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Setup and Features

For Windows users, TRENDnet supplies a utility named Easy Search. When I first launched the utility, it was as if I were having a flashback to the installation of the D-Link DNS-323 that I recently reviewed. The Easy Search utility was identical to the one supplied by D-Link. In fact, when I launched the TRENDnet utility, in addition to the TS-I300, the utility also discovered the D-Link DNS-323 that is still on my network.

Unlike the D-Link NAS, however, the TRENDnet defaults to the DHCP disabled and assigns an address of 192.168.1.2. Even though my network has a different addressing scheme, Easy Search found the TS-I300 and allowed me to change the configuration to DHCP.

Easy search also lets you change the Workgroup Name, map a drive letter, and connect to the web-based configuration and management page.

Interestingly, although the quick guide recommends using the Easy Search utility for initial discovery, the user manual (supplied on CD as a .PDF file) first goes through the process of having you change your network settings to 192.168.1.0 network and connect to the Web browser page on the NAS for further configuration.

The instructions left out a few steps, such as browsing the network and connecting to the drive, and probably should have been listed after the Easy Search configuration method.

Figure 6 shows the Easy Search utility with TS-I300 discovered on the network.

Easy Search utility discovering the TS-I300 on 
      the network

Figure 6: Easy Search utility discovering TS-I300 on the network

By default, the TS-I300 is configured to allow all user full access to the root of the volume. You can change default configuration settings using the browser-based configuration pages. The menu system is quite simple. The Home page provides you with four options: Basic; Advanced; Maintenance; and Logout.

The Basic page includes options for renaming the TS-I300, changing workgroup assignments, configuring LAN settings and setting the time zone. The TS-I300 gives you options of setting its real-time clock from either your computer or from an NTP server on the Internet. It appears to refresh the time only when you click the Test button.

The Advanced section has seven sub-menus, the first being Account. Account allows you to configure up to 50 users. Options allow you to add users, delete list, or modify users. The only modification allowed is change password.

The next sub-menu is Session. If you choose to assign access based on user login rather than allowing everyone access to the whole drive, the Session menu allows you to define, at a sub-directory level, what each user can access. For example, you could allow User1 read-only access to the Media directory, but full access (read/write) to a directory containing his files.

Unlike the D-Link DNS-323 that supports group rights (although not very well), the TS-I300 does not support groups. Each assignment of rights requires its own "session" entry. Though supported by the underlying Linux operating system, a "no access" option does not exist. The only choices are Read-Only and Read/Write.

Figure 7 shows the network access (Add Session) screen.

Add session screen

Figure 7: Add session screen

I found the web interface for sessions somewhat difficult and confusing to use. Though most home consumers will probably just allow everyone on the network full access to the NAS device; in small offices, you might want to restrict access.

The Modify Sessions view (shown in Figure 8 below) allows you to see the defined sessions, but there isn't a view that shows access privileges by user. The Session tab also provides some additional security in the form of an IP filter. You can choose to allow or deny up to 32 specific IP addresses. Your choice of allowing or denying IP addresses applies to all addresses in your list.

Modify session screen

Figure 8: Modify session screen

Initially, I was confused when I browsed the network neighborhood and saw multiple entries in some cases for shares on the TS-I300. (Refer to Figure 9 below.) In these cases, there were multiple session profiles with different rights assigned to users. By default, the HDD_a profile grants full access to all users.

If you decide to implement network access control at the directory level, you'll need to change the default HDD_a profile. When you generate a session with different access rights, those shares will appear as HDD_a-1, but at the same level as HDD_a.

The creation of multiple session profiles was not explained in the instruction manual and most likely will be confusing to a novice who wants to set up more than basic "full access" rights.

Figure 9 illustrates the different session profiles for the attached Seagate_b1 share.

Different session profiles

Figure 9: Different session profiles

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