Hands On - more
Network - There's not really a lot to see on the network menu. You can configure your network settings for DHCP (default) or a Static IP address. You can also enable Dynamic DNS (DDNS) and select between the four DDNS providers shown in Figure 8. You can also select Automatic Port Forward if your router supports that feature via UPnP NAT Traversal.
Figure 8: NS 2 Network configuration
Eco Management - If you want to save a few watts of power, the features found on the Eco Management page will enable you to do so. You can elect to turn off the indicator light, and to enable "Eco Mode" (drive spindown) as shown in Figure 9. You can also schedule the NS2 to shutdown and startup at the same time each day.
Figure 9: Eco Management features
You can manually put the NS2 to sleep by briefly tapping the power switch on the rear of the device. "Deep sleep" only saves you about 6 watts, however. In normal mode, the NS2 consumes 10 - 12 W, and I measured sleep mode at 6 watts.
You can awaken the sleeping NS2 by again tapping the power switch briefly, or use the Wake on LAN option found in the LaCie Network Assistant program. However, to use Wake on LAN, you have to enter the MAC address of the NS2, which, unfortunately doesn't appear anywhere on a label on the device.
Support - This menu lets you set up email alerts as well as download log files. The NS2 does support authenticated SMTP servers.
Like many NASes, the NS2 supports remote access. However, there's not too much information available on this feature in the instruction manual. You can access your files remotely via HTTP or FTP. The secure versions of these protocols (HTTPS and FTPS) aren't supported. If you have set up DDNS and port forwarding, you can point your browser to your domain name and log in. As a non-administrative user, you will see a subset of the menu items available to the administrator. (Figure 10)
Figure 10: Menu options available to a non-administrator
Highlighted in yellow in Figure 10 is a tiny icon that provides you with access to an Ajax-based file browser. (Figure 11). A row of icons across the top of the file browser interface provides you with full file functions including delete, rename, move, upload, download, new directory, parent directory, thumbs and new file. Public shares as well as your private share are available through a drop down selection window in the upper left corner of the interface.
Figure 11: Web-based file browser
In addition to the built-in feature that allows you to copy one share to another, the NS2 ships with backup software for both the Windows and the Mac OS platforms. Unlike bundled backup software that is supplied with some NAS products, the backup software for the NS2 is surprisingly good.
The Windows software is called Genie Backup Assistant (Figure 12) and for the Mac, Intego Backup Assistant. The Windows version is limited to storing backups on the NS2 or local drives, but you can purchase an upgrade to allow backups to any NAS. Unfortunately, the included Intego Backup Assistant is limited to backing up to local drives only. As with the Windows software, there is an upgrade (Intego Backup Manager Pro) for the Mac that allows you to back up to the destination of your choice.