|SimpleTech SimpleShare Office Storage Server 250GB|
|Summary||Consumer NAS with unique security and RAID features.|
|Pros||• Hardware encryption
• Supports RAID 0, 1
• Solid Construction
• OSX, Linux and Windows support
|Cons||• Lack of bundled backup software
• Relatively poor write performance
I've looked at a number of Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices over the last few months and they have all had a fairly standard feature set. As consumer NAS' become more and more common, manufacturers will need to add new features to make them stand out from the pack. In this review, I'll take a look at a NAS device that has some of those unique features - the SimpleShare by SimpleTech.
The first thing I noticed when I unpacked the device was its heft. It felt more substantial than your typical piece of consumer networking gear. This little box was not a lightweight and as I unwrapped it I saw why. The case was constructed of heavy duty aluminum with only a small plastic panel on front and a full-size panel on back.
Next I noticed that instead of flat sides on the box, there were large dimples that reminded me of a golf ball. Whimsical or functional? Maybe the dimples would assist in heat dissipation? But, regardless of their purpose they gave the box a distinct look that I appreciated. I also appreciated the weight - this was not a box that would fall over the first time I brushed against its power-cord or network cable.
The SimpleShare's size is a bit more compact than other consumer NASes being around only about 50% larger than the 3.5 inch drive it enclosed. The front panel has several LEDs, including a blue one that's bright enough to cast shadows at night! Along with the power input, the back panel (Figure 1) had a single Ethernet port, a power switch, a reset switch and dual USB 2.0 ports. Of note was the lack of fan air vents. This box is fanless, relying instead on its heavy aluminum case to dissipate heat.
Figure 1: SimpleShare Rear ports
Included in the box was a "Getting Started" guide along with a network cable, 12V power adapter, installation CD and two plastic stands. The model I reviewed was a 250 GB unit, but SimpleTech also sells a 160 GB version. Browsing the "Getting Started" guide indicated that the device was pre-configured with default settings. So with that in mind, I initially ignored the installation CD, plugged it into my network and powered it up.