With the SS4200-E, Intel has put a NAS device on the market that not only has very high build quality, but also provides very good data transfer rates. The hard drives can be installed easily and quickly without the need for tools, and the acoustic decoupling of the hard drives from the housing illustrates Intel’s attention to detail. However, as mentioned earlier in this article, the "Lifeline" operating system from EMC leaves us with mixed feelings.
On the one hand, the Web interface is easy to use and its functionality focuses on what’s important. Creating user profiles, setting up user restrictions, and configuring the integrated iTunes and UPnP AV media servers—these are so easy to that even beginners won’t have any difficulties.
On the other hand, the Intel SS4200-E does not support RAID-level migration and online capacity extension, which will lead to problems sooner or later. We also miss the option of connecting a USB printer in order to use the SS4200-E as a print server on the network, a feature that would have made sense given the device’s focus on the SOHO sector.
Similarly-priced NAS devices from competitors demonstrate the functionality still missing from the SS4200-E. For example, there is an integrated download client that can store data from the HTTP or FTP protocol directly on the NAS device, a Torrent Client, and a function that allows you to publish pictures on the Internet easily. The Intel device does support SNMP, but this is a function that only a few users will use from the target group.
And so the SS4200-E leaves us with a mixed impression, overall. The software part of the NAS device is disappointing when compared to competitors, whereas the hardware and build quality are above average. Also worth remembering is the higher-than-average power consumption of the SS4200-E due to its underlying PC architecture and Celeron processor.
If you don’t mind the energy consumption, but are not satisfied with the software, you should know that the Intel SS4200-E is also available as the "Scaleo Home Server". Siemens uses Microsoft Windows Home Server instead of “Lifeline,” which is probably the better choice for home users.
Intel’s SS4200-E is a NAS device with very high data transfer rates and high-class build quality. The overall impression is lowered by the "Lifeline" software, as well as the device’s high power consumption.
- Two eSATA portsHard drives acoustically decoupledVery good data transfer rates
- No interchangeable hard drive racksHigh power consumptionNot hot-swap ready