Tritton Simple NAS - Features
Once I connected to the Simple NAS under Windows and determined its IP address, I could configure it using either my Windows or my Mac OS X machines (Figure 2). The first operation required when configuring the box is initializing the hard drive. The menu used to do this appeared to work fine, but I had to reset the device and repeat the initialization once before it seemed to take.
Figure 2: Simple NAS Initialization
Other options include standard network address and password setup, a log that showed daily file transfer activity, disk check utility, and a programmable spin-down time for the drive. The spin-down setting is a nice feature that all of these types of devices should have. My NAS gets used only sporadically, so having the drive shut down when it's idel helps to reduce noise and drive wear-and-tear.
Another nice feature I explored was the FTP server (Figure 3). Menus are provided for creating FTP users (up to 5 simultaneous users) and setting up permissions. The screen layout for this menu was a bit off, but FTP seemed to work fine. Note that you can change the port that the FTP server operates on from its default of 21, but you can't change the HTTP port for the admin webserver from its default of 80.
Figure 3: Simple NAS FTP Setup
I next explored the file sharing capabilities, which is the main use for the box. The Simple NAS provides a menu for basic management such as creating folders to share, renaming folders, deleting folders, setting password protection, etc. Tritton says the Simple NAS supports up to 64 simultaneously-connected users.
But unlike the FTP server, there are no options for creating different users or groups of users for file sharing. So folder permissions apply to anyone accessing a share. By the way, the Folder Share menu was displayed improperly, with its values misaligned under the column headings (Figure 4).
Figure 4: Simple NAS Folder Management
Once I set up my shares, I was ready to try them out. But I quickly ran into some problems. Mounting and using the shares under Windows was straightforward and well-documented. But trying to mount the shares on my iBook, using my newly-upgraded OSX Tiger operating system failed. All I would get is a seemingly "hung" Finder, which is something I've never seen on any of the other NAS I've tested.
I had better luck mounting a share from a terminal using the OSX "mount_smbfs" command. But when doing the mount, I saw several warnings complaining about an "incomplete copy" and a busy resource. Despite the warnings, however, the share mounted and seemed to work fine. Fortunately, when I checked with Tritton about this, they sent me new firmware (version 5-0607 June 08, 2005) that fixed the problem.