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This review is from: TRENDnet TPL-308E2K Powerline 200 AV Nano Adapter Kit Up to 200Mbps
Pros: This was probably the simplest, and easiest, network accessory I've installed. Literally, plugged in one end, walked to the other end, plugged that in, and it worked. Didn't even have to push the reset/sync button. And it's working really well too! Virtually no latency (1ms pings), and maxes out the 100Mbps device I'm using it for (or, at least performs just as well as the CAT-5 cable it replaced). Device is built pretty solid – the leads don't wobble, the plastic casing is pretty sufficient to squish a desk onto. Pretty slim profile too. I'm using these in a rental apartment with a high occupancy, but that doesn't seem to affect performance.
Cons: I wish I didn't have to sacrifice a wall outlet socket for it. It worked on a power strip, but the instructions advise against it, so that was just a temporary test. As expected, did not work on my active UPS unit. Would be nice if it passed the outlet through on the other side, so I could at least plug my power strip or UPS into it.
Because it was so easy to set up, I realized how easy it must be for someone else, such as my apartment neighbor, to get one and access my network. I feel like I'm just handing off 50+ strangers a CAT-5 drop to my home network. For the price, it's unrealistic to expect any kind of encryption, so plan on doing that on the connecting devices.
This review is from: Seagate STBM2000100 2TB Business Storage 1-Bay NAS
Pros: This is a NAS that I was very pleased to get! It's eliminated a need for one of my computers to be on all the time, which is saving me money! It's functioning as a storage medium, print server, UPS manager, and FTP server for my home network.
First, the hardware. The case is really solid and built well. Passive internal cooling has no internal humming, though the drive activity is still audible (no more than I'd expect). While it's in standby, it's perfectly silent. The LEDs are visible, but not so bright to be a distraction in the dark (for gaming or sleep). The ports are nicely located. It comes with a quality ~5ft (1.5m) CAT5e Cable, 2ft longer than most network equipment, and a 12V @ 3A Power supply (some cons later) with interchangeable AC plug – though only includes North America version. Power cable is 5ft long, a bit longer than the Ethernet cable.
The web interface is intuitive and easy to use, but has some downfalls I'll cover later. I like the UPS Manager and Print Server features, as this frees up my desktop as well as its USB ports. The scheduled Power On/Off feature is handy. Personally, I'm not using it because the hours in which I use it are irregular, but I imagine it'd work well for most users. The automatic HDD Standby does enough for me though, and overall it's consuming less power than my router, simply because it's in standby most of the day.
The Wiki server is a bit of a neat feature, though not what I would expect from a NAS. Not sure how I'd put it to use.
Cons: Vertical Mount only – no rubber feet for horizontal orientation. I'm always paranoid about vertical hard-drives falling over and getting damaged, and would prefer it to be horizontal. The Internal HDD is not user accessible, though there are 3rd party walkthroughs in replacing it (voids warranty and requires limited technical expertise).
The power supply has non-standard connector with very small diameter, meaning decreased conductivity, and the pin inside the socket of the actual NAS is thin and prone to bending. Physically, it would be easy to damage if the cable were tripped over or accidentally pulled. The connector and socket would be difficult to replace, as they are not very common. Also, electrically, this thing could potentially pull 3 amps – comparable to a laptop, yet the cable and plug isn't nearly as robust. The power supply itself is non-polarized, and has no grounding pin, leading to a fairly dirty DC output. The only way I feel safe with this power supply (and thus my data) is through an active UPS which relieves a lot of stress off these kinds of power supplies. I would not plug this directly into a wall socket long-term.
Quick Start Guide nor serial number sticker gives any indication to default settings such as IP address. A network running DHCP may be required to set up this device, and the Setup utility to discover its IP address. After discovery, the setup process proceeds to the configuration webpage. The first page is to set up a password for the admin account. No security is offered between initial power-on and set-up, so ensure your network is secure.
The Setup Utility is located on a DVD, which may not be an option on many modern laptops and tablets, or older computers with CD drives. The bulk of the space usage on the disc is multiple copies of the backup software in different languages. The vast majority of the data is redundant, and has ~90% compression ratio. It would be extremely easy to fit all the software on a CD, or small download-able file. It's a bit ironic that I'm using the NAS to back up its own setup files in the event I lose or damage the DVD. I may eventually use this NAS in an offline network without Internet connection, DVD drives, or DHCP services, so these are a factor for me.
The download manager is a neat idea if you have a slow Internet connection, but it simply didn't work for me. Trying to add a new task just has the page attempting to load indefinitely. This left a bad taste in my mouth, so to speak, about the reliability of the software. I've also discovered some typos, and a lot of the context help does not apply to this model at all (such as RAID). This tempts me into flashing the software with 3rd party firmware. Maybe then I could also have a torrent service running on it :)
The Media Server only supports iTunes. How can they even advertise this as a media server? It's a joke. No streaming capability whatsoever.
Other Thoughts: It's not a bad product, despite the Cons I've found. I'm happy I got it! I just feel they could have polished this a little better, especially since this series has been out for quite some time. Being my first home NAS, I'm actually quite satisfied.READ FULL REVIEW
This review is from: Linksys EA6200 Dual Band AC900 Smart Wi-Fi Router IEEE 802.11ac, IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n
Pros: Right on the box, it says its target amount of wireless device (“Capacity Group C”, 7+ Devices). Kinda a handy good-to-know spec I haven't considered much before. Quick start guide is intuitive and easy to follow for any skill level. SSID and password included on several stickers, and is not a default guess-able password exposing your network during setup. Packaged well, looks very well built, and lots of air circulation on the bottom/sides. Top is solid, so you don't have to worry about spills. AC Adapter is 12V, 2A max, 5ft long (good length!), and standard plug – finding a replacement would be easy if ever needed.
The chassis is surprisingly well built. Antennas are located on the front left, front center, and two near the mid-right. The components are higher quality than I expected, and shielding is done very well. Uses a large passive heatsink for cooling. USB connection is mechanically reinforced. Antennas are snap-replacable. There is nothing loose or flimsy about this build – I'm impressed!
Setup was intuitive and easy. I enjoy the idea of a guest network, though I don't see myself using it here. Built-in speed-test is a pretty neat feature as well! You can also disable the LED lights, in case you use this router in a low-light area, such as your bedroom. The interface is very flashy and normally I would hate non-standard layouts, and would want to flash the firmware with something like DD-WRT, but all the features I'd do that for are already here and working.
As for performance, it seems to perform as advertised. No surprising shortcomings I've found on other routers. For its target audience, and price range, it does very well.
Cons: The feet aren't very rubbery, so it slides around easily – the weight of all my cables hooked onto it pulls it to the back of the desk. The included 3Ft CAT-5 cable is really short, barely enough to reach my modem, but not enough to reach my desktop PC.
The big heat-sink in it is there for a reason. It does a great job of keeping the processor cool, but that's assuming the air around it is cool. In an open room at 75degrees Fahrenheit, the area of desk immediately below it rose to 120degrees F after several days of use. This isn't a big deal in an open room, but I would advise against putting this router in any confined area such as a server closet, clustered around other electronic equipment, or near your favorite ice cream. I also wouldn't wall-mount it, as the heat may damage the paint, but should be fine for any plastic, glass, or wood desktop.
While I enjoy the FTP access to a connected USB hard drive, I can't find a way to secure access from outside the network using username/password. I can secure the drive using user/password, but that applies for the LAN as well.
Other Thoughts: I'm very pleased with this device, and it's now my new home router. The Cons I listed are very minor, and the Pros by far outweigh. I've never really felt comfortable with the provided software of a device, and am used to flashing or hacking it to how I see fit, but this time everything just clicked in place. No modifications needed. Everything seems well thought-out, with plenty of reach for advance uses. Well done LinkSys – I didn't think you had it in ya!READ FULL REVIEW