NetGear SC101 Storage Central review: NetGear SC101 Storage Central

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
  • Overall: 7.5
  • Setup and ease of use: 8.0
  • Features: 8.0
  • Performance: 7.0
  • Service and support: 7.0
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Easy to set up; drive spanning; private and shared volumes.

The Bad Currently accessible from only Windows machines; passive cooling could be a problem with faster hard drives.

The Bottom Line More than just a networked hard drive enclosure, the SC101 provides some very useful features at a low price, making it a compelling choice for shared storage.

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Netgear SC101 Storage Central

If you're looking for network-attached storage (NAS) but have been put off by the high price per gigabyte, Netgear's $129 SC101 Storage Central may just be what you're looking for. An unpopulated box (no hard drives) with two easy-access plain ATA drive bays, the SC101 has SAN-like drive-spanning and volume-sharing features. And if you shop carefully for hard drives, the completed drive can be considerably cheaper than the prepopulated competition, such as the Buffalo TeraStation or the Iomega NAS 200d. A quick price check showed 320GB ATA drives going for around $150, so for well under $500 total, you can get 640GB of shared storage space. For features and price per gigabyte, you'll have a hard time beating it.

Setting up the Netgear SC101 Storage Central is easy, though it might be a bit daunting for anyone who doesn't like to open up electronics devices. The first step is to install a hard drive into each of the SC101's two bays; you'll need two if you want RAID mirroring (data stored simultaneously to two drives for redundancy), but you can use just one as well. The front panel of the SC101 has a low-profile latch that is opened with a quarter, sort of like a ceramic piggy bank. Open the latch, remove the front panel, and slide the ATA drives in sideways. You must jumper the drives as Cable Select (CS), attach the power connectors and the short IDE ribbon cables, then latch the unit back up. If you need help, the SC101 ships with an excellent setup sheet and user guide.

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Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date Sep. 12, 2005
  • Connector Type RJ-45
  • Data Link Protocol Ethernet
  • Type standard
  • Compatibility PC
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