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You are here: NAS NAS Reviews D-Link DNS-320L ShareCenter 2-Bay Cloud Storage 2000 Reviewed - Inside, Features
 

D-Link DNS-320L ShareCenter 2-Bay Cloud Storage 2000 Reviewed - Inside, Features

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Inside

The 320L is very simple inside and it's easy to get there. Just push a button molded as part of the top cover and lift it off. I didn't remove anything to take the board photo below. Sorry that it's a bit fuzzy, but the shiny drive cage made flash photos unusable.

DNS-320L board

DNS-320L board

There isn't much to see besides the Marvell 88F6702 SoC, anyway. I've summarized the key components below in Table 1, along with those of its current DNS-325 sibling and now-discontinued DNS-321.

  DNS-320L DNS-325 DNS-321
CPU Marvell Kirkwood 88F6702 @ 1 GHz Marvell Kirkwood 88F6281 @ 1.2 GHz Marvell 88F5182 @ 400 MHz
Ethernet Marvell 88E1318 Marvell 88E1116R Marvell 88E1118
RAM 256 MB 256 MB 64 MB
Flash 128 MB 128 MB 16 MB
File System EXT4 EXT3 EXT2
Table 1: D-Link NAS component comparison

All three are Marvell-based and use different Ethernet PHYs and drive filesystems. This is the first I've encountered the 88F6702, which appears to be in the Kirkwood NAS SoC family. But I couldn't find any other information about it. It's fair to say, though, that the 320L is not a high-powered NAS.

Power consumption measured 16 W with two WD Red 3TB 7200 RPM (WD30EFRX) drives I supplied spun up and 7 W when the programmable drive spindown kicked in. No fan noise and little idle drive noise observed in my quiet home office environment earn the 320L a very low noise rating.

Features

D-Link is positioning the 320L as part of its mydlink "cloud" product family. We've reviewed the mydlink service itself along with a few of the products it powers including the DIR-605L cloud router and DCS-942L Network camera. We also looked at the mydlink services that specifically support IP cameras.

In each review to date, we haven't been impressed with mydlink and it looks like that record will be unbroken with the DNS-320L. But I'm getting ahead of myself...

Setup is easy enough. After inserting the drives and powering on the box, an installation wizard automatically launches so that you can adjust some basic settings (password, time zone, LAN, email). When that is done, you can log in (blank password) and will be presented with the Home screen below. Actually, the default Home screen has nothing installed in the My Favorite Applications section. I did that for the screenshot so that you could see all the "applications" in the product.

Home Page with all apps added

Home Page with all apps added

D-Link casts the net pretty wide for what it calls "applications", perhaps trying to imbue the product with more "app cred" than it deserves. For me, at least, the result was confusion, which was further not helped by the big Applications button shown on the screen above and the Application Managment screen obtained via the big Management button.

Each of these options showed a different set of "applications". You can see what I mean in the Gallery, where I've put relevant screen shots and commentary. I think this organization is a holdover from the add-in ability of the DNS-325. The programs shown under the big Applications button could be a fixed subset of the larger add-in library available there.

A wade through the data sheet and user manual helped compile the feature summary below.

Storage

  • Network file sharing via SMB/CIFS, NFS, AFP
  • WebDAV support
  • HTTP / HTTPS file and admin access
  • FTP, SFTP servers
  • Single, JBOD, RAID 0, RAID 1 volumes
  • EXT4 filesystem
  • ISO mounts

Backup

  • Scheduled and immediate networked backup to and from other D-Link NASes and rsync servers ("Remote Backups")
  • Internal scheduled and immediate folder to folder backup ("Local Backup")
  • Internal scheduled and immediate folder backup from only FTP or UNC share ("Local Backup")
  • USB device pushbutton copy to NAS
  • Apple Time Machine backup
  • D-Link ShareCenter Sync bundled client backup for Windows

Media

  • UPnP AV / DLNA media server
  • iTunes server
  • BitTorrent downloader
  • HTTP/FTP downloader
  • Photo album and gallery (Cooliris)

Cloud

  • Amazon S3 cloud backup
  • Remote access via mydlink.com and mydlinkcloud iOS, desktop and Android apps

Networking

  • Link speed setting
  • LLTD enable / disable
  • Dynamic DNS support (dlinkddns.com,DynDNS.org [custom & free options], no-ip.DDNS, tzo.com)
  • IPv6 support

Other

  • User level quotas
  • Email alerts
  • Logging
  • USB printer serving
  • UPS shutdown synchronization via USB
  • Programmable idle drive spindown
  • Scheduled shutdown
  • Auto restart after power failure

There are a few things missing that I can't ding D-Link too badly for, since they aren't really intended for the consumers this product is aimed at.

Updated 12/12/2012

Missing

  • No RAID migration and expansion. RAID migration supported from Non-RAID to RAID 1.
  • Active Directory and Windows domains not supported
  • No iSCSI

The 320L's feature set is vey similar to the DNS-325's. So please check that review for some additional commentary and screenshots. Note that the 320L does not support the optional add-ins that the DNS-325 does. What you see in the base feature set is what you get.

Not that there aren't some useful features there, including ISO mounts, WebDAV support for easy web-based file access and lots of backup features. But there are oddities, too, most notably the inability to initiate attached USB drive backups via anything other than a push on the 320L's front panel button. If you want scheduled backups, you'll need to do it over the network or internally drive-to-drive.

My main problem with the 320L is its positioning as a cloud-based NAS. Like other mydlink-enabled products, you can only connect the 320L to the mydlink cloud by running the installation process on the supplied CD. Since CDs are going the way of the floppy in this brave new smartphone and tablet-centric world, this is not user friendly, to say the least. Cloud centric devices should not require a computer to install them. Even Apple finally woke up and smelled the coffee on this point for all its iOS devices.

Even once I went through the activation process, I ran into a dead end when trying to access the 320L via the mydlink Cloud Android app. I could see the files just fine on mydlink.com. But I couldn't figure out the login for the Android app, which asked for Server, Account and Password.

As with other things mydlink, I could find no help among the various FAQ scattered among the various D-Link websites. I managed to find a mydlink Android app FAQ on mydlink.com. But referred only to the previous generation mydink lite app.

The Google Play store screenshots indicate that the app supports file browsing and download, photo viewing and music listenting. But, as you might expect from such a weakly-powered NAS, you can't view video files.

I've put a few more relevant screenshots into the gallery below. Be sure to check the DNS-325 review for additional feature commentary and screenshots.

Image Gallery



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User reviews

Average user rating from: 4 user(s)

NOTE! Please post product reviews from actual experience only.
Questions, review comments and opinions about products not based on actual use will not be published.

User Rating    [Back to Top]
Overall: 
 
2.8 Features :
 
2.8 Performance :
 
2.0 Reliability :
 
3.5
 
Ratings (the higher the better)
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Hardware is OK, but firmware and software are crap

Overall rating: 
 
1.7
Features:
 
1.0
Performance:
 
1.0
Reliability:
 
3.0
Reviewed by Mike
January 23, 2014
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Having a reasonable hardware, the device sports very poorly written software interface. The firmware upgrades bring you new icons and screen skins, but do not fix any problems. Lets face it: D-Link programmers cannot program.

If you plan to use you network drive for really securely sharing something amongst multiple users, DONT BUY THIS DEVICE. It is only functional under the admin account, so, unless you are ready to share this account amongst all the family members and have no real security, the devise is unusable.

The technical support is next-to-poor, if not to say: non-existent. 60% of the time, they do not answer phones, and if a Bozo answers you, he does not know anything useful beyond "Is the device powered up, sir?"

Waste of time and money. If I could give a negative rating, I would.

 

320L is a shame

Overall rating: 
 
1.3
Features:
 
2.0
Performance:
 
1.0
Reliability:
 
1.0
Reviewed by Leonardo
November 03, 2013
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I installed one unit of this NAS at home last week, and I am not a novice. I updated for the last firmware before starting to put a lot of files on it.

Tried to work with it during the weekend. Total disapointment!
It simply don´t do correctly some basic functions.

I converted files with Exact Audio Copy to Flac, put in the NAS... it do not recognize the "Tags" as the same files works fine in a pendrive at the USB of my Netgear.
It shows all the musics as in the same directory...

The refresh function continue to show files already removed from the sharing.

This is just one of the topics, I put some photos (8,26GB) on it and need to refresh the library.... It took about one hour!
We are talking about a 2TB NAS. Imagine if I decide to put 500GB of photos and need to "refresh" when i put some new??

I suggest that the review was made again.... because sure the reviewer in some points just believed that the functions work, but not tested.

The only part that worked fine was the films related. My TV accessed the files without problems. And the "refresh" is fast.

In fact, this product looks more as a ALFA prototype than a real product. A shame for DLink.

 

320L review

Overall rating: 
 
4.0
Features:
 
4.0
Performance:
 
3.0
Reliability:
 
5.0
Reviewed by alex
April 26, 2013
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Have had this NAS for 2 months now. It is a very reliable and good value 2-bay NAS.

The main reasons for buying the 320L were the price and the very low fan noise (I am an audiophile). I use it for video and audio streaming. To increase performance for video streaming I activated the NFS service.

There are also extra unofficial utilities that can be installed (see NAS tweaks and funplug)

Pros - Reliable, Quiet, Best price in its category

Cons - Performance for file read/write and read could be better

Overall - For the price it is an excellent 2-bay NAS

 

Good - but too noisy for home use

Overall rating: 
 
4.0
Features:
 
4.0
Performance:
 
3.0
Reliability:
 
5.0
Reviewed by Aenveigh
March 27, 2013
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A good, inexpensive unit with oncouple inexcusable flaw, even after taking into consideration its price. The fan is just too high pitched and noisy for home use, unless isolated in a far-flung study. In an apartment it would drive you crazy. There's adjustment available but it's only to allow it to be on high speed permanently! At least it spins down in cooler conditions, which isn't that often when you have both drive slots filled.
Features and performance are what you'd expect from this type of unit; solid, but not stellar. Well worth it if noise is not an issue.