Other key features, such as the built-in Wi-Fi and the option for remote access over the Internet, are configured through a web interface. Unfortunately, this isn’t as intuitive as it could be – at one point it told me that the Wi-Fi was both enabled and not enabled at the same time, so it took me a little while to figure that out.
If you know your networking remote access is possible, as shown here on the iPhone
Click for a larger image
The Wi-Fi functionality did work well, though, allowing me to smoothly stream some MP4 episodes of Mad Men and Carnivàle off my memory stick. The LaPlug also supports UPnP networking and acts as an iTunes server, so it can double up as a makeshift media player, if required.
Unfortunately, the remote access option was even less intuitive. The PDF manual included on the CD-ROM makes no attempt to explain how this works, and merely provides a link to the web site of a separate company called Dyn that provides a free DNS hosting service.
USB 2.0 ports only
If you’re not already familiar with the basics of how DNS services work then you’ll probably struggle here. I had to be guided through the process step-by-step by one of LaCie’s tech support team, and LaCie’s staff did eventually acknowledge that the remote access features could perhaps be "better integrated".
To be fair, the LaPlug does work very well if you simply want to share USB storage devices on your local network. But if LaCie wants to promote remote access as one of the product’s headline features then it needs to document that feature properly. Given its simplicity in other areas, it is unlikely potential buyers of this device will be networking experts and, long term, the 'work it out yourself’ approach won't do LaCie any favours if it had any hopes to encourage brand loyalty. ®
More Storage Reviews
USB 3.0 HDDs
USB 3.0 HDDs
Brand loyalty? Try another brand
I'll never buy LaCie again, after the saga of them refusing to replace a faulty power supply on one of their external disks. The PSU has a design fault, meaning when the PSU is unloaded the 12v rail floats at 19v, which rather fries the capacitors that are only rated for 16v IIRC. Opening up the PSU shows that the caps have vented and are useless, which is a better option than exploding...
See http://www.fixya.com/support/t1782491-power_cord_buzzes_macpro_not_recognize and many youtube videos of hissing lacie power supplies.
LaCie refuse to replace this out of warranty, despite the fact it has been designed incorrectly, and despite the fact I have 2 other LaCie drives and a rather nice LaCie monitor.
So... Balls to 'em. Fixed it myself and vowed never to give them another penny for their overpriced, beautifully designed but badly engineered and atrociously supported junk.
My logitech harmony one developed a clump of bad pixels a few days after, and logitech couriered me a replacement after I emailed them a photo of the problem.
Guess who wins my loyalty?
Incidentally, you can buy Belkin Home Base wireless USB and print servers from ebay for under 30 quid delivered...
Surely it should be LePlug? Plugs are male.
I had a LaCie NAS drive.
It had various software issues, including a really poorly implemented UPnP media streamer. It was so under powered that you often had to re-encode media to play back without skipping.
I needed to be rebooted regularly, and worse of all, required an active internet connection to be able to get to the web based GUI, as authentication was done through their site, not locally on the NAS drive!
LaCie released one software update in the drives life, and that didn't fix most of the issues, then about 1.5 years after getting the drive, them dumped the entire range and said they were no longer going to provide any updates or support.
Eventually the drive died, with guess what, a PSU issue. I inspected the drive, and as per your experience, very poor design and build quality.
I decided not to repair, and instead removed the 1TB drive that still worked fine, grabbed all the data from the Linux partitions via some utils, and installed the drive in a dedicated server instead.
Never ever buy LaCie.
Logitech on the other hand, they are stars.
Network Throughput ?
What network throughput did you get with your tests ?
Can it actually act as a decent media source ?
I see from the LaCie product page it claims to act as a DLNA client , is it any good at that for SD or HD video ?
Some more actual information about it would be good , thanks.
I wonder if it supports IPv6
"Unfortunately, the remote access option was even less intuitive."
Throw carrier NAT into the mix, and it'll get even less intuitive!