Exterior and Interior Design
The NAS200 has an imposing appearance thanks to its large dimensions as well as original design. The device is indeed large even for a dual-disk NAS – such devices can be nearly half the size of the NAS200.
The design concept can be traced back to Linksys’ new routers with Draft N support, particularly to the WRT300N we tested in our labs. Cutting it short, the NAS200 looks like the WRT300N but is three times thicker and without antennas. The appearance is indeed original just because you can’t see a similar design from other brands.
The case of this NAS can be viewed as having three sections: a compartment with the PCB and two compartments with disks. This division is quite conspicuous. The NAS200 can only be installed flat. It would take almost as much space if placed upright, while wall-mounting such a large device makes no sense at all.
So, you need to install one or two hard disks for the NAS to work. The NAS200 supports HDDs with SATA/SATA-II interfaces and with a storage capacity of 1TB or less. You don’t need to dismantle the case to install them. Just open the two covers at the back panel. The HDDs are inserted into the compartments without additional fastening. There are special bands in the compartments for disconnecting and extracting the drives.
The case is ventilated in a very simple way. The NAS200 seems to have a lot of vent holes but most of them prove to be a mere decoration and do not let the air into the case. There is a small area of real vent holes in one of the side panels, though. The airflow is used for cooling the PCB only. The HDDs are not cooled directly.
The airflow is created by means of a small fan located at one of the side panels. The air is driven from top to bottom near that side. Of course, this ventilation system is not rational as the hottest elements, the hard disks, are left with almost no cooling at all.
The NAS200 inherited the indication system from the WRT300N together with the overall design of the case. The light from the LEDs on the printed circuit board is transferred to the outside with plastic light pipes. The indicators are absolutely invisible when inactive – you can only read their labels from the device’s translucent front panel. This indication system isn’t quite good just because you can’t see the shining indicators at a certain angle of view. The labels are also hard to read under dim ambient lighting. There is a total of 8 indicators here (from left to right):
- Act (this indicator shows that the NAS’ disks are being accessed)
- Full (this indicator reports that there is no free space on the NAS’ disks)
- 1. (indicates a failure of the first internal HDD)
- 2. (indicates a failure of the second internal HDD)
- USB 1. (indicates a connection of a disk drive to the NAS’ first USB port)
- USB 2. (indicates a connection of a disk drive to the NAS’ second USB port)
Besides the indicators, there is a Backup button on the front panel. You can use it to make backup copies of data from the external storage to the NAS’ internal disks.
The back panel offers all the connectors and the remaining controls (from left to right):
- On/Off button
- Connector for the external power adapter
- Fast Ethernet port
- Button to safely disconnect the device on the second USB port
- Two USB ports
- Button to safely disconnect the device on the first USB port
- Button to reset the settings and reboot the NAS200