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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.

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