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Firmware and Web Interface

 

PC enthusiasts often write alternative firmware for home NASes, but the tested model has not attracted much attention from such development communities. You will have to limit yourself to the functionality implemented in the firmware by the NAS manufacturer.

The web-interface follows TRENDnet’s style: blue tones, simple menus, scanty settings. This is a simple and intuitive setup manager without anything extraordinary. Still, I will devote the next few paragraphs to describing it.

After the user is authenticated, the browser loads the start page of the setup manager which does double duty as a status page and shows general information about the NAS such as its name, firmware version, network connection speed, etc. Also in this page you can see information on each disk mounted on the NAS. By the way, the header of the browser page always shows how much free space is left on the disks in the way of a pie chart for each logical volume. Besides, more information about disk space is provided in text form. Unfortunately, such diagrams are not available for external disks connected to the TS-S402 via USB.

In the left part of the setup manager there is a menu that offers access to settings. Besides the first informational item, the menu offers six items. Clicking on an item reveals the sub-items it contains. Each sub-item is a link to the respective list of settings. The menu structure is logical and it is easy to find the necessary setting.

What I did not like is that there is no integrated help system. There are even no floating tips to the settings. An experienced user will hardly have any problems, but a beginner will have to look up many things in the user manual.

Now let’s check out what settings are available in the web-interface (the firmware version used is 2.00.10).

Configuration Section

First goes the Configuration item. It contains the settings of the NAS as a hardware device. The Networking page contains the parameters of the NAS’s network port and DNS client. You can specify the address, mask and gateway for the LAN port (or get them via DHCP). For DNS, you can specify two addresses of domain name servers.

On the Basic page there are the rest of the housekeeping settings: NAS’s network name, workgroup, port for accessing the web-interface. A few things can be noted here. First, SSL is supported, so the web-interface can be accessed via encrypted connection. Second, the Basic page contains Jumbo Frame settings which would be more appropriate in the previous menu page. Third, Unicode is listed among the supported encodings, which is good. And fourth, besides setting the system time up by NTP, this setup manager allows to set it up using a handy and visual form.

The next six sub-items are not particularly interesting, so I will cover them but briefly. On the Server Preference page the user can choose what network services are going to be active when the NAS is started up.

The Firmware Upgrade and Remote Package pages are for updating the firmware and packages of the TS-S402.

On the Backup/Restore page you can save and load a backup copy of NAS settings.

The Factory Defaults page is for resetting the NAS to its factory defaults.

Finally, from the Reboot/Shutdown page the NAS can be rebooted or shut down remotely.

 
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