|TRENDnet USB 2.0 Network Storage Server (TS-U200)|
|Summary||BYO NAS that can share USB hard, CD-ROM and flash drives. Also backs up memory cards to defined shares.|
|Pros||• Push-button backup of memory cards & USB Flash keys
• Auto download (backup) feature
• No event logging or alerts
There are three basic types of consumer Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices on the market today. The first is completely self-contained. It comes with the basic electronics of the device and the disk-drive(s) integrated inside a single box. The second type, a Bring Your Own Disk (BYOD) box, is like the first, except that consumers purchase their own disk drives and install them into the box themselves.
The third type separates the computer that runs the file server from the disk drive(s), where file server and disk(s) go into their own separate boxes. Consumers plug a standard external disk drive chassis into such units to share one or more drives across the network. The Linksys NSLU2 [reviewed here] is a popular example of this third type of product. But there's ample room for competition in this market segment. In this review, I look at a competitor to the NSLU2, the TRENDnet TS-U200.
Like the NSLU2, the TS-U200 is tiny. Its size, shape and styling are those of a small paperback book. The front of the unit includes a number of status LEDs along with slots for numerous flavors of memory cards including CF Type I/II, Smart Media, Memory Sticks (Pro and Duo included), SD, and MMC.
The back of the unit, shown in Figure 1, has two USB 2.0 ports, a 10/100 Ethernet port, power connector, reset button, and a button for unmounting the disk drives.
Figure 1: Rear view of the TS-U200
The top of the TS-U200 proffers a single button labeled "Backup" (you can see it at the upper rear right in Figure 1, on the front edge of the top). It's used to copy the contents of a memory card to a disk drive plugged into one of the device's USB ports.