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Pros: Looks kind of neat. Wireless range is better than I expected given that it doesn’t have external antennas. Not quite as good as my wireless APs in the house, but I can still get moderate to high signal through two drywall walls and about 50 feet away on the 5Ghz AC band. Obviously G and N have a little better distance but lower bandwidth.
The blue light on the front isn’t overbearingly bright so you won’t have to deal with that, like some other routers I’ve tested. For those interested in WPS, it’s easy to find because the button is right under the blue light on the front/top.
I’d wager to say that the setup for this router is probably the most straightforward of all the routers I’ve tested/reviewed recently. You pretty much just hook it up, connect a wired or wireless device to it and it will take you straight to the setup menu. It’s self explanatory enough for even someone without a lot of knowledge of routers. It will take you through basic setup of the network and allow you to set a password for the admin console as well as setting up wireless SSIDs and passwords.
The NAS and print server part of the router is a little confusing until you just figure out that it’s plug and play. Connecting a printer or hard drive to the router and then navigating to the router in your respective file manager should just show the drive.
Cons: The plastic casing on the device is very cheap. Like toys bought from China for a cent cheap. Rather disappointing but if you’re hiding it in a cabinet or the like it won’t matter. Perhaps I’m picky but that’s just my thing.
The stand isn’t great, it’s real wobbly and connecting a couple of network cables to it is enough to tip it over in some cases.
The router will only stand vertically unless you want to get creative with velcro or something else. There isn’t a way to lay it down as the stand only holds it vertical and the router is in such a shape that laying it flat isn’t really doable.
No real point in using USB 3.0 on this router as using it in NAS mode never yeilded me transfer rates of more than 7MB/s. That’s pretty disappointing and I’ll admit I pulled out several USB 3.0 flash drives and external drives to verify. So, it works, but it isn’t going to be lightening quick.
Other Thoughts: Unable to test Intellistream as my internet speeds are far too high for it to work properly. It even told me so in the setup GUI.
All in all, if you want something that’s pretty fast and not terribly pricey, this will do the job. Just don’t expect it to be awesome in the performance category.
Average internet speeds via speedtest.googlefiber.net
Google Fiber (gigabit wired connection):
NAS transfer ~7.0 MB/s
Pros: I've used this in my backpack for a couple years now. Installed in this enclosure is a 1TB 2.5" WD Red drive. Mostly, I use this for file migrations and the like.
Transfer speeds are great even over USB2 (See other thoughts for a general speed breakdown).
The cable it comes with has been sufficient in length for my needs and has stood up to lots of travel time in my bag.
Every USB port that I've connected it to has has sufficient power and didn't require the second USB plug that they provide on this cable.
The case itself is durable....however there are some cons (below)
Cons: The carry pouch and tool is kind of a waste of time. Honestly, they are cheap and went in the trash straight away.
I wish the screws that hold in the drive were a little better. A couple of times removing the drive and putting it back in have really stripped out the plastic and also the screws. I've since drilled out the holes in favor of slightly larger screws.
Other Thoughts: Speeds over USB2 have varied depending on device, but I usually see a combined average of about 15MB/s write and 18MB/s read.
Speeds on USB3 seem even more varied based on file size and type, but mostly are averaging about 40MB/s for write and 45MB/s for read.
Sometimes, these numbers are a lot higher, but this is my average number from many many devices including servers, laptops, desktops, and NASs.
Pros: Keeps my Hackintosh build nice and cool. I have a m-ITX hackintosh build that needed a fairly low profile cooler for the case I happened to have lying around. This fit the bill pretty well and keeps the CPU under 40C even under full CPU load in a hot office (ambient temp is about 26C (or ~80F)
It's quiet enough that I don't hear it at all under my desk. This is the only fan in this rig so I was hoping for silence.
Cons: Being so flat on the bottom, it barely clears the retention brackets around the motherboard and comes very close to some of the transistors on the board. Food for though if you happen to have a very cozy socket layout on your board.
Other Thoughts: It does the job, and at this price, that's about all you can ask for.READ FULL REVIEW
Display Name: Justin E.
Date Joined: 12/15/04
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