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Linksys Network Storage Link for USB 2.0 Disk Drives reviewed

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Linksys Network Storage Link for USB 2.0 Disk Drives

Linksys Network Storage Link for USB 2.0 Disk Drives
Summary Open Source-based SAMBA server converts any external USB drive to shared network storage.
Update 7/9/2004 - Corrected Flash and RAM sizes
7/7/2004 - Backup bugfix released. Info on hidden syslog page added. Admin login info added
Pros • Gives you the flexibility to adjust NAS capacity to your budget
• Built-in disk-to-disk and client-to-disk backup utility
• Supports file read via HTTP
• Good value for the money
Cons • Unbalanced read / write performance
• Not secure for access via Internet

One of the challenges that computer manufacturers face is managing their hard drive inventory - a problem that is shared by makers of networked storage devices. Although drive prices are insanely low on a cost-per-gigabyte basis, they still can be the major factor in a NAS product's retail price. And who wants to be left holding inventory when the next drive capacity bump-up hits?

Some networking product companies have approached this problem by making routers with built-in NAS features that require BYO storage. - USR's 8200 [reviewed here] and NETGEAR's WGT634U to name two. It was only a matter of time before someone broke the BYODisk NAS function out into its own box.

That time has now come with Linksys' NSLU2 Network Storage Link. I'm happy to report that it works well and even addresses my number one request to NAS device makers - backup!

Related Items:

Slideshow - Buffalo LinkStation Live
Slideshow - Synology DS207
Buffalo Technology Gigabit LinkStation
Slideshow: Linksys NAS200
Slideshow - LaCie Ethernet Big Disk

User reviews

Average user rating from: 1 user(s)

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Good product, under-rated

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Reviewed by S2Nice
March 03, 2010
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First let me say that the NSLU2, or SLUG as some call it, is very reliable and quite handy for sharing files, music, photos, movies, etc. in your home network, even in your small-office network. I have had one running virtually hitch-free for three years now. The ONLY times it has failed me, or at least made me THINK it failed me, were before I got a battery backup. It seems lighting storms and their associated effects on the already-over-extended power grid can make small computers do silly things, like forget your network settings or whatnot. As dirty as the electric service can be sometimes, we should all be using a battery backup (aka UPS) anyways, so that shouldn't be an issue with your SLUG.

I absolutely love mine, and I love that it's a go-between or adapter, rather than a stand-alone network-storage-in-a-box solution. You take that external hard drive you already have, or that new one you bought and haven't put to use yet, and plug it in to the SLUG for reliable, easily-accessed network storage. And for any of you who understand linux/unix, you can hack this thing with all kinds of cool modifications. But, if you're a MS-dependent/PC like me, you just use the OEM firmware that's already in it and it's a perfect little home media server/file dump/movie gallery/jukebox storage... you get the drift.

The only problem I'm running into lately is that my storage needs are growing, but that doesn't mean I need a new network storage device, I just need to up-size the usb drives I'm using with my SLUG. It will still handle my needs for years to come, and use far less power than those stand-alone NAS boxes with full-size hard drives built in (that aren't so easy to 'swap out'), cooling fans, etc etc. This baby just works, and doesn't make any noise. As a matter of fact, the biggest problem I have is letting go of my five-year old, chunky, hot, noisy external hard drive. Me and my SLUG would both be happier if I just hooked up a USB hard drive enclosure that ran off the power in the SLUG's USB ports. One less cord, less electric waste.