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Trendnet TE100-MP2U and IOGEAR GUIP201

At a Glance
Products • Trendnet 2-Port Multi-Function Print Server (TE100-MP2U)
• IOGEAR USB Net ShareStation (GUIP201)
Summary Two inexpensive, but slow ways to put a USB flash or hard drive on your LAN
Pros • Inexpensive
• Not the slowest devices that I've seen
Cons • Slow
• Windows only
• Only Trendnet supports simultaneous multiple users

Judging from the interest I've seen in routers that have a built-in NAS function for USB flash and hard drives, there a more than a few folks interested in getting a USB drive onto their network to function as a NAS.

So I looked at two inexpensive ways to do this, Trendnet's TE100-MP2U 2-Port Multi-Function Print Server and IOGEAR's GUIP201 USB Net ShareStation. I found that both worked, but neither is a substitute for a real NAS.

Neither of these products are specifically made as NAS adapters / converters for USB drives. As the Trendnet's name states, its primary function is as a print server for multi-function printers. But since its product description says:"This product offers a cost effective solution to the challenge of sharing multi-function printer, fax, scanner and storage devices" and it was brought to my attention by a reader who used it for file sharing at a LAN party, I figured it was fair game.

The IOGEAR device is not a USB print or storage server per se, but a more general USB-to-network adapter. Its product description says that it "enables an external hard drive, flash drive, memory card reader, USB webcam, USB speaker, or USB Multi-Function Printer (MFP) to be shared on a network", so it also made the cut. I should note that IOGEAR also has the GMFPSU22W6 2-Port USB 2.0 Multi-Function Print and Storage Server, which appears to be a clone of the TE100-MP2U that sells for twice as much!

Internal Details

The differences in the devices are physically apparent. Figure 1 shows that the GUIP201 is less than half the size of the TE100-MP2U, which is, in turn, about the size of a deck of playing cards. The GUIP201 is so small and light that it kept being dragged off my test bench by the weight of the CAT 5 cable connecting it to my LAN switch. Annoying!

Size matters

Figure 1: Size matters

The insides are different as well. Figure 2 shows the GUIP201's board, which is pretty much an EST E1868M4-B10FFL1G and supporting components. Unfortunately, I couldn't find any reference to this device of the manufacturer on the net. Maybe someone out there knows who makes it (and what it is).

IOGEAR GUIP201 board
Click to enlarge image

Figure 2: IOGEAR GUIP201 board

Figure 3 shows the TE100-MP2U's board, which uses the RDC R3210, a RISC processor clocked at 150 MHz. I have seen this device twice before, in Linksys' NAS200 and Trendnet's TS-I300, both NASes, curiously enough. The 10/100 Ethernet port comes via a Realtek RTL8201CP and there is 8 MB of RAM and 2MB of flash.

Trendnet TE100-MP2U board
Click to enlarge image

Figure 3: Trendnet TE100-MP2U board

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