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LG N2B1 Super-Multi NAS Reviewed

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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.




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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Contest #28 Results

User reviews

Average user rating from: 1 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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Nice NAS. However, one fatal flaw

Overall rating: 
Reviewed by Oregon Tech user
November 09, 2011
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Overall, this review is spot on. The overall design is really nice (the white body and black front cover) and having the unit sitting on a desk appears almost graceful. The drive mounts are fantastic. As the review stated, the drive is kind of pokey and the lack of ability to back the drive up to a removable USB drive is real downside.

However, there is a real fault to this unit. Using the unit in RAID mirroring mode, if you yank the drive and reinsert it, the NAS does NOT remount the drive for you. Also, there is no external warnings that the unit is in a degraded mode (ie RAID mirroring has failed). Instead, buried deep into the web interface, the unit indicates that it is “degraded” with no reason why. Only after reading about a dozen different posts, do you find that you have to manually remount the drive via the web interface which will reinstate the data sync.

So, IF one of your drives falters, there is no alarm or apparent warning that this is the case, other than if the whole unit is yanked from the drive. So, in theory, one drive could fail after another with no warning (and losing all of your data), all the while thinking that you have a robust RAID mirror in place. This is a significant flaw that is very concerning and I would seriously hope that LG is looking at this issue. As a tech guy, was easy to figure out a solution.. However, those with less skills that are thinking that there data is safe, are likely to be sorely disappointed when the drive fails and all your documents are toast.

If you are a casual tech user, I would highly recommend to steer away from this unit. If you are willing to, once a week, go into the jumbled web interface and check the status of the unit, then might be worth it. Maybe.