Pros At this moment in time? None.
Cons Limited hard drive size along with limited information!
Summary If you want to waste time and money run out and buy the NSLU2 right now! I bought this unit along with two Maxtor OneTouch II 300Gb drives. After going through the process of setting everything up, with a little "help" from tech support (set up includes formatting the drives using a format not compatible with Windows) I start transferring files. Things go ok then rapidly downhill with some very strange problems. Not seeing the drives on the network then suddenly the drives are there, the same files "appearing" on both drives even though Drive two had not been written to, suddenly only one drive is there, oh there it is again, and so on.
This morning I talk to Tech support, that's when I find out that the drive size is limited to 250Gb MAX. Yet when I point out that on the box it says "...connect up to two stand-alone USB disk drives of any size...". From that point on I got excuse after excuse and finaly someone who I could hardly understand telling me to return the unit to the store. Great, I get to waste more time arguing with the store! Linksys a once trusted resource is now a source of deception and no longer can be trusted.
"Buyer beware!!!"on by dgrendahl
Pros It was rather inexpensive
Cons Difficult to work with and use
Summary I purchased it since it was cheap. When I opened the box, the first thing I noticed was the lack of documentation. This device was made to be used by someone with years of experience and/or in business environment and to be installed by someone in the know. It took me almost 24 hours of playing around with it before I could get anything to work. The O.S. for this device lacks for the ability to be able to delete the files you don't want if you happen to change your basic settings. The device will reformat your H.D. into the Linux environment and from then on, you will NOT be able to change it back to the Windows environment should you decide to do so. Once you hook a H.D. up to this device and begin using it, that is all it will ever be good for. I spent hours with support trying to find out how to re-use a H.D. in the Windows environment if one should change their mind OR get a larger H.D. to use on this system. I was finally told their wasn't any way. No where in their meager documentation (if one could call it that) does it so let you know. This device is NOT for the faint of heart or for the average computer user. Take it from me.
Pros Allows the use of USB drives as Network Attached Storage, reliable
Cons Slow, only allows two drives, does not work with USB hubs, must reformat hard drive before it can be used, no printer support, drives are NOT hot swappable
Summary The NSLU2 is a great idea, but the execution leaves a bit to be desired. However, this device does fulfill its function, which is to allow the use of cheap USB drives as NAS without dedicating a computer to the task.
This device is quite small - about the size of a calculator. It is also quite light. Thus, finding a spot for it is very easy. Setting it up is not hard - PC software is included that can locate and configure the unit. One problem - if your present network is not configured as 192.168.1.X, then you will need to reconfigure your network to accomodate this device - it comes configured with a static address, and there is no way to change the address until it is attached to an appropriate network.
During setup, the software also installs a program on your PC that allows your computer to use the drive; from what I can tell, the application must be installed to use the attached drive. Once setup, you can attach a hard drive - note that you cannot hot swap drives; if you remove a drive while the device is operating, you must reset the device before reattaching the drive. Also, the device will not recognize the drive until it has reformatted it - a major pain if you have already been using the drive as a network backup. Once the drive is formatted, any computers on the network with the application are able to access the drive through the "My Network Places" location in windows explorer.
I must admit that I am disappointed by the NSLU2's performance. Prior to installing this device, I had a separate computer acting as a file / print server. Transfers to the USB drive in that setup occurred at approximately 18Mbps for large files. With the NSLU2 the highest transfer rate that I get is around 3Mbps.
The NSLU2 unfortuneately does not work with USB hubs. I suppose you could purchase more NSLU2s to add additional drives, but given that my wireless router only has four ethernet ports, and three are now taken, that is not a promising approach. Hopefully, this issue will be rectified in a future firmware release.
Lastly, the NSLU2 does not work with printers. Thus, you will need a separate print server if you need to hook USB printers to your network.
Overall, despite many of the negative points I raised, I am satisfied with the NSLU2. It allows the attachment of NAS at a reasonable cost, has no reliability issues, and is reasonably easy to setup. If that fits your needs (as it does mine), then I would not hesitate to recommend it.Updated
The performance of this device is actually quite good. My network is capable of about 18 Mbps file transfers computer to computer, and this device appears capable of roughly the same. This implies that the transfer speed is limited by the network - thus performance is actually quite acceptable. Nonetheless, I am leaving my original rating undisturbed at 'Good'.Updated
The performance of this device is actually quite good. My network is capable of about 18 Mbps file transfers computer to computer, and this device appears capable of roughly the same. This implies that the transfer speed is limited by the network - thus performance is actually quite acceptable. Nonetheless, I am leaving my original rating undisturbed at 'Good'.
Pros Works great with Maxtor Drive. USB is acceptable across the Network
Cons Maxtor software does not recognize drive over the network, a little buggy on the install
Summary Once it's up and running, it is convenient having the hard drive up on the network. The Network has to be running properly. I did a complete firmware upgrade with the install. It seemed to help me with connection issues- but dont expect the Maxtor software to be of any value at all. It won't see the drive across a network and you can only use the hard drive with the wireless due to its own formatting standard. If you want to also connect with cable from time to time, this is not for you. Across a network I am finding it to be effective and faster than other hard drives on other network computers. The power button needs to go, but others have written about this as well.
Pros Increased storage without an extra PC. Easy Setup.
Cons Don't expect to be able to stream music or move big files it can't handle it. Don't buy it not worth the hassle. Always crashes. Even for setup it crashes