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Hawking Net-Stor - Basics

The Net-Stor is larger than the Simple NAS, with a length of nearly 9" and a height of just over 5". Its rear panel is similar to the Simple NAS with a fan vent, power connector, 10/100 Ethernet port and no USB port for drive expansion. The front of the device has a power button along with Power, Link / Act (for the LAN connection) and HD (for disk access) LEDs. As with the Simple NAS, there are neither general trouble nor disk-full indicators.

The case is made of medium-weight aluminum with plastic front and rear end-caps and ships with a UTP network cable, power adapter, and installation CD. But unlike the Simple NAS, the Net-Stor doesn't include any backup software.

Hawking Technologies' Net-Stor

Figure 5: Hawking Technologies' Net-Stor

Installing a 3.5" drive (up to 250GB is supported) was straightforward and quickly accomplished. The Net-Stor is constructed more traditionally than the Simple NAS. A metal frame is positioned on top of the circuit board and tabs on the frame are used to secure the drive. Once I had everything assembled, I connected a network cable and the power adapter, then plugged it in.

Once the box booted up, I noted that, much like the Simple NAS, the Net-Stor was also loud. I'm not sure which of the two was louder, but both were a lot louder than either the Kuro Box or the Maxtor Shared Storage drive they were sitting next to.

When I went back to my Windows laptop to start configuration of the Net-Stor, I noticed I had lost outside network connectivity. Thinking that my cable modem was down, I rebooted it, but the problem remained. Resigning myself to enduring a problem with the cable company, I continued with the configuration. The included Windows-only CD had an installation wizard that searched for, and located the Net-Stor on my LAN.

Once the device was located, a web browser was spawned for configuration. When the web browser came up, I noticed that it had connected to which is the IP address of my router. No wonder I had lost network connectivity, since the Net-Stor had assumed the IP address of my router rather than acquiring a new one via DHCP.

I went into the network configuration screen to change the address (Figure 6) and noticed that there isn't an option for getting an address via DHCP rather than using a static address. This is quite odd, and unique among all of the different NAS and networked multimedia devices I've worked with.

Net-Stor IP Address setup
Figure 6: Net-Stor IP Address setup

Once I connected to the device, I manually setup the network parameters by changing the IP address and the gateway. I also changed the DNS server address from the default, shown in Figure 6, to my ISP's DNS server. With this done, I verified that I again had outside Internet access and could access the Net-Stor at its new address.

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