The NAS has two USB and one eSATA port. This is not too many, but you can use USB hubs to have more USB ports whereas eSATA can work via a port multiplicator. Standard types of external devices are supported: external hard drives and flash drives, printers, UPSes.
The NAS can see the first partition of an HDD connected via eSATA. It is mounted into the public folder “satashare”. You can specify user rights for it and they will remain in effect when you connect another eSATA drive. FAT32, NTFS and EXT3 file systems are accessible for reading and writing. The same goes for USB drives. You can safely disconnect and format external HDDs in FAT32 and NTFS from the web-interface.
The NAS is fast with eSATA drives – nearly as fast as with the internal HDDs. The top speeds of reading and writing are 57/71MBps with EXT3. With NTFS, the speeds are somewhat lower at 42/32MBps. The NAS can support one or two printers and is compatible with most USB models. The compatibility list can be found at the company’s website. You cannot make full use of all-in-ones with the firmware I installed for my tests. It also does not allow to check out the level of ink in inkjet printers, for example.
The NAS mostly supports uninterruptible power supplies from APC. You can specify the time interval after the loss of mains power, and when this interval is over, the NAS switches to safe mode in which all its services are stopped and the data volumes are turned off. The NAS can be programmed to shut down automatically, too. Since an UPS can be connected to one control system only, the NAS offers a network UPS emulation system for environments with multiple NASes. That is, the NAS the UPS is directly connected to works as a server while the other NASes are clients. This allows to turn off multiple storage devices safely and simultaneously.
The NAS also supports iPhone/iPod Touch. After you install a free application called DS Audio from AppStore, you will be able to listen to music from the NAS.