To be accessed from the Internet while using a dynamic IP, the NAS has an integrated DDNS client. A few DDNS services can be used, including the popular www.dyndns.org.
Home users may be interested in the iTunes and UPnP AV services which have similar settings: you choose a folder for indexing files (you can choose subfolders, too) and specify the indexing period. These services are based on the popular Firefly and Mediatomb software.
The former even has a browser-based setup interface on port 3689 (log in using “admin/mt-daapt”). It can index files in MP3, M4A and M4P formats.
The media server supports the following file types: jpeg, gif, png, mp3, wma, aac, m4a, ogg, ac3, fla, dts, wav, avi, mp4, wmv, m2ts, mpeg, mts, ts, m4v, divx, mkv. Unfortunately, although the files themselves were visible in players (we checked this out with both software and hardware players), we could only play MP3/WMA and AVI/WMV. Besides links to photos, music and videos, there is also one more link for quick navigation. This is handy because images and video clips do not have any sort options. The server tries to read tags from audio files and organize virtual directories out of them, but it does not cope and throws everything into a single mess. So we have to admit that the media player implementation is far from good.
The NAS supports peer-to-peer networks, both torrents and eMule, using BitTornado and mlnet. There are a lot of torrent-related options such as choosing a folder to save filed to, upload and download speed limits (for individual download tasks), and automatic switching to the next task if the current one is not active. You can apply time- or rating-based rules for seeding. You cannot select the ports, unfortunately. They seem to be selected at random, and the client tries to open them on the router via UPnP but not always successfully.
The total number of download tasks is not limited, but there can be no more than five active ones. Your management options are limited to starting, stopping, deleting download tasks and viewing their status (including the speeds and the number of peers).
As it is impossible to power off safely, each task is paused after a restart. You can launch them again. Incomplete ones are rehashed before being downloaded or seeded again.
MLdonkey has similar parameters: download folder, speed limits, port selection. The list of servers is loaded from a user-defined URL. Tasks can be added after search with the client’s own means, which is not very handy.
You can use the client’s exclusive interface but you may need to change one of hidden system parameters for that (if your local network uses an address space other than 192.168.0.*). In this case you can access the interface via http://ip-address-of-NAS:4080 and use Admin/Root for logging in (the default NAS parameters). In the same way you can use telnet access and third-party tools for managing MLdonkey. We had to do that in our tests because the client stopped to respond on the standard page built into the NAS’s main web interface after our starting up and downloading three small tasks. When the tasks were removed via an alternative interface, everything began to work again. This problem did not occur in our subsequent tests.
The last interesting option is automatic file backups. You can create a few tasks for copying files and folders stored on the NAS between its own shared folders or external HDDs. The recipient can be any shared folder accessible via LAN (using the SMB/CIFS protocol). You can have multiple copies of the original folder by specifying the number in the task parameters. The schedule allows you to choose the days of week and the time to launch the task at.
There are no default tools to enhance the basic functionality of this NAS. However, you can use the installation mechanism for the localization module to access the NAS’s command line, also with the administrator rights.
Thus, you can install, for example, optware and any programs from it. But you’ll have to do something about the autorun options.