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TP-LINK TL-WA860RE V2 300Mbps Universal Wi-Fi Range Extender/Repeater with Power Outlet Pass-through, Dual External Antennas, Wall Plug Design, One-button Setup, Smart Signal Indicator
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: It extends 2.4GHz Wi-Fi in either Universal or WDS modes, has adjustable antennas, and the pass-through power plug is nice.

The setup process is pretty easy too and doesn't require use of the included CD.

Cons: In Universal mode, a laptop on my network running Linux experienced some inconsistent connection issues while trying to access my printer (HP Envy 4500).

Other Thoughts: The wireless chip in this adapter is an Atheros AR9341, and the other chip present in this adapter is a Winbond W9425G6JH-5.

The pass-through portion of the adapter is direct (as in, the pins that go into the wall socket connect directly with nothing in-between the pass-through port) with relatively thick metal.

The default username and password for this adapter is admin/admin also. It is advisable to change this after initial setup.

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Plustek eScan A150 Sheet Fed Document Scanner
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

3 out of 5 eggs Alright scanner, unintended features, possible security risk 05/11/2015

This review is from: Plustek eScan A150 Sheet Fed Document Scanner

Pros: This scanner scans documents (one or two sided in single-pass) without issue, is small and compact, and looks nice.

Cons: It won't write to the FTP server on my Seagate NAS (claims there's no write permissions, which isn't true).

If you know what you're doing, this scanner can also wreak havoc on network security (see other thoughts).

Other Thoughts: I feel this scanner is better-suited towards a more consumer-friendly atmosphere mainly because of the looks, but businesses shouldn't have any issue with it regardless.

This scanner is a bit more than meets the eye though. The scanner at it's core is running Android 4.2.2. It appears to be using a Rockchip-based board (RK30SDK). The scanner comes pre-rooted. There is no Play Store, and signing into a Google account doesn't help much at all.

As-is, you can only get as far as System Settings with just the scanner itself (by going into the Input configuration section). If you plug in a USB keyboard, you can easily break out of the scanner app by pressing Alt or Super Key + Esc (this takes you to a blank homescreen).

As for what you can do, you're free to install an alternate Homescreen (like Apex), you can play games (One Finger Death Punch (in guest mode) and osu!droid work great), and can update the su binary (by installing SuperSU).

But with great power comes great responsibility. On a more concerning note, you could also use the scanner for more "nefarious" things such as network hijacking and session spoofing, or any number of other root-only things, and if your network administrator doesn't know any better, this can be done pretty discretely on this scanner, and even be done remotely (after initial local access). So in-short, if someone has a long enough access to the scanner with a USB keyboard, you should probably expect the scanner to be compromised from a network security standpoint.

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Seagate STCS4000100 4TB (2 x 2TB) Personal Cloud 2-bay NAS server
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

3 out of 5 eggs Makes for an alright entry-level NAS 03/19/2015

This review is from: Seagate STCS4000100 4TB (2 x 2TB) Personal Cloud 2-bay NAS server

Pros: The casing is pretty sleek, and set-up is relatively easy.

The HDDs included in the NAS are NAS-rated (ST2000VN000-1HJ164), and should do fine for extended periods of 24/7 usage. For quick reference, the drives are SATA 6.0Gb/s and have a 64MB cache, and can easily be switched-out and/or used elsewhere.

The SMB file sharing protocol works best on this device, and is compatible with most operating systems (and works without any difficulty on Windows).

Even though the box doesn't mention it; this NAS works fine on Linux (maybe even better considering the built-in file sharing protocols) both for file transfers and set-up.

Opening and servicing the NAS is pretty easy too. Can push a button to pop the top lid off, and service the HDDs if needed. There's no real reason to go under the other half of the NAS (nor is there anything really interesting there), but unscrewing all screws (5 of them; one is hidden under the top aluminum sticker) will get you in without too much trouble.

During initial-setup, you are also given a chance to register the product with Seagate for warranty-purposes.

Cons: The transfer rates are a bit lower than expected also with most protocols, but this may also be due to the processor the NAS uses (according to the system monitor, it maxes itself out quite frequently).

There is also no SSH options in the interface, nor compatibility for NFS (no GUI option nor the ability to connect). The NAS does accept SSH login however, but using any of the GUI login credentials fails.

Other Thoughts: My testing was done from a Linux machine (Fedora 21) and a Linksys EA6700 router with the latest DD-WRT firmware (at the time of writing).

Finding the device on the network was as easy as checking the "Browse Network" section on Nautilus. If for some reason that doesn't work, the NAS can be accessed via a direct IP (no port numbers or anything) in a browser (can find the IP by browsing DHCP records, and if possible, look for a device with a Seagate MAC address).

The transfer rates with the various protocols were a bit erratic. Here's raw numbers for reference:

SMB = 50-60MB/s Download 50% CPU | 30-50MB/s Upload 81% CPU
AFP = 50MB/s Download 40% CPU | 40MB/s Upload 80-90% CPU
FTP = 13MB/s Download 13% CPU | 13-100MB/s Upload 100% CPU
SFTP = 5-8MB/s Download 100% CPU | 5-8MB/s Upload 100% CPU
WebDAV = 12MB/s Download 20% CPU | 50MB/s Upload 100% CPU

(all testing was done through Nautilus directly, including FTP and SFTP (FIleZilla showed no difference with the latter protocols); CPU usage is what was shown under the system monitor on the NAS interface; drives were in RAID0)

SMB works the best on this device, and is compatible with most operating systems. AFP comes in second. Everything else either does well at uploading or downloading, and does badly at the other. SFTP is abysmal, and this is likely due to the onboard CPU not being able to handle encrypted transfers too well (underperforming). SMB also seems to be SMB1-compliant (so it'll work well for something like OPS2L for example, and does).

For quick reference, a SATA 5200RPM laptop HDD I was using as my backup storage on my server computer gave about 60MB/s over the network. So the NAS in my situation does alright. You may miss some speed if you can transfer at near-gigabit speeds though.

This NAS also runs a bit warm. At idle and load in a slightly uncomfortably cold room, the CPU idles at 70C, and both drives at 38-40C. This NAS does not have a fan (the GUI interface may be a bit misleading on this considering the monitoring section says "Temperature and fans"). The NAS drives have a rated operating temperature of 70C, so they should be fine over-time.

Although the NAS is easy to service, just note that going under the metal shell may void warranty. And just to express it again, there's nothing of real interest under the metal anyway (on the left side, you have the main control board with the CPU on the bottom-side, held tightly to another metal piece as a heatsink; the right-side just has the SATA power/data cables going to the other drive, and the light wires). There is room on the right-side should you want to possibly mod a small fan in or something though.

Works fine with Plex Media Server too (in my setup, I mount the NAS as a drive under Linux and point Plex to it).

So overall, it's a nice entry-level NAS, but you may want something else if looking for more-advanced options and power.

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Sean R.'s Profile

Display Name: Sean R.

Date Joined: 02/10/09

Achievements:

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  • Reviews: 78
  • Helpfulness: 35
  • First Review: 02/14/09
  • Last Review: 06/20/15
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