Not for me, but for my company. We needed a cheap solution for some smaller backups for the less important data and do not wish to combine backups together. So I got this set. If you are a home user, you might want to take a look at this D-Link DNS 320 NAS. Not too shabby for its price and it comes with 2 bay slots which allow you to have RAID 0 or RAID 1. If you are looking for some added data safety, I would recommend RAID 1 for redundancy. Basically it is just mirroring. Two harddisks each with a copy of the actual data. So if one of the harddisk fails, you have the other for backup. Of course it is highly recommended that you replace the faulty harddisk as soon as possible to ensure your data will still be intact. Surprisingly, most people don’t care about their data until disaster strikes. By then it is just too late. You can whine about it all you want but there is nothing much anyone can do. Even if you go to a recovery center, they might not be able to recover all your data and it probably cost more than a bomb to restore your files. Trust me, I have seen people spending thousands of dollars trying to get back their family photos.
So why not have backups? This is exactly where a NAS comes in. NAS or Network Attached Storage is a device which can store data through the network. The convenience of having a NAS in your network is priceless, especially if you have multiple computers or users in your network. Just “park” your data on the NAS and you can access the data anywhere on your network. And since it is just a data store on a network, you can backup various computers on the NAS easily. Although in my case, the NAS is just for storing backups, most home network users or even office users do share data on a NAS as well.
The big box for the D-Link DNS 320. The actual device is not really that big. Slightly better than 2 external 3.5″ harddisk stacked together.
Looks cool? Well from the outside, yes. But the device is actually very plasticky and feels kind of cheap.
Yes, it comes with Gigabit ports but I am guessing it is more or less useless unless you use SSDs. Please note that this is just the NAS. It does not come with any harddisks. You will need to get your own. Supports only SATA drives. The coolest thing is the price! Just S$109. Much much cheaper than the market. If I am not wrong, a 2-bay NAS will hit about S$200 or so. The price is extremely attractive to home users as well. Nowadays we have tons of digital media to store, even in our own home. Data like photos, videos, music, documents and so on. With harddisks being so cheap now, it is indeed a good time to invest in a NAS.
Wow, you can share files over your network, stream media to your PCs and TVs, protect and backup important files and easily manage your data using this device.
Photo of the ShareCenter DNS320.
Check the contents and minimum requirements.
Yes, we know. Hey, it comes with this Farstone Recovery software. Cool! I am currently using the open source Cobain Backup software but won’t mind trying something else out. This is actually sold at US$30 per license. And the features look kind of impressive for a home user. At any rate, this D-Link would be a very useful addition to the office as an alternate backup storage device.
They just love repeating the same thing over and over again.
The features include store, share and make regular backups of files. Sterams music, photos and video to compatible UPnP AV enabled devices such as Xbox 360 & PS3. It can even securely access files over the Internet. Though I would not recommend it. Nowadays we have very cheap online storage solutions like Amazon’s S3 or Dropbox which provides a more reliable method of online storage. I usually have a combination of a few – backups on my local network and only the very important files are backup on Dropbox.
Check it out, it supports RAID 1 which is what we are looking for. We need the redundancy to allow me to sleep at night. Can’t imagine if one day one of the harddisk fails, all my hardwork will be gone in just an instant. Honestly, you don’t need that fast a speed when doing backups. It is also interesting that there is a build-in FTP application. If your backup software supports FTP, it might be a good idea to transfer via FTP since it is usually faster.
Oh, by the way, RAID is not backup. It is very important to understand this. Backups are backups. They are copies of your data which you should keep somewhere safe. RAID is for redundancy in case your device breaks down. And RAID does not protect you against accidental deletion, viruses or corruption. So make sure you have backups my friends! Heck, go backup your data right now.
Useless information. The box is just too big, so they need to add some nonsense on it.
Some information on how to add the harddisks. Pretty easy. Just push the clip at the back, then slip the cover off. Add the harddisk(s) via the guides to the SATA connectors (make sure they are properly aligned first!) and just pop back the cover. There, you have just added storage to the NAS!
The stuff that comes with the box.
The actual ShareCenter. Made from very cheap plastic.
The back with the clip. This is the clip where you push and hold, while sliding the top cover off when you need to add or change harddisks. There is a fan at the back as well. But it feels pretty weak if you ask me. Yes, it is very silent but in Singapore’s weather, heat is a problem. And no matter how expensive your harddisks are, heat is going to kill your harddisks.
This is where you slide your harddisks in. There are two SATA connectors, so make sure you align your harddisks properly.
Yes, I chose WD Caviar Green because they are supposed to be cooler and do not use a lot of power. 2TB is quite a lot of storage. Since I am going to use RAID 1, even with 2 x 2TB harddisks, the total storage will still be only 2TB. Remember this is for redundancy. I don’t need speed here. And even if I would like better performance, using RAID 0 is extremely dangerous. If just one harddisks fails, then all the data on the array is lost. If you would performance, you should get some other NAS device. This D-Link DNS320 isn’t for those heavy users.
3 years warranty!
Yes, I slot in the harddisks. Very easy thing to do. Very good fit. Again, make sure you align the harddisks properly first.
Yes, both harddisks are detected and the RAID 1 is constructed without any issues. Quite nice. The power on button is located on the bottom right (right next to the power LED). The button on the button center is for other uses. So don’t be an idiot like me and keep on pressing that button, thinking the NAS is faulty or something like that. If I am not wrong, the USB port is for you to connect an external device for backing up the NAS. The button is meant for the device to automatically copy data to the USB device.
I have only just started using this NAS. Performance wise, it is not the fastest I have come across. In fact, it is one of the slowest. But then comparing the price, I think it is just right. And hey, it is faster than the old Bufflao NAS we had in our office. I can’t remember the model but that was rather sluggish. And the web interface was as slow as hell. I spent like an hour adding 15 users to the Buffalo NAS. Nearly pulled all my hair out. Of course this DNS320′w web interface isn’t speedy, but it is acceptable. So if you are on a budget or would like a simple network storage that just works, then take a look at this D-Link. Remember to flash the firmware to the latest!