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You are here: NAS NAS Reviews Move Over DNS-323: D-Link DNS-321 Reviewed

Move Over DNS-323: D-Link DNS-321 Reviewed

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D-Link DNS-323 2 Bay Network Storage Enclosure


At a Glance
Product D-Link 2 Bay Network Storage Enclosure (DNS-321)
Summary Slightly lower-cost version of popular dual-drive RAID 1 NAS
Pros • Decent performance for the money
• Automatic up to 9k jumbo frame support
• Supports separate drives, JBOD, RAID 0, RAID 1
• FTP, iTunes, UPnP AV servers
• Quiet
Cons • No USB print server
• No logging
• Tricky RAID 1 fail recovery

Our DNS-323 review has always been among our top five most-read NAS reviews, pretty much from the day it was published in late 2006. So I think it's safe to assume that D-Link has sold a pile of them. But D-Link has decided to put buyers who have been eyeing the 323 in a bit of a pickle with the addition of the DNS-321.

The 321 is a dual-drive NAS that matches the 323 on a feature-for-feature basis with two exceptions. Its download manager doesn't handle BitTorrent and it has no USB port to support USB print serving. In return for accepting these deleted features, D-Link will let your wallet be about $40 fatter if you opt for the 321. But will you also suffer a performance hit if you decide to go for the less expensive option? We'll see shortly.

Internal Details

The Inside Story: D-Link DNS-321 vs. DNS-323 article has a comparison of the 323 and 321's boards. Figure 1 shows the 321's board, which is completely different than the 323's.

D-Link DNS-321 main board
Click to enlarge image

Figure 1: DNS-321 Main board

The most significant difference is that the 321 uses a Marvell 88F5182-A2 C400 (clocked at 400 MHz), which has the SATA interface built in, while the 323 uses a Marvell 88F5181 (clocked at 500 MHz) combined with a Marvell 88X7042 PCIe to Serial ATA Controller chip.

Related Items:

The Four Drive DNS-323: D-Link DNS-343 Reviewed
Thecus YES Box N2100 Retest
NETGEAR ReadyNAS Pro Performance Retest
Slideshow: D-Link DNS-343 4-Bay Network Storage Enclosure
Slideshow: Netgear ReadyNAS Duo

User reviews

Average user rating from: 2 user(s)

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Questions, review comments and opinions about products not based on actual use will not be published.

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Good movie streaming NAS

Overall rating: 
Reviewed by gli
November 06, 2011
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I purchased this NAS in 2008, i put two 500 GB Seagate 7200 RPM drives in it. the noise level was anoying but bearable. recently I swapped the harddrive with one of those green WD 1.5TB drives and boy it makes a lot of difference.


DNS-3xx are great but sub par transfers

Overall rating: 
Reviewed by Graham
May 16, 2010
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*Supports up to 2TB Drives with no issues with the latest firmware update

* Transfer speeds to the Device Cap out at 10.2 Megs a sec over a Gigabit network with Jumbo frames turned on using a 12" Cat6E Network cables connected to my DGS-1024D.

* Just like the DNS-323/343 it has a Loud Fan
* Can get a little toasty, mine sits around 50c
* Isn't a True Gigabit device
* Tech Support is a Joke from what I can tell the few times I had to call in. The agent I talked with had no idea the difference between a router and a switch. She also sounded like she was a robot reading off what was on her screen and I also had to repeat myself more times that I would like to admit. I wanted to jump through the phone and start showing her how to use her computer just so I could end up resolving my issue. I gave up on D-Links so called Tech support and just Googled my issue and within 5 minuted I found and resolved the problem I had unlike the Hour I spent on the phone with D-Link with only to end up hanging up on them because DLinks agent had no clue.

The DNS-321/323/343 (which I also own) are great little devices, since I recently filled up my DNS-323 and DNS-321 (both have 2x WD Green 1.5TB Drives) I picked up the DNS-343 with 4x 2tb WD Green drives.

My entire network runs through the DGS-1024D which is then connected to a D-Link DIR-825 router. I use all CAT6E cables.

Transfer speeds between computers (using WD Green Drives I can get between 60 - 90+ megs a sec under raid 5. However Transfering files to and from the DNS-323/321 (Raid 1) and DNS-343 (Raid 5) will cap out well under 15megs a sec.

For storing Multimedia content like HD Movies, Music and Photos to stream to a HTPC case they do the job well and with the built in Raid options you be rest at ease knowing that your Data will be safe.

However if your looking for a way to transfer files faster between computers you may just be better off and getting the Drobo and then sharing it on a computer over the network.

The only issue I have with these NAS devices by D-Link is that they sell these devices as 10/100/1000 and they are NOT. I'm Happy with the device, it does what I want it to do and its small enough that I can simply put it in the closet with the rest of my servers and networking gear. However maybe next time Dlink is thinking about slapping the 10/100/1000 sticker on a device they will make sure it can support those speeds.

If you can avoid D-Links Tech Support, search your problem on goodle and you will find its faster then talking with D-Link.