As you would expect of a product targeted to consumers, setting up the Stora is fairly simple. After you connect the device to your network and boot it up, you run an installation wizard from the supplied CD. (There are Mac and PC versions of the wizard.)
During the installation process, you are asked for a name for the device, and an administrator’s password. The wizard also installs an agent that runs in your Windows system tray (Figure 5).
Figure 5: System tray options
You will use the system name, in conjunction with a user name and password to access the Stora using a web browser either remotely or on your local network (Figure 6).
Figure 6: Stora login in page
Unlike many NASes that provide public access to all shares unless user account access restrictions are enabled, the Stora requires users to log in to obtain access. Opening the Stora applications from the system tray, or alternatively, pointing your browser to www.mystora.com lands you at the login page. Initially, you’ll have to log in as admin to create additional users. After a successful login, you’ll see the Landing Page (Figure 7).
Figure 7: Stora landing page
Logged in as admin, you can click on Preferences (Figure 8) to add additional users or configure other settings. Frankly, I found the dark color scheme a little difficult to read. Under Administration, you can create additional users. For each user, you can permit admin privileges and allow access to the FamilyLibrary folders. When you create a user, private folders are automatically set up for MyDocuments, MyVideos, MyMusic and MyPhotos.
Figure 8: Stora Preferences
Most of the Preference menu selections only have one entry available when you expand them. I was disappointed that the Help menu wasn’t really very helpful. Most products, especially those aimed at consumers, have help menus that are context sensitive and provide some amount of information for the currently selected menu item. The help menu in the Stora UI contained only two entries: one for the support web page; and another that linked you to the online version of the 133 page manual.
If you use the Stora Windows Tray agent shown in Figure 5 above, drives X, Y, Z (if available) are automatically mapped to MyComputers (used for backup), FamilyLibrary, and MyLibrary as shown in Figure 9.
Figure 9: Using the Stora agent, drives are automatically mapped
Similarly, using the Stora agent on a Mac, you can mount the three individual volumes on your desktop. Alternatively, you can browse the network and map drives using Explorer (or Finder on the Mac). Folders under MyLibrary are your personal folders, and files contained in the FamilyLibrary folders are accessible to logged in users if granted FamilyLibrary privileges. If you are accessing your Stora remotely, you can browse the network drives through the Stora agent, but you can’t remotely map drives.