Addonics to strike big with matchbox NAS kit?
Bring your own drive
Want a really cheap way to build your own NAS rig? Enter Addonics' NAS Adapter, a $55 (£37/€42) dongle that connects any USB hard drive to your network.
OK, it's not going to be a full replacement for a Netgear ReadyNAS or somesuch, but the tiny NASU2 does provide a handy way of adding an existing drive to a network.
Addonics' NASU2 NAS adaptor: plug and play
There's a USB 2.0 port at one end and a 10/100Mb/s Ethernet port on t'other. The until provides SMB access to the drive's contents, along with FTP support for remote access.
It'll operate as a print server - hook up a USB hub to connect multiple devices - and it'll grab Torrent downloads for you too.
The NASU2 is available now from Addonics' website.
NAS Box Reviews...
Data Robotics DroboShare
Newlink version works (kinda) okay
I bought the Newlink version from scan a couple of days ago. It seems to work as a proper samba shared drive - from the web interface you can set up users for it. I've had more than one computer use it simultaneously, no problem.
However, the firmware does seem a bit dodgy. I can't use the bittorrent client because when I go to that page on the interface it shows me the raw html for the page rather than showing me a web form. I've also not managed to get the media serving stuff to work yet - neither the Xbox or iTunes seem to be able to browse it for media files.
I've found one place which may have a firmware update for it (http://www.embeded-systems.net/firmware.htm) but there's very little information on that site so I've not had the courage to try it yet.
There is another similar newlink device which has 4 ports which I thought did the same thing, but instead as others have mentioned it can only serve one machine at a time. I had to send that one back.
Newlink NAS Dongle
Can you let us know if this device allow the USB drive to appear as an item on the "Network-View Workgroup Computers-xxx" WinXp menu dialogue or just as a UPnP device on the local network ?
If the former, then this device will allow music streaming to devices such as Sonos and can provide a real cheap NAS replacement.
If the latter, then this device is only as good as other so called "Network Drives" (e.g. the Freecom Products : http://www.freecom.com/ecproduct_detail.asp?ID=3402&CatID=8020&sCatID=1146266&ssCatID=1147446). These can only be mapped to a local PC drive and not accessed by Sonos (as they don't use the normal SMB/CIFS)
Newlink NAS Dongle
We bought the Newlink version to evaluate in work. Yes, it only supports one user at a time. We tried it with various USB storage devices and plugged it into wired and wireless routers - we even tried streaming video wirelessly, but the device isn't quick enough, so complex scenes were jittery. It's an interesting and possibly useful gadget for some application... we just couldn't think of one that doesn't already have a better alternative.