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Vantec NexStar MX Dual Bay 3.5
  • Owned For: more than 1 year

2 out of 5 eggs If you just have to go cheap.... 03/03/2015

This review is from: Vantec NexStar MX Dual Bay 3.5" SATA to USB 3.0 / eSATA RAID Enclosure

Pros: It is a cheap solution IF you can find drives cheap enough.

Cons: Just not really worth it. Go look at pre-built RAID solutions on this same site, and you will see. VERY annoying setup. And it randomly shuts off for me and has to be remounted. I've noticed that just after a shutdown like this the enclosure is very warm. Also this seems to happen under sustained load, like streaming video to my HTPC, which is what I use it for, so.....

Other Thoughts: Just not really worth it at all. At the time I bought mine I got a steal on 2TB drives that made it worth it. But now you can get complete built boxes WITH HDDs already installed for around the same cost as building it yourself.

If you're going DIY, just build a cheap real NAS. If you understand the basics of Linux you can use a free OS to run a dedicated cheap PC with as many HDDs as you have room for, and in whatever RAID or mhddfs or aufs or etc that you like.

After over a year with this piece, I have to say I wish I'd just built a real NAS from the beginning, which is what I've done now.

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NETGEAR WNR3500L-100NAS 802.11b/g/n RangeMax Wireless-N Gigabit router up to 300Mbps/ DD-WRT Open Source support/ USB x1
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

Pros: Nada

Cons: Doesn't like to be flashed. Bricked twice in 2 flashing attempts via the web interface. Don't give me a web interface to flash with if I can't use it. Seems like such a simple concept.

Other Thoughts: I wanted to update since I contacted Netgear about my unit. First off, the email address they keep posting doesn't work, so it's just a PR tactic that they keep throwing it out.

Once I managed to get them they said a refurbished unit doesn't get the same support as a new one. Strange given the definition of refurbished, but what do I know.

Anyway, once they found out it was a refurb, they refused support and suggested I search online forums for help. Yeah, did that already. Didn't help.

Overall, I'm not impressed with this product or Netgear in general. Went back to Linksys/Cisco, and I'll never buy another Netgear product if I can help it.

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NETGEAR WNR3500L-100NAS 802.11b/g/n RangeMax Wireless-N Gigabit router up to 300Mbps/ DD-WRT Open Source support/ USB x1
  • Owned For: more than 1 year

Pros: It's N. It technically supports 3rd party firmware. CPU and RAM is fast and plentiful.

Cons: Buggy to flash with a 3rd party FW. I've bricked mine twice in 2 flashing attempts via the web interface. The point of this router is supposed to be the 3rd party FW support.

Other Thoughts: It just doesn't quite do what it's supposed to do. I have the v2, and it just does not want to be flashed. It will say everything went fine, and then BRICKED. Only way to fix it is to get a serial cable and TFTP the FW I tried through the web UI. This just doesn't make sense, and it is not uncommon. Search the web for countless examples of what I just explained.

I bought this to replace a WRT54GL that was years old. Well, yesterday I tried to upgrade the WNR3500L to a new FW. You think I'd have learned by now. But, no. I am typing this from behind my trusty old WRT54GL running the same FW that bricked (again) the WNR3500L.

So, well, just buy a WRT54GL instead. Who really needs 300Mb/s WiFi and Gbit LAN anyway? I would say most people don't.

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Joshua C.'s Profile

Display Name: Joshua C.

Date Joined: 05/04/07

  • Reviews: 23
  • Helpfulness: 16
  • First Review: 02/28/08
  • Last Review: 03/03/15
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