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D-Link DNS-320 ShareCenter 2-Bay Network Storage device
  • Desktop
  • Usage High read/write performance with RAID
  • 800MHz CPU Processor
  • 1 x 10/100/1000M
  • 1 x USB2.0

2 out of 5 eggs Not up to being a media server 02/22/2013

This review is from: D-Link DNS-320 ShareCenter 2-Bay Network Storage device

Pros:

This is quite suitable as an inexpensive backup solution. It's got RAID 1 capability and the slow throughput isn't a factor in a file backup context.

Cons:

It has a bunch of features that might make you think it's suitable as a media server, but it isn't. You might note that other reviews talk about low throughput. I'm getting 10 to 25 mb/s on a file copy and sometimes that will grind down to 5 (five), and this is on gigabit Ethernet. A BIOS upgrade didn't fix that. Neither does occasional rebooting. You can't play videos or music without constant staccato pauses.

BTW to avoid data loss (take what I am saying seriously) you must update to the 2.03 BIOS. There are KNOWN data loss problems with earlier BIOSes, inlcuding large files being destroyed and problems with Teracopy software. BIOS 2.03 fixes those and other problems.

There are also some flukes with account creation. It's not very useful as a media server if you have to log in as admin ALL the time -- that's how accidental deletions could happen. (Notably, other than difficulty in actually setting account passwords, there is an interesting chicken/egg problem with the process in general... you have to create a user group first and users second, which makes sense, but the interface is set up with users first and group second.)

I am still not able to log in to the unit with the user accounts I created, though I can use the drive mapping software on the CD to force share creation, which you must use as an admin.

I want a data backup, and I was using an external USB drive, but now the roles are reversed -- I am using the USB drive for playing media and the NAS for backup. I'm torn as to whether or not to return this.

Interestingly, the unit uses EXT3 and not NTFS, so if you're one who thinks "in an emergency, I could pull a drive and stick it into my Windows box," I'm going to tell you you can't, unless you use Knoppix or another Linux distro.

Other Thoughts:

If you're on a small budget, it really is 100% fine for a backup-only solution. Trying to use this as a media server will only result in heartbreak, however.

I had a P4 running a copy of Windows Server 2003 with a RAID 1 card acting as my media server. I had to set up the wife with a quick computer, so I gave it to her and ordered this NAS confident that it would be a perfect replacement. I would characterize that as a definite mistake on my part.

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  • Frederick V.
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week


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