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NAS Reviews

Introduction

LG N2B1 Super-Multi NAS

At a Glance
Product LG Super-Multi NAS (N2B1DD2)
Summary Two drive RAID 1 hot-swappable NAS with built-in optical drive for backups.
Pros • Simple to set up
• Supports Apple Time Machine
• Standby and Hibernate modes to conserve energy
Cons • No jumbo frame support
• No secure remote access
• eSATA port did not mount eSATA disk
• iSCSI supports only optical drive
• Weak U.S. support

If you're like me, you associate LG Electronics with premium-priced appliances such as refrigerators, washers and dryers.  And, over the years, I've owned at least four LG cell phones.  LG isn't, however, a name that you'd associate with Network Attached Storage. 

LG is out to change that perception with six new dual-drive NASes that join their previously-introduced N4B1 quad-drive sibling.  As with LG's appliance product line, the new Super-Multi NAS products carry a premium price, but also have several features that just might justify the price.

LG's main claim to fame for its NASes is the inclusion of an optical drive for backup.   The N2 line has the option of either a DVD or Blu-ray writer, while the N4 comes standard with a Blu-ray drive. Table 1 shows the six versions of the N2 that are available. LG sent the N2B1DD2 version for review.

Model

Drive

Capacity

Retail Price

N2R1DD1 DVD 1TB*1 $299.00
N2R1DD2 DVD 1TB*2 $379.00
N2B1DD1 BD 1TB*1 $399.00
N2B1DD2 BD 1TB*2 $479.00
N2R1 DVD Enclosure $229.00
N2B1 BD Enclosure $329.00
Table 1: LG N2 NAS Product Family

Figure 1 shows the N2B1DD2 NAS with the front door open to reveal two 1TB drives.  The two Hitachi HDT720100SLA360 Deskstar 1 TB drives each mount in a tray that slides into one of the two drive bays.   To remove a drive, you have to unlock a small mechanical release, and then squeeze the two buttons on the front of the drive.  The front panel also has multi-colored LED indicators to show LAN activity, individual drive activity and optical drive activity.  An LCD panel at the top displays or allows you to configure the IP address for the device, and lets you do "one touch" backups. On the top of the NAS, there's a pop-up panel that has a memory card reader and a single USB port.

N2B1 NAS with front panel opened

Figure 1: N2B1 NAS with front panel opened to expose the hard drives.

Figure 2 shows the rear panel with a Gigabit Ethernet, two USB 2.0 and single eSATA ports.  The eSATA port doesn't appear to be functional, since it didn't recognize a drive we plugged in during testing. The port also isn't even mentioned in the User Manual.

The rear panel also has a security slot so that you can lock down the device with a security cable.  And a cable restraint helps ensure that the power connector won't be accidentally disconnected. 

Rear panel of the N2B1 NAS

Figure 2:  Rear panel of the N2B1 NAS

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