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LAN & WAN Reviews

Storage and File Serving

The new twist that the 8200 brings to the SOHO / SMB networking "appliance" party, however, is its ability to handle SMB and FTP-based file serving simply by adding a USB 2.0 or IEEE 1394 (Firewire) drive. Actually, USR told me that the 8200 will handle up to 30 drives connected to it, but only three - two USB and one Firewire - can be directly attached to the built-in ports.

USR8200 - Disk Information

Figure 13: Disk Information
(click on the image for a full-sized view)

Once you attach a drive and power cycle the 8200, a drive icon will appear (refer back to Figure 2) that, when clicked on, will bring up the Disk Information screen (Figure 13). Just the essentials are here, which include the ability to create, format, check and delete partitions as well as mount and unmount the entire drive.

The 8200 uses SAMBA which is based on the SMB (Server Message Block) protocol. This means that systems running pretty much any OS should be able to access the 8200's network shares.

Permissions are set on the Advanced > Users page (Figure 14), which you can see is not very sophisticated.

USR8200 - User settings

Figure 14: User Settings
(click on the image for a full-sized view)

You can only control whether a user has read and/or write privileges to all shares - no directory or even partition level access control is possible. You can see the other user settings possible from the screen shot, which include control of access via PPTP when the PPTP server is enabled.

FTP access to files is controlled via the Advanced > FTP screen (Figure 15).

USR8200 - FTP Server

Figure 15: FTP Server
(click on the image for a full-sized view)

Controls here are also pretty basic but will get the job done if your needs are simple.

The file sharing and FTP features need more work including bugfixes - I seemed to be able to access things that I didn't think I had permissions to - and addition of better access controls. Note that the firmware that I tested didn't allow controlling file sharing and FTP access separately.

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