Articles: Networking

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Promise had made a name for itself as the manufacturer of disk controllers and professional data storage systems but about a year and a half ago it introduced a SOHO-class Network Attached Storage (NAS) device called SmartStor NS4300N. That was a 4-disk model with an appealing exterior, good functionality and high performance. Next the company announced a 2-disk NS2300N which was overall similar to its 4-disk cousin in speed and functions. And then, in May of this year, the series was complemented with a SmartStor NS4600. This NAS with support for up to four hot-swappable HDDs, with Gigabit Ethernet interface, a high-performance platform and a number of extra features is going to be discussed in this review. Oriented at SOHO users, it offers a DLNA media server, supports Windows, Mac OS X and Linux/Unix, and is very power efficient. The NAS is expected to come at a price of about $500.

Package and Accessories

Besides the NAS, the box contains a power cord, Ethernet cable, frames and fasteners for HDDs, paper manuals and a CD with software and electronic manuals. The box itself is pretty and sturdy. It measures 31.5x28x21 centimeters and has a plastic handle. You should be aware that the kit is as heavy as 3 kilos (and up to 5 kilos with installed HDDs).

The device is pictured on the box along with numerous descriptions of its features and usage possibilities. It is going to be appealing while standing on a shop shelf, and the user will have the opportunity to learn more and think about how to use the device while going home with it. The paper manual offers instructions on assembling the NS4600 and getting it ready to work. The full version of the user manual is only available in electronic format (PDF).

Besides Acrobat Reader, the software bundle includes Promise SmartNavi, which is a NAS management tool. It exists in versions for Windows and Mac OS X and will be discussed later in this review.

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