A BlackBox for data that won't break the bank

A simple NAS device with a confusing name

No, I am not talking about something that's for or from an airplane. It's simply a network attached storage device from VOX. The full name--don't hold your breath, you've already read the creative part--is BlackBox Dual Bay Gigabit RAID Shared Network Storage. As if the naming it BlackBox were not sensational enough, VOX decided to paint the device silver.

The Vox BlackBox can accommodate two 3.5-inch SATA hard drives of any capacity. Dong Ngo/CNET Networks

Other than the confusing, yet very telling name, the device is actually straightforward. It's a dual bay NAS device that supports RAID 0 and RAID 1. It's always nice to have the option of using either a high-performance or a data redundancy RAID setup. The BlackBox can also work without RAID and show the hard drives as separate volumes. The BlackBox ships with two 500GB hard drives, making it the best deal in the NAS community with the price tag of only $310. That's about $0.31 per gigabyte. For now, you probably can't find another NAS device that offers better value.

The BlackBox boasts an interesting design. It's made entirely of aluminum and is very rugged and heavier than it looks, though it is still compact. On the front, its drive bays are locked and you can't open them with the provided keys. However, looking at the keys, you will soon realize that they are not necessary. You can open the case with a paper clip. You just need a pointed object to poke the little hole on the front of the drive bay and the latch will swing open.

The BlackBox also is the first dual bay, compact NAS device I've seen that doesn't have a power adapter but comes with just a regular power cable (found in most desktop computers). This means one less thing to clutter your work space. However, you might not want to leave the BlackBox on your desk since it's very noisy. The BlackBox requires a decent amount of ventilation since the power supply is in the box. It has two fans on the back and--when the device is turned on--these fans are noisy enough to be heard from across the room.

Overall, this seems to be a simple and interesting NAS device with a very appealing price tag. It's available for purchase now unless, but you might want to wait and check CNET.com for our review, which is coming soon.

About the author

CNET editor Dong Ngo has been involved with technology since 2000, starting with testing gadgets and writing code for CNET Labs' benchmarks. He now manages CNET San Francisco Labs, reviews networking and storage products, and also writes about other topics from online security to new gadgets and how technology impacts the life of people around the world.

 

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