Well, I’ve had my new little NAS box up and running for a few days now and so far so good and couldn’t be more happier with it. There’s so many configurable options and addons to tinker around with it’s certainly in line with some of the more professional solutions but without the hefty price tag.
Here’s a link to a pretty good review of the ZyXEL NAS Server at PC Pro magazine –
Hat’s off to eBuyer for such a speedy delivery. I ordered mine at 3pm and received it before noon the following day! Impressive to say that this was on their economy five day service!
Box contents include the NAS unit itself, Mains PSU, Setup CD, Ethernet cable, instruction booklet and and removable stand/cradle.
The NAS unit appears to be well made with a sturdy outer casing, rear cooling fan (which hopefully won’t be too loud) and a finger print loving black gloss front panel.
The plastic feet/cradle thing is a little flimsy but does it’s job to keep the enclosure from falling over. I’ll be having the unit tucked under my desk in a horizontal position therefore I won’t be using the cradle.
Installation of the SATA hard drive was very easy. Simply undo one screw at the bottom front of the unit and remove the front panel and slide in the HDD (Sata/power side in first) until it clicks into place. Refit the front panel, tighten the screw and hey presto, installation complete.
Fitting my 2TB drive.
Here’s a shot of the rear of the unit showing the USB port (which I’m using to network my USB printer throughout my LAN), eSata port for Raid 1 support, Ethernet port for connection to my Router, Power input and cooling fan – which I’m please to announce is very quiet.
At first, I was getting a little vibration noise whilst the hard drive disk was spinning up, especially having the case on a wooden desk. However, once I’d affixed a couple of little adhesive foam pads to the bottom of the NAS case, it was almost completely silent.
Here’s the front panel – please note, the blue power light isn’t that bright, it’s just the way my iPhone camera has caught the moment. Also note the ‘copy/sync’ button – once configured via the webgui any USB thumbdrive/external HDD plugged into the front USB port can be auto sync’d to the NAS (or vice versa) at the touch of a button…..very useful for a snapshot back up of my thumb drive.
With the HDD installed & the NAS unit powered on, you use the enclosed CD software to detect and setup the unit (or browse to the default IP address via a web browser).
Once you’ve prepped the HDD and set TCP/IP details (also support DynDNS), browsing to the NAS box gives you access to the entire device, shares, and a multitude of services and features.
Here’s the status screen…I do love my stats!
Setting up my initial shared folders. I can even have these accessible over the Internet.
Here’s some of the wonderful features that’s included –
Time Syn server
Disk tools for copy, migrating disk images.
Static/Dynamic IP address mapping
You can configure an external HTTP admin port (obviously need to port forward on your router)
Media Server – can stream content to a range of DNLA certified devices – I’m currently using standard mapped drives to stream content to my HTPC. I will be experimenting with streaming via VLC soon.
BitTorrent client – very useful for unattended d/loading and has lots of configurable options like up/down limits, priority jobs, number of connected clients and man y more. Also support DHT.
Can act as a web server and publish content from the shares
Can be used to host a WordPress blog
Can auto upload pictures to Flickr
Can auto upload video to YouTube
Can capture footage from a USB/IP based Webam/CCTV camera..hmm, want to try this out with my IP cam.
Unattended upload to an FTP site.
Can auto download from RSS feeds/links. I’m finding this very handy for auto downloading podcasts!
Print Server – turns a standard USB printer into a shared network resource.
Power Management including the ability to set up scheduled power on/off/reboot based on daily, weekly or monthly time slots – by far one of the most useful features and means that my NAS is not always left switched on overnight (unless required).
Very detailed logging options can be configured for all aspects of the NAS and are acccesable via the web gui or can be pushed to email and/or to a Syslog server – As a Techie, this is heaven 🙂
Backup or configuration/data
Can act as a iTunes server to stream content.
Supports SSL connections
Very detailed help guide available via the web gui.
Package Manager – With this handy feature, you can connect to a package repository and download/add more functionality to the NAS. This includes pyload, phy/mysql, backup planner, emule client, NFS protocols, web picture gallery and more.
So….as you can see, for simply sharing your files and folders around your network the ZyXEL NAS server is the perfect solution…and for you tech heads that want plenty of options and cool toys to play with, the ZyXEL NAS server is the perfect solution 🙂
Please also note, ZyXEL also produce a twin bay NAS box with the same frontend if you’d prefer a RAID solution or increased disk space options.