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This review is from: ASTRO A50 Wireless Gaming Headset w/ Dolby Digital 7.1 MixAmp & Stand - Black
Pros: - Clear sound
- Very comfortable for extended use
- Can go a long way from the transmitter and still get a good signal
Cons: So these have a major flaw in that they will randomly stop working with no warning or recognizable trigger. No sound will be outputted, and you can't turn them off. You have to wait for the battery to die before they start working again. Astro has never solved this problem and they say that doing this once will fix it forever, it does not. Their last firmware update was over a year and a half ago and they show no signs of supporting the product at all anymore. I've seen multiple threads with this problem and no real solution, and Astro seems complacent with the problem. This is my only complaint with the product honestly, as everything else is great. But randomly having a broken product for a period of time that you have no control over is definitely a -HUGE- downside as far as I'm concerned. I wouldn't recommend them.READ FULL REVIEW
This review is from: Seagate STBM2000100 2TB Business Storage 1-Bay NAS
Pros: So as my title reads, this is a very easy device to use. You simply plug and go. The software will locate the drive on the network and direct you where to go on your browser to manage the device. You're quickly able to add users, user groups, give security permissions, and set up a lot of tools for internet usage and FTP from here as well. It gives you the options that you would want without the necessity to be a network genius.
The case feels sturdy and well built, it will not break from small falls or kick overs or something of the like. However, since it does not have rubber feet on the side, it has to be setup vertically for stability. Or if you don't care about the possibility of it sliding around then you could put it on it's side, but you may block some vents, and since it is passively cooled, you may run into heating issues, but this is merely speculation. And with it being passively cooled the unit is silent. You will only hear the hard drive spinning from time to time and if you have a lot of usage from it, it may become louder at times, but it's not really too noticeable.
I have been streaming media from the device for some time now and have not seen any noticeable lag in the media. I'm streaming the video through the router that it's connected to, down through a switch and to my machine. And I've scrubbed the video a bit, and you do notice some slight hiccuping as it tries to access the section of the video that you want, but for the scrub needing to contact the machine, the machine needing to find the right point and then send the data back, it is not bad at all. Scrubbing will only take a second or two for the video to catch up which is really good in my opinion.
Unlike a lot of other NAS systems on sale, this one actually comes with the hard drive installed and contains 2GB of storage for users to utilize. It seems obvious to say this, but I've gotten other NAS units that are similarly priced but just have the bays and not the drives for storage. Also a lot of other drives, do not have the ease of use associated and actually required a lot of time to be worked on. So to have the storage built in as well as the ease of operation is pretty huge in my book.
Now for those of you thinking that you can swap the hard drive. You can't. It was not made for you to swap the hard drive in and out like other NAS systems that are on the market. I do like that this comes with 2TB of storage, but you will need to violate the warranty and really get in there with some tools to open this up and swap the drive out.
Cons: As stated above, you can't get into this unit. The hard drive is sealed off and you are not allowed access without some tools and voiding the warranty to swap out the drive for a larger one. So if the drive goes bad, you're going to need to get someone that knows what their doing to replace it with a healthy drive. Although I don't know how the system will handle a fresh hard drive inside of it.
Also while this devices software makes it very easy to setup and use, a lot of the other useful options may go over a lot of beginner to intermediate users head. So don't expect to use the full potential of this server unless you are well versed in networking and computers. Basic functionality of file storage and what not, you can probably get with some time put into it though.
Other Thoughts: All in all this is a really good device. Worth the price point, maybe. You get 2TB of network storage and you're able to stream media easily from it. The read and write time must be pretty good to be able to stream an HD movie from it with no noticeable lag. And with FTP access and internet based access you should be able to use it as your own personal little server. It's a good product for the average consumer and should be considered during purchasing. I think they also have a 3 and 4 TB version as well if you're looking for more space. So don't knock the 2TB aspect of it.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: Installation is quick and easy. All you need is some spare hard drives, a screwdriver and then it's just a matter of putting it together and plugging everything in. The administration interface is easy to use. The advanced options are a little less intuitive than would be nice for a product like this, but it's still very manageable. You can easily stream videos from the device given that DLNA is turned on for the videos that you want to stream. I was able to do so to my 360 with ease.
You can set up an FTP client with this system allowing you to not only get access to all files from an FTP client at any time (this can include downloading from any browser on any computer), you can delegate out security to allow other users (friends, family, etc. to be able to get access to files that you want them to see as well. Gives you the nice ability to share files and pictures with family in an easy manner.
Cons: Firmware update was a large issue. Not only is a firmware check/automatic update not available in the provided software, but it doesn't even give you a location to find the firmware update. Now this is easy to find on their web-site, but it is still annoying to just receive an error message and the program to basically tell me good luck in my endeavors.
I was able to get past this once, and then be stopped again because the hard drive was not formatted properly and consistently the formatter in the administration settings would not complete the formatting task correctly. And since this NAS runs on a linux based system, it's drives need to be formatted in an XFS format rather then FAT or NTFS. NTFS is what windows uses, and I'm not going to talk about which format is better or anything. But I need to put a live boot of a linux OS on my thumbdrive in order to format the drive myself into an XFS format. This was the only way for me to fix the problem that I was having.
So upon arriving at this problem I e-mailed Buffalo tech support with the problem. It has been going on 2-weeks and I have yet to hear a reply back from them regarding this issue. So don't expect to hear back from the e-mail tech support in anywhere near a timely manner. Best bet is to call them directly, which I did receive support getting back to the updating firmware where I ran into problems once again after trying to fix other problems. They had me go into their updaters ini file and change some configuration settings. I won't go into it here, but if you're having issues with the updater, call Buffalo and they will help you with the problem very quickly.
So to sum up my hands on with the device, you needed to be very technical and computer savvy in order to set this device up, and even then there is still no guarantee. I just kind of lucked into it working right.
But beyond that, the instructions that you receive with the device are absolute garbage. But in their defense I've seen a lot of companies headed this direction where they only put pictures of the instructions, with no actual words. I find it frustrating, but it is nothing that no one else is doing. The part that I found kind of disturbing is that in looking at the instructions and the user manual, I was not able to find what the only button on the device did. There is a power switch in the back, but there is a button up on the front, and I may have missed it in the user manual, but I still don't know what that button does. I finally got it working, so I'm at the stage of don't look at it or it will stop working again.
Other Thoughts: So I think it can just plainly be seen between my pros and my cons, that I had a lot more to say about the cons of this device than I did the pros. For a device that is supposed to be for generic consumers, it requires far too much advanced setup to be released for the average joe. If you don't know what you're doing with computers to a very good level, I wouldn't recommend this based on the experiences that I had with it.
If you are able to get it working, it will perform as advertised though and will most likely meet a lot of needs that you may have. Think of it as similar to drop box on crack. Loads more storage and a lot more flexibility. This is capable of up to 8TB, which is a crazy amount of storage. Downside is that to get that, you'll need to buy 2 - 4TB hard drives. Which will run you at least another $200 on top of this device. You can go with less capacity though, but still it's more money on top of this device. So make sure that you have hard drives to use all ready, or you know what you'll need to spend more money on this, because if you need to buy hard drives too, there are better options in my opinion.
So I would not recommend this device to a friend, I think they have a lot of software issues to work out on the device, that no one will see. Once it's working, it's great. But to get to that point is a long and frustrating process.