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NAS Reviews

Introduction

ADS NAS Drive Kit (NAS806EF)
Summary BYOD enclosure to turn a 3.5 inch IDE drive into a SAMBA-based NAS drive. Similar to Hawking HNAS1
Update None
Pros • Inexpensive
Cons • Buggy BitTorrent client
• Noisy
• Poor performance

ADS NAS Drive Kit

According to some reports, the file-sharing program BitTorrent, accounts for one-third of all bandwidth used on the Internet. That's a tremendous amount of data flowing around and shows there is a lot of consumer demand. For the most part, using BitTorrent involves installing a client on your computer, finding a torrent file and starting a download that, depending on the popularity of the file, may take several days to complete. But perhaps there's a better way to get your file without tying up your computer.

I've been following several efforts to develop custom firmware for NAS devices and noticed a lot of interest in installing BitTorrent clients. It's a good idea. Some obscure torrent files I've downloaded took a week or more to acquire. During that time, I had to remember not to shut my system down, log out or stop the client. If I'd done the download using a client on a NAS device, I could have started it up and just checked in now and then to see how the download was progressing.

Up until now, using a NAS and torrent together meant using a custom modified firmware. But perhaps that's changing. ADS has introduced the first consumer NAS I've seen that includes a BitTorrent client built-in to the firmware, and in this review, I'll check it out.

When I first saw the ADS NAS Drive Kit, I recognized it as being based on the same OEM unit as the Hawking Net-Stor, reviewed here. I won't go into deep detail of the basics of the ADS NAS Drive Kit, since most of its feature set is the same as the Net-Stor. Instead, I'll just highlight a few differences, such as the web-based user interface (Figure 1) which was obviously customized for the ADS unit:

ADS User Interface

Figure 1: ADS User Interface

One of my complaints regarding the Net-Stor has been corrected in the ADS unit. Whereas the Net-Stor didn't have the capability to acquire an IP address via DHCP, the ADS unit does. Another addition to the ADS is a personal web server (Figure 2) which is a nice addition for people who want to use their NAS as a generic web server. One drawback for both the Hawking and ADS products is noise - both are among the noisiest networked storage products I've tested.

Personal Web Server

Figure 2: Personal Web Server

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