Pros When it worked it worked well
Cons Must be turned on manually after power outage
Summary Well I really link Dlink products! Unfortunately I had big problems (over 10hrs with tech support) that they said were related to hard drives not on there approved hard drive list. After a power outage the unit would not allow access to the raid1 share... would have to login and reset to factory defaults ... it would then see the share but I could no longer get into configuration to setup FTP etc
Funny thing is I was going to buy approved hard drives. But found out that every time the power goes out you have to manually turn it back on. Not an option I want on a FTP server, a feature I was using
Pros Lots of features, you can connect a printer to network it, has iTunes server, FTP server and uPNP sharing(sort of). Most recent firmware added support for 1.5 TB drives so you can have up to 3 TB in this tiny enclosure. Could be portable!
Cons Firmware update are usually buggy and most always effect file system, see summary for explanation. The new uPNP support for XBOX360 and PS3 is not solid,s ee below. Box gets very hot with little airflow inside device.
Summary Dlink support staff is usually 6 month behind. I got mine a few weeks before release and the support team had no idea what a DNS323 was. A few months later I had trouble with my original xbox (XBMC) only seeing the root files and support still had no documentation on the device.
In early FW releases you had to reformat your drives which was very time consuming to copy off your data, reformat then copy data back to DNS.
For uPNP, if you share a folder with sub folders your DNS will crash with pink LEDs which Dlink support has no documentation of pink LEDs.
I still think this device is better than most others but would like more airflow or a larger fan to pull hot air out of the box.
Pros No cables, fast
Cons bright LEDs
Summary This product is awesome. I recently had my primary PC crash and burn... luckily, I had the 323 set up to backup all of my files so I was easily able to get back to normal. The unit is solid and built like a truck. It also has gigabit speed for quick back ups and transfers. Only complaint is the bright blinking LEDs - I recommend not keeping this in your bedroom at night unless you're looking for a strobe nightlight.
Pros good value for dual-bay device; excellent hardware
Cons begs to be hacked to exploit its potential... which is fine unless you're not a linux gearhead
Summary Bottom line: gets the job done (although not very gracefully) for a decent price.
Great hardware, smaller than I expected. Physical installation nearly idiot-proof. Quiet. Relatively low-waste packaging. Probably the best value for a multi-bay NAS right now, all things considered.
BUT the admin tools are very version-1. Critical and basic oversights include inability to rename the shared disk (you're stuck with "Volume_1" like it or not) or configure email alerts for modern mail servers (no way to specify SSL or non-standard SMTP port, required by most spam-conscious ISPs). A host of other small but annoying head-slappers like that take a big bite out of the otherwise positive impression I have of this unit.
Clunky user interface reminds me of the early days of small routers before they hit the consumer mainstream and companies realized they had to hire someone to make things look right and work for average folks. Since more and more 'average' folks are indeed looking at NAS products, these admin/UI problems really need to be addressed.
The vibrant community of linux geeks/gurus out there with sites dedicated to hacking and enhancing this device is evidence of the 323's versatility and potential...and the shortcomings of its out-of-the-box features. Maybe D-Link should hire some of these talented people to exploit its potential.
Macs see and use the shared disk fine, and web-based admin tools are platform-agnostic. D-Link's Quick-Start CDROM and printed instructions are Windows-only, however, so if you're setting this up with a Mac you will have to take a few leaps of faith to get things up and running. It's do-able, but you're on your own.
iTunes server is fun in theory, but not sure it's worth the effort to set up and manage an additional music library when iTunes on my laptop shares itself just fine.
Not sure if drive mechanism would be readable in a standard USB/Firewire drive enclosure now that it's been formatted in 'EXT-2' format. That slightly concerns me should I ever need to abandon the Dlink box for some reason.
I thought this unit was unique by featuring "WAN" access. Turns out this functionality is by way of an oh-so-very-1993 FTP server. If you're going to open a port on your router to allow FTP access anyway, you may as well direct inbound SMB or AFP traffic to your NAS and access it as a shared drive. That technique will work with any NAS.
Prior to this purchase, I experimented briefly with an Apple Time Capsule and found both the admin tools and Finder/Desktop integration to be smoother for both Mac and Vista workstations. The D-Link box clearly has more features (not the least of which is a dual-bay enclosure), and I know RAID features are important to many NAS consumers. But since I already have a reliable offsite backup solution in place, if I had it to do over again, I think my modest home storage needs (and a desire for fewer electronics, cords, power bricks, etc) would be better served by the all-in-one TimeCapsule product.
Pros Fast download and upload, sleek look, runs cool, very quiet, easy setup.
Cons Wish it was a tad faster
Summary Overall a great product for cheap. The download and upload speed are usually around 2.0mb/s. It runs so quietly with the two WD 500GB drives I have in it, runs very cool as well with its little fan. Look sleek and feels fairly solid. I wish it had a few more features but for the money it was well worth it.