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NAS Reviews

Hawking Net-Stor - Features

As with the Simple NAS, the first thing that has to be done is to format the disk drive, which was done in short order using one of the admin menus. Once I had the drive formatted, I explored the configuration options available. I found controls for setting the time zone, changing the administration password, creating shared folders, etc. Hawking says the Net-Stor will support five simultaneously-connected file-sharing and five FTP users.

The user options are richer than the Simple NAS' (Figure 7). You can create users and individually assign them read and write privileges to shares, but can't assign per-user disk-use quotas. You also can't create groups of users, but there is a concept of "Supervisor" user vs. "General" user. However, it isn't clear what additional privileges a "Supervisor" user has.

Net-Stor Main Menu

Figure 7: Net-Stor Main Menu
(click image to enlarge)

Users can also be given FTP access to the box (Figure 8). Anonymous FTP is supported and so is the ability to automatically log out idle users (default is 15 minutes). Note that as with the Tritton Simple NAS, 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.

Net-Stor User setup

Figure 8: Net-Stor User setup

One important (at least to me) feature missing is setting of the drive spin-down time. Unless the device has a default non-changeable setting, the drive will run continuously regardless of usage patterns. There is also no logging whatsoever, so you won't be able to track logins for either file sharing or FTP users.

Once I had the Net-Stor configured the way I wanted it, I was able to mount and use the network shares normally from my Windows notebook. And even though the device is not advertised to support Apple's OS X, I was also able to use the network shares without problem from my iBook. Of course, I was also able to log in to the FTP server and transfer files back and forth using both flavors of machines.

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