Network Storage Link with Maxtor OneTouch II
We like the bring-your-own-storage approach of the Linksys Network Storage Link, which gives you the flexibility to connect it to any USB 2.0 hard drive to create a networked hard-drive solution.
- Easy to set up, cheap and flexible
- It's slow
The Linksys Storage Link is an economical NAS option.
Price$ 159.95 (AUD)
The two USB 2.0 ports on the Network Storage Link let you add one or two hard drives, and the device can back up one drive to the other. One of the ports also lets you mount USB flash drives; to do this, you'll need to install the Storage Link's utility into your Windows system tray.
We tested the Network Storage Link with a 300GB Maxtor OneTouch II drive. Linksys and Maxtor, at the time of writing, were co-marketing this pair of products.
Its performance was slow compared with that of the rest of the NAS units we have tested, probably because the Storage Link uses external USB drives rather than faster internal IDE drives.
On the other hand, we liked the quality of the installation and setup utilities. The Linksys Windows setup wizard recognises your drive, sets the Network Storage Link's IP address and formats the drive. One quirk: the Network Storage Link uses a proprietary format on the drive, which can then no longer be attached directly to a computer via USB.
Once you connect and format your drive, the Network Storage Link's Web-based utility sets up shared folders, users, groups and passwords. Conveniently, the Web utility is set up so that users can access it and change their own passwords from their own PCs without delving into the administration portion of the tools. This keeps the unit secure while relieving the administrator of such mundane tasks.
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