Articles: Networking

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Exterior and Interior Design

Although network equipment makers do not focus much on the exterior design of such devices as, for example, routers, most of them do make a point of creating a nice-looking exterior for their home-oriented NASes. Promise doesn’t make routers, but takes the problem of design very seriously. The NS2300N looks original with four out of its six panels painted silver and shaped into a single detail. The face panel and one of the side panels are made from black corrugated plastic and differ greatly from the rest of the case. The overall impression is that of an expensive and top-class product.

You install HDDs into this NAS through the front panel. Just press its bottom part with your finger and the door of the HDD bay will open up. You must first attach a special plastic frame to your HDD. The frame serves as the rails for rolling the HDD in and taking it out when necessary. You have to fasten four screws for each HDD, but that’s the single inconvenience here. The installation method is handy overall.

The cooling system is not original, yet practical. The cool air is coming into the case through large vent holes in the bottom of the case. It then proceeds in between the HDDs and is exhausted through the back panel by a 60mm fan. The efficiency of this cooling system is rather questionable, though. On one hand, the NAS is very quiet but its HDDs get very hot if you enable the automatic fan management in the NAS’s settings. The HDDs are actually scorching hot in idle mode because the fan is rotating at a low speed or even stops altogether. On the other hand, if the automatic fan management is disabled, the fan is rotating at its maximum speed (about 3200rpm) and the HDDs are barely warm. The fan is rather noisy then, though.

The NS2300 has a minimum of connectors and indicators. The front panel offers the following (from top to bottom):

  • Two indicators of the internal HDDs. These large indicators are placed on the edge of the case in order to be visible from the front as well as from a side.
  • Operation mode and Ethernet connection indicators
  • Power button with an integrated indicator

The few indicators the NAS has are implemented well enough. They differ in shape and position to prevent you from confusing them while their brightness level is just optimal.

There is a minimum of connectors on the back panel. Besides the fan, you can see the following (from left to right):

  • Power connector
  • Gigabit Ethernet port
  • USB 2.0 port
  • Reset button
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