptly found the unit on my network and took me through the steps of formatting and arranging the drives into RAID1. This tells me that the newer models don't have the issue with not being able to use 3TB drives before updating the firmware of the unit, first. Once everything was formatted and mounted, the NSU software gave me the IP address of the unit and I promptly pointed my browser to it. After updating to the newest firmware from the administration page, I began wandering my way around the menus and tweaking settings to my liking, installing packages and generally getting ready for the big data migration.

I then hooked up my two 1TB MyBook USB external hard drives to the back of the unit and began copying over all of my data. This is where I started to run into problems. After maybe an hour or two of copying my files over, for no apparent reason the NAS would simply lock up and disappear from the network, making it unreachable until the unit was powered off and back on again and starting the copy procedure from scratch, again. This happened several times over the course of about 24 hours. Another reviewer panned this unit for the same behavior. As you will see, it's not really a hardware issue, so much as a user-error problem: trying to do too much all at once at the beginning.

I turned to the net for some sorely needed research and found, after hours of searching on different forums and knowledge bases, that the ZyXEL devs have replaced the old Media Server package with a new(er), stripped down version of Twonky Media Server in the newest firmware update (4.50). Sadly, this version of Twonky has a bad habit of maxing out the CPU while trying to parse all the media files on the share. This fact, coupled with my trying to copy over files while this was going on, and that the RAIDed drives were trying to resync between themselves at the same time, meant that the CPU was not only maxed to its limits, but also that it was running very hot. Once I disabled the media server package, the CPU load went down to oscillating lazily between 14 and 30%, the temps went down to normal and I had no more problems with the NAS disappearing off the network again.

A note to the whiny reviewers on here: Sometimes, ya just gotta do your own homework, folks. RTFM and do some research, for once. For the price that this little unit is being sold at, here on the 'Zon, it's amazing what all it can do. But, you do get what you pay for. As any network admin will tell you, nothing ever works exactly how you want it to straight out of the box. Some folks need to learn to quit being so quick to complain and just get their hands dirty. You can't expect technology to do all of your thinking for you. Sometimes, you have to have a little patience, research a problem, learn the ins-and-outs, tweak some settings and find a work-around. This unit is meant for home use. It's not bullet-proof or industrial-grade. If that's what you're looking for, be prepared to pay four times or more what this cute little box costs for the privilege.

A note to first time buyers. No, this unit isn't perfect, but it's one of the better ones in this price class. Don't let the self-entitled ignorant dissuade you from purchasing this unit. However, it is not, nor will it ever be, a fire-and-forget unit straight out of the box. If you're like me, you have several TB's of data that you'll want to put on this little baby. Know ahead of time that it -may- take days to copy all those files over, resynch the RAID array, index the files with the Media Server and have the unit settle down to a normal running state. These things take time. Have some patience and I think you'll be happy with your purchase.

My only caveats to this glowing review are as follows: I agree with the one reviewer who said that it would have been nice to have a network activity blinky on the front of the unit. The lack of one is not a deal-breaker, of course. it's just a matter of convenience and preference. I think the browser landing page is far too simplistic and gets in the way for my purposes, yet the web administration UI could have been laid out a little more intuitively, also. Trying to figure out the intricacies of the FTP and Web Publishing implementation, for instance, will be a bit of a stretch for most users and the documentation is inadequate. There's also not enough customization options for my taste. At the time of writing, there was only 13 total plugin/add-on "packages" available for download from inside the UI, and many of those that are available are useless to the average joe. It would be nice to see more community-driven, open-source offerings for this unit in the future.

It's been nearly a year now and I thought I'd do a little update to my prior review. In that time I have experienced very few hiccups or new problems. It simply sits on my desk and does its thing. I have every computer in the house accessing it through my network and, using the included FTP server, I can access my documents and files from anywhere in the world so long as I have internet access. I use to give my server an actual web address, as apposed to a numerical IP address, so that its easily remembered. The NSA, itself, automatically takes care of updating the IP address to the remote dns server, if/when it changes, so that the web address is always right on the money and my files are always accessible, 24/7. I have even set up separate shares for friends, family and colleagues to access files and backups over the internet, should they need it. It has saved my bacon more than once when I was away from home and forgot to bring that proverbial all-important document or file from home.

In the interim I have paired this unit with a WD TV Live Streaming Media Player Wi-Fi 1080p, which can access and stream my media files directly from the server and display them on to my home theater system. With the NSA and the WD streamer serving up my local digital media content, and my XBox 360 bringing in Netflix, Hulu Plus and Amazon Prime Video, all of my media needs are covered and we officially "cut the cord," meaning getting rid of basic cable from our local money-gouging cable company, about the same time I bought the unit. All-in-all I am still very happy with my purchase and it continues to meet my needs quite adequately.
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on July 3, 2013
I have purchased and installed just about 20 of these in homes and multiple Corporate Offices where backups take place. I have installed Hard Drives from 160 GB all the way up to 3 TB. Out of 20 only 1 was defective. All backups have been written successfully with Acronis TrueImage, StorageCraft ShadowProtect and others, and I have been able to restore in emergency situations with no problems. It is also easy to replicate the backups thanks to the built in FTP Server.

To optimize performance in some cases I have disabled all of the Services where only file storage is needed. Changing the FTP port does not work out so well; in this case you can translate the Port Forwarding on your firewall from let's say external TCP 4789 to Internal 21. I have also used other features such as Wake on Lan; in this case writing some scripts that power on the device and then the backups initiate.

I have obtained very good speeds, sometimes ranging from 45 MB/s to 60 MB/s. The synch button also works as expected. I have several customers who come in with a USB Drive (must be powered) and press the synch button, then take the backups offsite. The interface is very easy to navigate and helps you initialize and verify the drives. You can also setup specific folders or volumes to synchronize from USB to NAS or from NAS to USB. This is a very comfortable feature which I have used quite a bit.

Overall a great inexpensive NAS that just works! My last recommendation is that you install this with a nice UPS. Power loss is the #1 killer of hard drives.
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on April 13, 2013
I bought this from Amazon for under $90. It has some mostly minor issues - if I had paid $300 or more I might complain a little, if I had paid $500, I would complain a little more loudly.
I also purchased two WD cavalier RED 2TB drives and I run them in RAID 1. To those of you who are RAID 0 fans, this is intentional, I don't want a 4TB drive I want redundant data saving options. I am not going to all the trouble to load up my 20 year CD and 10 year DVD collection just to have a drive fail and go back through my scratched disks to try and get them to load again. I wouldn't want to spend more than $100 on it, remember, you also need to buy hard drives - bringing my costs to about $312. For that price I am satisfied and then some. It does more than I expected. Is it perfect - no, but I am still pretty impressed with it (at under $90 - not so much if I had paid it's "original cost").

I am still trying to figure things out on it. I am not sure what Twonky Beam can do yet over other streamers. It will work with a PS3, haven't had success getting it to work with the Twonky private channel on the Roku. I however may look into getting a streaming unit that will work with this. I am undecided on whether I really care for Twonky Beam.

This is perhaps a higher end NAS system, and a lower end home server system. It requires that you hook it up directly to your router via Ethernet. I access it through a wireless N connection. For a 5GB file it takes about 20 minutes to load in. I had no issues loading files in while streaming a movie for my daughter to watch from it. It didn't seem to affect the time.

The SSL certificate system has given me some problems trying to access the device from outside my network. This might be my fault as I may not have configured it right. I shut SSL off, set up port forwarding on my router to port 80, 20, and 21. I can access the NAS from outside the network without any problems, although I would like to get SSL working for security reasons. If you are really motivated, you could set up your own wordpress blog on this thing (there are downloads for it available linked within the device). I wouldn't really go that far with this thing if you run a site with more than a few visitors - but it is capable.

I can easily drop files in, mapping individual folders to their own drive number. I would suggest starting with Z and working your way up.

I like that it allows me to set up users and groups. This way I can set limits on how much other people can load things into this device.

Now, most of my complaints are actually post complaints. They aren't the reason I bought the device. In some cases it may not even be the NAS systems fault. It actually does what I want, and does it well. SO here they are:

1. My kindle fire HD has issues with the getting into this device. My phone can do it fine and automatically switches to a mobile version of the site. This is probably the Kindle's fault. But if you want to use it with your Kindle Fire HD - you may run into problems. It tries to load the main site, lets you log in fine, and then just loads. I let it sit for 10 minutes.
2. I haven't been able to get it to stream to my phone. My phone just wants to download the file - movie, or song. doesn't matter.
3. The automatic RSS feed download feature. I didn't know it had this. I tried to use it, It seems to just want to download the XML file. It will load in the XML file and show me all the information associated with the feed, but not the videos. I don't know what the point of this feature is.
4. The software that comes with it to make it more user friendly perhaps - doesn't like to log in. It will display information about the NAS - I go to use it and log in and it delays for a while and just tells me the NAS is unavailable and I need to go check it. I can still get to it from other ways and it seems perfectly available. I know my password works because I can log in fine.
5. Twonky has a lot of features. I can set up a Twonky account, link it to my Roku. But apparently I can't link any of it with the Twonky Beam on this NAS. Which really seems to defeat the purpose of using Twonky Beam. If anyone has figured out how to get it to work with a Roku, please let me know how.

Generally if you want a NAS, and media streamer - with a few extras, some that work well, some that I don't know why they are there - then you can't go wrong - as long as you aren't paying $200 or more for it.

Overall I am satisfied with the purchase. It was a good buy. Not so satisfied with spending hours and hours loading in music and videos - but hopefully I will never have to undergo this mass loading again.
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on February 2, 2014
This product has a lot of value for the little price that you pay for it. I stream a lot of movies that I get from various places and also store files and music on this device. Have a total for 4TB installed on this device as JBOD and after initialization (can take quite some time so don't be in a hurry, also will wipe contents of drive so back-up before installing). Once it's up and running configuration is done via web interface and has lots of bells and whistles. For the most part I am not using most of these functions but to each their own. Web publishing is straight-forward and makes it easy to copy back and forth to the device, FTP works as advertised but transfer rates are slow as expected. Best way I have found is to use CIFS shares that you drive map into Windows Explorer, after downloading the latest firmware I'm getting transfer rates between 80-85MB per sec (30-50 before) which isn't bad at all. Also looking into being able to control the IOS on device, but haven't gotten the software for that yet, more research before I jump into that.

Product has FTP, Media Server (Twonky), I-Tunes Service, Download Service (direct download to the NAS), Broadcasting (content retrieval directly from the web), Print Server (so you can share a printer), YouTube and Flicker too. I don't use any of these except the Media Server, but I have gone thru config for each of these apps before disabling and it is pretty straight-forward. I did not use the software provided because one can never be sure what is included (IE... print drivers that are 150MB and have so much bloatware that you curse it's very existence on your PC LOL), so I have done all this by trial and error. Plug and Play out of the box all functions work as advertised, but I prefer more security and less attack surface on my equipment. I tweaked until I have most everything blocked or off.

Couple of lessons learned for those that want to go it alone like I did. Be very CAREFUL configuring Jumbo Frames support and verify all devices have it and have the same size, if you don't get that correct you will not be able to talk with device. (Learned that one the hard way ;-P) turned on HTTPS only which I think is best way, don't leave it open to web configuration you might be hi-jacked by hacker, set it to local config only. Other things I found is set a static IP and enter entry in your router for this device, if it hops from one IP to the next drive mappings and web control can be an issue if DNS isn't updated, (I personally edited HOSTS file to include the static IP of device and can navigate by name :-D) Also be sure not to set isolation on your router, TV and other devices won't see the NAS if you do.
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on March 19, 2014
First, the most important piece of info - After being slightly disappointed with write speeds in the high 30's, I started researching tweaks and found two very fruitful suggestions: Go into your computer's network adapter settings, and 1) Turn off the protocols that you aren't using (in my case, IPv6 and QoS packet scheduler and others), and 2) Enable jumbo frames on your NIC (mine was defaulted to disabled, so turning this on for the NAS wasn't enough). I am now getting consistent write speeds around 65mb/s. Very, very acceptable speeds for a sub $100 NAS. I am quite pleased.

A couple small issues kept me from giving it 5 stars. First, I am not a fan of Twonky server. I think it uses too much resources and I don't want to lose file transfer performance because of media serving. In my opinion, there is a little too much emphasis on the mediocre bells and whistles to aim toward people who really want a mini file server, not a NAS. To the people who rate a NAS on how well it does things like serving iTunes or Plex, I highly recommend looking into building a file server out of a cheap computer. More power and flexibility, and you learn a lot in the process. For a sub $100 NAS, let's put the energy into doing the basics very well. If you want to back up on a Linux machine rather than an external USB drive (2.0 at that), it's rather complex. I finally gave up setting up rsync and went a different route.

All that aside, look at what you DO get: Good file transfer performance rivals competitor NASes three times as much; quiet, reliable network storage; regular updates to the interface. Unless you are looking for something with more than two drives, this NAS is a great place to start.

(Incidentally, I see little difference between the NSA320 to the NSA325. The 325 gives you a usb 3.0 port that gets nowhere near 3.0 speeds, and a slightly higher read/write performance...but at twice the price.)

After several weeks of use, I need to mention that this NAS is NOT quiet as some people are reporting. It is actually quite loud for a NAS. I ended up putting a resister cable from a Noctua fan to cut the speed in half, and temps stay in the 40's for the cpu. Noise is quite tolerable now, but I wonder how high the temps could get with multiple users accessing. Not changing the rating- I still believe this is worth 4 stars for the value. And I'm still getting in the 60's (mb/s) for large file transfers.
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on January 6, 2013
I have been searching for a really dependable, configurable media server that would not cost thousands and this is it! I was able to setup the NAS with a RAID 1 in minutes, set up the print server, a squeezebox server and more all in a few hours.

It was also easy to get the Media Server started and, with a little understanding of networking, attached to RoksBox on my Roku. Getting it work wirelessly was a bit more challenging but got that working eventually.

The most complex part of the job is getting the movies and other videos to stream, to present art and to include other details. I used the XML method (as the file search method did not work easily (all the movie names have to match IMDB EXACTLY). Getting the XML configured took a few days. I used [...] to generate an initial list then had to go through and rewrite alot of the XML to get it to fully work, map to the right mp4 files and jpg art files.

ONCE I GOT IT ALL working it works incredibly well. I can stream movies, even if they are all HD, to three different TV's at the same time without any delay or issue. Unlike PLEX, which I tried first (running on a Windows 8 server), we are getting no delays at all and, unlike PLEX, we can fast forward or rewind and the audio and video stay in sync!

The interface is nice for movies (if you use the XML method) but for Music, the interface (both screen methods they give you) is poor. I wish it presented more like iTunes. We won't be using it as our Music server anyway (we have squeezebox which also runs on this server), so not a problem for us.

As far as I can tell there is also no good APP for Android to access and use the media on Kindle Fire or other Android tablets we have. This may just require from more research.

Overall this is a GREAT product but I would not recommend it for someone without at least a basic understanding of networking.

** this is all running on LINUX and MySQL. While I have not had to go command line on LINUX or to the MySQLAdministrator console yet, I can see how to easily get at them if I need to.
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on May 26, 2013
This device is fast and great for home use, if your just backing up pictures, movies, and music. That includes multiple computer back ups and such. Some of the apps on here for that purpose are good. If you are looking for something to access your data while your away from the house, then stay away from this.

Let me start from the beginning, installation. Installation if done correctly, and not assuming anything should go pretty straight forward, mine did not. When i got it, first my hard drives were not read. Then after i got my hard drives to be recognized by first formatting them on my computer I could not log into the first time setup. After I got the logon issue resolved it would give me a network detection error while trying to initialize the NAS for the first time. Which I also resolved by using the ip address of the NAS and logging in directly into it instead of using the setup utility. Things to know when installing this device, and setting it up for the first time.
-All hard drives you use should be formatted on a computer prior to installing them into the device, the device will not read any drive that has a preexisting partition on it.
-If the username/password that's defaulted don't work just reset the device. To reset the device you have to push and hold the back reset button for like 20 seconds till you hear a second set of 4 beeps i think it was.
-This can use mismatched hard drives for raids, but you will only get the capacity of the smallest drive.
-If the setup utility gives you any error with initialization, just bogon into the NAS directly using its IP address and the default username/password.

After I got it setup it was working very nicely, i was able to back up about 300 gigs of info in under a few hours. The transfer speeds were very good faster then the low end synologys or qnaps. The additional apps that come with the unit that you can install are alright, some are useful some are garbage. Streaming to multiple devices worked without a hitch as well. Overall it was a great experience when dealing within the network.

Now the bad, the remote access and remote access apps on this device suck. I was able to get remote access to work intermittently and when it worked it was slow and completely unreliable. I tried to use all the apps and different tools for it, even got the beta firmware and could not get it to work reliably. After toying around with remote access which is the main thing I got it for, I gave up and returned the item.

So in short great for within network stuff, poor for out of network access. So now that you guys know what your getting yourself into, for the price your getting a great network box, faster then most synologys. Just don't expect the great GUI or the remote access friendliness of other other big brand NAS companies. If they ever get the remote access worked out, ill be coming back to this brand for my future NAS needs.
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on March 18, 2013
UPDATE 3/20/13

I received the replacement unit un-boxed it, inserted the WD Green 3TB HDD, powered it up and Bingo!!!

The packaging of this drive was different than the first one I received. This one is a gray box (instead of a white box), and in the description it states that it can support up to 8TB. This important because it means that it comes with the latest firmware 4.5 (as of the time of this review). This is important because out of the box it will support the 4TB drives without any problems. The original would support up to 6TB, but required firmware right off the bat.

I think these devices got a bad wrap due to a bad firmware release. There are plenty of sites out there that provide support for this device. forums.NAS-Central . com is one of them, and the admin there is very knowledgeable of the devices.

So far, the drive is peroming well. I am uploading to it all my "My Documents" from the desktop HDD with is about 199GB. It seems to be moving at a high clip, yet I have not tested the speeds yet. I will test after it's done...I don't want to risk anything hanging up (My pc is dying a slow painful death).

I will update again on the complete setup far very satisfied.

NOTE: I was having trouble setting up sharing and automatic downloads, but I found out it was my browser. I was using IE8 on WinXP SP3, and some features would just sit there spinning looking for something. Did a quick search and found no similar issue. Ii switched to Chrome and all features worked perfectly. Not sure why, but I was able to continue with setup.

I received the product and tried to set it up. Given the signs, It is DOA, and I have already filled for a replacement with Amazon.

It seems to be a hit or miss thing with these...the ones that work, people love, but too may are coming DOA. I was not able to stabilize the drive (the system light never settled). I did put in a drive WD Green 3TB that may not be compatible with the current firmware (although I don't know what it is yet), so I will remove and try again tonight. Also called customer service, but only work Mon- Fri, so I will try again.

I am not giving up on these guys yet. I think it could be a very good unit.
I will update later.
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