Network Storage: Three NAS Units Rounded Up

Conclusion

Promise NS2300N

With its NS3200N, Promise delivers a compact NAS device well-suited for home networking use. The workmanship on the plastic enclosure is decent and reasonably attractive. While the design is plain, it's still easy on the eyes. The built-in 80 mm fan runs only at a fixed setting of 2,400 RPM, but is not disturbingly loud.

The administrative interface for the NS2300n is Web-based, with excellent menu organization highlighted by mostly self-explanatory entries and options. It's also available in 10 major languages, including English, of course.

The only negative in our overall evaluation of the NS2300N comes by comparison with the other NAS devices we examined--it offers much lower network throughput overall. But to offset this behavior, it also consumes much less power (12 W in sleep mode) and is very inexpensive (under $170).

Qnap TS-509 Pro

Qnap brings the old motto "if you're going to do something, you might as well do it right" to mind. The decision to outfit the TS-509 Pro with an Intel Celeron M420 CPU and 1 GB of RAM was a good one; the hardware helps enhance performance, which can be clearly felt when it comes to measuring network throughput. This device delivered the best results overall, and earned the top spot in nearly all our benchmarks, leaving the other NAS devices well behind. In addition, the TS-509 Pro also offers a wide range of services and capabilities, which should make it attractive for small businesses as well as enthusiast users.

The tradeoffs are twofold: overall cost and power consumption. The TS-509 Pro really sucks up the juice and ignores the credo that NAS devices should consume less power than PCs do.

Co-World ShareDisk Pro 400

With its ShareDisk Pro 400, Co-World offers a high-performance device. But in this rarefied atmosphere, purchase costs weigh heavily. These come in at over $1,200, not to mention prices on the hard disks to populate its four hot-swappable drive bays.

For their money, buyers obtain a speedy storage subsystem that offers some advantages over conventional NAS devices. Although it works across the network, the ShareDisk Pro 400's NDAS technologies makes it look and act like a local hard disk on the systems to which it is attached. This lets them decide what file system to use on the device and even permits them to use aliasing to access various files across the network. They can also attach this device directly to a single PC using either eSATA or USB, where it is clearly the most flexible storage device we've tested so far.

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18 comments
    Your comment
  • chaugh
    TYPO!!!

    and you see that heritage in the TS-590 Pro.

    What's a TS-590?
    -2
  • cknobman
    If you want something simple to share data at home I cant figure out why anyone would buy a cheap NAS that gives less than 15 mbps or something outrageous costing over $700. Why not build your own using low power cpu that would perform much better than the cheap NAS devices and still come in hundreds of dollars less than the overpriced NAS devices?
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  • dje007
    I have a Qnap TS-639 and love it
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  • yourhighness
    cknobmanIf you want something simple to share data at home I cant figure out why anyone would buy a cheap NAS that gives less than 15 mbps or something outrageous costing over $700. Why not build your own using low power cpu that would perform much better than the cheap NAS devices and still come in hundreds of dollars less than the overpriced NAS devices?


    THIS
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  • yourhighness
    More on this Topic....?

    Hitting the link for the last page just gives me a blank pop-up box....

    Using Chrome.
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  • yourhighness
    yourhighnessMore on this Topic....?Hitting the link for the last page just gives me a blank pop-up box....Using Chrome.

    Grabbing the link from the drop down works fine, but from the conclusion page going to the next page is broken.
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  • theJ
    yourhighnessMore on this Topic....?Hitting the link for the last page just gives me a blank pop-up box....Using Chrome.


    That's all it is. More ads so they can pay the bills.
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  • theJ
    Nevermind, read the question wrong. Need edit button.
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  • Anonymous
    If you want to build your own rock-solid RAID NAS, and do so with cheap old hardware, check out my guide on building a Linux RAID-5 NAS. I wrote this guide so even someone who has never worked with Linux before can get it up and running, and maintain it, very easily! Hope this helps someone out there!
    Go to my site at: http://cobraftp.serveftp.com and click on Linux.. then at the top is the PDF, which is labeled "Linux RAID-5 How-to Guide"
    -1
  • Anonymous
    how did you exclude the new Readynas NVX? seems kinda silly without that leader in both functionality and performance involved
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  • midnightgun
    I own a Synology CS-407e. Simple and just works. Leave it on all the time and just don't worry about it. Love it.
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  • snarfies
    I've said it before and I'll say it again - I don't know what this site's obsession is with NAS devices, but the NS3200N is the first NAS ever reviewed here that isn't an overpriced and underperforming piece of garbage! Shame I didn't know about it sooner - I just dropped $300 on a Mini-ITX Atom 330 MB and case to make my own NAS, and I haven't even bought the two drives for my RAID1 yet. I hope I'll get better results...
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  • WyomingKnott
    Your opion is sought: Why not buy an HP MediaSmart system? It costs less than the Qnap device and seems to be similarly capable?
    1
  • voodooaddict
    WyomingKnottYour opion is sought: Why not buy an HP MediaSmart system? It costs less than the Qnap device and seems to be similarly capable?


    I'm wondering the same thing. Why wasn't one of the MS Home Server units included. None of these units are putting out blazing transfer rates.

    The only thing I can figure is that these NAS units could be used for business as well as home use. Where the MS Home server is really just for home use.

    I don't know about anyone else here, but I wouldn't use any of these devices for critical live biz data. Setup as near-line backup devices, sure. But not live data.
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  • Anonymous
    Actually.. this review is a bit short.. not a comparison for all nas boxes.. just a chumped up silly list of nas boxes that he writer found at the time. rather pathetic actually.
    just to spin a spanner.. try freenas.. www.freenas.com
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  • Anonymous
    Drobo anyone?
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  • gm0n3y
    AnonymousDrobo anyone?


    I was thinking the same thing.
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  • Anonymous
    My opinion of QNAP is that it is an overpriced piece of garbage. When it works, everything is great, but when it goes wrong, make sure that you have taken an IT degree before even attempting to fix it. It is not user friendly at all, doesn't give any meaningful error messages, sometimes works, sometimes doesn't, with no clue as to what the problem is. Don't buy it.
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