Firmware and Web-Interface
We have found that the DNS-313 is a typical entry-level NAS in terms of hardware. What about its firmware then? The general specs you can read at the D-Link website indicate rather limited functionality. Its key feature is the integrated iTunes server. The UPnP media-server is hardly a competitive advantage since it is available in nearly every home NAS. Of course, it is no wonder for an entry-level device to have underdeveloped software, but users always ask for more, especially as the OS is installed on the HDD and its capabilities are in fact limited by the amount of the NAS’s system memory. DNS-313 users are lucky, actually. Quite a long time ago we wrote about D-Link’s DSM-G600 product and referenced the http://dsmg600.info resource where a few enthusiasts were busy improving the characteristics of their NASes – and quite successfully. Today, there is a sub-forum at this website’s forum where problems and ideas relating to the DNS-313 are shared. You can find are a few recipes there, for example how to launch funplug or install a torrent client on this device. In other words, the DNS-313 provides a good opportunity for enthusiasts to have some fun.
As opposed to them, the manufacturer himself does not hurry up with improving the functionality of the device’s firmware. The latest version we installed (number 1.02b4) lists only DLNA support for working with PS3 and Unicode for the FTP-server among the key new features. There exists firmware version 1.03 but we didn’t use it as it had nonofficial status as of the time of our tests.
We’ll describe the settings available in the official firmware to give you an idea of its functionality. Right now let’s take a look at its web-interface.
The interface is typical enough for a home NAS.
Besides the heading where the model number and firmware version are indicated, the page offers four frames. The top bar crossing the screen displays four global groups all the setup options are divided into. The Setup group is needed for initial setup (you can do it manually or with a wizard’s help). The Advanced group contains almost all the remaining settings pertaining to the functionality of the DNS-313. The Maintenance group offers settings of the device’s internal parameters. And finally, the Status group shows general information about the device’s status. There is a Help link nearby. The Help system offers all the information you may need when setting up various parameters but its descriptions are often too succinct to give you a good idea of what the particular parameter means.
The left frame displays a list of pages with settings included into the current group. The page selected in the list is shown in the center of the screen. The advantages of this navigation system are obvious: everything can be found easily and quickly. The menu structure must be logical for this system to work well but it’s not a problem here because there are but few options in total.
The right frame shows a few tips concerning the information available in the Help system about the current settings page.
We will begin to discuss the setup options available with the DNS-313 from the first group which is called Setup. Three pages are the most interesting here. The first of them is called LAN Setup. Besides the standard network interface settings, you can enable the LLTD protocol here. This protocol is used in Windows Vista and Windows XP SP3 to build a network map. If it is disabled, the DNS-313 will not be displayed on the map.
You can enter the device’s name in the Device page.
The device’s system date and time are specified on the Time and Date page. It should be noted that you can choose from multiple time adjustment sources. You can choose an NTP server, set the date and time manually, or synchronize them with a computer on the LAN.